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  #1  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Gear Suggestions

Hey everyone,

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who contributes to this forum. It is very welcoming, patient and helpful. My name is John, I'm 27 from the US and I am starting my RWT in October. I'll be traveling for as long as money lasts across 6 continents and buying a motorcycle in various countries. Thailand is my first stop, I plan on flying into Han Oi from BKK, buying my bike and starting the trip from there. Hopefully ending in Singapore and selling the bike there or in Malaysia. From there my rough route is New Zealand-Australia-Indonesia-Europe-Africa-South America-Antarctica-Central America-??

I'm looking for some suggestions on what type of gear you guys have found absolutely necessary while riding through SEA and the rest of the world? I'm trying to save a money where I can.

What would be most useful everywhere?

What is cheaper or more accessible in the US that I should bring from home and how accessible are other things?


I usually travel light, my main pack is 38L with a small day pack. I don't want to lug a lot of heavy gear all over the world. I've traveled across the US, a portion of Mexico and several Caribbean Islands like this on Suzuki GN250s, GN125s and a Harley 1200 Sportster.
My basic gear list was:

Cloths (shorts,t-shirts, cargo pants, a light waterproof jacket)
Shoes (Leather sandals and a pair of trainers, throw away flip flops)
Small toiletries
First Aid
Head Lamp
Electronics (Iphone, unlocked GSM cell, Camera, chargers)
Pad locks
Towel
Maps/ Paperwork
Hammock
Water/Food
Misc

In saddle bags or additional bag on rack:

Patch kit
Small foot pump
Spare tubes
A few spare parts
Basic hand tools
Tarp
Rope
Locks
Stand

For protective gear, I've always just worn a helmet, gloves and padded sunglasses. 90% of the time I ride in shorts and a t-shirt. I'm assuming in NZ and AUS I can find quality helmets but for Asia I wasn't sure.

For a trip like this, what do guys suggest?
What am I missing or bringing that is necessary or unnecessary?
What should I buy here?
Thank you for any advice, this forum is great source of information.
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  #2  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Hi mate..

It seems you have the basics covered. You will soon find out what you want & need and what you can do with out.. I like your 'Travel light' mentality.

My only advice would be to rethink your choice of riding gear. T-shirt and shorts is just asking for a long spell in a dirty third world hospital. You're trip could be ended in your first country by a low speed topple in traffic or sliding on some oil/sand etc.

Riding gear is personal choice, but for six continents, you need to make sure you will make it out of the first one in one piece.

You can get some really lightweight, ventilated, low cost and stylish riding gear. Get on Ebay for some mega bargains.

At least get a jacket with some armour and back protection and some sturdy boots. You will be really grateful for it if the weather changes too (which it will). Also, your ankles are REALLY vulnerable on a bike and they are one of the hardest parts of your body to fix.

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  #3  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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I am with Ted on the riding gear, it is essential, a pair of armoured jeans would be on my shopping list and buy it at home, you won't get the quality in developing countries.
You don't mention what size bike you expect to use, check out your travel insurance cover, you might find it a lot more expensive to ride bikes over 125cc so if you are happy with smaller it will save money there.
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  #4  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Worth remembering.... Just because it's 'Bike Gear', doesn't mean you can't use it for other things.

A riding jacket can be worn at night to keep warm, the waterproofs work on and off the bike.

I don't think you're the type of guy to wear proper bike boots but sturdy hiking boots will be good off the bike for hiking etc.

There are quite a few threads on this forum about bike boots...
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  #5  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Hey give the guy a break, he is already wearing "padded sunglasses"
But seriously, I would not do Australia in a T.shirt for starters. It gets cold and who doesn't appreciate their skin staying were it should in the event of an off.
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  #6  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Dri-rider & zip off Draggins Cargos

I used a Dri-rider Rally X jacket & Draggin zip off cargos.

You can remove the thermal and waterproof liner from the jacket and it has mesh front and back. I also updated the armour to CD level armour in the shoulders, elbows and back.

The zip offs where great for walking around off bike while still having protection on bike.

