Mountain Biking Trip
Light Weight Gear for Your Over Night Mountain Biking Trip
I do a lot of over night mountain biking trips with my friends. I'm also an ultralight back packing fanatic, which most bicyclists are. You want the lightest gear you can fit into your small hydration back without loosing room for you bike tools. But out here in Texas the whether can change on you quick, which means you need to be prepared for any type of weather. Make sure you bring clothes for all weather. Don't be afraid to layer your clothing; if you get to hot, you can always take it off, but if its freezing and all your wearing is you super snug short short biking shorts and a jersey, then your going to be in for more then a cold night, try hypothermia. This is why I always bring a heavy jacket and other life saving gear that not only will help you stay alive, but makes staying over night on 30 mile biking trail more comfortable.
Sure Mother Nature provides us with many resources that will keep us safe and warm but it doesn't hurt to bring along a few light weight items that will make your job of surviving on the trails much easier. The next is a list of items I personally keep on me and in my hydration bag when I go on over night trips.
1. Water. You must have it. Your body is made up from 55 to 78% water without it you will die. But don't drink just any water, not until you boil it or have added iodine to it. Boiling water in the woods is not always that easy, in fact it's impossible without some sort of metal pan to boil with. That's exactly why I carry the sierra 8oz cup with me.
2. Shelter. Shelters will keep you safe from the elements, and I'm not just talking about the wind and the rain. I'm talking about the mosquitoes and other insects that go bump in the night, or should I say buzz in the night. I use a super light weight tube tent and mosquito netting. I also stay nice and warm in my head sheet.
3. Fire. Fires can keep you warm, cook your food, and lift your spirits when moral is low. Have you ever tried to start a one match fire? It's not that easy, unless you have some emergency tender that lights easily no matter what, whether rain or shine. Also dry tender isn't always easy to find and most likely doesn't burn for a long time. But what do you do when your matches are all used up? That's why I carry a flint stick. They last long after you've run out of matches.
4. Signaling. Lets get serious here, if you're lost out on the trails and you have injured yourself badly you want to know that search and rescue can find you. This is why you should always carry a good whistle and signal mirror. Of course don't forget to bring your cell phone.
5. First Aid Kit. You take a beating out there on the trails. This is why you need to carry a good quality first aid kit. Let's get real, were not all nurses and paramedics, which is why your first aid kit should be comprehensive, and have instructions. Also make sure you fist aid kit comes with aspirin, diarrhea medicine, insect repellent and poison ivy whips, because you will hit poison ivy it's inevitable.
6. Food. You gotta eat! Especially out there on the trails, your body burns off more calories then you take in. Some dried camping foods are good but to keep you in good health you should grab weight gainer bars. They are packed full of calories, carbs, and vitamins, everything a growing boy/girl needs.
7. Knife. The knife is a camper's best friend. Not only does it help build shelter but it's a good weapon of defense against the mountain lions and bears. Well at least it will help make a good weapon of defense.
8. Bike Tools. Last but not least is your road side bike tools, and other equipment that keeps you bike running after you've wiped out 5 times and gotten two flats. All you need to keep your bike up to par are a few items. You will need a spare tube, a good multitool, an allan wrench, patch kit, tire levers, spoke wrench, a small hand pump, and zip ties.
Lookie there I didn't even make it to ten, that just how little you really need to have a fun and safe time on the trails. You can add anything you want to it really, but remember, you don't want to go to heavy especially if it's a race.
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