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!
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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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Dont forget that minimizing your gear can make your trip more expensive. If you dont want to carry a 50 $ tent you more often end up using hotels. Same if you dont carry your own 12 volt battery charger for the camera etc. and if you dont carry your own tools you have to go to a mechanic more often or have to pay for a truck to bring you there.
I realized that you onely should take clothes which you can wear all above each other in winter (or high altitude). If its warmer you can swith and start washing...while you are drying your pullover you wear your t-shirt with jacket etc. Then you onely need a paper map (can be used as a diary as well), a camera (to finance your trip. Computers to keep your blog updated can be found in every big city) and some medication in case of malaria etc.
Rather take long lasting tires such as Mitas E-07 and no spare ons (i crossed Africa with onely one pair) insted of two pair cool looking knobly tires like TKC80 or Scorpions. As long as you dont have a team carrying your luggage you will not have traction problems
Ah, the advantages of a novel over e-readers! Take a speed reading course for India though
I've always found real travel wash as against powder/liquids meant for washing at home is a great advantage. Something in it reduces creases and lets it wash out easier.
As for the "no disposable underwear" idea, I'd half disagree. I tend to set off with a collection of the sort of T-shirts you can buy in packs of five at the supermarket. They don't last well, but buying ones in places you visit is also a souvenir.
I remember reading that Ted Simon was very aware of the paper trail he left in Africa. This led me to some thinking.
In France they sell little square flannel mittens, probably intended for use with a bidet. They are easily washed so reusable and dry quickly when fixed to a bike. Any clean water source such as a stream or lay by tap will do. Take a couple and they will last you for your journey. Maybe take three as they were last seen in the local supermarket at three for a euro.
Imagine deciding right now to; put on your riding gear, grab your wallet with whatever money is in it and your passport, walk out of the office (give the boss the finger if you feel inclined), jump on the bike, and just go, go, go, RTW... no panniers, no tools, no tooth brush, no plan, no nothing. Only what's in your pockets! The rest you sort out en-route!
Not only can it be done, but it could be the adventure of a life time.
If i was only so brave and liberated...
Examples that preparedness may not be so critical:
The Guiness World Record for the longest ride (735.000 kms), the unexperienced Emilio Scotto, was robbed of absolutely everything but his bike his first day (including his helmet and all his money), rode around the world for ten years straight, on a Honda Goldwing GL 1100. He sorted everything as he went. He rode places where I wouldn't even consider walking.
The inexperienced rider, Giorigio Betinelli, with just a Classic Vespa Scooter and a Guitar, rode more than 250.000 kms all over the world... He sorted everything as he went.
go, go, go, RTW... no panniers, no tools, no tooth brush, no plan, no nothing. Only what's in your pockets! The rest you sort out en-route!
I guess this is only fun if your bank accound is full and your credit card is in your pockets. With money you can sort everything on the road true but if you want to travel cheap its importend to bring your old tent otherwise you bay new for twice the price or end up using expensive hotels and mechanics if you dont have your tools...
Neither of the guys I referred to had any money. They found ways to make some as they went along. Maybe that is why it took Emilio ten years?
Not wanting to diminish what Scotto achieved in terms of time on the road and distance covered but I found it very strange that he survived for so many years almost purely on handouts. He mentioned getting handouts a couple of times and maybe even had a job once or twice. I'm not alone in finding a lot of the claims in his book not ringing true.
Maybe you are right - but I still like the notion, that if I really, really, got fed up with things, I could just jump on the bike and be gone, indefinitely - But I lack both the will and currage.
Anyways, I didn't mean to hijack this thread with my comment. I just tried to make a point, and that is. Most things can be acquired en route if your itinerary is flexible. A good plan does make for an easier life though.
I think that what to bring and what not to bring is governed by a few parameters, here are a few of them:
The faster you will travel, the more self reliant you must be (skills, tools, parts, equipment)
The more off road you will travel, the lighter you have to be
The further you travel from civilization, the more you will likely benefit from what you bring
The less you travel off road, the more luxuries you can afford to bring as handling isn't the biggest issue
The more you will be doing something, the more you should bring of it. Whether that is camping gear, camera equipment... A writer needs a computer, for me an iPhone will suffice
For me clutter is more of a personal issue than weight. Many nice to need items adds up to a pain in the ass. Bringing less than you may end up needing and get the rest en route is sometimes a better policy than to bring more than you need. I would therefore ask myself the following questions:
How much will I likely use this item?
How severe and critical will the outcome be if I lack a particular item to resolve a particular problem - and, how probable is it that the problem will occur in the first place?
If I should find that I need an item I did not bring along. What would be the consequences if I had to source it en-route?
Can I use some other item in my luggage to fill the same purpose, even if less practical or efficient? (Do I really need that hammer or do they have rocks in Africa?)
Can I find a multi-purpose item to replace more than one item?
Can I bring a smaller and lighter version of an item, and at what cost?
Can I share with someone - and if so, what would be the consequence if we split up?
It is extremely unlikely that even very sparsely populated areas, in the most primitive corners of the planet, that are accessible by motorcycle, will not have an abundance of items to sort the most basic needs - at least within a few hours ride. Here are some very basic examples:
Clothes suitable for where you are
Make shift luggage solutions
Toiletries and amenities for cleaning up and grooming
Makeshift camping gear suitable for where you are (i.e. a tarp, blankets, some pots and pans, firewood, etc)
An address to have whatever you need shipped in from some other place on the planet
This much said, I myself like to be pretty much self reliant and plan thoroughly, and continuously refine what I pack and how I pack it between every trip. Every trip I bring less than the previous, and I always find I still brought way to much... and that there was something I wish I had brought but never thought of. I still had wonderful trips though.
On my first trip I brought both a water filter and a high end multi fuel cooker, couple of pots, cleaning agents and a sponge, two pots, complete set of eating utensils, a spatula, spice cans, etc, even a small tripod stool to enjoy my meal in. I found sourcing food, cooking, and doing dishes, too much of a hassle and avoided it as much as I could. The following trip I only brought the smallest gas cooker I could find, one pot and a spork, but still kept the stool. On my latest trip I brought none of the above and didn't miss any of it much as cooked meals were readily available. On my next trip though I am considering reinstating the gas cooker and the pot again, and maybe bring one or two packs of freeze dried food rations where you only add hot water right into the bag (requires no cleaning), a couple of bags of tea and instant coffee, and a steel mug. I will probably replace the spork with chop sticks (The leatherman has a knife)...
Although based around backpacking, much of this can be applied to motorcycle travel. Check out this page especially: Clothes & Laundry :: One Bag
Thanks for posting on "Learning to Lighten your Load" and I read information on website about "Why Travel Light?" that is nice but I think traveler need more stress free travel experiences. Please read Wheelie post and I agree his post.
Like your way of writing it, it sounds so simple and wish to read some of your blog. Unfortunately I get a error if I try to reach your blog.
I started 20 months ago with lots of stuff I didn't use, but in the end my boxes are still full. I have to say I added dive stuff like a wetsuit, googles, snorkel and boots since I became a dive instructor during the trip. It use space yeah, but I hope to earn money on the way by teaching.
I also had to replace my tent, found out that the one I had was to small. Yeah you read it right it was to small, I'm a tall guy and it had only one entrance.
Key point is that things changing during the ride and I said goodbye to lots of my stuff I carried when I left.
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