Both are Aussie brands but you can get Draggins online and in the UK bike stores.
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  #7  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Thanks for the advice guys, and especially for the detailed list TA-Rider. As far as the protective gear goes, I might consider bringing the one riding jacket that I have but I still don't like the idea of lugging it around the world and it's HOT. It's vented mesh with CE armor, the only time I wear it is when I'm on a sport bike. I've never had a problem riding or hiking in trainers so still not sold on the boots. Here in the US most riders don't wear protective gear unless motor crossing or racing on sport bikes. You never see someone on a cruiser wearing anything but a helmet and glasses. I'm a pretty large guy, always hot and sweat tremendously. That's one reason why I never jackets on heavy pants. I also don't like the look, I'm more of a surfer/hippie type. If the locals ride without gear, so can I.

My travel insurance covers motorcycles of all sizes so no worries there. I have no problem with a 125, in fact I'll be looking for a GN125 once in Han Oi and would love to ride the same bike in all the countries I visit. Africa and South America make me a little nervous but since I'll be heading there after Europe or AUS, I figured anything I needed could be bought there.

Do most of you riders carry tents or hammocks even when in SEA, SA and Africa?

I camp around the US but every where else I always find a guesthouse, hostel, random family etc.

I've never used a GPS other than a TOM TOM or my Iphone. Do those of you that carry them feel you get your use out of them? Is it necessary for Asia or can it be bought abroad before Africa and SA?

What is the purpose of the FTP password and Linux Live CD?

For Malaria medication, I have decided to just bring a 12 pack of Malarone for emergency treatment. What do the rest of you use?
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  #8  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmore Rex View Post
What is the purpose of the FTP password and Linux Live CD?

For Malaria medication, I have decided to just bring a 12 pack of Malarone for emergency treatment. What do the rest of you use?
The Live CD is so that you don't use the possibly insecure computers in a net cafe. You startup the computer with the CD and it takes you to a "desktop Environment" that is virus free and without key loggers and such. It is by no means absolutely secure and safe but goes a long way to help.

I did the full course of Malarone. Before and After.
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  #9  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Hi,

I could not log in for a while so sorry for my late reply:

I did bring the jacket i had on my first trip and indeed it endet up being carryed on the back moast of the time. There it got destroyed by the hight UV from the sun. It was black before and after a few months it was grey.
You cant also wear it while you sleep because of the uncomfortable protection stuff and for the local people in africa it looks much too fancy so i did not take it on trips later on.

Hiking boots are snake proof, perfect to ride and you can walk with them as well

Africa should make you looking forward to see. Im shure you will enjoy it.
Of course you need a tent in africa. They are malawia proof and where else will you sleep? There are no hotels everywhere (and if thats not traveling through africa then) but very nice local people who will invite you into there local vilages:

Transafrika - Riding on a motorbike through africa part 1

I would get a real garmin GPS (im just selling my for 100 Euro PN me if you want it) including the world map, the maps of tracks4africa.com etc.

With the linux live CD you can start virus infected computers in Internet Cafes. Then you can use the internet and copy your fotos with no risc of loosing them. Your FTP Passwort you need id you want to update your webpage

You dont need to carry 12 Pack of Treatment. You onely need one and can get another if you realy had malaria.

Enjoy it, Tobi
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  #10  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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I carried a tent, matt and sleeping bag around SE Asia for four months last year and never used it once, hotels and guest houses for about $10 a night or less. South America and Africa a different story, take your tent.
Armoured jeans can have the armour removed and you can wear them as ordinary jeans, if you had seen the state of the chap I came across in Vietnam who had just come off on gravel at about 40 mph your would think twice about wearing it, sorry to sound like I am lecturing but he was a bloody mess, literally.
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  #11  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Get best Medical evac insurance you can buy.....
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  #12  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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I like what I've been reading about the Linux Live CD and I'm going to pick one up. I guess something like this would be the equivalent and take up less space. USB Flash Drive Linux Ubuntu Live &TONS of preloaded SW | eBay

I don't think I'm going to carry a tent or hammock with me from the US since accommodations can always be found in SEA. I do plan on camping in NZ ans AUS but anything I need can be bought there.

You guys don't come off as lecturing, I'm sure most expats wear all sorts of protective gear. I hate wearing jeans but might consider some elbow or knee pads. I weighed my jacket today and it was 3 1/2lbs. Also tried to put it in my packed bag and it takes up way too much room. It might make a nice bartering tool though and I can always stick in a saddle bag or on the rack.

