The motorcycle adventure checklist

Dailies -


adventure-checklist.jpgPhoto: Grant Ray

Grant and I are planning a little adventure for August and are compiling a checklist of things we need to bring along. Take a look and let us know if we’ve forgotten anything. The trip involves approximately 3,000 riding miles, with 900 of those being on gravel or dirt roads. We’ll mostly be camping along the way. All this has to fit on two bikes, only one of which has hard panniers. 

Bike Maintenance
Tire Repair Kit (tubed and tubeless)
Chain Lube
Spare Bulbs
Jerry Cans (2.5 gallon) x2
Spare Fuses
Torx drivers
Allan keys
Socket set
Screw Drivers
Tire Spoon
Tire Pump
Tire Gauge
Cable Ties
Liquid Metal

Camping Equipment
Tents x2
Bug nets
Bug spray (deet)
Baby Wipes
Multitool (SOG PowerLock + Gerber Suspension)
Entrenching tool
Knives (ESEE Izula + SOG Aegis)
Sleeping pads x2
Sleeping bags x2
Cooking pot
Fire Starting Tools
Flashlights (4Sevens AA2 Turbo, 4Sevens Preon2, Maratac AAA)
Spare Batteries (AA + AAA)
Tabasco Sauce
Energy Bars
Paracord 100 feet
Tent Footprint for Wes’s tent
Propane x2
Hand Sanitizer
Water purification tablets
Canteens x4
Contractor Bags

Travel Gear
Fishing equipment
Bungee cords
Bungee nets x4
First Aid Kit
Duct Tape
Ace Bandages
Sun Tan Lotion
Insurance and Registration Docs
CamelBaks x2

Riding Gear

Rukka two-piece
AStars touring boots
Rain Gloves
Dirt gloves
Bell Moto-8 helmet
Astars back protector

Astars 365 pants
Astars MX armor
Astars textile jacket
Bell Moto-8 helmet
Dirt gloves
Street gloves
Rain gloves
Silk glove liners
Seal socks

Hiking boots
Wool Sweater
Long underwear (tops and bottoms)
Swim Trunks
Wool socks
Long sleeve shirt
Lots of clean underwear
Lots of socks
Lots of t-shirts

All Grant’s photo equipment
iPhones + chargers
Notebook + pens

  • michael Prich

    You need a few more things –

    Extra clutch cables – important.
    spare foot pegs and brake/clutch levers

    On trips, I always try to bring a rubber mallet too. Good for bending bent wheels back a bit more straight.

    Box o’ condoms
    Bottle of Jack
    Book of local lawyers along the route.

  • gary

    sounds like you guys are hitting the great white north.. TLH?

    • Wes Siler

      Yep, Phase 3 just opened.

      • gary

        thought the packing list looked similar to mine.. except I am not going to be taking that much underwear. two buds and myself are heading that way leaving aug 20 from Toronto.

        I’d also recommend a SPOT device.. your faithful followers can keep track of you via

  • s0crates82

    Oh man, it’s only a matter of time before the inmates at ADVRider find this.

    You guys are gonna have a blast!

    • s0crates82

      toldja so. :)

  • mike prich

    One more thing – It’s as dumb as it is important – spare Keys!

  • Ceolwulf

    I love how the only two food items listed are energy bars and tabasco sauce :)

    • Wes Siler

      Ha, we’ll pick stuff up along the way.

  • Michael

    Sounds the business.

    You guys going to run any communications devices? What are you all going to do for a little music on the route?

  • Rob

    Post up the route. Where are you guys headed?

    • Wes Siler

      We’re still working on that, more details as we get closer.

  • Greg

    Zip Ties… unless I missed them in the list

  • vic

    make sure you seam seal your tents and all your other rain gear

    a basic first aid kit.. check out this guy’s solution[he also has a lot of good camping vids]
    a gun
    ziploc bags and silica gel .i would also reconsider your knife choice.replace one of the knives with a k-bar type knife

    K-Y Jelly (juuust kiddin )

    • Wes Siler

      Small knives since we’re crossing a border and the Canucks are notoriously difficult about stuff like that.

      First Aid Kit is on there and the tents are sealed.

      Ziploc bags is a good one.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    Pirsig had a pretty good packing list in “ZATAOMM.” I think Ted Simon had a similar one for “Jupiter’s Travels.” You might want to cross-reference with them, but this looks pretty good.

    Oh, and get some regular TP to go with the baby wipes.

    Otherwise, God, good luck and have fun. Keep us posted.

  • http://SoCalBuellRiders.Com SoCal Buell Riders

    For added safety, and the benefit of your twitter followers, I’ll suggest you add a Spot locator beacon. You can set your account to integrate with your twitter account and send updates on your progress on a map to your twitter followers.

