The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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I was planning only to take a Basha and Bivvy combo with me for my sleep system, but how will this fare in Africa?
Is the threat from beasties high enough that a proper tent is a more sensible proposition?
My basha is also in DPM, is this the equivalent of wearing a sticker across my head saying 'please shoot me, I'm an elite soldier from your neighbouring country spying on you, maybe I'll even steal your cows while I am at it?'
IMO, if you're alone and don't have much gear then you can't go wrong with a decent doss bag, biv and basha - small, light, cheap, easy and versatile.
From a climate/weather point of view, I think you'll be sweet unless you have lots of kit which could get wet or blown away.
Mozzies and other bugs could be a problem but as for big beasties, I think you'll be okay.
If you plan on setting up camp for more than one night, then a tent gives you a bit more freedom in terms of filling it full of your stuff and going for a wander.
I definately agree with you about DPM though - very high profile. Personally I would take an OG basha instead.
Having said all that, if it's size and weight that's putting you off a tent, then the Hennessey Hammocks ( Hennessy Hammocks )are the bees knees! I have an Explorer Deluxe asym with Snakeskins (makes setup very quick), which is a bit bigger than the standard, but more comfy and you can fit a backpack in with you. With some imagination it can be used as a tent too (with bikes or sticks etc) for those featureless sandy areas. It's about the same size and wieght of my Goretex biv and basha together and far more versatile.
I would go with the hammock or biv & basha - I don't have a tent!
Another vote for the hammock. I bought something similar (though not as good) to the one mentioned above in Thailand several years ago. I used it many times while taking groups on walking expeditions in Hong Kong and the Philippines. In hot and humid conditions they are much cooler than a tent and, providing you can find a couple of handy trees, are much quicker to put up. The biggest problem was having somewhere to store my gear at night but if you are on a bike with panniers this is not an issue.
You will need a good impregnated mossie net; you can get really good hammocks with good nets for about $100USD. You will definitely need protection from creepy crawlies and insects. Don't forget to check your boots/helmet in the morning if not in the tent!
Agree issue bashas might cause you problems in some countries.
Several times I found a scorpion in the sand under my tent in the morning. Once even a snake had snuggled up nice & warm under the tent floor. Only when hiking in the Drakensberg (Saouth Africa) I never had any surprises in the morning when only using a sleeping bag. So I do not consider it a good idea to just use a tarp. The least would be to additionally use a mozzie net.
I tried camping a few times in Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi with just a thin mattress and mosi net (very dry weather) but after too many close encounters scorpions and spiders (really tough ones) I decided it just wasn't worth the risk of getting bitten/stung with no proper treatment facilities nearby so I opted to sleep in tent instead. Similarly, camping on the beach in Tanzania my mate's girlfriend woke in the middle of the night with a large beach crab tangled in her hair. In Kenya I woke up in a tent with a hippo munching grass 2 feet from my head and was glad of the visual barrier between us.
I have experimented with the tent up about 9ft which was a pain to get into, and attracted an innordinate amount of ants compared to when I moved it lower down... dont know why, Also baboons seemed to be attracted to it, two very fruitless nights sleep, but lower to the ground about 4-5ft off (when youre in) it was ok, I had a leopard walk underneath and he seemed to approve.
The height thing is technically challenging, get up too hight and getting in is interesting, getting out usually painful.
I once had it strung between the Bull bar of my Landy and the rear of a jack knifed trailer, with my bum about 1/2 a foot off the ground, that worked well, and the Lions stayed their side of the fire, me on mine... We seemed to get along just fine.
Hippos are an interesting one, here eye level to me is the best idea, so they do see you, but bear in mind that their eye level out of water is low tot he ground... tie tin foil to string and hand it off the hammock fly sheet dangling near the ground. it may not work but looks pretty.
Lastly, Elephant worry me in a Hammock tent. About the only strategy to combat this is in the above jack knifed trailer example, and to drink yourself stupid with whisky and eat a Garlic loaded meal, preferably a Curry!
This should alert your presence to all inhabitant, and ensure a good nights sleep. The Zimbabwean Chilli Garlic works best. ALthough there is a train of thought that some predators are taking a liking to marinaded prey... man Eaters of Tsavo...
I lived in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi for 11 years and did many, many camping trips (4 wheels). You meet all sorts of game inside AND outside the game parks (2 wheels not permited in the parks). I would NEVER risk not using a tent, it really is too dangerous. I have had lions and elephants examine the tent at night and move on. They don't seem to associate the tent with man. However I know of a tourist who was killed by a hyena when she was dragged out of the tent by the head as the door was left open for the breeze. ALWAYS zip up. I was never bothered by snakes and scorpions etc (saw plenty) but I've had some serious bouts of malaria because I didn't use a tent with a built in net. In my view, hyenas and hippos are the most dangerous large animals because they're fearless and they move around at night but the mozzie is the really dangerous one. The moral of this story is don't take unecessary risks.
As for using clothing etc in Africa which looks even faintly miltary, you'd have to be mad. I really do mean that. There are all sorts of nasty people with AK47's who would just love to arrest a "spy". I know of tourists crossing into Uganda who had their car searched (why?) and an empty .22 round was found under a seat. They all ended up in a very unpleasant prison for several months. This is not funny. The borders are always the worst. Always be polite, be patient, dress very modestly, never take pictures, smile and shake everyone's hand, and never, ever, have a "colonial" attitude. Don't get me started on posessing illicit drugs. In spite of all that, it is a fantastic place.
Interesting discussion. Everytime I mention the caming around game to South African friends they just kind of snigger at the notion of worrying about it. Than again, for them there is no way of avoiding. Stories of hyena's in the dunnies,etc. Those guys don't seem to fear the hyena's at all somehow. Telling me they're gutless creatures. As long as you're keeping yourself bigger than them. Which counts out lying down offcourse. They always refer to the movie 'the gods must be crazy 2'. Pretty funny viewing really.
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