I'm considering biting the bullet and buying a GPS. It seems to be just like a condom, better to have it... I also like the idea of being able to DL maps of specific rides from GT R, etc. Is it necessary to buy a high end unit like a Garmin 62s or can I get buy with something cheaper?

TA-rider- I thought the normal course of treatment with Malarone was 4 pills a day for 3 days, that's why I was bringing the 12 pack.

Kestrel- I bought a World Nomads policy. For the most part, everything I've read has been positive. I've spoken with there home office in AUS to confirm motorcycle coverage and no CC limit. Their emergency evac and repatriate policies seem to be strait forward and adequate.

Today I laid everything out and after cutting out a few things packing and unpacking, here is what I'm comfortable with:

Clothing:
5 pair of underwear
3 pairs socks
2 pairs of cargo shorts (1 quick dry)
1 Pair Basketball Shorts (doubles as bathing suit)
1 Cargo Pants (quick dry)
4-5 T-shirts
1 Long Sleeve Shirt
1 Polo
1 Poncho
1 pair Sandals
1 pair Trainers
1 Hat
Riding gloves
Shower Flip Flops
Sunglasses (Riding and daily)

Papers:
Passport
Visas
Passport Photos (12)
Drivers License
International drivers permit
Copy of Passport
Copy of License
Emergency phone numbers (credit cards, bank, embassies, insurance)
Travel Insurance
Proof of funds
Vaccine Certificates
Onward travel proof
Rough itinerary/List of must sees
Map/s

Misc:
Ospey Atmos 35 (38L)
2 Compression bags
Small Ultra-Sil dry bag
Small hemp day pack
Headlamp + Extra batteries
Towel
Silk Liner
Mosquito Net
Visa Bank Card
MC Bank Card
Visa Credit Card
MC Credit Card
Cash
Bug spray
Cards
Sunblock
Small notebook
String 20’
50’ Duck tape (wrapped around pencil)
Small hooks
Pen/Pencil
Ear plugs (2 pairs)
Knife
Book
Pad lock
2 Small TSA locks

First Aid:
Bandages (3 different sizes)
Gauze (3 different sizes)
Med Tape
Alcohol wipes
Blister/burn cream
Antibiotic ointment
Antiseptic wipes
Anti-diarrhea
Eye drops
Pain killers
Ibuprofen
Malarone (12 pills)
Tweezers
Safety pins
Heart Burn meds
Prescriptions

Electronics:
Iphone4 + Charger
Unlocked GSM cell + Charger
Compaq Digital camera + Charger (Nikon Coolpix)
Garmin GPS
AA Battery Charger + Rechargeable batteries
2- 8GB SD cards
Mirco SD USB card reader
USB stick
Earbuds
Linux Live CD
Multi Plug adapter

Toiletries:
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Deodorant
Q-Tips
Cologne (3oz)
Powder
Wipes
TP
Trimmer + Charger
Shampoo/Conditioner Combo
Soap

When everything is packed, my bag is about 2/3 full. That's with nothing in the day pack or having saddle bags and luggage rack. Since I will be in warm tropical weather most of the time, at least for the first year, my only concern is cold weather in Nepal. I know that I can buy anything I need in Katmandu (flying via BKK) but I'm trying to save money wherever I can. Likewise I'm trying to travel as light as possible. I plan on camping in AUS and NZ so I can buy a tent, warm cloths and other misc there. From what I've read, I will need to carry a tent in Africa and SA as well but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. How does this look?
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Old 4 Aug 2011
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Hi,

>> USB Flash Drive Linux Ubuntu Live &TONS of preloaded SW | eBay

It is but not all computers are able to boot from USB. In Africa you find all the old stuf wich europeans wanted to get rid of

About the tent is your decision. I think basicly in developed countrys you can save a lot if you wildcamp and dont use hotels

I traveled all around africa with my cheap Garmin Nüvi 250. This proofs you dont need a expensiv unit as log as tracks4africa etc. runs on it (it does on my) and you can save positions end export it to google Earth later on

>> TA-rider- I thought the normal course of treatment with Malarone was 4 pills a day for 3 days, that's why I was bringing the 12 pack.

Thats if you take it to prevent it but for such a long time its not recomented. It has side efects like mental problems so i onely carryed one package in case i would need it as treatment far away from the next hospital but actualy never needet it...


