Banner's "The Contents of My Camelbak"

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Banner's "The Contents of My Camelbak" Empty Banner's "The Contents of My Camelbak"

Post  Eric S. on Fri May 08, 2009 4:47 am

PAA Apirl 2009 Newsletter wrote:
The Contents of My CamelBack

by Banner Moffat
I’ve ridden with enough relatively new mountain bikers lately to think some fatherly advice about being prepared might be in order. Once upon a time, I used to mountain bike as lightweight as possible, but over time my camelback has gotten heavier as I realize this item or that item might one day save my (or someone else’s) ass. As you get bolder about mountain biking, you will find yourself at times surprisingly far from anything! A wonderful place to be as long as all is well.

Last weekend one rider in our group tore off his derailleur about a mile down the backside of a trail in the San Gabriels. He deftly removed and pocketed his derailleur and chain then started hiking back up the trail so that he could glide his bike back to civilization down¬† 5 or 6 miles of fire road. No big deal, but imagine if it had started snowing (not out of the question last weekend)... and/or if he’d been hurt
when the bike broke. Or... You can’t prepare for everything but, although you will always want to be as light as possible when racing, when you are out there just for fun, aim to be
prepared even if it seems heavy.

Here is what I carry:

1) Spare Tube, Pump, Patch Kit, and Tire Boot
These are obvious. CO2 is okay to have but don’t skip the pump. It is just a matter of time before you
get multiple flats on one ride, around here usually thanks to goat thorns and thorn bushes.

2) Allen Wrenches, Hex Wrenches, Spoke wrench, Chain Tool, Leatherman (needle nose pliers, wire cutters, knife, philips and slotted screwdrivers, knife, saw), a tiny LED Light, Chain Lube.
Some people carry extra derailleur hangers. If you have a small container of chain lube, in some wet conditions you will be happy to be able to lube your chain or pedals half way through the ride.

3) First Aid:
An Ace Bandage can either make a splint or wrap up a lot of torn skin, Strong Pain Killers (if anyone I’m riding with ever has to hike out with broken bones, they are going to bless me for carrying those), Antiseptic Ointment, Sunscreen, Gauze Bandages, Large Band-Aids, Candy (if someone you are with really bonks far from home on a hard, technical trail it can get serious and some candy might solve it)

4) Zip Ties, Duct Tape, Money, Crayon, Paper, Nylon String, Plastic bag.
The crayon is for writing on rocks in case you need to tell people behind you which way you went. I wrap duct tape tightly around the zip ties in a compact package. Once we had to turn a full suspension bike into a hardtail using zip ties, a chunk of wood, and duct tape which worked great, but I wish I had gotten a photo.

5) Extra Clothing
In winter I often keep a thin beanie in my pack because it weighs nothing, doesn’t take up much room but can make a big difference in how warm I feel. You can get raincoats which pack very small, and I used to keep surgical gloves in my pack in case my fingers were ever getting wet and frozen, but I don’t have them any more.

6) Cell Phone
All of that may sound excessive and heavy, but I do have a story or two behind almost every item I carry in my camelback. Some of it I have never needed and hope I never do, but I’m happy to carry it just in case.
Eric S.
Eric S.

Number of posts : 32
Age : 27
Location : Glendale, CA
Registration date : 2009-02-27

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