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header 04-06-2010 06:57 PM

Header's packing list
If you were planning a long trip not a RTW but a long trip for a regular person, lets say a month or two, what would you bring? Your not planning a trip of paved roads. But at the same time its not a single track off road camping trip either. Something along the lines of the Trans American Trail. Moderatly long days in the saddle of a fairly off road bike (no larger than a 650 dual sport) on easy to moderate trails that arent really "roads", nothing less than gravel but if you came upon a pot hole riddled dirt trail you wouldnt freak out but rather go faster and enjoy it. You would like to keep things as light as possible but still keep a few things to spoil yourself with, maybe a extra comfy sleeping pad or a tent instead of a bivy sack.

With thinking like that here is what ive come to pack on my trips. I can do weekend trips with ease from this list and I cant think of anything I would bring for a longer trip, something like the TAT.


I use the original Giantloop bag to store everything. I find it very usefull but the openings are small, they fixed this on the new ones.

For some of my tools and tubes I use a front fender bag.

For anything else I use a front number bag. This is my newest piece of gear and I find it very useful. I really wanted a tank bag but they were more than twice what I paid for this bag and I didnt want it to get in the way.
Sleeping stuff
Bivy sack--I dont mind sleeping in them, and I found the condensation claims are a little over rated even with a non gortex bag like mine.

25* semi-rectangular down sleeping bag--I sleep fairly cool but when im planning a trip for the bike I usually am going to be going in the summer so I wouldnt need anything warmer than this plus if its down it is still very small while still being roomy rather than being a complete mummy bag.

Sleeping bag ligner--makes moving in a bag easier, you dont get stuck to the bag as much and during the summer you can sleep in it and then use the regular bag (since it zips completly open into a blanket because its not a mummy bag) as a blanket and still not get the annoying feeling of a sleeping pad on your back.

Big agnes insulated core sleeping pad--Just buy one, you will love them. Period. Tiny, lots of room to compress (I sleep on my side so I really need it), and doesnt take much to inflate. Mine is 2.5" thick but you only inflate enough to get you off the ground. That way the rest of you is supported evenly.

Tarp--I only bring this about half the time because the weather around here is easy to predict but it is nice to have when there may be a steady rain without too much wind. You can make an easy and effective lean-to off the bike that I can easily fit under with the bivy bag.

Regular Clothes
A thin pair of athletic shorts or other polyethelene type shorts--fast drying, comfortable, easy to wash and usually packs small without keeping lots of wrinkles.

(1) Athletic shirt--Same as above, except I like to keep mine basic gray or white colors to stray away from attracting any more heat than necessary. When I wear a pressure suit I like to wear a long sleeve to keep away from chafing. IMHO I would stay away from anything with elastic or elastin in them (typical underarmor), to me they never seem to dry all that fast.

A pair of socks and two pairs of synthetic underwear I like to keep my boxers away from the "compression" style, I find it horribly uncomfortable.

Windbreaker pants and jacket I dont carry the pants with me much any more but the Jacket is very small and easy to just bring along no matter what. If you dont want to use just a basic pair of these Klim makes a very nice windstopper jacket that is very stylish and even has a 1/4 zipper that allows you to put it on without taking your helmet off. But its $65.

Riding clothes
Klim dakar pants--very nice dualsport pants, you can find lots of information about them on here.

Acerbis enduro jacket--I have an old one but I really like it. I wanted something that I could use as a backpack and it has lots of pockets to fulfill that requirement. It has large vents that are easy to use then when I get really hot I can take the sleeves off, which to me is one of the best things out there.

Koerta pressure suit--I like it but I recently got a decent MX style chest protector and I find it much cooler with less chafing. I can also get regular clothes to fit both under and over it easier. The only difference is the pressure suit doesnt get uncomfortable when you wear a heavy backpack.

Motocross boots--not very comfortable to walk around in but if your riding for a long time everyday on fairly dangerous roads I would rather be in them than anything else.

Balclava--(thin one) this usually stays in a pocket in my jacket, nice to have on cold mornings when you just need something more.


I try not to bring too much more with me simply because I LOVE traveling really light. Last time I measured my kit of things it only weighed 17lbs including the Giantloop bag that I use to carry everything on the bike (XR650R). This does not include everything from above though.

Toilitries/med kit--contact stuff, TP of course, spare contacts, med kit, single lens cloths, lip balm and sun screen.

Emergency rations Always have a power bar and a little bit of water, I replenish this when I use it.

