10 things to take on a back-country ride
Be Set Free
10 things to take when riding the Pakihi Track — and why
If you're an experienced and confident rider, the Pakihi Track is a gem. It's a ride into magnificent back-country, the whole way in pure forest.
But, fact is, even an experienced rider (or runner or walker) can have an accident. If an accident does happen, on the Pakihi, you're up to 10km from the nearest road, with no mobile phone coverage.
It's the same in many parts of NZ. That's why it's always a good idea to go prepared, on any back-country ride.
The great thing is, with gear now, it's simple to pack lots of assurance into a tiny space. The backpack above measures a nimble 34cm long and 16cm that wide. That fits:
1. Spare tubes. The lower half of the Pakihi Track especially is rocky. Take a couple. Punctures are always possible and pushing bikes with flat tyres isn't so much fun.
2. Enough food for a half-day of riding. More, if you're riding Motu Road too.
3. Basic tools. One tip, a small rectangular piece of old bike tire sidewall will act as a great patch in the unlikely event a tire gets cut.
4. Emergency bag.
5. Rain jacket. Seam sealed jackets are not cheap but one day of cold rain and it's worth every cent.
6. Strapping tape. Universal fix-it-upper.
7. Extra thermal top and leggings. Thicker ones in winter.
8. Hat and gloves. The top of the Pakihi Track is about 550 metres and, as with a lot of NZ high-country, weather extremes are maximised. It's not just about hypothermia: if you get cold, you'll lose peak coordination.
9. Personal locator beacon. These can be hired from Opotiki or Gisborne iSITES from $15 per day. It's unlikely, but if an accident meant you couldn't walk, a plb could be your ticket to help.
10. Camera. As noted, it's epic country!