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Gear and Equipment for Itchy Boots Season 3

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14 August 2020

Riding Gear

In Season 1, when I traveled from India to Europe with my motorcycle Basanti, I bought a grey REV’IT jacket in Thailand. I was impressed with the quality of this motorcycle jacket, so for Season 2, I approached REV’IT and asked them if they were willing to support my journey by sponsoring my motorcycle gear. They did, and I am pleased that for season 3 REV’IT supports me again with some excellent riding gear!

Riding gear

Each motorcycle adventure demands a different preparation. During season 3 I will be mostly traveling through the northern regions of Europe, and later maybe through Southern Europe. It all depends on when I can continue Season 2, my Patagonia to Alaska adventure.

With the COVID-19 virus still wandering around, I decided to go camping on this trip. That way I can reduce the risk of infection to a minimum. For those who have followed me on YouTube, they know that I am always improving my filming techniques. For this adventure, I have added a 360-degree camera to my filming equipment.

But first things first, riding gear!

Rev'it! Tornado Suit

Since my arrival back in The Netherlands in April, I have been riding in the grey Rev’it Tornado 3 Ladies jacket. This is the perfect jacket for riding in summer or in tropical conditions because of the extensive mesh ventilation. The jacket is prepared for an integrated back protector, so I didn’t have to ride with a separate back protector, which is a big plus.

The jacket comes with a detachable liner, which should keep me warm when riding in Northern Europe. As a base layer, I use is the Airborne LS Ladies. It is not only comfortable but also made of lightweight material without seams.

Rainjacket
I don’t like riding a motorcycle in the rain, but chances are I will get some of it along the way. For this Itchy Boots season, I chose a rain suit instead of a rain liner. This way I don’t have to wear the liner when it’s dry, and when it starts raining, I can quickly put the rain suit over my riding gear. I chose the black Nitric H2O rain jacket and combined it with the Sphinx H2O Rain trousers. These trousers have zippers on the side, so you can quickly pull them over your motorcycle boots. Very handy when it starts raining while riding!

 

Summer gloves
The summer gloves that I’ve been using so far are the Dirt 3 Ladies. What I like about these gloves is that they remain comfortable even in high temperatures and that you can still use your phone’s touch screen when wearing the gloves. For the colder temperatures of Northern Europe they might become a bit too cold, so that’s why I am also bringing the Chevak GTX Ladies gloves with me. These are 100% waterproof. Perfect for when it is raining.

Boots
I am traveling with the same boots as in Itchy Boots Season 2, the Discovery H2O. I’ve used them for 5 months now, rode 20.000 kilometers with them, and they still look like new. What I like about them, besides being of excellent quality, is that my feet have been completely dry no matter the weather circumstances. Best of all, I can use them for short hikes.

Helmet
Unfortunately, I had to leave my black Arai Tour X-4 helmet behind in Peru when I was evacuated at the start of the pandemic. I was very happy with this helmet and wanted to use the same helmet again for this season. Arai was willing to help me out. This time, I chose the Arai Diamond White Tour X-4. It matches my new riding suit and it will keep my head cool in warmer temperatures.

I have a Sena 3S headset incorporated in my helmet. After setting it up once, it automatically connects to my phone via bluetooth. Not only do I hear the directions but I can also listen to Spotify at the same time!

This is one of the cheapest and most basic versions of the Sena systems. The device that’s placed on the side of my helmet is only for raising or lowering volume, but that’s all I need. I don’t need to talk to other riders as I always ride solo. The sound quality is excellent. The only disadvantage is the short battery life. I have to charge it after each day of riding. 

Camping Equipment

In a previous blog post, I wrote that I prefer hotels over camping. Yet, I am camping in season 3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to keep myself and others as safe as possible while traveling. That is why I will self-isolate myself as much as possible. Another reason to go camping this season is to save money on hotels: Europe is expensive!

I have camped many times before, but it will be the first time while traveling on a motorcycle. It was a challenge to buy all the camping equipment necessary for an affordable price. I had to look for light-weight items of good quality. Buying the cheapest camping equipment you can find, can easily turn a great camping trip into a disaster.

Luckily, I have a friend that used to work with a camping brand called 'Nemo’. He kindly lent me his tent, air mattress, and a pillow for this trip. That saved me quite some money!

NEMO Losi 3p tent
I wanted a 2 or 3 person tent. Besides me on a mattress, there should also be enough space for my luggage bags as I don’t want to keep my valuables and electronics on the bike at night. And in case I’m stuck in my tent for a day because of bad weather, it would be nice to have some extra space in order not to get claustrophobic. So I was very happy when my friend borrowed me his NEMO Losi 3p tent.

 

Mattress and pillow
The sleeping mattress I am using on this motorcycle trip is the Nemo Astro Air 20R, which is 183 centimeters long and 8 centimeters high when fully inflated. That’s more than long enough for me! It only weighs a little over 500 grams, also a big plus. The pillow I use is the Nemo Fillo, a nice and relatively big inflatable pillow. And I use my own Itchy Boots Tubed scarf as a pillowcase.

