About Bike Packing

Show Bike Packing Activities

Get away from the traffic and enjoy the freedom of trails and mountain paths. Contour's range of MTB activities will give you the skills and confidence to enable you to make the transition from busy roads to quiet paths and trails, far away from the traffic. Our courses include riding skills, bike set-up and maintenance, as well as tuition and advice on route planning, clothing and nutrition.  If you just want a day or a half day on the hill or at the trail centre then visit our Personal Guiding section for details on prices and discounts


What to Expect


Fitness Level I | Basic fitness from exercise once or twice per week. Can ride on flat, or gently rolling terrain at a steady pace. Usually have the stamina to spend 2-4 hours out on a ride.

Technical Difficulty Level I | Little or no experience of mountain biking, previous riding mainly on gravel tracks, smooth trails, forestry trails, but with an interest in developing off-road skills.  No experience of bike packing and limited camping skills. See walking and navigation page for details on navigational skills appropriate at this level 


Fitness Level 2 | Basic fitness from two to three sessions per week. Able to negotiate similar terrain to Level 1 but capable of 4-6 hours riding.

Technical Difficulty Level 2Ride with confidence on gravel tracks and have some experience of rougher terrain.  Feels confident on trail centre Blue routes (UK trail centre grading).  Limited experience of bike packing, with some experience of conventional camping.  See walking and navigation page for details on navigational skills appropriate at this level


Fitness Level III | Moderate fitness from three or more sessions of exercise each week. Can ride hilly terrain, at a steady pace or more demanding terrain, but only for shorter rides.

Technical Difficulty Level III | Ride with confidence on gravel tracks, trails and over loose stones and some rough ground. May have some prior experience of man-made trail centres and feel happy on Blue and Red routes (UK trail centre grading).  Some bike packing experience, with some single or multi-day rides and camping under the belt.  See walking and navigation page for details on navigational skills appropriate at this level


Fitness Level IV | Good fitness from regular exercise sessions and time spent actively involved in cycling. Can ride full days, in any terrain, at a steady pace.

Technical Difficulty Level IV | Able to ride over variable terrain including steep, rough, narrow tracks with tree roots and other small obstacles such as small rocks. Confident on all man-made trail centre trails and able to ride small drops/step-downs or other technical trail features.  Familiar with bike-packing and what it entails.  Bike-pack during the spring, summer and autumn. See walking and navigation page for details on navigational skills appropriate at this level


Fitness Level V | Excellent fitness from regular training and a significant amount of time spent riding or racing. Can ride in any terrain and maintain a demanding pace

Technical Difficulty Level V | Can ride over any terrain including very rocky, severe descents and drop-offs up to 60 cm in height.  Bike packing all year round in a variety of terrain. See walking and navigation page for details on navigational skills appropriate at this level 

Equipment List

Below is a list highlighting the clothing and equipment that's required to undertake the activity.  Seasonal demands as well as personal preferences will alter the type of clothing and equipment for the day's activity.  As a matter of course, Contour will advise, in your pre-joining instructions, what's needed before you head out on your adventure. If you don't own it then you may be able to borrow it from us (asterixed), or purchase at a discounted rate from our preferred equipment partner Trekitt Mountain Sports.  Click on the for Trekitt Logo (below) for details on discounts and offers relating to clothing and camping equipment used for bike packing


EQUIPMENT LIST  | Clothing & Equipment for MTB Courses & Bikepacking

Cycle Helmet

Goggles or Glasses

Hat/skull cap (able to wear under cycle helmet if required)

Cycling mitts

Cold weather cycling gloves

Base Layer (thermal 'wicking top')

Mid-Layer (Synthetic fleece or equivalent)

Padded cycling shorts (one pair per day, on longer trips washing facilities will be available)

Cycling trousers/cold weather leg protection (subject to weather conditions)

Cycle shoes (ring or email for advice)

Cycling overshoes

Waterproof cycling jacket & trousers


Water bottles (2x750ml minimum and/or Personal Hydration System)


We recommend you bring 

Bike pump

Inner tubes x 3

Tyre levers

Multi tool (Please ring for advice if you do not already own one)

Any bike specific components

Note | For Contour's Bike Packing expeditions a separate list detailing extra items and recommendations on equipment will be sent on booking