Leaving the Kitchen Sink Behind

Packing for 51 days and 50 nights can be daunting.  Fortunately, there are many who have gone ahead of me and shared their tips.  But I’m asked constantly what do you bring?  The answer is not as much as you think. 

There are some tricks to packing light when motelorcycling.  The temptation is to bring more than you need. I call it the just-in-case syndrome.  Especially when packing for 50 nights. Fortunately, I could tap the expertise of Ross & Jean Copas who co-authored Bikes, Borders and Bergs and who have been travelling the world for years on their motorcycles. They recently delivered a presentation called Prepare and Pack Like a Pro and offer several great suggestions!  

The first trick I learned is to choose clothes that serve a dual purpose.  A fleece lined wind sweater under your riding jacket doubles as a light jacket to go out at night.  Dry-fit t-shirts are what you wear during the day plus a few cotton t-shirts to wear out at night.  Other items include: one pair of jeans; three pairs of underwear; four pairs of socks, and a bathing suit that doubles as a pair of shorts.  And so you don’t have to walk around in your riding boots all night, a pair of light sneakers/shoes and flops.  Add my toiletries, first aid kit, ball cap and my BMW Rain gear and that is it.   

Next you need to keep them all together.  So I use a system of packing cubes to organize them in my BMW Luggage Roll 3 that sits on the back of the bike.  These are sized differently and see through so you aren’t searching for stuff when you need it.  I roll all items up to take the least amount of space.  

Some motels have laundry facilities but many don’t.  So I invested in this Lewis N Clark braided travel clothesline to hang in the bathroom to not have to worry about clothes pegs.  In the motel sink I can wash my clothes and hang them so they are dry for the next day.

I am not a mechanic but I bring some basic tools for minor repairs and emergencies. Things like an emergency charger, tire puncture kit and mini compressor are just a few.  You can read more about this in my earlier post (see Getting Direction and Dit Dit Dit, Dah Dah Dah,…).

The same holds true for my camera equipment (see Cotton Candy for the Eyes).  But I found a compact messenger bag to store these items and my laptop in my paniers.  For the cords I use a cord management bag that has all my USB cords, power cords and multi-usb power charger.  The laptop/messenger bag from Manfrotto takes up very little space and has a handy top zipper to access the contents within.  

I have a few creature comforts I won’t leave home without.  These include two Helinox Chair One portable lawn chairs; Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth speaker and my Espro Ultralight Coffee Press.  Because no day can begin without a good cup of coffee!

There, now I’m good for the journey. Let me know if you think I am missing something because I would love to hear from you.  But please don’t suggest I bring the plants or the kitchen sink. It just ain’t happening.

The Motelorcycle Chronicles is proud to now bring you the cartoon humour of Ron Warne as a regular feature. Ron Warne is from Toronto, Canada. He has been a cartoonist for over 30 years and his work has appeared in hundreds of different magazines and newspapers spanning many different industries. Ron has worked with approximately 10 different motorcycle magazines and websites including the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

  1. That’s a good list. I usually come unstuck with cloths and always overpack … but getting better. I love my helinox chair one and also take the little table as I’m generally camping so my list includes camp / cooking stuff.

  2. You have a good list on your hand. I am also planning to pack my things because 3 days from now I will be traveling. I think I wanna try what on your list.

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