What Should You Carry With You When Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking is a great sport, but it can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. You never know when something could happen out there on the trail. So what should you carry with you whenever you’re mountain biking? 

Here are some of my favorite things:

What To Take Mountain Biking & How To Carry It! – YouTube
Planning and preparation are essential for a successful mountain biking trip.
Carrying a properly fitted helmet is crucial for rider safety.
Pack essential tools for trailside repairs, such as a multi-tool, tire levers, and spare tubes.
Hydration is key, so bring an adequate amount of water based on the duration and intensity of the ride.
Snacks should be lightweight, portable, and energy-dense to sustain energy levels during long rides.
Carrying a first aid kit is highly recommended for addressing minor injuries while on the trail.
Consider bringing a cell phone or communication device in case of emergencies.
Familiarize yourself with the trail and weather conditions before heading out.
It’s important to have appropriate clothing and protective gear for a comfortable and safe ride.
Don’t forget to bring a map or navigation device to stay on track.

A Backpack

In order to properly pack your backpack, keep the following in mind:

Choose a backpack that is comfortable and fits your body type.

Look for backpacks with padded waist straps and shoulder straps to distribute the weight more evenly on your body.

Find out how much you need to carry before purchasing an appropriate size of pack. A smaller pack will allow you to move quicker but be more restrictive on what you can put in it, while a larger pack will be easier for long trips but harder to keep up with during short rides.

Pack carefully! You don’t want everything falling out when you take off at high speed!

When it comes to mountain biking, having the right gear is crucial. Check out our guide on whether cycling jerseys are necessary to understand the importance of proper attire for an enjoyable and safe ride.

Your Phone

Your phone is one of the most important items to bring on your ride. It’s a good way to stay in touch with friends and family, plus it can provide entertainment when you’re tired of listening to music.

Phones are great cameras, so be sure to pack yours if you’re riding with friends or family who aren’t mountain bikers. You’ll want plenty of photos to commemorate your journey!

If you’re planning on using your phone as a flashlight, make sure it’s fully charged before hitting the trails at nighttime—it’ll come in handy when navigating through dark areas or changing a flat tire at dusk (or even earlier).

And finally, while it might seem obvious why we’d want cell service while riding our bikes through remote locations…the GPS functionality that comes standard on many smartphones has become an invaluable tool for navigation these days!

FeatureiPhone 12 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S21 UltraGoogle Pixel 6
Operating SystemiOSAndroidAndroid
Display Size6.7 inches6.8 inches6.4 inches
Camera Resolution12 MP + 12 MP + 12 MP108 MP + 12 MP + 10 MP + 10 MP50 MP + 12 MP
Battery Capacity3687 mAh5000 mAh4600 mAh
Storage Options128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB
Biometric SecurityFace IDUltrasonic fingerprint scannerIn-screen fingerprint scanner

Extra Food

You can find mountain biking trails in areas that are remote, which means that you could end up being away from civilization for quite some time. 

That’s why it’s important to carry extra food with you when riding, so that if the need arises, you have something to eat.

Storing food on your bike can be risky because of how exposed it is. If the weather turns bad and you’re forced to stop riding early due to rain or snowfall, having your food stored in a waterproof bag will ensure that it doesn’t get ruined during this period of time and having extra water available is also just as important!

A Multi-Tool

You’ll want to carry a multi-tool. It can be a pocket knife, pliers and screwdrivers (the Swiss Army Knife of the tool world). 

Or it can be a multi-tool which compiles those tools into one compact unit. This is what I prefer to use, since it’s easy to carry in my pack and has everything I need when I’m out on the trails with my mountain bike.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who loves riding bikes but doesn’t already have one of these handy tools then definitely consider getting him or her one!

Protecting your hands while mountain biking is essential, and cycling gloves can play a significant role. Explore our article on the necessity of cycling gloves to find out how they can enhance your comfort and grip on the handlebars.

Water Bottles And A Filter

Water bottles are better than a bladder.

You should always have a water filter, even if you’re going to be on the road for less than two hours and don’t expect to need it much.

If you’re not sure how to use your water filter, check YouTube for step-by-step instructions before heading out into the wilderness this is not the time for trial and error! And don’t forget: once you’ve filtered your water, make sure to clean out any gunk from inside of your filter before using it again!

First Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit is a must. You should have bandages, gauze, disinfectant and/or soap, tweezers and scissors.

If you’re hurt badly enough to need stitches or going to the hospital, it’s better to leave your bike behind than risk falling and hurting yourself even more. You can always call for help from the nearest mountain biker if someone sees you injured or stranded somewhere out of cell phone range but still within sight of other bikers (and they’ll hopefully know what to do).

Don’t take your phone out while biking unless it’s an emergency—you don’t want to drop it on the trail in front of you!

Spare Parts

Spare parts should be kept in a separate bag, and organized so that you can find what you need quickly. 

This is especially important if your bike has a lot of gears: if one chainring snaps on the trail, it’s not much use having an extra chainring on hand if it’s buried deep in your bag. 

