What's in That Pack?

On a big ride, there’s a fine line between being prepared and being up sh*# creek without a paddle. I keep the following in my pack, just in case.

  • Water. The amount is dependent on the requirements of each ride. I encourage rider discretion and wisdom—water is heavy.
  • Bear spray. When I ride south of Bozeman, I keep it mounted to my frame.
  • Topeka Power 21 multi-tool. It’s light and the chain tool doesn’t make me want to cry when I have to use it.
  • Spare tube, a pump, and tire levers. For obvious reasons.
  • Mini utility knife, small bottle of chain lube, and peel-and-stick tube patches. Again, should be obvious.
  • Quick link.
  • Super glue and duct tape. Double flatting with tubeless tires without a second tube is challenging—I have the stories to prove it.
  • First-aid kit with an assortment of supplies. My saline solution has washed away almost a driveway’s worth of gravel from hands, knees, and elbows. I also carry a pocket mask.
  • Feminine hygiene supplies, wet wipes, and doggie bags. One time in the middle of the naughty-grizzly-bear release area, an unexpected visitor had me feeling pretty freaking vulnerable.
  • Cell phone. Many of my riding friends think I bring it to justify standing in the middle of the trail and yelling smile, but it’s really a safety thing, not a hazard. Promise.
  • Headlamp. “We should be back before dark” are famous last words.
  • Cotton balls lubed up with petroleum jelly, and a lighter. These little gems are perfect for starting an emergency fire.
  • SPOT personal safety beacon. When things go seriously south and there isn’t cell service, I can call in Bat Man, Robin, and a helicopter. SPOT will send EMS my GPS coordinates and an SOS signal.
  • $20 emergency money. Sometimes a mighty fine watering hole appears when you most need refreshment and 20 bucks can save a friendship.