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What to Bring Mountain Biking - The Mountain Bike Field Pack

This guide is meant to answer the following questions:
  • What do I need to pack for mountain biking?
  • What should be in my mountain bike repair kit?
  • How do I dress for mountain biking?
Packing the right gear, snacks, and tools can be the difference between a fun day out on the trails and a grueling walk back to the rig, or worse, a trip to the emergency room. Gearing up for a ride depends on several factors like the trail and the weather. When biking long distances into the backcountry, your mountain bike packing list will look a lot different than a day at the local bike park. Regardless of the ride length though, there are a handful of essentials that should come with you every time you hop on your mountain bike. 

Mountain Bike Gear & Tools

One of the best parts of mountain biking is the sheer distance that you can cover in a single ride. While technology has come a long way in making this easier and more fun, bikes are still complicated machines that can breakdown and leave you stranded on the trail. Unless you have the tools to repair your bike yourself, you could be facing a long walk out, and that is certainly not fun. There are several pieces of gear, and tools, that are essential to have with you on a mountain bike ride in the event of any issues. 
  1. Helmet: Protecting your head is a no-brainer. Every mountain biker should wear a properly fitting helmet. A helmet is the very first bike accessory you should be thinking about every time you leave the house. 
  2. Spare Tubes and a Patch Kit: Flat tires are the most common mechanical failure on mountain bikes. Having a spare tube is essential to keeping you riding, and not hiking. Even if your mountain bike is set up with tubeless tires it is a good idea to carry a spare tube on longer rides as a backup.
  3. Bike Pump or CO2 Inflator: To fix your flat tire, you need something to inflate your spare tube. This is why a small handheld bike pump, or a CO2 inflator is the next must-have on our list.
  4. Tool Kit: A basic tool kit should have at least the following, tire levers, a bike-specific multitool, a few links of chain, a quicklink/masterlink, and zip-ties. Riders going on longer mountain bike rides might want to carry additional tools and spare parts like an extra derailleur hanger and spare shifter cable. (Pro Tip: wrap a few inches of duct tape around your tire levers since, you know, it can fix pretty much everything.)
  5. First Aid: Everyone takes a digger sooner or later, it is just the nature of the beast. That’s why having a small first aid kit or a few bandaids is a good idea, in the event that you or one of the crew are the ones that need a patching up.
  6. Backpack, Fanny Pack, or Frame Bag: Once you’ve collected all of these goodies, you’ll need some way to carry them with you on your rides. The backpack is the tried and true method, we recommend a bike-specific pack as it will be low profile and built to distribute weight better for mountain biking. Some riders prefer a fanny pack style hip bag, or a saddlebag due to their greater mobility. 
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How to Dress for Mountain Biking

On most mountain bike rides, picking the right clothing is pretty simple. Start with a good liner short or chamois, bike shorts, and a bike jersey. We recommend bike jerseys over cotton t-shirts as they are better at wicking sweat and moisture. The longer the ride, the more you’ll need to pay attention to the forecast to prepare for any changing weather or storms. It is a good idea to always carry at least one shell layer or rain jacket


Gloves are a personal preference thing, some riders prefer them and some don’t. On long rides or full days at the bike park gloves will, however, help get a few more laps in the bag before your grip fades. Falls happen, too, and gloves are a lifesaver when the first thing to hit the dirt is your hands.  


Just like every other extremity, your eyes are essential to just about every activity and just like your noggin it is just reckless not to protect them. Plenty of companies like Smith Optics and 100% make great mountain bike oriented glasses, or, for the epic rainy days a pair of clear lens goggles will keep your vision clear. 

Pads and Protection

Depending on the type of trail, and the way you ride, some extra padding might be a good idea. If you’re just cruising smooth singletrack, or grinding gravel, these are probably unnecessary. Don’t forget your helmet though! For riders tackling more technical terrain, all mountain riding, or the bike park, knee pads are a great place to start. Bony knees can take a beating when you bite the dust, luckily, there’s a wide range of pads available, from low-profile to high protection.  
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Snacks & Hydration:

Mountain biking is hard work, it’s important to keep your body fuelled up and hydrated so you can stay on the trails and have the best time possible. Start your day off with good pre-ride hydration and give yourself a head start with a good carbohydrate and protein rich meal. Don’t eat too much though or you may feel bloated and sick on your bike. Since hydration is so important ensuring you have proper water storage is paramount. From regular hydration packs to fanny packs to on-frame bottle cages, there are a number of ways to carry that sweet life juice.

In your pack it is best to have some mid-ride consumables to keep you riding at full speed all the way back to the parking lot. Nothing too fancy here, just something light and sugary. Some fan favorites around evo are Sour Patch Kids, apple slices, almond/peanut butter packets or the trusty granola bar. 
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This is evo. We are a ski, snowboard, wake, skate, bike, surf, camp, and clothing online retailer with physical stores in SeattlePortlandDenver, Salt Lake City, Whistler, Snoqualmie Pass, and Hood River. Our goal is to provide you with great information to make both your purchase and upkeep easy.

evo also likes to travel to remote places across the globe in search of world-class powder turns, epic waves, or legendary mountain biking locations through evoTrip Adventure Travel Trips. Or, if you prefer to travel on your own, check out our ski & snowboard resort travel guides and mountain bike trail guides.


Still have questions? Please call our customer care team at 1.866.386.1590 during Customer Care Hours. They can help you find the right setup to fit your needs.