Hydration bag/camel back--Nice as a backpack because anything you put in them isnt going to move, they are small and can be picked up cheap at walmart. I try not to put much more than just water and a bar in it because of weight and when im not wearing it I strap it to the top of my GL bag where I never notice it but I have it to give me a decent amount of room when I go to get food for the night.

Pair of camp shoes--cheapest (and smallest/lightest) pair of flip flops work for me, maybe something more if it will be cold. In all honesty I rarely bring these, I simply have huge feet and carrying any kind of shoes means adding a good amount of room and weight. They are very useful though.

Tool kit--model specific.

A few large trash bags--Take up almost no space but when you get to camp you can put your riding gear in them to keep bugs and due/rain off them.

Headlamp--This is the only light I bring with me, best thing for working on the bike. I try and keep it close when I sleep so I dont walk into any trees in the middle of the night.

cooking stuff

I save a lot of room by not bringing any cooking gear on most of my small trips but when you arent going to be near a town then I usually bring this:

Metal mug--boil water, cook small amounts of food in it.

Spork--yeah..its a spork, pretty self explanitory.

Thats about it. I used to bring a small grill (hiking one so it was tiny) but I rarely used it because I didnt really need to cook anything. If I did I just used a fire.

This is all off the top of my head but for the most part this is what I like to pack. As you can see there isnt much in the way of leasure items but when im at camp I usually have enough going on that I dont need anything else. I like to get my maps out and figure out where im going, where I could go, and where I could camp.

When I get close to finding camp I will find a walmart or perfirably some small deli or grocery and pick up something to eat. I am a fitness and health freak so my food was usually fairly healthy but it was still traveling food so not the best. I usually got something that was easy to cook or just eat it raw, then save some of it for morning. Things like turkey and cheese eaten with whole grain tortillias make an easy and fairly healthy meal.

A benefit of bringing next to nothing, packing up camp is very fast. Everything fits inside my Giantloop bag except for the camelback and flipflops which I just strap onto the top of the bag where I dont even notice it. It makes for a really nice traveling package that still has a lot of storage space when I need it. For instance I can strap the backpack on and fill it up then fill up the huge rear pocket of the jacket then I can fill up all the other pockets on the jacket if I need to.

I have always really liked thinking about what im going to bring and going through my pack changing this and that. I guess its part of the trip :lol3. I would really like to hear what you would take.


Here are a few pictures before I had to cancel one of my most recent trips.
You can see most everything I have described above with the addition of a fleece vest that just fits perfectly beneth the pressure suit.
Here are some of my sleeping things and some of the random *stuff* (Notice this is not the sleeping bag I have described and I do not have the sleeping bag ligner pictured)
Here is a picture of the first time I got to do a real camping trip off the bike. This is the one-man tent I had before I got the bivy.
This is what everything looks like packed back up.

New photos for the year:

I wasn't taking anything with me but I didnt want to strip the bags off from a recent trip.
<sub>Getting unstuck is much easier with a lot of power :D</sub>

This gives you a pretty good look at all the bags.

header 04-07-2010 01:25 PM

EDIT: I remembered something to add to the stuff section. I like to carry one of SeaToSummits folding bucket/sinks. They are made from a pvc type material so it doesnt exorb anything making it easy to dry and pack. The ten litre that I use packs down very small (the same size as the palm of your hand) and opens up to something plenty big enough to even wash clothes in.

LE Trainer 04-07-2010 07:00 PM

I've made good strides in getting my packing list pared down. Looks like you have a good minimalist attitude. I would add a catenary cut tarp as they don't take up much space and using a bivvy can be a real drag if the weather gets crummy. I also don't leave home without my aeropress coffee maker. I'd bring that sucker if I was hiking, let alone motorcycling. A man's gotta have his priorities.

thetourist 04-07-2010 07:14 PM

Some real shoes. It isn't fun to walk very far in flip-flops or Moto X boots. Work gloves to pick up camp. In the morning dew on gear gets my hands cold and the gloves get wet.
A fleece jacket. Maybe pants. For cold nights and around the campfire.
A warm hat.

Motopapillon 04-07-2010 09:29 PM

Header, sounds to me like you've got it worked out pretty well. I think you're probably a warmer sleeper than I am: I would want a warmer bag even in summer (for desert and mountain elevations) and I get anxious without a set of thermal underwear in the kit no matter what the weather at the present moment. I would also want boots I could walk around in comfortably.

I go out in the CONUS, a couple of weeks to a couple of months at a time, and I almost always run into tent-worthy weather at some point. Also I like to cook in the woods, so I carry more in the way of a camp kitchen: no spork in my place setting!

