Rock'n the Road, the guide to your next adventure.


EQUIPMENT
Other Gear

CLOTHING - I am speaking first-hand when I say you should pack your bags, then give away three-quarters of what you packed. I started this trip by packing my little trailer with about 14 shirts, 14 pairs of socks and underwear, 3 pair of trousers, 2 pair of shoes, 1 pair of boots, 2 belts and a jacket. After wrecking the bike twice because of this overloaded trailer, I winnowed my supply down to about 5 shirts, 5 pairs of socks and underwear, a pair of jeans, shorts, sneakers, and boots, a belt and a jacket. Not only was it safer, but it was nicer not having to dig through so much luggage all the time.

I began this trip as a "reporter" and felt I should dress the part, with both casual and semi-formal clothing, but I soon took on the trip as an adventurer, and wore simple, rugged adventurer's clothing. I washed my laundry every week (or so) and wore some articles for more than one day. Welcome to the life of the homeless, which is what you will be.

If you're traveling with someone and are getting sick of seeing them in that "I'm with Stupid" T-shirt every week, stop at garage sales and thrift stores. Buy clothes for a quarter and have fun, by wearing clothes you would never wear otherwise. Buying your shirts this way could be cheaper than doing laundry, and you'll have different outfits each week. Walk into a garage sale, tell people that you're traveling for months, and offer to trade shirts -- you'll be surprised at their reaction!

  • RADIO - A radio is an invaluable tool for learning about the local society. It tells you about local news, events and people, and can also warn you about an approaching storm which may wash your little camper away like a small ark. I found a good, little digital unit at Radio Shack for about $40. Ignore the novel "wind-up" radios which will never work as well as you need. Remember, you will always be in strange, remote lands, and will always be searching for a signal, so get a good radio. Your car radio is nice, if you plan on sleeping in your car, but you need that company in the evening hours.

    Are you tempted to bring along a CD player? It all depends on your situation, but the player, and the dozens of CD's will complicate things. Believe it or not, this brings up an alleged John Steinbeck quote, and he hadn't even heard of CDs. He said something in the way of "we have built a marvelous interstate highway system, which allows us to efficiently cross our beautiful country, from New York to California, without seeing a darned thing." If you're the type of person who likes the stability of putting a CD in the player so you'll know exactly what music you will be listening to, you're a highway person, intent on just getting to your destination (a theme park?) If you enjoy the mystery of scanning the channels, never quite knowing what will pop up, but knowing that somehow it will enrich you, then you're a backroads person, intent on enjoying the journey.

  • COOKWARE - I am not a good spokesperson for this, for 3 reasons: I am not a good cook, it's not efficient to cook for only one person, and I rode a motorcycle. If you are traveling with a group, in an RV, than cooking and eating meals will not only be cheaper, but will be real party, and you will have my unabashed envy. (See the tips "On the Road" about surviving on only $5/day.)


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