T – 1 month
Welcome to my 1st trip blog! 1 month out and it’s time to start planning, packing, re-planning and re-packing.
This is the luggage I have to work with. It’s two 37 liter Trax panniers that I’ve had since my KLR days back in 2009, one 38 liter Dry Spec Rigid waterproof dry bag, one 4o liter Mosko Moto Backcountry duffle and a Giant Loop Fandango tank bag. I’m hoping to reduce my load enough to not need the orange Dry spec bag. When it’s all loaded on the bike, having two bags on the tail rack and back seat is a bit much.What to bring is always a compromise. I know if I had a smaller tent and didn’t need a C-PAP or do I really need a second pair of riding pants and my utilikilt? I have a month to figure it all out. What would you pack for six months with 160 Liters of storage space?
In helping to reduce what goes in the luggage, I’m modifying my bike to fit more on the bike. I have the Altrider luggage rack system on the tail and space where the back seat used to be. Using spacers available from Altrider to raise the tail rack an inch or so, it adds a little bit more storage space. It also evens out the level of the tail rack and top of the Rotopax one gal fuel can. There should be enough room under the tail rack for some tools and/or air pump or 1st aid kit. Every little bit helps.
One of my homemade add-ons is a piece of ply wood and carpet that covers the lock on the Rotopax fuel can. It helps prevent wear on the bottom of my luggage. The carpet gets used as a table when in camp.
The tent I’ll be using is the Redverz Solo Expedition tent. I already have the older Series II Expedition so I know what to expect, Redverz makes amazing tents! As mentioned earlier, everything is a compromise. A smaller one-, two- or even three- person tent will pack much easier and weigh a lot less but after a long day on the bike, it’s very nice to get the Redverz up and be able to stand and move around in your tent to get in and out of your motorcycle gear…..especially in the rain! It takes me no more time to set up the Redverz as it does my 3 person backpacking tent, all you need is relatively soft ground for the tent pegs as it’s not a free-standing tent. The tent is big enough to get me and the bike inside, if I need to, but I can rarely see a situation where that needs to happen. The designer, Kevin Muggleton thought up the idea for the tent while in Africa as a photographer for the National Geographic when gear was stollen off his bike while camping in the bush. I surely hope I’m not in that same situation on this trip.
I know my pack and set up will change several times between now and departure. By posting this now and getting it out there, it will open up discussion for ideas of better ways to pack. I rely on others that have “been there and done that” for guidance. I know I’m not the first one to do this and I’m also very aware that there is no “right way” to get it done. My journey starts now!