I have a new addiction in my life that has taken hold of me, and it is not drugs or alcohol. My new addiction is bike packing, it combines two of my favorite things (back packing and biking) while being a great way to explore new areas and enjoy nature. I’ve always loved traveling by bicycle because of the slower pace it is possible to take in everything instead of whizzing past in a car, as well as not needing to burn any gasoline. Now that I have a bike fit for off-road riding I can go just about anywhere and have been spending most of my free time doing just that.
Although biking is a much more sustainable way of traveling something has come up for me with all the trash that is being created as I purchase a bunch of gear. The amount of waste created to manufacture and ship new equipment like this is incredible. I do my best to recycle and buy sustainably made products but is that enough? As I thought more about this issue I have come across companies doing some great things and discovered a few tricks on how to bike pack more sustainably.
Green Guru is a company from Colorado that is diverting used recreation gear from the landfill like; wetsuits, inner tubes etc. and crafting them into bike packing gear. To Date they have rescued over 500,000 lbs of material from landfills, now that is some serious P.U.M.! If you are looking for some great re-purposed gear check out the link to see what they have to offer.
Another company I recently found out about is Axiom, they have found a way to make cycling bags out of recycled fishing nets! Visit www.axiomgear.com and search for the Seymour series of bags to support there effort of getting some waste out of the ocean. It is great that companies are seeing the need to address these issues and doing what they can to help.
Those that are really ambitious could also make there own gear out of materials they have around, this article from bikepacking.com has some ingenious diy hacks. Something that I have used is the penny stove which is an ultralight cooking system that can be made with a soda can and some alcohol. Here’s how to make 5 variations on this design.
Some tips I like to follow while exploring the world by bike is to stay on trails, leave no trace and respect the wildlife. If you haven’t given bike packing a try check it out, it may just change your life!