Bike Camping For Beginners


Most of us will be familiar with the idea of cycle touring. You take a bike, maybe do some research on interesting places to visit, and off you go! You can camp or stop at hostels/hotels, maybe cook your meals over a fire.

Bike touring is brilliant, and it’s been around for a long time. The bicycle certainly lends itself well to travel because it’s lightweight and doesn’t use any fuel, just the energy of your food.

In fact, cycle tourers have been making trips far longer than cars have been the number one mode of transport, so it’s an excellent place to start if you want to get into bike camping. Not to mention you don’t need much equipment!

Here we cover the basics to get you started on your bike camping adventure!

Why Bike Camping?

Illustration Photo: Two happy campers enjoying a fresh morning outdoors.

It’s not for everyone, of course, but if you’re already a keen cyclist and live near some trails or quiet roads, then it may be an idea to put your bike and camping gear into the back of your car and just go!

  • Bike camping is great fun.
  • You can go further and see much more than if you were to travel on foot.
  • Camping on a bike is the best way to explore new places and get some exercise.
  • You save time because you can take shortcuts across open fields or through the woods, so your journey time will be reduced even with all the gear.
  • Bike camping is a family activity. Bike accessories can help make the camping experience comfortable for everyone, including kids who want their adventure too. With a bike seat or bike trailer, you can easily take your little ones along!

How To Pack For Bike Camping

Illustration Photo: Packing for bike camping can be challenging. Too much stuff – too little space.

Packing a bicycle bag can be a tricky task. You want your camping equipment to fit nicely and not get in the way, but you also don’t want it too heavy for yourself or set up before reaching your destination!

Here are some helpful tips for packing on your bike camping trip.

  • First of all, you want to make sure your load is evenly distributed between front and back – it is a key to a smooth riding experience.
  • Place heavier items at the bottom since the bicycle will tip more easily with them up top.
  • Try not to bring too much gear; lighter packs make for less stress on long journeys! Whenever possible, pack compact towels, sleeping bags, and tents (instead of regular ones).

Packing For Bike Camping – What You Will Need

We have created an overview of the most important things you need to pack if you want to go bike camping.


A pannier is a type of luggage that attaches to your bike. You can store things like groceries, clothes or other belongings on it! It’s perfect for trips where you want the weight off your back so badly but still need some gear with you because who knows what could happen out there?

Handlebar bag

Handlebar bags are a convenient way to carry your wallet, map, and rain jacket without having anything weighing you down. They attach securely onto the handlebars so that they’re always within reach on those long rides through nature’s beauty!

Hydration pack

We all know the feeling of being thirsty and hungry on a long journey. Hydration packs can help you stay hydrated with water or other beverages, as well as snacks for when hunger strikes! It’s also lightweight enough to be used without weighing down your pack too much- which means it will go unnoticed among everything else in there (like clothes!).

Hip belt

A hip belt makes accessing these goodies easier than ever before, so don’t forget about them.

Seat bag

A seat bag is a handy spot to carry your biking tools. It sits right under the seat and stores everything you might need in case of emergency, including multi-tool, pump, inner tube – all conveniently packaged into one small space!

Bike racks

You can strap your sleeping bag or tent to a bike rack and attach panniers on either side of the frame. If you have more than one item that needs carrying, just use both front and back racks for extra storage!

Backpack or a duffle bag

A duffle or backpack can be used to store your sleeping bag, clothes, and food while out on the trails. A less conventional option would involve securing a bag from bungee cords onto your bicycle’s rack so that it doesn’t bounce around during rough terrain – this works well for first-time mountain bikers who happen to have these extra cloth bags handy!

Bike Camping Packing List

  • Pannier
  • Handlebar bag
  • Lightweight backpack
  • First aid kit
  • Hydration pack or water bottle cage
  • Snacks
  • Food
  • Camping plates and utensils
  • Wipes
  • Riding clothes
  • A change of clothes, and jacket in case of bad weather
  • GPS or map
  • Smartphone bike mount
  • Bike tools
  • Bike pump
  • Inner tube
  • Helmet
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Compact camping towel
  • Flashlight
  • Camp stove is affiliated with – The perfect place to get all of your bike camping accessories. If you need to buy anything on the list above, you can do so and support us at the same time.

Visit through this link to support us.

Bike Camping With Kids

Illustration Photo: Kids having fun with their parents while on their bike.

If you have kids, it’s even more essential to include them in your bike camping trip! They’ll have a lot of fun and will learn valuable outdoor skills from experience.

