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Let’s get cycle camping!

Cyclecamp resource page 002

Basically you need three things: a bike, a tent and a sleeping bag

OK, you’ve decided you want to give cycle camping a try. Mostly it will be a case of have bike, have tent, will go! But there are some other things to think about when you start planning your trip!

So what do you need? Basically three things: a bike, a tent and a sleeping bag - nearly everything else you probably already have! Make a list of the things you need to take.

On a bicycle there’s very little room for manoeuvre between having all the vital bits of equipment that you need and carrying too much weight. So plan carefully - have a look at our cyclecamp checklist here for what to take.

Britain is at your doorstep so think about where you want to go - click here for more ideas on our resource page.

Who do you want to go with: with your partner, with the kids, with a blind person on the back of a tandem? With your grandfather or just your mates? The possibilities are endless because anyone can go cycle camping. Travelling alone gives you the freedom to go as you please but travelling with a friend allows you to share the weight of the tent, the cooking things, the tools and the maps. You will also have someone to share the highs and the lows with - and there will be plenty of those!

Even if you don’t start off fit you will be by the end of your trip! But if you haven’t done much cycling before, keep the mileage low and allow for the occasional rest day. Cycling day after day with a loaded bike and putting up a tent at the end of a long day can take it out of you - so keep the mileage comfortable at first.

How will you get to the start of your route: best of all, set off on your bike fully loaded from the front door. You can put your bike on a train if you are far away from your touring area - getting there becomes part of the holiday!

What about the weather: it will be what it will be! And it’s all great! Take a good waterproof, a warm sweater for the cool evenings and let your legs feel the wind and rain. In the summer months of July and August in the UK you should be all right whatever the weather.

How far in one day: plan your trip around 35 miles a day (even 25 miles a day is a great ride and enough if you are new to cycling). You will still see more doing 25 miles on a bike than someone travelling 250 miles by car.

To book or not to book: when you’ve planned your route you can decide whether to book your campsites in advance (advisable in August) or just head off and take your chances - most campsites will try and squeeze you in if you arrive by bike. You can print off your selected campsites from the cyclecamp website or you can access cyclecamp on your smart phone.

To cook or not to cook: it’s more fun to cook but remember that you will have more to carry. Take at least a small stove and a kettle to brew up a cup of tea - it could be a lifesaver on a cold, wet morning!

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