Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things to always have when trail riding

On our last ride, Swamp Monster's soft front tire - which fortunately turned out to not be a flat, got me thinking about things we should always have out on the trail. So I thought I'd start a list of items and tools we might want to have. The weight of these items does add up, but not nearly as much as how much of a PITA it would be to get a bike with a flat tube back to the truck, not to mention the tire you'd destroy, and possibly a rim. The simplest repair can be impossible if you're missing a crucial tool. At Tahuya we might be able to get away with leaving some of these items back at the truck and sending someone back to fetch them, but not at the Desert 100 or during an Enduro race. The list is pretty extensive, but a lot of the items are pretty small. At some point you have to decide what the chances vs weight/size of needing some of the items is. Flats seems high on the list. Breaking a chain? Not so high. Needing a spare fuse or bit of wire? Probably not high, but then again those items are small. I'm not sure every one of these is a must-have item, but you know what the Boy Scouts say: Be prepared, mutherfucker.

Feel free to modify this original post to add to the list.

  1. 21" spare tube
  2. CO2 inflator
  3. Two CO2 cartridges - one will top off a tire but not fill it
  4. Or a compact MTB pump?
  5. 2 tire irons
  6. axle wrench(s)
  7. valve stem remover
  8. Patch kit - much faster if you can find the hole and repair it
  9. Socket T-handle (Motion Pro makes a nice one)
  10. Sockets - hopefully you can cover everything with just a few sizes
  11. Allen keys - 4mm, 5mm, and 8mm usually cover it, but check your bark-buster fasteners
  12. Phillips and flat-head bits if your bike needs them
  13. Bit-driver
  14. A few feet of SS safety wire
  15. Spare fuses
  16. Multi-tool
  17. Spare master link
  18. Spare fasteners
  19. Zip ties
  20. JB Stik - you don't need an entire tube, maybe an inch or two of it
  21. A few feet of electrical wire
  22. Tape - electrical? Duct?
  23. Tow strap
  24. Chain breaker and a short section of spare chain
  25. Small flashlight
  26. A few feet of clear plastic tubing
  27. Copy of ID, insurance card, cash
  28. Spark plug and plug wrench
  29. WD-40 - good as a water dispersant, plug cleaner, etc
  30. Superglue
  31. Kitchen sink

Try to work on your bike using only the tools in your tool bag. This ensures you have what you need in there, and also gets them out so you can clean them, get a light coat of oil on them, or replace any that have gotten rusty.


  1. A spark plug and plug socket could come in handy if say, you were to submerge your bike in a small lake and needed to get water out of the cylinder.

    Not that I'll ever need to do that.

  2. #19 is a good one. You can never have too many zip ties.