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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike Ride Packing List

    Just a thought but...

    Has anybody thought about making a thread and having it be a sticky of the
    most common things to pack on a ride?
    I've only been looking on mtbr for a couple of weeks now and I have noticed that
    many ppl in the newb section ask what to carry on rides? While the information
    is extremely helpful (it helped me make out my pack for sure) I'm sure some
    of the people are getting tired of always posting the same information over
    and over again. Like I said just a thought

  2. #2
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    Good idea.

  3. #3
    neutiquam erro
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    That is a great idea.

    Here's my $0.02.

    Things to absolutely buy before riding:
    -- Good, quality helmet (non-negotiable)
    -- Some way to carry water (bottle or camelbak).

    Things that are definitely recommended before riding:
    -- Bike shorts
    -- A CamelBak-type product to carry both water and gear
    -- Spare tubes
    -- Tire levers (2)
    -- A quality mini-pump (don't skimp with a cheap one, trust me)
    -- Tube patch kit
    -- Good, quality minitool (Topeak Alien II, Crank Bros, or Park Tool offer nice ones)
    -- Gloves

    Other things that I've learned the hard way to keep in my hydro pack:
    -- Energy gel or some other form of anti-bonk
    -- Handi wipes and/or a little bottle of purell - makes cleaning hands easy for repairs or first aid
    -- Those small alcohol pads that you get with other stuff - good to clean tubes for patches and are nice for first aid
    -- Some form of basic ID w/ pertinent medical info
    -- Cell phone (reception capabilities permitting)
    -- Spare chain links, PowerLinks (2), & a good chain-breaker tool (if not on minitool)
    -- A spare rear derailleur hanger
    -- A comprehensive first aid kit (such as a hiker kit from REI, etc)
    -- Zip-ties in assorted sizes
    -- A coupla feet of duct tape (just fold it around itself for a nice compact package)
    -- Bug juice
    -- Shock pump (optional)
    -- Small but powerful flashlight (you never know!)
    -- Pliers - I keep a small, cheapie Leatherman knockoff in my pack. It works for the few occassions I need it.
    -- Spoke wrench (if not on minitool)
    -- Some cash
    -- Some form of a sharp blade.

    I'm sure others will have great ideas; I'm undoubtedly forgetting something...

    Cheers, Chris
    Last edited by Chris130; 06-20-2007 at 10:48 PM.
    Now is the time on Sprockets when we hammer.
    '05 Blur Classic (1x9) || '06 SIR9 (SS) || '06 Brompton P6L

  4. #4
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    thats a great post chris. i really think that a sticky like this would be helpful to all newbs (myself included)

  5. #5
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    And when it comes to your multi-tool, make sure you have an allen key for EVERY allen bolt on the bike. Its always the one you dont have that you really need.

  6. #6
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    Good idea! Stuck.

  7. #7
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    A couple of safety pins, for temp repairs of torn Camelbak straps, broken zippers, etc.

  8. #8
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    is that not a lot of stuff to carry? thats like practically carrying a bike store with you
    2007 Specialized
    FSR XC COMP

  9. #9
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by macmac
    is that not a lot of stuff to carry? thats like practically carrying a bike store with you
    I have two sets of packing lists. One is the local ride ( ie, bearable hike bike out to car) and the other is the all day ride in the boonies kit. The list above is pretty extensive - you can divide bits of it between people if there is a group of you.

  10. #10
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    It's depends on the ride but this things will always be in my CB -
    1. Spare tubes
    2. Tire levers
    3. Pump (Topeak)
    4. Mini Tool (Topeak or Park-Tool)
    5. Chain Tool + Power Links (Park-Tool - Sram)
    6. Phone
    7. Water
    This my MUST take for any ride from 1 - 4 hours.

  11. #11
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    I carry the Topeak Alien II multitool, glueless patch kit, and FibreFix reusable foldable kevlar spoke in my small saddle bag; a mini-pump next to the watter bottle cage; and have some duck tape wrapped around the seatpost (just in case steel frame breaks I can fix it with tape ). (Actually, I really do have some versatile duck tape around the seatpost.)

    Luckily, since I use tire liners, I haven't had any flats.

