A Beginner’s Guide to Bike Camping
Bike camping is an adventurous way to spend a night outdoors. Combining some of the more challenging aspects of conquering Mother Nature, this is something that you are sure to enjoy if you already do both anyway.
There are some things that you should bear in mind, however. Below you will find several helpful tips so that you can have a great time, without the risks that are associated with both of these outdoor activities. Be sure to employ each of these tips of this beginner's guide to bike camping to approach it with confidence, having a fun - and safe - time.
Table of Contents
1. Lighten Your Load
Bike camping is the process of riding a bike to where you will be camping and then setting up for a night. What this means is, you will likely need several items along with you to be moderately comfortable on your night away from your bed. Spend some time researching the best (and lightest) gear that you can easily tow behind or on your bicycle.
2. Distribute Your Gear
Much like riding a motorcycle, weight distribution is very important when you are toting camping gear along the trail on your bicycle. Take some time testing out how everything rides once it is packed before you set off down the trail.
You don't want to have to stop and readjust multiple times because the bike is weighed down in one direction or another. It might help to make a list of where you packed and attached certain packs to your bike to remember how it evened out during your trial runs at home.
3. Know The Path You Will Take
You might be camping someplace new, but that doesn't mean that you can't familiarize yourself with the trail you will ride ahead of time. If you cannot literally get out and ride that trail before you take allof your camping gear, spend some time researching maps and reviews of the trail from some people who have been bike camping in that area before.
You might get a heads up about some unforeseen challenges that could make you reevaluate the site you are staying at or the gear you plan to bring.
4. Follow Normal Camping Protocol
As with any camping experience, you need to follow certain rules to be safe and courteous. For one, keep your garbage picked up and do your best to avoid leaving food items all around your campsite.
If it doesn't draw in predators seeking an easy meal, it could at the very least leave some of the creatures in the area sick. Be respectful of the campsite and pick up after yourself.
5. Get Familiar With Where You Are Camping
You might find that after toting all of your camping gear onto your bicycle, there really isn't room for a lot of food and water. Since this is an essential component to any camping experience, you might familiarize yourself with the area shops (as many popular bike camping spots have local stores for just such occasions), allowing you to stock up on the essential items that your bike was too burdened to carry up the trail.
6. Get Your Bike Checked Out
You absolutely should take your bike to a mechanic to have it looked at. Unless you are someone who does a lot of maintenance and repairs on bicycles, you might not be able to see the kind of potential problems that are only a few rides away from happening.
With this in mind, save yourself the potential problems you might experience while you are out on the trail that could completely derail your good time and have your bike checked out by a professional before you set out on your camping excursion.
7. Be Prepared For The Ride
Safety is often overlooked where it shouldn't be. People don't bring enough water to stay hydrated. People don't pack a small first aid kit in the event that they should fall off of their bike or wreck it somehow on the trail.
These are things that you shouldn't let happen to you, and think about all of the possibilities and prepare for them. There is nothing wrong with being overly cautious, and when it pays off, you won't ever be ill -prepared for an outdoor adventure again.
This beginner's guide to bike camping might seem a little simplistic, but these are essential things to keep in mind to help you to have a good and rewarding experience out in nature. The more that you implement all of these tips both before and during your trips, the more they will become just a part of how your future bike camping excursions are prepared and executed.