    I highly recommend checking out the Iron Butt Association’s recommendations for long-distance rides at

  • gregorbean

    I saw a footprint for one tent…you’ll want to consider a tarp for the other tent too. Also a coffeemaker is missing, I used an Aeropress by Aerobie on my last big trip and loved it. Packs small and makes a strong and tasty cup. Otherwise maybe a mini moka pot? Gotta have that morning coffee while packing up the gear from before getting on the bike. My buddy and I found carrying dromedaries in a addition to our camelbaks worked well for our water supply (I see canteens on your list but MSR makes great dromedary bags that are flexible and strap onto motorcycle luggage nicely). Lip Balm! A must when you’re doing long miles. Also, pack less shirts and clothes than you think. I always make the mistake of packing many shirts and then I end up wearing two or three different ones for the whole trip. You can always hand wash them if they get too filthy, but I find my cleanliness standards change greatly on touring trips. Oh yeah, I see codeine, but I highly recommend Ibuprofen as well! The anti-inflammatory properties. 600 mg will get you through that extra couple hundred miles when your back or knees are aching. And finally, if by fire starting tools you mean flint and steel that’s great, but bring a lighter or two as well. There are times when you won’t want to deal with testing your boy scout abilities.

    To recap:

    Lip Balm
    Less t-shirts

    Have a blast! Wish I was going on a big trip soon!

    • Wes Siler

      Oh dude, I carry like four different methods for lighting a fire, don’t worry.

    • Grant Ray

      I have a 2-man Walrus that already has a footprint, that’s why it’s not on the list. I don’t go anywhere without Ibuprofen, so thanks for the reminder.

  • Mark D.

    Anti-Monkey Butt Powder Your ass will thank you after a 350 mile day. What bikes are you guys taking up?

  • Denzel

    All you really need is the Tabasco…

  • Brammofan

    If you have a 2-man Walrus, why are you bringing 2 tents? If it was good enough for Brokeback Mountain, it should be good enough for you.

  • Trojanhorse



    • John

      glad I’m not the only one!

  • Tucson Tarmac

    I perfer a big bowl over a plate. It does everything a plate does, but so much more.

  • Michael

    I am enjoying all the advice in this post. Definately learning a lot.

  • jeff

    I’ve taken KTMs as far south as Panama and as far north as Alaska. You can read my advrider RR’s (Panama and Baja) as “stickfigure”.

    I presume you’re headed into Canada.

    Avoid the jerry cans if you can. Carrying fuel (especially 2.5 gal cans) sucks balls. I found plenty even along the Alcan and the Stewart-Cassiar. Unless you’re going deep into the bush, a 200mi range is actually overkill. This surprised me.

    If there are only a couple stretches that you can’t do, consider collapsable fuel bags (a couple South African dudes made do with plastic box wine bags – look up “metaljockey” and “angola” on advrider). They won’t occupy space when empty the way that jerry cans will.

    Bring spare tubes for the tubed bike. You won’t always be able to repair a tube. Make sure you start the trip with Super-Extra-HD tubes and ignore the people that say you aren’t supposed to ride them on highways. Carry the normal-duty tubes because they’re way smaller and lighter.

    You need at minimum two tire levers to change a tire.

    One of the most important things you can carry is a small handful of bolts of the types that fit your bike.

    Do your bikes have a history of consuming oil? If not, don’t bother bringing any… unless you’re worried about holing your engine case. If your undercarriages are adequately armored, it’s a nonissue.

    Ditch the hatchet and entrenching tool. Heavy, bulky, and not nearly as useful as you imagine.

    Hike in your riding boots, ditch the hiking boots. Bring teva-type sandals.

    If you expect rain, get a cheap 1-piece rainsuit and expect to destroy it on the trip. I didn’t have one for Panama and spent a lot of time cold and miserable in my twatsuit, but I did take one to Alaska and comfortably rode through blizzards. Waterproof inner liners are not adequate.

    Bring a laptop so you can work on replacing the HfL photo gallery system. I’ll want to see the pictures and that clunky UI is going to ruin the experience.

    (just kidding about that last one… sort of)

    • hetman

      Jeff (stickfigure),

      No one believes you went on those rides until you finish the ride reports! :)

    • Wes Siler

      We’ll be camping in the wilderness away from disneyland campsites, so some ability to bury our shit and process firewood is essential. Hence the tiny shovel and hatchet.

      One of the bikes only has a 175 mile-ish range and there’s up to 240 miles between gas stations. Additionally, we’d like to play around instead of ride straight through, so Jerry cans are best bet. They’ll be empty for most of the trip just used when we need them.

      Good advice on the tire levers, I’m bringing the big spoon listed, plus some smaller plastic levers. I like to use three total to change tires sometimes.

