Intro to Bike Camping Clinic at Cosmic Bikes - April 2023 (How and What to Pack)
We are so grateful to have partnered with THE Bike Camping Bike Shop of Chicago - Cosmic Bikes for an Intro to Bike Camping Clinic on April 20, 2023. There was incredible turnout with over 30 folks in the audience. Lots of new folks that haven't bike camped before.
See below for the BIKE TOURING 101 - HOW AND WHAT TO PACK script from the clinic.
Cosmic Bikes owner Justyna explained a bunch of great gear she has used on overnight rides throughout her extensive experience of going on local, micro-escapes around Chicagoland. Much of that bike camping gear is available in their shop, from stoves, to tents to bike camping bags! Be sure to check out their shop if you get a chance, 4641 N. Milwaukee. And be sure to check out Justyna's Chicago Bike Blog that covers a great variety of bike topics with an especial focus on micro bike camping adventures.
Out Our Front Door has 4 of its volunteer guides bring their bikes loaded as they would on an overnighter and explained their different set-ups. Rachel and Breanna and Justyna had the pannier set up with a variety of different adaptations such as fork cages and handlebar bags. Will had a hybrid of panniers and bike packing with a big frame bag. Glenn brought a milk crate set up. Justyna even had a Brompton set up for bike touring that she did a long tour on!
The clinic presentation was about 1 hour and the curious and engaged audience asked great questions for nearly another hour!
Cosmic Bikes even provided pizza and OOFD brought the beer. There were tons of great conversations and general merriment after the official clinic where participants and presenters shared stories and talked more in depth on the best set-ups for them specifically.
Bike Touring 101 - How and What to Pack
Created and led by OOFD volunteer guide extraordinaire Rachel Shultz
Question: Anyone ever been bike camping before? How about camping in general? Well, if so, you’re basically already 90% of the way to being ready to bike camp! If you have a bike, and you have a tent (or a hammock, or a bivvy bag, etc) then you’ve got most of what you need to have an amazing adventure.
However, there’s a lot more we can add to make for a more comfortable trip, and some good tips and tricks for how to put that all together in a safe and secure configuration for riding. Let’s start with the basics and not-so-basics of your camping gear:
o Whether it’s a tent, a hammock, or just a tarp, you’ll need something to keep you dry.
o Sleeping bags are a must for most weather except very hot nights
o A sleeping pad doesn’t add a lot of weight and can make a huge different in warmth and comfort
o Nothing beats the feeling of changing out of your riding chamois into your comfy camp clothes!
o Always make sure to bring a pair of “oh shit” socks for unexpected puddles, chills, and raccoon protection
o Camp hygiene can be flexible, but it’s good to have soap and a toothbrush/toothpaste
o Sunscreen, bug spray, chamois butter
o Not necessary on an OOFD adventure, but definitely a must when you’re on your own.
o A standard backing packing stove is lightweight and great for two or even three people
o Reusable spork and plate/bowls
o Lightweight/high calorie/no refrigeration needed foods like insta rice and noodles, bulked up with tuna or chicken are easy to pack staples
o Spare tubes – may we always pack them and never need them!
o Pump, patch kit, tire lever
o Water bottle, lantern, knife, fire starters
Now that we know what to bring, how the heck do we get it all onto our bikes? Some fancy folks will often have these nice saddle bags or panniers. Lots of love for the Ortlieb panniers. If you like the look of an all-new matched set of high-quality bags, go for it!
However, deals and DIY’s abound which can make it easy to build up your own set of gear for relatively low costs. And if you want to embrace the real cheap and easy aesthetic, go the crate route, which really has some benefits, the main one being it costs about $20. All you need is a rack, a milk crate and some hose clamps or zip ties.
Some further insight, ideas on how to get your gear on your bike can be found here.
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4/28/2023 04:44:54 pm
It was such a delight to host you guys at our shop. I’m so glad we made the connection. Thank you for this wonderful write up!
Glenn Schneider Jr
5/1/2023 01:08:37 pm
Justyna! Thank you all for all of the support and being super generous with your space and getting all that pizza! Glenn
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