Glyn’s recent “coffee in the bush” article (issue 131, page 84) prompted calls from adventure bikers wanting to know which coffee-making method would suit them best. Glyn settled on the Aeropress, since it’s easy to pack and very compact. But the query got him thinking about other motor biking issues…
How does one go about packing an adventure motorbike for a trip? After all, space is always an issue.
I decided to chat to Heine Engelbrecht from ADA – a real bike expert – to find out what he would advise on essentials for a cross-country excursion.
Heine said it was important to carry a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit. You should also take your ID document, licence and medical aid card. He suggested carrying a plastic zip-lock bag with certified copies of all documents and cards in your gear. The originals should be kept in a small pouch on your person at all times. A spare bike key should also be in the pouch.
Travelling across borders means carrying visas, registration papers and a valid passport that is not near its expiry date. Foreign currency, medical insurance and cross-border insurance for the bike are also needed. Cross Country’s Dirtsure Policy offers insurance as well as medical evacuation and vehicle repatriation, so it is worth looking into this sort of policy.
That covers the absolute essentials. What else is needed?
Photographic equipment comes high on the list for most bikers. You could use a tablet or a smartphone, but I think a small camera is very useful. I have not used them yet, but reviews point in the direction of the Fujifilm X30 and X-T1, depending on your budget.
With your camera (and phone) in mind, waterproof protection for your electronics is crucial, and don’t forget the chargers. If you are going to be away from a power source for a while, a 12V Powermonkey eXtreme is ideal for charging tablets, laptops and cameras.
Remain “organised” on your trip, keeping your panniers neat and tidy. Plan the route so that you do not have to set up camp in the dark or travel at night.
Also, keep your bike in mind when choosing accommodation, especially in built-up areas. You don’t want your bike to be stolen!
Camping gives you the chance to be close to nature and all that, but cooking and sleeping in the bundu can be tough when you travel on a bike. Camping means additional gear. True, modern camping equipment is quite light, but it remains bulky.
Most regular bikers advocate a good mix of camping and bed-and-breakast accommodation. It’s great to sleep in a proper bed now and then, and have the chance to do some laundry.
A good camping set-up should generally consist of:
- Lightweight waterproof tent (hiking type)
- LED camp light able to run off the bike battery
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Mini pillow
- Ultra light towel (sold at sports and camping stores)
- Liquid soap (citronella type that can also wash hair)
- A small chair
- Lightweight, multi-purpose utensils
- A cutting board
- Toiletries, including face cream and sun block
- A good multi-fuel stove with spares and a pot set
Of course, the list could easily be extended, and many books have been written on the subject, but these are the main things. Oh, and don’t forget that Aeropress, grinder, coffee cup and beans. You don’t want to miss that coffee in the bush!
Contact Heine Engelbrecht on 083 226-1494, or visit www.adasa.co.za.