So what gear does one take on a round the world trip? Surprisingly, you need very little. Depending on budget, comfort levels, and skill sets, an around the world motorcycle trip can be very simple.
(The whole Kit & Caboodle - Click the image to magnify)
My 2 person tent
My laptop, extra hard drive, kindle, gps. Underneath is a Pacsafe bag which keeps my laptop safe. I also use it in hotels to lock important documents.
For my trip, I kind of went middle ground. Because I am traveling solo, I needed to find a balance between self sufficient, and not over packing. One of our biggest problems/challenges is to pack ONLY what we really need.
When I started this journey, I sorted out three piles of gear. Must Have, Nice to have, Luxury items, and the reject bin.
Must have items are those items that fall under "I cannot physically make this journey without", Then there are the "Nice to have" These are items that will make your journey easier, but are not necessary to physically complete the journey. And, finally, Luxury items. Those items that we bring to spoil ourselves.
Must have items. For me, the must have items included. Tools, GPS, first aid, locks, clothing to be comfortable and protect me from the elements, a tent, sleeping bag, and air mattress. Some of these items could classified as "Nice to have" such as an air mattress, but because I plan to explore places where hotels are not available and weather can become deadly, I list them, for me, as must have.
Nice to have. Extra clothing, cooking equipment, laptop, camera, and a large lightweight tarp.
Luxury items. I don't really have many luxury items, if any at all. Maybe the tripod? You won't see any kermit chairs in my inventory.
So let's break it down.
My toolkit will cover most minor repairs and maintenance. The essentials for a toolkit, you should be able to change a tire/repair a flat, and make adjustments to ergonomics. I won't go over every tool in my bag because each kit is personal to the type of bike and skills of the rider. I carry feeler gauges because I know how to inspect my own valves. Adjusting them, well that's another story.
Here's a breakdown of my kit. Sockets and wrenches, chain tool, tire pump, tire irons, siphon hose, gaskets for oil change, spare fuses, some nuts and bolts, spare brake pads, spare tube, work mat, and some tie-down straps. All these items fit into the front and rear outer pockets on one pannier.
There are a ton of tents to choose from in the market. For me it came down to two options. Hilleberg, or MSR. I chose MSR for its price point and quality. Had I been able to afford the Hilleberg, I probably would have purchased one. What I do like about the MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 is the versatility. Strong enough for crap weather, but great for sleeping under the stars. I also have the Gear Shed, so I have the option to add a vestibule when needed As I am living on my tent part time, having something large isn't totally essential. A Redverz is overkill in any situation.
The above photos show my sleeping equipment. Tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, tarp, tent pegs, tent light, hatchet/hammer, troul, headlamp, shammy, and bivy sack. For nights that I can sleep under the stars I use my bivy sack and forego the tent. When i need extra shelter, I use the tarp. The sleeping bag goes in the Mosko duffle, everything else is in the dry bag. So essentially, I only need to access one bag to set up camp in bad weather.
I used to be into cooking, but cooking day in and day out gets pretty mundane, and tiring so my kitchen is now pretty basic. In a lot of places it's actually cheaper to eat street food vs going the market, figuring out what you want to cook, buying it, packing it, and then cooking it. Street food is cheap and flavorful, If I were to buy all the ingredients to cook what I can buy on the street, the practicality and cost is negligible. Ah the life of a bachelor!
Clothing and Gear.
Choosing the right riding gear is essential for extreme changes in seasons. I chose a layered system that works great in the heat, and cold. Systems with baked in Gore-tex shells get extremely hot regardless of the ventilation and Gore-tex will fail when it gets clogged with sweat and dirt which is also why I will not buy Gore-tex boots.
I chose the Revit Defender Pro because it is a layered system with a removable Gore-tex liner. That being said, I actually only use the Gore-tex liner as a warmth layer, as I use an outer rain shell for rainy weather. The rationale behind this is two fold.
1. I do not have to undress to add a rain layer.
2. if my rain protection was under my jacket, that jacket would become saturated and act as cooling system. With an outer rain shell, I can shake them dry. There is nothing worse than bringing a saturated jacket into your tent and then having to put it back on in the morning.
My personal clothing fluctuates with the environment. I do carry some essential wool base layers, two pair of pants, two shirts, two t-shirts, socks, and under garments. Basically, I have my field clothes and my dress clothes. If I need something for an occasion, I will just buy it and then donate it.
Computer and Camera.
Saving those memories forever and being able to share them with others.If there isn't a photo, it never happened! I chose the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera for this trip because of the large option of lenses, cost and image quality. There are three lenses that I carry. A 18-50mm zoom for general purposes and portraits, a 12mm wide angle lens for landscapes, and a 55-200mm zoom for wildlife.
My computer is an inexpensive netbook that gets the job done. I'm not doing crazy Photoshop work or editing video, so basic is all I need. And, if it shits the bed, no big loss as I backup everything on an external hard drive and all my photos are copied to a cloud.