Over the past decade I have fine tuned my off the bike essentials, these are a few items that have proved vital in an emergency or in preventing disaster when traveling on an adventure. Some of these points might seem obvious, but I expect at least one will be new to you and might at least save you a lot of pain and hassle, if not something more essential.
So in no particular order here are my 10 tips:
1. An MSR or equivalent stove service kit. When you need to boil your water or if winter camping then melting snow on your stove is the only options for drinking water. If that stove packs up your rather stuffed. For the last 10 years our MSR stove is the ‘go to’ multi fuel cooking stove but occasionally the seals go or the jets bung up. We have had huge and scary petrol fires start from leaks, however a service kit saves the day! A good pen knife and some tweezers are obvious essentials that help here too.
MSR Service kits at cheapest price
2. Aqua pure or the Life Saver bottle. These products are both new to me but come with strong recommendations. Basically they quickly filter everything out of water. Even the smallest of Viruses. That’s pretty revolutionary, you can now fill up from any tap, river and lake and instantly drink the water! Good for 350l litres and just £29 online the aqua pure is what I went for.
3.General antibiotics. These may never be used but taking them along on remote adventures is well worth while so discuss the trip with your doctor before you leave. It is also worth asking up to three months in advance about vaccinations, I left it a bit late with just one month to go!!
4. Dental filling and first aid kit. This might depend on your teeth a bit but mine are awful so this kit saves disaster when a filling rips out in the middle of nowhere. The tub of filling material is tiny so there is no issue putting it in the first aid kit. Also ensure you have some strong pain killers in there for when you do your DIY dentistry! YOu can get these in Boots the chemist stores in the UK.
5. Re-hydration sachets. These should be one of the first items in your pack, I quickly dehydrate when the temperatures rise so these are vital on those hot days where you run out of water or more importantly for when you get diarrhea.
6. Tent repair kit. A fabric patch/gaffer tape and a pole splint can be lifesaving in certain conditions. One broken pole or a small tear that spreads, can render a tent unusable.
Click here to check out tent repair kits
7. Cycling glasses and eye drops. For those without contact lenses or glasses these may not seem necessary but they can be vital to treat or prevent major eye damage.
8. This is boring but never forget SUNBLOCK and a good hat.
9. Zip ties and gaffer tape wrapped around a frame bike or pump are you friends for solving any number of bike but also medical issues. Always stick a few zip ties in your pack. Zip ties can help create ad hoc leg braces and gaffer tape acts as as a strong bandage support.
10. Finally, this tip might sound unrealistic but I have never forgotten advice an old Canadian lady gave me. Always sleep in a tent with a knife at your side. Therefore if a bear attacks you can cut the canvas and escape at the opposite end! Having faced down then fled an angry grizzly bear and endured many sleepless nights in the Canadian backcountry when the heavy padding can be heard from bears investigating my camp spot, I always remember this tip. However it’s a good tip in case of any attack, fire or other incident where getting trapped in a tent is not ideal!
Well I hope these tips help. If I have missed anything or any one has any recommendations please let me know!