What to Pack – TransTerra 2016
Only a couple of weeks to go now before we meet you in Alice Springs! Here’s a list of things that you might find useful when organising your bags for the trip.
Whilst this is a big list, we are certainly not suggesting you need to go out and buy everything on it! Its just a list of things we’ve compiled over time that you may want to consider.
If you find this daunting because you haven’t done a trip like this before and need some help in working out what’s right for you, just give Nick or Trudi a call and they can work through it with you.
- Small camp cooker & eating utensils/bowl/cup – for camp nights where we’re providing you with dinner you need to cook.
- Camping gear – as compact as possible.
- Thermals & beanie – at the southern end of the trip around Alice Springs it will be single digits overnight.
- Camel back – 2 or 3 litre pack
We consider the following items essential to include:
- Small soft rear bag for carrying daily basics (tools, first aid kit, thongs etc.) on the bike
- Heavy duty tubes (if applicable)
- Tyres – knobby tyres fitted plus order spare tyres to fit if / when required
- Tank bag (preferably with charging capabilities for GPS, phone, etc.)
Make sure the basics of your bike are solid; brake pads, wheel bearings, etc. Get your bike checked over by a motorcycle dealer to ensure it’s up to to the task.
Other items to consider in preparing the bike include:
- Headlight protector
- Alloy bash plate
- Engine / fairing crash bars
- Hand guards
- Tank bag – aside from carrying daily essentials it will be required to put the daily route sheets in so you know where you’re going if you don’t have a GPS navigation unit
- GPS Unit
- Foam air filter kit and / or foam pre filter socks. It may be dusty on some roads so be prepared
- Off-road (wide) footpegs – makes standing for extended periods a lot more comfortable
- Enduro brake pedal extension (try doing some riding standing up and see if you can still comfortably reach your rear brake lever without altering your body position)
- Knobby tyres – order them with us and we will fit them for you
- Heavy duty tubes (tube models)
- Consider carrying spare clutch and brake levers
- Consider if you need a fuel bladder for extra range
Have a good look at your bike and consider what things could break or leave you unable to complete the ride.
We will carrying some common spares for the group based on the bikes on the ride:
- Spare batteries
- Wheel bearings
- Spare tyres & tubes
- Engine oil and oil filters
- Foam air filter oil and cleaning fluid
- Chain oil
- Manual tyre changing machine and compressor
Don’t underestimate how taxing a 12 day ride through the outback like this can be. It’s not too late to improve your condition, consider some basic cardio (walking, cycling, swimming etc), improve flexibility (stretching, yoga, massage etc) and if you can afford to drop a few kilo’s as it will have a direct impact on your enjoyment of the event (eat less, eat better, increase cardio and strength training). Improving your condition for an event like this is not hard to do if you set your mind to it.
What to Pack
If you’re not sure what to pack this list may give you some ideas. Some of these items may not suit everyone but if you’re not accustomed to spending multiple days on the road you may find this list helpful.
Please note: it is important not to over pack, but there are some items that you absolutely should take and others that may make your ride more enjoyable. Everyone has a slightly different list of priorities, but just remember that you can’t take everything.
Weather wise we expect two different climates:
- The first 4 days out of Alice Springs should be fairly mild during the day with maximum daytime temperature in the mid 20’s. However it will be colder in the evenings getting down to maybe 7 degrees. Expect chilly starts in the morning.
- Once we get up past Halls Creek expect temperatures to be warmer at 20 – 34 degrees.
We almost guarantee sunshine as we get further north but they say it has been a relatively dry wet season so who knows if all the rain will come when we get there! Make sure you still have good waterproof (eg. Gortex) riding gear/liners to keep you dry & warm when riding those long open stretches.
Plan to pack some basics in your tank bag and/or in a small soft bag on the back of your bike. We will be providing packed lunches for you on some days so please make sure you have somewhere to store this on the bike each day. It’s also a great idea to pack a basic change of clothes in your in your tank/rear bag. All you need usually is a pair of thong, shorts and semi-fresh t-shirt. This means that you can get comfortable as soon as you arrive at our overnight stop. You may get in early or the luggage vehicle may be delayed, etc.
