Adventure Gear for Alaska

Here’s a quick rundown of the adventure gear I’ve selected for my trip north to Alaska and back.

Riding Gear

Riding Gear for Trip to Alaska

This is my main set of riding gear. The jersey will get swapped for a wool base layer when the weather dictates. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Scorpion EXO-AT950 modular helmet
  • Sena SMH10 Bluetooth headset intercom
  • Klim Latitude Gore-Tex jacket
  • Klim Latitude Gore-Tex pants
  • Troy Lee Designs Sprint jersey
  • Troy Lee Designs Radius Adventure gloves
  • Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex boots
  • SOKz various motorcycle sock offerings
  • ACR ARTEX ResQLink+ personal locator beacon
  • Camelbak backpack with 100oz water bladder

I carry the PLB in my jacket, and the following gear in my backpack.

  • Crankbrothers multitool
  • ChapStick
  • matches
  • pocket knife
  • torch lighter
  • tube repair kit
  • bottle opener
  • ear plugs

Camping Equipment

Adventure Gear Pack Shot

I’m using Wolfman Rocky Mountain side bags to carry most of my gear, with a Sedici tank bag for quick access items, and a Pelican 1450 top case to protect the electronics and valuables. Here’s the stuff I’m taking on this trip.

Left Side Pannier

  • Spare 21″ front inner tube
  • Spare 17″ rear inner tube
  • BMW large bike cover
  • ENO Atlas XL hammock straps
  • ENO DoubleNest hammock
  • Cheap camping chair
  • MSR PocketRocket stove
  • LE flashlight
  • Princeton Tec Byte headlamp with spare AAA batteries
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Lighter
  • Pocket knife
  • Compass
  • TOAKS titanium 450ml mug
  • Espro Travel Press coffee mug
  • GSI Outdoors JavaMill coffee grinder
  • MSR fuel tank
  • Snow Peak cookware set
  • Bamboo cooking utensil
  • Snow Peak titanium spork
  • toilet paper
  • Repel mosquito repellant
  • Modern Times Electric Peak coffee
  • 3 lengths of paracord with Figure 9 carabiners
  • Sawyer MINI water filtration system
  • Frontiersman bear spray
  • Marine air horn
  • Dupont Chain Saver lube
  • Half of my tool kit, including tire pump and tire irons, etc *not pictured

Right Side Pannier

  • Outad 6’x7′ tarp
  • sleeping mask (expect 100% daylight hours as you get farther north)
  • Naturehike inflatable pillow
  • Cocoon silk sleeping bag liner
  • Klymit Static V sleeping pad
  • Rovor Buhl sleeping bag (45*F comfort, 14*F extreme rating)
  • Vans sandals
  • Extra pair of gloves
  • Assortment of freeze dried food and ramen until I get closer to bear country (then the food stays totally separate from sleeping gear)
  • 2 MSR 30oz fuel bottles mounted in 2 Wolfman bottle holsters outside the bag
  • Vans comfortable shoes
  • I have some extra room in here still for clothing, food, beer, etc

Pelican Top Case

  • REI first aid kit restocked with extra supplies
  • NewTrent battery backup
  • Anker dual USB wall charger
  • Cables for iPhone, Sena, and GoPro
  • Bose headphones
  • Repair kits for sleeping pad and tent
  • Sunscreen
  • Pen
  • Lighter
  • Papers
  • Matches
  • Spare AAA batteries
  • Carabiners
  • Wet Ones
  • Yoshimura spark arrestor (for Oregon and Washington forests)
  • Desert Fox fuel bladder spout
  • Extra keys
  • Second wallet
  • Microfiber
  • Hat with mosquito net
  • Mini towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Burt’s Bees lip balm
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothpaste
  • Eye drops
  • Nasal strips
  • Tissues
  • More Wet Ones
  • Soap
  • Foot spray (to keep my feet less disgusting in waterproof boots all day)
  • Watercolor notebook
  • Watercolor paints and brushes
  • Reading material (Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo)
  • Wrist brace for my left wrist
  • GoPro various adapters and mounts
  • GoPro HERO5 Black
  • The top case locks and secures to the bike with 4 Master locks

