Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Finding the balance between having too much stuff and being caught without something you need.
You are either bringing too much stuff or not enough...
“When working on your bike at home exclusively use the tools you will carry with you. This is the best way to find out what you need for your bike."
When planning what to pack, break your clothes down into on and off bike. Having your riding outfit and your off bike outfits will reduce the overall amount of what to wear. It is also helpful to pack so you are not emptying your bags and repacking every night. An ounce of planning will save you loads of time reshuffling your bags every day.
Tool, Food, Water
I have ridden with guys that have a torque wrench but no sockets to fit their axle! Do not just throw half your tool box into the bags, be strategic and save space and weight by bringing the tools that are relevant to your bike. A great way to accomplish this is to exclusively use the tools you carry with you on your bike. This is the best way to find out what you need for your bike.
Similar to the concept with clothes, an ounce of planning can save a lot of space. Plan out your meals, are you cooking every meal or dining out? Having snacks on the bike is a great way to hold you over between meals. I am far from a health coach but what you eat has a huge effect on how you feel. I ride with people that have a snickers and a mountain dew for their snack. It is hard to keep up with them for about 30 min then it's the other way around. Find a balance for what you like and what will not cause peaks and valleys in your energy level.
Hydration is critical it helps you think and perform at your best. Drinking water is the best option to maintain hydration. Sports drinks are great for helping you recover faster but are often over consumed. Stay away from drinks with sugar and caffeine as they have a tendency to promote dehydration. If there is one item you should over pack it should be water. Hydro packs are great for being able to sip smaller amounts consistently. Our body's can only process so much water at once so smaller amounts over a consistent period are better than chugging a large amount all at once.