Transamerica Trail 2009 - OCD or not to be.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Questor, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

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    When it comes to GPS use the one you know how to use. I have a Zumo 450 but I got a super deal on it and I had a Gift Certificate...and I am still learning how to use it. When I did the trail from TN to Utah in 2005 I had a Garmin GPS Map 76...and I really only needed to use it 1 time in Colorado when I got lost in a series of rapidly branching roads. The GPS is nice but not necesary if you use the roll chart and get used to it.


    I suggest that you still take your roll charts in case your GPS should break, die, suffer issues etc. The RAM mounts seem to work well and there are many people logging 1000's of miles with them and having no issues. I bought an Enduro Engineering cross bar mount to go with a Touratech mount for the Zumo...works very well.
    #21
  2. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

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    As far as tents go the old rule of thumb is 20 square feet per person. So if a tent is rated as a 2 person tent and has 30 ft^2 of floor space it will fit 2 people pressed to each other and the walls with no room for any gear. I have an LL Bean tent which is a pretty standard design...its probably the same tent as several other companies just in a different color and different stamp. it is free standing, cost about $110, and sleeps 1 comfortably....2 in a pinch.

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    Note hard boxes....I don't use them anymore....nor do I use the top box.
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  3. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Hm...I saw them at the Paonia rally this summer...and heard lots of good things about them. I'll have to check their size / weight ratio...

    someone also told me that you can get sleeping bags that zip together ?!?
    !

    that would be niiiiiiiiiiiiiice. :wink:
    ...(well, maybe not if we're planning on camping the entire trip...
    #23
  4. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

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    yes you can get sleeping bags that zip together....its nice...though perhaps on day 5 without a shower you might be more apt to just hole up in your own bag. Some bags are specifically made to zip together...others with the same zipper may still do so....note there are left and right zippered bags.
    #24
  5. benh

    benh lookin 4 a way outta town

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    I found that it was nice to have all my camping stuff in one bag (tent, bag, pad). That way when it is dark, you are tired, and it is pouring rain you can pretty much set up camp without a light instead of digging thru and pulling all your stuff out your saddle bags. Things tend to get a lil shaken up and unorganized in the side bags after a long day. Also, you won't have to deal with your clothes while you're setting up camp.

    However, the idea of keeping the light stuff up top is a pretty good plan.

    I used a 60csx...but I think the 276 would work fine.

    Oh, if you camp a lot then you know, but know exactly where your head lamp is at all times!
    #25
  6. usedtobefast

    usedtobefast Been here awhile

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    I'm also planning a 2009 TAT ride and am in the thick of the process (also wwwayyy in advance).

    Big difference for me is I haven't done much real adventure riding. I've done 2 day dual sport rides and multi day street bike rides, but nothing like the TAT.

    But some very similiar thoughts as your planning ... going on a DR650, using Ortleib side bags (but going normal size vs. the thins) and 1 top bag.

    For a GPS I picked up the 60CSX based on hours of reading here, but it is my first GPS so not sure how it compares to others.

    Trying to pick out my tent ... trying to decide if I need a smaller sleeping pad ... trying to figure out where to pack what ... looking at various suspension mods to the bike.

    One big challenge I'm playing with is getting the TAT maps into Mapsouce and the GPS ... I'm sure I'm pretty ignorant, but it certainly is a challenge to get the route in Mapsouce worked out (and then hope the route in the GPS matches Mapsource).

    I'm doing a number of test runs in the Mendocino National forest and the GPS/routing is a pretty big challenge for me so far.

    The TAT route charts are so detailed they are both a blessing and a curse ... blessing is it seems like you could just follow them and skip the GPS ... curse is you'll be spending your time looking at the chart vs. the views and trail.

    With all the planning some of it is fun, but then I get a bit burned out and stop it for a while ... I mean, do we really need thousands of tent choices out there? :D
    #26
  7. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    I'm in the same boat as Usedtobefast here. Just picked up a used '05 KLR and hope to do atleast a portion of the TAT, if not the entirety, some time this summer. Will be spending the winter and spring getting the bike, as well as myself ready for the trip. While long distance motorcycle trips are nothing new to me, this type of riding is something new for me.

    Keep us posted on what you decide with your gear choices as I'm also in the market for a GPS unit (never used them before), and maybe a new tent as well.
    #27
  8. aaronjarvis

    aaronjarvis XR Rider

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    Seth,

    Thanks for putting that list up. Hope you guys have a lot of great rides in the future. You brought up some items I didnt even consider, thanks. Im currently living in California. But moving to Colorado. Lately Ive been getting more interested in 2 to 3 day rides.

    Thanks again for the list:D
    #28
  9. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Hm. Yeah, once I made a marathon trip to Binghamton, NY on the DR350 because the "big" bike was apart and I wanted to ride--and my ass ached for a week afterwards (700 miles rt). Part of me is trying to do this on a very low budget because Nov 1 I leave for South America and I am saving my pennies...but then again I may end up on the DR350 for that trip as well...

    Any ideas where would look for a better seat? I figure I'll be on the bench a lot in the East, but probably on the pegs mostly in the West.
    #29
  10. Trailryder42

    Trailryder42 Long timer

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    If you'll use the route tool in Mapsource to make the TAT route, then use WinGdb to convert that to a track, the GPS unit matching the way you set it up in Mapsource won't be an issue.

