The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Camping Bicycle and Bicycle Camping Gear
Just in case you are wondering so what is bicycle camping? bicycle camping is that great outdoor adventure where all your gear and supplies are packed on your bicycle and you get right on your way, riding off to your local campsite for camping. This way, you get to combine your love of cycling with the pure bliss of lounging in the midst of nature. You need to choose and pack the right camping bicycle and bicycle camping gear to really enjoy this adventure without feeling lost. This way, you will get to enjoy the many benefits that you might not get from traditional camping methods.
Why should you go bicycle camping? It helps sustains the environment by not having to drive your car through the wilderness, thereby reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the environment. Also, cycling is a form of exercise and is bound to improve your cardiovascular health. The experience of traveling to your campsite riding a bicycle is also one of the fun of this form of camping. You can make stops at unique places and pitch your tents enjoying some form of stealth camping, here is the ultimate guide to stealth camping. Whether you are a seasoned camper who loves to cycle or not, pick up your camping bicycle and bicycle camping gear and ride your way to an adventure!
Choosing the Right Bicycle for Camping
You need to choose the right camping bicycle to enjoy your trip riding to your campsite. You don’t want to encounter any form of a setback because you chose an unfit bicycle. Some of the considerations for selecting a camping bicycle include:
- Frame size: The bicycle frame size should be appropriate for your height and weight. When your bike is either too small or too large it will pose a problem for you and make riding to the campsite stressful.
- Tire width: the type of terrain you will be riding on/through is a very important thing to consider when choosing a camping bicycle. Wider tires are appropriate for rough and rocky trails while narrower tires are perfect for smooth, paved roads.
- Luggage capacity: consider the quantity and weight of the bicycle camping gear you plan to carry when choosing your bike. With this in mind, choose a bicycle that can withstand and carry your load properly without growing weary. Look out for other features like panniers, baskets, and racks when choosing a camping bicycle.
Types of Bikes Suitable for Camping
There are different types of bikes that can be used for bicycle camping. Your choice of the right camping bike will depend on your needs and preferences as well as the terrain you will be riding through. Here are some camping bikes available to choose from.
- Touring bikes: Touring bikes are built to go for long-distance travel and can as well carry a lot of gear and weight. They are quite comfortable and have sturdy frames and an upright riding position.
- Cargo bikes: just as it is called, cargo bikes can carry large amounts of cargo as they were specifically designed for that purpose. This is a great option if you are looking to go bicycle camping with lots of gear to carry along.
- Fat bikes: if you know those bicycles with extremely wide tires, those are fat bikes! It is the best for tackling and riding your way through rough terrains but may not be so efficient on smooth roads. However, if you are looking to have lots of fun bulldozing rough terrains then fat bikes are your go-to.
Essential Camping Gear for Bicycle Camping
These inclusions all the items you need to survive and make your bicycle camping trip a success. Without these gears, your camping trip may not be made.
A tent is essential camping gear for any camping trip. Choose a lightweight and easy-to-pack tent.
Never embark on any camping trip without a camping sleeping bag as they keep you warm and protected from insects and elements. Always choose the right camping sleeping bags and pads for you.
You’ll need to prepare your meals while camping and especially if cyclin through a wilderness with no gas stations to stop by for a quick snack. Check out some of the best road trip food ideas and pack up your camping cooking gear for your trip. These gear include camping stoves and cooking gear like pots, pans, cutleries, etc.
you will need to navigate your way through unknown or unfamiliar terrains while on a bicycle camping trip. Navigation and communication tools come in handy for this purpose. They include a compass, map, GPS device, or satellite phone.
You will be needing repair supplies just in case you have to deal with a punctured tire and tube, a deflated tire, or any form of mishap with the bicycle that may need repairs.
Optional Camping Gear for Bicycle Camping
Other bicycle camping gear are optional but will go a long way if you carry them. You can survive without these items but carrying them will ensure a much better trip with extra comfort and convenience.
Bicycle Racks and Panniers
To carry your camping gear much more conveniently, you need bicycle racks and panniers. You get to attach them to the frame of your bike so that they provide more space to carry every load. They come in sizes so pick one that is right for your bike.
If you will be camping in the rain, then rain gear isn’t optional but a must-have item to carry along for your outdoor adventure. You don’t want to get drenched together with your other camping gear just because you didn’t carry rain gear for protection. waterproof jackets and pants, tarpaulin or canopy to cover your gear or hang out in the case of serious fall, and layers of clothing to keep warm are a few of them.
A first-Aid Kit
First aid kits are necessities for newbie campers and even for the avid camper. We can never be certain that we won’t get into any form of accident camping in the great outdoors. Some of the basic items to be found in your kit are bandages, gauze, painkiller, insect repellent, and sunscreen.
