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OK, bit of a vague question. But how many litres of storage space do 2 people need, assuming they take the full monty - camping gear, clothes for all climates, cameras, laptop, spares etc. Grant, I'd particularly like to know how many litres of space you have. And do you use the topbox when you're on the move? It looks like your panniers and boxes add up to a lot of litres - do you really fill it all, and if so what with?
I've traveled around most of Europe with my other half 2 up and always had more than enough gear to see us through over about 7 months. We find the trick is to take as many things as possible that have two or more uses. For example, don't take JUST a knife, take a multi-tool which has a knife as well as about 10 other tools.
We use soft luggage at 31 ltrs each (62 total), a big dry bag and a tank bag at 21 ltrs. With the dry bag that gives us 143 ltrs in total which is plenty. This is on an Africa Twin. The other trick is to get a much biger dry bag than you need when you start the trip. Reason being that if you buy stuff on the road (wine in our case) you can put more light stuff in the dry bag and keep filling the panniers with heavey stuff (like wine!).
If your doing a RTW trip spair parts are and added extra but you can generally fit a box low down somewhere for this.
If I was to go with any one rule I'd say only carry as much VOLUEM as you are comfortable with and stick to it. If you keep an eye on the voluem there is only so much weight you can carry.
If you want to know just what we take with us (inc. camping gear, cooking gear etc.) email me direct and I'll let you know.
Firstly, thanks Chris for the email.
How I'm/we (Lynda) are going about the process of what to take, remember - 'she who must be obeyed' will want to take more gear than you (all that 'girley' stuff), well thats how it's been with me.
We've done a couple of trips (trials) and what we find we didn't use we omitted for the next minor excusion slowly perfecting the gentle art of shoving too much into too little.
In the end it's always a compromise and with the promise of a five star hotel at various locations you can travel reasonably light clothing & food wise.
On the equipment front I aimed for quality over quantity, expensive at the beginning but and it's a big but it pays off when your on the Nullabor Plain (thats the train track road not the tarmac that crosses east-west Australia) you'll be glad spending that extra $100 on lets say a multi fuel cooker.
Anyroad, like Chris I have my 'list' of goodies we take and if you want a copy just yell.
Macca & Lynda
Without adventure life is in full decay.
Just returned from a week in france 2 up on our Africa twin. Used a touratech VP45 tank bag (with the side bags full) givi T421 soft panniers and have a medium size hard top box. Strapped a 2 man tent to the top of the box. We took minimal stuff, small primus cooker but had an air matress and foot pump on the top box.
The givi panniers and tank bag are expandable so provide extra space for buying food, and storing the removeable liners from our jackets and pants.
Heaps of space - we were comfortable and the bike handled it well. You will have to put your foot down regarding the girlie stuff though
We were riding across Canada when this thread started, but I see there have already been some excellent responses.
Grant, I'd particularly like to know how many litres of space you have. And do you use the topbox when you're on the move? It looks like your panniers and boxes add up to a lot of litres - do you really fill it all, and if so what with?
We've never actually calculated the litres on the boxes, they were designed to fit around the muffler etc., and take advantage of every available inch of space. And we did go through the exact process Y_Kiwi describes, more than once. On our first trip, Grant even broke the ends off toothbrushes to reduce weight and bulk!
The topbox is filled with the tent and sleeping bags and sheets, pillows, etc. So it is bulky but not especially heavy. Heavy items are at the bottom of the panniers and any items which are not required on a daily basis are buried in the front boxes. All the boxes were full to within a few inches of the top most of the time, especially in Africa and South America. I can e-mail you our packing list if you like. Every 6 months we took an inventory and sent home anything we hadn't used in that period, so eventually it got down to bare minimum! Some spare empty space is VERY useful to have - you should never be full to the top.
A word of advice about clothing. Throw away jeans and cotton clothing, in favor of lightweight, quick-drying synthetic shirts and pants which can be washed in a sink and will dry overnight. Instead of cotton or wool sweaters, take fleece and an electric vest. The reduction in weight and bulk is substantial. The fact that you can easily wash them yourselves in a cheap hotel room and have them wearable in the morning is the bonus.
Not counting our riding leathers, during 2 years non-stop travel through four continents, we each had 3 shirts (long sleeve only, with ability to roll up and button sleeves), 2 pairs of (non-riding) pants with zip-off legs (so no shorts needed), a light fleece sweater, bathing suit, socks and underwear. Nothing wore out on the way. All shirts and pants and fleece are still in service, 6 years later.
Assume no laundromats in most of the world, and plan accordingly. On our first trip, we started with cotton shirts, which disintegrated within about 6 months from the washing treatment. Modern synthetics are very durable, any good camping store will have a huge selection. Some now have UV protection built into the fabric.
Last comment is about cookwear and stoves. If you decide not to cook, you will spend more on food, but you can find food virtually everywhere you can go two-up. We seldom used our cooking gear, and eventually pared it down to a very small and lightweight set, kept mostly for emergencies, but I don't think we used it at all in South America.
Thanks, I'd really like to see your packing list - my email address is nick dot horley at virgin dot net. (Spambots aren't that clever, I hope.) Trying to predict whether I'll have space for a shamefully long list of questionable items which I have decided are highly desirable: laptop, sat phone, camcorder, night vision scope, bead breaker, shovel, full set of IGNs for North Africa, aquarium, sun lounger, chemical toilet, jacuzzi..
We did one year two-up and had about 160 liter of space available (2xTouratech 35l, Givi 50l topbox, tankbag 20l and 2x tank panniers 10l). You'll find our checklist at http://www.rocinantestravels.com/pan.../checklist.htm
We had enough space and then some, but when we later added camping gear we were way beyond the desired weight and bulk.
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