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Gear You Should Never Ride Without

Enjoy your ride outdoors, but be prepared for anything while you do it. (Photo Steve Hickoff) Enjoy your ride outdoors, but be prepared for anything while you do it. (Photo Steve Hickoff)

By: Steve Hickoff

It's easy to shrug off packing or wearing gear that'll keep you safe outdoors, but highly recommended for the well-prepared recreational rider.

  1. Helmet
    It's plain and simple - protect your head. Forget about acting cool and riding without one. Do the sensible thing; if not for you, at least for your family.

  2. Goggles
    Riding puts you into some trying situations. Branches on un-groomed trails and small flying rocks can do personal damage. As with the helmet, it's the right move to make.

  3. Protective Apparel
    Gloves, long shirt sleeves and pants, as well as protective boots - all are suggested for your trail riding and back road adventures. Lighter but still protective apparel can be worn during the warmer months. You won't even question it when it's cold.

  4. Maps
    Print maps or GPS-generated, take your pick - maps are a smart move, especially when you're wheeling into new territory. As a Plan B, always inform friends and family where you'll be riding that day.

  5. First-Aid/Survival Kit
    This item is one that's easy to prepare, but hard to remember to bring along. Do it. Fill the kit with simple details such as Band-Aids and insect repellent, but also gauze, medical tape, toilet paper, and more serious items such as a space blanket, waterproof matches and a snack kit if you have to unexpectedly spend the night out there in the wild.

  6. Change of Clothes
    Got a duffle you rarely use? Sure you do. Fill it with clothes you can change into in the event of a soaking while fishing, or rough weather while hunting or simply riding recreationally. It'll take little time to fill this bag with socks, pants, shirts and a warm jacket and cap. Ride enough and at some point you'll use it.

Can you think of any gear item we left off the list?

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