Mountain bike riding is one of the most exciting activities for bikers. But regardless of how fun the journey is, you can never cancel out the possibility of encountering emergency situations or accidents. It is hence important to keep essential items like spare tubes, first aid kits, and food, water, and raincoats in your backpack.
There are some items that are absolutely essential when it comes to mountain bike riding. Some important things to have in your backpack include spare tubes, tire pump and lever, chain lube, and, of course, your phone.
And then there are items that may not be necessarily required, but they make your journey all the more enjoyable.
Mountain Bike Riding Backpack Items
This is perhaps the most important because if you don’t take a backpack with you, you cannot take much else either. A strong and durable backpack that provides greater resistance against water would be ideal for the journey. This will ensure that any items that you have kept inside your backpack are not damaged or destroyed along the way.
Moreover, you need to size the back appropriately. Since you will have to make frequent stops, you don’t need a backpack that is either too large or too heavy. This will not only slow you down but will also prove to be an unnecessary hassle. Moreover, you don’t want your unit to be so small that it cannot hold all the essential items that you need on your trip.
Two Spare Tubes
It goes without saying that accidents can happen on the road, and the journey can be quite unpredictable. This means that any person looking to remain safe should keep at least two spare tubes with them at all times. This ensures you can go on longer journeys without fearing your safety. Moreover, having spare tubes will allow you to take bold yet necessary risks along your journey.
Additionally, having these will help you deal with any double flats that happen, and contrary to what people believe, these are quite common. High-speed descents through fields or even jumps can damage your tires significantly and render them useless. Another reason why many people carry two spare tubes instead of one is so they can help a fellow biker if the situation arises.
Many people don’t keep patch kits because they don’t consider them important. However, these come in handy when you have used even the last of your spare tubes. They also take very little space in your backpack, which makes them the perfect essential material to carry on your journey.
You can opt for a glueless or a glue patch. The former tends to provide a relatively faster action and hence ensures greater ease of usage. On the other hand, the latter tends to provide long-term benefits and hence provide greater efficiency.
The above two items will not prove much useful if you don’t have a tire pump in your backpack as well. A CO2 inflator will not only help you ride faster but will also make your journey relatively smoother on the road. So if you are looking to have fewer stops and reach your destination on time, you really need to carry a tire pump along with you.
A multi-tool is not only important when you are going on a bike trip, but it comes in handy when you are leaving home for any purpose. Ideally, you should go with a multi-tool that provides a built-in chain tool. A flathead and some durable screwdrivers will also come in handy. Moreover, the unit should contain 8mm Allen keels and preferably some common spoke tool sizes.
If you have a greater budget and you are thinking of spending relatively more time on the road, then you should ideally opt for a multi-tool that also has a built-in pair of wire cutters and pliers. This will come in handy in a lot of diverse situations.
A tire lever, or a tire spoon as it is commonly known, is a special metal tool that is used with tires. You should always have them with you because they will allow you to install the tires or remove them without damaging anything along the way. Moreover, there are some very durable options in the market that will provide efficiency without being unsafe.
You need to make sure that your lever is appropriately sized. If it is too large or too small, it can easily damage the rim of the tire or its tube.
This is another essential piece of item that you need to have with you when you are starting your journey on the bike. Modern air shocks are very reliable, but they are not very portable. On the other hand, you can always keep a good shock pump with you. This will allow you to manage a situation where your bike develops a slow leak. Moreover, it is useful when you need to fine-tune your suspensions.
Many people don’t keep chain lubes because firstly, they don’t understand their usage, and secondly, they don’t consider them very important. If you are traveling under unpredictable weather or you are looking forward to encountering streams on your journey, having a chain lube is a must. This will not only help you clean your chain but will also allow you to enhance the performance of your bike.
Lip Balm and Sunscreen
Most of the items that we have mentioned above are required for the proper running of your bike. However, there are also some items that you need for your own protection. A lip balm and sunscreen should always be the first things that you consider. The former will ensure your lips don’t get dry even under cold weather. The latter will ensure you don’t get sunburnt due to constant exposure to the sun.
Moreover, if you are traveling for days or weeks, it is important that you prepare yourself for all kinds of weather. Lip balms will come in handy when you are riding in dry environments. On the other hand, a bottle of sunscreen will be more useful when the weather turns sunny or slightly cloudy. You should ideally keep the sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher.