It’s also important to carry spare parts for your riding gear and clothing; this way, if something breaks (a zipper, shoe lace or helmet strap), then you’ll have something to fix it with.

Hydration Pack

A hydration pack is a great option for carrying water while mountain biking. A hydration bladder is lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use. It also has many other uses:

  • Hiking/camping: If you like to go hiking or camping, then a hydration pack will come in handy because it can be used to carry water.
  • Running: If you run regularly or participate in marathons, then a hydration backpack would be perfect for you because it will hold all of your running gear your cell phone and keys as well as plenty of water for long distances.
BrandCapacity (liters)Number of PocketsMaterialReservoir Size (ounces)
Osprey3.03Ripstop Nylon120

Map And Compass

Map and compass are a must-have item for navigation. This is because they help you find your way, which is especially important when you don’t know where you’re going. 

If you have a map and compass, then nothing can stop you from getting home safely.

A map shows what’s around you (and where), and a compass helps determine your direction. You may think that the sun will always point north, but it won’t   that’s why maps have both horizontal lines (like latitude) and vertical lines (like longitude). 

A good map will also show where towns are located on topographic lines called contour lines; these are based on elevation data taken from satellites or aerial photography. Contour lines show how high or low something is above sea level by showing how many meters there are between each line.

For long and intense mountain biking sessions, it’s essential to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Discover our expert insights on whether cycling gels are bad for you to make an informed decision about including them in your biking routine.

Biking Essentials

Now that you know what to wear and what to bring, here are some essentials for your mountain biking adventure.

The most important thing to have on your bike is a helmet. Helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 85%. 

It’s also worth it to invest in a good quality helmet; one that fits well, provides full coverage and has been tested for safety standards such as ASTM F-1492 or SNELL B-90 certification.

You should also carry a spare tube, tire levers and pump with you at all times so that if an inner tube punctures (which can happen easily), you’ll be able to fix the flat quickly and continue riding after changing it out!

A bike lock is essential because even though bikes are usually left locked up in designated spots at trailheads or parking lots, they can still get stolen when people walk through areas where bikes are parked without paying attention especially if they have their eyes set on something specific like yours!

A multi-tool with all kinds of handy tools including screwdrivers, Allen keys etc., should go wherever you go on adventures with friends: camping trips into nature where there may not always be access nearby; road trips down America’s highways; backpacking across Europe…you name it!

Extra Water

You will want to bring plenty of water, but not too much.

If you’re going on a long ride and know that it’s going to be hot and dry, bring two bottles with you.

If it’s not going to be particularly warm or dry, one bottle should suffice (you can always refill at the next stop). However, if it is very hot out and you are sweating profusely, drink more frequently!

Also remember that drinking too much water can actually make you sick—if your stomach starts feeling bloated or if any other symptoms arise (such as nausea), stop taking in fluids until they clear up.

A Multi-Tool

The multi-tool is a must-have when mountain biking. It should have a knife, pliers, screwdriver, and bottle opener. It should be compact and lightweight so it doesn’t weigh you down or get in the way while riding.

BrandNumber of ToolsTool TypesMaterialWeight (ounces)
Leatherman14Pliers, knife, screwdrivers, saw, wrenchesStainless steel8.5
Gerber12Pliers, knife, screwdrivers, saw, wrenchesStainless steel9.2
Victorinox10Knife, scissors, screwdrivers, fileStainless steel4.9
SOG18Pliers, knife, screwdrivers, saw, wrenchesStainless steel9.8
CRKT15Knife, screwdrivers, wrenchesStainless steel6.3

Extra Tube

An extra tube. If you get a flat, you’ll need a spare tube. It’s easy to carry and can be easily replaced in the field by any cyclist—just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open up your tire tool, pull out the inner core (which contains all of your tools) and remove one of the rubber bands that holds it together.

Step 2: Put on safety glasses and flip over your bike so that you’re looking at the underside of it; locate where each tube attaches to the rim (usually on both sides).

Step 3: Push down with one hand while pulling back with another until both sides come free from their respective rims; discard old tubes immediately after removing them!

Step 4: Take new inner-core out of its packaging, place inside old outer tire casing before sliding back into place over wheel spokes until secure through use of Velcro straps or similar mechanism (available separately).

If you’re looking to improve your fitness and endurance for mountain biking, participating in cycling classes can be a game-changer. Read our article on the benefits of cycling classes for weight loss to discover how these classes can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Spare Chain Link

The chain link is the weakest point of your bike. There are many things that can break it, including hitting a rock or log at speed. 

If you’re riding in the woods, this is more likely than on the road so carry a spare chain link with you! If you need to replace one, here’s how:

Remove the old broken link from your bike’s rear cassette. You’ll have to remove your rear derailleur first so that you can get access to it. Directions for doing this vary by brand and model—check out our guide on how to replace a derailleur cable if necessary!

Press out any old bushings with pliers (if they’re stuck). Remove them completely before installing new bushings on either end of your new chain link. This will keep everything running smooth!

Tire Levers

Tire levers are a must-have for any cyclist. They’re used to remove a tire from the rim, but they can also be used to hook onto the chain for removing the chain from the crankset, or even pry things open if you’re in need of first aid treatment. 

