Daytrippin’ Kit Essentials

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Benji brings you a kit list for a pilgrimage to the mountains, or just somewhere new and far away.

Cotic RocketMAX: ready for anything (even a gentle pootle in the dusk)

This feature may look like it’s a guide to daytripping with mountain bikes to somewhere suitably Big And Exciting. But it isn’t anything of the sort. You already know how to go on a daytrip. You go somewhere and ride your bike. This feature is actually here more to serve as a reminder. A prompt. A seed. A kick up the proverbial to actually get your sh*t together and Go And Do Something. This feature is just as much aimed at myself as it is you, dear reader.

Get out there. Wherever there may be.

It has literally never been easier or safer to go and ride somewhere new. I say the word ‘safer’ mainly in the sense of not-getting-lost, and actually-riding-good-trails. The rose-tinted view of ye olde roade trippe is all about the excitement of not knowing what was going to happen. The cold hard reality of it was a fairly painful ordeal with endless stopping and checking… everything. Your map, your bike, your attitude. It was a massive PITA and yes, the payoffs were worth it, but they were worth it despite the hassles, not because of them. These days we have satnav to get us to a parking spot. A parking spot that you can check out via satellite imagery on Google Maps beforehand. In terms of finding somewhere worthwhile to ride, again, The Internet. Whether it’s apps, asking on bike forums, or finding trad-style routes to follow on websites, you no longer have to gamble when it comes to finding decent places to ride.

And then there’s the actual navigating of the ride itself. I am duty-bound by the Office Of Outdoor Sports Journals to come out and state that paper maps and proper navigation are The Best. But are they? I’ve not used an actual paper map on a mountain bike ride for about a decade now. However, I’ve often had one in my pack for those rides in bigger, wilder terrain. Even if your phone has the world’s longest lasting battery, and you’ve packed an external power supply and everything, phones can still just stop working and die. So by all means use your phone and/or Garmin to get about. Just be prepared in case they decide to go all HAL 9000 on you.

Daytripping is different things to different people. For some it’s almost a weekly occasion. It used to be for me. Every other week or so I’d be lobbing stuff into the back of my poor old Renault Clio and driving to somewhere that offered new riding. But then kids came along and fuel prices went through the roof, as did my preoccupation with my vehicular carbon footprint (tyreprint?). And I don’t really daytrip very much at all anymore. Thankfully I live somewhere with loads of varied riding within reach so I don’t feel the need to Go Away very much. That said, half a dozen times a year I go on a daytrip with my fellow middle-aged parent collective. Sometimes to the Lakes, sometimes North Wales, more often to somewhere that’s still in the Pennines and less than an hour’s drive away from home. Hey, a day out is a day out, right?

A quick word about getting to your destination. Using as few vehicles as possible is a no-brainer. If only from a fiscal POV (the eco POV is harder to square, but at least it’s better to car-share). Fuel is expensive and splitting the bill between a few of you means the travel ‘only’ costs £20 as opposed to £60 or £70 for example. Check your vehicle tyre pressures, again, fuel economy. Check your screen wash level. Make sure you have a phone charger in the vehicle, ideally a splitter so more than one phone can be juiced up. And get hold of a few Ikea bags, ideal for fresh kit, dirty kit and somewhere to stand in while you get changed in the exposed middle of nowhere. Because getting to round about the middle of nowhere is at least one of the main points of daytripping in the first place.

I don’t really frequent trail centres. That’s not what this guide to daytripping is about. Trail centres have everything there for you. From grabbing breakfast, right through to waymarked (non-)navigation and repairing your bike, it’s all laid on. Similarly, almost all my usual rides are minimalist affairs where I can risk not taking much in the way of stuff with me. When proper daytripping, you have to be a whole lot more prepared and self-reliant. Or, better yet, get some teamwork sorted out.

Anyhoo, the basic nature of our Kit Essentials features is to talk about kit. Let’s first have a basic checklist of all of the items you should have on you during the ride. This is what I think you should have in your pack for a daytrip:

• 1 x inner tube per person
• Mini pump
• Tyre levers
• Jacket
• First Aid kit
• Survival blanket
• Zip ties
• Gaffer tape
• Brake pads
• LED rear light
• Energy gels
• Packed lunch
• Enough water
• Payment
• Buff
• Tubeless repair
• Power pack and cable for phone
• Paper map

Note: You can always divvy this stuff between yourself and your riding buddies with a bit of thought. Spread the load. Just don’t spread it too thinly!

Right. That’s the basics dealt with. Over the next few pages, we’re going to highlight some of our favourite components and clothing for big days out in the mountains.

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14
CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14
  • Brand: CamelBak
  • Product: M.U.L.E. Pro 14
  • Price: £140.00
  • From: ZyroFisher
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Camelbak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 review

Specialized Gambit
Specialized Gambit Helmet
  • Brand: Specialized
  • Product: Gambit Helmet
  • Price: £295.00
  • From: Specialized
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Specialized Gambit Helmet review

Troy Lee Designs Resist Trouser
Troy Lee Designs Resist Trouser
  • Brand: Troy Lee Designs
  • Product: Resist Trouser
  • Price: £149.00
  • From: Saddleback
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Troy Lee Designs Resist Trouser review

Unparallel West Ridge
Unparallel West Ridge
  • Brand: Unparallel
  • Product: West Ridge Shoe
  • Price: £140.00
  • From: Dark Ventures
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Unparallel West Ridge Shoe review

Torque Covert 7
Torque Covert 7 Crank Multi-Tool
  • Brand: Torque
  • Product: Covert 7 Crank Multi-Tool
  • Price: £40.00
  • From: Oxford Products
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Torque Covert 7 Crank Multi-Tool review

Gusset Sleeper Push-on Grip
  • Brand: Gusset
  • Product: Sleeper Push-on Grip
  • Price: £10.99
  • From: Ison Distribution
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Gusset Sleeper Push-on Grip review

CushCore XC 29
CushCore XC 29
  • Brand: CushCore
  • Product: XC 29
  • Price: £84.99
  • From: Silverfish UK
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Cushcore XC 29 review

Scrub Alloy Trail Wheelset
Scrub Alloy Trail Wheelset
  • Brand: Scrub
  • Product: Alloy Trail Wheelset
  • Price: £350.00
  • From: Scrub Wheels
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Scrub Alloy Trail Wheelset review

Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil
Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil Fork
  • Brand: Marzocchi
  • Product: Bomber Z1 Coil Fork
  • Price: £849.00
  • From: Silverfish UK
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil Fork review

Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station
Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station
  • Brand: Jackery
  • Product: Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station
  • Price: £1,599.00
  • From: uk.jackery.com
  • Tested by: Benji

Read our Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station review

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Tested: by Benji for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 138

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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