We spent more than 2 years selecting and testing the right gear and hours and hours surfing the internet for advice on tents, sleeping mattresses, armor, air pumps, tools and much more. Still it’s not until your on the road, that you will realize what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Bergans Tent Mountain Camp – yes, yes! We know! It’s huge. But Lars is a really big guy! We are always the laughing stock at camping places. The other campers all have really small compact light weight tents and they baptized it THE PALACE! – And we love it!
It’s quick and easy to put up (about 3 minutes). In bad weather we can store most of our gear in the large vestibule and we can even back in a motorcycle for repair of we need it.
On the negative side it weighs 8,5 kilos and cost us approx. $1000.
- MSR Whisperlite burner + fuel bottle. This device is really practical since you can put any type of fuel in it. If you keep petrol in it, it will also function as a small petrol reserve for the bikes . Lars likes this device, I don’t. You have to be very patient and you can not use it close to your tent. When you start it up, there will be large flames up to half a meter and then after a while as the burner gets hot, the flames will get smaller. Too scary for me.
- MSR Base 2 pot set. Nice set with smart handle that also works as lock for the lid.
- Light my fire compact meal kit with plate, containers, spork.
- Therm-a-rest Neoair sleeping pads. We love them for the reason that they are very compact. I almost didn’t buy this product because I was afraid the material would be too noisy, but I never had a problem with that. I’m very comfortable on this pad. The fact that the lines on the pad are across the pad and not along the pad, makes it easy to bend. I always sleep with my bag under my legs, cause it takes pressure of lower back and I can only do that with the lines across the pad like the Neoair.
- Counter Assault Bear Deterrent (No it doesn’t work like mosquito repellant. You do not spray it on your body in order to make yourself less delicious. You spray it at the too curious bear with very bad breath – and then you run!)
- MSR Water purifier. Haven’t used it yet.
- Garmin 62S. It’s small, can take a high number of POI, altimeter, waterproof and much more
- Rev’it Off Track jacket and Dakar pants. In general this is a very good middle range adventure suit. You can order the pants in 3 different lengths which is awesome when you are as short as me. I like the color which helps keep me cool on warm days. The fabric is strong and relatively easy to keep clean. ( I know we look very dirty, but considered the stuff we put our gear through it’s not bad really)
The suit comes with 2 liners: a rain liner and a thick winter liner. It’s easy to install and the fit is really good when it’s in, even if you do feel stuffed with both liners in. And it will keep you warm even on very cold days.
On the down side I have come to realize that the concept of having to put a rain liner inside your suit is very unpractical. When it starts to rain, you don’t want to take of your clothes and put a liner in. Also, from a camping perspective it’s uncomfortable since the outside will still get soaked and you will have to bring soaked clothes into your tent in the evening, when you really wanna get warm and dry.
The vent zippers are a bit too hard to get to.
- O’neal Hardware bike pants – 3 months into the trip, I have never used them and finally gave them away.
- Madhead knee protection I brought these to wear under my O’neal of road pants. I haven’t used them so far and will ship them home.
- Super Shield Armor – I love it. The mesh material is soft and nice against the skin. It’s flexible pads fits easier around your body than a shield with hard plastic. On a hot day I can wear it without my jacket and still be safe. I removed the neck protection piece. The armor is a bit long for me and it was uncomfortable against my neck. Also I put a piece of soft fabric on the inside, top back part, to cover stitches that were causing skin irritation.
The arms were to long causing two problems: The elbow protection would slide down below my elbow and a lot of fabric would cramp up around my wrists which collided with getting my gloves on. So I cut of a piece of the arms between the elbow and shoulder protector. I also cut a piece of the end of the arms and I changed the stitching from being on the inside against my skin to the outside which is much more comfortable. I general I think all pieces of clothing close to your skin should have stitchings on the outside.
- Daytona Lady Star GTX mc boots. These booth are probably the best buy I have ever made. Beside the sole it has a build in 2,5 cm riser on the heal and 8 mm for the toe. This make a huge difference handling tall dual-sports bikes for a tiny lady like me. And they are 100 % waterproof which is awesome for bad weather and river crossings. I neveer had wet feet. On the down side, they do not give the appropriate protection that a real off road boot does.
- Alpinestar shirt.
- Held summer gloves.
- Buff. Very comfortable both in cold and warm weather and it keep the bugs from hitting your neck.
- Merino wool ski underwear + ski socks. Couldn’t live without it. I use them on cold days and as pajamas.
- Wollen blouse. My Merino wool blouse from New Zealand comes with me wherever I travel.
- Probiker winter gloves.
