MTB Safety Day 3
Riding with a 32 litre pack full of leader's kit is something you need to get used to. Nobody expects you to carry that much kit when out riding yourself or with friends, but do consider packing some extra bits of kit when riding in the colder months. An good insulated jacket weighs very little and can pack down small. Keeping warm when you stop for a break, check the map or fix a mechanical will conserve energy and reduce fatigue. Should the worst happen and you need to remain stationary while waiting for help, extra layers are essential. Hoods can function as an integrated stuff sack, simply roll it up into the hood! Hand and toe warmers are a huge boost to happiness when out on the hill and I get through so many of these over winter. Toe warmers stick to your socks on top of your toes and are thin enough to fit in bike shoes. Hand warmers can be stuffed inside gloves to keep hands warm. A foil blanket is so light and compact it should be in your kit bag all year round. They're great insulators for their size and are both windproof and waterproof. If there's space in your riding pack and depending on who you normally ride with, a group shelter or 1-person bivvy will provide superior weather protection. They're also great for eating sandwiches in the rain! A compact torch may initially seem obvious but is often overlooked. Even a minor mechanical could see you run out of daylight to get home – particularly if you're forced to walk back. Ideally take something that can be mounted to your bar or helmet so you can still ride with it. Finally, all of that kit fits nicely into a small dry bag to keep it protected from rain and spray from wheels.