    This may be useful to some people: From my experience, I've noticed that mountain bike tires (26 inches) are easier to remove on one side than the other. One side usually takes at least 2 tire levers to remove, while the other side can be removed with just my hands (by pressing the tire down and outwards) or just one lever. Again this is from my experience with the tires I've owned, so you may want to verify this on your own with your tires.

  12. #12
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    Great list...except I have a misunderstanding on the chain stuff. I have a SRAM PC 971 chain w/ Powerlink. Do I need to carry spare chain links AND powerlinks? Do I still need a chain tool even though I have powerlink?

  13. #13
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I use SRAM chains too and carry a spare powerlink & chain tool. I've used both on rides numerous times.

  14. #14
    College Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewie_52
    Great list...except I have a misunderstanding on the chain stuff. I have a SRAM PC 971 chain w/ Powerlink. Do I need to carry spare chain links AND powerlinks? Do I still need a chain tool even though I have powerlink?

    yes because normally you chain will break some where other than the power link so you have to removed the damage link and then replace it with a power link. Only way to remove a damage link is with a chain break.

    You can skip the the extra chain links for a ride and just ride with you chain shorten by a link. Generally it not going to be a big deal just you have to make sure you do not use big big gear combos (and if you where you are screwing up any how) I road out with a chain missing a link before and it really did not effect me at all since the gears I couldnt use I never should in my right mind any how.

    spare power link just makes putting your chain back on easier.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    I use SRAM chains too and carry a spare powerlink & chain tool. I've used both on rides numerous times.
    So, I would need would be spare powerlinks?...and not regular spare links?

  16. #16
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    I carry a short piece of chain too, but I've never had to use it. Usually when I've had to use the spare powerlink & chain break is when I've snapped a chain or twisted it.

    You use the chain break to remove the damaged section and then the powerlink to put it back together to get out. If you have to do this it is time to replace your chain for the next ride.

  17. #17
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    I ride with Craig H

    that way no matter what breaks, Craig has at least 1/2 bike in spare parts from which to beg a replacement.

    j/k, but I couldn't resist. Even when I do have the tools (like last Friday) Craig whips his repair tools out faster than the proverbial speeding bullet.

    Jim

  18. #18
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    Concerning the spare chain links, I just throw in whatever I cut off from the original chain when I first put it on - usually about 4 or 5 links. If absolutely necessary, then I could replace a damaged section of chain with that & 2 PowerLinks and hopefully not "lose" any chain length. Of couse, as was mentioned earlier, another option is to simply cut out the trashed section of chain and use one PowerLink to reconnect the remaining chain - it will be shorter (so you would need to be very careful using your gears), but it should be good enough to get you home without walking!

    Cheers, Chris
    Now is the time on Sprockets when we hammer.
    '05 Blur Classic (1x9) || '06 SIR9 (SS) || '06 Brompton P6L

  19. #19
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    Hmmm sounds like I need to get a neub pack going. I have one of the old Camel backs before they had pockets. Well my other one is a 3 day Patrol Pack, Camel Back Mother load. Slightly to large for biking. hehehe

  20. #20
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    I carry a short piece of chain too, but I've never had to use it. Usually when I've had to use the spare powerlink & chain break is when I've snapped a chain or twisted it.

    You use the chain break to remove the damaged section and then the powerlink to put it back together to get out. If you have to do this it is time to replace your chain for the next ride.
    So, master bike fixer, what would you do with this real life on the trail situation? We decided there was no real on-trail fix, but the guys were ready to dismantle the brakes on someone's second bike when we got back to the campground. I voted to go home.


  21. #21
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    that way no matter what breaks, Craig has at least 1/2 bike in spare parts from which to beg a replacement.

    j/k, but I couldn't resist. Even when I do have the tools (like last Friday) Craig whips his repair tools out faster than the proverbial speeding bullet.

    Jim
    riding with people more skilled at bike mechanics that you are is a good thing.

  22. #22
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    At the Jasper gathering way back when I cracked the linkage plates on my old Sunn in the middle of a 20 mile loop.



    I was able to ride out from trail to the highway (~5 miles) and ride back to the trail head (~5 miles) by jaming a correctly sized stick between the seat statys and seat tube held in place by a couple of straps. I had to jam the front derailleur with a small wedge rock to keep it in gear as I had to remove the front derailleur cable.



