I tend to pack different things (and different packs) depending on the length of my ride. Curious to know what essentials others are packing for short weekday rides specifically.
For me, I wear a fanny pack with a tube, mini pump, multitool, quicklinks, toilet paper, cell phone, and a snack (which generally sits in my pack for emergency purposes.) Other than water, that’s about it.
If it’s a weekday ride, sometimes just a pump and tube. Although I have been burned leaving my multitool at home. One time my crank arm came off mid ride and I had to one-legged pedal 5 miles back to the house.
I’m like Greg. I carry a lot of things on every ride and pretty much the same things. I carry much the same as Greg, so I won’t repeat an entire list. Differently than Greg, it’s all on my back, but I don’t mind. Also differently, trail bars do me no good for some reason, so I carry snickers instead. Sunscreen? I hate the oily stuff. Small knife and bear spray, a definite yes Downhill Mike. Bears and wolves are abundant in Mongolia. The black bear is known to be aggressive for black bear though I’ve never had any problem personally. Depending on the season, I carry various layers because like other mountainous regions, the temps and weather change quickly with elevation in Mongolia and those changes can be furious. I also always carry basic first aid items and a thermal blanket. I try to carry the same thing every ride so it is easier to keep my pack ready to go at all times. For longer rides and exploration rides, besides more food and fluid, about the only additional items I carry are a compass, flagging and a steriPEN. I like to mark with flagging new trails I scout so friends can find their way easier assuming I don’t go with them the first time.
I don’t carry a big hunting knife, but I have an approx. 2-inch cerated knife included in my multi tool mentioned above, which is good for cutting most anything you need to cut. Won’t work for self defense, but I don’t live in grizzly country so bearspray and the like isn’t a big concern for me.
Always I have a frame mounted mini pump, bottle carrier with an insulated stainless bottle with iced green tea and an under seat bag. In the seat bag I carry patches, tire tools, a park mini tool, and a granola bar. If the ride is more than 10 miles I wear a hydration back pack with a multi-tool, a tube, more snacks, a wash cloth and a small cool towel.