A new fusion of wild camping and off-road touring, bikepacking gets you close to nature and far from the stresses of modern life. And autumn is the ideal time to go.
Bikepacking an exhilarating fusion of off-road riding and minimalist wild camping is fast becoming a popular way to explore the outdoors.
Instead, you can roam deep into the wild along flowing forest singletrack or moorland bridlepaths, climbing rugged mountain trails or dropping down steep, rocky gullies to wooded valley floors.
Wild camping along the way allows you to strike out further along ancient trackways, and to turn each ride into an adventure.
To enjoy camping with a mountain bike, you do need to get minimalist.
Scotland and much of Dartmoor are unfettered by camping restrictions, and the high hills of Snowdonia and the Lake District often allow mountain camping for one night.
Given, too, the countless camping barns, hostels and bothies scattered across Britain, you can go as wild as you like.
Bothies in particular make for memorable mountain bike adventures.
For those new to bikepacking, this peninsula route offers spectacular panoramic views throughout; plenty of sandy coves for a wild coastal camp; and mostly wide, undulating trails, with the gradual climb to Cefn Bryn’s whaleback ridge the only real exception.
Take a ferry to Tobermory, the island’s colourful capital, and a wild, forgotten trail leads you past the rugged coastline at Ardmore and the wooded banks of Loch Frisa in the midst of Salen Forest to the rough estate road that unfurls along the banks of the Forsa to the bothy.
The one place outside Scotland where it is legal to wild camp.
We recommend the following Italian cycles for this usage: