Bikepacking

Trip Reports/Photo Galleries

Mar. 2014: The Golan Trail
Nov. 2013: S24O, Jerusalem Mountains
May 2013: The Deer Tick Gauntlet (Pine Barrens, yet again)
May 2013: French Creek State Park
Oct. 2012: Pine Barrens, again
Dec. 2011: Pine Barrens of NJ




Bikepacking is the name given to a somewhat new pastime - a hybrid of mountain biking, bicycle touring and self-supported camping. The term has been around for a while (I've seen it used in a 1970s article, referring simply to self-contained bike touring) but recently has come to be used for its current meaning. There may be some debate about the definition - for example, is ultralight, rackless bike touring still "bikepacking" if you're riding a road bike on pavement? What about off-road riding using panniers? - but it's generally taken to be an off-road, minimalist/rackless subset of cycle touring, and I've never known anybody to get exclusive or judgmental about how anyone uses the word. Strap a few specially made bags onto your mountain bike's frame (or just lash as much as you can to the tops of racks and carry the rest in a big backpack), and go ride the trails for days, camping out along the way and bringing everything you need - that's certainly bikepacking.

I've been on a handful of these trips myself, most of which are documented in the galleries above. My setup is ever-evolving, as I tweak, adjust, and try different methods of getting everything attached to the bike while preserving as much as possible of its handling and ride quality.

A useful site for those interested in bikepacking is, aptly, bikepacking.net, and the MTBR section on bikepacking is a good forum for discussion and learning as well.