Well the recent “coffee in the bush” article prompted a few calls from adventure biking friends who wanted to know which method would suit them best, we tended to settle on the Aeropress with a hand grinder which seemed to be the easiest to use and pack. This however got me on to looking at the other items that would be required for a trip bearing in mind that space is at a premium.
I once again chatted to Heine Engelbrecht of the ADA training facility to see what he would suggest for someone embarking on a cross-country excursion. His priority items were a medical and dental check-up, a fire extinguisher and first aid kit, added to this were ID documents, drivers license and medical aid card (Plus a plastic zip lock bag with certified copies of all documents and cards). All of the original items should be in a small pouch carried on one’s person at all times, once again add to this house and spare bike keys.
Travelling across borders would involve all the necessary carnets, visas, registration papers and a valid passport that is not near expiry, currency, medical insurance as well as cross-border insurance for the bike-all of these are part of the Cross Country DirtsurePolicy as things like medical evacuation and vehicle repatriation become important across our borders.
Well now you have the basics in place, what next to make the experience memorable and pleasurable?
Photographic equipment comes high up on the list as you want to document the trip and upload images on a daily basis, well you could use a small tablet or a smart phone but I still think a small camera is needed, I have not used one yet but reviews point me in the direction of a Fujifilm X30 or X-T1 (budget dependent). Then ensure that you have suitable waterproof hard protection for the phone, camera and tablet as well as the necessary chargers. If you are going to be away from a power source for a while a 12V PowermonkeyeXtreme is ideal for charging tablets, laptops and cameras.
Always stay organised and keep the panniers neat and tidy, plan the route so that you do not have to set up camp in the dark or even drive at night.
And be aware, keep your bike in mind when finding accommodation especially in built up areas. Campingaffords you the opportunity to appreciate the road trip and the outdoors, planning to ensure fresh meals is more of a problem but if doing the great South African road trip one generally has fresh produce available in most dorps! Camping does mean additional gear which although lightweight can be bulky. Most folks advocate a mix of camping and B+B style accommodation, which allows for washing of clothing and a good rest on a proper bed.
A good camping set up would generally comprise the following,
- Lightweight waterproof tent (Hiking type)
- LED camp light able to run off the bike battery
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Mini Pillow
- Ultra Light towel-sold at sports and camping stores
- Liquid soap (Citronella type that can also wash hair)
- A small chair
- Lightweight utensils of the multi-purpose variety
- A cutting board
- Toiletries (include face cream and sun block)
- A good multi-fuel stove with spares and a pot set
The list could be endless and many books have been written on this topic but these are just a few of the absolute essentials, oh sorry add in the Aeropress, grinder, coffee cup and coffee beans as well. Then wake up in the bush and enjoy the coffee.
Heine Engelbrecht 083 226 1494 http://www.adasa.co.za/