Half the fun of planning a mad adventure to foreign lands is the choice of what, exactly, to bring. That said, too often I read about travelers who begin their journeys with enough gear to outfit both Lewis and Clark, and invariably have to expensively ship back half of their stuff back to the homeland.
Undoubtedly I’m one of those travelers, as I’m still pretty new to this long-term travel business, but here is a list in case you’re curious as to what’s inside my panniers.
For a detailed breakdown of all my equipment, including costs, check out this Google spreadsheet.
Let’s start off with the base layers:
- Three pair of ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs, fairly high tech underwear known for their comfort, quick-drying, and ability to wear for more than a week straight without stank.
FourThree pairs of People Socks Merino wool socks; super comfortable, and again, does not hold smells.
- Minus33 Merino wool mid-weight bottoms and crew top. I got these because they were about half the price of other Merino wool base layers, and had great reviews. Should keep me really warm when those winds on the Altiplano start blowing.
For daily wear, when not riding around:
- Two ExOfficio Men’s Exo Dri Tee Shirt; quick drying and pretty comfortable.
- One Icebreaker Men’s Tech T Lite Short Sleeve Tee, merino wool instead of the tech fabrics
TwoOne ExOfficio Nio Amphi Pant; luckily picked these up on sale at backcountry.com.
- White Sierra Men’s Sierra Point Convertible Pant
Oboz Bridger BDry Hiking Boots, for walking around in. Waterproof and pretty warm so far, time will tell if they’re durable or not, but the REI dude was pretty convinced. Anecdotally, I had to get them a size bigger than what I normally wear.I returned these, they reeked after 2 days and were not breathable at all. I got these Ahnu Elkridge II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots instead, less ankle support but much more breathable with the eVent fabric. So far, so good.
And finally, for dealing with the elements:
- REI Havenpass Event Jacket, what looks to be a decent water and windproof outer shell. I really wanted either an Arc’teryx Beta or Stealth Hoodie LT, but could not justify dropping $500 on a jacket. This REI model looks to be of similar quality…
Sierra Designs Capiz DriDown Jacket, a “bubble jacket” or soft shell for cold weather. Snagged this bad boy on sale, and it fits really great as well.Great jacket, but sent it home.
- Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man fleece jacket, I picked this up on sale and it’s a lot more versatile than the soft shell. If I get really cold, I can use the reflective liners from my riding suit.
The North Face Mountain Light Pants , wind and waterproof pants.I forgot these at home, damn it. I’ll have to use my riding suit liners if necessary.
- Neff Daily Heather Beanie, for my brain container.
- Buff, because they rock.
A few years in the cubicle and bad nutrition decisions have taken their toll on my body, and part of this journey is about me getting back in shape while on the road. I picked up all this in Yuma at Big 5 sports, for less than $60
- 3 pair Coolmax running socks
- Some New Balance trail shoes
- Compression shorts
- adidas Climalite long sleeve training shirt
- random Reebok shorts
- Kanu Surf Men’s Barracuda Trunks
- Shoei Hornet DS helmet, because I have a Shoei shaped skull.
- Alpinestars Toucan GTX boots
- Racer Short Sport gloves
- Olympia Airglide 4 Mesh jacket, which zips into the Olympia Airglide 3 pantaloons
- Fox Racing Turbo kidney belt
- Fly Terra Trek Gloves, for cold and/or wet weather
- Sena SMH10-11 bluetooth headset for listening to sweet tunage while riding
- For my water needs, on and off the bike, a Geigerrig G1 1200 Hydration Pack with inline filter, holds 3 liters and you can pressurize it to spray as needed.
- 2013 Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 tent, mostly on the recommendation of this dude. I also have a footprint for it.
- The Big Agnes Hog Park sleeping bag, which is very roomy (and thus, pretty big), and allows you to slide in a sleeping pad, preventing you from rolling off of the pad at night. I store it in a Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack so it can air out and be stored in a very small space. Just don’t leave it compressed for years at time, or it won’t warm you as well.
- Exped Synmat 7 LW, a (supposedly) ridiculously comfortable inflatable sleeping pad, with an R-value of 4.1.
- REI Flex Lite Chair
- Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit
- Light My Fire Titanium Spork
- MSR WhisperLite International Multi-Fuel Stove, a reliable and lightweight camp stove that can run off of standard camp (white) gas, unleaded gasoline, or kerosene. The only other thing you need is a fuel bottle!
