Author Topic: Is this considered bikepacking?  (Read 3532 times)

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Offline StringBean

Is this considered bikepacking?
« on: June 15, 2016, 09:00:23 pm »
Hi all -

This is a random, silly question, but I'm just trying to make sure I'm using the correct term to describe my cycling interests. Basically, I like cycling from inn-to-inn-to-inn (as opposed to camping).

Is this still considered "bikepacking"?


Offline RussSeaton

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 11:18:13 pm »
When I did that I considered it bike touring.  But my touring was a bit different.  I went from hostel to hostel to inn to inn to hostel to inn to inn to inn, etc.  Also thrown in were stays at family, friends, and strangers I met on the road.  A great great great way to tour Europe.  LOT more costly to do inn to inn to inn to inn touring in the US.  Europe has a lot cheaper accomodations.  This was a long time ago.  Doubt the word bikepacking had been invented back then.  Bikepacking sounds like riding a bike with a big hiking backpack on your back.  Not very comfortable.

Offline StringBean

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 11:43:41 pm »
Thanks! Bike touring - that's definitely a more accurate description!

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 08:04:13 am »
Bikepacking is generally considered to be done off-road. Gravel or singletrack. But, can also be used to describe any touring with the new style of bags being used on MTBs.

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Offline DaveB

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2016, 12:17:47 pm »
Actually I think that's a subset of Bike Touring.  I'd call it "Credit Card Touring" since you aren't carrying a tent, sleeping gear or cooking gear. 

Offline StringBean

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2016, 12:40:22 pm »
Yes, when I do that type of touring, I carry significantly less stuff.

Some clothes, some energy snacks, water, and whatnot.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2016, 04:12:02 pm »
Actually I think that's a subset of Bike Touring.  I'd call it "Credit Card Touring" since you aren't carrying a tent, sleeping gear or cooking gear.

Hmmm.  About 25 years ago when I did that in Europe I don't think I even had a credit card.  Paid cash for everything.  Was I "Cash Touring"?  And the real tourists who camp and cook, are they not allowed to use cash or credit cards at stores when buying supplies?  Do they have to barter for goods?

Offline DaveB

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2016, 06:27:13 pm »
Actually I think that's a subset of Bike Touring.  I'd call it "Credit Card Touring" since you aren't carrying a tent, sleeping gear or cooking gear.

Hmmm.  About 25 years ago when I did that in Europe I don't think I even had a credit card.  Paid cash for everything.  Was I "Cash Touring"?  And the real tourists who camp and cook, are they not allowed to use cash or credit cards at stores when buying supplies?  Do they have to barter for goods?
Cute.  "Credit card touring" is, of course, a modern term for touring while staying in hotels/motels and eating in restaurants or buying prepared food no matter how it is (or was) really paid for.   Then again, 25 years ago was 1991 and credit cards most certainly were in use but maybe no one trusted you to have one.   :P

Offline marti jacobs

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 05:02:39 pm »
Im pretty sure even a short trip no matter if you stay in a hotel or a Hike&Bike place, is considered for me as bikepacking, what it matter is that you have fun and live the adventure, but I cant denied that the more natural environment you can make the more exited it will be
Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.

Offline StringBean

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 06:07:14 pm »
I'm a wimp - I would never do bikepacking (outdoor camping) on my own. I don't know anyone who does it locally, which doesn't help either.

For now, I stick with bike-touring, carrying minimal things and crashing at an inn or Airbnb at night along the way.

Offline mathieu

Re: Is this considered bikepacking?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2016, 04:14:29 pm »
If you look through the answers, the defining elements appear :
1. Carrying camping gear or not (i.e. credit card touring or warmshowers)
2. Trails, dirt roads or pavement
3. Panniers or a more downsized gear carrying bags.

Remember that bikepacking is a word play on backpacking, which is definitely about lightweight and certainly not in the vein of credit card touring or the social luxury of warmshowers:  on the contrary! It also engages on going more on trails, rather than roads or pavement.

So in my opinion the best definition of bikepacking is riding lightweight with limited gear stored in frame bags, saddle bags, handlebar bags and a small backpack in remote backcountry, often wild camping.
Or more shortly: bikepacking is bike touring in the backcountry with camping gear but without panniers.

Have a look at these rigs http://bikepackersmagazine.com/2016-tour-divide-rigs/ .  Even if you wouldn't believe it, all of them carry a small tent or bivy and sleeping bag and none of them will use warmshowers. Yes, all of them carry a credit card to pay for the high calorie fuel intake needed to cover the 2750 miles Great Divide route as fast as possible. That's ultra bikepacking!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 06:22:50 pm by mathieu »