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Leaving for AK in July: Here is my packing list for anyone to use and work off of and if anyone has any suggestions I welcome that. I think I have added a couple tools to my bag but not put them on the list yet.... I'll have to check that before I go.

Packing list
Tool Kit
1. Tire repair kit
2. Air pump
3. Air pressure gauge
4. End snips
5. Chain Lube
master link
6. Extra fuses
7. Zip ties
8. Duct tape
9. Super glue
10. Quick set JB weld
11. Multi tool
12. Needle nose pliers
13. 2 crescent wrench (5” & 8”)
14. Oil filter wrench
15. Large Allen wrench tool for font axle
16. 3/8” socket wrench, 3” extension, 8” extension, spark plug socket, 17mm, 12mm, 8mm, 9/16 sockets, 6 mm Allen wrench socket
17. Electrical tape
18. 10 and 12mm wrenches
19. 1/4” drive torque wrench and 15/16” socket 1 ¼” socket 6” extension
20. Allen wrench set (metric)
21. Multi bit screw driver
22. Flexible screwdriver
23. Precision flat head screwdriver
24. Slip ring pliers
25. Chain breaker
26. Small bottle Windex and towel
27. Paper disposable funnels
28. Extra headlight bulb and turn signal bulb.
29. Lock tight
30. Ink pin & notecards
31. Extra straps and bungee cords
32. Owner’s manual

Camping gear
1. Sleeping bag
2. Inflatable pillow
3. Ground pad (& repair kit)
4. Light tarp
5. Tent
6. Cook set: cooking/eating utensils, cup, stove, fuel cans, dish soap, and hand soap, a few brillo pads
7. Nalgene bottle
8. Collapsible wiener/marshmallow roasting stick
9. Headlamp, flashlight, and extra batteries
10. Lighter (2)
11. Head mosquito net and bug spray
12. 50’ light rope/cord
13. Collapsible lunchbox cooler
14. Small trash bags
15. Extension cord with 3 plugs on female end
Clothing
1. Sunglasses and goggles
2. Rain Gear
3. Riding jacket, jacket liner, pants, pant liner, boots, summer gloves, winter gloves, and helmet
4. Heated gear
5. Sandals, riding boots
6. 4 pair underwear, 4 pair socks, 2 pair warm socks
7. Board shorts
8. 2 pair pants that convert to shorts
9. 2 T shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts (no cotton)
10. 2 sock caps one warmer one lighter weight
11. Hat
12. Laundry detergent
Toiletries
1. Toothbrush and paste
2. Shampoo
3. Soap
4. Towel
5. Razor and shaving cream
6. Nail clippers
7. Deodorant
8. Toilet paper
Food
1. Oatmeal
2. 6 meals of MRE’s or dehydrated food meals
3. Hot chocolate mix
Misc. Gear
1. First Aid kit and eye drops
2. Camel back
3. Camera, charger, gorilla pod, extra battery, and extra memory cards.
4. Go pro, charger, and extra batteries
5. Maps, notes, and trip plan
6. GPS
7. Collet headset and charger
8. Cell phone and charger
9. Passport and insurance card to meet Canadian legal requirements
10. Ear plugs
11. Ipod and charger
12. Sunblock
13. Pills
14. Ale8
15. Bear mace
16. Oil for one change and extra quart of oil.
17. Spare keys for bike
18. Extra zip lock bags
19. Sewing/repair kit
20. Gallon gas can
21. $500 cash
 

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Holy cow! It's a rolling motorcycle shop and department store all rolled up in one. How are you going to pack all that stuff on a VStrom?

Seriously, though, that seems a bit overdone. IMO, you probably wouldn't need all those tools. This isn't a difficult ride--just long, but the reality of it is, you probably wouldn't pack this way if you were riding from Arkansas to, say, Seattle or San Diego, would you. Just seems excessive to me.

Tires are readily available up here. The Motorcycle Shop and Alaska Leather both have tires in s stock that fit a VStrom, and if you think you may need a tire(s) by the time you get up here, just contact Barb at Alaska Leather and she will have what you want waiting for you, and they will mount the new tire or tires for you right there. There is also a dual sport shop in Fairbanks (I don't recall the name--Far North Adventures or something like that) that caters to us adv. tourers, especially those headed up to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Hwy. Good luck. The weather here is fantastic so far. Days in the mid-60's to 70's, nights in the 40's, with lots of daylight.

