Kit Up For An Epic MTB Trip To The Backcountry

Long days on dusty trails – there’s no better time of year for the adventurous mountain biker who wants to head off the beaten track and get high in wild terrain. Go beyond the trail centre, see amazing places and enjoy being truly out there.

We turned to our in-house mountain bike leader, a veteran of Scottish riding with over 40 Munros under his tyres, for some tips on the must have kit that you need to pack into your day sack for big days out.

Waterproof Jacket – doing most of my riding in Scotland, you’re never far from a soaking even in summer, so even if the forecast looks good, a proper packable waterproof, like our MTR Shell Jacket, can keep off a sharp shower and takes up virtually no room in your pack.

A proper pump –a tiny wee pump can pump up a tyre eventually, but when you’re being midged you’ll want to get air into a flat tyre quickly.

Map and compass – the latest tech is all very well, but it can and does fail, so take along some old tech and know how to use it by praticising some drills. Having had to follow a bearing on the Cairngorm plateau in next to zero visibility, you never know when you need to rely on map and compass only.

An emergency shelter / bothy bag or survival bag – the silver thermal blankets are fine if you’ve just finished a marathon on a cool day, but if things have gone wrong in a mountain environment you might have to wait for a while for rescue and these can literally be life savers.

A Bad Thing Has Happened Bag – I carry a collection of useful bits and bobs in a zipped pouch that always lives in the bottom of my sack – it’s there when something has gone wrong on the bike. If I don’t open it, then it’s been a good day.
– sections of inner tube and toothpaste tube – to use as tyre boot in case you slice open a sidewall.
–  zip-ties – a fix for most things on the bike.
– selection of bolts, washers and widgets in an old puncture repair kit box with a couple of quick links too.
– spare hanger – nothing harshes a good MTB ride like a long, avoidable walk out. Check it to see whether you need a spanner to fit it.

What else do you carry on wild rides? Hit us up on social media if you think we’ve forgotten anything.



Writer and expert