Camping with a small child is a bit trickier because you need to take extra care of your little one. Make sure they’re wearing proper bike helmets, always – even when just riding around. Try to include kids in planning and carrying their own supplies. They can take turns with adults balancing the weight on the back of your bike trailer. Kids will love to help you set up camp too!

You can bring along a bike seat or bike trailer for your child and load it up with all sorts of camping gear like spare clothes, snacks, or water bottles. Also, make sure to include some age-appropriate toys and books.

Top Tips For Biking With Kids

  • It’s essential to have an idea of where you need or want to go beforehand. You can’t just decide on a whim!
  • While it is important to have your trip thoroughly planned out in advance, don’t be afraid of changing plans if needed!
  • Ensure that your destination is safe and that any trails are not too long to avoid getting frustrated fast. Still, it’s also good if they’re challenging enough to maintain interest in exploring new territory.
  • Take frequent breaks during trips outside for playtime and admiring nature. After riding hour upon hour, many people need some fresh air break from helmet pressure!
  • Don’t forget snacks and water!
  • And lastly – enjoy yourself while out there with young ones!

Bike camping with kids – useful gear

First of all, your child will need a secure, properly fitting bike helmet. Make sure to get kids-sized helmets for them to be tight enough without sacrificing comfort.

Bike seat or trailer

You can take your child with you on a bike seat or by bicycle trailer.

Bike seat

A bike seat is fastened on the back of your bike. It’s a safer option because it keeps the child secured in one spot. If you go biking on roads, the bicycle seat is the best choice for keeping your child safe and close to you at all times.

Bike trailer

If you prefer to take your kids into nature, where road traffic is not an issue, you should go for a bike trailer. The trailer gives your child the capacity to move around and explore more freely. They can sit in it facing towards or away from you. There are models with seats that recline too!

Your choice will depend on what kind of biking you want to do – trails, roads, or both. Many bike trailers can be easily converted into strollers once you have reached your destination.

Latest Bike Trailer Reviews & Guides

The bike trailer also gives you more versatility. Multiple bike trailer accessories are available on the market to make your kids’ trip more enjoyable.

  • Handlebar console
  • Seat pad
  • Floor mat
  • Baby supporter
  • Infant sling
  • Footmuff is affiliated with – The perfect place to get all of your bike camping accessories. If you need to buy anything on the list above, you can do so and support us at the same time.

Visit through this link to support us.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bike Camping

Where are some good places to go bike camping?

We can recommend the following: The North Cascades Highway in Washington State, Abajo Mountains in the Four Corners region of Utah, The White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe in California, and Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon.

What should I eat?

As much as possible! You will burn far more calories than usual during the day’s ride, and camping gives you a great excuse to have a feast at night. You can, however, plan meals that require little or no cooking, such as cold cereal and oatmeal, energy bars, jerky, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables (if you don’t mind carrying them for several days), among other things.

What should I wear?

As little as possible on hot days and whatever is appropriate for the environment, either way, take clothing for extreme changes in weather. Rain is common throughout most of the year at any elevation, and even hot days often become cold after dark (when you will be riding).

What skills will I need?

Besides riding your bike, all you need is a willingness to travel, light and live. If you like sentimental luxuries, leave them at home and buy some new ones on the road. Get used to carrying only the bare essentials in your pockets or on your body, and don’t expect any help from strangers if you get in trouble.

What kind of bike is best for bike camping?

That depends on what type of riding you want to do and how far/how fast you want to go. Any mountain bike will take you on dirt roads and single track, but true all-terrain bikes (with thicker, knobbier tires) ride better over everything from rocks to sand to the pavement. Road bikes are wonderful for multi-day, self-contained tours on gravel roads and paved country roads. A touring bike with drop bars is best for easy riding over long distances if you are doing a section of the TransAm or something similar.

How much does it cost?

That depends on what you need to spend. Find someone who has done it before and learn from their experience. They will undoubtedly tell you to buy the lightest gear you can afford, but they will also probably warn that that means spending a lot more money. Good tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks are expensive.


Bike camping with kids maybe a little more complicated, but it’s a great way to teach them about the best adventure in life – experiencing nature at its finest!
If you have kids who have just gotten their first bike, this is a perfect place to start.

If you have young kids who are still in strollers, consider one of the bike trailers that can convert into a stroller when you’re done riding. This will allow your child to get used to being on a bike while also giving them a chance to sit down and relax when they need a break.

And remember always to ride safe and have a fantastic time!

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