Trail riding essentials

Nine Things You Shouldn’t Leave The Trailhead Without

Riding through the woods or across the desert is one of the most thrilling experiences motorcycling has to offer. However, the experience can quickly take a turn for the worse if riders are unprepared.

Here are nine things members of the Skippack, Pa.-based, AMA-chartered Blue Comet MC recommend taking with you.

F Cell phone: To call for help in case you or someone else on the ride crashes or breaks down

F Water: On trails, you’re likely a long way from the nearest convenience store or truck stop. Blue Comet member Bill McLead recommends wearing a hydration backpack while riding.

F Hand tools: You don’t need to carry everything from your 15-drawer tool chest, but basic hand tools can help you perform small repairs and get going again quickly.

F Zip ties/mechanics wire: Some repairs require holding things together. Carrying a small bag of zip ties or wire may help you make a simple repair.

F Snack: Trail riding can be physically demanding, so it’s a good idea to have a small snack with you.

F Spark plug (two-strokes): Having an extra plug and a tool to change the plug can prevent waiting hours for someone to ferry a plug to you.

F Clutch lever: A broken clutch lever can greatly complicate a trail ride if it breaks. McLead said he broke one while riding on single-track trail and had a tough time riding back to the trailhead.

F Map: It’s a good idea to have a map of the trail—or some other way of figuring out where you are. Trails can go on for miles, so it’s best to have a visual reference if you need to call for help.

F Riding partner: The best insurance policy you can have on the trail is a fellow rider. McLead recommends never riding trails alone just in case something happens.