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Bikepacking

Bikepacking

All you need is a bike and a plan, and freedom is yours for the taking.

There’s a myth out there that a great bikepacking trip – the kind that makes your insides bubble with possibility – requires “more.” More time, more experience, more kit. You don’t need more of anything though. Instead, a sense of discovery, and an ability to embrace the unknown is all that’s required for a two-wheeled multi-day adventure.

Two rides with an overnight stop in between. Throw in a few variables like a new-to-you route or a distance that’s just out of your comfort zone, and you’ve got yourself a bikepacking adventure.

The only wrong way to do bikepacking is to not go. So go have some fun!

Lael Wilcox, ultra-endurance cyclist and komoot global cycling ambassador

Inspiration For Your Bikepacking Trip

Choose from our ready-to-go Collections with handpicked Tours and lots of handy information, created by passionate people like you.

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North Coast 500 – Escape to the Highlands

Road Cycling Collection by Liam Yates

Ten incredible days in the Rocky Mountains — The Colorado Trail

Mountain Biking Collection by Joey

GREEN DIVIDE – the Netherland’s longest nature traverse

Bike Touring Collection by Dutch Divide Series

Lush green, heat and red gravel – Journey around Rwanda

Bike Touring Collection by Eleonora

Rough Stuff Of The North — Second City Divide

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

An unforeseen incredible journey – cycling from India to Nepal

Bike Touring Collection by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

7,600 km across the continent — European Divide Trail

Mountain Biking Collection by European Divide Trail

The Pamir Highway – Dushanbe to Osh via the Wakhan Valley

Bike Touring Collection by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

Lava fields, icy glaciers and river crossings on the Iceland Divide

Bike Touring Collection by Natt Williams

Bikepacking the Catalunya Trail in the Pyrenees

Bike Touring Collection by Katherine Moore

Hebridean hopscotch — cycling along Scotland's magical west coast

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

Bikepacking the roof of the world – Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Mountain Biking Collection by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

Traversing the Dinaric Alps — bikepacking from the mountains to the sea

Bike Touring Collection by Jenny Tough

One week, one bike, one girl – Atlas Mountain Race

Mountain Biking Collection by Quinda

TransAtlanticWay — bikepacking in the wild west of Ireland

Road Cycling Collection by Jesko

Winter Himalaya: My road to Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters

Mountain Biking Collection by Omar Di Felice

History, chalk, grassland and forest — King Alfred's Way

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Barcelona to Girona – a road cycling mecca on your gravel bike

Mountain Biking Collection by Martin Donat

Pure Arizona mountain singletrack — Black Canyon Trail

Mountain Biking Collection by Maghalierochette

Bikepacking in the hills of the Lake District — Lakeland 300

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Cycling pilgrimages in Spain - Camino Francés and Camino Finisterre

Bike Touring Collection by Tobias

Riding into the storm — Black Mountain crossing

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Set off prepared: Four things to consider when planning your bikepacking trip (according to bikepacking pros)

There may not be a one-size-fits-all rule for making your bikepacking adventures awesome, but there are some universal considerations you should think about before you head out. Our komoot bikepacking ambassadors can attest to that. This is what they consider important to think about during the planning stages:

Your route

Your bikepacking route is central to your whole ride as it’ll inform all your other decisions. Before you start planning, remember the goal is having a good time outside, so be realistic about what is actually enjoyable for you (and bear in mind that a loaded bike is tougher to ride, so plan distances accordingly).

How far do you want to ride (and relatedly, how remote do you want to go?)? Do you picture yourself on a gravel adventure or want to go full-on MTB-mode? Are you looking for an epic multi-day adventure that pushes you to the edge of your comfort zone and requires dialled logistics, or do you just want a care-free night under the stars?

Your bike

According to Austrian bikepacking pro, Max Riese, the bike you ride matters less than the route. Wider tires offer more flexibility for adventuring, but as long as you plan a route suitable for the bike you have, you’ll have fun.

Your gear

“Keep it simple,” is Dutch cycling ambassador Erwin Sikkens’ advice. “You can set up an affordable bikepacking rig with a couple of dry bags and some clever straps, and gradually buy more gear as you learn what you like.” There’s also no rule book for ultra-light gear. If you can attach it to your bike and still manage to pedal, it’ll do!

Your packing list

Lael Wilcox’ top tip for packing is to remember that the lighter the bike, the more fun it is to ride, so avoid bringing too much! She recommends having the right clothes for the weather you expect, and lives by the layering approach (your warmest outfit should involve wearing clothes on top of each other, instead of swapping out warm weather clothes for cool weather clothes).

Embrace the unknowns when you’re out there

While proper planning goes a long way towards having a great time on a multi-day ride, the fact is you can’t plan for every little thing. In fact, when it comes to adventure, the fun part is often in the unknown – the stuff you can’t anticipate before you go. It’s all about embracing the good, the bad, and the in-between experiences, enjoying yourself in the moment, and chalking up the rest to experience. Also important? Making a note of those experiences that make for a good story, like these ones:

That time Mark Beaumont rode across Australia flashing his bottom to passing cars

Cycling across the Australian Outback for weeks, a passing car eventually slowed to tell me my cycle shorts were so threadbare that every passing vehicle could see my backside as they passed! There wasn’t a lot I could do to remedy the situation until I reached Adelaide a week later.

That time Jenny Tough entered an MTB endurance event when she didn’t even own a mountain bike

The SRMR (Silk Road Mountain Race) probably stands out because I thought I was so far out of my depth entering "one of the toughest MTB races in the world" when I didn't even a own mountain bike at the time. Of course, being in the mountains (and some mountains I knew well from running across them previously!) made my heart sing and I did way better than I could have imagined. I gained a lot of confidence and shared some really special memories with the other competitors.

That time Max Riese ordered horse meat for lunch

When I was in Kyrgyzstan I accidentally bought a fried pastry called “Shamsi” with the wrong filling. I asked for veggies. Instead I got horse meat and onions (accompanied by fermented horse milk). Not a good decision for a vegetarian!

Bikepacking is an amazing way to embrace the freedom afforded by two wheels. Armed with pro tips and a bike workshop’s worth of bikepacking inspiration, there’s nothing left to do but to plan your own multi-day adventure by bike!

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