I started backpacking in high school with an external frame pack, a 4-pound sleeping bag thrown on top of a heavy foam pad, a tent that would drip condensation on my face nearly every night, and a wardrobe that oftentimes included a cotton shirt tucked into my denim jeans. The Eagle badge on my Boy Scout uniform is living proof that you don’t have to be perfectly equipped with the latest and most expensive ultralight gear in order to “be prepared” and enjoy your trip! But flash forward three decades and my aging body certainly appreciates the innovations that modern chemistry has done for my current backpacking gear.
I like biking, camping, and backpacking, so I was sure to enjoy bikepacking. But I didn’t really know much about it or have any specific gear when I decided to give things a try. And thus began a couple weeks of research, several UPS shipments of bags, and one beta test run close to the house before my 11-year old son and I set out with our Aussie on a 2-night bikepacking trip! Our motto was “no owies, no flatties, and no whammies!” That all held true, for the most part, and we had an awesome adventure that has already spurred a few more trips with even more scheduled for the future.