What you need to bring on a long-distance trail ride

Owning a dualsport transforms the world from a rigid set of roadways and rules to an interconnected mecca of trails, access roads and wilderness, all accessible at any time.

One of the most enjoyable ways to pass time on a dualsport is to go on trail rides – taking yourself to the farthest reaches of society, with only the essentials on your back.

When faced with a long ride, sometimes it’s hard to determine what is an essential and what will end up being extra weight that affects strength and fuel economy down the line.

Bring the essentials and you can escape society for as long as you need. Photo: Marcos Moraes/Unsplash

We’ve narrowed down some of the physical essentials below, but it’s important to keep in mind that this list is by no means the end-all, be-all of trail ride necessities. First of all, there are multiple essentials that go beyond physical products, such as properly pre-hydrating your body and adhering to the buddy system. Second of all, there are thousands of variables that apply to a variety of people that cannot be encompassed in a single article.

To get you started, here’s what we recommend you bring on your trail ride:

Patch Kit

Tires will go flat and tubes will fail. This is an undeniable truth, and one that should be addressed before heading out into the hills, hundreds of miles from anyone or anything.

You could always bring an extra tube in your pack, but anyone who has changed a tire before knows how difficult it can prove to be. For the times when you get an unexpected flat on the road, stick with the patch kit until you can make it back to civilization.

Satellite phone and GPS

Exploring new trails never gets old. Photo: Andreas Schafer/Unsplash

Chances are, if you’re truly out in the wilderness, you’re not going to have a cell signal. That means no phone calls, text messages, Instagram posts (we know, tragic) or maps.

In the event of an emergency, it’s imperative to have some method of communicating with the outside world. If you’ve got the best head for directions since Lewis and Clark, it’s still prudent to bring along a GPS to help you keep your bearings.

Bonus: You can record your route and ride it all over again in the future.

First-Aid Kit

For when you go OTB, for when you miss that tight right-hand corner and go sailing off the edge of a cliff, for when an unforeseen branch decides to slice open your arm: At the very least, bring some bandages and gauze with you on your trail ride.

Along with a basic first-aid kit, it’s also crucial to remember copious amounts of water (really, as much as you can carry) and snacks to keep your blood sugar up. We suggest investing in a CamelBak; featuring enough storage for your basic necessities, the packs also hold plenty of water and are designed for specific sports’ needs and requirements.

Fuel Bottles

Explore the distant corners of the world on two wheels — just bring enough fuel to get back. Photo: Dennis Savenko/Unsplash

Depending on your tank size, you may be able to go on a 200-mile ride and make it back with fuel to spare … or you’ll run out and be left high and dry.

We encourage riders to calculate how far they’ll get on any given ride with the amount of fuel their tank can hold, but it’s always better to be prepared, so we highly recommend bringing some extra fuel.

Most fuel bottles can be clipped onto racks, seats or saddlebags, making them a convenient and valuable addition.

Handkerchief

Anyone who has gotten a mouth/nose full of dust from the trail will know the value in bringing along a handkerchief for trail ride adventures.

They’re lightweight, have plenty of uses (from wiping off sweat to working as a makeshift bandage) and won’t take up much room in your pack.

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