If you've signed up to #ride5000miles this year then it might be a good idea to embark on a longer trip or two over the course of the year (like we need any excuse), but you don't want to be weighing yourself down with unnecessary items. Below are our top tips to packing light on the bike.
- When you're packing lay everything out on the floor. Take good look at it all. Now put 25% back. You won't need it. Obviously don't put anything back that you know you'll need.
- An obvious one, but think about your destination. You could probably risk not packing waterproofs if you're going to Spain, but you'll want them if you're visiting Scotland.
- Folding your clothes takes up more space than rolling them, so roll, don't fold. If you're really serious about packing, you can use the technique outlined in the video below.
- If you're not doing much walking off the bike take the lightest pair of shoes you can. If the weather's good take flip flops. If you must take shoes, use the space inside your shoes as extra packing space for small items.
- Don't stuff your luggage right to the brim, you might want to save room for souvenirs or supplies you'll need mid-trip.
- Sort your toolkit out so it only includes the tools that you'll use. There's no point lugging around spanners that don't fit any of the bolts on your bike. If you want to take gaffa tape, wrap some around a pen - it'll take up much less room than a full roll.
- You can pack an awful lot into just a tankbag and rucksack, but separate your items between the two. Put the small, heavy items (such as disc locks and shoes) in your tankbag. The bike will take the weight and the size of the items will stop the tankbag getting too big. Do the opposite for your rucksack - fill it with large, light items (such as clothes). It doesn't matter how big the bag gets.
- Take travel toiletries instead of full sized times - this will save a lot of room as they're bulky items.
- If you're camping don't just take the tent that's been sat at the back of the garage for a few years. It's well worth investing in a specialist tent that's light and packs up small. There are even a couple of motorcycle-specific tents on the market like the Lone Rider MiniTent and the Exposed motorcycle bivouac. Do the same with your sleeping bag.
- Don't forget the essentials, which may differ depending on country. Make sure you have all your documents and keep them all together in a plastic wallet to stop them getting creased.
- If you've got a decent camera it's always tempting to take it on big trips to try and get that epic scenery shot, but leave it at home. Smartphone cameras are incredible now and phones slip easily in and out of your pocket.
- If you like reading download books to your electronic devices rather than taking big, bulky books. Alternatively take photos of books you have on your phone - this also works with maps, too.
For more tips and tricks on packing light, head to Holiday Safe.
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