Date: 20-09-17  Time: 01:26 AM

Author Topic: Gtpete's rough guide to what you need to pack  (Read 2744 times)

John Silva

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Gtpete's rough guide to what you need to pack
« on: 30 December 2010, 05:56:41 PM »
Originally posted by Gtpete on 06/01/2008


The following is a few pointers to those who haven't done a bike touring trip. All those that have extensive experience of such need not reply to that effect and this guide is formulated using experience I have gained through a couple of years of European trips.

Use it as a tick list or however you like, if it's helpful then great, if not, then do your own thing.

Items to Pack for (longish) summer trips

Clothing
2 T shirts
1 Sweat shirt
1 or 2 pairs of light weight trousers
1 pair of lightweight swimming shorts (depending on where you are going)
5 sets of undies
1 very light weight jacket
1 small or hand towel ***
1 pair of light weight and comfy shoes

Must haves
All your bike and insurance docs, ferry tickets, AA recovery and passport in a water proof wallet and stashed to be quickly retrievable.
1 Set of stash-able waterproofs
2 small bottles of water 1 or 2 litre
4 or more handy packs of tissues
1 or 2 Travel adaptors *
1 medium bottle of shower gel **
1 de-odorant
1 pack of BIC razors - smaller and easier than an electric shaver
1 pack of Ibuprofen or similar
1 small pack of plasters (for blisters)
1 phone charger
1 small battery charger and batteries if you have radios
1 plastic mug/cup and plastic cutlery and a tin and bottle opener/cork screw
1 pen knife
1 small tin of chain lube or engine oil
1 small road atlas covering your route - don't rely on satnav

Tips
* I have made up a 4 gang trailing lead with a French plug instead of an English plug, which is better than adaptors.
** You can wash your hands and hair with shower gel in a hand basin, and soap bars get very messy. You can also use it to wash out any clothes/undies etc in a hand basin.
*** The towel will come in useful. If the hotel doesn't supply them, although most do, then you can be smug that you took one. You can always use the towel as seat padding for long trips, I know someone who did that and it saved them from arse ache big time. And if you find a beach or a public pool, you are sorted! If you take a pair of light weight swimming shorts, you can use them as shorts for swimming, those hot days out round town, or as a spare pair of undies if you need em.

I always write out emergency numbers for break down recovery, personal insurance details with phone numbers and policy number etc, ferry details and booking ref, local maps of where the hotels are with the hotel phone number and a Google earth image of the hotel area. I laminate the above so it won't get destroyed if it gets wet. If you are running short of storage space for the above, you can put them under yer seat or stash em down your front in your jacket.

I keep loose change in the top of my tank bag for road and bridge tolls.
I wrap my wallet and phone in polythene bags in case they get soaked.
I wrap important clothing in carrier bags to make sure they stay dry. Dry kit is important if your trip is a wet one.
The Undies can be packed into the spare shoes to save space.

If you find you still have space to spare, a small travel kettle and tea/coffee makings is good, because Formule 1 and Premier Classe hotels only have drinks machines which are foccin horrible and cost a fortune if you like to guzzle.

You can actually drink the tap water in France and Germany etc; it won't hurt you so you can top up your water bottles before moving on. Water bottles are good for drinking, cleaning your visor and washing your hands with shower gel if you need to.

When you pack your gear, make sure to fill in any small gaps with small items, there is loads of space available in a top box if you pack it right. I always pack mine at least the day before I go to give me time to foc about with it. Take your time and try different items in different ways to get the most out of the available space. If only going for a week or less you can remove a T shirt and pair of trousers, or even leave the jacket out. I never take a jacket, but a sweat shirt is a must for cooler evenings. Jumpers are too thick really.
Your clothes may well get creased after being packed for so long, if so, hang them up in the shower room when you go in and the creases will fall out (hopefully)
Of course I am assuming that you don't have a pack horse type luggage set up, if you do then you will have loads of space, the above list is for Tank bag and back pack/top box set up.
A tank bag with clear map pocket is essential, I think most of them have a clear top pocket nowadays though, and you don't have to spend a fortune on one. However, remember that they are not as water proof as a top box or good back pack. I hardly ever stash clothes in my tank bag, or if I do they get wrapped in carrier bags. Also, tank bags can lift at high speed, even when full, so be aware that at 120+ you may receive a tank bag in the face, so bare that in mind while bombing along the autobahns.

If you do have a little nook or cranny left, slip in a phrase book. It won't teach you the lingo, but you can pick out salient words to use and build up from there.

I hope the above will be helpful to newbies; it has taken a couple of years to hone my packing list down. It’s up to the individual what to leave out or add to it.

If you do have a little nook or cranny left, slip in a phrase book. It wont teach you the lingo, but you can pick out salient words to use and build up from there.

I hope the above will be helpful to newbies; it has taken a couple of years to hone my packing list down. Its up to the individual what to leave out or add to it.
« Last Edit: 07 January 2011, 07:43:17 PM by John Silva »
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