Just one note here--you may or may not get the bear mace/pepper spray across the border into Canada. You might want to check that out. Perhaps someone else here can add to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I always ride with those tools even when just riding into town. Everything fits in a case the size of a football except for the torque wrench and air pump. The Air pump is under the seat and the wrench just goes in the bottom of the trunk.

I like that if I want to work on my bike everything I need is right there. These are the tools I would need to do anything I know how to do with the bike.

I'll have a dry bag for my sleeping bag and tent but everything else will fit in the cases


I plan to put on new tires before I leave and I think they'll make it.

I didn't think to check on the bear mace for Canada... good point
 

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Well, in 1995 carrying the bear mace across the border wasn't an issue. But that is quite some time ago!!!

Probably worth checking on!

I can tell you that when we crossed from the lower 48 into Canada it was the most thorough search I have ever seen at any border in the world!!!! They pulled the Toyota 4-Runner we were in APART! They dug through all our stuff! We were there for two hours, from 2AM local time to 4AM.

Coming back home crossing the border from Alaska into Canada was a breeze!

Good luck!!! Have fun!!! :hurray:
 

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About bear mace - I crossed the border with 2 cans of the stuff coming from Yellowstone a while back. We forgot we had it in the car. We were asked if we had any weapons etc. We honestly said we had 2 cans of bear mace. The security officers asked if the cans were specifically labeled for animals, which they were and let us keep the mace. I could not believe the irony in this situation. A can of that stuff would mess someone up 100x more than a small bottle for personal defense. They also ripped our car apart top to bottom over the course of an hour or 2.
 

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Just an opinion also but I think you are packing a little on the excessive side too. However I guess as the saying goes "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst"

Also I don't think you will have any problems with the bear spray crossing the border unless the first words out of your mouth are "bear spray". I think it's okay to bring it as long as it's labeled as bear spray because it could easily be mistaken for regular pepper spray or mace and be considered a weapon even though bear spray is probably alot harsher than personal mace or pepper spray lol
 

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Think I might skip the TQ wrench, chain breaker, ring pliers and all the oil for a Change(which can be purchased along the way). Otherwise, that's about what I packed other than the addition of a small hatchet and small folding saw
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Think I might skip the TQ wrench, chain breaker, ring pliers and all the oil for a Change(which can be purchased along the way). Otherwise, that's about what I packed other than the addition of a small hatchet and small folding saw
I thought about buying oil along the way.. maybe I'll do that. I had also thought of taking out the chain breaker but its small and fits in the bag. Before I go I'll take a photo of the gear and the packed bike.

I thought I might need the TQ wrench if I need to take a wheel off.
 

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Bear spray is available for purchase in Canada at "mountain equipment coop" and outdoor stores. Would definitely not bring oil for a change and unless you are burning oil, you should not need additional oil...readily available up here. Bring a couple of small bottles drinking water, readily available at any gas station en route so don't stock up on lots of food either. I like to carry a pristine filtered water bottle. Lets you use lake water for drinking and that could be your backup. Chain breaker, master link etc not needed. Check what is in first aid kit...maybe some large bandages or large gauze and tape.
May be useful to carry a second set of keys. A led headlamp and couple spare batteries are really useful. You can likely pare down the clothes...bring a small bottle of detergent and wash things en route. I use a balaclava as a neck scarf, sun block, and if really cool at night esp, sleep with it over your head. A small vice grips could be useful, esp to clip onto a broken clutch or brake lever. Not sure about the windex...one or two microfibre cloths, moisten with water if necessary.
But really, you will be going through several large towns, pick up things as needed...we even have Walmart up here! Do you really need extra fuel? I am traveling on the longest unserviced section of paved highway in Canada later this month on the James Bay Road...381km. My Wee is good for at least 450km. I will bring a 3.8L Rotapax to share between a buddy with an older model wee and I if absolutely necessary, otherwise this will be used in his stove.
I should add that this will be a great trip for you, enjoy yourself...save space on the bike for souvenirs :)

I could not resist a pic of my bike packed up last weekend. A Buddy and I did a one night test of gear up at Tobermory Ontario. He took me on 15km of freshly graded deep white crap and we actually caught up to this giant grader. I was completely covered with white dust. 55L waterproof sealine baha bag on passenger seat holds sleeping bag, self inflating matress and self inflating pillow, 3 man mutha hubba tent and it makes a great back rest! On top of that bag is a collapsible camp chair, fishing rod also in that bag,not as compact a chair as some but a bargain at $22.00 from Eddy Bauer outlet. The cases on the bike are not completely full, the rotopax fits nicely inside the top case but will only have fuel for part of the trip. Bags are held on bike with two straps wrapped around passenger grap handles. There is a cheap bungee type grid on top as a bit of extra security, this also keeps strap ends from flopping around.
I have a collapsible water bottle (8L) in top case that will only be full for wilderness camping along the James Bay Road. (Not sure that windex would have cleaned off this crap...we have coin operated car washes if your bike gets really dirty)


image by Mr. Nuke, on Flickr
 

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It is hard to imagine what use you would get from a chain breaker and master link unless you brought an extra chain too? If your chain breaks your pretty much hooped I would think. Just be sure to lube your chain every couple of fills and it should be fine, assuming it isn't worn out when you depart.

