Camping is always a nice experience to go out refresh and rest. If it is your first time, you may have mixed feelings, but as time goes and you get used, you start enjoying so much. Bike camping to be particular can be very engaging, and that is what makes it amazing.
Beginner’s Guide to Bike Camping [3 Steps Explained]
Are you thinking of camping? Do you want to go camping with your bike? Is it your first time and you do not know what to do? In this guide, you will find comprehensive tips on how to go bike camping as a beginner.
Step 1: Early Planning
It is easy to say that a lot of work to do with bike camping must be done when planning. Especially when it is your first time, then you have to make sure that you plan as much as possible. The success of your trip will majorly depend on how well you prepare before going camping.
There are several things to work on when setting a good plan.
Selecting a Location
There is possibly no way you will go bike camping without a location(s) that you want to visit. Camping involved exploring a place, and you need one before anything else.
In selecting a place, you first have a look at sites that you like. In that case, it means that you can brainstorm of amazing places you know around you that you would love to go camping. There is nothing complicated about getting a location, you have to keep it totally simple.
In selecting a place for camping, consider the following factors.
As much as you are going camping, you have to be realistic with the locations that you select. You do not want to choose a distant place that will be difficult to cycle to. Make sure that it is a place you can comfortably cycle to and from.
Since it is your first bike camping, do not be so hard on you. Select a close location. With time you can learn to go camping in far places.
Once you have areas you would like to go to and camp, make sure that you know about any government regulations concerning biking. There are states with rules that may not allow you to access certain areas.
It is okay to contact the authority responsible for the are to know what regulations are there.
Choosing a place like Alaska is not going to be a good one for you. Do not forget that you are on a bike. You do not want to go camping in areas where it will be difficult for you to ride. As a result, ensure that you are selecting a place with favorable conditions for you.
When it is your first time, you also have to make sure you know your limits. Hence choosing the location wisely. This will allow an easy time when cycling around the campsite.
Plan Your Time
Not every time is appropriate for you to go bike camping in some areas. Based on your location and the area of interest, you have to be keen when selecting time. The best time for camping is based on your comfort.
Ensure that you select a time that you feel comfortable cycling for long distances. If you are okay with the rainy or dry seasons, then it is okay.
However, time can also be affected by conditions surrounding your campsite of interest. Some campsites are not good when it is rainy, while others are not good when it is a dry season.
However, you can also look at your schedule. Based on your work schedule or business plans, plan wisely, and plan early.
Bike camping does not have to be done during the holidays. You can plan to go bike camping on weekends.
Always ensure that you have planned for a time that you are free and do not have any commitment that may interfere with your camping.
Book a Campsite
Based on your dates, you may have to book a campsite early enough. There are certain types of camps you will need to reserve your spot early enough due to the demand. In areas where there is a high number of campers, you will need to do this.
You also have to consider the time you are going camping to make sure that there are enough spaces for a campsite.
Step 2: Here is What to Do Towards the Day
When your bike camping day is approaching, there are several things to do to make sure that everything works perfectly.
Find the Right Route
The type of route that you select to use matters a lot when it comes to bike camping. You have to make sure that you choose your route to the campsite wisely. Reasons being you want to have as much fun as possible and reduce any struggles.
To do that, you have to make sure that you select a route with as low traffic as possible. Busy roads are not suitable for bikes. Minimal traffic allows you a pleasant time while cycling. At the same time, it reduces any incidences with motorists.
Make sure that you also choose a route with beautiful sceneries. The main goal behind camping is to make sure that you have as much fun as possible. As a result, selecting a route with beautiful sceneries will offer you the best experience.
You can go for routes with waterfalls, rivers, and wildlife.
As you look for the right routes, also make sure they are areas where you can get the right supplies.
Calculating the right budget for your bike camp tour is a crucial factor as it allows you to know how much you are going to spend on the trip. As a result, it is always a good idea to look at the list of things you may require during the tour for better planning.
Bike camping will require a lot of things, in which case some of them may not be available. Always start by listing everything you will need for the tour.
Then go ahead and create a list of the things you have and those you do not have.
Get the price quotes for the things that you will have to buy.
Always remember that there are certain things you should be good at estimating to make sure you are right, even if you do not require them at the moment.
With the list of things, you need to buy, make a list of all charges you will have to pay along the way.
Combine the list and see how much money you need to spend.
In case your plan ends up being more than you had planned for, feel free to make vital changes to meet your budget.
Get Your Bike Ready for the Trip
Your bike is very important in such cases. You have to remember it is the most important asset you have for the trip. As a result, make sure that you have serviced your bike days before the trip.
If you are not good at it, it is always important to find an expert who can help do necessary quick fixes.
Such fixes include having good brakes and making sure that the tires are in the right conditions.
During the trip, make sure that you have a small toolbox to make any necessary tools.
Acquire the Right Gears
When it comes to bike camping, you have to remember that there are so many things you need to carry for the campsite. Always make sure that you get all your necessities in good time to avoid delays towards the real day.
