Too Much Stuff!

Number three is where we did not learn our lesson. Too much stuff. I thought about listing all of what we brought with us but that would just be boring details. Instead, here are the cliff notes: 3 cameras (two video and one point and shoot), camera periphinalia (extra batteries, tapes etc.), a large tripod, a laptop, books including guidebooks, notebooks, instruction manuals and a few textbooks, camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, cookware), spare parts and tools for the bike, a large duffel full of clothes, toiletries and pills for Mike and for malaria, separate saddlebags that contain cold weather clothing including thermal underwear, electric vest and warm gloves finally two pairs of shoes and two pairs of sandals. All this fits in a combination of 4 saddlebags, 2 top mounted bags, 2 tank bags and 2 separate backpacks/duffels. When we are fully loaded, there is just enough room for the rider to squeeze in between the duffle on the back seat and the tank bag. Needless to say, we won't be picking up any hitch hikers. Some of these items we are treating as emergency only gear, like the camping gear and bike parts. We've already used the bike parts. Mike had a flat. And I would hate to get stuck on a back road without gas or a broken bike with daylight fading and no shelter. Hence the camping equipment. But the clothes items could be trimmed as well as the books and toiletries. Also worth mentioning is that are riding gear (what we wear daily) is considerably heavier than our Mexico trip. In Mexico, we wore half helmets, jackets purchased at resale shops and rain gear that ripped the first time we put it on. Now, I'm wearing over pants, a "real" riding jackets and boots and a full face helmet. I curse the gear when its 80 degrees, but I know I won't regret it in a fall. Given our amount of equipment and gear, we cannot do the back road trip that would be possible if we had left the delicate equipment behind. We will be choosing our routes carefully and planning our next trip with half the gear.