Elevation Essentials: What Do You Need When Up on the Mountain?

The air’s thinner up here. That’s not just a phrase we use to explain some of the more “eccentric” residents, it’s a scientific fact. And while hitting the mountain isn’t quite the same as heading off to another planet, it can still take your body some time to adjust and being prepared can make the whole process a lot smoother. In today’s post we’ll walk through the elevation essentials, so you can hit summit with everything you need to keep thriving all weekend long!


It seems like water is at the top of every list of “what should I bring?” and that’s because water is just that awesome. Maybe important is a better word, but our squishy bodies are like 75{7935997247062b39bae37c32739e6826e3f85b2ba1452bb0a9dae411111d7e20} of the wet stuff, so it makes sense why it’s so essential.

Sweating it up on the mountain, hanging out in the sun, and the evaporative effects of elevation all make hydration on the mountain super important. Dehydration is the worst and it’s doubly rough if you’re somewhere hard to reach or it’s a long way back to base. Make sure you’ve got a bottle of water on your bike for every hour you’ll be riding, then be sure to drink (and refill) it every time you get a chance!


Spending all day in the sun is great for your mind, mood, and energy, but it can mean a beating for your skin. Not much matches the disappointment of sitting out on day two’s rides because you’re bright pink and peeling from day one. Avoid the hassle (and the painfully playful shoulder slaps from your friends) by slathering on the sunscreen before you hit the mountain. Remember to refresh it every once in a while as you’ll sweat it off during the day, and you’ll be able to enjoy the sun all weekend long.


They say failed weather men move to the mountains because it’s the one place they’ll never be wrong. We don’t know how true that is, but we do know that Mammoth can throw up some interesting weather and you’ll want to be ready for it – that means layers.

Chilly, misty mornings leading into scorching mid-day stillness, followed by a windy afternoon, and then the chill of night as the sun sets – it’s hard to find an outfit that’ll keep you comfy all day, but if you pack some light layers you’ll be ready for anything. Sweaters, windbreakers, anything you can stuff in your bag and don/ditch as needed will help you stay focused on the fun and not stress the weather.


When you ride in the city, lights are a must for traffic safety. When you ride in the mountains, it’s more about utility. If you’re not riding at night, you might not think you need a light to see the trail, but you’ll be glad you have one when your friend drops his phone into that bush and you guys are wasting daylight trying to find it in there.

Seeing into the bottom of your pack, signaling to a friend up the trail, or in the event that you get caught out after dark, having a light will always make your life easier so there’s no reason to hit the slopes without some illumination ready.

Tools / Spares

And the last thing you want on the mountain is to have your day cut short by a mechanical failure. You don’t need to bring the whole garage with you, but you’ll want your most common ride-side repair tools at the ready. Patch kits, pumps or CO2, an axle wrench if you don’t have quick-releases, etc… Best case scenario, you won’t even need them yourself but you’ll be able to make someone else’s day if they forgot their pump and are walking that flat tire 2 miles back to the parking lot. One thing’s for sure though, if you do forget your tools, you will need them – it’s like a law of the mountain.

It’s also a good idea to throw some human repair tools in that bag as well. bandages, disinfectant, etc… just in case you or the crew suffer any “biological failures” of your own.

And now you’re ready to tackle the elevation! Pack the essentials, and we’ll see you on the mountain!

Leave a Comment