Monday, June 11, 2012

What to bring?
Gear is both an exciting and an expensive part of the process.
I cut corners to save cash in almost every area.
Yes, it all fit.
Yes, I looked like Che and his cousin in "The Motorcycle Diaries."

We planned quick and kept the luxuries slim, but here are a few of the most important road tested items:
-My Barbour International jacket will be a prized possession for the rest of my life.  I wore it every day no matter the weather.  Rain, snow, heat, mud, exploding soup cans, and bugs were all kept out like armor.  I layered underneath when the temperature dropped into the thirties and left it unbuttoned in the Arizona sun.
-Leather boots.  I went cowboy because, yes, I already had some.
-Leather work gloves and leather work mittens.  My hands fall off when they get cold.  I'd rather run fifty miles on a Georgia summer day than have cold hands.  Not having a fairing on the bike made it so the wind chill at eighty miles an hour was quite intense.  However, I didn't want to spend $200 on heated gloves.  So I went with mittens.  For $20 you can't beat the results, yet there is nothing you can do about the cold when you're scaling the Black Hills.
-Knife.  Good for opening cans and feeling just a little more comfortable in that sketchy camping spot.
-Paracord.  Never camp anywhere without it.
-Headlamp.  Flashlights are a thing of the past.
-Less clothing than you think and a willingness to stink.  Now, my bike wasn't outfitted with the slick and spacious cases so this will change with every rider's preferences.  If you are willing to wear things more than once then you'll hit a laundry mat before you have to go for round four on those socks.
-Way to efficiently document.  The days and states blur together.  Find your own method, make it simple, and stick to it.  I brought a journal and Casey brought a camera.

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