1) Mobile phone. Store this where it cannot be easily broken
should you come off the motorbike. Do not forget international double
adapters so that you can recharge your cell phone along your route.
Remember to activate international calls with your service provider
before you leave.
2) Separate telephone number list (not in your mobile phone)
with the following numbers
- Towing Association or AA
- Your dealer or mechanic
- Your medical aid
- Your bank and bank manager
- The consulates/embassies along your route
- Tel numbers of contacts in remote countries
- International emergency evacuation company
- Your motorcycle insurance company
- Ambulance services
- Emergencies from a cell phone
- Emergency Police number
3) ID and
/ or Passport. Also a 2 or 3 photocopies stored in another bag.
4) Credit card. See your banker about using it in foreign countries
5) Local and/or international motorcycle drivers licence for both bike
and cars. Make a few good colour photocopies of the original and show these to
6) AA or towing club, emergency services membership card. (Note: The AA
membership card does not have their telephone number on it so you should write
it on yourself with a permanent pen.)
7) Three light weight, easy to store tie-downs for your bike (without steel
hooks or ratchets etc. Also choose differing lengths.) Should you break down and
a farmer dude with a bakkie (small truck) offers you and your motorcycle a lift,
you can then safely tie down your bike. They also double up in a host of other
applications e.g. washing line.
8) Short tours. A can of instant tyre repair foam or slime (not for tubed
tyres). Keep this in cool storage as they are inclined to explode when subjected
to extreme heat!
For longer tours, a high pressure bicycle pump, tyre levers, tyre repair kit (ensure
that the glue is not past its sell by date) and a spare front tube (can be used
in an emergency for both front and rear wheels. Also for large side wall punctures
on tubeless tyres). According to the AA in the UK the most common motorcycle breakdown
is for a damaged tyre.
9) Multi vitamins can help boost your immune system which tends to flag
on long and tiring tours.
10) An umbrella. If violent thunder storms are likely and distances between
towns are great, an umbrella at the side of the road is a better solution than
11) Your medical aid membership card
12) Emergency cash hidden somewhere on the bike e.g. behind your number
plate. Avoid a single note as smaller denominations offer greater flexibility.
13) Camera batteries, film and or digital camera memory. Is a mistake to
think that you will be able to find these just anywhere. Take them with you or
stock up when visiting a city. Remember to keep them dry and cool.
14) Lighting a fire. Matches get wet and gas cigarette lighters are a problem
if part of your journey is by air. A flint obtained from good camping stores solves
both these problems
15) Also torch, extra batteries, extra torch bulbs, Cyalume Lightsticks,
sunglasses, prescription glasses, sun screen, lip balm, address book, money belt,
pen and paper, alarm clock, sandals, camera, film (lots), a multi-tool (e.g. Leatherman),
compact binoculars, gas cigarette lighter, a candle, roll of toilet paper, waterproof
and shockproof watch, aftershave cologne and water purification tablets
16) Dental floss (waxed). Beside its obvious use, this thread is very strong
and thin. It can be used for sewing, cutting, sealing and tying in some amazing
|17) A small
self defence "pepper" spray (mace) in the shape of a regular aerosol can, if you
think that the area demands it. It should be able to fit into your jacket unobtrusively.
You may want to remove the original paper label and substitute one from another
can e.g. chain cleaner, insect repellent etc if your trip takes you across bordors.
Note that experienced international travellers all agree - aggressive self defence
is a last resort. Courteous, unthreatening behaviour combined with a smile is
almost always a winner. Be streetwise and take maximum common sense precautions.
This is critical for incident free touring.
18) You need something that can serve as a picnic blanket. A space blanket
(looks like aluminium foil) serves this need very well. They come in a thin single
layer style for First Aid boxes and a heavy duty version that has a groundsheet-type
backing. While still light-weight and taking little space it can also double as
a bike cover at night or in wet weather. Both types can be bought at your local
hiking store. Caution. They should only be lain on in a shady area and not in
the direct sun.
Ensure that nothing official expires during your tour i.e. your driving license,
bike license discs, dated number plates, memberships, visas, passports etc
Remember all your drivers licences (car and bike), passport and necessary visas.
Take you ID book as well but keep it in a separate place to your passport. This
is useful to have should you have to go to the South African consulate in the
event of your passport going missing.
Credit cards and travellers cheques. Remember to keep a copy of the cheque numbers
separate from the cheques themselves. You will need these numbers if the cheques
21) Foreign Phrase Books
Many long distance travellers report the importance of a working knowledge of
one of the more local languages. French for North Africa. Portuguese for Angola
and Mozambique. Spanish and Portuguese for South America. French or German for
Europe, Arabic for North Africa and the Middle East etc etc. A suitable phase
book that facilitates essential basic communication not only gets results but
fosters a more sympathetic attitude to your needs from the local population.