- Adventure helmets are recommended (road helmets don’t provide enough ventilation for off-road riding)
- Tinted and/or clear helmet visor (if not clear, you must have clear goggles in case you end up riding at night)
- Goggles – we reckon goggles are a must in the outback. When riding in dust goggles are the best option for keeping your eyes clear and cool air flowing over your face in hot conditions.
- Visor and google cleaning kit (a damp cloth or baby wipes in a zip lock bag works well)
- Neck gaiter or Buff – helps prevent the helmet strap from chafing and keeps your chin warm on chilly mornings. Can also double as a beanie at night.
- Waterproof adventure pants & jacket. Enduro/MX pants and jersey doesn’t cut it if things go pear shaped on the road or at speed on the rocky gravel roads or in cold conditions.
- Light gloves – lighter off road gloves that are comfortable and non-restrictive. Thicker road style gloves are not ideal for this sort of ride when it’s hot.
- MotoSkiveez or Cycling shorts – padded shorts are more comfortable to wear for long days in the saddle. In Nick’s opinion MotoSkiveez are the best invention for long distance adventure riding. Get yours here at Adventure Moto.
- Proper Motocross style plastic knee guards generally give better protection than the foam inserts in your adventure riding pants.
- MX socks – socks can make a big difference to your comfort and keeping your feet dry os important. Maybe need 3 pairs?
- Good motocross style boots – we’ve seen a lot of rides ended prematurely over the years with ankle injuries on riders with “comfortable” adventure style boots. Ask yourself how comfortable is it to walk around with a busted ankle? We won’t name names here but call me and I’ll tell you which boots I’ve seen the most broken ankles in! Look for motocross style boots with good plastic protection around the ankles to prevent injuries. Alpinestars, Sidi, Gaerne all make good boots. Don’t scrimp on your foot protection.
- Shoes & thongs – there is plenty of walks for us to do looking at the Kimberley’s sights and the walking trials are often rough and rocky so you need some walking shoes with good support.
- Nice shirt for when we get back to civilisation
- T-shirts – we will be giving you one for the trip as well!
- Jeans/pants & shorts
- Boardies for the swimming holes (no budgie smugglers please!)
- Warm jumper/polar fleece jacket
- Sun hat & beanie (a Buff or neck tube can double
- Toiletries – include sunscreen and insect repellant. (In our experience there wasn’t many bugs out there but better to have it)
There will be a couple of opportunities mid-ride to wash clothes at Halls Creek and El Questro Station.
We are looking forward to our camping nights more than anything but it is really important that you can sleep comfortably at night. For safety on the bike it’s very important to manage your fatigue on rides like this so getting a good nights sleep is vital. If you think any of your kit is not up to scratch then replace it now to ensure you are comfortable out there in the boonies.
- Tent or swag – a 2 man hiking tent is ideal because you can store your riding gear under the vestible as well
- Sleeping bag – we recently got the Denali Lite 200 and it’s compact but warm
- Sleeping mat – don’t scrimp here. We’ve been using the Exped Synmat 7 M and it’s so much more comfortable
- Camping pillow – we find this is really important for a good nights sleep
- Ear plugs – maybe hard to believe but Nick thinks this has a big impact on a comfy nights sleep. Try it!
- Microfibre towel for camping nights
- Head Torch – these are very handy around the camp site, working on bikes at night etc.
- Camp stove – you will need to cook your own meals with the ration packs we provide on the camping nights
- Camp pots, knife fork & spoon, cup/mug
- Compact hiking chair – Helinox are the bomb or we recently got a couple of “stools” from Rays Outdoors that are proving to be very comfortable and compact: Outdoor Expedition Alloy Stool
All of your overnight camping gear and clothes will be carried on our support trailer. Be warned though that our trailer is not fully enclosed but has a canvas cover and that dust has a habit of getting into EVERYTHING out there. So we recommend the bags you give us to put on the luggage trailer are dry bags to seal out the dust.
We will have some communal camp gear to share; lights, washing detergent, water supply, sunscreen, insect repellant etc.
