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Old 28 Sep 2012
otr002's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 66
My first tester!

Well gents the bug bit deep a few weeks ago and, well, you know how it is

I won't bore you with the finer details.
The bike: 1991 XT600e fitted with a kickstart for emergencies (hope to never need it)
The goal: 2014 March, April, May, Brisbane to Japan.
The gear: buy and test as i go, for the next 18 months!
The tester: Many short rides to test gear and then working up to weekly rides and finally a 2 month ride to the tropics during summer to proof the full kit!
Finally: forget everything I've learnt and just wing it

So the first overnighter
New tent, never even been out of it bag.
New 3/4 self inflating mattress, unrolled and sat on once.
Trusty ex-defence sleeping bag (in Khaki green).
Hexamine stove and ex-defence cooking gear, proven over 26 years.

Things to forget.....

Any form of fire
Any way to recharge the i-devices
Insect repellent
Mid Night snacks

I did my first test day on the Friday before the school holidays hoping that the Gods would favour me with a sparse camping ground with few children and even fewer Knobs in huge 4X4.

I left home at around 10 o'clock hoping to do some dirt rides through D'Aguliar range National park.Which was a great plain as there was no one on the back roads and i spent most of the day getting used to the bike on loose dirt, gravel, steep climbs and some scary down hill sections ("A break" road is a hoot).

I stopped at a place called "Dianna's Bath" which i had truly hoped would be a refreshing dip after several hours riding, oh how disappointed was I, the creek was as dry as a dead Dingo!

I stopped a the Western lookout only to see far off lighting and hear the thunder roll across the distant valleys, reminding me of a forgotten fact, i was camping, shit, 25 K's of dirt was between me and my tent site!

Well Brisbane has had 53 day without rain and as you have already guessed, by the time i reached my tent site the sky was black and thunder was very near, NOW I remember that the tent has never been unpacked and i can smell the rain a'coming!

To say that the tent went up with out a hitch is an understatement, less than 5 minutes later i was throwing all my gear into the tent and praying to the Thunder God to spare me.

Now the wind hit, completely demolishing another campers HUGE dome tent and tossing it into a tree, I didn't find this out till later as i was lying hard up against the windward side of the tent hoping that my 110kg's and all my gear would hold the tent in place....at 192cm i only just fit into the $99 special from BCF!

So the aftermath was that the tent DOES not leak and is now officially rated to SEQ Storm!
That night the dew was very heavy and not one drop entered the tent and i stayed HOT and dry...Hot because the sleeping bag i have is 100% goose down and rated to -15. You don't notice these things when you're sleeping in the desert under a hoochie The bag is to be changed.....

More to come in the mean time, here's the bike on the day

I once ruled the world, till mum told me it was only the garden!
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Old 29 Sep 2012
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Leicester
Posts: 28
Hey, well done otr002. Glad you survived the storm - a good test! You could use that sleeping bag in the UK in the winter and still be warm, those military bags are good. How did the bike fare in the wind? I hope the weather will be a bit better in December, I'm coming to tour your fair country. Keep the posts coming with your trials.

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Old 1 Oct 2012
Nigel Marx's Avatar
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Location: South Island, New Zealand
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Yep, enjoyed it too and keep writing. It'll get a wider reading if you post in the Trip Tales section.


Nigel in NZ
The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with . -- 2200 BC Egyptian inscription
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Old 22 Oct 2012
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Location: Korea
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Loved reading your story, thanks for the laughs. Good luck with your plans. I hope you get all the way to Japan. I'm doing the same soon, picking up my new bike in Brisbane next month, some touring in oz, then ... the world (hopefully)

Cheers Daz
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