How to Plan a Multi-Sport Weekend
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Here are the basics of planning a multi-sport weekend to help you feel more prepared for your next weekend in nature!
All over the world, people are turning to their own backyards for recreation, and activities like hiking, biking, backpacking, rock climbing, and camping have never been more popular. And for that reason, another sport is booming: multisport.
"Multisport" means traveling through various methods, generally powered by humans. You can kayak up the river to a trail to start a night hike, or you can load your gear on a bike for half a day before setting off on foot into the desert.
While multisport adventures can be more intimidating than a day-long activity (it requires greater self-confidence, more planning, and an additional amount of physical skill, after all), it is more than possible for beginning athletes to enjoy multiple sports. Weekend.
Orientation and assistance
You have a few different options for organizing your trip. Some are easier than others. The easiest way to join a sports trip is to go with a company or supplier. They usually provide their equipment, provide route guidance, organize all logistics, and have a support vehicle on hand if your muscles need a break.
Find a certified multisport guide on the 57hours app, go with an experienced travel provider like REI Adventures or G Adventures, or do something in between - find a company to provide support if needed. Companies like the Colorado Backcountry Guide Service (serving western Colorado) can provide bicycle support to athletes exploring the most popular routes in the state. They are not a full-service guides, but they can help you move your gear or get you in trouble. Most outer cities should have a similar service; try checking the city's tourism page to find local businesses.
The next easiest way is to plan a route that is not completely self-sufficient. This could mean staying in motels or hotels every night or perhaps planning your route through cities with restaurants, shops, and equipment vendors. This can reduce the amount of food you need to transport and give you the opportunity to unload some of your equipment that you no longer need by returning it to a store or shipping it home from a local post office.
The most challenging type of multisport trip is one where you are completely self-sufficient, carry your own supplies, go camping, and have no one to guide or support you. You will have to do more planning on these types of trips as you will have to prepare your route, which may involve safely leaving large items such as mountain bikes or backpacks in strategic locations along the route. If this is the type of trip you are interested in, consider a one or two-night trip if it is your first foray into a multi-sport trip.
How to pack your gear
There is one main key to packaging: use equipment that can work double. This could mean riding a bike in walking shoes or wearing a fluffy jacket as an outer layer and pillow at night. To find out what you need, look at the lists of teams associated with any sport on your itinerary and see where you can withdraw.
You might consider renting your equipment if you are new to these sports and not ready to invest in them. One advantage of choosing a destination where multi-sport trips are popular is that stores will have suggestions on what you need and can even pick up and drop off your gear on the go.
In terms of actual gear, it's best to use items from companies made specifically for outdoor travel; You don't want to use your childhood sleeping bag on a cold weather camping trip. Look for tents and cookware from MSR, sleeping bags and pillows from Thermarest, and insulated and packable clothing from brands like Stio and Mountain Hardware. All of these brands are specifically designed for extreme adventure and work with multi-sport athletes like Eric Larsen and Hilaree Nelson. You should be able to rent the most expensive equipment such as bicycles and tents. For smaller items, put your shoes on before the adventure and try to pack quick-drying fabrics. Do not wear cotton.
Choose a Destination
For a beginner's trip, choose a destination where multi-sport recreation is popular as they will have many established routes and guidance companies to choose from. For a first-time multi-sport trip, consider doing something that's just a short drive away to make packing easier and ensuring you have your own vehicle.
In the west, consider Crested Butte, Colorado. The charming mountain town is all about the outdoor lifestyle, with many shops, guides, and routes of varying difficulty in the region. For a lower altitude (and slightly warmer) alternative to Colorado, head further west towards Gunnison or Western Slope.
If you are in the Midwest, consider Michigan. The state is an outdoor wonderland. With over 3,000 miles of coastline, it's easy to find coastal trails, great fall foliage, and outdoor recreation-based towns like Munising and Marquette.
And if you are on the East Coast, consider Tennessee or Vermont; the latter is especially impressive if you are envisioning gentle cycles through covered bridges.
Planning your Route
Planning a route, and thinking of some backup plans, is essential for beginners.
If you're new to multi-sport travel, don't plan your own route. Explore multi-sport routes online or use a multi-sport app like TerraQuest, where other users can map and share their trips. Download a map of your route and have a paper map handy so you can find your way without cell service.
Beginners should consider a circular route rather than a point-to-point route. Use a campground or town as a starting and ending point each day so you can store all your gear in one place. If you want to take an overnight trip, ask a local guide company to take you to the furthest point and then walk or bike back to camp. This ensures that you are never too far from assistance in an emergency.
For ease of planning, consider using two campsites within a reasonable distance of each other. You can walk, row, bike or between camps and use them to safely store your specific sports equipment (eg, bikes) when you don't need them. Many campgrounds are available for advance reservation on Recreation.gov, which also displays maps of the campgrounds that are within walking or biking distance of each other.
Get it wrong on the cautionary side - choose easier routes and distances than you normally would, and have some backup plans in place in case you get too slow or exhausted. Pack time, flat tires, blisters, or taking the wrong turn can cost you precious time and you don't want to wind up unexpectedly stuck in the dark.
If you are traveling unaccompanied, make sure you have a way to stay in touch with the outside world. Consider buying or renting a Garmin InReach, which allows you to communicate through a satellite system, or a Satellite Access Point somewhere, which allows you to use your own device like a satellite phone. You'll also want a solar charger or backup power supply to ensure your devices are always charged.
Before you go, know who to ask for help. It can be anyone, from a taxi pickup and rescue service to a local bike transport service, who can return your equipment to a rental company. Keep these numbers on your phone and write them down somewhere in case your devices turn off.
Finally, remember to keep up with your journey - don't push yourself so hard on the first day that your muscles are too sore to walk on the third day. A good technique is to follow the whole group based on the slowest person. This will keep your group together and ensure that no one is pushed beyond their comfort limits.
Research and planning are the keys to a successful multi-sports weekend. And if the planning seems too daunting, go with an outdoor activity guide or company; Having a buddy is a great way to learn the basics of a multi-sport trip. While it may seem intimidating, the goal of a multisport weekend is to have fun and experience nature. And as long as you do, it doesn't matter if you cross five miles, 50 miles, or never leave your hometown. It will be an epic adventure, whatever happens.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about how to plan a Great Cycling Route
Source: Global Cycling Network
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