I stopped bringing all the cooking stuff. A waste of space for me. I just buy snacks at gas stations on the way and eat at fastfood places when available. I always have power bars and jerky in my top box too. It is different when traveling with someone VS alone.

slip ring pliers? what is that for?

Thinking of changing your oil and filter at a camp site? why would you need oil filter wrench? What would you do with old oil? dump it on the ground? Put it in the trash can?

I have never had a bulb go on me. Extra fuses are a good idea.

The border guys search like that looking for hidden guns. It's a big deal up here to keep them out. If you don't want to lose yours, don't take it to the border.

Sandals.. your feet will be eaten by all those bugs, or maybe dress like a German with socks on too. sorry.. stereotyping here..

It will be cold up there at night. Near freezing. I was up in Whitehorse in July last year and had snow on the road. Heated grips are a requirement IMO.

I see you have a Ground Pad.. you should also bring a large tarp to put over your tent if it rains a lot. It will keep all your gear dry. Some people bring a bike cover too, but I never do that.

I have bear repellent and a hunting knife as well as an air horn. Just in case.

Lemon pledge works good on windshield with microfibre cloth. I don't think windex is good for plastic?
 

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Windex is hard on an OEM shield that's got a "protective" coating on it, like a Gold Wing windshield.

Chain tools are probably not an essential item, but a can of good chain lube is. If the bike is well broken in, it shouldn't be necessary to adjust the chain.

One thing of note, as far as food and other items goes, there is a Wal-Mart in both Fort St. John and Whitehorse. So unless one has an obsession with camp cooking (lures in the bears and other scavengers, BTW) I'd dispense with that and carry a good supply of power bars, jerky, and some bottles of water or vitamin water, to snack on along the way. Eat at restaurants or fast food places for your bigger meals.

The weather can be quirky along the way. You can be roasting one day and freezing the next. Just be prepared for anything weather-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
good point about the sandals and bugs..

I was thinking of bringing my bike cover. That might depend on how much room I have. I have done a fair amount of camping off the bike but it has been one or two nights and it was when I was also going rock climbing so I had all that gear on the back and packed differently. I also sleep in a bivy sack those nights and this trip I am taking a tent.

I realize my tool kit is overkill and it looks like a big list but it fits in a small bag (about the size of a foot ball except for the TQ wrench) and I always keep this stuff on the bike. The only advantage of taking out a few of the tools would be to save some weight and that wouldn't be much. For the last couple years when I needed a tool for the bike I bought a second one and kept it in the bag. Now when I want to work on it (parked under the carport, no garage) I have everything I need right there. I'll take some pictures and put them up later.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I put my shoe up next to it for size reference. I wear size 13.






I also noticed my Duct tape is missing.. must have used that and not put it back.

the air pump and tire repair kit are under the seat.
 

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IMO I agree on your tools. There's nothing more frustrating than having to do a repair on the road with a Chinese crescent wrench and a pair of rusted pliers knowing you have the right size socket sitting in your toolbox back at home. You'll also need a 12mm hex for the front axle. BTW, I use that same tool bag on my bike; got it from Harbor Freight a few years back. Bout all I suggest is to leave the torque wrenches at home. In 40 years of wrenching I've never used a torque wrench on anything besides engine internals (connecting rods, cam tensioner bolts, etc). Those wrenches are a lot of weight and awkward size to carry around for weeks on the bike. Practice developing a feel for the axle nuts by hand in your garage at home before you leave. You can even put a mark on the nut and the swing arm with a sharpie if it makes you feel better. And you'll want a bigger can of chain lube.

Adventure Cycleworks is in Fairbanks and is a great family business. I pre-ordered my tires through him and they were waiting when I got there. I think you'll be hard-pressed to go from AR to AK and back to AR on a single set of tires. If you run the haul road he has a pressure washer once you get back. Coat the bike with WD-40 EVERYWHERE before you head North and it makes the clean-up 100% easier. There's a WalMart also in Fairbanks and you can purchase the WD-40 as well as oil and do the change behind the store. They even loaned me a drain pan and disposed of the old oil. Bring a K&N oil filter and you can leave the filter wrench at home (has a nut on the end of the filter). That Walmart also has an awesome camping gear selection in case you forget something.

