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 When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?

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Meldrew
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PostSubject: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 04:33

In my case it's an umbrella and I've always carried one along since 1998. My first was a small crook handled gents folding umbrella I bought on impulse in a Marks & Spencer store just before going to Sweden on my Helix to the FIM Rally in Falun.

Despite it being Summer, it rained rather a lot on that tour and the little umbrella got a lot of use. In fact it was so useful when I accidentally left in a store in Gothenburg, I made a journey back on the tram to retrieve it and it was still where I'd left it. (I had that little brolly up until a couple of days ago when I gave it to a charity shop, as Mrs M ruled I had to get rid of one when I bought my new one in Germany.)

After using the M & S brolly on other tours, I upped my game and bought a Travel Smith travel windproof umbrella. It was bigger, heavier, and I kept it in a cardboard tube in the top box or boot/trunk of my Helix. I've had it a long time now but I still use the Travel Smith umbrella, despite Mrs M's concerns that one day I'll accidentally poke someone's eye out with it on the narrow streets of York. Smile

Then I really got the umbrella bug and bought a very expensive 10 rib slimline gentlemens umbrella with a Mallacca cane handle and Sterling Silver ferrule from James Smith & Son in London. It's more traditional City gent, bowler hat and pinstripe suit than a travel umbrella, but I like it's style and elegance.

This full sized umbrella was harder to carry on the scooter than a folding one, I did try out a sort of holster from plastic tubing zip tied on the scooter but it didn't really work.

My current favourite is a folding Fulton travel umbrella which fits easily into one of my man bags or daysacks. Apart from normal rain, packing an umbrella is very handy to have in somewhere like Germany's Harz Mountains area where there's a lot of brief but very heavy summer thunderstorms and torrential rain.

I couldn't resist buying yet another travel umbrella when I was in Globetrotter (the German equivalent of R.E.I.) in Stuttgart a few weeks ago. This one is the aptly named Euroschirm Swing Lite-Flex, it's non folding, weighs only 8 ounces, and has a cover with a shoulder strap, so I can walk round looking like a Ninja. It's a bit too long for my Givi E55 top box but will go under the seat.

So there you have it, I've carried other stuff like a Leatherman for many years but have barely used it, and I remember back in the Eighties I went away on a few trips packing a travel hair dryer Smile which now seems ridiculous looking back, and who needs a travel alarm clock anymore

As everyone seems to pack mobile/cell phones, tablets, iPads, and other electronic clutter, I'm curious to read about that one special item that you always take along on your travels.


Last edited by Meldrew on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 05:55; edited 3 times in total
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 04:50

For me it's old underwear and t-shirts which get abandoned as I travel thus reducing packing and load.
I appreciate this will have caused undue stress to hotel chambermaids throughout Europe and the UK. I often wonder if they receive councelling or danger money... :-)
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 05:02

Another one! Mrs M has started making me do that with my historic old stuff from Primark, BHS etc, when we go away. I find it quite embarrassing to leave my old shreddies in hotel room waste bins along with her discarded stuff. I also feel for the chambermaid who's maybe wondering what we've been up to.
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oldwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 06:37

Tire repair kit and a small air pump, anything else that's needed there's always a WalMart somewhere.
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Scootypuff Snr
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 10:40

In the old days it was a wedge of the local currency (enough to pay for a taxi/hotel/garage)

As it became more accepted a credit card & still do make sure there's an unused card be it for medical/recovery/ flight home worry about paying it off after the emergency.

@Meldrew I just have visions of you being the avengers "John Steed" of motorcycle touring.

I to am a bin your clothes on tour advocate the world's chamber maids must think us English a truly affluent country (unless they looked to hard at what we've left)

When I left India the local shop owner asked for my old clothes as western clothing was popular (and saleable) and he laughed when I pointed out he & others didn't wear the local garments I purchased with huge enthusiasm
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 13:49

I think there would be political incident if I tried selling my old grundies to some innocent local :-)
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 13:50

Someone would quote the Geneva Convention!
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Modernman1953
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sat 17 Jun 2017, 20:10

I always pack my stove and coffee maker.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 00:40

Credit card and cell phone.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 03:40

Hmm... no really interesting stuff so far, although it's encouraging to know that the practice of leaving your old underwear in hotel room bins is not uncommon.


Isn't carrying some sort of tyre repair kit normal practice on motorcycles and maxi scooters. Carrying cash, credit cards and a mobile/cell phone is everyday practice not something unique to touring trips, and even packing a stove and coffee maker are unnecessary unless you're going camping.

Mr Grinsel taking his pet dog along for company is more along the lines I was thinking. Or you might pack a special pillow to help you sleep better. I remember an old chap from my BMW Club days that would wander round hotels wearing a pair of old fashioned carpet slippers he'd packed. Another lad I knew always carried a few bottles of evil smelling hot sauce which he'd slather over everything he ate.


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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 13:20

I think guns are more of a us/uk thing, not anti gun lobby.
This came up on one of the adventure bike forums a while back and as someone pointed out the scariest wild life we have in the uk are errant sheep, out in the US sticks you have big things with teeth. Although as the correspondent pointed out the average hand gun would only annoy a bear, not stop it.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 13:22

One thing I usually carry on tour is a syphon tube. If you run out of gas another biker will usually hand over a litre or two to get you going.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 14:17

steve_h80 wrote:
One thing I usually carry on tour is a syphon tube. If you run out of gas another biker will usually hand over a litre or two to get you going.

Okay, that reminds me; I always carry a full 1 liter MSR fuel bottle.
The idea is supposed to be that in case I run out of gas, but in practice I've used in on several occasions to rescue forlorn-looking Harley pirates stranded along side the road.

