I'm going to do winter Unipacking, because why have seasonal depression indoors?

I’ve been slowly getting into bikepacking this summer and did a few close to home overnighter, but I’m going to be trying for a 3 day 100km-60km-60km trip on my 29".

Rail trail, backroads, fancy cafés, and discovering some new trails close to home in a part of the countryside I rarely visit.

With rain, highs of 10° c, and dropping below freezing at night it will be my first 'harder" trip as I Cherry pick my weekends to be fun. Though I don’t mind a hard ride, I still do this to relax.

My goal this year was to do a century on my uni. I’ve hit a cap at 75 KM and each time I’ve tried to cap it I have UPD’d with gravel digging into my skin or an overuse injury.

So with a new handlebar, practice rides with it going well for upping my speed, a lightweight set of gear and a pack probably under 20-25 LBS I’m excited to push my already year round riding to this new type of adventure I’m my life.

Riding in winter once you are comfortable with it is magical. December to March gets Dark in Canada but the days can be beautiful. The snow comes whether my mental health is good or not so I’m trying a new approach to get through it.

For those worried about safety, it’s top of mind for me. I was in boy scouts for most of my childhood and know winter camping well.

My Unicycle has gotten me through a lot these past 2.5 years of plague time and I’m excited for the place it will continue to take me.

I’ll be sure to post an update once the trip is over. I’m very excited for this new challenge.



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You sure have some beautiful weather and scenery in which to uni pack. I may do a trip this winter, but it won’t look like your photos. My normal backpacking setup starts with a framed Kelly Tioga 5500, so I’m not used to packing light. I can fit too much in that thing, especially since I use a hammock to sleep. I don’t know how to pack as light as 25 pounds, or which backpack I would use for a multi-day unipackimg trip. My initial trip will start with a 2-day, 1-night trip with possibly no cooking.

I wish you all the best during your upcoming trip, and look forward to reading about your adventure, and your learning(s)!

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I know camping is part of the fun for alot of you that unipack. That’s all good and fine and part of the adventure I’m sure and sleeping outdoors in freezing temperatures let alone riding is truly adventurous. Maybe I’m a little soft but camping is just not my cup of tea especially in the winter, when I bike pack I like try and plan my trips to optimize the likely hood of mild weather and I like to stay in b and b’ s. This lightens my load tremendously making my ride more like fun than work . My ride is less physically strenuous and I don’t have to pack and unpack very much every day, I get cleaned up at the end of my ride, I have a nice meal with some cold beer at a local restaurant, work on my bike if I need to and get a good night’s sleep. I Start my next days ride fresh and have very little packing up.
Good luck on your adventures

I’ve heard that referred to as “credit card touring”. I like the sound of it too :wink:.

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Nothin like it.

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Yeah Visa is lightest lol. For me I try and do a lot of small overnight trips where I’m going for maybe 2-3 days. There’s plenty of spot to wild camp or stay with WarmShowers hosts to have a place to stay.

I’m trying to aim for a longer 3-4 day trip next year with staying in a hotel half way through. These trips for me are always meant to be fun.

Regarding the weather, it can get cold in the winter but if it isn’t too windy, you have the gear for it, and the weather is fairly mild, it’s actually quite a pleasant time.

I love riding at -15 C because I can be warm without sweating too much. It’s like ride at around 14-17° C for me. You do have to get used to it but just like other seasons there’s lovely and crappy weather.

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I know credit card touring is not what alot of unipackers would like to do. When I plan a bike trip I have all of my accomodations pre planned. This is nice I work hard to get to my destination, I know what I can do physically in a day so I set my milage accordingly. I know where I want to eat in the evening and usually I have a breakfast provided for me in the morning. Life is good for me it’s about riding, camping is a whole different discipline that I really am not interested in. This has been a lost year for me as far as cycling is concerned due to extended fall out from covid. I am planning a trip on the Errie canal tow path next year on my bike and a 3 day trip on the Great Allegheny passage trail on my 29er uni. All “credit card” b and b stays.

Do you find that you can ride no matter how much snow there is? Or do ride on trails where it gets packed down? I’m looking to start snow unicycling for the first time this year for the same reason. I’d rather find a way to get outside instead of feel stuck inside. But I’m not quite sure what to expect out of it.

I don’t know how to make it quote so:

Q1: Do you find that you can ride no matter how much snow there is?

A: No, there’s a point when the snow wins. I ride mainly urban and trails that are well travelled in the winter. Also my uni is my main transportation so I ride most days. You learn your limits but it’s like muni, practice and you can learn to ride it.

Last winter I had a Mad4one 27.5" fat techno with 150mm cranks and it was amazing in everything. I rebuilt it with the 29" Oregon rim and a 3 inch tire and I’m pretty sure it will be able to handle really similar conditions. A fat tire with a high psi rolls fast too so I have the 100/125/150 VCX cranks on it for most days, and a 24" with 90mm cranks for just going around the neighborhood. My city is good about plowing though so there’s still a bunch of pavement to ride.

Bonus of deep snow is that it’s softer to land in when you fail than rocks.

Q2: Or do ride on trails where it gets packed down?

A: see above, I got excited and answered.

Q3: I’m looking to start snow unicycling for the first time this year for the same reason.

I’d rather find a way to get outside instead of feel stuck inside. But I’m not quite sure what to expect out of it

A: giver bud, the more you fall and practice the less you fall. And why be stuck inside when you can be enjoying winter! Also buy an insulated thermal mug, make tea or something for your breaks on the ride. Hot drinks make it even more worthwhile.

What are your winter conditions like?

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Nice

Thanks for the response! I live in southern Michigan so we can get fairly brutal winters but the last few have been pretty mild. When there’s enough snow I do some xc skiing too so my hope is that uni can fill the gap and give me something to do when the snow isnt good enough for that. Thanks for the drink suggestion, that sounds like a good idea!

Your trip sounds awesome by the way and I wish you good luck for it :relaxed:

A few (10!?!?) years ago I realized that XC skiing really is a better way to travel when compared to a fat tire unicycle in my local conditions during the winter. Trails are already set this year!

It might not be the most practical but snow MUni can be a great personal challenge!

Oh yeah, but since when is a Unicycle the most practical option?

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I get the winter unipacking or in my case unipulking.

I don’t have any developed roadways that go anywhere except for the main highway so my winter riding is all done at our local bike park when conditions allow.
We’ll have about 30kms of trails for the fatbikes this winter.

I use a Skipulk harness and pull a modified sled behind me.
My cold weather tolerance is decreasing so my cutoff is -15C. (even though I’m in a heated tipi)

Agreed, I CAN ride at -40, I do not LIKE riding at -40.

why say “seasonal depression”? I realy feel great during fall and winter (for me something looking like “seasonal depression” is during springtime … I just can’t withstand spring’s sun :frowning_face: )

Apparently, it includes anything that can bring you down as long as it is exactly the same time of the year:

So even if it is frequently applied to winter when people feel down due to the lack of sunlight, your springtime blues is also S.A.D. :wink:

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Watch this unipacking video
Not a winter unipacking trip but a unique trip none the less on what appears to be a udc trainer or an old sun unicycle.

Yeah S.A.D is fun. Therapy helps but so does Unicycling, everyone has their own cure and nature is mine with one wheel under me.

So the weather for this weekend has become cold and rainy, luckily I’m staying with Warm showers hosts and will have a cozy sleep set up. Also I get to stop for tea and donuts half way through the day.

But honestly even in the pouring rain (Think a wet, cold, English winter day) with proper layers you can be toasty and mostly dry.

I’ll post some pictures Sunday or Monday night after the trip.

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