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Gearing up with Richard Gasperotti

By Adam Marsal

Our ambassador Gaspi shows you what to take with you whether you’re heading out for a short day ride or an epic journey.

Gaspi is an experienced rider who’s helped us with many of our great projects as an advisor and instructor. In fact, just last month he spent the days around Lago di Garda with our contest winners teaching them how to downhill. And today he’s got some good tips for you on what to pack.

Gaspi at our Italian Adventure Camp

Be The Smart One In Your Group

First and foremost, carry water. It may seem obvious, but many people simply don’t think of it. Next up, bring along some snack food. And it’s always good to carry a few tools, a spare tube, and anything else your unequipped friends will need to get out of the woods (and you can bet they will need something).

Choose the right backpack

For me, the Dakine Apex is the most useful backpack I’ve ever seen for mountain biking. It may take you a long to to even discover and utilize some of its great features, but Dakine is on your side when it comes to your next ride. As with other Dakine products, the backpack was design by freeride legends Thomas Vanderham, Geoff Gulevich and Wade Simons, so it’s no wonder it works exactly how you want it. I’ve regularly used it for riding, trail building, hiking, and as airplane carry-on luggage.

Plastic bottle is a threat

What I like best about the Apex is that you can easily strap your helmet or protective pads to it. And of course the bag comes with a hydration reservoir. In case your current backpack doesn’t have this feature, I recommend you get one that does. One thing you should never do is pack a hard plastic water bottle into your pack. If you crash and fall on your back, the full bottle will be hard as rock and could fracture your backbone. Take this threat very seriously.

Never trust a weather forecast

Even in a fine weather, I usually take a light rain jacket with me since you never know what how the weather might change once in the wilderness. For the same reason I rarely ride without a basic first aid kit, including a bandage, adhesive plasters, wound disinfectant and other emergency gear.

Emergency number exists for a reason

When it comes to giving myself a power boost I prefer cereal or chocolate bars and grape sugar candy to energy gels. I always bring along a fold-up multi tool, including chain tool. And don’t forget to take some money, your insurance card and a local map. It’s also useful to have the number for local emergency services, just in case.