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This is how well I look at the top of the climb up the Long Mynd - call a doctor for pity's sake I may have a coronary! Ed.
Stuff to take with you on a long day ride: This is the essential stuff - a parachute is nice on off days.
  1. Back pack (Camelback MULE or similar is good)
  2. Waterproof - the kind that packs down very small is best, then ALWAYS take it with you.
  3. Water - 2 litres for a long ride
  4. Food - sandwiches and Chocolate Maxim bars or Malt loaf (hey this isn't a magazine I can recommend what I like!)
  5. Pump - buy a good one, the really small mini pumps are a joke!
  6. Tyre levers if you need them - see the bit about removing tyres in punctures.
  7. Two spare inner tubes (New are best, or repaired, following the guide in punctures) Puncture repair outfit and extra UNOPENED tube of solution.
  8. A piece of medium emery paper 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. A small stick of french chalk.
  9. A cut up Crest tube (See Pinch Punctures on this site)
  10. A carpet needle.
  11. A card of linen thread. (See Repair a torn tyre on this site)
  12. A Chain splitter - Buy a good one.
  13. At least two Shimano black pins (if you have a Shimano chain) tape these inside the lid of your puncture repair kit.
  14. A set of allen keys, the penknife style ones are good.
  15. A small screwdriver.
  16. A first aid kit including an elastic bandage (from Boots The Chemist if you're UK) - these are the only ones that will stay on your elbow or shoulder till you ride back to civilisation.
  17. A Spokey spoke key.
  18. A felt tip pen that will show on inner tubes.
  19. Some lunch/phone money.
Some key points to remeber:
The Spokey spoke key is the best one made. Don't settle for anything less. They're widely available, weigh almost nothing, take up little room and last for years, Mine is 6 years old already. Make sure to get the yellow one, the orange one is for road bikes.
A real chain splitter is advised on long day rides. If you have one of the multi-tool types, make sure it's useable before you take it out riding, some of them are a joke.
If you follow the advice on tyre removal at Mend a puncture perfectly you may not need to carry tyre levers. However the no lever method depends on having medium to large Kevlar tyres. These come off more easily than wire beaded. Remember friends may not have Kevlar tyres.
Hah! I scanned a tube of toothpaste, how sad is that? Seriously though, if you cut the ends off an empty plastic toothpaste tube, it makes the best tyre boot known. See the advice at Mend a torn MTB tyre
Photograph by Tom Broadbent