What to bring on your mountain biking day trip

Essential Gear for a Mountain Biking Day Trip: What to Bring

Having the right mountain bike gear can make or break your adventure. So, have a look at our list below and see if you've got everything you might need for your next ride. 

1. Mountain Bike

First things first, you need a reliable mountain bike. Now, reliable may be subjective here, but we'd recommend just about any one from this list of mountain bikes that are compatible with the High Roller. Make sure it's in top condition before you head out. Check the tires, brakes, and suspension. Make sure everything is all lubed up and ready to go.There's a good chance if you're going to be doing a lot of climbing, you might want to reconsider grabbing the downhill rig. And vice versa. You know, basically don't take a knife to a gun fight. 

2. Helmet

Safety should always be your top priority. Spend the money and buy a damn good helmet. I'm a big fan of the Oakley DRT5 or some of these other helmets – they offer excellent protection and comfort. We've found that helmets also typically last a few seasons (unless you hit a tree in Winter Park, CO, or slam a corner in Lefthand Canyon) depending on how many accidents you get in. Here at Send It, we like to test gear, which is to say that we've taken quite a lot of tumbles over the years. Helmets are our best friend.

3. Protective Gear

Along with a helmet, don't forget your gloves, knee and elbow pads. We also think you should consider a chest protector. The Send It Renegade Gloves, for instance, are durable and provide added protection for those tougher trails. They’ve saved my hands a few times. And they'll continue to.

4. Hydration Pack

Hydration is key, especially on those grueling rides. A hydration pack like the Send It Defender 15 is perfect for keeping your water supply handy without having to stop. Plus, it has extra storage space for other small essentials. And sure, two quarts is pretty good for about 3 hours of riding, so hopefully you've got a jug in the truck where you can refill (unless there is a water source nearby, in which case you're golden!).

5. Tailgate Pad

If you're driving to your trailhead, a tailgate pad is a must-have. The Send It High Roller Tailgate Pad not only protects your truck but also makes loading and unloading your bike a breeze. It's a game-changer for transporting your gear.

6. Repair Kit

Having a repair kit can save your ride. We here at Send It cannot possible impart this knowledge enough. Too many times we've been out in the middle of the woods with a flat tire, and each time we were grateful to have the rescue pack on-hand. Pack a multi-tool, spare tubes, tire levers, a mini pump, and a patch kit. You never know when you’ll need to fix a flat or tweak your bike. And you never know when you're going to come across someone with the same issue.

7. First Aid Kit

Accidents happen, even to the best of us. A basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers should always be part of your gear. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It's also good to be prepared for whatever you encounter out there. A small scrape can turn into a nasty infection, and a nasty infection can mean more time off the bike. We don't want that. We want your ass in the saddle as much as possible. 

8. Appropriate Clothing

Similar to bringing a knife to a gun fight, don't wear khakis and a necktie to the trail. Opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Don't forget a lightweight rain jacket – mountain weather can be unpredictable. However, keep in mind that you're going to need to pack this, and fdortunately the Defender 15 bag provides enough storage for everything you're going to be needing before, during and after the ride. 

9. Food and Snacks

Nutrition is clutch. There is nothing worse than struggling with an empty stomach. Bring along energy bars, trail mix, and other portable snacks. For longer trips, pack a more substantial meal to enjoy during a break. We also sometimes throw a few coldies in the mix to celebrate the day. Bonking sucks. Knowing the reason you aren't going to get to enjoy a full day of riding because of poor nutrition is a bummer. Don't be a bummer.

10. Navigation Tools

Whether it’s a GPS device, a smartphone with a reliable app, or a traditional map and compass, knowing where you are and where you’re going is essential. We all like to use bike computers (although Strava works just as good depending on coverage and GPS capture), both for distance tracking, but also for location tracking. You need to really get out there to get off grid for mountain biking, and when you do, you want to be able to make it back safely. 

11. Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Suncreen is an absolute must. No question about it. We typically lean on the SPF 50 to maximum protection, and then stay on top of re-applying every two hours or so. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but so does skin cancer. Bug spray is less of a necessity in some parts of the country, but if you're taking a guided mountain bike trip and find yourself somewhere deep in the forests of western North Carolina, or perhaps even Alaska, well, you may want to get the deets on some deet.

12. Camera or GoPro

GoPro was a gamechanger when the first HERO line of cameras dropped around 2008. Gone were the days of requiring a filmer: It was not time to film ourselves being the hero. Now it's pretty difficult to go on any sort of action sports trip without at least one person busting out a camera for some follow or selfie action. We're not hating. Seriously. You'll see us capturing footage on all of our trips and documenting on the Send It Instagram page - we're here for the cameras.

13. Lights and Reflectors

Moonlight rides are a thing, and being under prepared is not a great idea. For one, having lights on your bike are crucial to basic road safety. And two, if you're going to be bombing down a trail on your mountain bike while it's dark out, you're going to want to see what it's front of you. There is a lot that can happen out there, and having the right lights guiding you can be the difference between loading your bike back on your truck, or being loaded into your truck. 

Final Thoughts


You have a lot of options when it comes to what you want to bring on your mountain bike trip. Whether you're going for a half, a full or a multi-day trip, you're going to want to create a checklist and doublecheck each item. We can't stress enough the need to have enough water handy. We also can't stress enough the need to have the right pack to carry your goods. For what it's worth, here's a decent checklist you can copy:

  • Mountain Bike

    • Ensure it's in top condition (check tires, brakes, and suspension)
  • Helmet

  • Protective Gear

    • Gloves (e.g., Send It Renegade Gloves)
    • Knee and elbow pads
    • Chest protector (optional)
  • Hydration Pack

    • Send It Defender 15
    • Water bottles
  • Food & Snacks

    • Energy bars
    • Trail mix
    • Portable snacks
    • Packed meal for longer trips
  • Repair Kit
    • Multi-tool
    • Spare tubes
    • Tire levers
    • Mini pump
    • Patch kit
  • First Aid Kit

    • Bandages
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Pain relievers
  • Sunscreen

  • Bug Spray

  • Appropriate Clothing
    • Breathable, moisture-wicking layers
    • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Navigation Tools
    • GPS device
    • Smartphone with reliable app
    • Map and compass
  • Tailgate Pad

    • Send It High Roller Tailgate Pad
  • Camera or GoPro

    • Mounting accessories
  • Lights & Reflectors

Additional Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat or visor
  • Cycling shoes
  • Gloves (extra pair)
  • Extra socks
  • Portable charger for electronics
  • Cash or card for emergencies

Final Check

  • Check Weather Forecast
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Trail Map or Guide