All entries for Tuesday 10 January 2006

January 10, 2006

Travel Report: the art of luggage

Five days to go until my Western Cape expedition and nothing is packed! Or rather, I've had everything that I could concievably take packed several times in several configurations of luggage.

The challenge is to pilot one of these…

…from Cape Town, up to Lambert's Bay, and then on the dirt through to Port Nolloth, across to the Richtersveld, the Kalahari, and finally down through Namaqualand and the Cedarberg, without developing too close and permanent a relationship with the sand…

…although I'm not planning to do any of this…

The secret of my success will be pack light and minimal - a lesson that I and every other motorcycle overlander has learnt through trial and error: Robert E. Fulton Jr. was wrong, a motorcycle is not a caravan. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, riding a heavy bike off road is very hard work. That's not so bad in England, but in a hot dry country, definitely no fun. And secondly, the less I carry, the less there is to leave on the bike when it is an unattended magnet for thieves.

So here's my inventory, and I intend to stick to it:

  1. a lightweight one man tent;
  2. tent mallet (can this be replaced with something smaller?);
  3. combined torch and tent-light;
  4. mini maglight;
  5. one pack of mozzie coils;
  6. lightweight Campingaz stove burner (without fuel, which I should be able to buy there);
  7. plate, fork, knife, spoon, cup;
  8. 2×1 litre water bottles;
  9. 2.2 litre Camelback water carrier;
  10. 2 x dehydrated camping meals;
  11. 2 x packets of noodles;
  12. 4 x dehydrated soup;
  13. box of matches;
  14. one small towel;
  15. five pairs of boxer shorts;
  16. one pair of socks;
  17. three t-shirts;
  18. one short sleeved shirt;
  19. swimming shorts;
  20. one pair of BMW summer motorcycle trousers;
  21. once pair of Hein Gericke Air desert motorcycle trousers;
  22. one Hein Gericke Taureg armoured jacket, without Gore-Tex liner;
  23. one pair of Diadora motocross boots;
  24. lightweight walking shoes;
  25. one pair of Hein Gericke brown leather gloves;
  26. BMW Sports Integral helmet;
  27. Hein Gericke Taureg waist bag;
  28. toothbrush;
  29. small toothpaste;
  30. soap;
  31. small medicine kit;
  32. mozzie repellant stick;
  33. factor 30 sun block;
  34. floppy bush hat;
  35. four sets of foam earplugs (too purchase);
  36. lightweight electric tyre pump;
  37. can of emergency tyre repair foam (too purchase);
  38. spare inner tubes (need to order these!);
  39. disc lock;
  40. long chain with built in lock;
  41. watch (to purchase);
  42. small digital camera;
  43. small binoculars (to purchase);
  44. Palm M515;
  45. Palm keyboard;
  46. mobile phone (check coverage);
  47. phone car charger;
  48. camera battery charger;
  49. BMW power socket converter;
  50. Magellan Palm GPS;
  51. map measurer;
  52. compass;
  53. SA road map;
  54. Lonely Planet SA;
  55. paper notebook;
  56. business cards x 5;
  57. driving licence;
  58. passport;
  59. credit cards;
  60. tickets;
  61. directions to Karoo Biking;
  62. contact details.
  63. my latest philosophy research concept maps.

That's over 60 items, but far less than I would normally take when riding my R100GS Dakar, or driving in the Hilux bakkie.

And finally, I have to choose one book to take. This is the most difficult decision, but at the moment, the likely choice is A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. However, I might get Emma to take a copy of Seven Pillars of Wisdom for me to read when I get to Gaborone.