      Grew up commuting year-round in London and learned to hate the shitty rain oversuits. There’s nothing better than just a high quality suit designed to keep the rain out and keep you safe.

      And good thinking on the bolts and tubes.

      • jeff

        Wes: That’s too bad about the gas. Lots of success stories online of people using 10L MSR dromedary bags for collapsable short-term gas storage.

        If you’ve already been long-distance touring in your suit in the rain and been happy, feel free to ignore this advice… but I found that eight hours of riding through heavy rain were more than enough to bypass my (then-new) Rallye Pro suit. An hour or maybe two no problem, but eventually the water gets around every possible fold. Plus the accumulated water dripping down the outside of the goretex pant liner ends up filling my (otherwise waterproof) boots. And the suit loses its ability to keep you warm as soon as it gets wet.

        As much as my pillion and I share your loathing for those effing full-body condoms, they (and the heated vests) saved our bacon and preserved domestic harmony on the northern trip. But that said, if you don’t expect heavy rains, and you don’t expect it to be cold, it probably won’t matter.

        hetman: I still plan to finish the Baja story… one of these days!

        • Wes Siler

          I’ve seen reports of gas causing the caps on the Dromedary bags to fuse to the threads. Plus, at $50, it’s more than I want to spend on something with marginal added value over a $5 ubiquitous jerry can. Simple, proven and cheap is best in my experience.

  • jeremy

    Keep all your food in a separate bag. Rope it up in a tree when you’re overnighting in the bush.
    Bears will fuck with you if you keep food in your campside.

  • joe-ring

    I recommend a small coil of wire in addition to the cable ties as wire is heat resistant and multi-purpose.
    And what about some duct-tape? Never get on a tour without it!

  • Sean Smith

    Safety wire, safety wire pliers and duct tape.

  • Stacy

    Ditch half the clothes. They’re surprisingly heavy and take up too much room.

    Socks. You only need three pairs: one to wear on bike, one to wear when you reach camp, and one to dry. Same for underwear and anything worn next to the skin.

    Get a few good compression sacks and compress the shit out of anything soft (sleeping bag, tents, clothing).

    Did a girl just tell you to take less clothing? Yes, yes, she did.

  • JRl

    Plates and Mugs…I’d go for flat pack stuff.

    There are many-a companies that make em.

  • Kidchampion

    Starbuck’s VIA instant coffee. I carry a JetBoil but now I leave the coffee press at home. Via is great even if you’re just adding it to shitty coffee to transform it to hi-test. Don’t spray mace on yourselves thinking that bear repellent works like bug repellent, and I think you’ll be fine. And listen to Stacy – take fewer clothes.

  • Will

    One thing I always take with me is nasal spray, hate trying to sleep when I’m all congested.

  • Grant Ray

    To everyone who’s clearly done this and insists we’re taking too much and that maybe someone should relax with the overly extensive list-making, thank you. :)

  • Corey Wilkinson

    If approx 2,100 miles on pavement and 900 on dirt, your knobbie consumption may need to be monitored. I ran an XR650L on pavement and for the first 1K miles into a trip my rear tire was wearing pretty quik on the beat up and rough asphalt. Unnecessary runnin’ n’ gunnin’ helped speed up tire wear, too, but it’s fun. Might want to look way down the road and drop pins on yer iPhone for small-town bike shops that carry tahrs.

    If you’re contact wearers or not, eye drops are a good idea, ‘specially for the non-lead rider.

  • Jay

    Nice picture of Whitehorse. Just up the road about 6 miles is the Whitehorse Cafe… good solid food.

  • Brian Zooom

    1) binder clips to act as safety clothes pins when you are hanging stuff to dry or whatever.

    2) a satelite capable phone.

    3) ratcheting come-along’s/tie downs( and not the cam lock type) of a high strength nature. Never know when you are going to need them, but they are the damndest handiest thing when you do. Like using them to pull a bike out of the mud or righting up a fully loaded bike that has tipped over in a precarious situation.

  • Beale

    Canvas/textile tank panniers are a great way to keep your GC lower.

    +1 on the dromedary bags and regular TP (backpacker’s type rolls pack small) I like the three sock rule, four if in cold weather (wear two, wash one, and camp.)

    If you are going to be camping in bear country than don’t put any food in your tank bag at all. It would suck to have all your food suspended safely or stashed away in a bear container only to have yogi shred your tank bag looking for that power bar you forgot about.

    It looks like your bringing dirt gear so this doesn’t apply but If you’re not going to bring a clear faceshield than bring a small pair of clear goggles just in case you have to run at night for some reason. I recently had to ride 70 miles from Taft, CA to SLO in the dark with no headlight (!@@#@%$ HID ballasts) with a dark tinted faceshield in the high 30′s.

  • Benron

    Tow strap?

