By Joe Parkin

Sal Ruibal wrote about it in his Dirty Words blog, and Ryan ‘Squirrel’ LaBar followed suit by mini-reviewing the contents of his own pack. Though both of these guys did a good job of packing their packs, the goodies in my own carry-on luggage always kick-start strange conversations.

Too much? No, just a few of each.

Anti-clockwise from the Dakine Amp 18 bag itself: I’m accidentally carrying an extra set of Crankbrothers Mallet pedals, and not-so-accidentally carrying two sets of cleats. You laugh, but I’ve saved more than a couple of riders’ ride with these. Plus, I always know where I’ve hidden my spare cleats.

Multi multi-tools brought to you by the department of redundant redundancy.

Then there are the multi-tools: I’m packing versions from Park Tool, Lezyne and Blackburn. I had a couple more of the Park offering in there, but those have been ‘loaned’ out to riders in need. A few tire levers are always handy, as is the bitchin’ preset torque wrench from Bontrager. I like using this baby when I’m fine tuning the setup on my test bikes.

Don’t forget the few wadded-up bucks and a few Clif Shot Bloks. I was glad to learn that I’ve been carrying around one empty wrapper and one that was nearly empty.

A sharp knife is always handy, as is a sweet toy camera like my Lomography Fisheye 2.

Because you never know when you might need an extra flask or two.

I don’t normally carry extra grips in my pack, but I’ve been to a few new-product launches recently, and I am somewhat picky when it comes to grips. The red, SockGuy socks represent Sea Otter booty, but I do almost always carry an extra pair of socks. Ever had cold, wet feet? I scored the fluor-yellow DeFeet arm-warmers last year, and they haven’t been left home since. The bright color and extra bit of warmth is nice for twilight rides home.

The flasks: I am sort of embarrassed to admit that these are all empty.

I like to carry a proper chain tool, as well as a proper bottle opener…just in case.

One should always pack an extra can koozie for loved ones. By the way, if you’re ever in Austin, Texas, make sure you check out Iron Works BBQ, where I picked up one of these koozies. The Giro gloves are spares. Don’t ask me why.

Afrin is good for getting air. So are pumps.

A couple business cards—always handy if you need to boot a tire—some Afrin for allergies, a digital tire-pressure gauge, some athletic tape and a reflective velcro ankle strap. Why not?

Finish it all up with three tubes, two tire pumps—a Blackburn and a Lezyne—a micro CO2 head and a shock pump that can handle the Fox DYAD on a Cannondale Jekyll, and you have the contents of the bag I carry around on almost all of my rides. Without even a drop of water in the bladder, it weighed in at 11.5 pounds. Perhaps it’s time for some spring cleaning.

Have you taken inventory of your own bag lately? Are you more messed up than we are? We want to know. Email a photo and description of your packing skills here or hit us up on Facebook.