You should stock up on the right gear when you're heading into the woods as any outdoor enthusiast will tell you.
Some of that means making sure they have water, food, shelter, a basic first aid kit, and enough duct tape to get out of a jam. Others prefer full-bore glamping, with a French press, string lights, and a ping pong table just in case.
For a whole new generation of adventurers, one tool they won't leave behind is their electric bike.
The thrill of riding an ebike is without a doubt one of the best ways to explore the outdoors, but for these diehards, the ride is just the beginning. Their bikes allow them to reach areas where cars cannot, carry heavy gear with ease, and ensure that they have enough energy to enjoy their time away from civilization once they reach it.
We reached out to some of the most outdoorsy people we know to find out how their ebikes allow them to go further.
Fishing trips are rarely accompanied by dinner plans. It's about finding that perfect moment on the water when nothing else matters.
Cameron Garrison, a fly fisherman, told us that using an ebike on his trips helps him achieve that mindset more easily.
"It enhances the entire experience," he said." As you ride to your fishing spot, you feel good about not burning carbon to drive a big truck there. This adds to the zen of the activity."
Relaxation is also facilitated by not having to carry your own gear.
Think of it as a portable tackle box, but better. “Typically, I can fit in an inflatable 'pack raft' for floating, fishing waders, wading boots, a rod, and my pack,” he explained.
"I guess you could call me hooked," he added. "No pun intended."
If you've been camping this summer, you know that a simple night in the woods is oftentimes anything but.
Your biggest headache? Finding a campsite.
COVID-19 makes traditional vacations less appealing, so more people are booking reservations and filling campground parking lots. More are being turned away as soon as they arrive.
For Marley Blonsky, that's not an issue. In the end, electric bikes prove to be a great workaround for anyone looking for a spontaneous camping trip.
It's so much easier to go camping without planning for weeks or months in advance. "The biggest advantage is the flexibility," she said. Almost all state and county parks in Washington have hiker-biker-exclusive sites, where you can ride in on your bike and set up. Whether you're on an ebike or a regular bike, you can camp there."
While Blonsky rides both traditional and electric bikes, she has found that electric bikes are the best when she wants to be really adventurous.
"With a regular bike, you have to work really hard to get there, and when you arrive, you'll want to sleep," she said. "With an electric bike, it's much more relaxing! And when I get there, I can go fishing or hiking because I won't be exhausted."
Skiing and Snowboarding
Summer is when Lake Tahoe-based photographer Ming Poon drives his ebike just about everywhere, whether it is down to the lake for a daily swim, up into the mountains to go climbing, or even to lug around tools to help build mountain bike trails.
When the seasons change, things get really exciting.
He and his wife, Mollie, use their bikes to go skiing and snowboarding.
They realized that, with climate change pushing snowlines higher and higher, they could park their car at the trail head, and bike up the 8 or 9 miles to where the powder is, rather than hiking or ski touring.
They said, "Skis are easy.". They can be attached to the bike's spine. Ming said, "If I'm snowboarding, I'll just strap my board to my back.
Then when we reach the top, I put the kickstand down and walk straight onto the snow. If we were to walk it, it would take all day. Ebikes allow us to extend our season, conserve energy, and extend our tours.
"It's not like we're lazy," he said. "We want to focus our energy on things we really like to do, like hiking in the backcountry, mountain biking, or swimming."
The avid bowhunter formerly relied on expensive all-terrain vehicles, but found they made too much noise - a major problem in a situation that calls for silence.
"The bikes are a bowhunter's dream," he said. "They are quiet, they are scent-free, and you can get in and out without disturbing anything. You place them behind the base of a tree and whatever you're hunting won't notice them.
Jay notes that the bags are also great for hauling gear, such as the usual hunting companions or the camera equipment he needs to film the show.
Sometimes we even strap a decoy deer to the back of the bike before we head out. When it comes to taking gear in and out, we go above and beyond. There are no problems whatsoever."