  • Noone1569

    Go to badweatherbikers and print out the BRAN (Buell Rider’s Assistant Network), could drop some of the extras with that =) We Bueller’s would give ya a hand for sure.

  • David Patton


    I’ve used a water filter that screws right onto a Nalgene bottle. Takes up more room than pills but I understand it tastes better and, have been told but I’m sure there are threads and firefights on the subject, that unless you are going third-world or camping downstream from a hog-farm a filter works fine.

    A cool gadget. Not cheap though, but if you keep camping in the future…:

  • Pete

    Looks amazing!!

    Unless your really going deep, I would ditch the hatchet. You can pound on the back of your knives with a log if you need to get through something thick. My multi-tool has a saw that I end up using 1/2 the time anyway.

    What kind of bikes are you riding? That is a ton of stuff. You might want to consider upgrading your shock to something beefier. With all that weight and all. I had about 1/2 this much going through Canada and blew out the shock on my F650GS Dakar.

    • Wes Siler

      Ha, it’s not that much stuff. Other than the bike tools, it’s pretty much what I carry hiking. Remember this is split across two bikes and stuff like my tent, for example, weighs like 1.5lbs.

      I’m not bringing a big knife along, worried about the Canadian border guards, they once thought my DSLR was a gun…

      If i was super concerned about weight I’d ditch the hatchet for a folding or hand chain saw, but it only weighs 20oz. The only potential size problem I anticipate is the propane canisters, might end up ditching those and just using fire to cook, but I’d like to have them along because they make camping in the rain sooooo much easier.

      • bryan

        think twice about cooking with fire only, if you hit an area that is fire restricted you might be a little frustrated with cold food, however cookstoves are allowed as a rule. I would forget the second tank and plan on replacing the first one as it starts to feel light.


      • telekom

        Hi Wes
        About the propane canisters – another option is to use petrol stoves so you can use what’s in the bike’s tank for cooking too. My friend recommends Trangia. Fast, plus the pots and stove all fit together inside one another.

      • Pete

        This thread got me looking back at old adventuring photos and I realized that I ended up using my panniers as camp seats most nights. They were Hepco & Beckers and held up really well.

  • Chris

    I’d use Kriega luggage to pack. It’s compact, waterproof and brilliantly designed.

    Some of the tailpacks convert to backpacks too, so you can park the bikes and head off exploring on foot with camera gear/provisions on your back. Used it myself while doing 2,500km around Australia back in January.

    • Wes Siler

      Thanks Chris, yeah, we use Kriega stuff, it’s great.

  • telekom

    Some thoughts… the plastic sac of the Camelbaks (or Platypus) are great for carrying/storing water. Maybe the canteens could be substituted for those as you can fold them flat when they’re empty and they can be squished into spaces in your panniers when filled.

    Put your bike docs, passports etc inside a ziploc bag and keep copies of them in a ziploc in the back protector pocket of your jacket. If you lose your docs from the bike (ie stolen) you’ll still have a copy of them on your person.

    Eat couscous. Rice and pasta take a while to cook. Couscous is quicker and saves fuel as you only need to boil the water and then soak it, instead of boiling for 10 minutes. Food also takes up lots of space so make sure to leave space for it.

    I don’t know what your battery torches are like, but a wind-up headtorch is useful. No batteries needed, plus you can use it handsfree if you are repairing the bike.

    Towel for swimming/washing. Ortlieb waterproof bags are good. Buff/necktubes are useful. If you’re going anywhere hot then Buff Coolmax t-shirts keep you cooler than cotton.

    It helps to have some stuff together in one bag, ie food and cooking stuff all together, bagged up so that it’s the first thing you see when you open your luggage.

    Toilet paper, in a ziploc. :) Anti-diahorrhea pills. :)

    Advice I read elsewhere: Pack your bike as you intend it on the trip and take it for a long ride a couple of weeks before. Then lay out all your stuff and abandon half of it. :)

    Have a great trip. :)

  • Das Boese

    You might consider ditching one of the battery flashlights for a crank-powered one because well, IMO it’s a good idea to have a light that’ll never run out of power.

    Also, glowsticks. Good for marking a crash site at night.

    • Wes Siler

      Check out modern LED flashlights, I can get up to a solid 30 days runtime (yes 720 continuous hours) or the brightness of a car headlight out of a single light running two AA batteries.

      Hell, my keychain light puts out more brightness than a two D-cell maglight and can run for 50 hours on a single AAA.

      Crank lights put out no power and you have to crank them!

      That same light is light enough to go in a head strap for hands-free working.

      I wouldn’t even need to bring spare batteries if I didn’t like using max brightness so much.

      • Mookie

        Totally agree that a hand crank flashlight is pointless, just get the LED headlamp variety so you don’t have to hold it if you’re trying to cook/work on the bike etc.

