The following gear list contains items that you’ll need to have on every ride. Sure you may not feel the need to have all of this on your local singletrack, but you never know when you might have a mechanical and be out for longer than anticipated.
Hydration Pack (MTB): There are lots of companies that offer hydration packs. You’ve probably heard of CamelBak. They have so many options your head might spin so research closely for what you need. I use the Osprey Raptor 10 because it carries 100oz of water and all my gear without the bulk of some other packs. A hydration pack serves two main purposes. 1) It carries your water. Most packs these days range from 70 oz to 100 oz with the 100 oz models being most popular. 2) It carries all your gear listed below.
Repair Kit: This includes spare tube, tire levers, extra chain link, multi-tool, spare pump/co2 and the knowledge to use them all. You can buy all these at your local bike shop or you can save time and money and know you are getting the best out there by purchasing a Hero Kit.
First Aid Kit (MTB): Make it as large or small as you need but it’s a good idea to carry some basics in your hydration pack and a larger first aid kit in your vehicle. The Hero Kit First Aid Kit is compact and has most everything you might need.
Spare Derailleur Hanger (MTB)– Most modern mountain bikes have a replaceable derailleur hanger. And when you hit an obstacle your hanger is normally the first to break. Hangers bolt in to the rear triangle of your frame and can be easily replaced on the side of the trail. Carrying on of these will save your ride. Your bike will have a specific hanger so it’s not one size fits all. You can have your LBS order you an extra or go by derailleurhanger.com and one yourself.
Shock Pump (MTB) – Most mountain bike suspensions (rear and front) use air shocks. I carry the Planet Bike ShockMate 2.0 Suspension Pump with me on longer rides or rides with varying terrain to make adjustments as needed. Some people consider this optional so it’s up to you.
Food: Nutrition is important before, during and after your ride. Some of my favorite options for during the ride include: making your own energy portables from the Skratch Labs Portables Cookbook, Honey Stinger Stinger Waffle or Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews .
Electrolytes: Most mountain bikes comes with at least one water bottle holder and road bike should have two. If you are riding for more than an hour you should fill at least one bottle will an electrolyte drink. My favorite mix is from Skratch Labs. I usually go for the Lemon Lime but enjoy all the flavors. Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix
ID: If you get in an accident on the trail or on the road, people need to know who you are and where you live. This information is also vital for emergency personnel. Carry your license or try the RoadID . They make a wrist band that contains all of your necessary information.
Wipes: You’ll need to clean up before grabbing lunch or heading back into town to meet the family. Also kids like to get really dirty when out in the dirt (as you know) so be prepared. You can simply use your baby wipes but you may find they don’t combat the dirt and you’ll end up using half the package. I like Action Wipes for their efficiency, amazing refreshing scent and gentle power.
That’s the list. Review and use as it works for you.