The bikepacking and cycle touring thread

I’ve developed an itch to get out and do some bikepacking with a bit of wild camping thrown in, and thought it would be interesting to see if anyone else shares that interest and/or maybe already does this, and also to share any tips, kit feedback etc

I’ve bought a gravel bike, and a set of Ortlieb bags, plus a decent(ish) tent, sleeping bag and airmattress thus far. Oh, and a set of Sun Ryhno wheels for my Frankenstein/commute bike, which is already a converted hardtail MTB with solid forks, and will now make a cracking long distance touring bike with its Deore LX triple groupset… 26 on the front, 32 on the rear, and i’m riding up the walls with ease! :joy:

already got a Trangia, so meths for me… none of this new fangled jetboil nonsense!

I’m well into this having done the NC500 a few months back & tried and failed at the PennDuro (ran out of brakes). Was set to do the Bear Bones 200 last weekend but the lock down put an end to that. Also got the WalesDuro route pencilled in to do & will be entering the Frontier 300 when it opens in a few days. Also expecting to do the end to end thing and will also enter London Edinburgh London although that’s not really bike packing.

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NC500 looks awesome!

I quite like the idea of the Great North Trail too!

Credit card bike packing is what I’m into as I hate camping :joy:

Got a Diverge gravel bike which I love and takes whatever I can throw at it in its stride including 120km of off road along the Wessex Ridgeway, do not recommend the Dorset end, their idea of a bridleway is a little different to a Gloucestershire one! Did a few 2/3 days trips when the weather was better down to the coast and peak district. Usually getting the train home at the end and staying in pubs/b+bs. Have a 10l saddle bag which is more than enough for some casual clothes and wash stuff, plus a top tube bag for food and battery bank. Tended to try and explore some of the longer old railway line converted cycle paths as they provide some excellent scenery.


I did an overnight coast to coast, at the beginning of August.

It was the first time I’d done anything like it before and I loved it. I kept it as cheap as possible and loved having the freedom to stop/start whenever I wanted :slight_smile:

I’ve read a good book by Alastair Humphreys about Microadventures. He says just get out and do an overnighter anywhere you can, when you can… Good advice if you ask me :stuck_out_tongue:

I did the Deeside Trail bike packing loop last Summer. Predominantly off road in great scenery in Aberdeenshire. We had a great time but next time I’d lower my expectations of distance as it turns into a slog/type II fun after 6 hours+ IMHO.

We stayed in Ballater SYHA. I agree with @AC2709 there’s a lot to be said for credit card touring: super light pack, hot showers at the end of the day, soft bed and a curry house dinner being my top 4. Though I’d also like to try bivvying next Summer. I think I’d skip carrying a stove etc and just bring cold food. Microadventures is an inspiring book, I keep it by the bog.


I can’t see me bikepacking, as such, but would definitely be up for some more audax. Hoping to enter LEL too, but at the moment, not pinning my hopes on it going ahead. Kingston Wheelers have the London-Lands End-London audax which looks appealing. If not, I can see myself doing the Super Randonneur Series. Went for it in 2017 and did a 300,400 and 600km ride, but ran out of time to do the 200. :man_facepalming:t2:

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I’ve tended to keep it to 100-140kms a day, with a few stops, cafe lunch etc. If it was all road I’d get very bored, so try and mix it up as much as possible and hence the gravel bike, normally affords better views IMO too. Although when I did the Ridgeway Swindon to Blandford Forum, I was super glad to be on tarmac for the last section!

I’m completely with @GeordieM, after a long sweaty day I want a nice shower, a proper bed and some decent food and a substantial amount of it!

@Doka. From the LEL FB page; must have been reading my mind.

Regrettably, we have decided to postpone LEL2021 until 2022. Even though the world has made huge progress in combatting Covid-19, we are not confident that the world will recover by next year.
LEL2021 will now take place on 7 August 2022.
If you already have a guaranteed place because you have paid a deposit, we will hold this for you. However if you decide you no longer want to take part, then please email us at before 31 December 2020

Bummer :(.

Yeah LEL postponement seemed inevitable, it relies on the big international field which is going to be very hit & miss (pic/post from 2017

I had put in for a GBduro entry this year but didn’t get a slot, and then all went to pot anyways.

Collected together enough kit & luggage for a 100mile foray into mid Wales at end of July ( somewhat heavily loaded as i was carrying enough for a 25mile run between riding.
Most bits I had / improvised but I had bought a reduced OEX bivi (ok) & tarp (heavy but big) plus alu pegs & guys. Then built up my own carbon poles. Will try & dig up a pic of the setup when I remember.
Weight soon adds up once you’ve got shelter, sleeping and cooking packed let alone food & run kit !

(edited to add… forgot that post has multiple images including bivi / tarp)


Definitely getting more interested in this kind of running. I want to stay ( get) in shape but see the future more as ‘doing’ rather than training.

I have been doing supported RAID type trips since 2016, last year did my own creation - round Wales in 6 days, just over 100 miles a day. I ended up using my summer bike rather than the heavy duty Genesis I had bought for such a trip - basically, by staying in B&Bs I only had to carry c5kg and that all fitted into a saddle bag.
I did post a link to my write-up somewhere on this forum but in true ed_m fashion, I will post again :slight_smile:

I have been eyeing up the NC500 for some time, probably with a 6th day thrown in to visit Cape Wrath. After doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that it would be near impossible to use B&Bs as most insist on 2 nights minimum.
I am currently looking at lightweight bivi-bag / bivi-tent options, think I have everything else apart from a stove mug. I would plan to eat out for a main daily meal and carry some food.

Any advice and thoughts gratefully received :slight_smile:


There are SYHAs in Plockton, Gairloch and Durness if I recall, or private bunk houses. These will give you a single night accommodation. I stayed in them when I did much of the route years ago. Was an SYHA in Lairg too but think that’s been sold off.

We stopped one hostel in Applecross that was quite nice. Just didn’t find an open shop so had to cadge some porridge from the local ranger that lived there.

That’s good to know … I haven’t got further than identifying that there’s a place with food and accommodation every 100 miles so will need to match the names to the map.
Of course, there only needs to be one problematic night and then the bivi kit needs to be carried anyway but it sounds like there is hope in a lightweight trip :slight_smile:

I remember looking at your kit photos and thinking it was a bit more weight than I wanted to carry … but the set-up was good so I guess it’s a case of thinking through how to make it lighter :slight_smile:

Yeah… as anyone who’s ever cycled to work knows… carrying shoes is a PITA so a pair of running shoes plus pack & bottles really bulked things up alot.

Smaller/lighter/no tarp for quick overnighters or “race” scenarios, always thought my sleeping bag was light too but clocks in at 3/4 of a kilo or so. Then cooking gear… etc etc

Interesting responses on the weight front as i’m planning a different approach or mindset, and not worrying too much about weight (although conscious of it), and looking towards shorter days as a balance, with an eye towards adventure instead of mileage, perhaps wiling to go off route if it looks interesting etc… i‘ll be carrying tent, sleeping and cooking kit, and everything I need for independent travel… and not bothered if I only do 30 miles a day, as long as I enjoy it!