Western Spirit Cycling

A Packing Check List for Cycling in the Desert

Posted by Mark Sevenoff on Sep 10, 2015 7:00:00 PM

Cycling in the desert is rewarding, fun, beautiful, and challenging! Of course your strength, endurance, and hardcore perseverance are the most important tools you can bring, but it’s also important to make sure you have the right gear before you head out there.

Here are some of our guides’ top recommendations for your desert ride:


Drink lots of water before your ride and bring plenty with you. When it comes to carrying your water comfortably, Camelbak is the way to go. Our guides love their new custom Camelbak hydration packs that hold up to 3 liters of water. Beyond water, this pack provides back protection and plenty of storage for the rest of your supplies. A good hydration pack is definitely the #1 must-have—it’s not just about what you’re carrying, but how you’re carrying it. Be sure to find a pack that fits comfortably and holds everything you need.


Bring some snacks that are sweet and some that are salty, so you’ve always got something you’re in the mood for. I pack a mix of CLIF MINIS and CLIF MOJO bars so I have something that tastes good no matter how I’m feeling. Clif Bar, our favorite, also makes an assortment of gelsbloks, and organic energy food, which are all awesome and allow you to assemble quite the smorgasbord. Bring enough nutrition to get you through your ride, plus a little extra.

Spare Tube and Patch Kit

Flats happen. Always be prepared to replace a tube or two on a long ride.


The Specialized EMT Pro Multitool gives you all the functions you need and its compact size makes it perfect for your desert ride. You don’t want to find yourself 20 miles out in the hot sun with a broken chain, or wishing you could make a little adjustment to your bike.

Eye Protection

Proper eye protection is very important in the desert. If you wear contact lenses like I do, you’ll want to be sure to keep sand and sun out of your eyes. All of our guides wear Smith eyewear. We love the Pivolok V2 Max Sunglasses for their lightweight design and easily-to-swap lenses.

Whether you’re joining one of our desert adventures, or heading out on one of your own, this list will help you get the most out of your ride.

Topics: desert, snacks, packing check list, gear