- Hein Gericke rain suit. Cost me $10 on Ebay and works every time. 100% waterproof even in the heaviest rain.
- Camelbak Mule with 3 liter water. I brought the Camelbak and thought I would wear it on my back with water in it. But I found it uncomfortable wearing it so many hours. But, I’m still glad I brought it. It serves as my bag wherever I go. It’s large enough to contain important documents, purse, phone, sun screen, a sandwich and 3 liters of water.
- Sleeping bag.
- Camping towel XL. I thought I would hate the synthetic camping towels. I generally hate any artificial fabric against my skin – but, I was surprised. It’s really efficient, nice against the skin and it dries very quickly.
- Sneakers and sandals
- Arai Tour X3 Helmet. It was hard deciding for the right helmet. You want it to be safe, have maximum ventilation for warm weather, isolation for cold days, a sun shield and minimum wind noise. The Arai Tour X3 works well, but is relatively noisy at high speed. I am not good with heat, so I chose a white helmet.
- Great Basin Saddlebag from Giant Loop. The Great Basin bag is awesome. It’s light and the material and zippers are 100% waterproof and super strong. The shape and size is perfect for shorter trips 2-3 weeks, but not for 8 months. Except if you are able to travel extremely light. I find it way too little for this kind of trip and therefore combine it with a North Face Base Camp duffel bag. As you can see on the picture below, that gets a bit crowded on the bike. And it leaves a large empty space behind the Giant Loop, which doesn’t make sense.
Another thing I find irritating with the Giant Loop is that you need to unstrap the three top straps it to open it an get to your stuff. Giant Loop needs to change that design.
After 3 months on the road I decided to ship the Giant Loop home and replace it with a set of Wolfman Expedition Dry saddle bags. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Giant Loop for shorter trips but not for 8 months.
- Wolfman Expedition Dry saddle bags. The material is thick and 100% waterproof and they are easy to open. They contain 19 liters each and I like that they have a stable bottom and can stand on their own.
- 1 Gallon Rotopax fuel pack. Mounted on a L-bracket on my rear rack.
- Fandango Tank Bag from Giant Loop. The Giant Loop tank bag is really nice and fits the Suzuki DR650 perfectly. It’s not too big but still contains quite a lot. It’s easy to take of for access to fuel cap. The zipper is waterproof and my stuff never got wet. The only issue with the Fandango is that the zipper for the transparent map cover isn’t completely waterproof and it will leave your map damped, which is really annoying.
- Base Camp duffel bag from North face size M. The Nort face bags are made of waterproof material, but the zippers are not waterproof! We learned this the hard way on a trip to Spain. You want to put the zipper headed to the rear.
- 2 x medium sized ammo boxes. I got these in Kalispell, Montana and we used 1 for food. Awesome way to keep the food bear proof. The 2nd would hold spare petrol, brake pads, chain oil etc. We use them as stools for camping and as lifts for the bikes when we need to change tires. In Moab I’m replacing them with the Wolfman Expedition Dry saddle bags + a Rotopax fuel pack.
- ATV tank pannier for rain liner, winter liner and extra gloves. I added some straps in each corner of the bag to tie it down safely.
- Old Army bag for the front fender with spare tires and a pad for tire repair, that protects the brake disc.
- PMV webbings – love them and use for multiple purposes!
- Camping knife + Swiss knife.
- First aid box.
- LED Headlight. Can’t live without it!
- Airhawk 2 Small Cruiser Seat Cushion. An Airhawk Seat cushion is something you buy, when you are totally desperate. It costs the horrendous sum of $98 and it will offer you butt relief. But, it’s made of a poor material. The fabric covering the air cushion is thin and get’s soaked when it rains. I cut a piece of sheepskin and sewed it on the cushion to make the seat more comfortable, and it worked. The bottom is a thicker rubber material that prevents the cushion from sliding on your seat – it works well. The 4 straps in each corner are thin and will come off after a few weeks. The straps literally looks like bra straps. If you have seat height issues, you will not like the Airhawk. You loose control of the bike getting on and off the bike – but hey, if your butt is killing you, then it might be the only solution. I use it now for long highway stretches but take it of for off road.
- Rev’it Off track enduro jacket and Dakar pants
- Hein Gericke rain suit
- M58 army boots – I’ve had these boots since I joined the danish army some 20 years ago. Apart from a couple of new laces, they’re just as when I got them – ” THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING . . . . !“
- STR Lindstrands Camelbag
- Ski underwear
- Sleeping bag
- Camping towel
- Gerber multitool
- LED headlight
- Sewing gear