Knowing that in 6 weeks I will be pulling a loaded trailer up in the Colorado Mountains for my overnight trip, I thought that it would probably be a good time to start getting used to having a trailer io the back of my bike. I'm estimating that I'll have about a 20 pound load on a 16 pound trailer - I really need to get used to having all that weight behind me.
For the "Average Joe" bikepacking is not all that much different from backpacking or even packing with horses. It's all about getting as deep into the woods as you possible can get. Horses offer a wider range of access because they can travel vast distances as well as get into designated wilderness area that bikes are not allowed. Backpacking is limited to what you can carry on your back and for how long - most of us it's typically less than 10 miles. Bikepacking fall somewhere in the middle - with most the weight being put on the bike/trailer and the bike being more efficient than walking, we can now carry more gear and supplies than a typical back pack - thus get much further away form civilization and enjoy the peace and tranquility our gorgeous mountains provide!
You have a starting point and a destination, but what about the route in between? When exploring the backcountry on a bike expedition, a plan should be in place as to the specific route. Going off unplanned more often than not, when a well equipped biker with a GPS feels the urge to break off the main route and blaze a path into the unknown, can take an unexpected turn, one that at first seemed more efficient, now requires more energy, longer trail time and possibly lead to dean ends or worse - to just getting lost! As thrilling as trail blazing may seem, this is the time to stick to a plan.
Recently I went to a local bike shop here on the south side of town and as soon as I walked in the doors the odor was so overwhelming it upset my stomach. Then the owner comes around the corner - totally stoned out of his mind "can I help you"? Like I'm gonna leave my prize ride with him, I don't think so!