Things I Haven’t Lost Yet part 1 of 2
On most motorcycle trips (or any trip for that matter) I have a really good habit of packing exactly what I don’t need and nothing that I do. This trip will be no different I’m sure.
So, to start things off, I do try to make sure I always bring an assortment of tools. Nothing is worse than having a bike/vehicle/mental breakdown, except when you break down and actually DONT have tools.
I prefer adjustable wrenches (crescent wrenches, vice grips, etc) as well as both imperial and metric sets of Allen and Torx keys, because let’s be honest here, if you’re working on a Harley that was made in the last couple years, it’s gonna have imperial and metric requirements. So much for “All American”…I digress.
I also pack a few random “fix it” essentials; zip ties, tape, tie wire, knife, rags, rope, etc. Also known as the Serial Killer Kit. Once I went for a ride and a buddies fender nearly rattled off, we had to tie it on for the ride home with a shoelace. I also had a throttle cable end break off, which then forced me to operate the throttle with a pair of vice grips pulling on the cable, which was challenging to say the least.
Next up is my camera gear. I am in no way a photographer or claim to be, but I do have a passion to get better and improve my skill, which usually means I get 1 good picture out of 20 tries. As always, I try to be somewhat frugal with cameras, as I’ve lost or forgotten them many times. I think you can get caught up in the world of expensive gear as well, but in this day and age I feel most mid level cameras will get the job done.
DSLR- I currently use a Canon T4i, its cheap enough that if you end up leaving it or forgetting it somewhere, its certainly not the end of the world. It doesn’t have wifi, but with a remote shutter and wifi enabled SD card, anything is possible.
POINT & SHOOT- The camera I actually use the most, is the Sony RX100 M3, mainly because the video it takes is absolutely unreal. Surprisingly this camera is more expensive than the DSLR I use, and records different but comparable video, however, the manual focus I find extremely difficult to use. Also, it takes absolutely forever to focus in the Auto Focus mode, mainly because I dropped it in the sand on a beach in Naha Okinawa and it certainly hasn’t been the same since. It fits quite nicely in the chest pocket of a denim jacket, and turns on and begins filming lightening fast, even if the video option isn’t selected, there is a “movie” button that overrides everything. Tremendous.
GO PROS- I’ve lost many of these bad boys, usually from the twist lock things that secure them in place becoming loose or stripped. Or, from the floaty coming off and sinking to the bottom of the Pacific. I have a Hero 3 Silver that is my in-the-water go to, and I wouldn’t cry more than one single tear if I did lose that one as well. I also use a Hero 4 Silver, which I find extremely easy to operate and so much more efficient with the screen on the back.
JOBY Gorilla Pods- I love these adjustable mini tripods so much. They are extremely durable and work exceptionally well whether I am wrapping them around handlebars or using it like some sort of archaic gimbal. I would include a tripod in this list but I currently don’t have one since my last trip to Vegas where it ended being used as a makeshift baseball bat to smash every light in the hotel hallway. It didn’t survive the night…
SUNGLASSES- Until the day I die I will only wear Ray Ban 2140 Wayfarers. I might have a slight obsession, if you will. I’ve yet to find a more iconic and classic pair of sunglasses. And even if there was a cheaper alternative, I couldn’t do it. I’ve become so loyal to a brand that doesn’t even know I exist and I don’t care: I love them.
WATCH- Much like the sunglasses, I’ve been wearing Timex watches for over 15 years and see no convincing reason to ever change. The timeless look and classic design works whether Im wearing a suit or looking like an absolute piece of shit; dirty and dusty on a long moto trip.
LIGHTER- I have a 1935 Zippo lighter that has lit my cigarettes and many others for more years than I can remember. I actually have no idea where I even got it, somehow acquired during the travels. It has lit cactus leaves (?) on fire in the middle of the Sonoran desert, its burned off threads left on my clothes from my amateur sewing alterations, and also has lit vanilla scented candles in my condo.
PASSPORT- This current passport has seen better days as well. On my very first long distance bike trip, I put it back in my shirt chest pocket sans cover right after the border. Well, being the absent minded fool I am, I completely forgot about it. A few hours later I hit an abrupt but extremely effective rainstorm that soaked me to my soul, passport included. This caused some of the ink to run and create a very strange effect over my photo and some of the pages. Now, whenever I cross the border I have to go through an entire explanation why my passport looks like that and that it in fact was NOT made in some computer hacker’s mom’s basement.
And that, is part 1 of my gear list. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but everything definitely serves a purpose.