Fill in the Map
Announcing our latest routes challenge, with 20 great prize packages up for grabs! We’re looking for exceptional one-night routes to expand our Local Overnighter Project archive and get more folks out bikepacking. To help fill in the world map, we invite you to submit your favorite local bikepacking overnighter route before August 31st for a chance to win amazing prizes from Austere, Cedaero, Forager, High Above, Wolf Tooth Components, and more…
Out of all the content we publish here on the site, bikepacking route guides are the most special. They were essentially the big idea that sparked this site and what’s kept it going ever since. We take pride in managing the original and most comprehensive network of bikepacking routes on the web. Three years ago, we introduced the Local Overnighter Project to grow our network and open it up to more route creators with unrivaled knowledge of their own backyards. We’ve since published over 100 overnighters, but we’re still light years away from our ultimate mission with this project: to offer countless accessible one-night route options for folks to download and follow from almost any town or city throughout the United States, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and dozens of other countries and regions throughout the world.
Although they’re small in stature, well-crafted overnighter routes are more important than epic cross-continent routes. That’s because they’re a gateway for people who are curious to try bikepacking but aren’t yet prepared to tackle a big trip. Increasing the number of more approachable routes makes bikepacking more accessible by providing options that don’t require folks to travel far from home to have a short adventure. Additionally, a good overnighter route makes a perfect “reset button” for those juggling busy life schedules.
To help fill in the map and provide more options for everyone to ride, we’ve partnered with Austere, Cedaero, Forager Cycles, High Above, and Wolf Tooth Components to giveaway some fantastic prize packages. We hope they’ll inspire you to contribute your best local overnighter route and challenge folks to create interesting overnighters in places where there aren’t yet many options on the map. Read on for prize details, then scroll down for contest rules and entry.
Grand Prize Package
5 winners total
We’re excited to be giving away five prize packages that include some of our favorite gear. Five entrants will be grand prize winners and will receive the following package of incredible bags, tools, and accessories to help round out their kits.
Based in the small town of Two Harbors, Minnesota, Cedaero is a small bag maker specializing in custom frame bags that are 100% made in Two Harbors. The top five prize packs include a custom frame bag in one of many unique fabric optionss, including the fan-favorite Cedar Waxwing waxed canvas and Sticky Purple. Learn more over at Cedaero.com.
Wolf Tooth 8-Bit Kit One
We’ve been ever-impressed by Wolf Tooth’s Minnesota-made lineup of clever and useful multi-tools. The 8-Bit Kit One is one of the latest in the range and even won a spot in our Gear of the Year awards last year. This nifty little three-piece kit packs 22 functions into a small unit that’s designed to keep you rolling when things go wrong. Find more over at WolfToothComponents.com.
High Above Hip Pack
High Above has been making cycling-specific hip packs out of their HQ in Bellingham, Washington, longer than anyone. That, and the fact that they’re exceptionally well-made and designed, are why they have some of the most popular hip packs on the market. This prize pack includes one of the five they sent: either the Cascadia, Venture, Lookout, or Nova. Find more over at HighAbove.net.
We always love lightweight tools that serve multiple purposes. Port Townsend, Washington-based Forager’s new Link Wrench weighs just 21 grams and features an 8/9/10mm wrench and emergency master link opener. The Link Wrench is made in the USA from grade 5 titanium and makes a great addition to the tool roll for rack and fender nuts. Plus, the 500-pound Dyneema cord from Samson Rope in Bellingham provides a super light master link opener. Find more over at ForagerCycles.com.
Pair of Forager Cable Cherries
We’ve been smitten with Cable Cherries ever since Forager Cycles released them at the end of 2020 (see our review here). They’re an elegant solution to replace those annoying cable crimps and keep the ends of derailleur and brake cables from fraying. We have five of tthem to give away in five colors for this prize package. Find more over at ForagerCycles.com.
Pair of Austere Buckles and Straps
Also made in Washington, Austere’s high-end CNC-machined cam buckles are beautifully engineered, lightweight, impressively strong, and built to last a lifetime. We’ve been super impressed with these beauties since their release in 2021. These prize packs include a pair of 3/4″ buckles with three-foot nylon webbing straps. Learn more over at AustereManufacturing.com and read our review here.
Made by Bentley Components, our new custom Pedal Further headset top caps were custom milled from high-quality brass. Each cap is presented on a wood burned card, which is almost just as nice. We set aside a handful of these for this giveaway.
Life Cycle T-shirt
Our newest take on the skull T-shirt features a new “Life Cycle” motif printed on a soft 100% cotton BELLA+CANVAS tee. This version features a skull and snake surrounded by illustrations of nature all in a subtle black on charcoal gray design. We saved a few of these in all sizes for this giveaway.
This made-in-the-USA, 100% cotton bandana features the new “Life Cycle” skull and snake design surrounded by illustrations of some of our favorite nature motifs. The bandana comes in sky blue with ivory and ochre artwork.
