If you're planning a big trip out to Yosemite National Park and plan on going mountain biking while you're out there, then it's a good idea to plan out what you need to bring and what you can rent once you get there. Some essentials you should always plan on bringing with you. Many places won't have the little things you need when you're at the park, or they will be available but will be expensive. On the other hand, some things you will definitely find to rent once you get out to the park, and it makes more sense to rent it instead of bringing it on the plane with you. Here's a breakdown on what you should bring, and what you can rent once you get there.
What To Bring
Do not rely on using your smartphone while you are out biking the trails. You might lose service. For this reason, always bring along a hard copy of the trail maps. Print them up and fit them with laminating sheets so that they don't fall apart when it rains.
Even if you're taking a trip out to Yosemite during the winter, you will still need sunscreen. The sun will still be out, and you will get a sunburn. Don't think that because you're not biking in the heat of a July day that you don't need to protect your skin. You can probably find it near the park, but you don't want to be price gouged at tourist shops, so pack a big container with your luggage and avoid the carry on limitation that the TSA has.
Lightweight Wind/Rain Jacket and Pants
You should always pack a lightweight jacket for when it is raining or there is heavy wind. A combo wind/rain coat is excellent for a trip where you don't want to pack too much. So, make sure to pack your favorite jacket.
You can buy biking gloves at the place where you will rent your bike, but it's better to bring your own. You really don't want to hit the trails with a new pair of gloves that you have to break in. These are an easy-to-pack item you should bring along.
While most bike rental shops will rent helmets, you might consider bringing your own along. One reason is that you might not find one that fits the way you like. A second reason is that the shop's helmets might have been involved in an accident. You never know what the helmet has gone through, so you might like to bring your own personal helmet.
What To Rent
The Mountain Bike
You should plan on leaving your bike at home and renting a bike near the park. There are a few good reasons for this. First, you will save yourself the hassle of breaking down your bike, packing it up, and bringing it as luggage. That's extra money as well as a hassle because you have to reassemble the bike once you get to your hotel, then break it down again for the return trip.
The second reason is that you will get to try a new bike. This is really great, especially if you have been thinking about getting a new bike for back home. The mountain bike rental shops will have all sorts of bikes you can choose from. So, you will get to test out a model over an extended time and then decide if that model is something you would like to buy once you get back from vacation.
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