It's midway through the work week and you realize that you don't have any weekend plans despite gorgeous summer weather in the forecast. Why not take an impromptu bike camping trip? It's easier than you think, and if "roughing it" doesn't sound like fun...well, there's always glamping too.
Bike Camping Gear
A one or two night bike camping trip requires far less gear than multi-day bike tours. Here's an overview of bike camping gear that you'll want to take with you (find a good, comprehensive list on REI's website). Much of this gear can be rented from a camping/backpacking shop, like Gear to Go Outfitters in Brooklyn, NY. (Yay for the sharing economy!)
From left to right, top to bottom:
Aeropress Coffee Maker ($30) because good coffee in the morning is essential.
Po Campo Kinga Handlebar Bag ($40) to have your maps (remember, your smartphone might not get reception!), snacks, and sunscreen at your fingertips. Bonus: it's easy to remove to pop into an ice cream shoppe or a tavern.
Big Agnes Pitchpine Ultralight Sleeping Bag ($350) to have a comfortable sack to get snuggy in that won't make you sweat. Bonus: it's super lightweight.
Burley Nomad Cargo Bike Trailer ($339) if you're bringing more than you can haul in your panniers.
Esbit Stove and Cookset ($30) for preparing the aforementioned coffee.
Alite 3-Legged Mayfly Chair ($100) for relaxing at the end of your journey.
Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight Tent ($380) for your shelter. Also incredibly lightweight!
Big Agnes Q-Core Superlight Sleeping Pad ($160) for creating a cushy, comfy bed. Approved by side-sleepers.
Topeak Alien Mini-Tool and patch-kit ($48) because chances are there won't be a bike shop or Uber to save you.
The Bike Glamping Alternative
If acquiring and/or carrying all of this bike camping gear seems like too much of an undertaking, or if the idea of "roughing it" just isn't your thing, there is always bike glamping.
Glamping is short for "glamorous camping" and generally refers to sleeping somewhere besides in a tent on the ground, which could be anything from a cabin to a hut to a yurt. Basically, an outdoor-like experience with a bed and bathroom.
Bike glamping is appealing to many simply because it requires less stuff to carry with you on your bike. You can take the train or drive out of the city, and then bike to a secluded and relaxing spot. Glamping.com has a thorough directory of resort-like destinations around the world, but you can also check Air BnB for unique spots off the beaten track, or your nearby National Park or State Park for more rustic cabin rentals.
Bike Camping Trailers