Level: 4



Day 1: 25-30 miles
Day 2: 15-20 miles

Ride Type




Day 1: 1,400ft
Day 2: 1,100ft

Intro to Bikepacking


(3 customer reviews)

Our bikepacking trips are available as private experiences.

Drop us an email today, If you would like to organise one for you and your biking buddies!

Discover the freedom of bikepacking on the South Downs with our tailored and private bike packing trips.

Full kit hire is also available for groups up to SIX.

An example itinerary is below.

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The perfect bikepacking course

Join our very own local legend, coach and guide, Jim Barrow, who has slept in his bivvy bag all over the UK and North America, on this two-day introduction to the awesome fusion of mountain bikes and wild camping. Over the two days of this intro to bikepacking course, Jim will pass on his best advice and share his inspirational stories to ensure you are immersed and hooked into the adventurous and addictive world of bikepacking. All this, within an hour of London!

  • Custom 1-2-1 price: £305* pp |  £380* pp (kit hire option)
  • Custom group price: £215* pp | £290* pp (kit hire option)
    • Group size: 6 (max.)

*includes VAT

What’s included

  • 2 guided rides on the South Downs
  • 1 night wild camping
  • Fully qualified MTB coach and guide
  • All of Jim’s extensive knowledge of bikepacking
  • Fun and interactive prep session

Day 1 – Itinerary

Jim will meet and welcome you at the Wiston Winery car park in West Sussex. Over a coffee from Wiston’s Airstream cafe, Jim will talk you through the specifics of bikepacking such as the kit, the culture and the etiquette. After this interactive and fun chat you will load up the bikes and head out onto the South Downs which is likely to include a cake or lunch stop.

The ride will be approximately 15-20 miles of classic downland bridleways and woodland trails. Jim’s local knowledge is second-to-none and he’ll use all this experience to provide you with a superb and sociable afternoon ride. In true bikepacking tradition, you will drop-off the route to find supplies for dinner and breakfast. Make sure not forget your hip flask for a cheeky wee-dram for story time at nightfall.

Day 2 – Itinerary

After a cosy and wonderful first night under the stars, it will be time to look forward to a brew and the excitement of breakfast. After a leisurely start, you will break camp, re-pack your gear, leave no trace and set-off for your second ride. Depending on the weather this may include an introduction to riding singletrack with a laden bike with key tips and pointers from Jim on the local trails.

After another superb ride on the South Downs, it will be time to roll back to the start and close out the adventure with a well earned brunch or lunch back at the Airstream.

Our friends at Wiston allow us to park vehicles for free overnight in the their private car park and also provide full permission to wild camp on the land in specific areas.

  • Ride format: 2 days
  • Wild camping: 1 night
  • Location: Wiston Estate, South Downs National Park
  • Technical Grade: Advanced beginner
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Group size: 6 (max.)

What’s included

  • 2 guided rides on the South Downs
  • 1 night wild camping
  • Fully qualified MTB coach and guide
  • All of Jim’s extensive knowledge of bikepacking
  • Fun and interactive prep session

What’s not included

  • Bike hire (options available, so please ask)
  • Travel to and from the weekend
  • Accommodation before and after
  • Personal Travel and or accident insurance
  • Drinks and food
  • Wild camping food (evening meal and breakfast)
  • Mid and post ride cafe stops*
  • Bike spares
  • Sleeping bag

Bikepacking weekend Intro wild camping guided rides south downs bothy biking bivvy biking

  • You will be at least an advanced beginner mountain biker
  • You will be confident in mountain bike handling skills on blue graded trails and profficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner
  • The trails will include features such as roots, small to long rollable drop-offs and loose rocks. All of which are rollable
  • Certain trails will be steep in places which will require confident bike-handling skills
  • All the trails will have options to ride around features that you do not feel comfortable riding
  • You have your own suitable mountain bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this ride)
  • The ride does contain many undulating and moderately steep long climbs
  • You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 6-8 hours per day at a social and comfortable pace
  • You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, please contact us for other options.

Equipment, kit and clothing
(*included in the hire option)

  • Handlebar bag*
  • Saddle bag*
  • Sleeping mat*
  • Bivvy-bag*
  • Tarpaulin system*
  • Stove & gas*
  • Titanium folding knife and fork*
  • Titanium mug (600 ml. min. can be used for cooking) mug or other*
  • 3 season sleeping bag
  • Hip flask
  • Head torch
  • Usual bike spares kit
  • Mountain bike in good working order**
  • Helmet**
  • Gloves and glasses

** without these you will not be able to take part in the guided ride Our guides carry an extensive kit to assist with trail-side repairs

(IMPORTANT: your helmet must be within the warranty period from the date of manufacture to take part in any of our guided rides. See the warranties table tab. You will be asked to submit this information via our riders consent form).

Bikepacking weekend Intro wild camping guided rides south downs bothy biking bivvy biking

MTB Helmet Warranties

3 reviews for Intro to Bikepacking

  1. Julian Douglas

    This is a great experience and highly recommended. Thank you to Sean for facilitating it. Learned loads from Jim with tips on equipment and how to navigate and find camping spots. Great to hear about Jim’s adventures too and looking forward to going out for some of my own now. Really beautiful riding trails over the Downs and then setting up our bivvys and cooking up some food. A great intro into bike-packing and will surely be back for some more adventures with Marmalade. Always helpful and friendly and they know the trails so well. Couldn’t be better!

  2. Damian Brewis

    Fantastic two days under Jims guidance. Perfect start and finish at The Black Rabbit and a really informative ride with loads learned about bike packing and wild camping. Would recommend to anyone looking at dipping their toes in the water (and we had a lot of water!)

  3. Craig Bunnell

    An excellent taster into backpacking adventures, a blend of fun riding with a true sense of adventure and learning about how to make camp. You’ll have a great time with Jim.

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