There! I've just added--what?--10 or 15 pounds to your kit. Maybe now you'll have to pass up that pothole-riddled dirt trail. Shouldn't have listened to me.:D

Happy trails.


header 04-08-2010 06:52 AM


Originally Posted by Motopapillon

There! I've just added--what?--10 or 15 pounds to your kit. Maybe now you'll have to pass up that pothole-riddled dirt trail.
Happy trails.

HA! I never pass up a good trail! :deal

Around here, during the summer atleast, the weather is about as predictable as you can get. It makes it easy to know what to pack when. I dont get to ride on mountains or anywhere like that so the temp range doesnt change much. We dont really get many freak rain showers here either, thats why I didnt list a tarp as something I normally carry (though since it is a long trip planning thread I guess I should shouldnt I :shog)

A few things I was able to think of that ive added to my list: Tarp, headlamp, and a few large trash bags.

header 04-08-2010 06:58 AM

I like where this thread is slowly going..
I think im going to keep this thread updated and use it as a checklist for myself and hopefully someone can also make some use out of it.

DCrider 04-08-2010 09:57 AM

add in a camp chair sling to use with your BA sleeping pad, they weigh ounces, back easy, and make sitting in camp much more enjoyable than on the ground, log, or rock. Baseball hat. What about maps/gps? My VA and WA Gazetter's are my guides to freedom!

header 04-08-2010 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by bmwew1
add in a camp chair sling to use with your BA sleeping pad, they weigh ounces, back easy, and make sitting in camp much more enjoyable than on the ground, log, or rock. Baseball hat. What about maps/gps? My VA and WA Gazetter's are my guides to freedom!

No GPS, too cheap. But I do take Gazetter's maps but to save room I plan where im going and only take the pages that will cover where ill be.

Lobby 04-08-2010 08:44 PM

40 degree sleeping bag won't cut it if you're above 6000 feet. Particularly if you're above 8000 feet.

Temps will dip into the 40's F and you'll freeze. :deal

header 04-12-2010 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by Lobby
40 degree sleeping bag won't cut it if you're above 6000 feet. Particularly if you're above 8000 feet.

Temps will dip into the 40's F and you'll freeze. :deal

Hey Im glad you mentioned this, not because ill change anything but because I was looking at the bag and I dont know where I got the 40* from. Its actually a 25*. This proves I made that list off the top of my head :D

I doubt this will be warm enough at 8000 feet but again I live in Indiana. Its like 1200 feet at the highest point, even if I do make a long trip like the TAT I doubt ill get a whole new bag just for the trip. It would be easy enough to not camp at such a high elevation, plus if I had a heavier bag it would be too much considering I normally dont camp much outside of the summer spring and fall.

MSH 04-13-2010 10:47 AM

Nice thread... Usefull for all YFF that dont have to work! :flip

header 04-13-2010 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by MSH
Nice thread... Usefull for all YFF that dont have to work! :flip

Thanks MSH, im glad someone is gaining something from this! :clap

bones_708 04-15-2010 12:43 AM

One thing to think of is if you have a pair of MX boots you like, see if they make a ATV version. These have hiking boot treads and give much better traction than the MX version. Still not very comfortable but a bit more versatile.

Sparrowhawk 12-03-2010 01:29 PM


Originally Posted by header (Post 12610902)

That looks a lot like a trip I took this summer.

My packing list is similar. If is doesn't fit in the GiantLoop + small tank bag it stays home. If I go out longer and the weather is unpredictable I usually end up with a small roll-top bag strapped to the GiantLoop to handle extra warm clothes, cooking kit, and food & beverages.

All clothes are nylon or some other synthetic material. For extended trips I never carry more than 3 shirts, pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of pants. About every 2 - 3 days I do wash and everything dries overnight.

I probably carry more in the way of spares than you describe for trips where I will be on my own (or expected to pull my weight). Besides the normal tool kit I usually bring along a spare tube, tow strap, headlight bulb, electrical test meter, 2' 12 gauge electric wire, chain tool and spare links, spark plug, clutch cable and lever, bailing wire, cable ties, liquid metal, and tape. I'll pack a small folding saw if I'm trail riding in areas that are not maintained.

I agree with Le Trainer about the tarp to go along with the bivy if rain or snow may be in the picture. Otherwise you'll get your sleeping bag wet which is never fun. The small silnylon tarps pack up smaller than a softball, or about 1/2 the size of a aeropress coffee maker.

Travelling light makes the ride more fun and packing easier.

Below is an earlier trip packed "heavy" with cook kit, five days of food & beverages, ready for extended cold rain, and even a camp chair. The added roll-top bag provides the needed space. I could tavel for months with this setup.

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