Back in January when I was pondering the feasibility of a South American moto adventure, for all the legitimate arguments against it (i.e. 22 career miles on a dual sport bike), there was one decidedly compelling reason that gave me confidence a-plenty.
Logistically and financially, my ace in the hole was several decades of backpacking experience combined with two closets filled with lightweight compact gear. My armada of outdoor equipment and clothing was perfectly suited for the needs of the adventure motorcyclist. And with only six weeks between the day I made the final decision to do the trip and the evening of my departing flight, this proved to be an important edge.
My gear and outerwear have seen many a backcountry mile, and I have no hesitation in recommending every piece on this list. Furthermore, because of the invaluable advice I received from the folks at Atomic-Moto, I can say the same thing about the riding gear.
Here’s what I took to South America and used for 20 straight days over 4500 miles (including 1100+ off road):
Tent: Mountain Hardwear Supermega UL2
Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32
Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season
Stove: MSR WindPro
Cookset: Stoic Titanium Pot/Pan
Pack: Arc’teryx Altra 35
Chair: Crazy Creek 2.0
Miscellaneous: Therma-Rest repair kit, headlamp, matches, lighter, fire starter, multi-tool, pack towel, duct tape, 80 ft. paracord, ground tarp.
Helmet: LS2 MX453
Jacket: Klim Traverse
Pants: Klim Traverse
Armor: Klim d3o
Boots: Forma Adventure
Cold Weather Gloves: Alpinestars WR-3 Gore-Tex
Duffel: Firstgear Torrent 70L Dry Bag
Fuel Reserve: MSR 30 oz. bottle
Rain Shell: Arc’teryx Alpha SL Hybrid
Rain Pants: Arc’teryx Alpha SL
Insulated Jacket: Arc’teryx Atom LT
Down Jacket: Patagonia Down Sweater
Top Base Layer (Cold weather): Arc’teryx Phase AR
Top Base Layer (Really cold weather): Arc’teryx Rho AR
Bottom – Base Layer (Cold weather): Patagonia Capilene 3
Bottom – Base Layer (Really cold weather): Arc’teryx Rho AR
Trail Shoes: Merrell Moab Ventilators
Gloves: Black Diamond StormWeight
Compression sacks (3): Sea to Summit eVent Dry Sack 10L
Miscellaneous: 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 4 short sleeve shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, Keen sandals, 1 pair jeans, 2 pairs shorts.
Everything fit into two travel duffel bags (the helmet was my carry-on personal item):
Checked Luggage: North Face Base Camp Duffel Large
Carry-on: Patagonia Black Hole 60L
Tent, sleeping bag, pad, ground tarp, stove, cookset, camp chair, and trail shoes all fit nicely into one of the KLR’s 30 liter panniers. The other pannier held the bike-related stuff, such as the extra chain, sprockets, spare tubes, tire spoons, lube, oil, fuel bottle. All clothes went into the Firstgear Torrent 70L dry bag. Camera, tablet, maps, road snacks and water bottle went into the tank bag.