Fat Biking 101: What to pack when your fat biking

Anyone who has ever been out mountain biking knows that this sport is a blast until you are sitting next to your bike at the bottom of a decent wondering how did that happen?  If you’re not prepared you may be putting yourself at an unreasonable risk.  In this version of Fat Biking 101 I'm going to discuss what to carry to ensure that a simple mishap doesn't derail your ride.  Next week we will discuss how to pack your bag to safely carry all your gear.  

Tip 1: How to carry your gear

Let’s start with how to carry all of your gear.  There are many options to carry your gear.  The most common two are bike bags or a camel pack style carrier.  The safest way to carry all of your gear is with a bike frame bag like this medium size frame bag from Banjo Brothers which retails for $40.  

Banjo Brothers Frame Pack

The frame bag will not only eliminate the bag you traditionally carry on your back but will transfer the weight to a more centralize location within the structure of your frame.   A bonus to carrying a frame bag is the ability to carry not only your tools but extra water in case of an emergency.  

 Tip 2:  Carry enough water

The most dangerous thing that can happen while out riding is running out of water.  Maybe you're lucky and your buddy has spare to share but now you run the risk of both of you running out of water.  Water consumption will vary greatly depending on temperature, climates, and duration.  I recommend carrying at least 32oz for every hour you plan to be out on the bike.  That might seem like overkill but I never run out of water when I am thirsty.  A couple of options for carrying your water would be a water bottle from Camelbak like the PODIUM® BIG CHILL™ 25 OZ or a bladder that can be placed inside of your frame bike like the Camelbax CRUX™ 1.5L RESERVOIR.  Both are great options that carry the water on the bike, not on our back.  

Tip 3: Emergency Kit

This doesn't have to be extremely elaborate but you do need to make sure that it has all the necessities to save your life.  This is a simple but effective kit one from Brave Soldier Crash Paks.  

Brave Soldier Crash Paks Road Rash First Aid Survival Kit includes:

Kit includes:

  • Antiseptic Healing Ointment 3g (2)
  • Large Blue Nitrile Gloves (2)
  • 4"x3" Non-Adherent Pads (2)
  • 3"x3"' Non-Woven Sponges (2)
  • 6" Stretch-Net Gauze (2)
  • 2"x4" Oversized Bandages (2)
  • 1"X3" Bandages (2)
  • Butterfly Wound Closures (5)
  • Providone Iodine Prep Pads (2)
  • BZK Towelettes (2)
  • Ibuprofen Pain Relief Tablets (2)
  • Road Rash Info Card
  • Waterproof 6"x8" Mylar bag

 Tip 4:  Bring the right tools for the job

Let’s say you have survived the monster rock garden that you normally go over the bars on but you noticed you might have banged your derailed on the log as you crushed through the nasty rock garden you have been trying to crush for the past year.  Having a quality multi tool like the Crank Brother Y16 tool will keep the adrenaline filled bike ride moving.  This guy has a little bit of everything

Your workshop on the trail. Shop quality y-tool and bits in a lightweight, compact case.

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Hex bits: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm
  • Screwdrivers : Phillips #2, flat #2
  • Torx : t-25 & t-10
  • Chain tool : 8/9/10 speed compatible
  • Spoke wrench : #0, 1
  • Co2 Inflator
  • Weight: 260g   

Tip 5:  Bring the Air!  

No, not catching air.  We will leave that for another article.  I'm talking about bringing the C02 for your  Crank Brother Y16 tool.  I am a huge proponent of C02.  it's small, lightweight and will get you up and running much faster than a mini pump.  For fat bikes I have found 20g C02 canisters work best and I carry 2 of them at all times.  

Tip 6:  Have a spare tire

Carrying a spare tire can be a life safer, literally.  Not only is it great is for some reason you tear your tire but you can also use it as a tourniquet in case of a serious injury where you need to stop the bleeding.  Tubes are cheap and as long as they are the correct size for your wheel you would be good to go.  

Tip 7:  Carry a fully charged cellphone 

I know the idea of riding fat bikes is to get away from society and all the connectivity that we are addicted to but carrying a fully charged cellphone is a must.  I would even recommend adding an app like Strava or Map My Run.  If you get lost on your travels these apps will allow you to backtrack the way you came.  

Short Story.  A riding buddy of mine and I separated from the group ride one night and started to head back early.  On our way back, we mixed up the trails and were completely lost.  It only got worse when we lost our headlamps.  Using my phone, we were able to pull up a map and find the correct trail to get ourselves out of the woods.  

Final thoughts:

These are only some of the necessary items that I have found to be useful while riding.  I had found I needed many of these items because I was once very ill prepared to be out riding.  Many times, riding all by myself and no way to get help.  

Please share with your friends and leave a comment below with your favorite things to take with you when you ride.  We would love to hear from you.     



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