I've updated my last previous post with the remainder of tools, so if you didn't notice go back and reread it for the final skinny on tire tools and a few others I missed over the weekend.
The following items are not tools so much for the bike as they are for the rider - a major part of the "Adventure" equasion IMO. There is no reason to have everythign to fix a bike when it fails when oftentimes your body is the problem, whether from bad luck or a crash or a bad meal back down the road.
I grew up running rivertrips and hiking with my parents in very remote places like the Grand Canyon(my dad was a river guide there for many years) and all over the Southwest, and as a result my parents taught me to always go prepared with medicinal and survival supplies of some sort. I never forgot these early lessons:
I buy goggle/lense/shield wipes like these by the box of 100, for about ~$5 a box plus shipping to my door from any safety supply company - they sell them for workers to clean safety glasses and the like. They are anti-fog, anti-dust/static, and fit just about anywhere - even wedged in your helmet pads for quick access, even with gloves on:
The irony is that I seem to end up loaning most of mine out on rides or at checks during a race because no one else has provisions to clean goggles or the like. Maybe I should charge a quarter or a beer back in the pits...
If by some chance something does manage to get past your freshly-cleaned goggles or shield, and into your eye - maybe even your own eyelash is causing you ocular distress - it's very easy to carry some eye drops to flush the painful particles away. You can also use the Tears saline formula to irrigate wounds or scrapes if they need it too. $10 at the pharmacy store gets you a couple bottles of the above relief, and it's like less than an ounce to carry in an easy-to-reach place.
This is another obvious one to most: a flashlight of some sort. I choose a Petzle Zipka Plus
no only because I can see well enough with it to do almost any form of troubleshooting or maintenance in complete darkness while wearing it, but also because it has a "flash" feature that either simply flashes continuously, but also one that flashes "S-O-S" - both very healpful to searchers in the event of a stranding emergency. In the event of a complete electrical system/lighting failure, it will provide enough light to ride at least fast enough for the bike to stay cool and provide glare to oncoming traffic at a minimum.
Ok - I know, this is getting out of control with the lights and fire - but I spent enough time helping with search & rescue operations to know that long lasting light sources are often the best way to be rescued in remote locations. Cyalume Lightsticks
last a long time, provide enough light to work by(especially on carburetors or fuel tanks, where incandescents are a risk) and are feather weight to carry. If you are really trying to be seen, especially from the air, you can tie on to a string and swing it around in a broad circle and whoever misses that doesn't belong on the S&R crew!
I use spray-on sunblock almost all of the time - I'm almost full German and a readheaded stepchile twice over - so I burn easy. SHould I need to hang out outside for any length of time(planned or unplanned), I need shade or sunblock. This stiff lasts all day for me, does not sweat off, and comes in a travel size container that fits nice in even a minimalist pack like I carry. This is another item I loan out a LOT more than I use myself, but I like to have it for me ultimately so I carry plenty to go around.
This is the "Optimist" - one of the smallest first-aid kits offered from a company called - no joke - Adventure Medical Kits.
I see looking at their website now that they don't make this model anymore, but they do make waterproof bags now and similar kits...you get the idea. It only has the basics - bandaids, gauze, sterile pads, medical tape, sterile tweezers, and similar. But it can save infection or treat a wound on anyone, whether they are a fellow rider or simply someone you;ve run acrossed ont he trail that needs help. Its about 4 oz to carry, and I always do. Best in the Desert and SCORE all require that you cary some form of first aid kit, and this is what I consider the minimum even though they will allow a lot less.
On the theme of Adventure Medical kits, they also sell this Emergency Survival Blanket
, a simple mylar insulative blanket that can be use not just to stay warm in a an emergency, but to catch rainwater, propped up as a shade for a downed person that can't move or be moved, and also has all sorts of good survival advice printed on it to read while you're figuring out what to do next. They're about $5, and 2.8 oz to carry.
The rest of this stuff is what freinds call "Tim's Pharmacy," jokingly of course and there's never any joking when they have diarhea or allergies and I have the remedy now instead of after they have soiled their riding pants or stopped to clean the snto out of their helmet 10 times. There's nearly no weight penalty to this stuff and no reason NOT to stick it all in a Ziplock bag and stash somewhere for when it comes in handy:
I carry a pillcase, just like all the little old ladies do....
...except I line it with EPDM weatherstripping, and stock it with Advil LiquiGels
- the fastest releasing Ibuprophen on the market. If you can take this stuff for a sprained ankle fast enough that you can keept he swellign down and get your boot off at the next safe place, all the better than having to destroy the boot later.
ANother form of fast-releasing treatment: Benadryl
Chewables. They make these for children, and they have half the normal dose, so eat two and enjoy allergy or sting/bite abatement in about 10 minutes or so instead of waiting for the full adult dose to dissolve and absorb. In addition, I carry Bendryl LiquiGels too:
Once you've quelled the initial reaction to the histamines, you can take Claritin
later on to keep the sneezes or hives at bay(to some extent, anyway) Some people can't take Benadryl so I give them the Claritin directly.
I carry several doses of both kinds of Sudafed
, again becuase some people dont tolerate or react to one or the other. It can be a lifesaver if you have allergies that make your eyes water - tearing eyes and motorcycles in cold weather can be amiserable experience, no doubt.
Last but not least, I always carry chewable(again, fast release) Immodium-AD
. Whether that pizza was not settling right with you, or that burrito detonated in your small intestine, this stuff can keep a GI problem contained long enough to get to safety or at least a toilet and paper.
If the fuel you got for you has gone okay, maybe the PeMex you bought out of the gallon jug from the lady ont he beach is not gonna treat your bike very well. In that case I carry a small bottle of Lucas octane booster.
It comes prepackaged and foil-sealed this way, so you know it won't leak in your pack, and it's enough to treat a motorcycle-sized tank unles syou have the Exxon Valdez 8.0 gallon one on your XR650R. This stuff will revive VERY bad gas, and at least get you down the road to some better stuff without pinging a hole in the piston(s)
If you or someone with you has managed to miscalculate on fuel range, it's very handy to have a way to carry and/or transfer fuel. To minimize bulk, I carry one of these:
I roll them up like so...
..and stick them in a gallon-size Ziplock bag to prevent abrasion holes or scars:
WTF is it? It's the double-layer-with-a-thread-off-cap-with-a-good-seal Mylar bladder from one of these:
It's called a 'Starbucks Coffee Traveler' when you order it, and it's in a cardboard box shaped to pour easily...you can either buy one with coffee in it for the office caffiene junkies like I do on Fridays, or if you find the right cutie-behind-the-counter they'll usually give you an empty one for free if you inquire nicely.
After you clean/dry them out, they hold about 1.2 gallons of gas for any duration and are very durable. They fit nicely in a backpack and are relatively easy to pour. Dunkin Donuts makes a "Joe-to-Go" box too, but the bladders are very awkwardly shaped for carrying and have crappy lids.
So, that's it I think. I have to emphasize that I carry this on mostly-dirt, singletrack and light dualsport trailrides, and when I get my adventure bike I'll probably have some important additions to all of this. PM me or post up if you have questions or comments. I'll be replying to other's comments sometime soon...