Bikepacking is not a complicated matter. Like Heinz Helfgen, who got on his bike in September 1951 with only 3.80 DM in his pocket and started on a trip around the world, you can start bikepacking without much preparation. There are enough exciting destinations: The castle ruins outside of town, the nearest nature campground, or a reservoir in the surrounding area are ideal contact points. You can find the equipment for your first overnighter at home if necessary (more on this under Packing list). It might be a little heavier and bigger, but that does not take away any of the fun in bikepacking for the first time. When you have gone on many tours with reduced baggage, you will automatically refine your packing list, eliminate unnecessary equipment and replace unsuitable things.
On the one hand, some bikepackers are what is commonly called “equipment freaks”. This is somewhat due to the nature of the matter; when there is not much storage space, you pack very carefully and weigh every little thing.
On the other hand, bikepackers also enjoy going outside of their comfort zone: The trails are often poor, the distances are sometimes very long, and the requirements of self-support races are so varied that you almost inevitably have to go beyond your limits. Bikepacking outside of races can be similar. In addition, there is also an element of surprise: weather changes, mood swings, or hunger are only a few of the things that can happen to you on a tour. In the US scene, they recommend, “be prepared for the unprepared,” in other words, take pleasure in the fact that things always end up differently than you think. Nevertheless – or for this very reason – here are a few tips for preparation.