- MSR Alpine 2 Stainless Steel Pot Set
- Princeton Tec Remix Headlight
- Suunto MC-2G Compass
- A Luci solar-powered light, this thing is about an inch tall when not inflated, lasts a while, and is pretty bright
- Esbit Pocket Stove, for backup
- And a big ol’ Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Bag to hold all the camping gear, lashed on top of my top box
- Suzuki DR650SE Service Manual, the most important tool I could possibly have on me! I didn’t pay anywhere near $75 though, not sure why it’s so expensive.
- RK UCT 4060 Universal Chain Breaker, Cutter, Press-Fit and Rivet Tool Kit, for replacing a chain
- Shorai battery charger
- Motion Pro Bead Buddy II
- Valve fishing tool
- Slime air compressor
- Slime patch kit
- Slime tire sealant
- Topeak Pocket Rocket Master Blaster Bike Pump, for backup
- LeatherCraft 32-Pocket Socket Tool Roll Pouch, containing the following, from top to bottom, clockwise:
- Craftsman Mini Pocket Multimeter
- Enduro Star TS2 Trail Stand
- Needle nose pliers
- 22mm wrench, for rear axle
- 14mm ratcheting wrench
- 13mm ratcheting wrench
- 12mm ratcheting wrench
- 10mm ratcheting wrench
- 8mm ratcheting wrench
- Small flashlight
- Sawzall blade
- Feeler gauges
- 1/4″ 6″ drive extension, wrapped in electrical tape
- 1/4″ socket driver
- screwdriver with reversible bits
- 19mm wrench, for the front axle
- monkey wrench
- lighter wrapped with solder, wrapped in electrical tape, and a Soto Pocket Torch (badass, powered off cheapo lighters)
- 13-PC Ball End Hex Key Set
- Motion Pro T6 Combo Lever 24mm, titanium, lightweight for the rear axle
- Motion Pro Spoon Type Tire Irons
- 6-14mm sockets, a spark plug socket, and a 3/8″ convertible bit
Greases, oils, etc that I might use for repairs:
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Quarter Cube to store all this stuff
- Spare fuel line
- Quik Steel
- J-B Weld
- High and medium strength threadlocker
- Anti-Seize Lubricant
- Dielectric grease
- Liquid electrical tape
- Gorilla super glue
- Gorilla tape
- Safety wire
- Spare keys
- Various electrical connectors
- Spare fuses
- Spare length of wire
- Spare spark plugs
- Spare rear tail light
- Spare chain masterlink
- Another Eagle Creek Pack-It Quarter Cube
- Scottoiler blue oil for my chain lubrication system
- Spare front and rear brake pads
- Front wheel seals and bearings
- Rear wheel seals and bearings
- DID 525VX-120 X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link, in case my chain breaks or wears out. Probably overkill.
- JT Sprockets Steel Front Sprocket 14T, less teeth because by the time my main wears out, I’ll probably be requiring more torque
- Spare metric bolts
- Spare clutch and throttle cables
- IRC IX-Heavy Duty Inner Tubes, front and rear sizes
Most of this is stored in my top box, which is secured storage.
- MacBook Air 13″ with charger
- 2x 1TB Silicon Power Rugged Armor A80
- GoPro Hero 3+ Black, with the following accessories:
- Wasabi Power Batteries
- 4x 32GB SanDisk MicroSD cards
- Smatree Aluminum extension, for cool views and selfies
- Gorillapod, for GoPro and my camera
- GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp
- Grab bag of mounts
- Olympus OMD-EM5 Camera, with:
- Iridium 9505A Satellite Phone with a 200 minute Latin America plan. I managed to buy 2 of these for $200 off of Craigslist, and sold one for $500 on Amazon, so, including the plan, I got a free satphone and $100. Not too shabby!
- Kindle Paperwhite, for reading
- Nexus 5 phone, with tons of apps, including the following you might find useful:
- Wordlens, cool app that translates Spanish words through the camera
- Navfree for offline maps
- MapFactor: GPS Navigation, for offline maps again
- Offline Translator Spanish
- Couchsurfing, for free places to stay! I hope.
- Paper maps for every country, mostly purchased from Omnimap
- International Driver License
- Texas driver license
- Mugger/Federale wallet with old driver license, expired credit cards, and some spare cash
- Vehicle title and registration
- Spare batteries
- Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool
- Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, this is a must have!
- Tierra Del Fuego book, from a family friend
- Postcards from all my friends to be read when I’m lonely