Monday, October 20, 2008

The Indispensable Kit

I’m working on a project called “the indispensable kit.” This is a collection of the most useful things to be carried on a long distance ride spanning a week or more, in which the rider will pass through urban and extremely rural areas in the United States. The rider may opt to camp and/or stay in hotels. Excluded from the indispensable kit are rain gear and GPS units. It is assumed that everyone has rain gear and the GPS is a matter of person choice and finances.

I want to know what you consider to be “indispensable” for a trip of some length. Please respond in the comments box below of to At present, the indispensable kit contains, a MiniMag Flashlight, an Airman Sparrow Pump, a set of motorcycle jumper cables, and a first aid kit.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2008
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKa The Chamberlain -- Perdition’s Socks (With A Shrug)


David said...

A swiss army knife with a corkscrew, or just the corkscrew. (Leatherman tools do not have corkscrews.)
A tankbag with a clear waterproof map holder. Also, maps and a blue highlighter pen.
Extra ear plugs. Helmet visor and headlight lens cleaner.
A tire pressure guage.
Extra cell phone battery.
A checklist of what Ducdude carries.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack,
Also a siphon tube and toolkit.

bobskoot said...

where's the flat tire repair kit?

- extra gloves/socks
- small supply of garbage bags
- at least one roll of toilet tissue
- some baby wipes
- bottle or two of water, and some power bars
- one package of Imodium (or equal)


DC said...

Duct Tape & Electrical Tape, which can be wrapped around each one of the handles of a pair of pliers to save space.
A compass.
Spare clutch cable (if applcbl).
Spare inner tube (if appl).
Couple lg and sm paper clips in the tool kit (reamers or wire ties).
Lighter or matches.
Today's newspaper (build a fire).
Glo-stick road flares.
Road maps of every state you plan to be in.
Metalic blanket.
Spare bike key.

Grandad 43 said...

Set of sparkplugs
Motorcycle tool kit
Baseball cap
Cleaning items for bike

rob h said...

100 dollars in gold, 9 packs of chewin' gum, 1 issue of prophylactics, 3 lipsticks, 3 pair of nylon stockings.

KZ said...

Zip-ties seem like a good idea. And a small packet of tissues. Women riders might want to carry their "feminine hygiene supplies" with them-- if worst comes to worst, they're quite absorbent of most liquids (bodily or otherwise). I'm assuming here that male riders would not be caught dead with them. Besides standard fare-- lights, and such-- I'm not so sure, as I haven't enough riding experience to recommend anything from any incidents. Spare $20 for gas, I guess, or if you can, some sort of small container that will hold an extra liter of gasoline, without leaking/melting/smelling/exploding.

And, of course, a friend (or two). Crashing out in the middle of Kansas is bad enough, but crashing without a buddy who (hopefully) has a working finger that can press "911" seems like a much, much worse situation.

Charlie6 said...

Hello Jack,

This is pretty much what I'd consider as required for long distance riding:

The others mentioned good things as well, at the very least I'd carry a cellphone+charger znd a credit card.

Finally, duct tape!



John said...

I haven't seen a lot of stuff I disagree with here. I have a small canvas tool bag that I got from Sears, in there I throw all of the tools that I consider to be important and I do not leave for a long trip without.

Set of Metric Allen sockets (BMW)Socket extenders of various lengths
Socket Wrench
Set of Metric 1/4" sockets
Set of Metric long sockets
Screwdrivers of varying lengths, standard and phillips.
"Torx" screwdrivers if needed
Needle nose, standard pliers, locking pliers
Wire cutters
Electrical tape
Magnetic "reach" tool (For when you drop a screw and it goes to the bottom of the fairing)

Having these tools along with the ones in the tool kit under the seat pretty much insures that I will not need them, but having them in the bottom of one of the saddle bags sure gives piece of mind.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear David:

Several items that you mentioned have been added to the list. It appears I'm going to have two lists when this piece is done. One will be the short "indispensable "list and the other will be the "preferred" indispensable list.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Wayne:

The siphon tube was a good one. The toolkit goes without saying.

Your name has been added to the monthly readers meals contest!

Thanks for posting!

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

Thank you for commenting on my blog. Your name has been added to the monthly readers meals contest for October. You stand a chance of winning a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant in your state.

The garbage bags were a good suggestion as was the baby wipes and the Imodium -- which is not found in most first aid kits.

I'm putting it in mine today.

Your suggestions have made the cut for my story.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear DC (Dave Case)

As you know, I ride a 1995 K75. One of the items always to be found on my bike when I ride any distance, is the spare clutch cable. In my tool kit, held under plastic tape, is the little brass drum that holds the cable at the caliper end. (This usually falls out when the cable breaks.)

The spare bike key is another good point and so are the metallic blankets and the glow stix.

Several of your suggestions have made the cut for my story. Thank you for posting.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rob:

This was the best laugh I had all day. I too have wartch Slim Pickens run through the survival kit on the bomber in "Doctor Strangelove."

"A guy could survive pretty well on a weekend in Vegas with this stuff."

Your suggestion will definitely make the cut for the story. And your name has been entered into the October drawing for the readers meal contest.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Grandad;

Sunscreen!!!!!! How many time has one of us gotten off the bike at the end of the day with a sunburned forehead, face, or raccoon eyes?

Good one. It goes in the kit and you go into the story.

You're entered into the contest as usual.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear KZ:

Zip-ties take up no space but can serve a big purpose in snap repairs and in reducing clutter. Good idea.

Your name has ben entered into the monthly readers meals contest.

