A Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking

Core Merino Bikepacking Guide

We have to be honest, none of us at Core Merino are experts on bikepacking. But we have been fortunate to regale in stories with quite a number of our customers who have taken our gear out on their own bikepacking adventures, which has left us with a deep desire to give it a try because you can cover a lot more ground more quickly than a normal hiking trip. Now, with quite a lot of research under our belts, we thought we should share some of our tips with you.

Start out small

It is easy to start planning a bikepacking adventure and plan for weeks and weeks of endless cycling to explore new places. Although this can be aspirational to build up to for, say a bucket list bikepacking trip across Europe, but for starters, we would suggest starting off small. Kick things off with a short overnight adventure to test out your new skills.

Planning your route

To plan a bikepacking adventure or to find new roads, we propose utilising a variety of websites and planning tools. Bicyclesouth.co.za is helpful for finding routes in and around South Africa and bikepacking.com can be a great resource if you are looking a little further afield. Being new at bikepacking it can be wise to geek out a little on route planning and utilise technology to help plan better routes, but once you are comfortable, you can have just as much fun by heading out your door and exploring.

What should I pack?

Your packing list will be a combination of what you’d need for a mountain-bike excursion and an overnight hiking trip. Don’t fret if you’ve never been backpacking or don’t have your own stuff. Although we all would love to have the latest and greatest gear, it honestly is not necessary when you are just starting out. You don’t have to have the newest, nicest bike or the latest gear to have a good time on your bikepacking adventure. Plus, if you are already a hiker you probably have just about everything you need with the exception of a bike and a few tools!

If you are needing any additional packs for your bike or other accessories, check out a few of our stockists for some great gear to kit out your bike for your next bikepacking adventure: Safarisusters.com or gravelandtour.co.za

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