What to pack for the trail

Merv Merpson | Fri 18th Mar 2022 13:52

About to head out on a ride and not exactly sure what to bring? If you don't have the experience under your belt to know what you need and don't need, perhaps our guide will help. We've put together our top tips on what to put to take on the trail with you.

Top 10 tips for gear on the trail

Whatever stage you're at on your mountain biking journey, packing the right gear can make your ride all the more enjoyable. We've put this guide together to help pass on some tips we’ve learnt and share some of our favourite things to take when headed out on an adventure. Aside from the obvious things like a bike, helmet, basic clothing (unless you're a nudist) you're going to need a few things that ensure you're ready to tackle the trails, be prepared for the unexpected and make the most of your day!

1) A MTB Pack:

A pack, for either your back, bike or hip. It all depends on whether you want to carry the kitchen sink, or just the bare essentials. Without some form of carry system, you’ll struggle to bring the essentials with you.

MTB packs come in a range of sizes so match your pack capacity with the type of riding. Hip packs are great for shorter rides.

2) A Multitool:

We all like to think that we won't get caught out on the trail, but the reality is sh#t goes wrong. Be prepared for that moment with a multitool. From re-tuning gears, fixing a broken chain, tightening levers or stem bolts if they come loose, to being there for a fellow rider who hasn’t packed the right gear in a time of need!

Multi tools come in all shapes and sizes. Pick a tool that covers the basic repairs you are comfortable performing trailside.

3) A Hand Pump and/or a CO2 Inflator:

As Murphy's law would have it, this is one of the things that if you have, you probably won't need. If you don't have it, you can almost be guaranteed a puncture out on the trails. However, if you do get a puncture, you’ll be glad you have it with you as it could save a lengthy walk back to the car. CO2 pumps are a fantastic way to get quick inflation on the go and they take up minimal space in your pack. They are also a must if you are running a tubeless setup and need to re-bead a tyre - hand pumps make for hard work at high pressures.

Check your valve type. MTB valves come in presta or schrader, make sure your pump is compatible.

4) A Spare Tube:

A spare tube is your best friend if you puncture. Even if you are running a tubeless setup, a spare tube in your bag is a must! Sometimes you can puncture to the point tubeless sealant won’t do its job and the only way to get pressure in the tyre is to put in a tube. The tyre in this case is likely toast for future tubeless, but at least you are able to continue riding and not find yourself walking back to the car.

If you are unsure of the type of tube you need, read our blog on how to choose the right tube here.

Not all tubes are the same. Check it fits your wheel size and the valve matches your pump.

5) Snacks!

You don't want to get caught out and hangry when you’re out riding with mates. Make sure that you take enough nutrition so you don't bonk mid ride and have a good day. Sometimes rides take longer than expected, either because you’re having fun or because you underestimated the difficulty of the terrain. Either way, snacks make things better.

Nothing worse than a case of the hangries! Pack your gels, bars and sandwiches.

6) Gloves:

Gloves can be an absolute must if it's a long day. If you don't like to wear them, you can leave them on your back and break them out for some added relief towards the end of the day. If the conditions are hot, gloves help with grip as you start to sweat, and if it’s cold you’ll be glad for the extra warmth on your digits.

Evo's range of glove options is HUGE. There's something for everyone.

7) Hydration:

Hydration is key for a big day out in the saddle. Whether using a bladder on your back, bottles or anything in between, make sure that you have enough fluids to get you through the day planned. Work out if there are places to refill your water on the ride, fresh water from a river or a tap if you are in a popular MTB park.

Hydrate or die. Match your water volume to the length of the ride.

8) A waterproof jacket:

For when the weather inevitably changes… If you are on a backcountry ride, or anywhere away from civilization, a jacket is a piece of safety equipment worth having in your bag. Even if the weather looks clear, wind chill can creep up on you. A good lightweight jacket stuffs down small in the bag and is there if you need it - it might even save your life in an emergency.

For wet weather, cold conditions or just for safety. A jacket is an important piece of kit.

9) Your phone and GPS - it could save your bacon:

If it’s not on Strava, it didn't happen. A GPS cycling computer could also literally save your life. With live tracking and/or incident detection you can be at ease out on your weekend adventure. The battery life is much better than a cell phone for recording your activities and they give you all the stats you could need on your handle bars. A cell phone is important if you need to contact someone in an emergency, and for selfies… If you are taking on a big backcountry mission where there is no cell phone access, consider investing in or renting a personal locator beacon.

Chase those KOM's on Strava, track your activities and navigate to the next trail. GPS Computers are the ultimate MTB accessory.

10) An enduro banana:

If you know you know.