Regarding clothes; I think your bringing way too much. Leave the cotton t-shirts, underwear, and socks at home. Go to Target or Walmart and pick up 2 pair of cheap spandex bike sorts, 2 Lycra nylon exercise shirts, and 2 pair of thin wool socks. All of these can be washed in a sink or stream and will dry in 45 minutes to 1 hour. I use thin panty liners inside my bike shorts :yikes: and you can change them daily for obvious reasons and you don't have to pack up dirty drawers. You really only need 1 pair of the zip pants and you'll most likely never unzip them to shorts once you hit Canada cuz the skeeters will bite your legs raw. Sandals wont work either for that same reason so being real shoes. On that note, get a bug net for your head cuz the spray only works for about 30 minutes and it will reak up your sleeping bag and pillow and you'll smell it every night trying to sleep.

Just bring shampoo and you can use that for your body, your head, and to wash your clothes. I use sea to summit from REI as it's bio-degradable if you have to wash in a stream. Use a medium size micro-fiber cloth as a towel and a smaller one for a wash cloth. Again, both will be dry by morning and won't mildew. Other than that I just being my shaver, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

I don't cook at camp. I'm usually too damn tired and more importantly I don't want to attract unwanted visitors after I hit the tent. And it rains often in AK. Just bring cliff bars, granola, crackers, etc. for emergencies and evening snacks. Lock them in your panniers at night (not in the tent). There are plenty of places to eat supper and pick up a couple cold beers for later before you stop for the day. Beats the shit out of a MRE. But I do boil water each morning for instant oatmeal and my coffee press. I have a Coleman single burner stove I've used for years because it burns unleaded gasoline so I don't need to bring an additional fuel source.

I've been to Alaska and I do long bike trips each summer / fall. I bring half of what you have on your list, and probably only really use half of what I do bring. But I too like to be prepared and I like to be comfortable. My big splurges are a thermarest backpacking cot, a thermarest pad on top of that, and a full size pillow. I'm 48 and my knees and hips ache all night if I'm on the ground, even with a pad. The cot and the pad both pack down really small though, and I wrestle the pillow into a compression bag and can get it down to the size of a football. But it's still the largest single item in all of my kit. My down sleeping bag packs to the size of a tennis shoe, and my tent is about the size of 2 tennis shoes placed end to end. On a bike size and function is EVERYTHING and you want to have a good system that you can tear down and pack up in 30 minutes or less.

Sorry for the hijack.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
IMO I agree on your tools. There's nothing more frustrating than having to do a repair on the road with a Chinese crescent wrench and a pair of rusted pliers knowing you have the right size socket sitting in your toolbox back at home. You'll also need a 12mm hex for the front axle. BTW, I use that same tool bag on my bike; got it from Harbor Freight a few years back. Bout all I suggest is to leave the torque wrenches at home. In 40 years of wrenching I've never used a torque wrench on anything besides engine internals (connecting rods, cam tensioner bolts, etc). Those wrenches are a lot of weight and awkward size to carry around for weeks on the bike. Practice developing a feel for the axle nuts by hand in your garage at home before you leave. You can even put a mark on the nut and the swing arm with a sharpie if it makes you feel better. And you'll want a bigger can of chain lube.

Adventure Cycleworks is in Fairbanks and is a great family business. I pre-ordered my tires through him and they were waiting when I got there. I think you'll be hard-pressed to go from AR to AK and back to AR on a single set of tires. If you run the haul road he has a pressure washer once you get back. Coat the bike with WD-40 EVERYWHERE before you head North and it makes the clean-up 100% easier. There's a WalMart also in Fairbanks and you can purchase the WD-40 as well as oil and do the change behind the store. They even loaned me a drain pan and disposed of the old oil. Bring a K&N oil filter and you can leave the filter wrench at home (has a nut on the end of the filter). That Walmart also has an awesome camping gear selection in case you forget something.

