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  #16  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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I liked this one: Cyril Despres' Dakar check list - Motorcycle News
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  #17  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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I like gadgets, I'll admit it, and because I work, and can't travel right now, I like looking at toys, playing with them, window shopping for them, and reading everything I can. Do I buy them all? No. Do I need them all? Definately not.

But, I've been hugely enjoying reading about people travelling before we had all the latest technological gubbins, people setting off with maps and not GPS, people on simple machines like THIS. That said, I'm sure the gear they had was pretty top-notch at the time.

For me, what does get me is the attitude that you CAN'T set off without the latest gear, or the highest horsepower. I'm a huge fan of small engined machines, 125cc or less, but the number of people who tell me I need a 400 or 600 for more SPEED, really bugs me. Right now I'm contemplating setting off on a 50!
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  #18  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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We did our big adventure in 1991/2 (UK to Cape Town) which was pre internet, mobile phones and GPS (affordable). When I first came across this forum I was very anti for all the reasons you describe, Andrew. We did carefully choose our kit as camping represents a major cost saving on a year long trip and it is important that all the stuff you carry is compact, lightweight and long lasting. We also carried a map and a few carefully chosen spares and some camera gear. We didn't plan a single day of the trip and went entirely with the flow. We met lot's of interesting people and stayed with many of them en route but relying on bumping into someone to put you up for a night is pretty hit and miss. Most locals are welcoming but there are ocassions when you just want to get out of a place so being self contained is important.

Personally, I think a little planning is a good idea but technology is not necessary - mobile phone might be handy, I suppose.
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  #19  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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(never used it) It's a great read!

Last edited by mollydog; 25 Mar 2009 at 07:33.
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  #20  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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I think you need to have whatever resources you need to be independant and largely self sufficient. If you are a competent mechanic and know your bike and have the parts then you can fix things yourself. You can sleep with your bike in your tent, and cook your own meals. This does not mean you should refuse any offer of help, but you should not depend on it for minor and reasonably likely scenarios. Eg a puncture. This applies when you out of mobile phone/tow truck range. Conversly if a con rod comes out the crank case you will need outside help. Same with route plannning. If you dont care exactly the route you take, then you cant get lost . I used to take the kids on summer holiday in a boat I built. For us it was a 63 mile trip out into the atlantic ocean to a small group of islands. I used to navigate by deliberate error. Instead of sailing direct for the cove I wanted I sailed for a lone peak four miles north. The reason was the peak was easy to see, and ( because we were sailing west towards America) the cove I wanted was to the south, and there was a lightship some miles north. If I was 5 miles off course after running blind for 60 miles I would be in safe water. If I aimed directly at the island I wanted and arrived south of it I would be in a mass of hidden rocks covering several square miles. This before the days of satnav.
So plan you journey as a 'general direction' not a strictly itemised route. and avoid riding when you are tired, or in the dark. It is ok to ride in the dark on motorways, but unlit and unfenced country roads by night can be very dangerous. I once went through a herd of about 90 freisen cows at 85-90 mph, thinking the black and white shadows all over the road were reflections of the moon through clouds. Fortunately my trajectory took me through a clear line, and my speed did not allow the cows sufficient time to react. I rode much slower afterwards
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  #21  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by andrewmclagan View Post
I get the feeling that allot of people are obsessed with getting every peice of their kit perfectly right and having all the latest GPS systems, cameras... even right down to making a huge fuss over sleeping bags and eating utensils... you name it...

if you prepare to such a degree you create expectations in your mind and have idealised fantasy's. Playing out in your mind how its going to be in a unrealistic manner.

I say dont concentrate on these things so much.

All good thoughts Andrew and wise advice from the road.

It's hard to reassure people though when they haven't been before, overplanning and overpacking are a natural way of dealing with exposure to new environments.

I probably think of it more as a reaction to a natural fear of the unknown rather than in terms of it creating expectations. People using gear to allay their fear is common in many non adventurous and adventurous endeavors, from motorcycling, to backcountry skiing, to mountaineering.

It's a process, after a while on the road people will offload more stuff, place less reliance on any one model of gear, and be comfortable with less. As time passes people are more able to focus on the journey itself, which as you point out is the really important part.

And at some point, most people realize that the one essential item to bring along is self reliance. The rest is a matter of personal preference.
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  #22  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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Having read all the posts, I think it boils down to this...

All you need is enough(info, gear, etc.) to get you going...the rest will sort itself en route.

