If you are new to MTB then it isn’t always easy to know what gear to take, what works well, what is essential and what you can go without. Gear is very much a personal thing, what to one person is an essential may seem like to another a needless luxury. Carrying the right kit when out on ride can prevent a small mechanical problem turning into a 3 hour epic. Carry too much and your ride becomes a kit hauling nightmare. Obviously you will need to tailor what you carry to the envrionment your riding in and the length/duration of the ride.
When I started out riding I was fortunate to have a group a guys around me to guide me on what/not to carry when out on ride. Since then I have tailored the kit I carry to meet my own needs. Of course if you are carrying the kit it is also important that you know how to use it!
It’s important that at the very least you have the kit to cope with common mechanical problems, punctures etc. Being unable to take care of such cases will result in your situation getting worse quite rapidly.
Although what you carry is debatable and everyone has his/her own preferences, here’s a list of what I carry, use as a guide a debate starting point, whatever as long as you consider what YOU carry and why you do/don’t carry it.
Hydration Pack (Camelbak Mule or Havoc)
1 x inner tube
Puncture repair patches (self adhesive)
Crank Bros. Multi tool
Rear mech hanger
2 x pairs of SRAM chain powerlinks (I use SRAM chains)
Assorted zip ties
1st aid kit
Map & Compass
2 x lightsticks
In addition to the above standard items I may also carry;
2 way radio