No one leaves their phone before leaving on any journey; however, we have still added this to the list of essentials because some people, in their attempt to enjoy nature, tend to put their phones on power-off mode. This is often dangerous because if you ever get into an accident or in need of instant help, a phone can come in handy.
Moreover, sometimes you don’t have enough time to spare when you come across a dangerous situation, and you may need to call home instantly. You can also take good pictures and record important moments from your journey with a phone. This will allow you to properly reminisce over your excellent time spent on the road in the future.
A good rain jacket will come in handy whenever you are riding in the mountains. However, with the rise in global warming, the weather of any other place isn’t predictable. This is why it is important that you carry a packable rain jacket with you. This can be easily folded to allow for greater portability. Moreover, these jackets are available in different sizes that allow different levels of protection.
If you are sure to encounter rain during your journey, then you should ideally spend a handful of money on your clothes. A rain jacket with high water resistance will protect you from the sudden downpour as well as heavy showers.
The worst thing about accidents isn’t that they happen; it is that they come unannounced. When you are on the road, you should always be prepared for anything. This involves different scenarios ranging from small scratches to bike punctures. For the former, a small first aid kit will come in handy. You should keep it in a waterproof container to ensure the essential items like cotton balls and bandages don’t get wet.
Moreover, you should try to keep as many useful items in the kit as possible. This includes a handful of gauzes, bandages, and disinfecting wipes. You may also add things like tweezers that will come in handy in relatively more serious situations. Moreover, you should keep some essential medicines in your backpack. The most common issues that you can encounter on the road include headaches, stomach aches, and constipation. You should ideally have medicines to deal with all of these issues.
Moreover, you can come across fellow bikers who are in need of help, so always carry some additional bandages to help them in need.
In the midst of carrying everything else, make sure you don’t forget the most essential item for your trip. If you are thinking of traveling to a distant area, make sure you have some extra cash in your backpack. This will come in handy if you are in need of important essentials like an additional tube or some food. You should also carry money in paper form as opposed to in coin form. This will ensure easy portability.
Moreover, make sure your money is kept in a waterproof wallet inside your backpack. This will ensure that even in the case of bad weather, your money doesn’t get wet or is rendered useless.
One of the worst things that can happen on the road is dehydration. This is not only very annoying, but it is something that can easily be avoided. You should always have a large plastic bottle in your backpack. Many people don’t keep enough water because they don’t want to add to the weight of their backpack. This can be quite dangerous because water is often not available in a mountainous or rocky area.
Additionally, you should keep in mind that even when there are shops available, the water is often very costly and hence may prove to be an added burden. But even if we omit all these possible scenarios, no one can deny the importance of having water on the road.
You can also keep a couple of your favorite drinks so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
We definitely kept the most important item for the last; food. This is not only important for your survival, but food can also be an added incentive for you to continue on with your ride. The essential question now is whether to keep a lot of food or only the bare minimum. This largely depends on your individual needs. If you are looking to spend a lot of time on the road, it is advised that you keep enough food to last you a couple of days.
Moreover, you need to ensure you keep the right items. Perishable items will not last long and may create a foul smell in your backpack. Similarly, cooked foods may not last for very long, either. The ideal food items, therefore, are small packed foods. You can keep energy bars that provide you with instant energy. These will allow you to meet your nutritional requirements without requiring a lot of space in your backpack.
Moreover, you can keep fruits like apples or oranges that can last for a relatively long time. These are also delicious and will allow you to eat healthy on the road as well. But regardless of the foods that you keep, make sure they are not susceptible to melting or leaking.
For the energetic souls, there is rarely anything more fun than a mountain bike ride in the open. Rides like these allow you to enjoy the majestic beauty of nature whilst also taking calculated risks. But many a time, bikers don’t do the required preparation and end up regretting taking the journey altogether.
A simple way to avoid this is to buy an appropriately sized bag and then keep all the essential items in it. These include money, food, water, spare tubes, and a first aid kit. There are also other items like rain jackets, sunscreen, and lip balms that will not only make your trip safer but will also allow you to enjoy all kinds of weather.