Thank you for posting.
Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Why am I not surprised that you have a whole list prepared already? And duct tape can't be suggested enough. That and electrical tape. Your blog reference has made it into my story.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John:

The Torx screwdrivers are important, and may not be included in the standard tool kit. But the suggestion of wire was a very good one.

Your suggestion has made the cut in my story and your name has been added to the monthly meals contest.

Fondest regards,

ADK said...

Any sensible vintage Triumph rider carries the following:

Spare cylinder head, honing stones for the bore, main bearings, rocker box and head gaskets, full set of spokes for front and rear wheels, two spare cables for each of the clutch throttle and choke, carburettor, clutch plates and right and left outer engine cases, packet of smokes, matches and an ass-pocket of whskey. All of this stuff, including the necessary tools, is easily carried in the pockets of a Belstaff waxed cotton jacket. Any other parts could be easily fab'd up from items found at the roadside. In the expected event of a major breakdown one should consider bringing a complete pre assembled motor. For trips longer than 10 or 11 miles a spare bike could come in handy.


MattPie said...

This is in the 'preferred' list for sure, but a hand-crank 12V power source for charging phones (or running your gerbings, I suppose) might be good.

Couple that with a cigarette-to-usb and USB cables for your electronic devices, and you're all set.

Anonymous said...

I'ld include a head lamp, for hands free illumination when only a pair of hands can do what needs doing.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Adk:

I heard on the news this morning that the first snowfall of the season hit the higher elevations in the Adirondacks. I was thinking of you standing outside, wiping the snow off your VW windshield, and it made we all warm inside.

This list you provided me this morning will make a separate sidebar (along with a detail of your latest photograph) in my article.

By the way, I have entered your name in the monthly readers' meals contest too. Have you eaten anything warm lately?

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Matt:

I am gadget oriented and you got me interested in this. Both the re-charger and in the little lanterm. Do you have any of this crap? Have you personally used any of this?

I'd love to hear about it. Your name has been entered into the October reader's meals contest.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous:

The headlamp is an interesting prospect. That is covered with my Mini Maglight, which comes with a headband, effectively making it a head light. I have used this combination for years.

Thank you for commenting.

Fondest regards,

irondad said...

A week on the road means a lot of distance covered. Some sort of anti Monkey Butt powder would be good.

Also, just in case your wallet is stolen. A credit card on a different bank or account than the one in your wallet. Extra cash. Stash them somewhere on the bike. Those "packing list enclosed" plastic envelopes with a sticky side work well for putting them inside a body panel of the bike.

Mn.MikeA said...

A good attitude and an open mind!Doesnt take up any room at all!

ADK said...

jack reipe said......

"Have you eaten anything warm lately"?

Nothing as warm as the suggestion I have for your mid morning snack. Dying afterward is optional.


BMW-Dick said...

I've learned never to ride without a Jack Riepe close by. Having one handy is an almost guarantee against disaster. Two years ago, after riding about 400 miles up the BRP from NC to VA, Jack Riepe ran interference with a Minivan driven by a blind Virginian and saved me and my new bike from being crushed. It ruined my dinner because I had to spend dinnertime chasing off high school cheerleaders who were trying to poke him with their batons to see if he'd deflate.
Then there was the time I rode without a Jack Riepe. That trip was a total disaster. A boulder jumped in front of the bike, killed it, and sent me to the hospital and five months of rehab.
Believe me, riding without a Jack Riepe can be just plain dangerous.

Conchscooter said...

mini mag lights are useless. they turn themselves on and flatten the batteries so they don't work when you need inflatable jack riepe would be great.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

That was actually a very nice thing to say.I'm touched... But not to the point where you will be spared in future stories. In fact, I am looking to writing a piece on your inaugural ride, whenever you get a bike.

It will begin with something like, "Bregstein leaped into the saddle with the reflexes of reanimated mummy..."

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

If I inflated anymore, I'd dwarf Kenyan currency. Do you know I've carried Mini Maglights for years, on my bikes and in my backpacks, and never had one switch itself on.

I have had the bulbs go (from vibration, I think) and I have had the end cap start to come loose in my topcase. But I have never found one on, or dead as a result of being left on.

I am interested if you have experience otherwise.

If I use your comments in a story, you get a prize. I think the prize is a free Mini Maglight.

Your name has been entered into the monthly readers' meal contest.

Fondest regards,

Mike said...

Condoms. ATGATT you know.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mike:

You can bet that idea will make it into my piece.
Thanks for commenting. Your name has been entered into the readers' meals contest.

Fondest regards,

mtlcowgirl said...

A bottle of Romanian plum brandy. You may die, but you won't care.

RubberChickenUSA said...

Here's what I ACTUALLY carry for long road TRIPS:
cell phone
some dried food (camper stuff)
duct tape
electrical tape
zip ties
mechanic's wire
hose clamps
hose (fuel line, at least four feet)
spare fuses
decently supplemented BMW tool kit
an extra CHARGED cell phone battery
an extra credit card
money ($40 or 50) stashed
a single-edge razor blade
disposable cigarett lighter
heat-shring tubing
10' braided 14-16 ga wire
posi-lok connectors
rope (30' 1/4" nylon)
two nylon tie-down straps
Head off an old ball-pien hammer.

I throw all this crap in the bottom compartment of my tank bag and curse it every day until I need something from there.

I had a gas line disinegrate in the So. Cal desert and drain 90% of my tank in 30 seconds. Without the spare length of fuel hose I would have died in the desert before a car came along. With the hose, I made a McGuyver repair in two minutes and rode to a gas station (found on my GPS)