As riders, we take on different adventures all the time. There are the short, everyday type of adventures that many of us try to work into our schedules, just so we can break up our routines a little bit. After all, even the most quotidian task is made infinitely better when it’s done on two wheels, right?
Then, of course, there are the bigger adventures. Here at RideApart, we’re firm believers that adventures taken on the bike that you have are better than the ones you put off until you have the perfect bike. Obviously, your experiences will vary, and you should plan according to your slice of reality—but not having an adventure bike is no reason to skip out on adventuring.
That said, of course, any adventure you take is still going to cost you at least some money—and that usually requires planning. That’s why videos like this one from Dork in the Road are helpful. In it, he breaks down what it cost him to do the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route trip that he took in July, 2022—when fuel prices were at the highest they’ve been in some time in the U.S.
Now, he did this trip on a Husqvarna Norden 901, which is outfitted with a whole bunch of Giant Loop luggage. He didn’t purchase either of those things specifically for this trip—and notes that, generally speaking, most people plan to go on more than one trip with whatever bike and/or luggage they may already have.
As a result, those costs are not factored into his overall trip cost breakdown. Similarly, he didn’t include the cost of regular bike maintenance—like oil changes or tire wear, because those are simply the kinds of things that go along with owning (and riding) any bike.
For the six-day-and-night trip, DITR said that the overall costs mainly fit into three categories. The first, of course, was fuel. To do approximately 1,200 miles, he spent just under $200 on fuel alone for the Norden 901—which is certainly a lot less than you’d spend in most gasoline-powered cars, or on a plane ticket.
The next expense was food. This one can vary widely based on how (and what) you like to eat, as well as whether you buy food for anyone who’s on the trip with you or not. In total, he said that he spent about $230 on food—but that included a couple of meals where he bought food for everyone else on the trip. He estimated that if he hadn’t done that, he probably could have saved at least $60 on food costs—and this estimate also included the occasional nighttime beer after they’d made camp for the evening.
That brings us to the final category, which was all camping-related. Since DITR’s group decided to camp rather than seek out hotels, that kept their accommodation costs extremely low. Obviously, you’ll need to have camping equipment on hand if you’re going to go this route—but presumably, like bike gear, it’s something you’ll use over multiple trips, rather than just on a single excursion.
Camping expenses were relatively low, clocking in at under $100 when you consider both individual camping facility fees and the cost of the Washington Discovery Pass, which is a yearly thing that allows free campground usage at participating campgrounds.
In total, DITR spent about $518 on the whole trip—which, as he says, is not nothing. However, it’s also pretty inexpensive for a six-day vacation with his buddies. What other six-day vacation with your buddies do you know of that would cost you just over $500, and actually involve leaving home? We’re going to guess that list is pretty short.
Clearly, actual circumstances and costs will vary. For example, you’ll probably want to make sure that you have some kind of emergency fund in case something goes wrong—either with your bike, or if you or a buddy on the trip has a medical emergency. Things don’t always go exactly as planned, so you’ll want to have contingencies worked out just in case.
However, that’s also just the general case with life, even if you’re just staying home all the time. If you’ve been waiting to get out and explore, these are definitely things that are worth your time to consider.