    For a broken brake lever I think I would have removed the broken lever blade and looked around to see if I could find a stick that could be wittled (sp?) away to substitute to at least get some front braking.

    On the bike I've used for off road touring I installed Avid mechanical brakes specifically because if I brake a lever or damage a cable finding parts for a mechanical lever or v-brake at a small town bike shop should be a lot easier than finding specific parts for hydraulic disk brakes. (My 2 other main bikes have hydraulic brakes though.)

  23. #23
    wears helmet on bus
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    By the way all that stuff you've all listed though a really good idea to have, may be alot to carry on the trail. I don't even take that much stuff on patrols in combat. My idea is to distribute the stuff among your buds if your group stays close. Oh and two way radios come in handy if one of the guys way in front of you has the new tube and you have a flat

  24. #24
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    Other than the "things I've learned the hard way..." stuff, I carry all the other gear, plus four other items (all in my CamelBak): a small first-aid kit (day-hike level, with added poison ivy soap), a snake-bite kit (might work, might not, but I feel better having it on board, and it's tiny), a cell phone, and a GPS unit. I don't normally use the GPS on a trail, but if I got really, really lost, it'd be nice, or if (God forbid) I needed to call in emergency help or came across someone else who needed it, I could give a lat-long coordinate of my position.

    The whole package is pretty light, really. The GPS unit (Garmin eTrex) is the heaviest part -- maybe 300 grams?

  25. #25
    wears helmet on bus
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    I've got an etrex aswell, its a great little asset to have. Mine has literally saved my @ss.
    It got me out of some bad neighborhoods. I recommend saving a waypoint at the start of the trail and letting it track for the whole ride. That will enable you to find the fast or shortest way out or go back exactly the way you came. And as a bonus if you find a section of trail you like you can set a waypoint and get back to it easily.

  26. #26
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    Key essential: Toilet paper. When the roll in your bathroom has a day or two left on it, steal it. toss it in a plastic sandwich bag, press flat. Yup, its an essential. If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.


    Other things on my list not previously mentioned.
    --15mm wrench for SS axles (mine is cut down box wrench purchased from local pawn shop for $1.00) Ghetto Jetro Tule.
    --Map of trail area. (In case you really have mechanical breakdowns, and you need to find the best way to walk back home / to your car.)

  27. #27
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    Like others I have a local loadout and a deep wilderness load.

    Local is:
    Helmet
    Small Camel Bak
    Cell Phone
    Cash
    Drivers Lincense
    Blue Cross Medical Insurance card!

    Wilderness load is:
    Large Camel Bak-pack
    Helmet
    Gloves
    1 spare tube
    1 patch kit
    2 CO2 bottles
    2 tire spoons
    Multi Bike tool
    Small Swiss Army knife (smallest basic one with blade, tweezers, and scissors)
    Small First Aid kit with advil, tylenol, disinfectant wipes, guaze, band aids etc..
    Granola bars, 1 per estimated day of possible "being lost" not for trail consumption
    1 extra full bladder for camel-bak if this is going to be an all day thing.
    1 keychain size LED flashlight
    Light jacket if WX is expected
    1 small tube of Loc-Tite-- most *****en way to quick fix loose hardware--- Consider crazy glue in the first aid kit to use in leiu of stiches, loc-tite is hardware only.
    Cell phone
    Drivers License
    Medical Insurance card
    Cash


    Now for the arguement of "Oh my gosh thats so much weight"--- My bike is over 35lbs, a back pack isn't going to make a difference, and if you do it enough you don't even feel it.

  28. #28
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    One more VERY important thing... PLAN AHEAD PEOPLE!

    In my cell phone I have the phone numbers stored for the local forrest ranger district. Handy in case you find a down rider, large wildlife, or other very important trail matter like a hillbilly shooting a gun at Bikers!

  29. #29
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    quick.. somebody help.... what's the number for 911? (I couldn't resist.)

    Okay you're right. Having the ranger's phone number is a really good idea.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipzit
    Key essential: Toilet paper. When the roll in your bathroom has a day or two left on it, steal it. toss it in a plastic sandwich bag, press flat. Yup, its an essential. If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.
    How about NOT burning it and packing it out? Zip locks are good for that. Many areas are under fire restrictions and one stray spark...... Leave No Trace principles, which apply to bikers too, are a great guideline.

