Embarking on a 500-mile off-road ride through 1.1-million acres of dense forest filled will stretches of deep, soft sand, mud pits and narrow single tracks is no walk in the park. In preparation for the three-day, 500-mile Pine Barrens 500, I took a two-day 101 course with Pine Barrens Adventure Camp in the exact terrain I’ll be on for the long ride. Learning new skills and sharpening old ones is just one to prepare for a long-range off-road enduro. Bringing along all the right gear, protection and tools is a must. Naturally, you can’t predict every fall or flat tire, but you can be ready if and when they happen.
Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS DLX
Using the already versatile Bell MX-9 Adventure helmet as a base line, the DLX adds a significant upgrade with a transition lens. The simple but critical upgrade means you don’t need to change lenses when the light starts to fade because the UV-sensitive adaptive lens adapts its tint depending on lighting.
Rev’It Sand 3
For warmer weather, Rev’It Sand 3 gloves are lightweight and breathble but knuckle and finger padding still provide protection for when the tree branches get too close for comfort.
Klim Vanguard GTX
When it gets cold and wet, the Klim Vanguard GTX will keep your digits warm and dry. And unlike most cold weather gloves, the Vanguard GTX has a short gauntlet for better range of motion — useful for when in the stand-up adventure riding position or to provide wrist freedom while jostling side to side.
Rev’It Sand Urban Jacket
Versatility and adaptabilty are key when it comes to jackets. It’s tough to have all the gear you need and another jacket on top of that. The Sand Urban is lightweight and vented, but also comes with detatchable and easily storable waterproof and insulated linings.
Rev’It Sand 3 Pants
As with jackets, pants need to be adaptable. The Sand 3 comes with removable waterproof and insulated layers like the Sand Urban jacket.
Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots
One thing you don’t want for 500 miles is cold, wet feet. The Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots are tough enough to handle the bumps and knocks from the trail and use Gore-Tex liners to keep the water out. The Toucan Boots also have treaded soles, which more hardcore dirt boots tend to skip, but come in handy when you’re on a slick surface trying to upright your bike and keep on riding.
Dainese D-Core Thermo Shirt
Technical base layers are another important layer you’ll wish you brought along when you need it. When temepratures rise and dip, technical layers do a fine job of regulating your body temp under all your other gear.
Garmin Montana 680T GPS
Navigating the great outdoors when you can get a GPS signal is a breeze, but without it you’re riding blind. The Garmin Montana 680T is a mountable GPS that lets you download topographical maps so you don’t have to rely on a signal. Unless you’re a fan of stopping every 100 yards to unfold a map, offline navigation is essential.
Klim Nac Pak
Carrying a massive rucksack on a 500-mile ride is a terrible idea. It’s far better to distribute the weight of your gear across your body and your bike. Pack extra gloves and a layer or two, but hydration should also be a top priority. The Klim Nac Pak isn’t oversized but includes a hydration system for on-the-go-drinks.
Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag
A compact tank bag that stores gear and snacks at the ready makes life on the trail less of a chore. The Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag is tough, easy to install and detach and is the perfect size for a smart phone and a couple protein bars.
Wolfman Enduro Dry Saddle Bags
Hard saddle bags work for big adventure bikes on long tours but the extra weight and size play against you on the trails. Wolfman Enduro Dry Saddle Bags are quick to install and since they’re soft and collapsable, won’t do damage to your bike if you go down. Just don’t store anything fragile in them — think extra layers and soft gear.
Velomacchi Speedway Tool Roll
Trail fixes are just a fact of life when you ride off-road — flats happen, parts bend and break. A trusty tool roll like the Velomacchi Speedway Tool Roll makes it easier to bring along miscellanious spare parts and essential tools to your specific bike.
Windzone Essenti-Economy Tool Kit
Where your tool roll might be home to the custom set of wrenches, drivers and spare levers for your bike, a generic toll kit also lends a massive help. For whatever you can’t fit in your tool roll there’s a good chance the Windzone Essenti-Economy Tool Kit has you covered.
Motion Pro T6 Tire Levers
It’s probably more of a case of when – not if – you get a flat tire. Motion Pro T6 Tire Levers are dual-sided wrenches and tire spoons that are neccessary if you want any chance of getting back to camp after a flat.
Spare IRC Heavy Duty Tubes
Another crucial, self-explanatory item to bring along.
Bike Master Tire And Tube Flat Repair Kit
There are air compressors tiny enough to fit in a tank bag or back pack, but having pressurized CO2 capsules and full tire repair kit are among the simple pleasures of lightweight enduro riding.
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