How you define is enough depends on how complicated you choose to make it. Getting going resolves many a dilemma
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  #23  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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the guy is more than likelly right

we only have to look at the 4x4 guys for examples in other planning. However at the same time some people get off on the planning and the latest bit of kit. To them its just as important as the easy way to you. These people may not have the luxury of time and experience as you. To them they may have spent years doing a bit there this gadget here. This way they feel part of the trip even thou they are not on it.
I spent a year backpacking & only had a 40ltr backpack with not much in it. However now I can't seem to go out at weekend without more than that.

I think these kind of ""pure"" travellers are just as bad as people who other plan ! You're getting to wrapped up in being pure & missing the point as much as techo man.After all in the end its that they are doing the trip, in the way they want. There is no wrong or right way, you have to get that out of your head. Your free pure trip is of no greater value than the guy with the latest bike, GPS and so-on. The point is just to be out there and enjoy and get from the trip what you as an individual wants !
If we all wanted a standard one size fits all experience, we could all do nice package holidays.
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  #24  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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Question

I'm really pleased to have come to this discussion. The world I inhabit professionally would argue as to whether motorcycling was truly "Adventurous" due to the insulating factor of technology and the lack of engagement with the natural world.
Obviously I argue the opposite but the idea that our goretex, kevlar and fuel injection laden journeys are less "adventurous" than someone wearing reindeer clothing and travelling by homemade wooden skis is a philosphical debate that currently rages in the world of Outdoor Education. The Norwegian movement called Friluftsliv (Fresh air life) espouses this low technology approach at a purists level.

For me this idea of 'self reliance' is the core of the debate. As a mountaineer, the better (more skilled) you are the less kit you carry. Less hassle, less cost, less responsibilty to maintain stuff you don't need and as a result a more 'pure' and uncluttered experience on the road/mountain/river/ocean. This philosophy carries neatly over into motorcyling, surely.

Whatdya think?
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  #25  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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I really don't understand this need to tell others how to do things. Do whatever and how you want to but don't blame others for doing it differently.

A lot of the questioning and detailed planning, I and others do, is part of the travel. As long as you're stuck at home, it feels a little like travelling, if you plan all the possible details and envision the trip.

In expedition travels, the detailed planning may save the expedition and even your life. If you go where there is noone and nothing, you'd better bring everything thats neccessary and not just leave home and hope to improvise along the way and rely on others.

I have a colleague who don't want the restraint of wearing a watch, that he "doesn't need" but he keeps asking what time it is (

If you have a good tip to help others with visa, saving money, whatever , on a trip, please let us know but save us from "besserwissen"
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  #26  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Tubeless View Post
I'm really pleased to have come to this discussion. The world I inhabit professionally would argue as to whether motorcycling was truly "Adventurous" due to the insulating factor of technology and the lack of engagement with the natural world.
Obviously I argue the opposite but the idea that our goretex, kevlar and fuel injection laden journeys are less "adventurous" than someone wearing reindeer clothing and travelling by homemade wooden skis is a philosphical debate that currently rages in the world of Outdoor Education. The Norwegian movement called Friluftsliv (Fresh air life) espouses this low technology approach at a purists level.

For me this idea of 'self reliance' is the core of the debate. As a mountaineer, the better (more skilled) you are the less kit you carry. Less hassle, less cost, less responsibilty to maintain stuff you don't need and as a result a more 'pure' and uncluttered experience on the road/mountain/river/ocean. This philosophy carries neatly over into motorcyling, surely.

Whatdya think?
The explorers of old, took THE BEST THEIR TIME COULD OFFER , why not do that today too.

Its such rubbish that a wet or leaking jacket should be more adventurous than a dry one. Or that functioning equipment should insulate you from the world. Some of the old guys died because of equipment failure.

Correct and functioning equipment leaves you all the time to enjoy and interact with the world instead of with a broken gearbox or a burner.

And again, why don't they just do their thing, why do they have to tell others? Don't they feel so pure, when freezing in a wet reindeer sack, if they can't tell anybody else about it ?
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  #27  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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The explorers of old, took THE BEST THEIR TIME COULD OFFER , why not do that today too.

Its such rubbish that a wet or leaking jacket should be more adventurous than a dry one. Or that functioning equipment should insulate you from the world. Some of the old guys died because of equipment failure.

Correct and functioning equipment leaves you all the time to enjoy and interact with the world instead of with a broken gearbox or a burner.

