June 5th, 2015

The Perfect Packing List for a Mountain Biking Trip

The Perfect Packing List for a Mountain Biking Trip

HAVE A SMOOTH RIDE WITH THIS LIST OF ESSENTIALS.

Packing for a mountain bike trip is pretty straightforward, right? All you need is your bike and a helmet.

Wrong.

While those two items might be the most important things to pack for a two-wheeled adventure, you're going to need a lot more than that when traversing trails. Since the odds of finding a shop to pick up Band-Aids—or a fountain to refill your water bottle—are slim to none if you’re going off the beaten path, you’ll want to be prepared for every type of scenario you might encounter.

The trouble is, there’s no “checking luggage” on such an outing. In fact, everything you bring has to fit into one bag that’ll likely be on or with you at all times. So while it's important to be prepared, remember that it's just you and your bike out there. The last thing you want to do is to over pack and burden yourself with a ridiculously heavy load.

With our help, this list of essentials will ensure your next ride is a smooth one.

For Your Bike

The road ahead is unpredictable, and your bike will pretty much be your best friend for the journey so treat it well. Take it to a bike shop before the trip to make sure it's in good shape, but come prepared for unexpected issues en route. Rocky roads and harsh weather can do a lot of damage to your bike, so pack a first aid kit for your bike. This way, if any screws come loose or chains break mid-trip, you don’t have to ride dangerously until you find a repair stop. Fill it with the following:

Spare tubes

Tire levers

Patch kit

Compact bike pump

Multi tool

Extra links

Chain breaker

Chain lube

Derailleur hanger

For Your Body 
You will most likely encounter changing climates on your adventure, so include appropriate all-weather gear such as eye protection, hats, and, of course, padded shorts and pants. After all, every biker knows a bruised bum is a total buzz-kill. In addition, your feet will do most of the work, so stock up on extra socks for your sore soles. Here’s what to buy:

Lightweight hat

Lightweight waterproof, breathable jacket

Eye protection

Wicking shirts

Padded shorts/pants

Several pairs of socks

Multiple pairs of cycling shoes

Toiletries

For Your Health & Safety
Your body is basically your tank of gas for the journey ahead, so fuel up by taking care and exercising before you go. Of course, you can’t stop there. Once you get on the bike and begin pedaling you’ll need to keep your engine running in order to remain in peak physical condition. After all, the bike isn't going to ride itself! Drink plenty of water and apply extra sunscreen and gels to help ensure that you’re prepared to physically endure the journey. Here’s a list of other items to bring:

Hydration pack

Water purifier

First aid kit

Lip balm

Sunscreen

Headlight

Energy gels

Travel insurance

Finally, don’t forget to bring some entertainment and means of relaxation for when you take a rest. Throw in a book, and/or load up your smartphone with some good podcasts and you'll be set!

What items are essential to your successful bike trips? Tell us in the comment section below.

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by Maggie Parker