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Old 03-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
salcar OP
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[Gear] Crossing Sahara Dessert in May/June - 122F

I'm currently traveling from Cape Town to Cairo on a F800GS. We are currently in Tanzania and in about a month we will be crossing into Sudan/Egypt.

We are expected to hit up to 122F temperatures. Is there any special gear that we could use to help us?

My girlfriend has to fly to the US for a week for personal reasons in a coupel of weeks and we could use this opportunity to get any special gear that could help.

Thank you for any tips/advice you can provide!
Salvador
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
ratthing
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If you can carry sufficient water, I advise evaporative cooling vests if you don't already have them. You can get them at cyclegear.com or even Amazon. They run $40-50/each. I wore one under my mesh jacket in 115F temps on a ride from Las Vegas to New Mexico. They will need to be re-soaked about every 2 hours.

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Old 03-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
trc.rhubarb
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Seal up tight and keep your body heat in... it's a lot cooler than the 122* outside.
Learn from the nomads and wear thin layers to keep the hot outside layer from heating up your insides.

I've ridden a lot in the desert regions of CA but 115* is about where that seems to cap at although I did do 119* once.
It's contrary to what you'd think but wrapped up in leather I was hot but not dying. In my mesh I get delirious even with hydration. Convection is a bitch.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:20 PM   #4
sonoran
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Phoenix rider checking in here.. temps in the 110-120* range are common in summer

Evap cooling is your best option. Some folks wear them under mesh jackets but this dries them out quickly. A well vented textile jacket with evap cooling will keep you cooler longer. Don't need to go nuts on expensive gear.. just soak a sweatshirt in water and it'll keep you cool so long as you are moving.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:29 AM   #5
salcar OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratthing View Post
If you can carry sufficient water, I advise evaporative cooling vests if you don't already have them. You can get them at cyclegear.com or even Amazon. They run $40-50/each. I wore one under my mesh jacket in 115F temps on a ride from Las Vegas to New Mexico. They will need to be re-soaked about every 2 hours.

Ride safe--
=RT=
Thank you! I'll check them out
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
salcar OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
Seal up tight and keep your body heat in... it's a lot cooler than the 122* outside.
Learn from the nomads and wear thin layers to keep the hot outside layer from heating up your insides.

I've ridden a lot in the desert regions of CA but 115* is about where that seems to cap at although I did do 119* once.
It's contrary to what you'd think but wrapped up in leather I was hot but not dying. In my mesh I get delirious even with hydration. Convection is a bitch.
hmm.. my girlfriend has an airflow type jacket so not sure how she will seal up... also, my understanding was that with the air hitting the sweat and the evaporating it would cool off the body.. while if you are seal up there is not much vapor created...

i guess, i will have to try and see
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoran View Post
Phoenix rider checking in here.. temps in the 110-120* range are common in summer

Evap cooling is your best option. Some folks wear them under mesh jackets but this dries them out quickly. A well vented textile jacket with evap cooling will keep you cooler longer. Don't need to go nuts on expensive gear.. just soak a sweatshirt in water and it'll keep you cool so long as you are moving.
thanks... i'll look into something that will not dry up to quickly... there is one section of 400 miles without hotels and we are not carrying any camping gear. so we might have to ride during the hot hours of the day and with a loaded bike we have limited capacity to carry much water...
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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Find a way to carry enough water to sustain you should something go wrong. A sheet or tarp that could be used in a emergency to shield you from the sun would be a good idea.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #9
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An evaporative shirt (or a wet t -shirt) under a mesh jacket just gives you too much cooling for a short while, and then no cooling once all the water has evaporated.
What you want is just enough cooling to match the heat input.

Also,
Try to get light coloured clothes.
Makes a big difference to the heat absorbed.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
sonoran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salcar View Post
thanks... i'll look into something that will not dry up to quickly... there is one section of 400 miles without hotels and we are not carrying any camping gear. so we might have to ride during the hot hours of the day and with a loaded bike we have limited capacity to carry much water...
I usually carry a few long sleeve t-shirts in ziplock bags.. just add water at a stop and rotate thru them as they dry out.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #11
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ld comfort shirts

awesome better than evap cooling vest imho

Dan
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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awesome better than evap cooling vest imho

Dan
+100

I refused to pay that much for a shirt and pants, but found a local dealer who carried them so I could return them if I didn't like them. I love them! I wear them all the time under my Badlands suit and Rallye 3 jacket when i had it last summer and its amazing how much a difference they make with squirting a little water down the sleeves and neck area. Unlike Underarmor that gets all clammy from sweat, LD Comfort keeps your skin dry while the sweat works its way up to the top layer and evaporates.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #13
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As a line medic for a light infantry unit in Iraq and an aid station medic in Afghanistan, I have some experience with trying to stay cool as well as seeing what happens to those who don't stay cool/hydrated enough. Being on our feet isn't exactly the same as being on a bike, but I can still tell you what worked for me.

First of all, stay hydrated! Your body's cooling system works by losing water. You need to constantly drink liquids to keep your body running. Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which mean they cause you to piss out more than you take in. Avoid these... At least before a particularly long hot leg of your trip. And remember, proper hydration starts the night before, not the morning that you leave.

I've seen many, many cases of heat exhaustion... Not a fun thing to go through, especially if you find yourself on your bikes a long way from anything. Heat exhaustion can rapidly progress to heat stroke. I've seen only one case of heat stroke. Very scary. The man was very lucky to live through it. I know I am being a bit dramatic, but I just want to emphasize how important staying hydrated is... so along with that, make sure to carry plenty of extra water for just in case. Even if you don't have room for it, make room.

Second of all, any of those gel-filled cooling vests, neck bands, etc. are spectacular. The cooling they provide is really pretty modest, but every little bit helps, and it really makes a big difference by the end of the day. They work just like a wet shirt, but they last a lot longer. They would last for several hours on a mission while walking. I don't know how long they would last on a motorcycle with the wind beating against them though.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:21 AM   #14
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@bemiiten - i have a sheet that i put on the ground when changing tires that I could use to make some shade.

@espressodrinker - not sure what you meant by your comment but it seems that you prefer the cooling vest versus other options

@wistrick - I have never heard of ld confort shirt.. i'll look them up asap!

@Hikertrash - thank you for confirming ld confort!

@max384 - message loud and clear. Take as much water as possible, drink plenty of water and get a cooling vest type thing.


thank you all for the input!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #15
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Extra water...!

Extra water...!

Extra water...!

Did anyone mention that you need to take Extra Water...?

Seriously, the more water you can carry the better, along with salt pills to help your body stay hydrated and replace the salts as you lose them.
You need to have shelter during the day if you break down, have an accident or just need to rest for a while. No shelter in the desert = disaster.

Good luck, stay safe and enjoy your trip. (I'm jealous ).
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