And again, why don't they just do their thing, why do they have to tell others? Don't they feel so pure, when freezing in a wet reindeer sack, if they can't tell anybody else about it ?
Ok i think allot of people are missing what i was trying to get accross. I dont mind travelling with equipment and technology. Id much rather travel with a new jacket then an "old leaking one" im not a purist in that sense. All im saying is dont live through the cycle of perfecting everything and thus day dreaming creating unrealistic expectations of how the trip will play out. Sure day dream its great but if one put too much time into planning and preperation there is no room for flexability.

for example if somthing goes "wrong" and away from your well planned route your going to be stressed, fear and other such emotions as its not fitting with your plans. Where if one makes broader flexable plans like im going from here to here but i will work out how as i go along. Then when somthing comes up you adapt because you dont have expectations of how its supposed to be.

and also guys its just advice as i said dont be defensive and think i attack.
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  #28  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by andrewmclagan View Post
.....Sure day dream its great but if one put too much time into planning and preperation there is no room for flexability.

for example if somthing goes "wrong" and away from your well planned route your going to be stressed, fear and other such emotions as its not fitting with your plans. Where if one makes broader flexable plans like im going from here to here but i will work out how as i go along. Then when somthing comes up you adapt because you dont have expectations of how its supposed to be....
Ah, the old Plan / Not-Plan debate. I think it's safe to say different strokes for different folks.

I like a plan, but I'm happy to change that at anytime, and for me things don't go worng, they just go differently. I have friends who love to plan and get hugely stressed if they have to deviate from it in any way, but I have other friends who hate to plan, and get hugely stressed if anything, like a fussing border guard or having to wait for paperwork, impinges on their free'n'easy way.

And then there's all the other people too.

Safe to say, if you're a planner you'll never persuade a non-planner of its benefits, and vice-versa, and if you're a stresshead, you'll get stressed whether you plan or not.
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  #29  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Ah, the old Plan / Not-Plan debate....

Safe to say, if you're a planner you'll never persuade a non-planner of its benefits, and vice-versa, and if you're a stresshead, you'll get stressed whether you plan or not.
your right on allot of point :-) really you are.

but this is more for the "stresshead" in all of us

and again i will say its not a "plan not plan" debate, or an attack on technology and gadgets. Its just a suggestion of how to travel and also an ideology that can be transferred to most parts of life. Whether it be travelling, relationships or sport...

I dont know how to make it any clearer then saying it again: Dont create expectations of your trip. Plan it down to every turn and evey lunch break and sleeping place if you like to do that. But dont create expectations in your mind as how its going to be or they will invariably be shattered and leave you feeling disappointed. Yes in saying that some people can do this and adapt but from many people cant and dont. be flexible in your mind. The world will offer you many opportunitys or "problems" you choose what they are.

It takes a strong person to realise they suffer in this and take action and not deny it. I used to suffer from it badly, but i changed and its still a work in progress and always will be.
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  #30  
Old 7 Mar 2009
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Ask a hundred riders for their views and you will get a hundred different answers .
There is no right or wrong .
Your original question Andrew was so broad that it wasn't really a question ,it was more a statement of your own philosophy .
We all have our own comfort levels when it comes to reliance on technology and there is nothing really adventurous about riding roads and trails that someone else has made anyway.
There may be an element of difficulty and a sense of achievement at the end of it all but IMHO ,not an adventure .

Planning is another aspect and some people take it to extremes .I rarely plan anything ,I just have a general goal or direction and set off .The world is a complete missmash of possibilities that it would be a shame to miss anything interesting by adherence to "A PLAN ".

It's nice to have a minimum of good quality kit and I like good quality stuff for a fair price [ hence I don't buy much Touratwat equipment ].Both in travel and at work I find that quality counts ,but do I really need titanium knives and forks ?- no I don't -and a $40 aluminum jerry can when a $10 steel one will do ?- again no ,you get the picture .
I might buy a GPS one day but it won't have satellite radio ,intercomms ,blue tooth and a tea maker built into it .
For some people ,only what they perceive as the every best will do .That's how Touratwat make their money .

Some traveller's lives are so regulated in their daily work routine ,that they cannot exist beyond the straightjacket and simply have to plan their trips to the n'th degree. That's fine too ,but it's not my way .

Sometimes old technology makes sense , for instance ,waxed cotton jackets and leather boots have been around forever and still work in the modern world .I have two modern textile jackets ,one was incredibly expensive [ BMW] and performs dismally ,the other [ Belstaff] was a quarter of the price and is great .But I could just as easily take my old Barbour on a trip .
Old technology was designed in a less complicated world and needs less complicated fixes when it goes wrong .So do we need to insulate ourselves with technology ?
No, we don't --but it does give some people the illusion of security [against the wild and woolly world - "out there"].

So I have to say that I agree with you ,some riders do obsess about equipment and planning and miss the big picture .
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