Mountain biking, just the thought of it conjures up images of Rough Mountain trails, crisp pine scented air, and spectacular views. In many cases, the reality will match your imagination. However, there is another reality you may have to deal with along the trail and that is survival. What ifs have to be dealt with, and thus, how you prepare for your mountain biking adventure may determine whether you survive or not if you find yourself in a survival situation miles from civilization.
As a side note, mountain biking is an ideal way to stay in shape while enjoying nature, not to mention the planning and preparation aspect of the adventure helps to build survival skills, which can be used in any situation.
You don’t ride your mountain bike on city sidewalks or generally along well-marked biking trails. No, you want the rough terrain, and you want to imagine you are the first one to see the spectacular views and to inhale the rarefied air. You want the challenge, but what happens when there is a mechanical failure, a flat tire, or a chain becomes loose or even if your bike cannot get you back home, what ifs and what if you are caught in a survival challenge.
Mechanical devices can and will fail, and according to Murphy’s Law, (if anything can go wrong it will) they will never fail while sitting in the garage. It’s always along the trail miles from anywhere. You have to assume you could end up on foot when out mountain biking. If the terrain is rough for your bike imagine how rough it will be if you have to hike out. Not only can you end up on foot, you could end up spending a night or two along the trail.
To Keep You Bike Rolling Along You Will Need Tools and Materials
- Patch Kit And Make Sure It Is A Quality One, And That You Have More Than Just One Patch, Fresh Glue, And Make Sure You Know Exactly How To Use The Patch Kit
- Spare Tube (s)
- Tire Pump And Make Sure You Know Your Valves (Presta valve/ Schrader valve) You Can Use CO² Canisters as Well
- Tools To Remove Wheel If Needed
Many Bikes Will have Tension Levers, Which means You Do Not Need an Adjustable Wrench or Socket to Remove the Wheel
- Tire Levers, Which is Used To Help You Remove The Tire From The Rim (Can Be Done By Hand)
- Hiking Boots
- Bike Multi-Tool
- Hydration Pack/Bottles
- Headlamp and/or a Bike Mounted Light, It is Recommended You have Both
The above listed are the basics, but the basics are not enough if you become stranded, or lost or stranded because of an injury. Remember, you may have to spend the night in the wilds.
- Lightweight Waterproof Tarp
- Water Purification Tablets/Drops
- Metal Cup For Boiling Water/Serving Food
- 24-48 Hours Worth Of Rations and Water
- First Aid Kit
- Bear Spray (It’s Not Just For Bears) and/or Other Personal Protection As You See Fit
- 50 Feet Nylon Cordage
- Multi-Tool and Fixed Bladed Knife
Pack for overnight regardless of how long you expect to be gone. You always have to assume something could happen. Those that believe nothing will ever happen always curse the fact something did happen, and the fact they failed to prepare. The unexpected, no, you are packing for the expected crisis. If you expect it to happen, you will prepare accordingly.