Bikepacking - The travel trend of 2017

Travelling trends of 2017:
plan your bikepacking trip

Photo: Getty Images 

Whether you’re looking for a micro-adventure or an epic journey, load your sleeping gear and meals into your bicycle bags and off you go. Here are some of the best routes for this exciting new way to travel the globe

Cycling holidays have always been popular, but in recent years, the trend towards bikepacking has really started to make its tyre mark. The idea is to pack as light as possible using special pockets on the handlebar, saddle and frame of your mountain bike. Then you can hit the trails or the wilds of nature where you can relax in the evening around the campfire and embrace the open air. 

Maybe you’re looking for a long trip through the forests or a weekend trek out of the city. With some light sleeping bags, camping mats, bivouac sacks, weight-optimised tents, and some handy cooking equipment in your luggage, your new temporary home is always with you, freeing you up to get planning your route.

Looking for inspiration on where to go? Here are some ideas: 

  • Fimmvörðuháls- and Laugavegur trail, Iceland
  • Colorado Trail, USA
  • Khangai Mountains, Mongolia
  • The Dragon’s Spine, South Africa
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Fimmvörðuháls - and Laugavegur trails, Iceland

If you have the right tyres on your bike, Iceland is the destination par excellence for epic off-road escapades. The terrain is often difficult, but the volcanic landscape, bubbling geysers, snow-capped peaks and thundering waterfalls make it worth the effort.

The Fimmvörðuháls and Laugavegur trails between the hot springs of Landmannalaugar and the glacial valley of Þórsmörk are especially stunning. You can also take in the incredible Skógafoss waterfall. You should allow four to five days for this 53-mile route. 

Colorado Trail, USA

For a bikepacking adventure, there could hardly be a better route than the Colorado Trail which stretches 500 miles from Denver to Durango and on its way, cuts through the Rocky Mountains.

Along the trail there are plenty of spots to rest. There are also numerous places where you can pitch your camp on this well-marked path popular with hikers and cyclists alike.

Khangai Mountains, Mongolia

The hinterland of Mongolia is a paradise for bikepackers. The reason is only about ten per cent of the roads are paved at all, and there is an almost unlimited choice of possible routes. Mongolia is also one of the least densely populated countries in the world, making the great outdoors seem almost infinite. And camping is allowed almost everywhere.

One trip you can opt for starts in the provincial capital of Arkhangai, crossing several passes and rivers, and after 56 miles reaches the stunning Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, the White Lake, near Tariat.

The Dragon’s Spine, South Africa

Spine of the Dragon added 5 new photos... - Spine of the Dragon | Facebook

Spine of the Dragon added 5 new photos to the album: What came before.

The Dragon’s Spine is possibly the ultimate mountain bike trail, covering over 2400 miles. The route - divided into 58 segments - winds from Cape Town and the Western Cape through Lesotho to the border with Zimbabwe.

Vineyards, highlands and the lush green around the Limpopo River make it a captivating journey catering for all levels of difficulty from easy to extreme.

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12 2016 The Red Bulletin

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