Besides the obvious- a bike and legs to pedal, the one thing I wouldn’t do without on the Yak Attack, or any stage race, is a ziploc bag full of Pro Gold Pro Towels! The Yak Attack is 8 days long- plus pedaling days on either end, and sees everything from dry, silt-covered jeep roads, to river crossings, to deep unforgiving mud, and long stretches of snow and ice. Many stages can see all of the above conditions over the course of a day. The bike, along with your body, takes an incredible beating on this race. On top of all of this, bike washing facilities are pretty spartan to say the least. As the elevation increases, temperatures drop, water approaches freezing temps, and the will to thoroughly clean your bike rapidly declines.
On several stages, Pro-Towels were the only thing I used to clean up my bike at the end of the day. They are tough enough to stand up to everything you can throw at them- no lint, no falling apart in your hands, and impregnated with grease and grim busting citrus solvents. Pro Gold makes a ton of great cleaning, and lubrication products, but Pro Towels are my favorite of the lot. It’s amazing how much you can get done with such a small towel. I buy them by the tub and transfer to ziploc bags for travel, but they also come in single-serving packets that stash in a pack for mid-ride-mud-rub-downs.
If your local shop doesn’t carry Pro Gold, they’re missing out- but you can also order on-line (or find a new shop).