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Tips and tricks for first time bikepacker? Any bikepacking events in New England?

Hello REI Community -

I'm thinking about trying out bike packing in New England with my hybrid bike. Wondering if there are any resources out there for first timers?  Are there any tips or tricks folks would like to pass along?  I'm considering buying a bike packing tent and am curious as to recommendations as well as what folks bring with them as far as sleeping equipment goes.

I like the idea of doing a stretch on the East Coast Greenway or something similar.  I know there are a few recommended trips on their site. Open to hearing your recommendations as well, especially as they pertain to where to spend the night.

Lastly, any fun, somewhat short (under 50 miles) and reasonably priced biking events coming up in the New England area? On Active recently, I saw a from Farm to Fork event however it is priced at $150.00 which I thought was a little steep for a day ride with 3 stops and a picnic lunch...... 

Thanks in advance for your tips & thoughts!  Happy adventuring y'all.  : ]

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8 Replies

My experience has been bike touring along mostly paved roads in the Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota area.  I just loaded up my backpacking gear and went for it, enjoying the flexibility of camping or going the motel/restaurant route.

50 miles is literally about a half day ride.  Sometimes I exceeded 100 miles, but was generallycontent with 80 miles or so, depending upon availability of overnight stops - eeverything from  widee spot in the road to campgrounds or motels.

Maybe it's just me, but i would regard riding in a large group as a hindrance, not an asset, much less paying money for the privilege.

My rids were all in the summer, so a light bag, a closed cell foam mattress, a bivvy sack, and a tarp were quite sufficient.  Took along a canister stove and plenty of goodies to eat.  I caried more water bottles than usual.

I liked having the flexibility to stop and explore interesting localities along the way - the Black Hills, Agate Fossil Beds, et....

Bike touring/packing is a very enjoyable experience.  have fun!


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Thanks for reaching out!

While I am not familiar with cycling in New England, I can provide some resources that helped me as I got into bikepacking just a few years ago. I was living in Alaska at the time, which was great because almost all the trails there are multi-use so the options were plentiful in terms of places to ride. One resource that was incredibly helpful to me was Not only for different route options (they have routes listed in Vermont and New Hampshire), but also for information on Bikepacking 101 for beginners. They also have a quarterly magazine that supplies an endless amount of stoke!

My first trip was a fun journey into a 'new' activity that combined two of my favorites: backpacking and mountain biking. What I've learned since is that space, more than weight, is the most important thing on my bike. I've upgraded my tent to an REI Flash Air 2 tent which has saved me a ton of space (I use a 2 person tent even on solo journeys as my adventure companion is a 65 pound sled dog) along with the addition of an MSR Pocket Rocket stove  to save me space with my stove kit. If you're planning on using panniers and a rear rack on your bike you have a little bit more room to work with, but for singletrack I prefer to spread my gear out across the bike.

Hopefully this helps, keep us posted on your adventures!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJ Grateful for these resources! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I already checked out the bikepacking 101 --looks invaluable.  : ]



@jfpaley @BobM and @Cyclist_Andrew have all started conversations about the East Coast Greenway. Hopefully you can connect and share some ideas.


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hey guys-  ASL?



My husband rode his bike from San Francisco to San Diego a few years back and I was his SAG for the week. When he retires he wants to ride his bike across America. I might join in on the fun. My friend is currently on the road doing it and I got inspired. Lol. She’s training to ride to Patagonia. You only get one life, live it well. 


That's a great goal! Do you have a route in mind to ride across the US? I recently read 'To Shake the Sleeping Self' by Jedidiah Jenkins and it was an incredible story of riding a bike to Patagonia. I'm not sure it is something I'll ever have the gumption to do myself, but what an amazing adventure!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I think the route is along the 40. The roads look quiet on my friends ride.