Dual sporting around the South West. What to pack?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Colorad0, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    758
    Thanks for reminding me. The wife is into dehydrating foods and we have a Vacmaster VP112s.

    That's a good idea to vacuum seal first aid/emergency supplies to keep them compact and dry.

    As for water, do you think 3 liters in my back pack and 1 gallon in a rotopax is enough? I'm used to riding in very mild or colder temps and I only go through a couple of liters on a 3-4 hour ride.
    #21
  2. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,881
    Location:
    captures.crunching.farewell
    60 L for day rides seems a bit excessive. With that much bulk and weight, you may be setting yourself up for a disaster rather than being prepared for a disaster.

    Think of it like this: let's say you hit a long stretch of sand, mud, or a technical climb and you start to drop the bike. First drop, okay, no problem, but as the drops add up, all that extra weight and bulk will sap you of strength. Soon you may find yourself dehydrated and approaching heat stroke; you may also find that the drops have broken some essential parts - like a clutch handle or shift lever. However, if you had far less weight on the bike, your bike would perform better, you would ride better, thus avoiding the drops, and if dropped, will take far less energy to get it back on two wheels. I have seen it countless times on group rides - the guy with the heaviest ruck is the guy who crashes most, has the most flats, and generally the one who kills the ride as one of his crashes results in a broken part that can't be fixed or replaced, necessitating a tow or worse...an ambulance.

    The only time I have been stranded in the desert was when riding with a group of 4. We were all packed for camping. One guy refused to pack light and we got stuck in Lockhart Basin for two nights because he dropped his bike so much that he had killed his battery from flooded carbs and frequent re-starts. He was dropping his bike so much that he couldn't even get enough of a charge for a re-start before he dropped it again. So then we had to start jumping his battery, eventually resulting in 2 trashed batteries. It was a complete clusterf*ck and ENTIRELY due to him refusing to carry less gear. We finally had to cancel our epic plans to ride to Oregon and just do day rides out of Moab. On the day rides, without all that extra gear, he was not having nearly as many problems with sand, rocks, etc.

    I have ridden a lot in the desert, and traveled solo a lot. For day rides, I would only worry about tools, water, and navigation. Adding the in-reach is probably a good idea as cell service in the Southwest may be very sparse.
    #22
    Colorad0, molochnik and Ginger Beard like this.
  3. molochnik

    molochnik Cold Deist

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    HiDez SoCal
    I recently rode through the southwest on Kevin's LA spur of his TAT. I was solo and heavy but was heading for the east - not just a day ride. If I were to do it again, at the same time of year, these are the things I wouldn't take with especially for day riding...
    Insulated liners for my jacket and pants - never used them
    My two man tent - gonna replace that with a nice roomy bevy sack
    Lots of dehydrated food - not gonna pack as much, it's surprisingly heavy. Food is definitely a personal preference sort of thing. I found myself getting by with trail mix, jerky and perhaps one full dehydrated camping meal (Mountain House sort of thing)

    What would I bring that I didn't and realized I could have used? I pooh-poohed taking an umbrella for shade. In retrospect it would have been much handier than using tent poles and a tarp for taking any kind of a break in shade.

    The advice above and elsewhere in this thread is good advice especially for day rides. Hick's story about the ride in Lockhart Basin is very cromulent. I can personally attest to the cumulative exhaustion one feels after lifting up a bike multiple times.

    I ended up running out of daylight a couple miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and had to spend the night in the middle of nowhere. I was glad I had the tent and all of my camping gear but again, I could have gotten by with just a bivy and my sleeping bag. In fact I rarely got inside my bag until the wee hours of the morning.
    I ran out of water the next morning and started that leg of the trip with a full 3 liter hydro pack, two 2 litre military canteens, and the remainder of a liter bottle of water that I couldn't finish at the gas station upon setting out. Being loaded heavy and falling frequently caused me to drink a LOT during that day and I couldn't drink enough to stay ahead of the dehydration curve.

    I had plenty of spare parts and repair supplies for the bike and those cases were heavy. For better or worse I never ended up needing any of the stuff but part of my kink is being prepared in terms of maintenance. I'm going to try and pare those kits down.

    Bottom line is that if I set out with something like a Giant Loop Coyote for a day ride, I'd take at least 2 gallons of water, some kind of compact overnight shelter, a first aid kit, and whatever tooling and maintenance supplies to get you back - there are plenty of opportunities to bust a case out there.
    I have a pretty capacious fuel tank on my bike so I wasn't ever too concerned about fuel. However I did have a liter of motor oil in case I did happen to break something that would cause oil loss. A patched case isn't much good if you've lost a lot of oil.
    #23
    Colorad0 likes this.
  4. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    758
    60 liters? Did you mean to type 6 liters? 1.5 gal in a roto pax and a 3 liters in a back pack is a total of 9 liters.

    I installed my tail rack and roto pax full of water and went for a spin around the block. It made a huge difference how the bike handled. I'm sure if I added a little pre load it would have helped, but it rode like $h!t when sliding the bike around corners.

    But the real killer was I couldn't pick up the back of the bike with that tail rack installed. I much prefer the rear grab handles that come stock on the 701.

    So I think I'll forget the rear rack and rotopax and just carry a few extra water bottles, unless it's super long/hot day.

    I want to keep this 701 as light and nimble as possible. Right now it feels and handles like a big dirt bike and I'd like to keep it that way.

