What is bikepacking

What is bikepacking

What is bikepacking, and what do you need for it?

Published: May 15, 2024
Published: May 15, 2024

Want to combine the thrill of all-terrain cycling with the freedom of backpacking? Bikepacking lets outdoor enthusiasts venture farther across remote trails and rugged landscapes on two wheels. This fun yet challenging activity offers a unique connection with nature and requires minimal gear for multi-day adventures. Let’s explore what bikepacking means, which Decathlon gear you need, and where you can find the best trails in America for an unforgettable bikepacking journey.

What is bikepacking?

You may have already guessed that bikepacking is a blend of cycling and backpacking. Riders use their bicycles to carry their gear and supplies on self-supported adventures. Unlike traditional bike touring, which typically involves paved roads and support vehicles, bikepacking uses a minimalist approach and ventures off-road — gravel paths, singletrack trails, remote backcountry routes. Cyclists can discover remote destinations inaccessible by car or conventional hiking, and they can sustain themselves in the wilderness for days, or even weeks.

What are some essentials for bikepacking?

Select gear with comfort, safety, and enjoyment in mind. Take a look at Decathlon’s wide range of high-quality bikepacking gear to find exactly what suits you.

Bikepacking bags. Get a set of bikepacking bags that can attach securely to your bike’s frame, handlebars, and seat post. The bags should be lightweight and durable, providing ample storage space for clothing, food, camping equipment, your tire repair kit, and more.

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Lightweight tent or bivy. Choose a compact and lightweight tent or bivy sack that can easily fit onto your bike. Look for ones with waterproof materials, easy setup, and minimal weight.

Sleeping bag and pad. Opt for a lightweight, comfortable sleeping bag and pad for a decent sleep after a day of riding. Check the temperature rating of your sleeping bag, in case of any unexpected weather during your adventure.

Cooking gear. Pack a compact camping stove, fuel, and cookware for preparing meals and boiling water. Choose lightweight, portable options that can be neatly stowed in your bikepacking bags.

Navigation tools. Don’t forget your GPS device, map, and compass to navigate your adventure with confidence. Before you set out, do some research on the terrain and any potential hazards.

Our favorite bikepacking trails in America

Follow the proud shrieks of the eagles! America boasts a vast network of trails that guarantee an exciting adventure. Here are some of our favorites to explore on two wheels:

1. Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Image source: The Great Devide

How about a real challenge? Spanning over 2,700 miles from Canada to Mexico, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is the longest off-pavement cycling route in the world. This epic trail spans the Rocky Mountains and offers breathtaking scenery, rugged terrain, and sweat-dripping conditions.

2. The Arizona Trail

If you want a mix of singletrack, dirt roads, and technical terrain, the Arizona Trail stretches over 800 miles from Mexico to Utah, showcasing the diverse landscapes and ecosystems of the Grand Canyon State. Riders are in for some great wildlife viewing and camping along the way.

3. Oregon Timber Trail

Image source: Oregon Timber Trail

One unforgettable riding experience for bikepacking enthusiasts! The Oregon Timber Trail crosses the diverse landscapes of Oregon's Cascade Mountains and high desert regions for 670 miles. Discover beautiful backcountry scenery and blissfully remote wilderness.

4. Lost Sierra Loop

Image source: Lost Sierra Loop

The Lost Sierra Loop is a 105-mile bikepacking route that offers a splendid sampling of Northern California's finest gravel roads and singletrack trails. This three-day weekend loop takes bikepackers through the remote and beautiful Plumas National Forest, with plenty of opportunities to resupply in some of the small communities that collectively make up the Lost Sierra.

Let your wheels go wild

With the right equipment and preparation, you can easily blend camping with biking — and lose yourself for days in the great outdoors. Ready to gear up and hit the trails? Check out Decathlon’s bikepacking collection. See you out there!

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