A Micro-Adventure Awaits.
The first time I heard the word “bikepacking”, a light went off in my head – I knew this was going to be my activity of choice for my Surly Pugsley (named Wednesday). The activity is defined very much as it sounds, a combination of biking and backpacking, an off-road tour, and can last for weeks or less than 24 hours. This type of adventure has absolutely exploded in popularity in the last 5 years and along with it, specialized bikepacking gear has entered the bike scene.
Bikepacking equipment, like most bicycle accessories, range from the high-end, ultra-technical, chic, custom bags to very basic and minimalistic parts to facilitate gear attachments.
Porcelain Rocket specializes in beautiful, functional and custom bikepacking bags that minimize bulk and maximize awesome –
Before going custom, I decided to try the Outpost series by Blackburn, a great value for technical gear –
After buying all of the special equipment, I was champing at the bit to head out on the trails and yet, I waited 5 months to set off on my first bikepacking trip.
The biggest factor in my hesitation was wanting to make sure I went on the best trail, something remote and endlessly beautiful, something not too difficult but challenging enough to keep it interesting. This trail may indeed exist but it is not the trail we ended up traveling. After much deliberation, Wednesday and I set off towards a section of the Cross VT Trail on a late Friday afternoon. There was a moment of hesitation as we started off towards the rail trail–that it would be crowded with large families and dogs–but it turned out to be just treacherous enough to leave us bounding down the path in total solitude.
Unsurprisingly, bikepacking is my new favorite activity – it has the capacity to be a huge adventure on a grand scale but also exists as the perfect weekend micro-adventure. Somehow carrying everything you need to survive (for less than 24 hours) on two fat wheels, straight into the forest makes even the most mundane surroundings absolutely marvelous.
My only advice, no matter your equipment or how much time you have, ride out and spend a night under the stars.
– Whitney McKiddy