Sunday, September 21, 2014

3 Week West Coast ADV on a KLR 650

Here is my packing list for my three week journey aboard one my great friend Brent's KLR 650. Pictures to come soon of how it all packs up on the bike.

I've got a lot of emotions running through my head right now. As an average guy with a bit of anxiety, this "little" trip is a very big deal to me. It is literally nothing compared to the hardened adventure riders who circumnavigate the globe or brave countries that nobody has heard of... but to me, the average guy, and perhaps to you, too, this is 3500 mile trip is the biggest adventure of my life. It will be the longest away from my family, the farthest from them, and the riskiest endeavor I have ever undertaken. I say this because in lieu of returning to the world of teaching high school special education classes, I have decided to become a professional adventurer and "YouTuber". Now before you say, "Why not just keep teaching?" Well... that's a topic for another day. To keep things short-ish, let it suffice that there is something out there calling me. Something that I've had all my life. I need to find it. Whatever it is...

Perhaps you've felt the same way... like there's something more than the 9-5 desk job or punch-in-punch-out-pay-the-rent lifestyle... part of me wants to find this "it" for myself, and part of me wants to inspire you to find your "it" while I try to find mine.

Enough about emotions and weepy-eyed sentimental stuff. There will be plenty of time for writing (and filming) about those later. Let's get down to brass tacks before I spend the next three weeks in the fetal position on my bed instead of enjoying life on two wheels through the great North West and the PCH.

My packing list is based on a few nights camping (hopefully not urban camping), with most of my journey spent couch-surfing with my amazing and generous friends who I haven't met yet.

Please comment if you think I'm missing anything vital! Also, how would you pack a 17" laptop on a motorcycle? I've determined that I have to take it... as it is my connection to my life and this new work I am perusing.

    1. 3 sets underpants
    2. 3 sets undershirts
    3. 3 sets socks
    4. 2 riding jerseys
    5. 1 riding pants
    6. 1 casual pants
    7. 1 gym shorts
    8. 1 Down Jacket
    9. 1 Waterproof Pants
    10. Sanuks
    1. Balaclava
    2. Cold Weather Gloves
    3. Thermals
    4. Layered Jacket
    1. Tent
    2. Flashlight
    3. Sleeping Bag
    4. Tarp
    5. Sleeping Pad
    6. Stove
    7. Water Filter
    8. Knife
    9. Lighter
    10. Electrical Tape
    11. Duct Tape
    12. Utencils
    13. Toilet Paper
    1. Spare Tube
    2. Tire Irons
    3. Zipties
    4. Tools
    5. Pump
    6. SPOT
    7. Multitool
    8. JB Weld
  5. ARMOR
    1. Knee Guards
    2. Boots
    3. Armor
    4. Helmet
    5. Gloves
    6. Neck Brace
  6. FOOD
    1. Fiber
    2. Mountain House Meals
      1. 3x Dinner
      2. 3x Lunch
      3. 3x Breakfast
      4. Spare Water Container
    1. Extra Mic
    2. Hat Cam
    3. Boom King
    4. as100
    5. as15
    6. a3000
    7. Anker Battery
    8. Chargers
    9. SD Cards
    10. Laptop???
    1. Deodorant
    2. Baby Powder
    3. Toothbrush
    4. Toothpaste
    5. Baby Wipes
    6. “Roid” Wipes
    7. Chapstick
  9. MISC
    1. Ear Plugs
    2. Paracord
    3. Spare Bolts
    5. Notebook
    6. RAM Mount
    1. Passport
    2. Wallet
    3. Spare Key
    4. Phone & Charger
    5. SunGlasses
    6. Copies of important documents
    7. Insurance Documents
    8. Spare Cash


  1. Hey if you have any medical problems list them on a paper and have it on your person. same with emergency contacts your name ect. put this in a plastic baggy or something water tight, not saying any thing with go bad or happen its just a good thing to have. Hmmm laptop maybe a pelican case, water prof back pack or wrapped really good in some thing water prof. spare tubes front and back the tubes do fit in the front of the KLR under the side plastic thats were my husband has them on his. what about pain pills? stick some warm socks in too.

  2. I'd throw in a bunch of zip-locs in varying sizes, they weigh nothing, take up no space and can be useful for both waterproofing and separating stuff you don't want mixed up (think laundry). Do you have a way of charging your USB powered gear while on the go?

  3. You have rain pants...put I didn't see waterproof riding jacket. Or is your?
    Are you going to battle with all that Armor? Your jacket and pants don't have built in pads? At least your wearing them not packing.

    Hey my motto is "as long as you have your passport, wallet and keys, everything else can be bought."

    Good luck and see you when you get up here.

  4. I picked up one of these as back up charging (did not wire it in).

    I always role with 2 extra spark plugs... and Locktite

  5. Hmm. If you aren't planning on some pretty crazy offroad stuff (which I'd advise against on a trip like this), you should ditch the MX armor in favor of a cheap jacket that has good padding. CycleGear might not be the top end gear manufacturer of our time, but the Sedici jackets I've had have been pretty well built, were very well armored, had waterproof and winter liners that could zip in and out (warm down below freezing), and they had a no questions asked lifetime warranty. My jacket was under $200 and my pants were well under $100, and both of them can be opened for venting or have a liner zipped in for below freezing weather. As for the laptop, put it in your waterproof hard luggage, and wrap it in a trash bag as well just in case. Definitely second Martin up there. Zip Locks are your best friend out there. They'll save your passport, wallet, and phone in a rain storm, and they'll hold your bolts and such during repairs. Also, you need to make sure you've practiced doing a tire change with whatever you're bringing with you. If you're only bringing a front tube, then get a feel for how to install that on the rear tire. Get to know your tire spoons, etc.

  6. My recommendations in no particular order:
    No cotton clothes.
    Down jacket is great until it get wet, I would find something else.
    Replace the flashlight with a headlight. Zebralight makes my favorite ones.
    Take a small piece of electrical wire, a small 12 volt tester and a couple of fuses. Download a PDF electrical schematic. If you have an electrical problem, we can walk you through troubleshooting it.
    Your spare water container should be collapsible, I use a platypus 1 liter.
    Baby powder, don't skimp here, Gold Bond Medicated. I also use Body Glide anti chafing stick.
    Small bottle of Dr Bronner's Peppermint soap. (body, hair, and clothes)
    Small bottle of hand sanitizer. For on the road pit stops and your feet at night before going to bed if you have not showered.
    Make sure you buy the freezer ziplock bags.
    You can also use garbage compactor bags as waterproof stuff sacks. Roll the top down and use a little duct tape to secure.
    For emergency items, I usually put them in a Seal-A-Meal bag. (My tubes are so much easier to handle when they are vacuum sealed for freshness.)
    Remember, do not over pack, If you forget something, Mega Mart has you covered.

    Have a great trip.