Explorers Connect

Powering an Adventure Revolution

Bikepacking for Beginners
3rd - 4th August 2019

With bikepacking, you can create wilderness adventures right from your front door. All you need is a well-packed bike, a little bike-maintenance know-how, some navigation and wild-camping skills, and the whole world becomes your playground. This course covers all this and more, from the heart of the beautiful Peak District.



Bikepacking is a true wilderness adventure, combining the freedom of long-range, multi-day trips with the thrill of riding a mountain bike, carrying only your essential gear. It’s about seeing more, doing more, and going to places less-travelled, which are sometimes right on your door step. The idea behind bikepacking is that you explore on trails and dirt tracks by day, and set up camp anywhere you like by night - in the woods, in a field, on the side of a mountain, by a lake.

With this beginner’s guide to bikepacking, you’ll learn how to plan and roll out your own adventures, with the opportunity to rent any kit you don’t have already, meaning that it really is open to anyone who wants to try their hand at exploring the world by bike.

Based in the heart of the Peak District, you’ll enjoy the richest and most varied routes, with breathtaking scenery.


  • Day 1 (Saturday): At 9am, you'll meet your guide to go through your kit - what to take, how to pack the bike, basic maintenance and route planning. You'll then head out into the Peak District at a gentle pace with plenty of stops - you'll spend the day riding off-road, going through skills and techniques before finishing up at a beautiful secluded wild camp spot in plenty of time to set up before it gets dark to enjoy a night under the stars. 

  • Day 2 (Sunday): You'll pack up and slowly cycle back, enjoying the scenic views of the National Park along the way. There will be time to cover any other skills that you want to learn about and you can choose from an easy or more challenging ride back. You’ll likely stop at a cafe in the early afternoon before finishing back at base at around 4pm.



Your host for this adventure is the brilliant Mountain Bike Leader Pete McNeil. Pete has worked as a full-time bike guide & mechanic in the UK, Spain, Nepal and NZ, and has completed numerous personal challenges and expeditions everywhere from Scotland to Nepal, Lesotho to Patagonia.

Pete believes that the simple pleasures of a bicycle adventure can provide anyone with the perfect antidote to modern living and is committed to helping others to get out on their own two wheeled adventures.

Pete’s infectious enthusiasm for getting out and having adventures, whether big or small, and for inspiring and facilitating others to do the same, perfectly reflects the Explorers Connect ethos of gently encouraging people outside their comfort zone to discover just what they are capable of, whilst ensuring everyone is having a lovely time and making new friends. You can find out more about the core values that run through all our trips here.



Alongside route-planning, the course will also cover off-road mountain biking skills, bikepacking kit requirements, packing techniques, and basic bike maintenance. As a key part of bikepacking is venturing into remote locations, you’ll also learn about wild camping including what to take, where to sleep and how to make food. Course content:

  • Gear: What to take and how to pack your bike

  • Bike skills: Loaded off-road riding

  • Basic bike maintenance

  • Navigation

  • Wild camping: what to do, where to sleep, how to make shelter

  • Fuel: Camp cooking & nutrition


No previous off-road cycling or mountain biking experience is necessary and only a moderate fitness level is required - but you need to be happy cycling around 20-30 miles per day and sleeping outside on Saturday night.


Our recommended kit list for bikepacking adventures is HERE. You need to bring your own sleeping bag but you can hire the rest of the kit from us (see below for info on the packages available).

We recommend arriving on Saturday fueled with a hearty breakfast in your belly. Bring something for packed-lunches on both days and plenty of high energy snacks for the weekend. You’ll need to pack camping food for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. Your host and instructor can supply quality ‘Firepot’ re-hydratable meals for £6.50 per pack. Otherwise we recommend porridge with dried fruit, nuts and powdered milk for an easy camp breakfast, and something you can cook easily over a stove by adding boiling water for dinner on Saturday. Remember to pack light as you’ll be using pedal power to travel around!


  • Experienced and qualified bikepacking professional accompanying you throughout the course

  • Two days high-quality bikepacking instruction in a small group of 6, with the chance for one-to-one tuition, advice and support

  • Overnight wild camping mini-adventure in a beautiful secluded spot

  • Not included: Bike / equipment hire (click here for packages and pricing (you can add on the packages you need when you book your space) and food and drinks (you'll have the chance to pick up food on Saturday)


  • Dates: This adventure runs from 9am on Saturday 2nd to around 4pm on Sunday 3rd August, 2019.

  • Price: £214 (member price: £199)

If this trip is fully booked, this button will take you to join the waiting list


If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email enquiries@explorersconnect.com or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.