Tire levers are an essential tool for mountain bikers and should always be kept in your pack!

Patch Kit (Optional)

You may want to carry one with you. It’s not a bad thing, but it isn’t necessary for most riders.

If you’re riding somewhere remote, or if your bike does get a flat tire, then a patch kit could save your ass. But let’s be honest: If this is the case, there are probably more pressing things on your mind than fixing a flat.

Still, there are times when patches come in handy when they can prevent an expensive ride home from getting as bad as it might have been otherwise (those were some big words). 

A patch kit won’t make up for an improper tire pressure or poor alignment (yep), but it will help keep you rolling down the road until you can get back to civilization or find someone with tools who knows how to fix these things properly!

Extra Tire(S) (Optional)

If you’re carrying a spare tire, you should also carry a spare tube and patch kit. The latter two items are often sold together in kits that include all of the necessary tools for repairing a flat tire. 

If you’re using the same brand tires as your bike’s stock tires, then buying replacement tubes and patches can be expensive. 

It might be worth looking into getting some brand-name replacements instead of going with off-brand or generic parts.

Mini Pump Or Co2 Cartridges/Pump (Optional)

There are two main types of inflation devices: mini pumps and CO2 cartridges. The choice between the two is dependent on your preferences, and each has its own positives and negatives.

Mini pumps are more efficient than CO2 cartridges because they can inflate a tire faster than pressing down on a lever, which is required by CO2 cartridges. 

But they require more effort to use as well the pressure you create with your hand must be greater than whatever amount of pressure it takes to fill your tire; otherwise, it won’t work at all (or will only partially inflate the tire). 

If you have strong arms or are in excellent physical condition, this may not be an issue for you; however, if either isn’t true then using mini pumps could take too much energy out of your ride and make it feel less enjoyable overall. 

On top of that, most people won’t need anything beyond about 25 psi in their tires anyway more than that isn’t necessary unless riding over rough terrain such as rocks or mud where extra cushioning is needed for shock absorption purposes (which means no matter what type inflation device one uses).

Are you considering entering a cycling race? It’s an exciting challenge that can push your limits. Explore our pro tips on how to enter a cycling race to gain valuable insights and make the most of your racing experience.

Spare Derailleur Hanger (Optional)

As you may have guessed, the derailleur hanger is a part of your bike’s drivetrain that helps keep the chain from falling off. 

It’s an important piece of equipment and if you’re going to be riding mountain terrain, it’s advisable to carry one with you in case something happens.

If you need to replace your derailleur hanger, look for a product made by Shimano or SRAM. If those brands aren’t available, try Trust GXT-LTD or Chain Reaction Cycles for steel options (which are more durable) and Sram for aluminum ones. 

To find a local retailer that sells these pieces, enter your zip code into Google Maps using “bicycle repair” as the search term; this should bring up shops near you where they’re available for purchase online as well as in person at their storefronts. 

You can also buy them through Amazon Prime if shipping time is crucial factor (although if so we recommend buying two).

The cost will vary depending on which brand and type of product it is–but expect around $30 – $40 per derailleur hanger depending on whether it’s steel or aluminum respectively–and whether or not it comes pre-assembled with screws included!

Bike Lock (Optional)

You can also lock your bike to something, but you need to be careful.

If you’re going to bring a bike lock with you, it needs to be strong and reliable. A good place to start is at a bike shop where they’ll tell you which locks are most effective for what type of riding that you do.


There are many things to consider when mountain biking. You’ll need to think about how much gear you want to carry with you, what kind of terrain you’re riding on, and how far you plan on going before stopping. It’s important to be as prepared as possible so that you can enjoy your ride without having any major issues.

Further Reading

And here’s the FAQs section in H2:


How should I prepare for a mountain biking trip?

Before embarking on a mountain biking trip, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right gear, including a properly fitted helmet, appropriate clothing, and protective pads. Additionally, make sure to carry essential items such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, and a repair kit for any unforeseen circumstances.

What tools should I bring for trailside repairs?

Carrying a basic tool kit is essential for trailside repairs. Some common tools to consider are a multi-tool, tire levers, spare inner tubes, a mini pump or CO2 inflator, and a chain tool. These tools will help you handle common mechanical issues that may arise during your ride.

How much water should I bring when mountain biking?

The amount of water you should bring depends on the length and intensity of your ride, as well as the weather conditions. As a general guideline, aim to carry at least one liter of water for every hour of riding. Adjust this amount based on your personal hydration needs and the availability of refill points along your route.

What snacks should I pack for a long mountain biking ride?

When packing snacks for a long mountain biking ride, it’s important to choose lightweight, portable, and energy-dense options. Some popular choices include energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and nut butter packets. Experiment with different snacks to find what works best for your energy needs and preferences.

Is it necessary to carry a first aid kit while mountain biking?

Carrying a first aid kit is highly recommended for any outdoor activity, including mountain biking. Your first aid kit should include basic supplies such as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, medical tape, and pain relievers. It’s important to have the means to address minor injuries or provide initial care until professional help is available.