Welcome to this discussion on bikepacking GPS. Bikepacking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while traveling long distances on a bicycle with all of your gear. A GPS is an essential tool for bikepacking since it can help you stay on track and prevent you from getting lost on unfamiliar trails. In this conversation, we will explore various aspects of bikepacking GPS, including the features to look for, how to choose the right GPS device, and some of the best options currently available.

What is Bikepacking?

Bikepacking is an outdoor adventure activity that combines camping and cycling. It’s a great way to explore the great outdoors while getting some exercise and enjoying the scenery. Bikepacking can range from a one-day trip to an extended multi-day adventure. The goal is to pack everything you need onto your bike and hit the open road or trail.

The Gear You Need

When planning a bikepacking trip, you’ll need to consider the gear you’ll need. Here are some essentials:

  • A bike that’s suitable for off-road terrain
  • Panniers or bikepacking bags to carry your gear
  • A tent or bivy sack for sleeping
  • A sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Cooking equipment and food
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Maps or a GPS device

Planning Your Route

When planning your bikepacking trip, you’ll need to consider the route you’ll take. This will depend on your experience level, the terrain, and the distance you want to cover. Some popular bikepacking routes include the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the Colorado Trail, and the Trans-America Trail.

Why Use a GPS for Bikepacking?

A GPS device can be a valuable tool for bikepacking. It can help you navigate your route, track your progress, and provide valuable information about the terrain and weather conditions. GPS devices can also be used to track your fitness progress, monitor your heart rate, and keep you safe in case of an emergency.

Key takeaway: Bikepacking is a fun and exciting outdoor adventure that combines cycling and camping. To make the most of your trip, you’ll need to plan your route and gear accordingly. Using a GPS device can be a valuable tool for navigating your route and staying safe. When choosing a GPS device, consider factors such as battery life, durability, and compatibility. Use your GPS device to track your progress, adjust your route as needed, and enhance your overall experience.

A GPS device can be a valuable tool for bikepacking. It can help you navigate your route, track your progress, and provide valuable information about the terrain and weather conditions. GPS devices can also be used to track your fitness progress, monitor your heart rate, and keep you safe in case of an emergency.

Types of GPS Devices

There are several types of GPS devices available for bikepacking. These include handheld GPS devices, bike-mounted GPS devices, and smartphone apps. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to consider your needs and preferences when choosing a GPS device.

How to Choose a GPS Device

When choosing a GPS device for bikepacking, you’ll need to consider several factors. These include the device’s battery life, durability, and accuracy. You’ll also need to consider the device’s price and whether it’s compatible with other devices you plan to use, such as a heart rate monitor or bike computer.

Tips for Using a GPS on Your Bikepacking Trip

Using a GPS device for bikepacking can be a great way to enhance your experience. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your GPS device:

  • Plan your route in advance and load it onto your GPS device
  • Use your GPS device to track your progress and make adjustments to your route as needed
  • Bring extra batteries or a portable charger to ensure your GPS device stays charged
  • Keep your GPS device protected from the elements by using a protective case or covering it with a plastic bag
  • Learn how to use your GPS device before you hit the road or trail

FAQs for Bikepacking GPS

What is bikepacking GPS?

Bikepacking GPS is a navigational system designed for cyclists who go on extended outdoor trips, such as bikepacking or touring. The GPS device, usually mounted to the bike’s handlebars, uses satellite signals to track the rider’s location and provide directions to the destination. It can also record the cyclist’s route, speed, altitude, and other data for analysis or share with other riders.

What features should I look for in a bikepacking GPS?

When choosing a bikepacking GPS, consider the following features: battery life, screen size and readability, ease of use, mapping and routing capabilities, connectivity options (such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), durability, and weight. Some devices also offer additional features such as a camera, heart rate monitor, and weather forecast.

How does bikepacking GPS work?

Bikepacking GPS uses a satellite network to determine the rider’s location and display it on a digital map. The device communicates with multiple satellites to triangulate the position, which allows the GPS to provide directional guidance and distance measurements. Some devices may also have pre-loaded maps and voice navigation, while others allow for users to upload their own maps and routes.

Do I need an internet connection for bikepacking GPS to work?

No, most bikepacking GPS devices do not require an active internet connection to work. They use satellite signals for location tracking and navigation, which do not rely on cellular or Wi-Fi networks. However, some GPS devices may require internet access to download maps or firmware updates.

Can I use my smartphone as a bikepacking GPS?

Yes, smartphones can be used as a bikepacking GPS by downloading GPS apps, such as Google Maps, Waze or Strava. However, using a smartphone as a GPS device may not be as efficient as using a dedicated GPS device, considering factors such as battery life, screen size and durability. In addition, using a smartphone as a GPS may drain its battery fast and may require a data connection to download maps in real-time.

Can I use bikepacking GPS for other outdoor activities?

Yes, bikepacking GPS can be useful for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, and trail running. Some GPS devices even offer activity mode selections, so users can switch between the bikepacking mode and other outdoor modes. Make sure to check if the specific GPS device offers the features suitable for other outdoor activities, such as altitude corrections or incline measurements.


By Frank

Frank Thompson, a seasoned cyclist and bike aficionado, has been passionate about all things bicycle-related since his childhood. Born and raised in the beautiful Seattle, Frank has spent countless hours exploring the winding trails, scenic roads, and vibrant urban landscapes on two wheels. With over 20 years of experience in the cycling world, Frank has garnered an extensive knowledge of bicycle mechanics, maintenance, and customization. After completing his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Frank pursued a career in the bicycle industry, working with renowned bike manufacturers and local bike shops. His expertise led him to become a sought-after consultant for professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and bike enthusiasts alike. Throughout the years, he has also volunteered with various cycling advocacy groups, promoting safe and accessible cycling infrastructure in the community. Frank's passion for cycling extends beyond his professional life, as he has participated in numerous local and international bike races and charity events. His love for adventure has taken him on several memorable cycling expeditions, from the breathtaking mountain trails of the Rockies to the picturesque coastal roads of the Mediterranean. As a valued contributor to West Seattle Cyclery, Frank shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with our readers through informative articles, how-to guides, and gear reviews. Always eager to help fellow cyclists, Frank is dedicated to making the world of cycling more approachable and enjoyable for everyone. When he's not busy tinkering with bikes or writing for the blog, you can find him exploring new routes, coaching beginner cyclists, or spending quality time with his family and their beloved golden retriever, Buddy.