Previously I carried a long siphon hose (~7/16"-1/2" id) with air chuck fittings clamped on the ends. That way it could be used either, with the air fittings removed, as a siphon or to "borrow" tire pressure if needed.

Tim
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Sun 18 Jun 2017, 15:15

Air pump and tire repair kit are always on board in my case, along with a small set of tools and requisite rain gear...

[Inappropriate content deleted]

As for phones, credit cards, etc, I agree with "Meldrew" in that those items are 'givens'...
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Modernman1953
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 10:40

The moto campers forum strictly prohibits any discussion of firearms on the forum.  I agree 100% with that policy, even though I have a concealed weapons permit.  

Politics is another subject that has no business on a motorcycle forum.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 15:49

Meldrew wrote:
Another one! Mrs M has started making me do that with my historic old stuff from Primark, BHS etc, when we go away. I find it quite embarrassing to leave my old shreddies in hotel room waste bins along with her discarded stuff. I also feel for the chambermaid who's maybe wondering what we've been up to.

This is the funniest thing I have ever read from you ... I'm still smiling after 10 minutes.  rolling laughter  Love the way you brits can put things which may sound perfectly ordinary to you ... just too hilarious to me.  I guess that's why we have so many expat British friends over here on this side of the pond ... the upper part of the pond that is.
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DodgetheRog
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 08:27

Sorry Meldrew, just a tyre repair kit and a few tools for me, nothing interesting.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 09:18

I must be weird then because lot's of things I pack are different from what I was taking along in the Eighties. Once it was aerosol cans of shaving foam, they were replaced by travel sized cans of shaving gel, and for many years now I've used shaving oil which is a tiny plastic bottle. I've gone from manual to electric toothbrushes, even the Braun electric ones I've used for many years stay at home in favour of a more compact Colgate one

A Sony Walkman and a few music cassettes used to be useful, now it's an iPod or my iPhone if I want a bit of music. Books became a Kindle or iPad, maps and route cards are now sat nav, a travel kettle or electric water heating element are redundant when there's coffee sold on almost every street.



Over the years a touring wardrobe has evolved too. I've taken Rohan clothing with me on almost all of my tours, mainly because it's light, comfortable, easy to pack, and I can wash and dry almost all of it overnight in a hotel room. I'm still a big fan but all of my purchases now have to scrutinised by in the shop by Mrs M.  Crying or Very sad  The last purchase of which she approved was a linen travel suit in a high tech fabric.

The same goes for my underwear, no cotton just easy care synthetic stuff with no seams anyware near my butt to irritate and cause hot spots on all day long rides. Cotton socks were dumped too, and both riding and leisure socks are L or R foot specific. I even take a small boot cleaning kit along.  Smile king

In the immortal words of Maria Von Trapp, "These are a few of my favourite things!"
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 09:54

WT? Left & Right foot-specific socks? Ya gotta be kiddin' me.

Not to hijack the thread, but would you care to share your opinion on who/where has "the best" coffee?
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 16:20

Yeah, Left and Right foot socks, they've been around for years. My first few pairs were made by Falke a German textile manufacturer. Since then I've bought L and R foot shortie athletic socks, normal socks walking socks, cycling socks, and motorcycling socks. They all differ, for example the motorcycling socks have extra cushioning in the instep and shins.

As for who/where has the best coffee, I couldn't really say. I used to think it was cool to drink coffee in Starbucks when they first came to the UK, or in any of the similar chains that copied them, now I hardly use them at all.

I've always drunk plain black coffee with sugar, or the occasional flat white, and when I think back of all the coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, stores etc where I've had a coffee. My best memory is the one I had in a Dutch motorway petrol station a few years ago, and beat anything I tasted in Seattle or anywhere else.

It cost €1 and came from a bean to cup vending machine, and was perfect in taste, strength, temperature, and sweetness, and I just wished this cup would go on and on, it was that good.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 22:56

Kinda weird, here's Meldew a Britisher talking about drinking coffee and Me an American tea drinker.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Thu 22 Jun 2017, 02:20

That's another thing then, I drink tea black or if it's Earl Grey with lemon, but unlike Cumbria where I used to live,  here in North Yorkshire the water is hard. So unless you filter the water it can leave a sort of scummy film in your cup. So at home water for both tea and coffee are filtered before use.

Nearby Taylor's of Harrogate blend and sell 'Yorkshire Tea' specially blended for Yorkshire water, we have some but I don't drink enough tea to notice a difference. I mostly use my Krups bean to cup coffee maker and a variety of different beans.

I find it unusual on your side of the Pond everyone seems to boil water for tea in a kettle on a stove. In contrast we just switch on an electric kettle that automatically switches itself off when the waters boiled.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Thu 22 Jun 2017, 13:44

I find water tastes better when boiled on an Aga rather than in an electric kettle.
Or am I just been silly? Quite possiby, it's been one of them days.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Fri 23 Jun 2017, 02:16

I guess I do it the American way, put the kettle on and go get it off the stove when it whistles. It's likely our methods are different. Some throw the tea in the Boston harbor but that was a while back. I don't think that method really caught on. Makes for salty tea.
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PostSubject: Re: When I Go Touring I Always Pack A ...?   Fri 23 Jun 2017, 06:11

[quote="exavid"<>It's likely our methods are different. Some throw the tea in the Boston harbor but that was a while back. I don't think that method really caught on. Makes for salty tea.[/quote]

I think that salty tea is what made them Baast'n folks talk funny too Rolling Eyes
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