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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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  #1  
Old 21 Dec 2007
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
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Forget that laptop !!

Im nearly 2 months into my South America trip now and already have a list of things id wished Id left and things id wished Id brought. At the top of that list is my laptop. Its heavy, fragile and takes up way too much space. Its going home asap. Fun for music and vids when bored but really not worth it.


Ortlieb wash bag.. Every smart German owns one. Makes washing your clothes while camping very easy.

Travel sink Plug: All hotel rooms and sink in campsite DONT have plugs. Pain in the arse when you need to wash clothes or have a bath.. Buy a big and a small one (Ebay it now, you will thank me)

Spare Nuts and bolts and locktite.. I brought some but not enough. Bits are rattling and falling off already and I dont have bolts to replace them. GRRRRRR, very frustrating.

TYRES !! DO NOT GO TO SOUTH AMERICA WITH ROAD TYRES AND EXPECT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME........ I left my knobblies in the UK by mistake and regret it sooo much. Sure you can do it but so much is left untouched and a bit of ripio can ruin your day.
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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Heh, told ya! There's so many internet cafes and very little wi-fi that I know off that it really isn't worth carting one about. Apart from the weight and taking up room, every time you leave your tent or hostel room, you'll be worrying if it will still be there when you get back.

And besides, do you want to be watching videos or seeing South America....??


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Im nearly 2 months into my South America trip now and already have a list of things id wished Id left and things id wished Id brought. At the top of that list is my laptop. Its heavy, fragile and takes up way too much space. Its going home asap. Fun for music and vids when bored but really not worth it..
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  #3  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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ha ha ha.. sink plug.. good trick.. i haven ever thought about it but i will get one.
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  #4  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Maybe some spare Metal Mule pannier mounting pads. I see you rubbished one of your pads, I did the same when I hit a rock outcrop in the Atlas. The good thing about the low-tech build approach of the mules is I could do a running repair on the spot.

I was running 45-litre 'fat mule' on one side, 38-litre 'classic mule' the other which is really a bit too wide. I've now bought a 31-litre 'skinny mule' for trips that involve rocky pistes, so I can run 38/31 rather than 45/38. The 14-litre lower capacity will force me to be more selective about what I take which in retrospect isn't a bad thing.

Tim
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 22 Dec 2007 at 10:43.
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  #5  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Yup, I killed it.. Im very impressed how it stood up to the crash though, very impressed indeed.

I can do a running repair in theory and I have tried. These boxes are sooooo tough and flexible, i cant bent it back though. Me and 2 German dudes were bouning off it to get it straight with no luck. Iv managed to shut it now but Its not really usuable. Plus, the back is battered and needs hammering flat and the fixing were ripped out and destroyed. I cant start work on it without taking all the rivits out which will have to wait until i "swing" passed buenos Aires in January. The lovely folks at metal mule have sent my UK contacts a full fitting kit and bag of stainless rivots to be sent over for the repair.

The frame will be fun to straighten too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Maybe some spare Metal Mule pannier mounting pads. I see you rubbished one of your pads, I did the same when I hit a rock outcrop in the Atlas. The good thing about the low-tech build approach of the mules is I could do a running repair on the spot.

I was running 45-litre 'fat mule' on one side, 38-litre 'classic mule' the other which is really a bit too wide. I've now bought a 31-litre 'skinny mule' for trips that involve rocky pistes, so I can run 38/31 rather than 45/38. The 14-litre lower capacity will force me to be more selective about what I take which in retrospect isn't a bad thing.

Tim
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  #6  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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Cool

He Ed,

Going thru some rough times I read on your site! Its supposed to be summer down there but it even then its always chilly! I remember running around there in December in the same outfit I would use here for wintersports! It very beautifull though ! And Ushuaia has a nice atmosphere! Happy holidays and a good ride!

Cheers,
Noel
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  #7  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Im nearly 2 months into my South America trip now and already have a list of things id wished Id left and things id wished Id brought.
Yep.. Use the post office/couriers to send stuff home.

On the nuts & bolts rattleing off .. use nylock nuts !!!!

Where you cannot use nuts .. then loctite is good .. failing that RTV silastic (yes the gasket stuff) is also a good glue .. and can be used instead of loctite if you run out .. I also use the wick in locktite - green stuff .. you assemble what ever it is and put a drop on the bolt head where it contacts the part .. unless it has a nut then you put it on the nut to bolt surface. The advantage with this stuff is you are not mucking with it as you assemble but afterwards as the final step. And you can see where you have been - saves forgetting to coat something.


