Trail Preparedness


We are offering some basic resources to help you stay safe and be prepared for your mountain biking adventures.  

Mountain bikers often take for granted the fact that we‘ll return safe and sane from our jaunts into the backcountry even those that take us twenty miles or more from the nearest town or main road. I think we get this false sense of security from the fact that long distances can easily be covered on a bike in a matter of a few hours, as opposed to hiking or backpacking where the time involved reinforces the reality of the seclusion and distance from help should some unforeseen event occur. The truth is, the further you get from your car, a road or a town, the greater the likelihood you'll end up spending the night in the woods if a serious injury or breakdown occurs. Traveling with the appropriate gear, however, greatly reduces not only the discomfort and danger inherent in an unplanned-for night in the woods, but also the chances of that ever happening in the first place.

In terms of preparedness there is no substitute for knowing what to do in case of an emergency. All the gear in the world wont help you unless you know how to use it properly. Before traveling any significant distance from help in the wilderness, educate yourself on emergency and survival techniques - Singletracks article

The tips included here are only suggestions and do not constitute professional medical advice.  
If you have any suggestions to make this page more useful, please let us know at   

"How to Survive Mountain Biking"  

A two part presentation produced in December 2020, with the help of Dr. Silvia Santiago, Dr. Katharine Woessner, and April Oertle (ess EMT).  

Part 1  View HERE

Part 2  View HERE

Printable Resource Guide created for this series.


What To Carry In Your Pack

  • Emergency ID Card
  • WATER 
  • Snacks
  • Electrolytes (Cliff Bloks, GU, Nuun, ect)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Spare Tube + Tire Levers
  • Patch Kit/Sealant
  • Hand Pump (optional: CO2 cartridges)
  • Shock Pump
  • Multitool (optional: set of Allen Keys)
  • Chain Breaker + Masterlink
  • Deraileur Hanger 
  • Zip ties

Emergency Identification Card Sample - Keep one in your pack and one in your car.  Available on Amazon.

There Is No Perfect First Aid Kit! 

That being said,  consider carrying things you know how to use. These could include:

  • Bandaids (various sizes)
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Disposble gloves
  • Sterile gauze (4x4 gauze)
  • Ibuprofeun or Tylenol
  • Duck tape or medical tape
  • Benadryl/Diphenhydramine
  • Epipen* (if you suffer from anaphylactic reactions)
  • Triple antibiotic ointments
  • Water purfication tablets (for longer rides)
  • Emergency Contact information
  • Save-your-life-card (many states sell inexpensive cards to pay for rescue)
  • Mylar Emergency Blanket
  • Whistle 
  • Extra batteries 
  • Bandana 
  • Emergency sugar (i.e. gel shot)


Resources To Help You Stay Safe on Trails


Classes, Training and Other Resources

Wilderness Medicine Courses  

 1) Advanced Wilderness Medicine

 2) REI -Wilderness Medicine Classes 

3) NOLS: Wilderness Medicine Courses

4) LL Bean: Women‘s Only Wilderness First Aid Course  

5) Aerie Backcountry Medicine

 6) SOLO Wilderness Medicine

 7) Stanford Wilderness Medicine

 8) Wilderness Medical Associates International 

Wilderness Survival Classes  

 1) REI: Wilderness Safety Training with NOLS

2) Wilderness Basic Course - Comprehensive hiking and backpacking course offered by the Sierra Club, San Diego chapter

 3) Wilderness Survival Classes: Core Wilderness and Survival Skills Training

Online First Aid Classes  

 1) Colorado Wilderness Medicine: Basic Wilderness First Aid Course Online

 2) Red Cross: Wilderness emote first aid

3) ACLS: Wilderness First Aid Basics

4) Round Adventurer: Outdoor First Aid course, self-paced round adventurer



 1) NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Tod Schimelpfenig

 2) Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, Mountaineers Books