      • vic

        some waterproof GAFFER don’t need bring a whole roll just rap some around a pen but make sure it’s wide.if you get any rips in your tent&gear it’s the best way of fixing it . and if you wear your pants tucked in the boots and it starts raining you will find it useful to wrap the top egde so that the water that is pouring from the pants doesn’t make it inside the boot
        i used duct tape but it ruins the leather
        a two way radio is much more useful that a phone in the mountains ,not just in emergency,
        but if you break down you can talk to truckers or locals and they might be able to help[from what i've heard from others and my own experience i can tell you that people in more remote rural areas are much more helpful to bikers that cagers ]

  • Mookie

    Bring a metal coat hangar, untwist it and fold it up. Sounds weird but it’s saved me multiple times.

    Crashed once in Copper Canyon and ripped off the mounting strap clip for a saddle bag – the hangar is still holding 2 years later. Also used a bit to rig up a way to keep my key from popping out when the ignition barrel decided it no longer wanted to stay on the bike.

    Unfinitely useful, weighs nearly nothing and it’s mostly free.

  • DoubleOhTwo

    You forgot the bikes.

  • Joshua

    If either bike is water cooled some sort of spare coolant tubing or a self-fusing silicone tape like rescue tape to fix leaks. I find the silicone tape is easier to pack and has many more uses.

  • JP

    Just returned from a 1 month, 5k mile moto+camping trip through Western Europe and Morocco, two up on a VFR with two hard paniers and two dry bags. With that experience in mind here are the things that jump out:

    Plastic zip ties and duck tape are like concrete and rebar — cool apart and amazing together.

    Clothes are bulky and heavy. A pair of jeans can be worn for a week before they need a wash — honestly. Anti-funk underwear and t-shirts (I had Orvis poly t-shirts and Ex Officio underwear) can be worn for a week too, plus they’re quick dry. In theory you would only need two pairs of underwear forever, one to wash and one to wear.

    Keep the cooking gear simple, compact, and light. More often then not you’ll pass by a place that you can pick up a sandwich or the makin’s for a quick cold dinner while on the road rather than doing serious cooking.

    Generally speaking, once I get on the road I’ve wished I had brought less with me. Some stuff never gets used and other bulky or heavy items get used very seldomly. If you can get by without something or may not use it then I’d suggest you leave it at home. It’s amazing how happy and comfortable you can be with almost nothing.

  • hammarhead

    The collected works of Ray Jardine.

  • John

    Sounds like you’re going in a Jeep, not a motorcycle. That’s one fat load you’re trying to take. I was going to say “wire and duct tape”, but everyone’s already over it.

    On another note, I continuously wrack my brain over the dirt tires on the street conundrum. As though there must be come solution that allows a tire to function fine, yet give you the grip you need.

    Something like a tractor tire pattern, maybe, but a little tighter?

    Paddles on the side walls of a streety tire for push through mud and deep sand?

  • David Patton

    Sorry to be grim but, in case of trouble, have info on you – taped to your helmet, on a card in a ziploc in your jacket (maybe ON you as well as IN a bag) – that identifies you and gives an emergency number to call etc.

    I don’t even know what IT is, but it’ll be awesome. The closest I ever got to touring was four days riding around Alaska for my bachelor party. Even that was a complete blast.

    Have a great time!

  • Sean Smith

    An alternative to bringing to bringing only the essentials is to bring a whole bunch of (probably unnecessary) stuff like I did on my last trip. Turns out it was enough to fix a flat and a few electrical issues on a ducati.

  • Mike

    There is only true statement for ANY motorbike travel is – “there is never enough wire and rope”.

    Lists like that is just a great guide to start with. Make sure you modify it to match the eveironment you are going into. If you about to hit really wild places – make sure you will be able to repare most things or your bike or you have a good communication. I usually carry spare ignition and a battery.
    If you travel between cities – ha, whay do you need that tire compressor? Just repair kit, forget the rest!

  • Andy K

    I’m not sure if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but that hand sanitizer won’t do shit-all: just roll with a nice neutral/non- smelling dish soap for a convenient, compact, all in one wash-absolutely-everything bottle of soap.

  • Penguinius

    You shouldn’t really use a Trangia with petrol they are supposed to be used with Meths which in my opinion is probably worse to carry than propane. Unless you are talking about their Multifuel MSR rip-off and the one I’ve seen was crap and nowhere near worth £150, if that’s what you want then get the MSR instead.

