The winter season is swiftly approaching. Temperature dips and we prepare ourselves for colder days.…
Bicycles, as a means of transportation, have been around for centuries. Its origin dates back to the early 1800s and was introduced by German inventor Baron Karl von Drais. Back then, it was commonly known as the “Dandy horse.” Today, the bicycle has evolved in extraordinary ways and has become one of the most versatile vehicles available.
For years, athletes and enthusiasts have been using bikes as a means to exercise, commute, and explore the world around them. [TWEET THIS!] However, a new cycling craze called bikepacking is gaining traction as more cyclists and families discover its benefits.
What is bikepacking?
Essentially, bikepacking is the synthesis of mountain biking and minimalist camping. It gives riders the freedom of backcountry hiking with the coverage of riding a mountain bike.
Bikepacking is a fun way for cyclists, travel buddies, and even families to explore the great outdoors. These trips let you cover more miles than hiking and gives you access to dirt roads and trails that are otherwise inaccessible by cars and trailer vans.
Why go bikepacking with the family?
There is a special kind of joy that can be found in leaving the hustle and bustle of the city. [TWEET THIS!] Bikepacking is a great family bonding activity that you can do as a getaway adventure to explore the world around you!
It allows you to witness the beauty of natural landscapes, breathtaking views, and feel a sense of freedom that can’t be experienced from the confines of a car. Bikepacking allows you to travel at your own pace so you can really take in the beauty of your surroundings. It is also an excellent way to expose your children to being one with the environment as you transition from the city to the countryside.
Bikepacking with the kids can be challenging. In fact, packing alone can be tricky. However, the rewards of the time off from daily stress make the trip worth it. Here are some bikepacking tips you should practice to make the trip enjoyable for your family!
Pack light and pack right
Any parent knows that packing for children is anything but light. However, when prepping for bikepacking, simplicity is key. Consider if each item is a need or a want. Wants have no place in your travel pack. Remember, traveling light is a vital part of bikepacking. An overloaded bike is not only hard to maneuver but also damaging to your bicycle.
Trailers and tag-alongs for the kids
For younger tots, bike trailers are generally the best options for parents. It allows your little ones the chance experience the great outdoors with the ease of just riding along. Trailers also double up as extra storage space for your things. [TWEET THIS!] On the other hand, tag-along bikes are perfect for older kids who can pedal but are too young to ride alone.
Pick your destination
When planning your trip, remember to pick a destination that is not too hard and challenging for your family. [TWEET THIS!] Always consider the duration of the trip, the roads you will take, and the distance to be covered. As a rule of thumb, beginners should try bikepacking through nearby states or regional parks, forest service roads, and trails-to-trails corridors.
Before heading out, consider making adjustments to your bike to make the ride more comfortable. Adjust your handle bars higher than normal to lessen the stress on your back and have more control. In addition, ensure that your bike wheels have enough air to support not only your weight but also the added weight of your bags.
Have a first aid and repair kit ready
Aside from the bare essentials like food, water, and shelter, there are a few more necessities that you should add to your list such as first aid and bike repair kits. A good tool and repair kit will come in handy in case you encounter mechanical troubles with your bike. Don’t leave home without a wilderness first aid kit, too. Be prepared and don’t take unnecessary risks since you’re travelling with kids.
Meet some bikepacking bloggers
As you venture into new bikepacking adventures with your family, make sure to read articles written by bikepacking bloggers. They often share tips, first-hand experiences, trails, and stunning getaway photos with their families! Let’s look at some of them:
While Out Riding
In the summer of 2009, Cass Gilbert left his home in Alaska and departed on an adventure on his bike. Nearly 10 years later, he continues to travel with the addition of a new member, his son Sage. On his blog While Out Riding, Cass often shares his trips with his family to different countries and national parks, traveling tips, and gear reviews. He also uploads captivating shots of his destinations, dirt roads, and his son.
Andy Amick is not only a bikepacking enthusiast but also a proud father of three boys. Each of his sons received a bike helmet for their first birthday and all three of them join him on bikepacking trips. Fellow cyclists and fans follow Andy and his family’s adventures through his blog, Pale Spruce. On the blog, he shares his book announcements, experiences with his kids, and stories from their bikepacking adventures.
Jeremy Scott Foster has been on the road for seven years after leaving his day job. [TWEET THIS!] A self-professed adrenaline junkie and culture vulture, Jeremy shares his travels, stunning photos, and adventures on his site, Travel Freak. On his blog, you will find several entries on gift ideas for travelers, tips for your trips, and personal bikepacking stories!
Mikkel Soya Bolstad is a cycling enthusiast who enjoys exploring the wilderness of Norway. On Backwood Bikepacking, Mikkel shares that he considers the countryside his backyard. [TWEET THIS!] He often goes on camping trips and summits to satisfy his craving for adventures. Mikkel also shares bikepacking stories with his family on his blog. In addition, he has a separate website that features his best shots from his trips!
Aaron Teasdale: Web Log
Aaron Teasdale has been traveling the world on two wheels for almost two decades. As a successful freelance travel writer and photographer, he has been the recipient of several awards including 2016 Travel Writer of the Year. His work can be found in several books, magazines, and his online blog. His trips are documented on his Blogspot along with his bikepacking adventures with his wife and two sons.
If you’re looking for a new bonding experience with the family or craving an epic adventure, bikepacking is a great way to go. Take advantage of the inspiring destinations around you. Bikepacking is a rewarding trip for the whole family!