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Old 01-14-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
JoshDR OP
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Wisconsin to Utah: Lots of questions about gear and equipment

Since I picked up my DR650 last summer I've been wanting to go far far away. Drove through Utah last spring, and I know its where I need to go for spring break. I'll be getting there by highway, but once there I want to go offroading.

Since I'm fairly inexperienced I'm hoping to get some solid feedback for my plans.

As for gear, I have none except for a Arai XD. I've been thinking about it alot, and I'm leaning towards a Koerta with a Moose Expedition over it, as those would probably be most usefull for the riding I do around here too. I'm also hoping that Olympia Air Mesh pants will be durable enough for offroading. And some Gaerne Explorers.


I'm planning on getting there as quickly and cheaply as possible, so I'll probably be camping. I'll be picking up camping equipment soon, but I have no idea how to even plan/find places to rest and sleep.

As for my bike, I was hoping to spruce up the suspension at least, but it looks like that wont be happening as I already need to do a base/head gasket replacement. I'm thinking the best idea would be to ride out there on a road oriented tire, and switch to knobbies once there. I also dont know what spares to pack.

Thats what I have so far for planning.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:56 AM   #2
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Be aware that there is a big jeep event in Moab from March 15 through the If you are going there during that time you will have a very difficult time finding a motel or place to camp. All the areas are booked months in advance. Other times in the spring you can camp for free near the river, no services though (showers etc.).

Moab has a chamber of commerce with a web site. Just do a search engine on Moab and you will get plenty of information on camping etc..

I always carry spare tubes as well as a patch kit, basic tool set for the bike, tire tools and pump. If you only carry 1 spare tube carry the front one, you can use it in the rear for an emergency. Also spare nuts and bolts, safety wire, duct tape, assorted zip ties, blue lock tight and a repair manual doesn’t hurt. Just the normal stuff you would have for any ride.

The weather in can be anything from snowing to blazing hot in the spring. All this in the same day! I’ve started a trail when it was snowing in the morning. Eaten lunch in the sunshine and had blowing sideways rain right after lunch. One thing about spring in Moab, if you don’t like the weather don’t worry it is going to change. You need to dress in layers for this type of weather.

Bring a camera! The scenery screams out to have its picture taken. You’ll have fun and won’t regret going. Bring a friend
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KLRoger screwed with this post 08-14-2008 at 12:27 AM
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:33 AM   #3
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http://www.ut.blm.gov/Recreation/camping.html
http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/recrea...mpgrounds.html

You can also camp 'in the wild' (disperse camping) away from any facilities, a freebie. You can get excellent maps at the local BLM and USFS offices.

I've heard Benchmark Map books are good. DeLorme map books also list many campgrounds.

Running street tires going and returning is a smart idea. Know how to change tires and patch a tube. Start with fresh sprockets and chain. Be aware of fuel availability where you travel. Your bike should be problem-free.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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hmm if i were to camp "in the wild" would i have to pick up all of my things each morning?

i was hoping to leave my gear to save weight and not smash up my not-yet-built panniers when i go out riding.

i think that jeep week is the exact week i have off, which could be kind of cool, hopefully

i guess i'll have to guage the gear myself before i buy it to make sure its durable enough and the temp ranges are wide enough.

thanks guys
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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oh i'll also have my smartphone loaded up with topo maps and a gps just in case
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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i guess i also need suggestions on where to ride. i dont plan on following a strict plan, but i want to have some ideas.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoshDR
i guess i also need suggestions on where to ride. i dont plan on following a strict plan, but i want to have some ideas.
Do you have any maps?
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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Do you have any maps?
not yet.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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You're going to be fine if you're at a campground..just leave your stuff..you should also be ok if you just camp in the wild..but weird shit happens. I'd go out and do some northwoods wisconsin (Laona/mountain/Eagle River areas are nice..lots of backroads and camping possibilities) or UP riding (which is awesome...) and camping BEFORE you head out into Moab..I guess I'd say it's not a very good idea to break yourself in to long distance riding/camping with unused equipment and no experience out there..where it's awesome..breathtaking and inspiring..but things can go to hell very...very quickly..

Good Luck and keep us posted
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #10
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....and camping BEFORE you head out into Moab..I guess I'd say it's not a very good idea to break yourself in to long distance riding/camping with unused equipment and no experience out there..where it's awesome..breathtaking and inspiring..but things can go to hell very...very quickly..

Good Luck and keep us posted
Good advice, plus he will have fun.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:33 PM   #11
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not yet.
Go get some and start marking places you're interested in - the big picture.
That's where your plan will develop from, and becoming more detailed as time goes along.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bonebag
You're going to be fine if you're at a campground..just leave your stuff..you should also be ok if you just camp in the wild..but weird shit happens. I'd go out and do some northwoods wisconsin (Laona/mountain/Eagle River areas are nice..lots of backroads and camping possibilities) or UP riding (which is awesome...) and camping BEFORE you head out into Moab..I guess I'd say it's not a very good idea to break yourself in to long distance riding/camping with unused equipment and no experience out there..where it's awesome..breathtaking and inspiring..but things can go to hell very...very quickly..

Good Luck and keep us posted
yup, already planning to do that just to see how i can handle a long day on the road. i didnt even think about needing to break my gear in and make sure everything works though, thanks
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lone Rider
Go get some and start marking places you're interested in - the big picture.
That's where your plan will develop from, and becoming more detailed as time goes along.
yeah this is a good idea. when we drove through there last spring we used a handheld gps without looking at a map...stupid idea, it was impossible to get any perspective.

would a road atlas work, or should i find a big folding map?
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:33 PM   #14
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yeah this is a good idea. when we drove through there last spring we used a handheld gps without looking at a map...stupid idea, it was impossible to get any perspective.

would a road atlas work, or should i find a big folding map?
Get a free state map from UT dept tourism...and any other propaganda they have.
Get a Benchmark or DeLorme map book.
northstarmapping has some good regional stuff, Injun country, 4 corners, etc that I like.

What I like really like is having different 'zoom' levels to look back and forth at.
State = big pic, broad strokes
Regional = stuff state doesn't have but still big view, good ideas of distances
Detailed (Benchmark, DeLorme, BLM, USFS, etc) = dirt intersections, washes, some idea of topography
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #15
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Wow now that i'm seriously getting prepared for this trip I cant believe how daunting of a task it is.

I dont want to be a quitter but I dont know if i can be ready by mid-March.

My problems are:
1. Bike needs head/base gasket and its going to be too cold to do it for some time.
2. Too cold to go on a test run to Northern Wisconsin.
3. Wont be buying gear until mid February.
4. Jeep Safari week or whatever.
5. No panniers yet.

Given my lack of experience (riding since late July) I think I definately want to do some off-road training. And rushing everything could get me seriously hurt out there.

I have some time after the semester ends in mid May, If i reschedule for then, I think i'd be waaay more prepared, and ultimately have a better time.

Maybe I should shoot for a quick run down south for spring break?
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