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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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  #1  
Old 8 Oct 2002
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Riding gear for Mexico, Central America

Any advice on what riding gear to carry while traveling Mexico and Central america? I will be camping when I can and would like to only carry what is needed.
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  #2  
Old 8 Oct 2002
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Can only speak for central and northern mexico--southern mexico and central america may well be really different.

Mostly I don't camp here--hotels are numerous, cheap, and safe; camping is not that common.

That said, unless you are spending lots of time in the northern deserts or at high altitude, you don't need much in the way of fancy sleeping bags etc--it just doesn't get all that cold except when you go up in altitude. Look carefully at your route for thinking about this--a coastal trip is very different than a mountain-roads trip. You will want mosquito protection and something to keep rain off. Even if staying in hotels consider bringing a small mosquito net--they can be awful at times.

Cooking--again, mostly I eat in restaurants, but I do carry a small camping stove for breakfasts mostly. However, I am traveling via Jeep, not motorcycle, so I have no shortage of space. If I was on the bike, I would not use the space for a stove--food is cheap enough here by US standards that I would just find cheap eats and enjoy.

Clothes--crash gear is up to you. You will be crossing several major climatological zones so that may take some thinking. I see people wearing synthetics, leather, and nothing... I don't think that anyone has found the truly perfect solution yet.

Non-crash clothing--remember that clothes are sold here, so don't feel that you need to take everything you might need--bring the minimum and supplement as needed.
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Old 9 Oct 2002
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rapaz has given a very good answer on this subject. I'd add that having worn leather and synthetic riding suits in all weathers and all over the world, go for a good synthetic suit that breathes well.

BMW and Rukka make excellent gear. See the "Camping Equipment and all Clothing" forum for details.

Lose the cotton clothes and go for good synthetic travel clothing - washes easily and dries fast, and outlasts cotton. Available at REI and similar.


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Old 11 Oct 2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grant Johnson:
rapaz has given a very good answer on this subject. I'd add that having worn leather and synthetic riding suits in all weathers and all over the world, go for a good synthetic suit that breathes well.
...

Lose the cotton clothes and go for good synthetic travel clothing - washes easily and dries fast, and outlasts cotton. Available at REI and similar.
Another thought or two. First, and again this only applies to central and northern mexico, I've been thinking of picking up a cheap small bike, and have been giving thoughts to riding gear. If I do buy a bike, I'll be retrieving from storage either my joe rocket phoenix jacket (mesh with padding) or my stretchy kevlar jacket from the company in San Diego whose name I'm forgetting... Motosport? Moto-something, anyway. It just doesn't get horrifyingly cold except at night and up high. Rain comes mostly at scheduled times, and there are plenty of places to shelter, so I wouldn't bother with worrying much about that.

For a helmet, either an open-face or one of those flip-ups--road blocks are frequent, and the soldiers like to see your face. Also makes asking directions a lot easier.

And again I wouldn't spend too much at REI or wherever--stuff wears out on the road, and you may as well take things you already own that at least sort of work, and supplement them as you go. Yes, synthetics have advantages over cotton, but synthetics are easy to buy anywhere I've lived in the world, so that is not a real problem.

Should be fun--let us know as your plans progress!
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2002
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I'm picking up an Aerostich riding suite for my next trip into Central America. The $750 price tag is hefty... but popping on a waterproof, protective and comfortable suite over a pair of shorts and a T-Shirt is worth it in my opinion.

[This message has been edited by DogTag (edited 30 October 2002).]
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  #6  
Old 5 Jul 2003
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first of all, I believe for Mexico and central south america you definately need a mesh jacket. The First Gear jacket is by far the best mesh, offering much better protection in a fall. I found a great combo was the Aerostich darian jacket with all the pads removed worn over the First Gear jacket. It has worked exceptionally well for the last 13,000 miles and counting.

I agree with all previous suggestions made here, and one addition. I found dark colored tank tops and shirts to be invaluable. The look clean much longer.

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Old 28 Sep 2003
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I'm riding with a waterproof jacket and waterproof overtrousers. On hindsight I'd change this. Mesh jacket/trous or BMW/Aerostich lightweight gear with lots of vents, and a plastic oversuit would be better (Yamaha do a good one that rolls up really small) Basically you want summer wear and a plastic oversuit for compactness - and more importantly if the suit is too warm, you don't wear it. (I know, I know.. dumb)
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Old 28 Sep 2003
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As for camping gear I recommend the Hennsey Hammock. I have used mine on several occasions including in North Carolina where it is full of bugs. It is light, compact, keeps bugs out well and keeps you dry in the rain. I spent one night in a down pour and kept dry. If you are in a warm enviroment you don't need a sleeping pad. You can also sleep in any position since unlike most hammocks you sleep flat. They have a web site that you can order direct from. Also northern mountain supply and REI carry them.

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  #9  
Old 29 Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by ekaphoto:
As for camping gear I recommend the Hennsey Hammock.
If I remember rightly, this has a recommended weight limit of 240 lbs including any kit you storeinit with you. Just thought I'd mention it for other "Tall, dark and well muscled" people like me...

(ok, 2 out of 3 isn't bad...)
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  #10  
Old 29 Sep 2003
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Yea I think 250lb. I am not a small person at 230 lbs, but I have plenty of room. Also the 250lbs is consertive. I usually don't have my gear other than a sleeping bag, book and light in the hammock with me. They also have a couple of models including one for tall folks.

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