What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Talk about anything.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

User avatar
Ray Young
Posts: 3296
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:40 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Ray Young » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:49 pm

30 odd years ago I started off road touring within 6 months of buying my first MTB. Read rack, panniers, tent, too much gear. I then had a 10 year break from cycling due to ill health. When I got back into cycling I started off road touring again but soon saw a picture of a bikepacking set up and my eyes were opened. Less gear, better handling, greater distances. I do still take some unnecessary comforts on occasion though, a decent bluetooth speaker, non dehydrated food, a ukulele. Nothing major but it all adds up.
So where is this leading. Well I was on a Facebook bikepacking group page and someone stated bikepacking meant minimal weight and big distances covered. Of course others disagreed, the post was about carrying a ukulele whilst bikepacking. Many other Facebook bikepacking groups now regularly have posts of what I would call a road tourer fully laden with panniers yet they still say they are bikepacking.
So what does the term " bikepacking" mean to you and at the end of the day does it actually matter that it now seems to many people any sort of bike travel with gear allowing you to stay out overnight.

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 6009
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by whitestone » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:52 pm

Off-road bike touring.

Or as bikepacking.com state: "It's backpacking with a bike".
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

User avatar
Shewie
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:27 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Shewie » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:05 pm

I'm new to this but I've always thought of bikepacking as off the beaten track a bit more than cycle touring, and bikepackers use seat packs, bar bags etc rather than conventional panniers

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18759
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:16 pm

I'll have said this numerous times - for me, bikepacking is freedom. Increasing that level of freedom requires me to carry what I need to be self sufficient. However, freedom will often mean venturing further off the beaten track, so minimising what I carry makes doing that easier.

However, it's not about sacrifice and hardship (any nob can be cold, wet and miserable), it's about carrying the minimum that allows me to be warm, dry and happy. What that means will differ person to person and there's no right or wrong but I believe there is a certain bikepacking 'mindset' that you either have or don't have but it can develop over time.

Anything that reduces freedom such as pre-booking accommodation or setting myself an absolute rigid schedule or route, leads me away from what I feel bikepacking to be and perhaps pushes me more towards what I might consider touring.

I know I could waffle on for hours about this ......... but I won't :wink:
#corporate shill for hire

User avatar
psling
Posts: 931
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:36 am
Location: Forest of Dean

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by psling » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:21 pm

For me it means taking the wheels and pedals off, turning the bars and putting into the bag before a journey.
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

ton
Posts: 1300
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:53 am

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by ton » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:28 pm

i dont bikepack. i offroad tour. as in, when touring, if there is a alternative way, that keeps me away from traffic. i choose it.

User avatar
FLV
Posts: 3437
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Northern Edge of the Peak - Mostly

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by FLV » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:33 pm

Its just cycle touring with different luggage to me (direct attache bags etc rather than panniers), simple as that.

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18759
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:36 pm

I genuinely don't think the type of bike you choose, or the luggage you use make you a bikepacker, they simply make you look like one - those things tend to be a side effect of being a bikepacker.

Edit: sorry, just remembered I said I'd shut up.
#corporate shill for hire

User avatar
psling
Posts: 931
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:36 am
Location: Forest of Dean

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by psling » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:51 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:36 pm
I genuinely don't think the type of bike you choose, or the luggage you use make you a bikepacker - those things tend to be a side effect of being a bikepacker.

Edit: sorry, just remembered I said I'd shut up.
Couldn't agree more and would add 'or the speed you travel at' to your list if I may. That's the beauty of the OP's thread title and the reason for my ironic post above ^^, the term "bikepacking" can mean so many different things to so many different people but ultimately it probably all comes down to a state of mind.

p.s. - never shut up, we can choose to stop listening but you shouldn't have to stop offering your opinions!
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

User avatar
stevewaters
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:23 am
Location: Dark Peak

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by stevewaters » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:04 pm

I tend to think bikepacking is backpacking but with a "rucksack on wheels". - That notion helps me cope with hike-a-bike sections cos I figure it's still easier pushing that load rather than having it on my back. I know that's not always true, but it seems to help in my mind !

User avatar
PaulB2
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 pm
Location: Stafford

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by PaulB2 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:19 pm

I've used the term bikepacking with non-cycling friends to mean backpacking on a bike to give them a different mental image from traditional 4 pannier touring but it's really just splitting hairs.

Lazarus
Posts: 1531
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Lazarus » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:22 pm

it means freedom to me - gow eher ei want stop where i want sleep where i want.

I dont get that wound up by it as it means different things to different people
IMHO if you take a bike and you camp having carried all your kit you are bikepacking

However i also think it means off road and touring means on road but both are technically bikepacking for me- the later emerging to differentiate fromthe former ad the kit because panniers are poor off road [ relative to roads and bikepacking kit]
As for kit its all personal and if you want to do it with panniers or a trailer then i respect your right to take the wrong kit , and too much of it , with you :wink:

FWIW i still road tour but nolonger own panniers [ well they are in the attic]

Asposium
Posts: 1333
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: Hull

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Asposium » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:34 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:36 pm
I genuinely don't think the type of bike you choose, or the luggage you use make you a bikepacker, they simply make you look like one - those things tend to be a side effect of being a bikepacker.