Loads of Bikepacking.com Patches and Stickers
We’re including a big collection of sticker sheets and patches, featuing our coyote and snake patches, ATB stickers, and new Life Cycle sticker sheet, among others.
Second Place Prize Packages
5 winners total
Five additional route creators will receive a prize package that includes the following:
- Cedaero Tank Top LD in random colors (details)
- Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers (details)
- High Above First Aid Trail Kit (details)
- Pair of Forager Cable Cherries in random colors
- Pair of Austere Buckles and Straps
- PEDAL FURTHER Brass Top Cap
- Life Cycle Bandana
- Collection of BIKEPACKING.com Patches and Stickers
Runners Up Prize Packages
Up to 10 winners total
Last but not least, up to 10 more routes will be selected as runners up to be published, and route creators will receive a BIKEPACKING.com prize package including the following:
- $50 cash
- Life Cycle Bandana
- Pair of New PEDAL FURTHER Voilé Straps (images coming soon)
- Random Grab Bag Goodies including some great merchandise we have on hand (TBD)
- BIKEPACKING.com Patches, Stickers, etc.
TIPS & RULES (Is your route a good fit?)
There’s an art to creating the ideal overnighter route. It’s about balancing challenges and rewards and finding the perfect rest stops and campsites along the way. What makes it special? Scenic campsites, places to eat, breweries, epic trails, fun descents, and cultural/historical places of interest, to name a few. Maybe there are hot springs or swimming holes in the middle. Take into account these tips and rules:
- 40-180 MILES (65-290KM) is a pretty good benchmark for route length for an overnighter, but the route should take 2 days/1 night (or sub-24 hours) to complete.
- FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE LENGTH include the technical nature of the trails and the total amount of climbing. We don’t mind hike-a-bikes when they connect places that would otherwise be impossible to reach but keep them within reason.
- GRAVEL, SINGLETRACK, OR FAT BIKE routes are acceptable, but routes should be comprised of at least 60% unpaved surfaces, give or take. We prefer routes in which the majority of the time spent riding is off pavement. Any paved roads included on the route should be safe.
- USE POINTS OF INTEREST (POI). Basing routes around particular sights or stops is a fun approach. How about breweries, historical landmarks, hot springs, swimming holes, or scenic viewpoints? The final route should have a handful of useful POIs noted on the map.
- CREATE A RHYTHM. Starting and finishing a route with a climb isn’t always a fun approach. Space out the suffering-to-reward ratio.
- USE GREENWAYS. Tie in a greenway or cycle-specific path to the route. Anything that helps avoid traffic is welcome in our book.
- FIND A GOOD CAMPSITE and place it in a spot where it will be natural and fitting to end a day’s ride. Having these types of milestones helps balance the route.
- WATCH THE RESUPPLY POINTS. It’s good practice to plan where the resupply points are in relation to distance; the same goes for drinkable or filterable water.
- KEEP IT LEGAL. It goes without saying that every route we publish must be entirely legally accessible. Each and every road and trail must allow bicycles. Keep the same in mind for campsites.
- CONSIDER WHERE IT STARTS AND ENDS. Making a loop from a safe starting point is always a good idea. You should also consider starting it at a landmark, bike shop, place of historical significance, and/or area with a good place to leave a vehicle. If your route is linear in nature, think about ways of making it accessible via public transportation, or have good spots to park cars for a shuttle.
- PUBLIC LANDS AND CONSERVATION. Make a special point to highlight the places and lands on the route that are threatened, in need of protection, and should be preserved. We place special importance on using bikepacking as a vehicle for conservation projects and awareness.
- ROUTE PHOTOGRAPHY. Inspiring, high-quality photography is important to us at BIKEPACKING.com. Your route needs to include at least 20 high-quality photos. We suggest that photos should be taken on a decent camera (a step above a mobile phone), however, many of the newer phones (iPhone, Galaxy, etc) are equipped with good cameras that have the potential to take excellent photos. Taking a quality set of route photos goes beyond what’s being used to take them, so give it your best shot (no pun intended). Photos should cover several aspects of the route, including trail shots, riding shots, camping photos, landscapes, and other interesting details. Pro tips: try to get your hero shots just after dawn or before dusk in the golden hour light; try unique angles; use a “blocking” technique with foreground objects; look into “the rule of thirds.”
Submit Your Route
Fill out the form below to submit your route. Here are the submission guidelines:
- Dates: The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 31th, 2022; we reserve the right to extend this deadline if need be.
- Photos: Include a link to your photographs (we prefer Google Drive). Select your best 20-40 photos from the route. Make sure your image folder privacy is set to public.
- Map: Include a link to the map (we prefer Ride with GPS), and add POIs (Points Of Interest) if possible.
- Words: Write 150-300 words that describe what makes this route special. If selected, we’ll ask you to write a guide based on our template.
- Rules: Carefully read the Tips and Rules section above before hitting the submit button.
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