Your complete guide to bikepacking - what kit you need, how to plan and prepare plus inspiration for an adventure
We love bikepacking here at off.road.cc. It's a great way to have a low-budget bike adventure and it allows you to go much further and have more fun than ever before. We've collected all our features on bikepacking into one place, so whether you're an absolute newbie or seasoned expert, you'll find advice on how to plan a route, what to pack, what kit is best and much more.
- The best ways to find new mountain bike trails
- The widest gravel bike handlebars you can buy: broad bars for bikepackers
- The best mountain bikes you can buy for under £1,500 - full sus and hardtails
If you're wondering what bikepacking is, then it's basically doing a ride with at least one overnight stop - usually wild camping - before carrying on your ride the next day, carrying your kit with you. If can encompass anything from a mini overnight adventure near to your home or a huge, entirely self-supported ride far from civilisation.
We've written plenty of guides on all manner of bikepacking subjects and we've also recorded our own overnight adventures if you need a bit of inspiration to go and give it a try.
How to go bikepacking: a beginner's guide to getting started
If you're new to bikepacking, this is the place to start. Our beginner's guide covers everything from essential gear and luggage to planning and navigation, plus tips on how to set up your bike for your first bikepacking adventures.
Bikepacking basics: bike repair and first-aid kit
When you're bikepacking, you're entirely dependant on your bike and your body to get you out into the wilds and back again, safely. This guide covers what you'll need to pack in order to fix both of those things should it go a little pear-shaped, from the contents of your first aid kit to top tips for fixing mechanical issues out on the trail.
Bikepacking kit on a budget: get everything you need to bivvy and carry your gear under £100
It's entirely possible to spend a small fortune on high-end, super lightweight kit that'll help you have a comfortable night's sleep and another fortune on bikepacking bags to carry it all. It's also possible (and preferable, for most people) to sample the delights of bikepacking without spending a huge amount and this guide shows you how; from sleeping and bivvy bags to cooking kit to ways to carry it all.
The best bikepacking frame and seat packs
If you've got a bit of money to spend, getting proper frame and seat packs to carry your kit is a wise investment. Keeping weight off your back and putting extra storage onto your bike is a good idea on longer trips as it's more comfortable and convenient.
We've tested a whole load of frame and seat packs and from those, we've selected the best performers in the articles below:
- Best bikepacking seat packs for gravel and mountain bikes, reviewed
- Best bike packing frame bags for gravel and mountain bikes, reviewed
We'd also suggest you take a look at other cunning ways to attach kit to your bike here:
Bikepacking trip inspiration
Elan Valley bothy bikepacking
Jon and Anna headed to the wilds of Mid Wales, taking in a classic ride around the dams and reservoirs of the Elan Valley before spending the night in one of the lesser-known free to use shelters called bothies.
Can you spend a night in the hills and still make it into work on time?
Jon tries a sub-24 hour overnight adventure for the time-poor, driving to the Brecon Beacons in the evening, heading into the hills overnight and then completing his ride around the classic 'Gap' route in time to get back to work the next day. You don't need to go far or even have a weekend free to have a taste of bikepacking adventure...
We'll be updating this article constantly with more features, but feel free to let us know any questions you might have around bikepacking and we'll do our best to answer them. We hope this inspires you to get out and give it a go!
You might also like:
- 10 worst bits of mountain bike riding advice I’ve been given by randoms
- The best (and worst) mountain bike upgrades under £100
Looking for bikepacking inspiration, take a look at this collection on komoot.
Bikepacking basics: you missed 'mudguards'.
Nobody wants their kit sprayed continually with water and mud from the tyres.
This account of two lads who rode from Paris to India in 1972 gives a good account of the kinds of things that might go wrong in a long trip, that you'll need to be able to fix by yourself: