Top 10 kit items for a mountain bike tour

H+I Adventures top 10 kit items for a mountain bike tour

By Euan Wilson, H+I Adventures director and chief traveller

I’m currently en-route to Santiago for our first rider trip to Chile + Patagonia, and I start to think about the contents of my luggage and the things that are always in there, no matter where I’m going. I’m travelling with Scottish guide Jono, and between us we’ve been to more than 30 countries around the world, which has taught us a lot of valuable lessons on travel and packing.

We compare our travel ‘must-haves’ and come up with this list of the top ten things not to forget when going on a mountain bike tour.

1. Dry bag – Bring a roll-top style bag to store all your dirty kit in between laundry days, and keep your clean kit, well, clean (Especially useful on our Torridon + Skye, Scotland adventure!)
2. Riding shoes that are also good to walk in – When you’re going to ride in a new destination, with unfamiliar trails, it’s more likely that you’ll walk certain sections so you want your feet to comfortable in the process (Essential for our new adventure in the fjords of Norway)
3. Bike spares – Anything that’s specific to your model of bike, and likely to get damaged on the trail is a must, and generally won’t cost too much to buy before you leave home (You won’t find too many bike shops in the Himalayas of Nepal!)
4. Down jacket – Always have a low-fill down jacket in your carry on luggage and be sure to transfer it to your ride bag on arrival. You will be riding in a mountainous environment, and it can get cold during rest stops and in the evenings, so a good down jacket is invaluable (Important for our August departures in the Yukon, Canada)
5. Cable/ zip ties and duct tape – These can get you out of so many jams when you’re on a mountain bike tour! Fixing broken bike bag zips during transport, bike repairs, snapped shoe laces or bag strap, taping the soles of shoes back on… If you have a particularly inventive use of zip ties or duct tape, let us know!

6. Flip-flops/sandals – After a long day in mountain bike shoes, you need to air your feet and take care of them, they’re pretty important to your enjoyment of an adventure! (Also useful poolside in Slovenia!)
7. Head torch – For any nighttime emergencies, always have a head torch handy in our carry on luggage
8. Seatpost – These days you bike is more than likely to have a dropper seat post and if it fails, your trip could be spoiled. If you have an old manual seat post to fit your bike, add it to your kit bag and bring it on tour, just in case
9. Food – Always throw something you like to eat into your carry on bag, you may land late at night or miles from a food store, and you don’t want to end up eating into your body reserves before your tour even starts
10. Aeropress and your favourite coffee – This a really handy, compact gadget. If you like your coffee, buy an Aeropress to keep in your kit bag. You’ll always be able to get hot water, which you can then add to your favourite coffee to get your travel days off to the best start (Particularly useful in Ecuador, where they export their best coffee!)

Do you have tips to share? Feel free to add a comment to the blog, every day is a school day after all!

And if you found this post useful, why not read these?! “Why a 20 litre backpack?” and “How to travel with your bike“.