Beginner's Bicycle Camping Guide

Bicycle and camping enthusiasts learn how to combine their favorite hobbies in this beginner's bicycle camping guide.

| July/August 1971


The really successful lightweight camper is one whose pack shrinks every year and whose enjoyment increases in ratio with every vanished ounce.


Reprinted from BICYCLING! Magazine.  

It is as appropriate for me, a mere Englishman, to address an American audience on the subject of camping as it would be for a hotel chef to advise the citizens of Olympus on the preparation of ambrosia. But it is possible that while you and the Olympians have such unsurpassable raw material, that chef and I possess mortal scars and bitter experience which could be of service to you loftier beings.

Let's face it, you have all the advantages, the sort of situation that I have often dreamed of, but can never know. In your huge continent you have great areas of solitude: mountains, forest and desert that cry out for adventurous bicycle camping; you have a tradition and literature of overland pioneering second to none, and to cap it all, cycling in your country is a booming sport and pastime.

I believe that the major hurdle one has to jump before becoming a cycle-camper is one of philosophy and logic. Here are four maxims for the apprentice camper to chew over:

"To go light is to play the game fairly. The man in the woods matches himself against the forces of nature. In the towns he is warmed and fed and clothed so spontaneously and easily that after a time he perforce begins to doubt himself, to wonder whether his powers are not atrophied from disuse." 

". . .go light, for a superabundance of paraphernalia proves always more of a care than a satisfaction."  

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