What to pack

What you take on your ride will depend on how long, rough or remote you’re going. Here we bring you suggested gear lists for day rides and overnight/bikepacking trips, with plenty of suggested extras depending on your itinerary. Regardless of where and when you go, consider sharing gear – such as spares and tools – between your riding group.


The beauty of a day ride is that you can travel light, but don't scrimp on the essentials, especially when it comes to your comfort and safety.

  • comfortable backpack – note that 30-litre capacity is the largest you’d want to carry; you could also look to place gear on your bike with a frame bag or seat pack
  • cycle helmet – a compulsory health and safety provision in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • food – take more than enough to keep you fuelled up. That cafe or shop you thought would be open might not be
  • water (and water bottle/bladder) – although many rides have water sources where you can top up your bottle, always set off with sufficient supplies and work out where you can get more
  • sensible cycling clothes – several layers suitable to the conditions; we recommend a merino wool top in addition to a short-sleeve sports top and an outer layer such as a fleece or shell; padded lycra shorts are also essential for all but the shortest of rides
  • suitable riding shoes bearing in mind that you might not always be on the bike and pedalling
  • cycling gloves – highly recommended, especially for longer rides
  • raincoat – utterly essential if there's any chance of wet, cold weather, as are three-quarter length over-trouserswool socks and warm gloves
  • sunscreen and sunglasses – sun protection is vital at all times of year; pack a sunhat too, if you plan to spend time off the bike
  • buff or bandana will protect your neck from both the sun and cold draughts
  • spares & tools such as tubes, bike pump, tyre levers, lube and other bike tools appropriate to your remoteness and risk of mechanical failure
  • cellphone – carrying a fully charged cellphone is recommended for all rides, even remote ones where coverage is sketchy
  • first aid kit – particularly if you're heading into rough or remote country
  • map/navigational aids – essential if there’s any chance of taking a wrong turn or otherwise stuffing up; you can read more about this in Riding Safely
  • PLB (personal locator beacon) or spot tracker – an excellent insurance policy for remote trails such as the Coronet Loop; the Mountain Safety Council website lists places in NZ where you can hire PLBs
  • torchheadlamp or bike lights (and spare batteries) – should your ride feature any tunnels or be likely to extend beyond daylight hours
  • survival kit – for remote rides, consider taking a basic survival kit – this may seem excessive but it could save a life in the event of an emergency. Check out the Mountain Safety Council's excellent advice around Emergencies and Survival 


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