Preparing for a multi-day camping-based mountain bike tour means you need a great mountain bike tour packing list.
The following packing list has been developed and refined over two decades, based on what our guides at Rim Tours have learned from taking thousands of riders on multi-day, camp-style mountain bike tours.
Have you ever been on a trip and suddenly realized that the very thing you really needed was sitting back home in your closet? Have you ever found yourself muttering, “If only I’d thought to bring my sandals (…insect repellant, …ear plugs, whatever…) Well, over the years, every time a guest on one of our tours forgot (or simply had not known to bring some item) our guides made note of it — and this packing list is the result.
Obviously, what you pack for an adventure varies depending on the season and location. This list below includes a number of items that are specifically recommended for early-spring or late-fall tours like a White Rim Trail (85 mile loop in Canyonlands National Park) or the Kokopelli Trail (130 miles between Grand Junction, CO and Moab, UT.)
It also does not include the kitchen and group gear (e.g. camp chairs) which we provide on our supported trips. It also assumes that there are no serious weight or space restrictions, since our support vehicle allows guests to carry as much personal gear as they require in waterproof duffle bags. If you are doing a self-supported or bike-packing trip, your list will necessarily be shorter.
Items with an asterisk* are specifically suggested for tours in March, April or October.
- Mountain Bike
- If renting bike and you use clip-in type pedals remember to bring your pedals and shoes!
- Riding shoes – athletic shoes with a sturdy sole work well (lightweight hiking shoes/trail running shoes)
- Biking tights/equivalent wool or polypropylene
- Biking shorts for comfortable riding
- Riding gloves (long fingered gloves if you have them, they’re better protection)
- Riding jerseys/T-shirts
- Hydration Pack (recommended for all tours)
- Bike repair tools including spare tubes, patch kit and small set of Allen wrenches (if you are renting a bike this is optional)
CAMPING AND OTHER GEAR
- Tent with good rainfly and ground cover. Make sure tent and rainfly are seam-sealed
- Warm Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
- Pillow (not included in rental gear)
- Towel, soap (biodegradable), toothbrush & paste, toiletries and wet wipes.
- Head Lamp
- Day Pack – For Hiking and extra storage
- Water bottles (at least 1 for around camp)
- Extra pair of shoes for hiking, and if others get wet
- Sandals are comfortable for around camp
- Rain Coat and rain pants (fully waterproof - no ponchos!)
- Warm jacket for camp*
- Windbreaker or light jacket for riding
- Long pants/sweatpants
- Long underwear*
- T-shirts – long and short sleeved
- Shorts for relaxing around camp
- Warm hat and long finger gloves*
- Visor/hat for sun protection
- Underwear, socks, & extra clothes as needed
- Swimsuit (for swimming or using a solar shower)
- Camera, film and battery
- Insect repellent
- Ear Plugs (for light sleepers and windy nights when tents can get noisy)
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, chap-stick!
- Bandana (for wiping away dust, sweat, etc.)
Weather is difficult to predict and we recommend checking the weather for your destination prior to your departure so you are aware of last minute conditions. You will have a better vacation if you are prepared.
The items you will want to pack no matter what time of year are warm clothes for cooler evenings, good rain gear that you can ride in, and sunscreen.
Avoid cotton clothing while riding. To stay comfortable, layer different weights of polypropylene fleece, or merino wool — this works well. We love our Ibex wool clothing for the wide range of temperatures we ride in.