  31. #31
    Zach Kowalchuk
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    on my first trail ride i carried water, a sweater, a spare tube, a pump and a utility knife

  32. #32
    Big John
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    How about one of those small size dirty magazines in case you wreck and are stranded with nothing to do for hours?

  33. #33
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    You never know who is watching...

  34. #34
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    Water Pack :
    contents

    pumps - tire and shock
    multi tool w/ chain tool + Power link
    Duct tape - doubles as field expedient bandage.
    old Toe strap
    12 ft. para cord - splinting, survival accessory.
    Toilet Paper / paper towels - Mountain money
    a shell jacket
    Lighter - for the nugz yo.
    folding lock blade - pig sticker for defence.
    Cell Phone, ID + I.C.E info in case you are found unconcious.

    Always have a gear bag in the car:
    with a fresh change of clothes for after ride.
    Antibacterial wet wipes are great to have = perfect for GI showers and first aid wound cleaning.
    a "road rash" First aid kit - nice to have after a blood letting ride, which for begginers, Scrapes and abrasion and bruising seems common.
    Arnica salve - reduces bruising
    Earn your turns. )'(

  35. #35
    Big John
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark71
    You never know who is watching...
    Hey, exhibitionism isn't all that bad. Besides, for every exhibitionist out there, there is at least one voyeur...

  36. #36
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    Brake Lever

    I was looking at the broken brake lever (apparently from spanking a tree) and it brought back memories of when I did exactly the same thing. A buddy told me to not tighten down the brake lever clamps onto the bar so much. GREAT IDEA

    I'm not talking about having them loose enough that they flop all over the place, but instead leave them loose enough so that when a tree gets in you way they simply rotate around your bars instead of snapping off. I have never had a lever move under normal use, but they do move when you hit things. This has saved me a few times after arguing with large immovables objects.

  37. #37
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    Great Sticky Post
    Trek 4300 to destroy as fast as I can.

  38. #38
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    This is what I carry with me:



    Camelbak (4 Litres capacity including bottle)
    Helmet
    Shoes
    Wallet
    Phone
    Keys
    Multi Tool
    Leatherman Tool
    Chain Tool
    9 Spd Chain
    Tube
    Patch Kit
    Derailleur Hanger
    Spoke Wrench
    Tire Levers (big ones)
    Shock Pump
    Tire Pump
    Folding Knife (worn on waist)
    Simple First Aid Kit / Whistle/Compass/Thermometer Combo
    Gloves

    I have a frame pack I put my food & camera in. I usually also have a microfiber cloth which is handy for wiping glasses, sweat or whatever.

  39. #39
    He who rides red eyed....
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    Oh snap Mtn Biker Dan I thought I a was all alone in this forum as far as nugz go.....you made me laugh.....oh yeah and good idea too.....
    "I will rock your face off"

    2006 Mongoose Wing Comp Pro Series

  40. #40
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    I think these've probably been mentioned, but just in case here's a few ideas that I think aren't as common:

    zip ties
    first aid kit
    duct tape
    lighter (in case I'm stuck out overnight -- never used it so far!)

  41. #41
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    I see alot of people recommending cell phones (which I agree with), but due to the fact they are so freaking delicate, any recommendations on a padded case? And thanks for this sticky, really helpful good info!

  42. #42
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    My hubby has a great list with a good explanations of why you need each item. We each have an under-seat bag that holds it all (including a cellphone) and keeps it all pretty well protected and it's packed tight enough not to rattle around. Another option would be to put it in your hydration bag (if you wear one with a big enough pocket).

    http://one9.us/blog/archives/11

  43. #43
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    Thanks. I just realized that I have bubble wrap here at work and can wrap my cell in that, and it will fit nicely in my under-seat bag. I'm looking at that Alien II as well..

  44. #44
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I just put mine in a zip lock bag, and then carry it in one of the top pocket of the pack. (My flip style cell already has a leather case belt clip thing to protect it.)
    I haven't killed a cell yet and I've been riding with them for about 7 years now.

    Great user name BTW!

