Travel Tips Page

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Planning to travel? Don't know what to carry? Having done this for years now, I found that having a list of things is a good measure against discomfort and a very large headache. These lists are designed for a dual purpose bike and different trip durations. The lists represent only the essentials and can be re-organized based on the rider's individual needs.
"Safari salama" (happy travels in Swahili)

A day trip means many things. For instance, you will probably not be far away from civilization or help. As well, you will not be sleeping away from your comfortable bed and as far as a feast is concerned, you can probably make do with a prepared snack or meal and carry it along. This list is based on a dual sport bike, so we presume you will not be towing your bike along but riding to and fro. Some items may seem to be unnecessary, but can be the dividing line between fun and misery.

Day trip list:

  • Clutch cable (taped to existing one)
  • Tubes, tire lever, puncture repair kit and pump
  • Chain link or two
  • Spark Plug
  • Half litre of engine oil
  • Tool kit
  • Pocket tool (leatherman or Gerber)
  • Insulation tape
  • Extra set of keys
  • First aid kit
  • Map (only if area is large)
  • Phone (if possible)
  • Documents
  • Rain suit and appropriate gear
  • Anything else you deem essential

The only real difference between the weekend trip and a day ride is that you need to carry items for both shelter and cooking.

Weekend trip list:

  • Light 2 man tent
  • Sleeping bag and mat
  • Lantern and maglite
  • Stove (OPTIMUS 123 or 8R)
  • Pots and utensils
  • Radio or walkman with speakers
  • Food items
  • Extra clothing
  • Camera (if needed)
  • Toiletries
  • Any extra items you feel necessary

The difference between a week-long trip and a weekend trip is that you will need to carry a few extra items.

Week-long trip list:

  • More food items
  • More money for fuel, fees and food
  • Shovel for call of nature and handling coals
  • Extra batteries (maglite, radio)
  • Extra clothing
  • Spare parts (easily damaged in a fall)
  • Extra fuel for lantern
  • Larger first aid kit
  • Folding saw for firewood
  • Insect repellent
  • Towel and essentials
  • Anything else deemed necessary

A long haul trip requires more careful planning and is based on region of travel. The more remote and inaccessible, the more you need to carry. This list is based on very remote travel where one might be far away from any form of civilization. In remote locations, the only items you may find are fuel and water. As a result, this list maximizes on items that are not available everywhere. Many will be pertinent to the bike and rider's survival. You can add or remove to the list based on the region you will be travelling. For example, if you are traveling within North America, you will probably not need to have extra fuel carriers or water carriers.

Long haul trip list:

  • Leatherman or Gerber pocket tool kit
  • Full set of tools
  • Chain links (a few)
  • Compass on bike
  • Flares (miniature)
  • Writing materials
  • Intercom system (for 2 or more)
  • Jumper leads and extra wire
  • Small ground sheet
  • Liquid metal (for repairs)
  • Contact numbers for hospitals, embassies, dealerships, etc.
  • Full puncture repair kit
  • Spare parts for bike (cables, levers, bulbs, plugs, rear tire, many tubes, etc.)
  • Sheepskin for seat (very comfortable)
  • Lantern and mantels
  • Stove (OPTIMUS 123 or 8R - gasoline type)
  • Maglite (extra bulbs and batteries)
  • SW/ FM/ AM radio (extra batteries)
  • GPS (bike mounted)
  • Pots, pans, utensils
  • Spices and food items (non-perishable; fill as you go)
  • Rope, clothes line, etc.
  • Layered clothing for all season (light wear)
  • Hat, sunglasses, shorts, sandals, etc.
  • Toiletries in bottles (fill as you go)
  • Axe and shovel (portable)
  • Four season tent (for torrential rains)
  • Sleeping bag (four season)
  • Sleeping mat
  • Travelling documents
  • Camera and film
  • Water carriers (mounted)
  • Tank bag
  • Panniers (can be used for sitting)
  • Medicines and prescriptions
  • Water filter
  • First aid kit (complete)
  • Some foreign currency
  • Carnet du passage
  • Litre of engine oil
  • Maps and books
  • Riding gear
  • Rain suit and parka
  • Service manual (copies of important pages)
  • Travel insurance
  • Fuel carriers (mounted)
  • Anything else deemed necessary