ATV and dirt bike riders should expect the unexpected when riding, regardless if it’s on trails, at the dunes or the racetrack. Often times what you don’t think will happen, does, and vice versa. So being prepared before you go trail riding is key to bringing you, and your machine, home in one piece.
That said, a common question from riders is that in addition to your standard motocross gear such as your helmet, gloves and boots, what you should bring?
13 Items Riders Need to Consider Packing When Riding Long Trail Systems
When packing for your next trail ride there are certain things that you should include. Think safety, for one thing, and ATV repair for the second. If you keep those two things in mind, along with our list of items below, you can be sure you’ll have the safest and smoothest trail ride possible.
1. First aid kit. Be sure to bring band aids, gauze, medical tape, ointment, etc. While you won’t be able to mend broken bones you’ll at least be able to deal with the cuts and scrapes dished out by bushes and trees, or when you fall of your bike.
2. Water and food. First and foremost your concern should be that you stay hydrated, especially in warm weather. Don’t forget that when riding out in the woods that something can happen, forcing you to camp out overnight or until help arrives. So you’ll want to have plenty of water and food on hand to last you a couple of days, if not longer.
3. Extra clothes. Bring extra clothes such as pants, socks, shirts and gloves in case you have to camp out anywhere, or in case the weather gets bad and your clothes get damaged (wet, torn, etc).
4. Matches/lighter. You’ll want to keep matches or a lighter on hand in case you need to camp out somewhere, so that you can make a fire to stay warm, as well as cook food (possibly wild game). Keep them from getting wet by sealing them up in a plastic baggy.
5. Map. You might think you know where you’re going (and maybe you actually do), but a map takes up very little space. You could use your phone or GPS, but I think a paper map (laminated) is a good idea in case you don’t get reception.
6. Tire repair kit. A flat tire is a huge headache. So avoid it by bringing a tire repair kit. There are numerous kits out there, ranging from tire sealant to Co2. I suggest bringing whatever you can manage to fit in your toolbox or storage compartment. If possible, I recommending bringing tire plugs, spoons and some kind of portable compressor.
7. Extra parts. Whether it’s a plug fouling, hose springing a leak or clamp coming loose, it’s a good idea to have extra parts on hand in case you need to fix or swap something out. I would bring extra spark plugs, fuel and radiator hoses, electrical wire and tape.
8. Hand Tools. You might find yourself doing some maintenance work on the trails, so it’d be a good idea to being a basic mechanics tool kit with you. Be sure it includes a 1/4″ or 3/8″ ratchet, sockets and hex keys. Don’t forget to bring a flat and phillips screwdriver, too, as well as a spark plug socket and/or wrench.
9. Fluids. Bring as much extra gas, oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc that you can. You don’t want to run out of gas and have to push your rig back, much less blow your engine up and, you guessed it, push your rig back. Another good idea is to install a larger aftermarket gas tank. That should give you an extra 1-3 gallons.
10. Tow strap. A tow strap can help get yourself, or others, out of nasty situations. You could also install a winch if you don’t have one already.
11. Misc supplies. This would include things like:
- Duct tape
- Mechanics wire
- Paper towels and toilet paper
12. Gun. This might depend on if you have a gun or not, or if you’re allowed to carry it. But assuming yes for both, bring it. You never know what you’ll run into out in the woods, and you’ll want your gun (and plenty of bullets) to protect yourself.
13. Camping supplies. Either bring a tent, or bring tarps so that you can create some sort of shelter in the event that you need to camp overnight.
These 13 items should keep you sheltered, fed, safe and running during your trail ride. They should all fit in your storage compartment, but if you don’t have one (you should), then carry the biggest backpack possible. You’ll be glad you did.