Moab backpack essentials

Please enlighten me on Backpack essentials. :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

you’ll want straps, that’ll keep it on your back

but really i can only assume that you will get hot so bring water, and food and a patch kit and other asorted tools. Im not going but thats what i bring when i go riding

I’m not going either, but I’d assume just a set of bike tools, maybe a small bike pump just in case, maybe a wrench, water and snacks, basic first aid things, and a camera, if you’ve got one.

Water is the big thing. The trails we’re planning to do this year don’t sound quite as strenuous as the Slickrock Trail, but still, you’ll be out there in high desert, working hard. For Slickrock, I’ve always brought my three-litre CamelBak plus an extra bottle of Gatorade, and I’ve always finished what I’ve brought.

A camera is also a near requirement, as the views are spectacular.

In terms of tools, you’re not much more likely to need them at Moab as anywhere else you’re doing technical stuff, so just bring what you usually bring. For me, that’s an Alien, spoke wrench, patch kit, pump, and Profile crank allen wrench.

multi-tool, lots of water, powerbar(s), camera if you want. maybe a mini pump, maybe a spare tube/patch kit.

that what i had at moab at it worked out great.

May I suggest a rubber chicken? They make everything more fun.


Here’s a page on Moab riding safety and other issues. It’ll give you some ideas on what to bring and what to prepare for.

The big one is water. More water than you have needed on any other ride. More than you think you could use.

Water, more water, energy food, salt (electrolytes), basic tools, patch kit, spare tube, small pump, small first aid kit, camera. You don’t want to run out of water during a ride. You also don’t want to bonk (complete loss of energy due to not enough energy food).

Also be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions and temperature. It’ll be very cold at night (near freezing) and in the morning. You should have something lightweight and warm that you can take off and put in your pack if it’s chilly at the beginning of a ride.

And then be careful around the dangerous bits on some of the trails (cliffs). You literally can die from a fall on some parts of some trails.


Yes and no. In Moab there’s a good chance you may run into trouble a lot farther from the nearest road (or bike shop) than what you’re used to. So I recommend being extra prepared. It just isn’t fun when you have to make a long walk while everyone else is having more fun.

Moab’s weather in March can vary widely. Yes it can dip below freezing overnight, and it might get hot during the day. Usually it’s been in the 60s for our rides though the first time I went, it was always cold whenever we stopped.

  • A light jacket, one that you can pack up if not needed.
  • Lots of water, especially if it’s going to be warm. I will fill my 100 oz. Camelbak with water, plus bring a bottle of Gatorade or similar.
  • Food! The big rides will have no services, and you’ll need it to finish. Many people share some of their stuff, so you could also bring something to share.
  • I highly recommend a spare tube, not just a patch kit. This is based on a 2-mile walk I had to do at the very first MUni Weekend. A patch kit also can’t hurt.
  • Don’t forget ALL THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO CHANGE SAID TIRE. Sure, other people will have tools as well. They may not fit your unicycle, and those people may be ahead of you when you break down. I have little sympathy for people who expect everyone else to carry all the tools they need.
  • If you’re riding cotterless, at least one spare crank nut or bolt. I carry crank nuts with me, and they cost $5 on the trail. :slight_smile:
  • A phone is not a bad idea. Most carriers get great signal on the Slickrock trail, though there might not be any on Porcupine Rim.
  • Maybe some asprin, if you’re not used to altitude (around 5000’)

Before the ride:

  • Sunscreen!
  • Pre-hydrate
  • Pre-foodate (I made that word up)

oh yeah. i forgot about the jacket. good idea, especially for when you take breaks. i didn’t have one with me, but i used arm warmers instead. usually i was working hard enough riding that i took those off.

as far as the altitude goes, i got used to it in about a day. no huge deal, you’re only at 5000 ft, not 9000 or seomthing really big, and this is coming from a guy in iowa where it’s like 200 ft.

if you’re camping take a good ground pad and really warm sleeping bag. trust me. around thanksgiving it got into to mid-20s. i have a worn out ground pad and a 40F bag. i froze. i was wearing nearly all the clothes i had and was still cold. then i bought a wool blanket from soem store and was okay, not warm, but i didn’t wake up shivering.

About buying a backpack, or what goes in it?

If your buying, it’s usually called a Hydration System. Camelbak is the best brand, a little pricey. You can find similar off-brands that work just as well. Kelty is a nice brand. Mine is similar to this one. You can get a nice model at Wal-Mart for about $25, ‘Outdoor Products’ brand. Whatever you get, it should have a hip belt and a chest strap, because riding rocks and steep stuff the water gets to flopping around, and can be very annoying.

A hydration pack isn’t as big a normal backpack, the smallest and sleekest that has some side pockets for tools/extra clothes is the perfect size. They also come with different size ‘bladders’, anywere from 50 oz. to 120+ oz. In Moab, you can get dehyrdated easily, so get the largest you can. Mine is only 70 oz., just barely enough.

As for what to put in a pack, you’ll want some trail snacks on the longer rides, maybe even a little on shorter rides too.

I didn’t take a jacket with me last year, it was very hot. I would wait untill right before the ride to decide wether or not I need a jacket or longsleeve shirt.

Geesh! How much are you lugging on your back for the ride :thinking: Sounds like 25 pounds or more! I know it’s not that much but man! So what are we talking in averge backpack weight, with everything you need? That must also make climbing harder and then how does that extra weight affect one’s balance?

you get used to it quickly, especially if it’s in a good pack and is tight against your back. i only notice it when landing larger drops.
for my pack weights:
70 oz water = 5 lbs.
2 power bars = .25 lbs
multi tool = .5 lbs
spare tube = .25 lbs
pump = .5 lbs

total = 6.5 lbs. strapped closely to my pack, i’m guessing at all those weights but i imagine they’re close or even a little heavier than actual. add maybe a pound for a camera.

As for capacity, I have a hydration pack that holds 96-oz. For Moab I have a second bladder and stuff that in the pack too. I fill the second bladder about halfway full. That gives me a capacity of about 140-oz for a big Moab ride and that works out to be about right with a reasonable reserve. It does make the pack heavy, but it gets lighter as you drink.

Keep in mind that the Moab Muni Fest is in the cool part of the season in Moab. If you ever go to Moab later in the season when it is actually warm and hot you will need even more water or just do shorter rides. In the warmer and hot part of the season the smart bike riders start out pre-dawn and finish their riding before it gets too hot. Be thankful that the Moab Muni Fest is in the early Spring and not during the Summer.

It is far better to finish a ride with a little bit of extra water than to run out of water before the end of the ride. If you’re nice you can share that extra water with the people who only brought 72-oz. of water with them.

It can be hot that time of the year too. In 2002 it was 90 by mid day. We have had cooler weather the last three years in the sixtys which is perfect for riding. It has been a mild winter here in southern Colorado so we could have an early spring so be prepared for hot or cold. It could be 40 or it could be 90.

Most of what I will carry in Moab, I carry on all MUni rides. But for Moab I’ll add the extra sports drink, lunch, which I don’t necessarily carry, and a spare tube.

If you are packing for Moab be sure to pack a smile. For Dan, technically, I’m not sure you can call yourself a Tellurider. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that you ride the Ridgeway?