Edit: sorry, just remembered I said I'd shut up.
Indeed
Did Jogle on a gravel bike with 28mm slick tyres.
Had the soft bags as would be used on the mountain bike.
Still considered myself to be bikepacking
So, to me, bikepacking is a mindset.
Does it need a “label”? Not really, get out and ride.
What makes this place and “bikepackers” in general a lovely bunch; there is no “set way”, what ever works is acceptable. We’re not bothered about the latest trends, the latest fashion, or beating that Strava segment. It is not the distance that matter but the journey.

I did the sandstone way with a friend covering 70km a day over four days, then the weekend after the YD300 in 34hours.
The Sandstone Way with a friend was far more enjoyable, and the YD300 did have me questioning why I do such things to myself.
Goes back to that “it’s the journey” thing again, and that journey is better shared with another likeminded person.

User avatar
thenorthwind
Posts: 990
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:07 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by thenorthwind » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:58 pm

Ray Young wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:49 pm
So where is this leading. Well I was on a Facebook bikepacking group page and someone stated bikepacking meant minimal weight and big distances covered. Of course others disagreed, the post was about carrying a ukulele whilst bikepacking. Many other Facebook bikepacking groups now regularly have posts of what I would call a road tourer fully laden with panniers yet they still say they are bikepacking.
I saw the post you're referring to Ray. I was tempted to respond to the person who commented that "the point of bikepacking is to TLS" (italics mine) but I know discussions on public Facebook groups can quickly go downhill, and life's too short. But I did despair... TLS can make bikepacking more enjoyable... but so can taking a ukelele if that's what you enjoy. It's not a competition to see who can TTheLeastS :roll: (WRT weigh-in excepted).

AndreR
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:49 pm

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by AndreR » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:03 pm

I agree that Bikepacking is a state of mind rather than a physical thing.
There is a famous quote by G K Chesterton that sums this up for me; The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see.

redefined_cycles
Posts: 4110
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:19 am
Location: Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by redefined_cycles » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:19 pm

Freedom to roam.. world being your oyster etc etc

Cheddar Man
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Cheddar Man » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:26 pm

Surely 'Bikepacking' is nothing more than a clever notion dreamt up by some poncey hipster marketeer to flog trendy nobbers, affluent middle- aged middle-classed ex-golfers, or old-duffers with more money than sense a ton of stuff that they didn't realise they needed until someone invented 'Bikepacking' isn't it?

Seriously, I went on my first bike tour in 1981, (a drop bar Raleigh Record Ace in gold as you ask)around the lanes and byways of Buckinghamshire with a couple of mates. What I have done in the intervening years has been on hardtail mtb's, a Dawes Galaxy, a full suss mtb, and a carbon road bike (that was a hoot). Now it seems it's called 'Bikepacking', well there you go! It's just cycle-touring, that is all it is. Everything else is marketting guff.

Seriously, I am on a rant now.............. I know people who would rather have their spleen removed than have a bike with a saddlebag on, they had to have a trendy courier type bag. Now Bikepacking saddle bags are out, they are fighting for the biggest capacity, most straps and hanging points and reflectivity. It's still a bloody saddle bag, the very thing 12 months ago you wouldn't have gone near with a shi77y stick....... nobbers :roll:

User avatar
Delv4
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:32 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Delv4 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:36 pm

Cheddar Man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:26 pm
Seriously, I went on my first bike tour in 1981
Bit late at getting in to touring weren't ye

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 83729&v=7x

Cheddar Man
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Cheddar Man » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:55 pm

Delv4 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:36 pm
Cheddar Man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:26 pm
Seriously, I went on my first bike tour in 1981
Bit late at getting in to touring weren't ye

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 83729&v=7x
Strangely I went on a tour in Northern Ireland in 1985, I didn't take a bike though

User avatar
Dave Barter
Posts: 2272
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:21 pm

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Dave Barter » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:01 pm

To me it means putting packs on bikes then cycling
Elite keyboard warrior, DNF'er, Swearer

User avatar
Delv4
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:32 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Delv4 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:03 pm

Cheddar Man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:55 pm
Strangely I went on a tour in Northern Ireland in 1985, I didn't take a bike though
flak jacket :lol:

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18759
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:24 pm

It's just cycle-touring, that is all it is. Everything else is marketting guff.
No, touring is quite a modern notion. 'Cycle-camping' is where it all began and it had much more in common with how people would perceive a 'bikepacker' than how they would a 'tourer'. However, none of that really matter becaue it is in the mind. :wink:
#corporate shill for hire

rudedog
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by rudedog » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:10 pm

Freedom (just noticed Norm has said this same with a few more words)

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6077
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:17 pm

Dave Barter wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:01 pm
To me it means putting packs on bikes then cycling
Amen.

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6077
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: What does the word "Bikepacking" mean to you?

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:18 pm

rudedog wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:10 pm
Freedom (just noticed Norm has said this same with a few more words)

Yes, but Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Post Reply