5 pair of underwear


Tooo much. You can onely wear one and if you take a shower and change just wash the used one...

3 pairs socks

OK you can store thinkg in them as well

2 pairs of cargo shorts (1 quick dry)

Too much

1 Pair Basketball Shorts (doubles as bathing suit)
1 Cargo Pants (quick dry)

Hey you can onely wear one pant in a time...

4-5 T-shirts

Good to give away in africa to say thanks for something...

Passport Photos (12)

you will need more fotos. At least 2 for each visa if you travel around africa

Copy of Passport

you will need about 25 for africa but can get them later. Mainly in mauretania (google for fiches) but also some to aply for your visa

Towel

you can use on of your t-shirts as a towel :P

Ear plugs (2 pairs)

Not enouth. I keep loosing them and they get dirty...


Iphone4 + Charger
Unlocked GSM cell + Charger


One phone should do even if you have two ears. Sell your iPhone...it will be old and worthless by the time you come home and there is nothing your netbook cant do...carrying a netbook (Samsung NC10) you dont even need the live CD

Otherwise it looks ok and you will enjoy not to carry too much stuff

LG, Tobi
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  #14  
Old 4 Aug 2011
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I agree with way toooo many shirts, shorts and pants unless they pack down to an extremely small package like the polypropelene stuff. I do treat my feet to dry and warm socks (5 pairs) every day when riding the motorcycle.
During warm/hot weather trips I carry two pair of socks, underpants and 2 t-shirts and did this when they needed washing.
I would get in the bath/shower/river/waterfall with my socks, underpants and t-shirt on, if my hat was smelly I left it on also. Once I was soaking wet from rinsing off the road dirt, I soaped up all the smelly areas under my underpants and t-shirt then I soap scrubed the underpants and t-shirt smelly areas from the outside as much as possible with them still on. I would take off the t-shirt and rinse it, did the same to the underpants. Then I take off my socks and used them as my wash cloth to finish my bath. I dry off with whatever I find that's clean and dry.
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  #15  
Old 4 Aug 2011
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Thanks for pointing that out about the Linux Live, I'll get the CD instead.

I'm going to research the Malarone some more to see what is really necessary for emergency treatment.

I'll definitely be wild camping in New Zealand, Australia and Europe to cut down on costs and to have a different travel experience than all the others on the "banana pancake trail". Africa and South America I'm still not sure about. My outdoor and mechanical knowledge are quite up to that par yet. But by the time I get there, I'll have much more experience under my belt.


I will double the amount of Passport photos I'm bringing as well as make a few extra copies of everything else.


I like having a beach towel because I'm a pretty wide guy and don't like laying in the sand. Plus I don't want to clean up spills or dry off with a t-shirt.


As far as the cloths go, I can't bring myself to pack that little. I'm a big guy and I sweat, ALOT. I've traveled for 4 months with the same amount of clothing I'm bringing this time and never felt like I had too much. I'm not fanatical about weighing every item and being an absolute minimalist. As is, I'll still be traveling lighter than 90% of the other backpackers. I will be staying in hostels, hotels, guesthouses, couch surfing, and possible some home stays. Nice dinners, clubs, embassy visits and who knows what else. I don't want to be the stinking hippie backpacker that thinks it's cool to be disgusting. I really don't want to do laundry everyday and I need a few different outfits because I still like to look good on the road. I also enjoy getting laid at least once a week and the type of women who screw the dirty backpackers aren't my type.

I'm not carrying a Netbook, too bulky and unnecessary if you have an Iphone, can't carry a Netbook in your pocket... Also it's just another expensive electronic to worry about. It's mostly just for email, Facebook, Skype, etc. I like keeping in somewhat regular contact with my family and the convenience of Skype on an Iphone cannot be matched, IMHO. If I want to update my blog with alot of detail I'll use a cyber cafe or an overloaded traveler's laptop. My Iphone isn't unlocked yet so I'm bringing another cheap GSM phone for local calls.

Great to know that the cheap GPS does the job. I'm currently looking for something similar to what you used, I'll keep yours mind.

TA Rider- I'm halfway through part 2 of your Africa travel report and so far it is awesome. The things you experienced get me so pumped up to get out there and off the beaten path. Can't wait to finish it. Thanks again for all the advice.

John
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