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.
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.
--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.
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.
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.
--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.
--(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.
--contact stuff, TP of course, spare contacts, med kit, single lens cloths, lip balm and sun screen.
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.
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.
--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.
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:
--boil water, cook small amounts of food in it.
--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
. 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.
Getting unstuck is much easier with a lot of power
This gives you a pretty good look at all the bags.