Tank Bag

  • Waterproof tank bag cover
  • Glove liners
  • Travel lock
  • More eye drops
  • Extra 15A fuses
  • Emergency space blanket
  • More sunscreen
  • Digital tire gauge
  • Pen
  • Belkin iPhone dongle (necessary to charge and listen to headphones simultaneously… thanks Apple)
  • More ear plugs
  • Quaker granola snack I’ve had sitting around

Strapped on Top

The Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 person tent and MSR Dromedary 4L water bladder get strapped on top of the Pelican case with ROK Straps, and that’s all my camping gear. I also have 2 Keeper locking cam straps that I wrap around my soft bags to hopefully prevent any opportunistic thieves. And I’m running 2 Desert Fox 5L fuel bladders that I’ve rigged up as tank panniers when empty, or mounted on the crash bars when full.

Clothing

The majority of my clothing gets packed into my Wolfman yellow dry duffel bag, then strapped on the pillion seat. I meant to shoot a photo layout of that too, but I’m running a bit late with last minute prep for tomorrow departure and it’s just some boring clothes… Anyway here’s a rough list:

  • SmartWool base layer – top and bottom
  • Carhartt Super Cold thermals – top and bottom
  • 5 pairs of antimicrobial boxers from Carhartt and ExOfficio
  • Assortment of socks from SOKz, SmartWool, and Carhartt that I’m still testing out
  • 2 T shirts
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of swimtrunks
  • Extra thermal tops and bottoms
  • Cloudveil fleece pullover
  • Carhartt beanie
  • Firstgear heated jacket, pants, and gloves with temp controller (thanks Migilito!) *these have been relocated to the right side bag

Tools

I put together a pretty solid tool kit, split in 2 parts. I carry the tire change gear in the left pannier, and the rest of the tools in a Wolfman Rolie small dry bag strapped to the outside of the left pannier. I also meant to snap some photos of this, but underestimated how long it takes to lay everything out in perfectly organized fashion, and didn’t look forward to inventorying the whole tool kit contents again. It’s lots of Torx bits, wrenches, sockets, ratchets, Knipex pliers, tire irons, zip ties, epoxies, and all the peculiar little pieces you need to work on this fine German machine. You get the idea. I may show some tool highlights on the road if the occasion calls for it.

BMW F800GS packed and ready for adventure.

I have a feeling some of this is unnecessary weight but I’ll figure out what I’m not using the first few weeks and re-evaluate. Adventure awaits!

Sell Everything and Hit the Road

This is the month! I’ve been busy checking off last minute tasks from my to do list, and I leave in about a week. I can’t help but feel a bit anxious as I wrap up loose ends and work obligations, just hoping I don’t forget anything important.

Most of my preparation has revolved around my bike and gear, but I had a few miscellaneous things to take care of too.

Part of that included getting LASIK eye surgery, which should vastly improve my extended camping experience (no more contacts or dirty fingers in my eyes). I also elected for a special injection in my wrist in an attempt to improve my scaphoid bone which never fully healed after a bad break 2 years ago. I’m hoping that it’s in good enough shape now to withstand the rigors of the trip.

Over the past month I sold my old ’69 Chevy El Camino and my ’83 BMW R100. I lost interest in the Elky part way through restoration, and my airhead was awesome but deserves daily attention. So I found new homes for both before I hit the road.

I’ve also been sorting out finances, vaccinations, insurance, and all the mundane aspects of long term travel you overlook until things get serious. It was also prudent I assess my beer collection to figure out what to drink now with friends, what to give away, what to age for another year.

And today was bike maintenance day. I helped out a bit at Valdi’s Motozone to get more familiar with the F800GS internals. The maintenance schedule was well timed, so I’ll have a freshly serviced bike ready for 6000 miles to Alaska. I gotta say, the Germans build a sweet bike but they make some things unnecessarily complicated. Who knew you had to expose the valves to even change your spark plugs?

BMW F800GS Service and Valve Check

Check back in a bit for the next update!