10 Things from Outdoor Travel Gear that I Always Carry on My Rides
When motorcycling became a habit, I started checking out for motorcycle products, accessories and other adventure items that can compliment my long rides.
Back then in 2003 there were not many stores as you see today. It was just a handful of lot.. and in this narrow options, one name was prominent — ‘Outdoor Travel Gear‘.
OTG is located in Mumbai and delivers products all over the country. There are many products I have bought from here that have aided my motorcycle rides and mountain expeditions. The store has a special place in my memory lane.
Here I’m listing 10 products that I have bought from Outdoor Travel Gear that you’ll always find in my bag.
1. Waterproof Dry Bags -
Even when its summer or winter season, I expect the rains to bestow upon you anytime and anywhere. No matter if you intend to stay dry, you’ll encounter water someway or the other. Light rains, dew, slush, water crossing, bikes on boat, … there are so many scenarios and unimaginable circumstances where you’ll come close to water.
To protect my gear, I always carry a 10 liter and a couple of 5 liter waterproof bags of BOLL in my luggage. They fold up so thin that hardly any exclusive place it required for it.
Everything that I want to keep dry and moist free, I put it in the dry bag first and then the whole thing goes in the backpack. These bags also have variation and types in size and functionality. You can checkout which suits you the best.
2. Premium Quality Bungee Cords and Net:
There was a ride where I was carrying premium quality bungee cords and a net which cost me around 1000 bucks; where the same number of items my fellow riders bought for just 50 bucks. Now that’s a mountain difference when it comes to pricing. But see the results, the local bungee gear of my fellow riders didn’t even last for 500kms. At the end of the ride the hooks were snapping or getting straight, losing its curve grip; where mine! well now its been over 6 years and it still rocks. More practical way to say it, the life of the gear lasted through 5 big rides.
(The fact is that these expensive cords have sturdy hooks and strong locks attached to the bungee. No doubt that the cord itself is of good quality but the hooks play a vital role, hence they are expensive)
3. Hydra Pack:
Buying a simple mineral water at places sounds more convenient, but honestly you land up with lot of plastic along. You really don’t want to throw those empty plastic bottles just anywhere. And if you are at a location like the Himalayas, you really don’t want to leave a mess behind, specially plastic. Surely you can be responsible about it but otherwise I have found carrying a hydra pack is more convenient. When the bottle gets empty, the first thought that comes in mind is to get rid of it. At halts whenever there is some water left in the mineral bottle, I just pour it in the pack. Water also remains cool during hot days and can sip some even while riding the bike.
Hydra pack can be easily stored in your gear. I use a backpack which has a compartment exclusively for it. This gear has come to my rescue at many places; especially during solo treks. I tend to use it as that ‘extra supply’ or ‘reserve’.
4. iPhone Rainproof Cover:
Never ever I can do a ride without my iPhone. Be it going to even a local market place I need this gadget with me. Like I said above, in India you can expect rains to fall upon you anytime anywhere. In any season, the rain Gods may have a jump on you.
I always have been cautious in securing my gadgets against weather; definitely I won’t leave the phone out of it. An iPhone rainproof case comes to my rescue. This cover is always in my bag and it does the job fine.
5. Inner Glove:
I love to shoot photos throughout the ride. But when I wear my biking gloves it becomes difficult to handle the camera swiftly. The only solution I figured to this dilemma was combing two gloves. What I basically did was bought a simple thin mesh gloves which has the protective guard on knuckles; ideal for summer. During the winter I just wear the cold killer inner glove and put on the mesh one over it. So at least for two seasons — summer and winter, I have a solution where I can ride with gloves on, and use the camera conveniently.
(I’m yet to figure out a thing for the wet season.)
6. Quechua Winter Jacket:
I have said it before I will say it again. The is one thing I never underestimate is the weather of our country. How unexpectedly it can change no one can tell. And most of the time I have landed myself in a pickle because of underestimating the climatic condition. I just leave thinking I’ll manage but I land up with teeth chattering situation inside my helmet.
Now on I have started keeping a winter jacket to protect myself from the cold climate if extreme situation arises. And my favorite one is of Quencha, for simply because, its not thick as a fleece jacket, takes very less space in the bag and can take on little water splash too. Plus its a great alternate walk around jacket.
7. Set of Keychain Carabiners:
Long or short ride, I carry them as many as possible. Till date they have come in use in so many unthinkable ways.
Very recently we were coming back from Goa, and a fellow rider wanted to mount his backpack on the rear seat, as it was getting uncomfortable to ride with. The last bungee rope had snapped and was of no use. What we did now is use the straps of the bag to tie it on the rear seat. Followed by locking and fastening it to the bike using these carabiners. It held the luggage on to the seat firmly. And the ride was also comfortable all the way to the destination.
You’ll always see a few carabiners hanging from by belt loop of the jeans.
This was never in my wishlist; I bought it in the first place on advise of OTG team. They had mentioned, it has multipurpose use and it will be very handy on my kind of rides.
Right from first day of a ride after buying this, it has been my most favored gear for bike rides — right from using it as a face mark to wearing it on my hand to protect the tattoo from the sun. Be be short or long ride, I never leave without my buff. For the record, it can be worn in 12 different ways.
9. Dry Inside Base Layer:
Once I had got this idea of wearing two layers for a ride to Himalayas. The intention was to avoid wearing anything thick. The fleece jacket takes too much important space in the bag. Since my threshold of winter is quite high, I decided to get myself a base layer which I can wear inside and put the bike jacket over it while riding or a t-shirt when walking. (Two layer clothing worn this way, is ideal for winter and cold mornings)
The Dry inside base layer of Knox is the best one I felt. It throws out the sweat and keeps you dry inside, just like how the name suggests. The product is also antibacterial and odour resistant, so it can be worn a few times before sent for washing.
Carrying a source of light is a must for any ride. There are so many good torches and light devices available in the market. But I always thought of one scenario, where your bike tyre is punctured in the middle of night, on a solo ride.. How the hell you’re gonna hold the torch when you need both hands to fix the problem!
Headlamp is the best way around this; just wear it on your head and find light in any direction you look. Petzl is the current brand I use. This items is always in my bag.