What’s in the Bag?

What we carry in our bags says a lot about us as riders, are you a minimalistic racer, a carry everything boy scout or a throw a few things into your bag you think you may need type of person? I thought it may be interesting to show our readers what the TMTBL contributors carry in our bags, so without any further ado here they are!


Jen’s pack:

I tend to be a carrier of all things when I ride. I would prefer to have all possible comforts with me and I have been known to take a picnic lunch and even a beer with me if the ride and company is right. My pack looks quite a bit different now (winter) as it is all about keeping warm if something goes wrong. In the summer, however, I generally have the following in my pack:

  • 2L of water
  • Snacks (usually a bar of some sort along with almonds and jellybellies)
  • Basic first aid kit (a wide range of bandages and gauze mostly)
  • Zip ties (because you never know when you might need them!)
  • Multi-tool
  • Tube (26″)
  • Extra clothing (depends on the weather but this can often take up a lot of space in my bag as our weather can be cool and can change quickly)
  • Patch kit (I confess to this sort of living in my pack….. I’ve never used it. I always just replace the tube if I get a flat)
  • Master link
  • Sports drink powder (I don’t always use this and I prefer to put only water in my camelback but sometimes I will add an electrolyte drink to my bottle)- camera (not pictured because I was using it to take this photo!)

John’s Pack:

Here’s my pack and it’s contents…

  • Dakine Nomad Summer Gravity Camps edition (I won this along with some other kit on an online auction, best pack I have ever owned).
  • Topeak Alien II – I love this tool, always had everything I ever needed and is really well made.
  • Package of small zip ties have come in handy a few times.
  • Two tubes, one 26″ and one 29″ ( hope no one on my next group ride needs a tube for 650b).
  • Three tires levers.
  • A 2mm allen key (really not sure why this is in my pack, to adjust brake levers maybe?).
  • Shock pump.
  • A mass card for an old friend who tragically died while riding. I keep it as a reminder to be careful and heed warnings while riding alone or with friends. We all miss you Jim.
  • Two derailleur hangers for my Rocky Mountain Switch.
  • A couple sections of chain, two powerlinks, and some other spare inks.
  • A energy bar or snack bar (will vary in type and quantity depending on the ride).
  • Clif Shot Blocks (Not shown because I finished them on the last big ride).
  • My old tripod with the new Quad Lock Tripod attachment.
  • A Deuter Streamer 3.0 bladder.

I also carry a small LED flashlight on night rides in case I ever lose my main light. I used to pack an old Sigma Sport headlamp but for some reason I can’t find it. I know some of this stuff is over kill and too be truthful, some I’ve never even used out on the trail. But I hate not having something when I need it and there is always at least one person on your group ride that carries nothing with them. So for the sake of keeping the group ride going, I’ll be the pack mule.

Mike’s Pack:

I always carry my:

  • Hydration pack (Dakine Amp 12L) and 3L of water
  • Rain fly for pack
  • Allen wrench
  • Tire levers
  • Patch kit
  • Switchblade
  • Spare tube
  • (Not pictured, but always cell-phone and wallet, sometimes camera)

Despite all that water and some heavier things, it never feels like I’m carrying too much.  I haven’t had to use the rain fly or the switchblade yet on a ride, but I’m always prepared.  My rides are never longer than 2-3 hours, so the most I’ll ever bring in terms of food is a PB&J.  Whether it’s preparedness or dumb luck–or a combination of both–I haven’t had any situation that I wasn’t able to remedy on the trail.. Even if it took a bit of time.  I really think the most important thing in my pack is the hydration pack.  Even if I’m only going out for a short ride, I always fill it up all the way.

Neil’s Pack:

1. My Pack. An old second hand Camelbak HAWG

2. Whistle. I attach a small metal whistle to the chest strap of my pack so it’s easily accessible while I’m riding. If one of my friends takes a wrong turn, and I don’t want to chase them I blow the whistle loudly. It also comes in handy in emergencies.

3. Left Pocket

  • Chain lube
  • An old rag
  • Large garbage bags

4. Right pocket

  • “Silva” compass in case my GPS breaks.
  • Spare batteries for my SPOT GPS tracker.
  • Plastic spoon

5. Outside Pocket

  • Baby wipes (for unscheduled bathroom stops)
  • Velcro straps (to secure broken things)
  • Carabiner clip (to secure other broken things)
  • Cable tie (to secure yet more broken things)
  • “Bushmans” insect repellant.
  • Sunscreen

6. Inside Pocket

  • Shock pump
  • Life Straw (water purifier)
  • Tool pack made out of old milk bottle
  • Spare Camera (in the green zip-up bag)
  • Spare Socks
  • First Aid Kit (in the blue zip-up bag)
  • Spare tube in an old sock in an old cup.
  • Fabric Tape

7. Tool Pack – I cut up an old plastic milk bottle, secured it with sticky tape and wrapped an old bit of inner tube around it to hold everything together. It contains:

  • Two x 25g CO2 cannisters. They’re great for 29er tyres. Don’t use them on a 26er tyre (like I did) or you’ll blow it up
  • CO2 cannister attachment
  • Spare brake pads
  • Victorinox Swiss Army Knife in a Credit Card
  • Spare chain link
  • Cable Tie
  • Pliers with some plastic from an old milk bottle to cover the sharp end

8. Top (mp3) pocket

  • Spare Gels (just in case I run out of food)

9. In my Jersey Pockets

  • Cell phone in a waterproof “Overboard” bag.
  • Sony TX30 waterproof camera. This is the best compact waterproof camera around. It take awesome pictures and (unlike most other waterproof cameras) has a handy sliding lens cover. I love it. No you can’t have it. It’s mine!

10. Not shown – Tool bag under my saddle contains:

  • Spare tube
  • Multi tool
  • Cable ties
  • Bits of old tyre to patch up large holes
  • Puncture kit
  • Tyre levers

My thoughts?

  • My pack is heavy – I’m used to it.
  • My friends make fun of my heavy pack – I’m used to that too.
  • I never have to worry about being unprepared.

Rivers’ Pack:

Like the others I am one of those people who carries just about everything in my pack, people pick it up and are amazed I lug that thing around. I swear it’s why I am so slow on the hills…haha.

  • Evoc Freeride Trail 20L
  • Extra set of gloves
  • 2L Water Bladder
  • Pump
  • Shock Pump
  • Travel Saw
  • Pen
  • Flashlight
  • Multi-Tool
  • Knife
  • Tire Levers
  • Leatherman
  • Patch Kit
  • Zip Ties
  • Maps
  • Kleenex Wipes (better than TP)
  • First Aid Kit
  • 2x29er Tubes
  • Bag-o-Nuts
  • Not Shown – Cell Phone (it’s my camera and GPS), Wallet, Keys and sometimes GoPro and all it’s bits

This is my “everyday ride” loadout. If I am going for a longer ride, it gets a bit more..and then if something epic like the 7 summits, well…it was STUFFED!

So there you have it, that’s what we, the awesome TMTBL contributors carry in our packs, share what you carry in your packs in the comments below.

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