So maybe forcing myself to assemble all my gear a fortnight before departure was actually a really good idea!
Unlike my usual night-before rush, now I’ve got a while to figure out how to get everything stowed away properly. Like an anti-tardis, my bags refuse to accept what should very clearly fit inside. The pointy angles of my gear and buckles of my boots wrestling back the progress of my jamming hands. I’m refusing to even consider taking a second bag (I’ve been allocated 2x 23kg bags for the flight), as that’ll only bite me in the arse when I actually have to strap them to a bike.
It’s easy to forget how much fun packing a motorcycle can be.
This is a routine I’ll be repeating every morning, or every other morning, for the next year – albeit with time a few things might fall off the back, never to return. For now, here’s the heroes gallery, the precious few items that’ll be scurried away to India with me in 15 days time:
- Berghaus 80l expedition rucksack, comes with a water-proof liner. I was suckered into buying it for my Mountain Leader many years ago, now I use it all the time just to justify the cost. One of the shoulder straps has badly melted on an exhaust at some point…
- LOMO drybag rucksack – totally waterproof, good for bikers.
- FORMA Adventure boots – right one is dark with oil spill, left one has a melted heel, no idea when that happened. Comfy boots for dossing about in.
- BLK trackday gloves – these are pretty scrappy by now, but they’ll keep me OK for a little while longer. Good in a fight.
- Shark S900C Helmet – also seen better days, may or may not have fallen from a seat a couple of times. I might be tempted to grab a cheerful open face helmet when I arrive, and keep this as a back up/pillion lid.
- Hama Star 63 Tripod – for setting those scenic shots up of the bike.
- Silva Compass – always good in a bind.
- Selfe Stick – because, selfies.
- Anker Powerbank – this one will hold a pretty big charge, enough for 8 or so mobile power-ups. I’ll fit a 12v socket to whatever bike I buy, this means I’ll always be getting charge to something.
- Packet of 60 Eyeballs
- First aid kit – plasters, dioralyte, antiseptic etc. I’ll be stocking up on antibiotics when I get there and syringe/iodine for irrigation or casually shooting up.
- Laptop – so ever reluctant to give my money over to apple, I bought a high powered gaming laptop instead – to handle 1080 and 4k edits. While a powerhouse, the screen is a bit shit and it’s pretty heavy.
- GoPro Hero 4 silver, waterproof case and skeleton case – skeleton for recording auto while on the move.
- SteriPen Adventurer – UV purification so I can drink all the tap water I can get my greasy mitts on, without getting too much Cholera (also keeps plastic out of landfill).
- Blades – for keeping those cocksure ragamuffins outta’ my stash
- Petzl Headtorch – for spotting those cocksure ragamuffins at night
- Silk sleeping bag liner – the same size as an apple, this is my little luxury. It also keeps mozzies and bed bugs at bay.
- So many SD Cards
- A Resin Encased Scorpion
- CPL, UV and ND filters for GoPro and Camera
- Pirate Flag – trouble’s a’brewin’
- Zhiyun Rider-M 3 axis Gimbal – this thing is rad – it will stabilize any GoPro shots.
- Lenses x3 – NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 , NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 OiS, some old f2.4 Pentax lens and adapter
- GoPro Attachments – to get all the angles of the action.
- Samsung NX300 Compact System Camera – can outperform my talent any day, despite being a cheap and cheerful little number.
- Not enough clothes (with the intention of supplying up in Delhi)
- Closed Cell Foam Roll Mat – barely more comfortable than the hard ground, but a little warmer
- Vango Tempest 200 Tent – also owned this for donkeys years. I’ve replaced the bent pole after my mate fell into it while pissed up, one time.
- Rab Alpine (Down) Sleeping bag – screws up reeeel tight.
Not in shot are the Kevlar jeans and old textile jacket I’ll be either cramming in the Berghaus or wearing on the plane. Or leaving behind and buying elbow pads instead, like the locals.
Then there are a few more important extras to grab during my initial stint in Delhi:
- 2x Nalgene Bottles for drinking and purifying water
- Petrol Containers – apparently the Manali – Leh highway can require just a little extra juice between petrol stations
- Tankbag – for storing documents and camera gear in
- Steel luggage frames – I’ve seen these welded to a few Enfields, they simply allow you to stash your bags in cages, rather than inside panniers. This would be ideal, as I could keep my 80l sack, split in two, on either side of the bike. If not, I’ll order up a cheap set of eBay panniers.
- Enough tools to swap out a tube
- Eating utensils and cooking gear – at least enough for a morning cuppa. Oh shit – and tea bags for the morning cuppa (I may be in the home of tea, but can they make a brew like they do in Yorkshire?).
So what do you think? Anything I’ve missed that I can’t make up for with a handful of Indian Rupees, a charming smile and the dream to make it big, one day?