Remember we won’t have access to power on many camping nights so if you want to keep your phone charged you will need to have a way of charging on the bike. See below for our USB Power Hubs.
On our camping nights you will be given a ration pack and will have to cook your own dinner. These are camping “boil in the bag” type meals so they are quick and easy to prepare. We will have large pots of water on the boil as well but you will still need your own camp cooker.
Regarding alcohol, it’ll be up to everyone to bring their own but we have a couple of fridges and large ice chest to keep some beers cold. You can restock at a few points along the trip. Cans and casks are better than bottles!
On the Bike
- Waterproof roll bag or softbag to carry your gear & straps to secure bag onto your bike
- Tank/small rear bag – great way to carry all these essentials to make your day more comfortable
- Camelbak hydration pack is a must. You need to carry at least 2-3 litres of water with you during the day. Somedays there are limited places for re-filling during the day but generally where we get fuel we can get water.
- Snacks – you should nibble between meals, especially in the afternoon when your energy may be getting low (beef jerky, lollies, fruit, muesli bars, energy bars, etc!) There is very little available out there, so having snacks handy when need it is important.
- Hydration powder sachets/tablets – eg. Hydralyte. Need to replace those electrolytes with more than just beer!
- Ear plugs
- Eye drops
- Lip balm – your lips can get hammered on the bike
- Charging cables – phone, Bluetooth headset, camera. Order one of our USB Power Hubs if you haven’t got one already!
- Survival essentials – matches or lighter, emergency blanket, rope, whistle etc.
- First Aid kit
- Satellite phone – Optional but a nice to have. We will have several satellite phones amongst our support crew. Obviously there is little mobile reception at times during the ride but it is surprising where you can get it sometimes.
- Delorme Inreach, Spot tracker or similar GPS tracker or PLB – highly recommended. We believe every adventure rider should carry some SOS device.
- Tool kit – see below for contents
It’s easy to go over board here but you should at least have the tools needed to remove both wheels to fix a flat tyre. Even if you don’t know how to do it someone else may be able to assist with fixing a flat tyre if you have the tools at hand. Each rider is expected to be reasonably self sufficient, however our support crew will be available for any mechanical (or rider) breakdowns!
- Bumbag or tool roll to carry all the stuff.
- Chain lube – if your bike has a chain, lubing it once a day will drastically improve longevity. We will have lube available too.
- Spare tubes (even for bikes with tubeless wheels carrying tubes is a good idea in case you damage a sidewall that a tubeless repair kit can’t repair)
- Tubeless puncture repair kits
- Air compressor, tyre pump or CO2 Cartridges – we tend to carry two sources of air supply in case one fails you
- Tyre gauge
- Tyre levers – Motion Pro BeadPro levers are an awesome way to easily break the bead
- Axle nut tools
- Range of spanners
- Torx & allen key bits
- Cable/zip ties, duct tape, tie wire, hose clamps, metal putty and paracord rope. You can fix almost anything with this lot!
- Rags are always handy
- Leatherman type multi tool
- Spare headlight globe maybe?
- Fuel hose x 1 metre long – handy if you need to siphon fuel
- Spare spark plugs could come in handy if you drown your bike in the Pentecost River!
- Tow rope or strap. Nylon webbing rolls up very compact and weighs next to nothing
- Spare pre-oiled foam pre-filters (easy change on some models if conditions are dusty). We will have the gear to wash and re-oil foam filters if necessary. If you have the stock paper filter in your bike we highly recommend replacing it with a foam Uni-Filter or similar.
We will be carrying a comprehensive tool kit and some spares on board with our support utes to back you up for the more major jobs. If your bike breaks down during the day, our support crew will do our best to get you going again if it is a quick fix. If a repair will take too long we will try to transport your bike to the overnight stop. If it can’t be fixed then we will do our best to get it to a major town where you can organise to transport it home. We will do our best to help you out but we can’t carry your dead bike all the way back to civilisation.
It’s quite a list we know but like we said you don’t have to carry everything. Use this list as a checklist and you decide what you need to bring and what you can do without.