Many of us have been cycling for years, some of us our entire lives. Cycling provides you with the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors; it's one of the captivating things about riding a bike; it brings you one step closer to nature.
Another outdoor activity that provides many of the same benefits as cycling is camping. When I was younger, my parents loved camping. We would spend nearly all of our school holidays traveling Australia in our caravan camper; great memories and experiences I've tried to pass on to my own children.
However, if you ask cyclists whether they've been on a bicycling camping trip, they'll say one of two things; "No, never," or " What the heck is bicycling camping?" I was surprised to learn this because bike camping has become hugely popular in recent years in my home country, Australia, and my resident country Japan.
And why wouldn't it? It makes perfect sense, combining two almost identical activities into one. So if you are thinking about giving bike camping a go, keep reading because I've compiled a list of 9 tips to make your bike camping trip enjoyable and memorable.
Don’t skimp on your tent
The first thing you'll need to make your bike camping trip enjoyable is a high-quality tent. Now, I know what you're thinking; I have a tent up in the attic; but guess what, the tent in your attic will be far too big to pack up and carry on your bike.
You can find tents designed explicitly for bicycling on Amazon, but even your local bike shop and sports store will have a decent range of tents to choose from. Don't skimp on the tent and choose the cheapest one you can find; in this instance, you're much better off purchasing a quality tent that will last a lifetime.
Bring the correct clothing
Making sure that you have the correct clothing helps keep you warm, safe, cool, dry, and comfortable. Depending on what season you're planning your trip, you'll need to ensure you have suitable clothing. My top tip is to pack one of everything because you never know when the weather can change.
Your iPhone is your friend (not to be taken literally)
Arguably the most important thing you'll need on your bike camping trip is your iPhone; that's right, whether we like it or not, our iPhones are an integral part of our lives, and on a camping trip, not only are they essential but an iPhone can literally save your life.
The stress and anxiety caused by a low battery level have never been more apparent until you are secure, knowing that your iPhone charging case will always keep your battery topped up. Use your iPhone charging case with a Handlebar Mount so you can keep your phone secure and within view on all your bike rides.
An iPhone-compatible charging case is undoubtedly your best bet, especially on a big camping trip. The last thing you want to do is take a chance on a cheap and ineffective charger case.
Taking extra water with you
Water is the most basic need for any cyclist, but it becomes more critical when taking a camping trip. Things can go awry on a bike trip quickly; a simple missed turn or a friend who read the map wrong can lead you down a route you are unfamiliar with. Having extra water on board will help keep you fuelled and ready to attack the day's adventures.
Call to double-check before you leave
The last thing you want to happen is to arrive at your camping ground and realize that certain amenities are either closed or out of service. It pays to call ahead just to double-check that everything is still good to go.
Cooking or convenience stores?
Depending on where you live, you might be forced to take food and cooking utensils with you. Now that being said, here in Japan, where I live, there are convenience stores on every corner, literally every corner.
I love cooking, though, so even though I know I can get food at the drop of a hat, I always take my little cooker and rice steamer with me. It's like taking a little piece of home with you.
Take extra food with you
Just as with water, you're much better off having too much food rather than not enough. Riding your bike is challenging at the best of times, but when you factor in the extra weight you'll be carrying, you'll need all the energy you can get.
Research, research, research
Taking the time to research things like the camping grounds, the route you intend to take, and the availability of shops and supermarkets in the area is critical to making your bike camping trip a success: the more research you can do, the better.
Don’t forget your lights
Making sure that you take a couple of different sources of lights with you is a must; for example, something like a set of LED lights for your bike and then a handheld torch will always come in handy. Ensure that your batteries are topped up on your LED Lights, and always carry an extra battery pack if you can, especially if you are planning on being away for longer than a few days.
That’s a wrap
Well, there you have it, guys and gals, 9 of the best tips to help make your bike camping trip a success and one that keeps you coming back for more.
Happy cycling and happy camping!