------------------------
The reason why I'd take a laptop is to run Oziexplorer and mapsource and cgpsmapper and map edit .. to make maps of where I'm going .. where I've been can be saved for when I get home ... Other than that to show people the photos I've taken .. where I'ved come from ... but it is a load to carry .. so I'm undecided. I don't think it will fit .. 2 by 30 litre boxes .. so maybe that decission has been made for me
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  #8  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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Looks like you're having a fine time! I'm so jealous...it was about a year ago I left on my trip and do miss it!

Speaking of which, I do disagree with you about the laptop though...it all depends on the one you pick and what you do with it...

I found it essential...as it was one of the top three things I wouldn't do without...It helped keep my trip glued together in many respects: financial, geographical, family and friends, website, planning, etc.
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  #9  
Old 24 Dec 2007
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For road tires....just air them down some. Should really help...don't worry about denting rims.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 07:24.
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  #10  
Old 24 Dec 2007
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Well.. I brought quite a few spare nuts and bolts but used them all in Charity at Viedma and in Azul.

A Germans guys KTM airbox dropped all is bolts so was falling off and he took most of my spares and another guys bike in Viedma needed serious attention.

The problem with being mechanically sympathetic is that when you see a problem on another bike, you just have to fix it !!!
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  #11  
Old 29 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Travel sink Plug: All hotel rooms and sink in campsite DONT have plugs. Pain in the arse when you need to wash clothes or have a bath.. Buy a big and a small one (Ebay it now, you will thank me)
I use a plastic bag, the kind you get at every store here in mexico, and later find littered throughout the countryside. Just fold it in half and jam it into the drain!
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  #12  
Old 30 Dec 2007
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Mornin' Ted,

I always have a flat dish type spare plug in my wash bag. Sorry I forgot to suggest you take one!

As for the washing bag, well back in 2004 we were touring around Norway and Dazzer brought along his mark 1 version. It was a plastic sweet jar and each morning just before riding away he'd half fill it with warm water, a bit of wash liquid and his smalls, attached it to the bike at left it to aggitate! At the end of the day he emptied the stuff, gave it a rinse and the kit was really clean!

Here he is modelling his work!

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  #13  
Old 30 Dec 2007
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Regarding the laptop I dumped mine less than 300 miles into my journey! Instead I just use my mobile for typing up any notes (it has a small keyboard that is quick to operate just with two thumbs) and it is better than a paper and pen as it works upside down - though I usually fall asleep while writing laying in bed!

The phone runs Windows mobile 5.0, so supports Excel etc and has a Wifi connection built in. In the UK it is called an SPV M3100 by Orange but behind the scenes it appears to have been made by HCT Innovation in Taiwan might be model HERM100 HTC TyTN 'super 3G' smart phone | Reg Hardware

I tend to just use the i-cafes to do the uploading of the notes etc, but if a laptop is available then I will use it in preference.


paul - going to investigate installing an automatic washing machine/bag on his bike now (a great idea)
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  #14  
Old 30 Dec 2007
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More from HTC....

I've used the HTC Universal PPC for cycle touring, and for me it's almost as good as a laptop and a lot smaller.



Again Windows Mobile 5.0 which has plenty of software available to download and a fair amount of freeware, including basic photo and HTML editing and GPS navigation. Wifi, bluetooth, etc. The screen's just about big enough to watch a film on, it takes SD cards for extra memory/file swapping between camera and PPC, and if you set up a blog site in advance you can of course e-mail entries and photos to it from this. It's been out a while now, so a scan round e-bay might turn something up. Also check out Modaco for loads on info on all these Smartphones and Pocket PCs.

I wouldn't be without it, in fact I'm using it right now.
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  #15  
Old 30 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cameraman View Post
As for the washing bag, well back in 2004 we were touring around Norway and Dazzer brought along his mark 1 version. It was a plastic sweet jar and each morning just before riding away he'd half fill it with warm water, a bit of wash liquid and his smalls, attached it to the bike at left it to aggitate! At the end of the day he emptied the stuff, gave it a rinse and the kit was really clean!
What a fantastic idea! He should patent that quick smart before Touratech make it in brushed aluminium and sell it for $500
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