An Inside Look at What I Pack While Out On The Trails
It’s late in the day, but the clock gives you permission to head out. You have just enough time for a quick evening lap.
Mid ride, you’re shredding down a fast and chunky downhill, really feeling the flow and the day’s stresses fall away when a sudden ‘pssssssssssssshhh’ captures your attention—a rear flat tire.
Because you were anxious to get out, you didn’t grab your riding pack, leaving you without the tools and supplies to fix your flat tire. The sun is quickly setting, leaving you no option but to start the long hike-a-bike out to the vehicle.
The bugs begin buzzing in your ears, and you find yourself stumbling on the trail, trying to navigate your way in the dark with the tiny flashlight on your phone. The sound of the forest quickly becomes loud and audible as darkness sets in.
Ever found yourself in this position or something along those lines??
Cycling is an adventure. What goes up, must come down, what inflates,
will deflate, what will tighten will loosen, what is dry might be wet...you get my drift. While the chances of any issues arising on the trail are unlikely, the slight chance of them happening is very worth being prepared for. No one likes a long awkward hike with their bike back to the vehicle, especially with darkness on the horizon.
When I’m coaching or headed out on big all-day adventures, the Osprey Raven 14 is my go-to. The Raven is the perfect size to hold all the necessary gear for the day without compromising comfort or feeling bulky on my back and includes a 2.5L water reservoir.
On shorter personal riding days, I reach for the Osprey Seral fanny pack. It comes with a 1.5L water reservoir and the space needed for snacks and tools.
Rain in the forecast? Either slip the pack’s rain cover on to protect the bag and its contents, or be sure to grab a couple of the Ultralite Dry Sacks to protect the goods.
Tools & Spare Parts:
Osprey has a simple but convenient accessory available - the Bike Tool Roll. Depending on the pack you purchase, it might come with one of these and even a handy compartment on the outside of the bag (the Raven has this). It makes mechanicals on the trail much quicker without having to dump the entire contents of your bag to find that multi-tool or zip tie you quickly need.
In my tool roll:
A spare inner tube (that fits your wheel size)
Tire Levers x2
Hand pump and/or C02 (cartridges with valve)
Multi-tool (including a chain break, tire spoke wrench, full Hex/Allen Key set, and a T-25 Torx
Needle Nose Pliers
Power link (for your chain)
A small bottle of chain lube
A handful of zip ties (about 6-10” long)
Swiss Army Knife
Even if you have no idea how to fix a mechanical issue, you might be riding with someone or encounter someone who can help you! Mountain bikers are generally pretty friendly and helpful.
Hydration & Nutrition:
2.5L water reservoir - filled according to the estimated activity’s length with a little extra just in case. Make sure that you only put WATER in this. Anything else, such as a hydration mix, will wreck your reservoir.
Snacks! I usually pack a variety of snacks from more solid foods, bars, gels, or chewy. I always pack a little extra to share too. #SnackQueen
The size and variety of first aid kits depend on whether I am coaching or riding for fun, but I always have something for emergencies.
Chamois Cream - just a small container for re-application mid-ride.
Jacket/Shell in case the weather might turn unexpectedly, or you’re riding in areas with varying elevation.
Headlamp - this is more commonly found in my bag when the daylight gets shorter. But let me tell you, at one point, it has been the most valuable item in my bag.
Charged cell phone. This speaks volumes for itself.
Generally speaking, this is what you’ll find in my bag out on the trails. It will vary from person to person, the terrain you’re riding, length of adventure, etc., but it never hurts to be prepared!