Who would of thought this thing called bike-packing would start to take off here in the heart of the Flint hills? We have a core group of folks here in Emporia that are like-minded and want to get more people interested in getting out and seeing the Kansas landscape from two wheels.
Here around Emporia we have several lakes with great camping grounds, while also providing stunning sunrises and sunsets. These destinations can be used for sub24 overnighters, you can link them together into two-three day outings, or go further and extend them out to five plus days.
To get started out bike-packing you don’t have to go out and break the bank getting set up, there is a lot of DIY bag projects, also you can look for places that may rent you bags, here in Emporia we offer rental bags at Gravel City Adventure and Supply Company (716 Commercial Street). You can come down and see my good friend Adam and he will get you fixed up and has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. They also carry pretty much anything you need to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and if they don’t stock it, they can get it.
Be on the lookout for upcoming bike-packing events, starting with a March 3-4 supported event, if you want to go and don’t have all the bags or way to carry your gear there will be a support vehicle providing a way to get everything out to the campsite including firewood and water. The adventures will continue monthly with clinics, supported, and self supported overnighters and three day tours.
A piece of advice on getting you better prepared is to get your gear out at home and practice packing and unpacking to see what works for you. Build confidence that you are bringing what you need, no more, no less.
Remember- camping in the back yard also counts as camping and is a great way to practice setting up your tent and finding your comfort zone for sleeping- especially in colder weather!
Follow Gravel City Adventure and Supply Company on Facebook for upcoming events. Also, make sure you go to the Dirty Kanza Promotions page to check out some of the local bike packing routes -https://dirtykanzapromotions.com/routes/bike-packing-routes/.
List of Local Lakes and mileage from Emporia
Lyon County Fishing Lake- 18-20 miles
Chase County Fishing Lake-25-30 miles
Madison Lake-25-30 miles
Olpe Lake-10-15 miles