    I agree, after using my 60cx to do the Continental Divide route, I very much like not having to pull out the maps or consult any charts at every turn or have a question of where I'm at. I think the GPS saves alot of time, time that can be used to enjoy the views and the ride in general.

    I'm looking at maybe doing the NM to OR portion of the TAT myself this year.

    #30
  11. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Wanderin Saddle Tramp

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    I'll second Lojacks recommendation of TarpTent.
    Extremely light, complete bug protection and set up fast. I have owned 2 different models and my Double Rainbow survived a sandstorm with winds gusting to 65mph with no ill effects. :thumbup

    Here's my Cloudburst - 39 ozs(since sold)


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    I currently have the Double Rainbow which has greater overall headroom, along with 2 doors/vestibules and weighs only 40 0zs

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    I'd also suggest taking along your small silnylon tarp that you already have, to cook under and give you more 'living space' during inclement weather.

    For a comfortable sleep, I love my POE insulated thermo sleeping pad. More compact and far more comfortable(2 1/2" thick) than a Thermarest and more reliable than the Big Agnes Insulated air-core!!
    If you are experienced with keeping your gear dry, then stick with a down bag. More compact/lighter than a synthetic bag..
    While a 'camp chair' is not a necessity, it does add to comfort around camp when there is nothing to park your butt on. I'd suggest a Thermarest Trekker Chair which you can use your sleeping pad in. Great comfort/back support for the 10.5 oz weight hit.

    For a stove, you can make a small alcohol stove -http://zenstoves.net/
    or buy one already made - http://www.whiteboxstoves.com/

    or use a small canister stove. I use a SnowPeak starter kitchen set. The 110g canister fits inside the 700ml Ti cup/mug and another one will fit on top of the lid and all enclosed within the mesh stuff sack it comes with. Typically, 1 110g canister last me for 4 days.

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    Good luck and have fun with your trip

    Dusty
    #31
  12. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    I'm just getting caught up on ADVrider...and I admit that I've been so focused on my South America trip next fall and all that entails (selling/renting house, finding homes for animals, simplifying and selling off stuff, my B&B business) that I really haven't been giving *this* trip the attention it deserves...

    So actually I've decided to REfocus thanks to a lecture, er, discussion with, Questor, and move up my travel dates and just be ready to be on the road April 1...


    I've seen those tents set up here at my place at the campouts...I really like the idea of the double vestibule for two people...Questor still has some contacts in the outdoor industry so I am leaving the tent up to him. I'm happy with one of the ones I we already own (I own 2, he owns 7) ... any of them except the chastity tent (above) with the center pole :evil.

    I like the idea of sleeping bags that zip together (didn't know about them before Q and planning this trip). I also like your ideas about traveling with the 4 since they are so small. Questor is a super minimalist packer and I am going to (try) to match him, so hopefully I'll have lots of space.

    Hm...we'll see how much space is left after I pack the princess pillow and two sleeping pads...

    I agree. It's one thing to sit here by the wood stove mid-winter and *think* about doing this trip, and another to just do it. Two years ago I was a begrudging camper...now I plan to spend the next 18 months living off the motorbike. I think as soon as we get on the road the excitement and excellent scenery will set in and I won't be nearly as picky as I am in the comfort of my own home.

    See you in NY in a couple of weeks! ~a
    #32
  13. KawDlr

    KawDlr Kawasaki GURU

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    This is how we packed for the TAT, just a quick note and a few pics, PM me if you want specific info on any of our gear.
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    #33
  14. Frostbit

    Frostbit Is it cold in here?

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    In bear country I think that your camping lash-up would be called "Burrito on a string" :dg


    #34
  15. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Most guys will way overpack. Light is right if you plan on doing the entire trip without bailouts. Bring the right tools and spares like tubes and such. Forget the jeans and 6 shirts strategy. In fact, you can motel it on this trip and save the weight and time if you like. Here's my Husky out in western Nevada on the TAT fully packed with all I need. She rode like a champ. Also, ditch those hard cases in favor of DirtBagz in my opinion. For whatever thats worth. Have fun, I have no doubt you will.
    Frank
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    #35
  16. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    And your 276c is the ticket. If you both have loaded GPS units leave the paperwork at home. The chances of them both going south are nil.
    #36
  17. Staxrider

    Staxrider dirt dauber

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    The western parts of the trail are going to put you out of any cell phone coverage. I liked having a satellite phone just in case. I have rented from these people twice and very good customer service. Since my family insisted on daily contact I called every evening and never had a problem reaching them. If you really were obsessive you could research local police/search rescue numbers along the way and carry those.


    http://www.wcclp.com/


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    #37
  18. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello KawDlr. :wave

    I'm already an advocate of the Hennessey Hamock way of life, but Rider_grrl wants to sleep on the ground. :huh
    Something about conserving heat with zip together sleeping bags....
    I don't know what the advantages are, but she seems insistent. :wink:



    But if I were doing the TAT alone, I would definitely cut weight by using the HH. I've also got a 10 x 12 Granite Gear White Lightning tarp to make a huge living space...

    I'll be taking a few long weekend camping trips on the DRZ in the Spring and I'll live in the trees for those trips. :thumb
    Who knows, perhaps I can get MotoAdventureGal to see the advantages of living off the ground. I even have an extra HH if she wants to try it. :wink:

    Thanks for the input.
    Q~



    #38
  19. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Not to rain on your hammock parade, E, but out west, you might need two really, really long pieces of rope to be able to tie each end to a tree:

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    :D
    #39
  20. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Good point Doc !
    #40