    So far I can fit everything (just) in my Klim arsenal pack and wolfman day pack. Around 12lbs in each for a total of 25lbs. More if I carry extra water. Then if I need warm gear or rain gear I have a GL tail bag that I can strap on. Loaded up, it only weighs 3-4lbs.

    For sure it's a balancing act between bike handling and preparedness.

    Pity that overloaded guy got you stuck out overnight and ruined your trip. It's fun to ride with others and share the experiences, but sometimes it can turn into a nightmare.
    #24
  5. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,881
    Location:
    captures.crunching.farewell
    This was your statement to which I was referring.

    I am happy to see you are using the Klim Arsenal Vest. My personal opinion...vests like the Arsenal and the Ogio flight vest are outstanding. I can get spare tubes, all my tools, spare levers, 3 L of water, snacks, a tow rope, and some electronics in my flight vest, and feel that it distributes the weight much better than a backpack. My flight vest fits comfortably over a pressure suit, and as long as I am riding, I can stay relatively cool. When I am doing day rides, my flight vest is all I take.

    On multi-day camping rides during the hotter months, I still take the flight vest for all my tools, water, water filter, snacks, electronics...anything I want to be able to access quickly. Then all my camping gear is packed into either a GL Coyote or MM Reckless 40.

    Another anecdote: I once rode solo across the Uintah mountains in Utah. It was a planned 4 hour ride, but I decided to take all my camping gear "just in case". I got to a stream where the bridge was out. Had I not been loaded with all my camping gear, the stream crossing would have been relatively easy. With all my camping gear, I got stuck in the middle of the stream, and had it not been for a couple construction workers wading out to help me, I would have been properly fooked. The ride took much longer than anticipated, because of the extra gear, leaving me riding in the dark, and thus, hitting a deer...

    Over the years of riding solo multi-day rides, I have learned less is more.

    Everybody needs to ride their ride, and what is fun for me may be miserable for others. Hope you have a fun and safe trip!
    #25
    Colorad0 likes this.
  6. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    758
    Oh I gotcha now. My bad, I saw 60L and thought you were talking about water.

    When I do day trips from the house, I generally pack pretty light. I know the trails, landmarks and area, so I feel pretty confident in my kit.

    But this 701 will be taking me into unknown areas, so I want to be a little more prepared.

    Most of all I'm worried about getting lost. I get so caught up hammering the trail I miss landmarks and sometime intersections lol. If something happened to my gps, I'd have to use paper maps and a compass, which is not something I'm skilled at (yet!).

    I've only got one ride with the vest, it was way better than the same weight all on my back. Only thing I worry about is it being too hot. After decades living in the mountains where it's always cold, I've lost my tolerance to heat.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. Bet you have some epic riding stories to tell round the camp fire!
    #26
  7. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,881
    Location:
    captures.crunching.farewell

    Roger that! I'm a sweater, my father was a sweater...Angoran I believe, LOL

    +1 on the electrolyte tabs. I have needed to take them for years...mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, dual sporting...I sweat a lot. I have had heat stroke more than once, most recently in the past month. I was only concerned that you were attempting solo day rides in the desert with 60L of gear.

    Last recommendation...If you are in TX/NM and see mesquite trees, ride away. Those fookers drop spines the size, caliber, and strength of 5-penny nails. Only Mousse bibs will prevent you from multiple flats and tires that resemble porcupines.
    #27
    Colorad0 likes this.
  8. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,455
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    I live in AZ and with the modest air temp limits you describe, you won't likely be riding much. I also tow a motorcycle behind my RV. I think day trips don't require much with your Inreach system. You will still want to limit your daily loops to a radius you can walk out of, though. That probably requires some serious research but better than packing a bunch of survival gear. My gear pack is probably about 15lbs. Mostly repair stuff and some survival items.

    My experience is that late summer months anywhere in the Southwest has very high highs. Meanwhile the Spring Winter and Fall months are pretty cold everywhere except for the Sonoran Deserts. The reason is the altitudes...
    #28
  9. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    758
    It might be smart to keep within walking distance from the motor home, but that is no way realistic for me. The great thing about the 701 is I can pump up the tires and hit the pavement for an hour or more to get to a riding area if need be. The wife and kids don't want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere while I go off riding all day, so it's really not up to me where we park the motor home.

    We have no set plan, but will be following the weather/temps so hopefully I can get a fair amount of riding in. We traveled through Hite, Capitol Reef, Big Bend, Elephant Butte, Goose Neck, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Moab/Fruita and National Monument last spring. No bike that time, we did a lot of exploring in the Jeep. It was a cold wet spring, but we worked around it.

    EDIT: Just realized you were talking about walking distance from civilization, not the motor home. If I break down I'll just use the inreach to message the wife to come get me in the morning in the Jeep. So I'll just have to walk out to the nearest Jeep road if I'm on single track or ATV trail.
    #29
  10. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    758
    Most of the time I won't be using anymore than the Klim vest and the Wolfman Day tripper bags. The extra 15 liters from the Giant Loop tail bag will only be used so I have some place to store my heated gloves and a gore-tex jacket and (maybe) pants as the day warms up.

    It's going to be a lot colder in the morning at 65mph on the pavement vs the middle of the day on tails.

    Thanks for the tip on the mesquite trees. Those thorns look nasty!
    #30