Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tripping out on a list to check.

I'm going over some final preparations, checking my list not once but thrice... just want to make sure that nothing is naughty but that it's all nice.

I said I was going to pack light this trip and shed the non-essentials.  even after trimming my toolkit to about half the size I had, it's still huge.

As you may already know, I travel alone all the time so it's not like I can split the load between other riders.

If there's anyone that thinks I need more or fewer items, let me know.

The 2012 list


  • GPS (Zumo 550)
  • XM radio
  • laptop & mouse
  • SPOT GPS messenger
  • GOPRO hero2 (and accessories)
  • Camera & batteries
  • memory cards (for GPS, and both cameras)
  • Cell phone (and cable/wall plug)
  • bluetooth intercom/headset
  • bluetooth dongle
  • usb  to mini usb cables x2
  • 12v socket adapter

Camping Gear

  • bug spray
  • bug nets
  • Boonie hat
  • sleeping bag
  • tent
  • air mattress
  • camp stove (multi-fuel)
  • lighter
  • pot
  • stainless steel bowl
  • stainless steel mug
  • hot dog fork
  • Gerber axe/saw combo
  • knife/fork/spoon combo w/ can opener
  • spork
  • White fuel
  • foil
  • flashlight
  • headlamp
  • fire starter
  • toilet paper
  • camp soap
  • camp towels
  • pot scrubber
  • knife
  • tea
  • small bottle of hot sauce
  • Mrs dash
  • bear pepper spray
  • bear bell


  • socks x4 (wool)
  • underwear x4
  • shorts/swimsuit x1
  • jeans x1
  • tshirt x3
  • water shoes
  • long underwear x1

Moto Gear

  • olympia suit and liners
  • helmet
  • gloves
  • boots

Moto extras

  • shield cleaner & microfibre cloth
  • winter/rain gloves
  • rain suit
  • motor oil
  • chain oil
  • ear plugs X1
  • spare key
  • 1 L MSR bottle spare gas
  • goggles
  • helmet liner (fireproof and in case of extreme cold)

Tool kit

  • tubes (1x front, 1x back)
  • spoons x2
  • patch kit
  • mini compressor
  • spare headlight
  • spare fuses (from 2A to 30A)
  • spare clutch cable
  • spare throttle pull cable
  • wire and crimp connectors
  • metal zip ties
  • vinyl zip ties
  • duct tape
  • electrical tape
  • spare bolts and nuts
  • gorilla glue/epoxy
  • combo 3/8 + 1/4 socket wrench 
  • sockets from 5mm to 17mm
  • screw driver bits and driver
  • pliers
  • small vice grips
  • spare 12v relay
  • spare PIAA 1100x bulb

Personal / Misc

  • meds
  • deck of cards
  • Benedryl
  • Tylenol/advil
  • Leatherman
  • sunglasses
  • toothbrush
  • floss
  • Chapstick
  • passport
  • registration and insurance
  • moleskin journal w pen & pencil
  • maps
  • ziplock freezer bags
  • kitchen garbage bags
  • first aid kit

The smaller To-Do list

Just a few things to finish up on the bike.  
  • I have yet to install the PIAA 1100x and switch on the bike.
  • I also need to install a new SAE connector to the battery with a switch and fuse so that I will be able to connect my 12v compressor and a 12 volt socket to charge all my electronics while riding.
  • I need to install my voltage meter onto the bike to ensure i'm not draining the battery
  • I'm also waiting for my two 30 cal ammo cans to come from the east coast and
  • waiting on delivery of the quick mounts from the same people that make my panniers (happy-trail)
besides a wash and add on some stickers I hadn't put on from my last trip... there's not much left to do.

the countdown clock.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gadgets, Technology and prep for the open road

I sometimes think that I may be overdoing the preparation for this trip. I've spent a lot of money on the bike, add--ons to the bike and quite recently a few purchases to make this upcoming trip.  I thought today that I may be spending too much money for these little adventures of mine.

Then I realize that life is so fragile that any one of us could wink out of existence in a sheer moment.

Sure I spent a bit cash recently, but it's better spent on chasing dreams than dragons.  Money is disposable... replaceable.  Dreams and passions can pass you buy and sometimes worth the risk, financially or otherwise.

I remind myself every time that I take a trip that the chances of dying are greater on trips, especially when moose and wilderness is involved,  but I figure that's what the gear and experience will come in handy.

I read from people who have done both the Dalton highway in Alaska and the Trans-Labrador Highway and they say the Trans-Lab is tougher, harder and more dangerous.   Even though I crashed in Alaska on the Dalton, It was on the Suzuki M50 Cruiser and not on a dual-sport machine. so... 50-50 odds?

I think the KLR will change those odds a bit... maybe not much, but a bit.

So to make my life a little more enjoyable and safer, here's the electronic gear I'm bringing this trip.

  • Garmin Zumo 550 GPS
  • Iphone
  • Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth headset
  • HP notebook (gotta update the blog when I can)
  • Go Pro Hero 2 HD (just need the battery backpack)
  • SPOT GPS messenger so you can track my progress, and call in the Helicopter if I crash in a ditch.
excessive? possibly.  Then again, this is my trip and I like the gadgets.

I picked these up for the dirt sections and for rain.  I figure it's better to be safe than not see the road and crash.
 I've been busy updating all the software and firmware.  Now I just have to finish mounting the hardware and I'll take a few pics.  I'd like to chronicle my little journey so I'll be able to remember what I went through.

Next i have to figure out how to:
  • Mount the PIAA's 1100x lights
  • Wire up a 12v socket somehow to charge the Sena headset, Iphone, Go Pro backpack.
I wonder if I'm bringing too much stuff.  Next update will probably be a list of the crap I have to bring.
I have a few different catagories.
  • Camping gear (will be needed as I'm going to try to camp out as much as possible)
  • Electronics (for safety and enjoyment)
  • Tools and spares (tubes, fuses, cables)  <-- the tools i have to trim down a LOT. spares since I won't be able to find any in the bush.
  • Clothing and gear. going lighter this time.  I'll pick up more on the road.
  • Personal stuffs (meds, diary, etc)
the countdown beings