    I’ve never liked hauling a pressurised gas container anywhere (especially not a motorcycle – If I come off I don’t want to leave a crater). MSR fuel burners are fairly good but a bit fragile and probably unnecessarily lightweight for motorcycle travel, where you can get away with something a little bit more robust than a hiker. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Coleman Sportster II

    I’ve had mine (Mine was the original Multifuel 533) for nigh on 10 years now and the thing has never let me down – It’s cooked thousands of egg banjos, built like a tank, easy to use and easy to light, no crappy plastic bits to break off (Unlike MSR pressure bottles) and unlike propane you never have to carry pressurised fuel (and even filled with 8 hours (!) of fuel the metal tank is still stronger than the acerbis tank on my TTR). They even do an extra lightweight one although I’ve never used that one.

    Either way, I hope you both have a brilliant time and I very much look forward to reading all about it.

    Oh, and nice choice on the PowerLock – I had a Powerlock EOD until it got confiscated at airport security (forgot to take it out of daysack), fine tool and better than the crappy Letherman I’ve got now.

  • Brian Zooom

    I thought of 2 other things as well from reading other people’s comments.

    1) Dr Bronner’s 18 in 1 Peppermint Castile soap. You can wash your dishes, brush your teeth, bathe or whatever else and it is all bio friendly.

    2) for the nights you may not be able to cook for whatever reason ( fire restriction, too much rain, etc.) MRE’s! Keep a few packed away. They have way more than enough caloric content and with the boil in bag chemically reactive with water heaters that they come with(most times), you would be in the ease factor quickly. I have also at times when camping used the MRE heaters to keep me warm at night and/or used as a medical warming of a joint kind of device.

  • Feds

    More Clothes if you are going North. May also consider hand/foot warming packs, a balaclava, etc.

    I brought tonnes of stuff on the trip to Cape Bretton, and I still ended up wearing most of it at once due to the big drop in temperature vs. Ontario.

    Of course, if you have electric gear that may be moot.

    If you are worried about border hassles for knives and such, cross without it, and hit the nearest Canadian Tire to stock up.

    Do some research to see where shops are located close to your route. You’ll never find them in an emergency.

    Also may consider a CAA/AAA card as a last resort. I know of a few people who got 25+ hr tows for free because that’s how far they were from the closest shop.

  • damien

    tabasco sauce, check.
    ready to roll.

    hope it’s a great trip.

  • Edward

    Stop by an UPS once in awhile to unload stuff. You’ll be surprised how little you need. The best thing to do is make sure your bike and gear is sound at the start. On my long ass trips the LAST thing I wanted to do is make a fire and cook. I prefer checking out local culture at small diners. I never had the energy or desire to hike much after a great day riding. Having ones head filled with landscape imagery was always enough. Being still, quit and relaxed makes for a safe trip. Sleep well in safe locations. Do keep in mind you’ll undoubtably have a meditative mindset which leaves little room for tinkering with possessions. Being wet and cold is your biggest concern. Its no joke and can cause serious problems making a blissful trip into… Hotel it when needed.
    –my 2Cents.

    • Nick

      I think they’re doing a lot of way back and beyond riding… The local hotspot there is Meerkat Manor.

  • Liam

    Super Glue. No matter what happens some annoying trim piece will come off and nothing sticks things together better than super glue. Ok maybe a tig welder but that doesn’t fit in your pocket.

  • C Mad

    If your gonna be in canada I would highly recomend Bigfoot repelant. Those things a thick up there…

  • Case

    I never travel without:

    Neosporin or similar antibiotic ointment

    Keeps minor cuts and scrapes from turning into Seriously Bad News, esp. when you’re not showering every day.

    Good luck on the trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  • steve781

    2nd the commend on a spare key, both for the bike and the luggage if different. On multiday trips I keep them on a lanyard around my neck always. Having them is the surest insurance against needing them.

    Food; I recommend MRE type packaged food. You don’t have to buy the whole big standard MRE package, you can buy individual components at long life food The standard brown bags are full of useless crap and are far too bulky. They also sell the instant heaters, or you can just eat them cold if you are really pinched for time. Without the overpack they are amazingly space efficient. Take enough to cover at least some of the dinners. Cold and raining when you get to camp? Pour some water in the self heater, add food, and pitch your tent. By the time you are ready to shed you boots and crawl in dinner will be ready. Such luxury.

    Have fun!

  • jeff

    I just remembered another couple items:

    Bring four latex gloves. They occupy almost no space and they’re handy for bike surgery in BFE where you can’t wash your hands afterwards. It sucks putting greasy oily hands back into your $300 Held gloves…

    If you like getting as far into the sticks as I do, carry one of these for peace of mind: I’ve never had to use the “send in the black helicopters” button but I configured the OK button to email a google maps link to my friends and they enjoyed following the trail.

  • macfarlane.a

    I don’t know what exactly is packed into your first aid kit, but I recommend making sure it includes the following:

    Hemostatic wraps and/or powders. If you get a bad cut, wrap/douse the wound with this stuff and you’re good to go. Sure, you’ve got a cellphone and GPS and your buddy might be able to call in a med-evac flight to save your bacon if things go sideways, but you should always be prepared to take the first step yourself. Plus they’re cheap and small, so there’s no reason not to bring them along. These things will save your life.

