The introduction of the ‘Right to Roam’ act in British Columbia, which guarantees access to a huge amount of crown land for the uses of the public, will allow the new breed of adventure riders and bikepackers access to a staggering amount of previously-inaccessible wilderness. The success of this bill got us thinking about adventure riding across the country, and how to stay safe when exploring off the beaten track.
With the proliferation of amazing new bikepacking and adventure riding technology, riders can now venture further off the beaten track than before, and face more risks than those staying closer to more populated areas. The likelihood of running into another person for support is rare, but the likelihood of interactions with firearms users is increased, as these lands are opened for fishers and hunters as well. Regardless of your location, if you spend a lot of time bikepacking or adventure riding, you need to be prepared. We made a list of 5 items for adventure cyclists to help you stay safe in the woods.
1. Wear bright clothing, and an orange or red helmet. The fluorescent orange and camouflage pattern (that has proven extremely popular in the fashion world lately) has a very practical basis in the hunting world. The risk of getting shot while travelling through popular hunting areas can’t be overstated, hence the need for extremely visible and non-natural colours to alert hunters of another human’s presence. (Deer’s eyes can’t pick up the orange colour, and the silhouette of a rider is less likely to startle wildlife than that of an upright human so you’re unlikely to ruin anyone’s shot).
2. Bring extra hydration and tools!
With better access to more land, and the ability to travel further into the wilderness, comes a need for more self-sufficiency. Being able to pack your own water, in case fresh water is hard to come by, is extremely important. Equally important is the ability to keep your means of transportation in working order. If you’re planning on going on any backcountry adventures, prepare to pack a good multitool, and keep checking our blog for tips on how to use it!
3. Make sure you have space to bring the essentials.
Packing the supplies you need, whether it be food, first-aid supplies, or extra clothing layers, is very important for anyone exploring farther out into nature. Ensure that you bring enough food to last you twice the amount of time you’re expecting to be out (and overnight if your adventure will be taking you far away from home in the evening). Packing an extra warm layer in case the temperature drops sharply is also recommended.
4. The right GPS will keep you from getting lost.
Taking some sort of mapping device with you if you’re venturing out in to a new area is a given. What you might not have thought of is the ability for your GPS to pick up satellites in remote areas. Modern high-end GPS units like Wahoo’s Elemnt pick up multiple satellite signals. The Elemnt receiver supports GPS (American), GLONASS (Russian), GALILEO (European), and BEIDOU (Chinese) signals.
5. Keep your extremities warm! This one might seem obvious to those used to embarking on longer adventures, but for those of us used to shorter rides near home, it’s good to remember to wear good warm socks and bring hand protection (protection from trees and cold conditions!)
We’re very excited to see more wilderness areas becoming open to the public. We hope this guide is helpful in keeping you safe as you explore more of your own corner of this beautiful country.