Sleeping bag
A good sleeping bag is another expensive investment, but one that can make or break your camping trip. I chose a lightweight down sleeping bag, specifically made for women. This sleeping bag is shorter than a regular sleeping bag, which is great for me as I’m only 1.68 meters tall. The comfort temperature is 7 degrees Celcius, but I can still stay warm in -13 degrees Celsius if I wear thermal clothing.

I think I should be comfortable enough in this sleeping bag while in Northern Europe, but also in Southern Europe where temperatures are often a bit higher at night.

Ground chair
This is probably a luxury item as it does take quite some space in my luggage, and it adds weight to my bike but… I think it’s important to have a little chair with me on my trip. I bought the smallest and lightest camping chair I could find, the Helinox ground chair R1. It only weighs 635 grams, and when completely folded its dimensions are 30x11x11 centimeters. This might not be the best chair when you have long legs, but for me, it’s perfect and very comfortable!

Stove & Fuel
In order to make some coffee in the morning and to cook myself a dinner at night, I bought the MSR Whisperlite International Stove with two MSR Fuel bottles. This is a costly stove, but I bought it anyway because it uses unleaded petrol. Exactly, the same fuel as I use for my motorcycle. That means that if I run out of cooking fuel, I can always steal a little from my motorcycle’s tank. And of course, this system also works the other way around. If I run out of fuel, I can always steal a little from the can.

Water supply
I need to bring enough water with me for drinking and cooking. For drinking, I bought the Lifestraw water bottle with an integrated water filter. The bottle fits perfectly in my Mosko Moto 2L pouch, so I have easy access to my drinking bottle while on the road.

In order to cook and make coffee, I need more water. So I also have the MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir with me which can hold 4 liters. If it’s empty, I can simply fold it so it doesn’t take up much space. I like that. What I also like is that it has a little tap at the bottom so you can hang the bag onto your motorcycle and wash your hands underneath with it.

Kitchen
The final pieces of my camping gear are a small Bo-Camp 2L pot, a Sea-To-Summit foldable bowl, a Sea-to-Summit Kitchen Sink and a Sea-to-Summit towel. To wash dishes or do laundry in nature, I bought some biodegradable Wilderness Wash.

Filming equipment

Every season I bring more and better filming gear with me in order to publish even more beautiful vlogs about my travels. For Itchy Boots season 3 have the following equipment with me.

Action Camera
I am using my GoPro Hero 8 again for season 3. I attach the camera to my helmet and on my selfie stick when riding. To connect this camera to an external microphone I had the choice between a GoPro MediaMod and the 3.5 mm Mic Adapter.

Initially, I bought the MediaMod but it didn’t work as I wanted. The Quick Capture setting of the Hero 8 didn’t pick up the external microphone by itself when you use the Mediamod. That means that in order to record video plus audio via an external microphone, I had to switch on the GoPro Hero 8 via the on/off button on the side. I had to wait a few seconds until the camera was switched on, and only then I could press the record button on my Mediamod.This takes too much time, I would have already passed whatever I wanted to film.

I had to revert back to the 3.5 mm Mic Adapter which I now mounted on my ProShot helmet mount with a DIY construction as you can see in the picture.
 
It worked for a little while, but for no apparent reason, I had difficulties with this system too. So after recording a couple of episodes, I switched back to the MediaMod set-up again. My conclusion: the GoPro Hero 8 is great, but not when it comes to using an external audio system.
 
When I walk around places for my vlogs, I use the same vlogging setup as in Season 2: the GoPro Hero 7, with 3.5mm mic adapter in the Ulanzi Case with an external microphone.

 

In this season I will start using the GoPro Max, a 360-degrees camera. Using a camera like this opens up an entirely new array of filming possibilities which I am still exploring.

Drone
Just like in Season 2, I am using the DJI Mavic Air drone to film my aerial footage. This drone is small enough to fit in my motorcycle’s tank bag. I carry 4 batteries with me, so I can last a few days without having to charge the drone batteries.

Other equipment
I also take some occasional photos of myself and my motorcycle in nice settings. For that, I use a T3 Pixel Maker tripod. To save all my footage while on the road, I use two external SSD drives of 1TB each. And to charge my equipment and laptop (Apple Macbook Pro) while camping, I carry an Xtorm Voyager Powerbank with 26.000 mAh.

 

My Gear and Equipment for Itchy Boots Season 3

All of the above is coming with me on my next motorcycle trip. If you are curious about my luggage system, and which modifications I made on my Honda CB550X to prepare her for a long journey through Europe, please check my other blog post about ‘How to prepare a Honda CB500X for a European motor adventure’.

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I hope you will find a permanent solution for your audio recording (season five seems much better). But then I always enjoy replaying season one too.

Mike - P.  | 
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