3-in-1 Wrench: this gem is a wonderful invention.
One wrench fits both axles, plus one end doubles as a spark plug
wrench. Besides, if Jeff
Fredette designed it, it’s gotta be good! (Jeff is a multi-time ISDE
gold medal champion)
first-aid kit: if you have it, you probably won’t need it.
and box-end wrenches: If you have a Jap bike, have an 8mm, 10mm, 12mm,
and 14mm. If you have a
Euro bike, replace the 12mm with a 13mm.
Also add to this a small 15mm and 17mm wrench for you shock pivot
bolts and other larger hex units. Don’t
skimp – be sure they are quality tools.
rope: if you have it, you probably won’t need it.
Make sure it’s at least about 20 feet long.
plug: Duh, plus be sure that it’s stored in a dry, clean container
like the Acerbis plug holder. If
nothing else, leave it in the cardboard it came in and wrap the
container in duct tape to keep it kosher.
Tape: Also known as 100mph
Tape! This is one of the
world’s greatest inventions. How
did we EVER survive before it was created?
‘Nuff said here, except be sure it is quality tape, not the
el-cheapo stuff. Oh, and
don’t forget to replace the stuff in your pack once a year.
Take a roll that has about 25% left and stomp it flat.
Now it fits.
breaker, master link and clips: Be SURE the master link actually fits
the chain on your bike (check it), and that you have a couple (I've
dropped and lost them in the dirt) of master link clips. Finally,
be sure that your chainbreaker tool actually will break a chain when
needed. Try it out on some old chain to be sure. Also be sure your
pliers will fit between the links to squeeze the master link sideplate
on. This is an aggravating chore, but make sure your pliers will
Epoxy: Malcolm Smith makes a tube of this gook that is about the right
size. All you do is cut off
a piece off the end and mush it around like a warm Tootsie Roll.
Then stick it on the spot to repair like bubble gum, wait a few
minutes and you’re good to go.
Wire: Get this at your local hardware store and make sure it is
galvanized, so it won’t rust.
Cutters: Hey, you gotta cut
the safety wire with something, right?
Plus, if you’ve ever accidentally ridden through some wire and
wondered in amazement that it could have wrapped itself so tight around
your hub, you will be thankful for wire cutters.
If you ever break down in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon, you will want
to make a fire. Make sure
the matches are replaced occasionally so they actually work!
Vice Grips: They can be used for many things, but one of the best uses
is to double as a spare gear shift lever, should you lose yours.
No, you won’t shift very fast, but you’ll get home.
Fuel Line: So you ran out of gas and the sweep crew finally shows up?
You cleverly packed that three-foot piece of fuel line, so all you have
to do is remove the tubing from each bike’s petcock and connect the
two petcocks with this line and turn on both petcocks.
Voila – the fuel will drain from his to yours in no time.
Swiss Army Knife: A million uses, not the least to have a cutting blade.
Screwdriver: two blades in one (Phillips and Flathead), and if you find
the right one, the hex opening (after removing the blade) can double as
an 8mm socket.
Zip Ties: Why XL zippies? When
you get that eventual flat that you just can’t seem to fix or you know
you’re close to the finish, squeeze about six of these bad boys around
the wheel and rim and cinch ‘em up tight.
That’ll keep your wheel from spinning on the rim, plus will
help keep it ‘on’ the rim.
Wrenches: Your bike probably has a couple of these lurking in the
shadows, plus since you run Barkbusters (you DO, don’t you?), the
Allen heads for the mounts usually get loose.
Also, by running Barkbusters, I now never need to carry spare
Not much to say here, except if you get the kind of pliers (or vise
grips) that also have the cutters integral to them, then you can remove
the wire cutters from your pack.
Grease Rag: Use this for lying on the ground, so you can set your tools
and parts on. This way they
are less apt to get lost. When
finished, wipe off your hands with it.
The grease rag also doubles as a fire starter to use with the
matches, in case you think it will be a long night.
Bar (or something similar): Yep, it would be nice to have something to
chew on at checkpoints or if you’re stranded for a lengthy time.
Although these marvels of man decay only in half lifes, you
should remember to replace the one in your pack at least once a year,
since most people don’t eat these for pleasure.
Jets: Usually we’re talking only a couple of main jets here.
Just remember that about every 2,000 feet of altitude change
equals to one main jet size change.
