Sometimes on long distance cycling tours, or just for the novelty, you’ll be wanting to spend the night outdoors. There are some general rules that everyone should try and stick to when camping – but carrying your gear with you while cycling can make everything that little bit more complicated. To help you make head from tail of this whole camping lark, I’ve made a quick list of tips to get you sorted.
Think About Weight
When it comes down to it, you’re going to need to carry anything that you take with you for camping either on your back or on your bike. Keeping that in mind is essential when it comes to packing, so try and focus on gear that is low weight – although make sure it is still fit for purpose!
However, you will have a few options when it comes to weight distribution – a luxury that hikers don’t get. Dividing your gear between a backpack, panniers, handlebar bag or bike trailer is the best approach. Just make sure that your bike doesn’t become too cumbersome to ride.
When you’re out camping you need to consider both your personal security and the security of your bike and gear. Make sure to pack some combination locks for your bike, as well as a cover to disguise it when you’re asleep. It is also worth considering removing a wheel and taking that with you, however, this can obviously easily become more trouble than it’s worth.
When it comes to your own personal security, you always want to make sure that you’re taking the safest actions that you can. Try to use only designated camping areas, but if you can’t then be careful about where you choose to stay. Camping in farmer’s fields is a sure-fire way to end up in trouble.
Check Your Routes
In lots of countries, it might be difficult to find safe and reliable places to camp for stretches of your route. This means that you’ll probably need to do some wilderness camping as part of your journey. Make sure that you’re properly prepared and that you’ve accounted for all the essentials like food, water, shelter and medicine. While some cycling tours might have recommended stages with proper places to stay at intervals, it is important that you are prepared for missing your mile requirements because of factors like weather and the conditions of the road.
If you take the time to plan your journey out and make sure that you have all the necessary equipment, then camping as part of a cycling tour can be a really rewarding experience. Even more so than hiking camping as part of cycling can help you to experience the calm and quiet of the wilderness.