Summer is the time for adventure, for leaving home trails and venturing out into the real mountains to discover new trails. High mountains have always been a beautiful nirvana for mountain bikers, an exciting playground, but like a kid poking a dog with a stick occasionally you will get bitten. Here are 9 things to carry with you to make sure your next mountain bike adventure is uneventful.

Good gear makes all the difference

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A good quality waterproof jacket is a no brainer.

Mountain weather can be a cruel mistress, one minute you’re riding in a T-shirt, hooting with joy at the blue skies and dusty trails, and the next you’re hunkered down behind a rock, desperate to find shelter from the barrage of wind rain that threatens to cut your face clean off! If you’re riding far from the shelter of your car you need to be prepared – A decent waterproof can be the difference between a funny story in the pub and a life-threatening situation, not only keeping off the rain but the wind too! Check out our waterproof jacket group test to see which one is the best.

Punctures suck, don’t let them deflate your fun!

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No tube or patches means you could be faced with a long walk home!

Punctures suck! You know how it works, having the ride of our lives we smash down the trail. “This is amazing, I am so fast, this will be a KOM for sur…….” psssssssst “Dammit”. Punctures are getting rarer these days, but when it does happen, chances are it will be a long way from home, raining and getting dark. CO2 works well for racing, but if you mess up the charge you will still have a puncture and also the frustration that you just wasted € 4 on a CO2 cartridge. Pack a pump, tube and patches and be prepared.

Go ‘old school’ when it comes to navigation

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A compass and map and map may seem overkill but GPS run out of battery, maps dont’!

Many people now think that mountain navigation involves following a blinking red line on a GPS. For sure, GPS’s have made mountain travel a lot easier and safer, but they still depend on batteries and are fragile. If you are heading out onto an unknown route be sure to carry a map and compass and know how to use it. Not only will it make you look like a proper intrepid adventurer, but if you have to change plans due to bad weather you will have everything you need at your fingertips.

Stay off Tinder!

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Don’t waste your phone battery unnecessarily.

Your phone has a lot of uses, whether it being checking Tinder, updating your Instagram or ordering a takeout. In fact, actually making phone calls is now only the 6th most popular use of a phone! But if things go wrong, a phone is still your best hope of reaching help! Whenever you head into the mountains, be sure to pack a fully charged phone in a plastic bag or protective case, and don’t burn out your battery swiping right.

Don’t be a dummy, pack a multitool!

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Multi tools are invaluable and help to salvage a load of potentially catastrophic situations.

It sounds obvious really but many people still set off into the mountains without a multitool. Without one even the most simple of mechanical problems will end with you doing a ‘long walk of shame’. What happens if you stem bolts work loose, what happens if your mech bolt falls out, what happens if your cleat falls off? You’re walking that’s what! Don’t be a dummy, pack a good multitool! Check out our group test to find out which one is the best! If the days are short, pack a small head torch too, it could save your life, or help you find your car keys if you drop them!

Too much horsepower!

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Keeping a couple of quick links and chain tool stashed away will keep you rolling without losing too much time.

“Crack”! We have all been there, super excited you throw down too much horse power and your chain snaps in two. Of course, your immediate journey over the handlebars is very funny for anyone watching, but then you realise that you are a long way from home. Most modern chains cannot longer be fixed by driving pins from other links through, and need a special connecting link. Our tip is to tape a connecting chain link to your hose so you will never be without a spare. While you are at it stick 2 or 3 standard bolts, zip ties and a pair of brake pads together in a small bag, they will save the day sometime!

Be ‘that dude with the Jelly Babies’

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Make sure to carry plenty of food and water to keep yourself well fuelled.

OK, maybe we are trying to teach Grandma how to suck eggs here, but be sure to always carry food and water on your next mountain adventure. When you get hungry or start to ‘bonk’ (not as fun as it sounds) you will ride with as much skill as a hippo on a unicycle. Pack some energy bars and enough water to keep you hydrated. Not only will you be prepared for a longer mission if you have a problem but you can make a friend for life by being ‘that dude with the jelly babies’.

What to do if you rip your tyre?

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Avoid having to use gel wrappers! Take patches or at the very least a section of duct tape.

Fixing a puncture is one thing, but what do you do if you rip a side wall. If you’re far from home you have to think more creatively. The best solution is to carry a purpose made adhesive tyre patch like the Park Tools Emergency Tyre Boot, but if pushed you can also use any flexible material taped to the inside of the tyre. Wrap a few turns of Duct Tape round your pump so you have a fighting chance if you rip your tyre. We have even had success jamming a glove between the tube and the tyre.

Have an Emergency Plan

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Don’t forget to tell someone where you are going, and last but not least, enjoy!

Lastly and most importantly ALWAYS let someone know where you are heading too, and what to do if you don’t come back. If you are heading somewhere remote it’s good to know that if things go wrong someone has your back and will call in the cavalry. On the flip side, make sure when you return don’t forget to let your ’backup plan’ know, it’s not cool to sit in the pub drinking while Mountain rescue sends out the helicopters to look for you!

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Words: Photos: Trevor Worsey / Ross Bell / Christoph Bayer / Sebastian Hermann