They are brass, and therefore soft, so store them in a protective
Jet Tool: This nifty little item is basically a knurled, long socket
that allows you to easily change your main jet. Can get one at most any bike shop.
Cloth: This should be a requirement for riding in the Northwest.
You will be darn glad you have this jewel at the checkpoints when
it’s moist out.
Terrycloth: This is for wiping all the mud, mung and drool off your
goggles at the checkpoints.
If you lose your pack, there’s a small chance some honest soul may
return it. Or if you crash
and are knocked unconscious, the sweep crew will know who to bill Life
A 10-spot should be enough to bribe Farmer Joe for some spare gas after
you paid no heed to the big “W” course marker and kept going till
you ran out of petrol.
Go minimal here. Sockets
take up space and need a ratchet. Use the smaller stuff. I only have two sockets and figure I can twist them with
my vise grips.
Crescent Wrench: This little wonder does everything from spokes up to
about 12mm bolts.
Straight-blade Screwdriver: Nice to have this for sudden carb or
Tube: I fold this puppy over about four times and wrap duct tape over
the end, so it makes a perfect slot at the top to slide the pack belt
through. The 21” tube
will work either front or back tire.
of Jizm: This is that spoogy tire inflator stuff.
Get a good, compact can at your local bike shop, plus it comes
with the flexible tube for installing easier.
MSR sells a unit you can store it in that mounts to your pack
Cartridges: MSR, DualStar and others sell a great little pack that
incorporates cartridges, the fitting for the valve stem and anything
else you need to inflate that deflated piece of bumpy rubber.
Repair Kit: Gotta have it. Quality
patches, rubber cement and a scraping device. Be aware that the tube of rubber cement will dry up on
its own, so inspect occasionally.
Irons: Two quality smaller ones will do the job.
& Bolts: a film canister of a few spares might get you to the
finish, if one falls off.
Money: When you gotta go, you gotta go, and you better have something to
keep you from accidentally using poison oak. What works better here is a handful of table napkins
folded up in a zip-lock bag. It's called Mountain Money because
when your riding buddies need it, they'll pay huge sums of cashola to
use some in dire straits. Make sure they pay up when you get back
to the truck, hehe.
Next is the larger dualsport pack. It incorporates EVERYTHING above, but a few more amenities
for those longer, leisurely rides:
Plugs: Most dirt bike helmets are noisy when romping down the tarmac at
55mph, so something to quiet down those lengthy pavement runs is
and Paper: Always nice to be able to scribble a note or make notes on
First-Aid Kit: more is better when it comes to first aid.
Always nice to know how lost you are, so bring ‘em if ya got ‘em.
Store them in Ziploc baggies.
Saw: I received a small, chainsaw-like chain device a few years ago from
my friend Ron Morgenthaler in Washington a few years back.
This is trick, compact and will actually cut pretty good-sized
wood. It coils up into a
roll and fits into a chewing tobacco-sized can.
Check your local hardware store for one. Other options are
a foldable wood zig.
You never know when you’ll want to take a picture, so always having a
compact camera with you is good measure.
Besides, this is the Northwest, so there's always that chance of seeing
Bigfoot, a UFO or just your buddy tipping over. I also pack a spare roll of film, when I don’t carry my digital
It drives me bonkers when the batteries go out in my enduro
computer/recorder/bicycle computer/camera (pick one, or all).
And they always go out at the wrong time.
Geez, I forgot about carrying a backpack. On those extended
journeys, a backpack is a great way to carry larger items and this is
usually what I stow in mine:
|Bicycle Tire Pump: I have one of these compact, double-actuated units
that does a pretty good job. Yet one more piece of protection for
the eventual flat tire.
|Rain Gear: This is the Northwest where we don't die, we rust. In
a region where we use WD-40 as suntan lotion, rain gear is a must.
(Hmmm... I'm a poet and don't know it)
|Highlighter Pens: These are for marking maps or rollchart sections.
|Mountain Money: I carry an actual roll. Same thing as duct tape
- step on it and the roll compacts smaller.
|Spare Gloves: 'Nuff said.
|Spare Goggles: 'Nuff said.
|Spare Food: Trailmix makes a nice addition here.
That’s all I can think of for now. I may add more as I sniff around more inside the dregs of my
fanny pack. Murphy's Law dictates that
anything that can happen, probably will, so if you have something with you,
you probably won't need it. As the Boy Scout’s motto says: be