    Splint kits. As with the former item, splints are the foundation of field expedient medicine. Broken finger? Problem solved. Now quit complaining and get back on the trail.

    Muscle relaxers. Good on you to bring codeine, but that won’t do either of you much good if you overcook it and pull a muscle in your back. Not that I’d recommend taking one during a day of riding, but taken before bed they will do wonders to help you recover from from back injuries.

  • BL

    if you were going with Czyzyzyzzz, you would only be bringing one tent, one sleeping bag….and no gas cans.

    on my last trip, mvp (possession) was a wet microfiber cloth for cleaning my helmet shield, stored in a ziploc bag, easy access in tailbag with a dry lens safe cloth for drying. Z1R actually has a really nice helmet polishing cloth for cheap….wash out the wet microfiber cloth at night and have it fresh and wet in the morning.

    plastic tire spoons?

  • Sasha Pave

    Grant, Wes: I’d rethink the Moto-8′s, they’re going to be murder at speeds above 50. Eyes watering, head getting tossed back and forth, buffeting. You’re much better off with a crossover healmet like the Arai XD or similar. Even a street helmet is a much better choice than a dirt helmet. The cross-overs designed to be comfortable at speed, plus you can remove the shield and use goggles if you must.

    Otherwise it sounds like you’ve got everything you need and more. Only other suggestion: a tow-rope. Just a small spool of rope from a marine shop will work, or a fancy setup like a tow-buddy.

    If you’re taking a KTM, bring mineral oil for the magura clutch. Just a small amount will do.

    And a 2nd tire iron.


    • Wes Siler

      I don’t mind doing distance in an MX helmet. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot for all the highway riding, so the cooling will counteract the relatively minor buffeting. It’s not like we’re going to cruise at 90-100mph, more like 70-75.

  • JIm

    Re: Shirts/socks/Ginch (underwear)

    All year I deliberately never throw away my oldest, “crappiest” and most worn-out underwear/socks/shirts. I save them for bike trips.

    As I’m travelling, I just wear those clothes and when they get soiled, I throw them away. If I run out of any of that, I just buy them along the way (you’ll be buying trip T-shirts anyway, and who cares where you buy your underwear/socks for the year).

  • Jim

    Almost forgot my favorite tank bag accessories. Extra-large can of Lemon Pledge and a large fluffy microfiber hand-towel (like the sell at auto parts stores).

    Lemon pledge is functionally identical to Plexus for cleaning visors/goggles/windshields and is 1/3 the price. Microfiber buffs plastic clean like nothing else and used with pledge can get the dead bugs off your visor and windshield (or whole bike) really easily.

  • vic

    hey just bring a convoy of support vehicles complete with armed bodyguards,doctors,female escorts and fully stocked bar and kitchen .oh and let’s not forget the foreign cameraman/whipping boy who never gets any credit

  • Will

    Depending on your route and destination, don’t bring anything you can buy on the road when the need arises. And with two bikes, don’t bring anything that you can wait for sitting beside the road while the other guy goes on to get it for you.

    Traveling light is worth more than the convienence of having whatever you might need with you at all times.

  • jason

    i would suggest a propane cooking stove, you can free up room for it, buy using a black diamond bivy opposed to an actual tent. you might want to consider a small .22 handgun and duct tape. safe travels.

  • DirtyStu

    I invaded Afghanistan with half the shit you’re carrying.

    Ditch most of the clothes. Swimming trunks? You’re wearing undies aren’t you? Also, think about sticking with canned/packaged foods as you can ditch the crockery.

  • Chris Sorbi

    A lot of great comments and ideas! I have a challenge of fitting everything for 5 years for 2 people on one bike! For a list of what we are taking with us you can see the link:
    and I have some videos on the website as well showing my bike set-up but need to do new ones as I’ve done lots of modifications since then.
    Hope you guys have an awesome trip! Seems like you are really prepared!

  • ferdie Bascher

    To take all that stuff with you,
    you sure would need a sidecar!
    If I had to take all the suggested gear with me,
    I would think about a…

  • Ian

    Opinions are likes a-holes…

    Ignore suggestions that you buy Dr. Bronner’s. For real, I have no idea how that shit is still on the market.

    I’d ditch 2/3 of the clothes. One pair jeans. 3 pr undie/socks max. One or two T’s.

    Share a tent. We won’t think you guys are gay. Just makes sense.

    Def ditch the propane cooking gear in favor of absolutely anything else. MSR, Colman unleaded, fuck, even an Esbit.

    Hatchet- seriously? Planning on dressing up as a boys scout or a lumber jacks for this trip?

