Self-contained touring gives the rider the ultimate freedom experience. Riders carry everything from camping gear to food supplies. This style of touring allows you/your group to be completely independent. If you are putting together your own tour, chances are this will be the type you will choose. It is the easiest in terms of planning and does not require any third party resources.

The world is your canvas with self-contained touring. You may choose to create your own route, use hard-copy maps, google maps, or an American Cycling Association map . I highly recommend using one of ACA’s maps if you can find a route that matches your interests. Each map includes detailed topography, camping options, food and water options. Its important to note that these maps are only for the United States and will not suite your needs for anything international.

Self-contained touring allows you to follow your own schedule. During my first tour, I didn’t know rest days existed. I just thought you get on the bike and ride everyday until you make your destination. If you need a rest day take it. If you’re ready to push further than where you planned to stop, do it. If you would like to travel through a touring company with a group leader to guide and support riders check out the Self-Supported or Fully Supported tours.