Here are some of the things you need to source for
- A good bike
- Bike racks
- Bike panniers, or bags
- A bike trailer if you are using both a car and a motorcycle
- Bike lights
- Air pump
- Chain lube
- A patch kit or spare tubes
- Sleeping bag
- Bike helmet
- Extra socks
- A hat
- Rain gear
- Spare batteries
- First aid kit
How Do You Carry Your Gears?
Many people plan everything else and forget this. Remember that you will have a lot of things that you need for camping. As a result, you will be camping with so much weight from the gear you need.
The first that you need to know how to pack your stuff so that they will be easy to carry on the bike. Always make sure that the heavy items are packed first and loaded on the bike fast. Ensure that you can balance the weight on the bike to allow easy cycling.
For you to be able to carry everything easily without getting so tired, you have to make sure that you have the following.
Racks: They are metal frames that are attached on either the rear or front parts of the bike. They are used for the better carrying of luggage. Remember that racks are attached using screws. As a result, you have to make sure that you are using a touring bike since they have the right screw holes.
If not, then you will be forced to get another bike or modify the current one to suit racks fixing.
Saddlebags or Panniers: Having saddlebags or panniers for your camping bike is a crucial thing that will enable you to carry all your items without a struggle. They have a huge volume, which means that they allow you to pack more items.
Saddlebags or panniers are also easier to carry. They can be easily attached to the bike. As a result, they offer you a better balance on the bike irrespective of the amount of luggage you are carrying.
Based on the manufacturing style of the bags you have, learn to pack your items in the right manner. The way you pack your items on the panniers contributes a lot in making sure you have a balanced bike.
Since you will be cycling all through, you need to create a balance to avoid having to much weight to push.
When selecting saddlebags or panniers, make sure that you go for the lighter ones as they reduce the amount of weight you have on your bike when going camping. Ensure that you also select waterproof ones as they will avoid water entering into your items in case of unseen rains.
Step 3: Cycling and Camping Time
When the time to ride for camping comes, everything is different. Ensure that you have everything ready as per your plan.
When the cycling time comes, make sure that you follow the following tips to make everything work well.
Tips for Better Cycling when Touring
Bike camping is a tour, and you have to take it as one. Follow the following tips to make everything fun.
Get Some Friends to Join
There is nothing as much fun as having friends when camping or cycling for a long distance. Whether it is your first time or not, having friends around it is comforting.
Find a friend who is willing to stay with you for the entire adventure. Make sure that you know about your friend’s cycling ability before starting the journey. You do not want to go with a friend who is not good at cycling, and you are forced to cancel your plans simply because he/she cannot keep up.
Now that you have a friend or friends, share the amount of luggage to make it easy for each one of you. In case there are some items that you can share on the campsite, you do not have to carry one for each.
Always keep in mind that you will be cycling for several miles. As a result, your body will need to be hydrated at the right time. It is the easiest way that you will be able to cycle for that long distance.
As a result, make sure that you have carried the right amount of water. At the same time, ensure that you have the proper containers for the water. Get containers that are easy to use as you cycle.
Starting your journey early is such a good idea. You never know what will happen along the way. Riding at night is not such a good idea. Especially if you are in a new place.
As a result, you have to make sure that your route is well-planned and your time. Based on the distance you are about to cover, make sure that your move early to save as much time as possible.
Do not be so hard on you. If you want to make it to the campsite at the right time and have fun at the same time, take some breaks along the way.
It is a trick that will allow you to rest and energize appropriately. Resting will also give you a chance to do checks on your bike and everything you need. It is also an excellent way to visit your plan and make sure that you are on schedule.
When you are moving as a group, make sure that you are taking care of each other. Irrespective of your different riding abilities, you have to remain together.
Ensure that you do not leave anyone behind. It allows you to work as a team and accomplish more.
Camping is the last part of bike camping. You have to know of the right steps to take to ensure your tour is a success. Here are some things you should do.
Set Your Tent Early
When you are going camping your tent is very important. It is the only place you have for shelter. As a result, you have to make sure that you find the best location for your tent and in good time.
Ensure that the place is away from any dangerous animals. Also, make sure that it is a secure and firm ground free of any flooding or falling rocks risks.
The only way you will be able to do this is by making sure that you assemble your tent early.
Find a Place for Your Bike
Since you are going camping in a new area or the woods, you have to make sure that your bike is safe. As a result, ensure that you have the right spot for the bike.
Always make sure that your bike is as close as possible to your tent.
Always ensure that you utilize your camping experience as much as possible. Whether you are alone or with friends, the secret is to make sure that you have as much fun as possible.
Make sure that you find some games to play when camping. Examples of games you can engage in include; rock climbing, rafting, hunting, and cycling competition.
The Bottom Line
Bike camping is an excellent experience if you do it the right way. The best way to make that happen is by making sure that you have planned for the tour early enough. If you can plan with friends, you will make the process much simpler.
Always research as much as possible about the area you are about to visit. Make sure that you get the right items in good time. Practice will enable you to get better and enjoy yourself.