Packing for a round the world trip on motorcycles
We live in a world where everything is at hand ...need some rice? its in a pot in the larder. Need a reel of sticky tape? its in the packing box under the bed. Need a spare set of clean bed sheets? look in the laundry cupboard. etc. etc. etc.
What if your space is limited ...like REALLY limited! what do you REALLY need to get by and survive on? as in find shelter, cook a meal, do running bike repairs, keep warm, keep dry, keep clean, stay in contact with family and friends, record adventures, fix all but serious medical events ...and oh yes, get across borders without being arrested!
In a way having two bikes is a luxury as we have double the room of the guys that travel the world on a bike two up. This means we have been able to afford ourselves little luxuries such as ultra light collapsable chairs and the ability to carry a stock pile of non perishable foods, and travel that little bit lighter (which makes a huge difference to the way the bike handles especially when tackling terrain that isn't tar sealed).
We have done a lot of research on what we might need and what we can do without. The Mad or Nomad website of Andy and Alissa (check it out!) has been great in getting an idea of what we might take to start with, as well as talking to others who have travelled on bikes on FB groups and in person (thanks Sue and Graeme!).
So in April 2022, as a pre-world tour run, we packed our bikes with what we thought we might need and set off to explore the South Island of New Zealand for 3 weeks. Apart from a few unwise clothes choices, and the camelback water bladders (will explain later) I think that we just about got it right!
So what did we take?
CAMPING & COOKING
3 person tent (extra room for gear) A Mutha Hubba MSR, ridiculously light and epically easy to put up.
Ground sheet - can't be doing with a muddy/mouldy tent bottom
2 lightweight foldable chairs
2 Exped blow up mattresses, 4cm and really quite comfortable
2 down sleeping bags
2 silk liners for the sleeping bags ...or the dodgy motels and places I am sure we will end up staying in!
4 blow up pillows ...4 because we are in our 50s and no spring chickens!
mini portable shower - sea to summit
2 ultra light nano sea to summit backpacks (a godsend!) see photos below of how big they pack out and how small they pack down ...also easy to use on bike over your gear and hard wearing. LOL go buy one!
Gas cooking stove - Kovea
MSR Dragonfly multi fuel stove - can burn petrol
MSR fuel canister for petrol - can double as emergency bike fuel
2 camp saucepans and 1 lid
1 collapsable kettle/pan
2 collapsable bowls
2 collapsable mugs ...also wine glasses ;)
2 sets of knife, fork, spoons
small chopping board
small sharper knife
mini cool bag
small bottom of dishwash liquid
collapsable 5 litre sink, sea to summit - also good for carrying water
plastic bags for rubbish
Small bags of herbs and spices, cumin/oregano/chilli/taco mix/salt/pepper
small bottle olive oil
freeze dried meals
protein bars/museli bars
2 head torches
self charging torch
2 first aid kits - one for each bike
personal locator beacon
2 head nets (mozzies!)
1 metre ultra thin lanyard cord
10 metres para cord
emergency insulated bivi
2 strops, 2 x 3m and 2 x 4 metre - can double as tow ropes and a pulley style system if needed
1.5m of rubber tube
epoxy resin, aqua and general
mini electrical air compressor
puncture repair kit
air pressure gauge
small tool kit of pliers/ alum keys/socket and wrench to fit bikes/ hex set/selection of cable ties
2 coil cable locks (for bikes and for securing our helmets and jackets when we want to explore off bikes)
2 cargo nets - fit to back of bike for extra stuff/food shopping/dry clothes on the roads etc.
2 x 1 metre straps that double as belts! (genius!)
2 motorcycle covers
2 side stand wedges
5 x 10 litre dry bags and 1 x 20 litre dry bag
2 x 3 litre camelbacks - will not bring RTW as we realise we prefer stopping, taking helmets off and drinking our of a bottle! And the camelbacks leaked!
PERSONAL STUFF AND CLOTHING
2 hand towels - normal cotton ones
2 pairs walking shoes
2 pairs jandles/flip flops
2 pairs decent "but easy to walk in" shoes
pen and notebook
watercolour paints and brushes (Bec)
2 pairs reading glasses (we are old!!!)
2 pairs sunglasses
slip over water proofs
water proof inners that double as rain jackets (not 100% sure we will need these AND the slip over water proofs unless its uber cold and wet)
Uber thin but incredibly warm down jackets to wear on and off bike
Bec - Rev it Sand 4 jacket and pants, Arai XD4 helmet, sidi boots
Nick - Rev it Dominator jacket and pants, Arai XD4 helmet, adventure boots
Nick - jeans/nice shirt/2 cotton tees/merino jersey/merino tee/merino leggings/togs/3 x undies/ 3 x socks/hiking cargo pants
Bec -thin jersey/satin top/linen pants/summer top/2 merino tees/merino jersey/merino leggings/rev it airborne summer leggings/hiking cargo pants/2 cotton tees/ 3 undies/ 3 socks/togs/necklace/dress/MAKE UP!!! some things are essential
small soap bag each
ELECTRONICS AND PAPER WORK
Paper work insurance details/ bike rego details/ TIP's/passports etc.
SD card reader
GoPros x 2
go pro media mod
Go pro el grande selfie stick and tripod
Chargers GoPro/phone/Mac book
spare batteries for go pro
2 power banks - essential to top up equipment on the go or Cardos' when we stop for lunch
2 cardo packtalk bolds
phones x 2
spare SD cards
small Phillips screw driver to fasten go pros
various go pro spares doors/stickies/mounts/bolts
35 litres aluminium cases x 4 BUT RTW we will have soft panniers
2 x 50 litre roll bags
2 tanks bags
RTW we will also be taking our Kriega modular bags, 2 x 10 litres and 1 x 40 litres.
WHAT WE DIDNT TAKE BUT THINK WE WILL NEED
picnic rug - would have been handy to sit on for on the go lunches and to use when we camped
mini collapsable table - if there is one?? without hard panniers we won't have our impromptu "pannier tables" for cooking/preping on
Please feel free to comment if you think we missed anything!
So that is what we are taking ...rightly or wrongly. I guess we will find out along the way and be buying more stuff as well as posting back what we don't use.
Our total luggage weight per bike was around 30kgs EXCLUDING the weight of the luggage itself, so by the time we have a few litres of water each as well as some fresh food ect. that can creep up pretty quickly and your bike gets harder to navigate through that river and over those rocks!
One thing that really struck us after our 3 weeks touring the South Island NZ with just ourselves, our bikes, and what we packed was how we viewed our homes when we got back. we remember just looking about at all the stuff in our house thinking it was just unnecessary clutter. LOL what are we going to be like when we return after a year away!