Are you going on a road trip with five other scooter riders in a five seater car? Youʼre going to need to pack light, and I am going to show you how to do it. Packing light not only helps with tight squeezes in cars, but as you will soon find out you are not sacrificing any luxuries if you pack smart. You will know every item you have on you, not rummaging around to find what you want in your three bags.
You will have an entirely self sustainable backpack so if need be you have a bed, snacks, and electrical power all on your back. You wonʼt have to depend on anybody for commodities during a trip. This is going to be heavy on the gear aspect of things. Everything I recommend is a personal choice of mine, some other products may work better for you. This is a basis to make some smart purchases with. This trip I am packing for is a week long filming trip.
You need a bag to keep all your belongings in. I use a Seagull Custom Small Backpack. I prefer this pack because it has a large volume that I can expand to hold all my things. Once I reach my destination I unload all my gear, then only put the supplies I need for daily scootering in it.
It compresses to be very small when I do this, perfect for pushing around cities. This way I donʼt have to bring two different sized bags. This bag has straps on the bottom and side, so you can strap a scooter to it. The inner is lined with waterproof material so it can be pouring and none of your belongings get wet.
Clothes are going to be the main bulk of your pack, it is unavoidable. I usually bring two pairs of shoes so if a pair blows out I will have another. I sweat a lot, so I pack more shirts and socks than the amount of days I am staying because I will change a couple times a day to stay dry. Depending on the weather I pack warm clothes. This trip is in the summer, so the only warm clothing I packed was a jean jacket, a long sleeve button up, and a beanie.
Pants are the most bulk and I donʼt change them that often so I packed two pairs for this trip. I cannot ride without a hat because I sweat so much and it gets in my eyes. I have a designated riding hat that is the crustiest, most putrid piece of fabric. There is always a possibility to take a dip so I bring my bathing suit a lot. You can find most of the above clothing here.
Bedding, Towel & Dirty Clothes Sack
I always plan to never have a bed on a trip. You never know where you are going to end up, and it is most likely on the floor of a Motel 6 room with five other people. My sleeping bag is a Marmot Nanowave 45. The 45 stands for 45 degrees of insulation. When I go on scooter trips we always stay indoors. It never gets colder than that. Since it is rated for only 45 degrees, there is not much insulation in the bag. This means it is extremely thin for packing. If I had a bag that was rated for 0 degrees, it would be stuffed full of insulation and extremely bulky. I always end up having to unzip this Marmot bag because it is so warm, so I could stand colder than 45 degrees in it.
My pillow is a Klymit air inflated pillow. It inflates with one breath. I fold it over to have a thick pillow, and use it as a cushion to sit on if there is nothing available. The size difference from a normal pillow is not comparable. It is an entirely different world of compactness. My sleeping pad is also Kylmit brand. It is air inflated, and not a large capacity one that you will get dizzy from trying to inflate. It keeps me off the ground completely and holds air for multiple days. It comes with a patch kit with is essential because I have had multiple times where I woke up on scooter trips and the air mattress was completely deflated. The advantage to air based pillows and cushions compared to traditional foam are compactness, lifespan, and weight.
I always bring a bag that seals at the top. This is my dirty clothes bag. After riding all day, your clothes will smell like a freshly opened bottle of malt vinegar. When you stuff them in here and seal the top, the odor is separated from contaminating all your other belongings in your bag. On top of my clothes bag is a pack towel. Using somebody else’s dirty towel on a trip is not a good feeling after being clean from a shower. This towel can fold to compact dimensions, and soak up to a liter of water. Smaller and more absorbent than a massive bath towel taking up half your bag. I have the large size.
Tools and Supplies
My tools and supplies are an arrangement of things I have needed over the years on scooter trips. Whenever I have ideas for photo projects, or anything in general I write it in my notebook. I carry a lighter for starting fires, lighting off fireworks, and burning shoe laces. My knife is used for general cutting of whatever, stuff like grip tape. I can disassemble my scooter down to every nut and bolt and perform repairs with these four tools. I donʼt necessarily need the multi tool because I have a knife and pliers, but I carry it for the screw drivers and other tools to pry things open with. I donʼt use much of it, so I carry one glob of wax.
iPhoneʼs do have flashlights, but it sucks your battery quick. I prefer to not fumble around in the dark when we are trying to light up a spot, so I got a cheap LED flashlight that takes one battery. Analyze how often you break parts so you can determine what backup parts you need to take on trips. Not being able to ride because you have a broken part and nowhere to buy a new part on a trip is torture. For me, I donʼt break parts. The only thing that happens is I wear wheels down. The only spare parts I bring are a spare set of wheels and bearings. I perform routine maintenance on my scooter before trips to make sure everything is in perfect working order. A tutorial on how to do this can be found in our Periodic Maintenance Tutorial.
These are my body related products. I carry a first aid kit and have had to use it many times. I have the standard products in it like band aids, gauze, towelettes, antiseptic rinse, and tylenol. I get burnt so easily so sun tan lotion is essential. The only hygiene products I carry are a toothbrush and toothpaste. When you are on a scooter trip you most likely arenʼt trying to attract anyone, so keep the cologne and razor at home. I have a 40oz Klean Kanteen. I was so tired of paying for water every single day on trips, itʼs a scam when you can get water anywhere for free if you have something to put it in.
Also when you eat at restaurants they are legally required to give you water, but they make sure it is in the tiniest cup so you have to refill it ten times to get hydrated. When you have a large container you fill it up once and stay hydrated for a full session at a spot. Peoples eating schedules on trips fluctuate, you could be the only one hungry and everyone isnʼt going to stop so you can eat. I pack lots of Clif bars to hold me over until we can all agree on a place to get a full meal.
The last section I pack is my electronics. This gear is the most fragile, so it goes on top of everything and doesnʼt get crushed. My main camera I shoot with is a Ricoh GR. I use it for itʼs compactness and superior image quality. It has all the high powered functions of a DSLR, packed with a powerful image sensor. Some of the features that prompted me to go with it are as follows. Smooth image quality as high isos, I can shoot in any light at any time and still get an image that is printable. Built in ND filter, I can shoot at F2.8 in the sunlight and not get an overexposed image because a built in ND filter flips over the image sensor blocking out light by a few stops.
I needed a camera that I could keep in my pocket when I am pushing around a city, and still get the image quality I need to make large prints from the files. I keep it in a Supreme camera case and strap it to my belt or my backpack, ready to whip out at any time. I bring a few spare batteries and a charger. I have never used up the 32GB memory card on it, and I shoot RAW files. I bring an extra memory card just in case. The flash on the Ricoh is nice, but I shoot a lot of flash during the daylight and I needed something that would overpower the sun. I use a Fuji EF-X20. It is compact, and has enough power to fill in the shadows in the sunlight.
It has full manual power control which was a feature I had to have. Instead of draining my camera battery from using full power flashes with the built in flash, the hot shoe flash runs off AAA batteries which I bring backups and a charger for. You can never depend that you will have an outlet you charge your phone on, and you can get stranded in a foreign place with no way to contact anyone. I carry a solar panel which gives my phone a full charge from completely dead. All of my electronic gear is stored in a Chrome camera bag. It has moveable velcro dividers, thick padding, and a sewn in microfiber cloth for lens cleaning.
The most important thing, your scooter. That is why you are going on this trip, to ride it. Make sure it is in perfect working order by reading our pro scooter maintenance tutorial.
Now you have all the supplies to be completely self sustaining. Grab your pack and your scooter and go on that adventure!