Following our buyer’s guide to hydration packs, we nicked Jon Gregory’s pack, fresh with mud from his trip to take part in the Alpine Battle in the Alps recently, and poured out the contents. This outpouring of his bag shows a pretty representation of what you would normally expect to find inside a hydration pack.
Here’s what Jon had to say about his pack
“This is the kit that I keep in my pack all the time. I leave it there so that I know that I have what I need whenever I jump on the bike, safe in the knowledge that I have my trail survival kit with me. There is nothing worse than being out in the middle of nowhere facing the prospect of a long walk home.
“I always keep a check one the puncture repair kit and make sure I’m stocked up on zip ties, the savoir of many unfortunate situations. If I am out on a longer ride then I will carry some snacks along the lines of a cereal bar and banana or apple but I rarely get involved with the gels. I remember having a gel-pack on standby for about six months last year however and do believe they are good to have for those moments on a really long ride when you are ready to collapse.
“Ohhh, and maybe a few strips of loo-roll. One thing I’m missing is a rectangular strip of milk bottle plastic…just so that I have an emergency fix for a cut or tear in a tubeless tyre when an inner tube fix won’t work on it’s own. Basically some plastic bendy enough to sit against the wall of the tyre under air pressure. Ride prepared and cover as many ‘potentials’ as possible.”
A closer look at the contents
Spare tubes – that’s a downhill inner tube but you can replace that with a lighter weight spare tube for UK riding. Even if you run a tubeless configuration on your bike it’s still worth take a spare tube, just in case.
Puncture repair kit – there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere, the rain trickling down your neck, and finding you’ve used up all your spare tubes. So carry a small puncture repair outfit and even in the direst situation, you’ll still be able to get home.
Tools– a mini-tool is essential, and one with a good variety of tool bits to cover every eventually is recommended, even better is one with a chain tool as well.
Pump – interestingly, Jon has opted for an old-school pump for rock solid reliability. Diminutive mini-pumps may look great in the bike shops display, but can often fail to deliver out on the trail
Zip ties – we never leave home without a couple of zip ties. You can fix almost any mechanical with a zip tie, you’ll be surprised.
Things not pictured in Jon’s pack are food (gels, bars, baguette) and money/phone/credit card/house keys.
What do you carry in your hdyration pack? Let’s hear about it the forum, and let’s see some photos too.