Originally Posted by Jarno123
Two question to either one of the whole group.
You have told us you kept uploading waypoints at your night camp. Assuming you use some form of laptop, where'd you get the power? Can't imagine there are any sockets in the middle of the Mongolian steppe.
And is there a particular reason you all go from West of East? Is it inadvisable to go the other way around, or did it just turn out this way?
Keep the updates coming!
Its best to go west to east for a number of reasons ... (1) since you do most of your riding in the afternoon, you dont have the sun in your eyes ... which as I found in 2010 in Mongolia, at dusk, makes riding off road at speed VERY challenging. A bit like ... well I think the road goes round to the left here ... I will lean that way and see. (2) you build into the ride. As you leave the developed world, the challenges get progressively larger and your location gets progressively more remote. Starting an off road ride in Magadan, as I did in 2010, has you feeling like its over by the time to leave Mongolia. You cant be bothered with the bit back to Europe - its an anticlimax. Psychologically, like a movie, you need to build up and up and up in your challenges, difficulties and problems .... and ending it with the Old Summer Road and them limping into Magadan has that adventure feel to it. Its a logical climax. Seeing the sign on the outskirts of Magadan is a symbol of vistory over the roads and the elements. Coming the other way, you wouldnt feel that coming back to the outskirts of London. Limping along the motorways of Europe on a half broken bike, heading towards London at the end of your journey just seems pitiful.
As for laptops et al, I dont think we camped more than 2 nights in a row. often it was alternating nights. Once you reach the BAM and Road of Bones, the idea of camping really sux anyway. Its really not a romantic concept. Its a last resort. Its fine in western Russia, or the Kazakh steppes, or even Mongolia if the weather was good. But its not fun on the BAM. Charging much more than mobile phones off the bikes power is not really practical. Trust me, I have tried loads of things to charge off the bikes outlets. The charge rate is terrible, the connections not always reliable and the chargers double the bulk you are carrying in electrical chargers (the volume in electrical cables and chargers is high enough as it is. Having to double up so you have power from mains sockets as well as bike is something I have tried and disregarded for this kind of trip. It works if you have a big 1200cc adventure bike and are travelling around europe camping ... but its not practical in the boonies. My advice is try to get all your plugs on your accessories switched over to euro plugs (loads smaller than big UK plugs or still quite bulky Aussie plugs) and used all thru Russia, Stans, Mongolia etc ... so no adapters needed. Secondly, take a compact 3 way splitter (for euro plugs obviously) ... cause often old hotel rooms will only have a solitary socket, and after a few days in the boonies, you need to charge 4-5 things up, cameras, phones, laptops, ipods etc - per person.