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Try Bicycle Camping During National Bike Month

Along with ushering the spring flowers that grow from April showers, May gets the joy of bringing us National Bike Month. The month-long event focuses on encouraging more people to bike – whether it is to work or school, for health or pleasure. For us camping lovers, there is another option, too: bicycle camping. It’s an incredible way for campers to get even closer to nature and be more sustainable in their normal outdoor adventures. Read these tips for getting started and use this National Bike Month as an opportunity to explore a new way of camping!

The Benefits
Bicycle camping has many benefits over other types camping. By taking your car or other motorized form of transportation out of the camping equation, you’ll be enjoying a more sustainable form of camping. Many people travel long distances to go camping, ignoring what is near them; biking to your campsite means you will stay more local, and enjoy and explore the woods, fields, or national parks near your home. Bicycle camping also provides better interaction with nature, as you can skip the crowded campground with RVs and generators.

What to Pack
For the most part, packing for a bicycle camping trip is no different than a regular camping trip. You’ll need the usual gear: sleeping bag, camping tent, sleeping pad, water bottle, plate, and utensils. You should also pack bicycle gear, like a pump and patch kit. One hint for bicycle camping gear is, if you have to buy a tent to get started, look for a free standing one; not having poles will make the tent much easier to pack. While bicycle camping is a nice way to be forced to reduce your packing, don’t skimp on the essentials; remember, the bike is carrying the gear, not you, so weight is not a huge issue.

How to Pack
All you need to get going are two easy additions to your bike: a bike rack and panniers. The bike rack is the metal platform that mounts above your tires. Panniers are the bags that sling across the rack and hang on either side of the tire. You can install the rack on the rear tire or on both, depending on how much gear you want to bring. Pack your main gear in the panniers. You can strap your sleeping bag and sleeping pad to the top of the bike rack.

Enjoy Some Food Freedom
If you’re staying near your home, you are probably also near grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants. Stop by the store on your way to the campsite and load up on your favorite foods. Since you aren’t going as far, there is less need for a cooler, and since you aren’t carrying the food on your back, the extra food load will not be a burden. And for breakfast, a nice morning bike ride lets you enjoy the fresh air and head to a bakery for a freshly made treat.

Public Transportation
If you are in a major city, you may not be as easy to bike somewhere nearby to go camping. However, this does not mean you have to strap your bike to you car and drive somewhere. Check out your public transportation systems. Many bus lines and subways allow bikes and can get you started on your trip out of the city.

1 Comment

  1. Never thought of bycicle camping before but definitely sounds like an amazing workout just biking there plus it is extremely sustainable. Definitely something to try at least once.

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