Is there really a need to do anything special to get yourself physically ready to bikepack?
Now, if you think you're going to jump right in and try to do some grand event like the AZT, CTR, CDT/GDMBR, etc...Yeah, you need to think of getting yourself ready for high daily mileage, high elevations and severely adverse riding/existance conditions!
But, if you just want to go out and enjoy...Think about the trails and rides you normally can do, mileage-wise, and come up with a bikepacking route that keeps you at or under those miles per day. The extra gear and weight will affect you and you'll ride slower, but you have all day to get where you need to go!
You may feel like a nut, but, if you want to get a feel for what bikepacking will be like, do this:
- make a list of everything you would need to do an overnight bikepacking/backpacking trip.
- figure out how you will get all of that on you or the bike.
- go out and do one of your local trail rides with all your provisions on you and your bike. Maybe even do one of your longest rides, perhaps something with a convenient bailout option?
- modify/refine your pack list, packing methods and daily distance estimates based on what you experience on the test ride.
- repeat until you're confident you're ready for the real thing.
Don't worry about how fast, how long, how far others can go.
Find and understand your current limits and create adventures within your range. If you want more, try to increase your training distances or improve your training methods and see if you can ride more miles. And, try to create bikepacking routes that have bail options, just in case you come up with something that is more than you can do!
It's just like finding your distance in running and figuring if you are capable of doing 5k, 10k, 10mile, marathon or ultra rides/races. Simply make of it what you can!