The interesting thing about long-haul bike journeys is that it’s too easy for people to want to take things to the next level. It really is. It’s kind of like picking up a new hobby.
When you first learned how to ride a bicycle, it’s only a matter of time before you start popping wheelies or doing tricks in riding. It goes with the territory. You learn something new, master it, and then show off.
Well, the same applies to long-haul bike riding. At first, you probably would cut your teeth on this hobby by sticking to the main roads. I am talking about highways. You probably would stick to very developed regions, for example, Western Europe, certain parts of China, or certain parts of South Africa.
But as you get more and more comfortable with the long-range bike rides and you develop the patience to truly enjoy such long, multi-country and multi-week journeys, you might want to take things to the next level. Of course, when it comes to long-haul bike travels, the next level is actually quite obvious. You go off-grid.
Instead of using the highway, you use dirt paths. Now, these dirt paths can be quite dangerous because if you’re going to be trespassing on private property, don’t be surprised if somebody would try to take a shot at you. It’s no joke.
It’s a good idea to consult with local authorities so you can go on dirt motorcycle trails that are on public lands. Unless you get on the wrong side of park rangers, people normally wouldn’t take shots at you. So consider yourself warned.
Still, this is the second level of long-haul bike travels. It’s all about going on survival bike trips. You go on least traveled paths. You go on dirt roads and dirt paths.
The next step is to go on real survival trips. In other words, you either have to make your own trail. You have to find your own water. You have to find food, firewood, and so on and so forth.
Survival bike trips are older age nowadays. It seems like people have gone tired of just going off-grid. Solar panels get old really quickly at least according to these people. So, does it make practical sense to go on survival bike trips? Well, it really depends on your access to the right trails.
I am not just talking about getting the legal right to go through dirt trails. This is pretty straightforward. You only need to get ahold of a government official and government resources to see a map which basically shows a trail or alternate trails going through public lands.
Of course, you still have to comply with local laws. You still have to get a license or some sort of permit, but this is pretty basic stuff. It is ministerial. It’s paperwork.
The bigger issue is resource allocation. Sure, you can get access to a desert trail, but it doesn’t make sense to go on a survival bike trip through that trail if you’re clueless as to the availability of water or firewood, or you don’t know how cold it could get at night, that kind of thing.
So to answer the question posed in the blog post, survival bike trips make practical sense if you invest a tremendous amount of time, effort, and energy researching local resources and local trails. If you are confident that you will be able to find water when you need it and you will be able to create a shelter where you go, then you should be fine.
Please understand that a survival bike trip doesn’t mean that you don’t bring along a tent. It means that you don’t bring along lams. It means you don’t bring along any kind of equipment that smacks of modern conveniences.
This is quite a commitment. This is hardcore. Don’t think that going on a survival bike trip is just basically going on a dirt road and having a good time. No, it doesn’t work that way. It’s taking things to a whole other level.
You basically have no power. You have no water and no fire-creating tools. Everything is survival. Meaning, you have to know how to rub sticks together to create a fire. You also have to know your way around flat surfaces to find the water table. You have to know how to dig things using the stuff that you find.
This is not easy, but it is a lot of fun because you are relying on your wits. You are relying on your survival skills. Going on a convoy of people doing survival trips may work because everybody is pulling their labor together. Everybody is brainstorming together to solve logistical problems efficiently.