Tools of the Road
What tools should I consider bringing on a bike camping trip?
When embarking on a multi day bike camping trip one can often spend too much time worrying about what tools to pack. Too many items and you end up schlepping too much bulky weight, not enough and you can find yourself on the side of the road with your thumb out. To make your kit decision easier, I’ve compiled a list of essentials that I carry. That’s not to say that what works for me also works for you but I hope this can serve as a guide and inspire you to build your own, better kit. A note: my kit is much different when I embark alone compared to when I act as a guide. I will explain what I always carry, and then what I add when traveling with a larger group.
The holy trinity of repair kits: Multi-tool, Pump, 2 Tubes.
Your multi tool should have the essential Hex(Allen) wrenches to make adjustments to your or your friends’ bikes. These include 2,2.5,3,4,5,6 and sometimes 8 to remove or tighten pedals. My multi also includes a chain breaker. If yours doesn’t, consider getting a separate chain breaker and know how to use it. Tip: Practice on an old piece of chain, bike shops will usually have some lying around (they welcome you reusing their waste.).
Pumps can come in all shapes and sizes. Find one that works for you and know how to use it. Smaller pumps will be easier to store but sacrifice air volume which means it will take more pumps to get to pressure. A larger pump may be a little bulkier but will require way less effort and half as many pumps to get to pressure. I’m a big fan of the Topeak Road Morph which has a large chamber, a flexible hose, a foot peg and a pressure gauge.
I always carry 2 tubes for my bike on any camping trip. When I’m supporting a group, I usually carry an extra 2-3 plus a patch kit. Tubes normally have a generous size range and can be squeezed into a smaller or larger width tire in a pinch. The diameter of the tire is more specific but most people will be riding a 700c(29er and 27inch share the same tube diameter). If I don’t know what kind of equipment my group will be on, I carry one 26inch tube, just in case. If all else fails I bust out the patch kit.
An excellent multipurpose tool, the Leatherman gives you not only a versatile camp tool but an incredibly useful bike tool. The pliers, knife, Phillip and flat head screwdriver all serve dual purpose for both bike and camp uses. Use the pliers to remove a hot pot off the fire or pick a thorn out of a tire.
What else should I carry?
Small parts? Small parts!
A list of things I carry including but not limited to:
And know, on an OOFD ride, if you can bring any of these items, great. But if you can't, no worries. The guides will have them and got you covered.
THE ONLY REQUIRED PIECE FROM THIS BLOG THAT YOU NEED TO BRING ON AN OOFD RIDE IS 2 INNER TUBES THAT FIT YOUR WHEEL.
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