“Simply put, bikepacking is the synthesis of mountain biking and minimalist camping. It evokes the freedom of multi-day backcountry hiking, but with the range and thrill of riding a mountain bike.” – https://bikepacking.com/
The up and coming trend of getting off the road and out onto dirt trails has always been built into the pillars of Bicycle Across South Carolina. Our goal is to create a unique riding and camping experience that allows registrants to challenge themselves while still having the support of an organized ride.
Although we don’t categorize our ride as a “bikepacking,” we still love learning about new ways riders are venturing out and mastering this challenging activity.
Here are 5 essentials items we like to carry with us when bikepacking.
While these might seem unnecessary, one or two THIN acrylic blankets can really come in handy when bike packing long distances. For their light weight, they are extremely versatile. I have used mine on the trail for everything from an oven mitt to a lawn towel. Most importantly however, if you don’t happen to be camping with blow-up mattress (or if the pesky thing just keeps leaking throughout the night) when folded, they really help to bolster your back against the hard ground under your tent.
Para Cord is always a good idea, it is super versatile and great for building rain canopies for storms or sun. I will admit however, that it is very easy to lose in the dark or overgrowth, so be sure to look for offerings in neon or ostentatious colors. Para Cord is known for its strength, used as suspension lines in parachutes. It can also be used for fishing line, survival gear shoelaces and more!
3. A Buff
Though a tubular headband made of thin synthetic fibers may not sound like much, the buff has a staggering 12 uses. From headband, helmet liner, dust mask, scarf to also providing sun protection! The Buff comes in many colors and patterns, making them easily identifiable if it is stuffed in the bottom of your pack.
This one is a must- the warm, dry socks you’ll always need post-ride. You never know what kind of weather you’re going to encounter on the trail, and there’s nothing worse than wet socks. After a long day of riding, it is vital that you have someplace warm and fuzzy to put those barking puppies. I like to leave my pair of safety socks at the bottom of my sleeping bag. As the item you want least wet, and usually the most water-resistant item in your pack, your sleeping bag makes for a great shield from the elements. Just to be clear, safety socks are not a brand – just my fun little alliteration for keeping my happy feet.
5. The Essential Bicycle Repair Kit
Last but not least- every BikePacker needs a portable yet reliable bicycle repair kit that won’t weigh you down. The Wolf Tooth Encase System is installed into your handlebars and is easily removed. Inside, the Wolf Tooth Encase system can hold a hex bit wrench multi-tool and a chain and tire plug multi-tool. It’s kind of like the old saying, “Its better to have one and not need one, than to need one and not have one” With the convenience of fitting in your handlebars, nothing beats the Wolf Tooth.
Though at BASC riders can expect a fully stocked camp-site every night, we know not all rides are as convenient. We wanted to share the tools and tricks that have helped us when we were camping on our own. When packing for BASC 2020, take a look at our post on the BASC Packing List! Dates dropping soon!
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As the event continues to evolve and come to life over the next few months, we want to hear what you’d like to see at BASC. Post-ride yoga? Football on a big screen? Email me here and we’ll see what we can do!
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