Gabriel Amadeus Tiller, 34, has been mapping trails since he was a kid. Now, his Portland, Oregon-based company, Limberlost, leads three bikepacking rides throughout the state, including the weeklong Oregon Outback
A guided tour is an excellent way to experience a bikepacking adventure. But if you'd rather strike out on your own, follow this advice:
Find the Perfect Route Study mileage, climate, road conditions, and elevation gain, but don't forget your sense of adventure. Choose roads that lead you past historical sites and have topographical challenges, says Tiller.
Go Minimal The less your cargo weighs, the more fun you will have. Tiller recommends resupplying with water and food along the way and economizing the rest of your load. Some tips: Leave the heavy camp stove at home, pare down clothes, and remove sunscreen from its bulky tube and carry it in a lightweight resealable bag.
Pack Smart For shorter trips, Tiller prefers a backpack to panniers, which can make balancing your bike more difficult. "Plus, you probably have a backpack in your closet," he says. Strapping a tent to your handlebar frees up extra space.
Bring a Fishing Pole The point is to have fun. Pack a lightweight slingshot, a harmonica, or a Frisbee to unwind with after a day in the saddle.
Most important, have fun.