Simply put, bikepacking is a mix of all-terrain cycling and backpacking. It evokes the freedom of backcountry hiking and travel off the beaten path but with the added range, quicker pace, and thrill of riding a nimble bicycle. Bikepacking involves carrying the essential gear—and not much more—on an off-road-capable bike for an overnight or multi-day ride. That could range from a full load with sleeping gear, a cooking kit, and food for camping to a minimal kit with just the clothing and supplies you need to link shelters or hotels. It’s all about pedaling further into places less traveled, both near and far, via singletrack trails, gravel, and forgotten dirt roads, and connecting with the vast landscapes, welcoming people, and diverse places encountered along the way. If you ask us, nothing else compares to adventure travel by bike.
In this Bikepacking 101 Handbook, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started. You’ll also find curated links throughout, collating useful information from a wide variety of subjects from our 11-year archive, the most comprehensive bikepacking resource on the web. If you’re new to bikepacking, start with the topics below before you dig into all the comprehensive information offered throughout these pages.
Revised and expanded in 2023, the Bikepacking 101 Handbook (2nd ed.) required thousands of hours of research, design, and writing, all of which was made possible through the generous support of our Bikepacking Collective members. As with all of our detailed route guides, in-depth reviews, and daily news, stories, and event coverage, this 20,000-word resource is available to the public for free. If you appreciate what we do here at BIKEPACKING.com, consider joining to support our efforts.