Bikepacking is fun adventurous way to explore our country side and dual use tracks like the Heaphy and Old Ghost Trail. It consists of mostly off-road cycling on dirt or gravel roads and single-track trails.
Bikepackers carry their belongings in a series of small frame packs that are strapped or mounted to their bicycle’s handlebars, frame and seat. Packing in this way allows you to cycle over rough terrain without having your belongings bounce around or completely fall of your bicycle as you ride.
If you’re new to bikepacking, it’s best to start out with just a handlebar bag and a seat bag. These two bags and a small backpack will get you through most overnight or 2-3 day trips if you pack light. If you need more space or dont want to use a backpack then add a frame bag to your bikepacking gear list. If you still need extra space to carry food, clothing, camping equipment or any other personal items you might be bringing with you, consider adding a top tube bag, or one or more accessory/stem bags.
Heavier items like food are best placed in the rear seat pack with lighter items like clothing or down bags in your handlebar pack as you don’t want to much weight over the front wheel. Lightweight gear is best but remember essentials like a first aid kit, tool/puncture repair kit, water, extra clothing and shelter if not using huts.
I recently did an overnight trip with my 11yr old daughter, we packed clothing, food, cook kit, first aid etc into our handlebar and seat packs for the two days. Was a great little intro for her and we are now planning our next trip.
Top brands like Ortlieb and Revelate Designs offer 100% waterproof bikepacking gear that is worth the investment but you don’t need all-new stuff to have an adventure. If you’ve got a mountain bike and a sleeping bag buried in your gear closet, you’re well on your way to bikepacking. On the trail, you’ll learn fast what you need and don’t need, and you’ll be happy not carry more than you need. If you need gear but dont want to invest in it then give us a call or email as we hire gear.
Most importantly, your bikepacking adventure is whatever you want it to be. So get your bike oiled up, plan for one of the many amazing trails we have, pack your gear, and hit the trail!
See you out there.