    Knives? I’ve done all the work on my bikes for 15 years plus I’m a builder/ carpenter by trade. Never understood the whole thing of always having a knife. Rarely comes in use, even in “adventure” type settings. Rarely comes into use in normal life. A weird obsession of civilized man. I’d say a utility knife with a few blades stored in the handle beats any knife I’ve ever owned or used. I like the Erwin brand but a stanley or anything will do. Always ridulously sharp (unless you are planning on bringing a 3-sided whet stone for the titanium gerber or whatever).

    More tools. Know the bike and every socket, allen and torx it takes. Elec tape, wire strippers. I’d actually bring full- function multimeter before I’d bring a hatchet.

    Headlight bulbs? Maybe you got that one on the list already.

    Just my thoughts. I Hope you guys have a fucking blast

    • Wes Siler

      Remember, this is as much a camping trip as it is an excuse to ride motorcycles to far away places.

      Stuff like the hatchet is there because we’ll be camping way out in the middle of nowhere, not in a mickey mouse campsite. The ability to process firewood is a necessity.

      I like propane because it’s simple, ubiquitous and proven. I can find a canister of propane at every gas station or rural store in north america. The stove itself is just a tiny little burner that sits on top of the bottle. The whole setup (bottle and burner) weighs probably 16-20oz but gives us the ability to easily cook even when it’s pouring rain and there’s high winds.

      Knives: again, we’re really going camping here. Food prep, fire prep, fish cleaning, general utility.

      Two tents are also a necessity. This is a two week trip. Grant and I are friends, but not the kind of friends that want to spend 10 nights or more sleeping right next to each other.

  • Bruno

    Yes….Headlight bulbs

    Normally gather fallen wood for the fire, but still carry Axe. Mostly to clean branches and hang the hammock high. Plus, it feels good to know you could build and defend a shelter.

  • Cowpieapex

    Swim trunks, butt powder, undies and pain killer can all be ditched for…bicycle shorts for support and padding which will add 200 extra miles to your day. Put them on a couple of weeks before you depart and ride a few dozen miles on a…bicycle and your legs will be ready to support you those extra miles.
    If you need something buy it and if you aren’t using something ditch it / mail it.
    Ill see you out there.

  • RanDryRacer

    With all electrical gadgets rain is bad. Get some dielectric grease and put it in a small tin. I’ve had to use it on everything from my stator plug to my ipod.
    I just got back from doing RAGBRAI. Get a few packets of GOO. Most bicycle shops carry it. It’s very small, but when your starving and need food bad and not ready to cook, squeeze a pack in your mouth and drink some water, you’ll be good for a few hours.
    I can’t agree more with less clothes.
    My boss has a great saying “take what you need and need what you take.
    Wish I was going, have fun, be safe.


  • Steve L

    Spare gear shifter and clutch lever (both essential) and maybe a front brake lever. At least one real big tire lever and forget plastic tire levers. Practice changing a (rear) tire before you go in the comfort of your garage, ‘cos out on the road in the middle of nowhere is not the place to find out you don’t know how. Ask me how I know. And +1 on the bike shorts–a couple of pairs so you can clean one while wearing the other. Agree on the Auto Club card too–make sure it includes bike coverage–usually extra.

  • dave hargreaves

    Cooking gear/plates/etc:

    then follow that up with a tiny MSR stove…

    other than that, y’all seem to have things covered..

  • Kathy Jo Porter

    Have you checked out Giant Loop Moto? Lightest, most durable luggage designed for just the kind of dual sport camping you are doing. They would likely hook you up with a special deal for the mention as they are a relatively new company. Ask for Harold, tell them I sent you.

  • vincent

    Same comments as major part….way too much stuff guys…keep in mind a light bike is a best bike to ride : easier to manoeuvre and much more fun!
    The first thing I would do is ditch the hatchet, just to piss you off Wes :) But you could still wear the saw chain around your neck, that would kick ass!
    Same comment about the pro-suit and the rain…the giant condom is the best option to me.
    I would take less clothes, same rule of three for the socks, tee-shirts and panties, then 1 sweater and just a comfy/light pant.
    I would spare the loads and get the other bike panniers too if it’s big enough to carry them.
    The tools are not that necessary to me…you are not going to Africa, gas station will be around and if real emergency, you could reach the gas station with one bike and have the other bike brought to be repaired. It’s not worth the weight. Just bring what you would need to fix the wheels (tubes and pressurized kit instead of pump). I wouldn’t bring anything to fix the tube as again, you could still get it not far from where you will be…

    Most importantly, we all take to much stuff, and we all lack something in such trips. Take it easy dudes and keep the weight in mind!
    Just try to ride with all the stuff before, take off the stuff that people have advised not to take and you will see…

    HAVE FUN, I’m jealous…