GPS Devices and Maps
Avoid getting lost in the wilderness and ruining your buckle camping experience by always carrying along a GPS device or map to navigate through the outdoors and unfamiliar trails.
For countryside campsites and trails, don’t forget your bear sprays. They are special types of peppers made to scare bears and prevent them from coming close to you, keeping you safe from harm, however, only use them as last resort. Bear sprays can also come in handy in the case of physical assaults by any hoodlum.
How to Pack your Camping Gears on Your Camping Bicycle
To pack conveniently ad avoid setbacks on the way because you didn’t have your items well organized, here are tips to help you arrange gears on your bicycle for your bicycle camping trip.
Invest in Good Panniers or a Trailer
Invest in good panniers or a trailer to attach to your bicycle frame for easy transportation of all your camping gear. Choose panniers that are sturdy, waterproof, and fit your bike frame.
Pack Your Heaviest Items Low and Toward the Center
Try packing your heaviest items low and towards the center of the bike helps to keep the bike stable and balanced by distributing weight evenly. This also helps you to ride and carry the load with ease.
Use Bungee Cords or Straps to Secure Your Gear.
Always keep your items firm by tying them up with bungee cords or straps. Secure every gear firmly to the bicycle this way by tying the straps or cords to the bike across the load.
Test Out Your Packing Setup
Take a short ride to test out and have a feel of the load before finally setting out for your trip. This way, you can tell on time if your load needs readjustment and save yourself the stress and frustration of discovering too late while in transit.
Bring a repair kit
Always take a bicycle repair kit with you. It is very crucial to your camping trip because a bad bicycle without any help or ways to get it repaired can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere ad ruin the entire bicycle camping experience. Some of the repair tools to include in your kit include a tire patch kit, multi-tool, spare tubes, pumps, etc.
Tips for Planning a Bicycle Camping Trip
There are certain things to do to ensure a smooth and less frustrating bicycle camping experience. Although the thoughts of bicycle camping can be daunting with the fact that you have to drive through unknown trails and carry a load alone, however, with these tips in mind, and properly followed, you can be sure to enjoy the whole episode.
Research your Routes and Campsite in Advance
Plan your routes and make notes of places you will make stops and where you will stay while en-route your campsite. Planning all these ahead will help you stay on track and give you peace knowing that you won’t be stranded in the middle of an unfamiliar destination or path. Check out resources and join groups where people who have had experience bicycle camping get to share their tips and experiences. You will pick up a few things to note, do or avoid.
Pack Light, But don’t Skimp on Essentials
Riding a bike with a load may seem appealing and fun initially but hours down the way, you will get tired and take some breaks. For this reason, avoid packing too many items and loading up your bicycle especially if your campsite is far. However, don’t leave essential camping items like tents, food, sleeping bags, repair kits, first aid kits and water behind as that will be equally frustrating.
Practice Riding Your Bike and Setting Up Your Gear Before Your Trip
I will always advise you est out our bike and fit your gear on it while doing this to familiarise yourself with the process and look out for issues. Set up your gear like tents and try out your sleeping bags and pads to be sure that they are all in good condition before the trip. This will save you a lot of panic and distress in discovering any fault late.
Be Prepared for Mechanical Issues and Other Unexpected Events
Don’t ever think that because you have planned well and tried out your gear that nothing can ever go wrong. Machines like your bike and other gear can develop faults while in transit or at the campsite even after trying them out and finding no issues with them. On that note, prepare your mind for these events, be flexible, and also have a backup plan by packing up a repair kit.
10 Essential Biking Gears for Camping and Safety
There are some gears that are crucial for biking to ensure your safety and convenience. Here are 10 of these biking gears to ensure your camping and biking safety:
- Helmet for biking safety if an accident occurs.
- Lights to see and illuminate your site and trails and prevent accidents.
- Water bottles and hydration packs to stay hydrated and energized. Check out these best camping water bottles and hydration packs.
- Spare tubes and tire repair kit
- Multi-tool like screws, drivers, patches, etc for quick easy repairs of the bike.
- Pump to inflate your tires.
- First Aid Kit.
- Maps and navigation tools.
- Camping gear like a tent, a sleeping bag, sleeping pads, and other essential camping gear.
Bicycle camping is a fun and healthy way to experience nature. It is also cost-effective and very eco-friendly as much as it is beneficial to your personal health. It is important that you research your routes, try out your camping bicycles and bicycle camping gear ahead of time, pack your repair kit, and be prepared for any mechanical issues. Also, for a newbie, it is best to read some recommended camping books to familiarise yourself with the process also, and you should join some groups talking about similar things on social media. Pack light but never leave any essential camping gear behind as that can ruin the entire trip for you.
Every avid camper should look forward to a bicycle camping experience and include it in his camping bucketlist to experience. It is a totally amazing and healthy experience and unique way to camp!