  45. #45
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    Thanks for all the info from everyone. I am a newb, but a very excited newb. I was just wondering this the other day. All I purchased the first day was a bike and a helmet. but those were pretty good buys.
    A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
    Ernest Hemingway

  46. #46
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    These are all good lists, but I would like to add, When selecting the Items for your kit, try to get them in fluorescent colors. This makes them easy to find/see when it gets dark, or when dropped into leaves and bushes, or when your packing things up after the mishap. Due to odd days off I ride solo alot, on rugged, remote trails. space blanket, knife With 5"+ blade oh yea and a rescue whistle.(you can hear a whistle farther than a voice!)

    REMEMBER: The person you should rely on most for your rescue is YOU!

    (edit add-on) Self-reliance is a key element in any outdoor endevor, and as someone stated," a well maintained bike can lessen or eliminate the need for you to carry alot of stuff." For the most part this is true, but accidents do happen, and you may not be the person who benefits from your bag of tricks. I've always enjoyed the fact that we (mountain bikers) look out for each other.
    next time you see someone off the side of the trail, and you say, "You got everything you need?" you'll get something back, something money can't buy, "trail-cred".
    Last edited by Shelbak73; 12-15-2007 at 07:18 AM.

  47. #47
    brainwashed jingoist
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipzit
    If you are in a place where TP paper litter is a problem, bring matches to burn the paper when you are through.
    I wouldn't toast my marsh mellows over that camp fire!!!!!!!!!!!!


    TP literally saved my ass once!!!! I just roll it around itself and put it in a small ziploc bag sans the cardboard roll. Added weight is not a worry. I burry my donations once done.
    Love is the answer - but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH

    For a broken brake lever I think I would have removed the broken lever blade and looked around to see if I could find a stick that could be wittled (sp?) away to substitute to at least get some front braking.

    On the bike I've used for off road touring I installed Avid mechanical brakes specifically because if I brake a lever or damage a cable finding parts for a mechanical lever or v-brake at a small town bike shop should be a lot easier than finding specific parts for hydraulic disk brakes. (My 2 other main bikes have hydraulic brakes though.)

    Yes! I carry one brake cable and one shifter cable when I go on the trails. Everyone makes fun of my for doing so because it is rare to brake one but I am waiting for the day when one of them do! I work at a bike shop and have had 3 people last summer say they ripped a line with their hydros.

    As for the extra hanger and chain breaker, that is a very good idea! My friend broke ripped her rear der. clean off. We did not have an extra hanger but I did have a chain breaker! Just shortened the chain and made it a single speed!

  49. #49
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    Tons of gear

    Man, I use to take all kinds of stuff on the trail with me back when I was 24 years old and had just started riding... I was a rolling bike shop and first aid kit. I did this for about 2 years.

    Here I am 42 years old and you know what I found out... a good dialed in bike, good technic, and good riding skills will eliminated the need for me to carry most everything except the following.

    When I ride local trails (15 to 20 miles a loop) I carry water and the keys to my jeep and a whistle... that's it. Rarely do I ever have bike failure and in the last 10 years I've only had to push the bike out once.

    On Longer Mountain Epics, I carry a spare tube, a pump, compass, whistle, bee sting kit, food bars and gel, plenty of water and chain tool, zip ties, a spoke wrench and a park tool multi allen wrench tool. Rarely do I ever find I need to use any of them either.

    You could prepare for the worst... but I would recommend inspecting your bike before and after every ride... then adjust it, dial it in as need so that when you're back on the trail it's hooked up and no issues exist. Continue to carry your list of goods and see what you don't use anymore and leave them in the vehicle at the trail head....

    Keep weeding out the gear your taking until your carrying only what you really need. I think you'll find you don't need most of that stuff on the trail except on rare occasions, but not carrying is going to make the ride more pleasurable, because you won't be carrying a load pack each ride.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
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  50. #50
    A little south of sanity
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    good thread! I use a cammel back, and cary my crank bros multi tool ( bought that because it has all of the hex key wrenches I'd need for just about anything on my bike, plus chain breaker, tire spoons and such). I also carry my Cell phone, one or 2 Energy bars, and spare tube. I never used to cary a spare tube, untill i got a flat on a trail in Tahoe and had to walk the bike for 2 miles back to my friends truck to change it. there is not really one kit for everyone, but theese are some great ideas on which we should all base our packs off of.

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