Backpacking & Bicycle Touring Are Incredibly Similar… And This Will Save You A Lot Of Money!

By Darren Alff

Two happy backpacker men having fun in the mountains of Sequoia National Park

This past weekend I spent 4 days backpacking in the mountains of Sequoia National Park (in California, USA) with an old high school friend of mine… and while I was out there on the hiking trail, I started thinking about just how difficult it can be for people, such as yourself, to get started with bicycle touring.

After all, if you’re planning to conduct a self-supported bike tour (where you will be camping and carrying all of your food, water, clothing, toiletries, etc. on your bicycle), there are a lot of initial expenses that you need to invest in before your bike tour can begin.

You need a bike, a tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat, a stove, cooking gear, clothing, and a whole host of additional items. Take a look at my “low-budget packing list” for an example of the type of gear you might need to buy for your first bike tour.

The good news is, gearing up for a self-supported bike tour doesn’t have to cost a lot… and it certainly doesn’t need to break the bank.

Why is that exactly?

Well, if you’ve ever participated in any type of camping trip before, you probably already have a lot of the gear you need to go bicycle touring.

You probably already own a tent, a sleeping bag and a sleeping mat that you could use. You might have a stove and a cook pot already too. Heck, you’ve probably already got all the clothing you need to go bicycle touring anywhere in the world!

And if you don’t have all that gear yourself, you’ve probably got a friend or relative who has all the equipment you need, just sitting in their attic, basement or closet and not being used at all. They’d surely lend you the gear you need to start traveling by bicycle!

You see, bicycle touring is very similar to backpacking. With both activities, you wake up in the morning, pack up your things and cover as much ground as possible. Only to repeat the process the following day.

The difference is: With backpacking, you walk and transport your gear in a backpack carried on your shoulders… and with bicycle touring you ride a bike and carry the weight of your gear on the frame of your bicycle.

The two activities are very similar… and the gear you use for both backpacking and bicycle touring is almost exactly the same. The only major difference is the mode in which you travel each day… and the amount of ground you can cover. Learn more here.

If you do need to invest in a new tent or a few new clothing items for your bike tour, hopefully you’ll get some solace in knowing that the gear you buy can also be used for all sorts of other outdoor adventures – like hiking, camping, backpacking or touring in other ways (via kayak, motorcycle, RV, etc).

So, there really are no more excuses! You probably already own a lot of the gear you need to conduct your first bike tour. You can borrow the rest of the gear you need from your friends and family. And if you do need to buy a few essential items for your upcoming bike tour, you can relax a bit, because you now know that the gear you buy can be used for all sorts of similar outdoor activities.

Plus, you have the Bicycle Touring Pro to help you out and coach you through your first bicycle touring experience – so you don’t have to waste your time and money on equipment you don’t need. And you can rest that little head of yours knowing that you won’t make the same cycle touring mistakes that so many others have made before you.

Bicycle touring is one of the absolute best ways to travel, see the world, relax, get in great shape and have fun riding a bicycle. The activity doesn’t have to be expensive; almost anyone can do it; and with the right amount of knowledge and a little guidance from the Bicycle Touring Pro, you too can conduct your own incredible bicycle touring adventures anywhere in the world!

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