Regarding clothes; I think your bringing way too much. Leave the cotton t-shirts, underwear, and socks at home. Go to Target or Walmart and pick up 2 pair of cheap spandex bike sorts, 2 Lycra nylon exercise shirts, and 2 pair of thin wool socks. All of these can be washed in a sink or stream and will dry in 45 minutes to 1 hour. I use thin panty liners inside my bike shorts :yikes: and you can change them daily for obvious reasons and you don't have to pack up dirty drawers. You really only need 1 pair of the zip pants and you'll most likely never unzip them to shorts once you hit Canada cuz the skeeters will bite your legs raw. Sandals wont work either for that same reason so being real shoes. On that note, get a bug net for your head cuz the spray only works for about 30 minutes and it will reak up your sleeping bag and pillow and you'll smell it every night trying to sleep.

Just bring shampoo and you can use that for your body, your head, and to wash your clothes. I use sea to summit from REI as it's bio-degradable if you have to wash in a stream. Use a medium size micro-fiber cloth as a towel and a smaller one for a wash cloth. Again, both will be dry by morning and won't mildew. Other than that I just being my shaver, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

I don't cook at camp. I'm usually too damn tired and more importantly I don't want to attract unwanted visitors after I hit the tent. And it rains often in AK. Just bring cliff bars, granola, crackers, etc. for emergencies and evening snacks. Lock them in your panniers at night (not in the tent). There are plenty of places to eat supper and pick up a couple cold beers for later before you stop for the day. Beats the shit out of a MRE. But I do boil water each morning for instant oatmeal and my coffee press. I have a Coleman single burner stove I've used for years because it burns unleaded gasoline so I don't need to bring an additional fuel source.

I've been to Alaska and I do long bike trips each summer / fall. I bring half of what you have on your list, and probably only really use half of what I do bring. But I too like to be prepared and I like to be comfortable. My big splurges are a thermarest backpacking cot, a thermarest pad on top of that, and a full size pillow. I'm 48 and my knees and hips ache all night if I'm on the ground, even with a pad. The cot and the pad both pack down really small though, and I wrestle the pillow into a compression bag and can get it down to the size of a football. But it's still the largest single item in all of my kit. My down sleeping bag packs to the size of a tennis shoe, and my tent is about the size of 2 tennis shoes placed end to end. On a bike size and function is EVERYTHING and you want to have a good system that you can tear down and pack up in 30 minutes or less.

Sorry for the hijack.
I bought this tool bag at an army surplus store for $10. it's great, it was labeled a mechanics bag and has slots inside for sockets to fit.

I have the front axle tool. It's hiding behind the lock tight in the pic.

I didn't specify but I'm not taking any cotton clothing, I was thinking i was overdoing the clothing and originally planned on bringing less but the people I am riding with are planning to bring even more than this so I stepped it up thinking about laundry days... but maybe I'll cut that back down. I have some underwear I like for riding. I found that some will rub my ass wrong when I ride 8-10 hours.

panty liners... I can imagine something but I really don;t know what they look like, I'll ask my wife.

I probably should bring a larger can of chain lube. good point.

I'll have to think about the shoes/sandals option. I might just be wearing my riding boots when I am up north. I have big feet and my size 13 shoes take up a lot of room.

I normally sleep on a thermorest pad and use bivy sack that I have had for years but recently upgraded to the big angus q core, it is super comfortable and I am bringing a 2 man tent this time. I used them recently for a week camping in J-tree CA on a climbing trip and they worked out great.

I am also thinking of buying a new riding jacket that is waterproof instead of packing my rain jacket.
 

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For shoes, you may want to opt for a pair of light weight sneakers rather than sandals. They don't take up much more room and offer better protection for you feet than sandals, especially if you plan on doing any walking. Even the best riding boots aren't very good for other than riding.
 

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Yeah, packing shoes does suck because they take up so much room. I have a pair of those cheap water shoes I bring sometimes when space is limited because you can fold them in half which helps...... But I too like Merrill's.

I tend to bring too many clothes when traveling with other people. But I find that I rarely wear them all. If you do run short pick up a souvenir T-shirt.....

The panty liner thing seems strange I know, but they work. I got it from a guy on another forum a few years ago and he told me you'd be surprised how many RTW guys use them. And if you think about it, it does make sense.

It's kind of a double edge sword binging only the necessary crap and being more efficient than your travel partners; you'll be waiting on them every morning. I went on a trip last fall with a guy and I was waiting on him a minimum of 1 hour every morning. He brought a ton-o-shit and it was actually pretty frustrating. But that's the chance you take when traveling with others and I had to keep telling myself that it wasn't just about me as it was his trip too.

Be safe.
 

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On the panty liner, I work with a racecar driver that would put them in his helmet to keep the sweat from getting in his eyes. We were at texas motor speedway for a world challenge race and it work.
 
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