The Chicken or the Pack List
So my bike is the shit, that part is done. I already know it’s road proven and ready to load up. Cool. How? With one assisted ride under my belt I was hooked, I need to know – everything.
This is the part of my life I would like to call “Research” but it’s probably more fitting to call it “Obsession.” I read books. Lots. And I’m not a reader. I started a letter campaign to everyone who went to Ragnarok to see how they strategized, logistically for the load. I got a lot of good advice, like not buying a can of soup unless it has the pull tab already on it, or covering your neck so it doesn’t get all wind whipped and look like a saddle bag by the time you are 35. I joined a bunch of message boards and started the same thread in all of them “What is the one thing you regret not taking with you on the road?” I watched pack videos, this one in particular was my favorite stand out – I didn’t even know who Claudio was yet.
Rick Peterson BMW GS1200 Kit Layout for EA from Claudio von Planta on Vimeo.
I went through this video, probably a hundred times and took notes on everything that’s in there. I even contacted Rick; what a good sport, I probably sounded like a starstruck tween. He gave me some good advice, and is himself a very interesting, super cool dude. If he is a marker for the type of people I will encounter, I have found my people.
With every pack book I read, I added literally every item good or useless to a list I started compiling. I started to understand the mindset of preparation here. This is not like a van or a motorhome where you can just stash stuff and pull it out if you need it, your space is limited, your security is tentative. It was here that I also started to build the focus in basic survival skill – and added all of THOSE items to my list, too. There is literally no way to plan for every situation, but you can come close as long as you pack with versatility in mind. And my list got extensive. No matter how a person packs, Rick’s best advice that I continue to share today is keep it organized. The only thing I would add is keep it inventoried – nothing worse than forgetting to refill your Tums in a rain storm in the middle of nowhere at 3AM.
It started to become obvious that this is a chicken and the egg scenario – you need to pack smart for moto trips, but you also need to go on a moto trips to know how to define smart. If I am going to buy anything and prep for this at all – I need to just get out there and see what it’s like. I used to be such a rigid planner but it’s time to just go for it.