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IMHO toss out the most of the first 11 "secrets". I keep a length of para cord in a saddlebag, along with the bungees and zip ties. I did most of my long distance rides before the advent of mobile electronics so I don't rely on them now. My last long trip (Reno to Alaska to Montana to Reno) the other guy had internet access on his phone so he kept up on conditions and had us rooms reserved ahead of time… and saved money. Internet pricess are almost always cheaper. That was nice. I recommend don't worry about over packing. Most of the crap people want to pack isn't really needed. Good hotels stock all the toiletries needed except razors and they generally have laundry facilities on site. An extra pair of jeans and a couple of pair of skivvies is all I ever bring. I end up picking up t-shirts along the way and end up mailing them home at the turn around point so no sense bringing along too much clothes. I roll my rain gear into the last roll of my bedroll so it's easy to get to. A can of fix-a-flat is in my saddle bag and generally there's a bottle of water rattling around somewhere... I hope I never have to open it! I can agree with the idea of staying at the far end of towns, but I have also found that the hotels near airports also have a better clientele and I worry less about the bike at night. Last, but as much or more important than anything else... make sure you and your riding partner are on the same page about the trip... distances to make... what kind of stops to make... etc. Your touring partner(s) can make or break a trip much faster than any mechanical difficulties! Enjoy.
 

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As far as the map thing goes, I always liked to stop and get off the bike to look at maps. Gives me a chance to stretch, or I'll do it the station after getting gas. I don't like to try to read one while riding, no matter how large the font. I have waterproof bags from my military days for my clothes, but like I said, most hotels I stay at have laundry services and I'll do my laundry every third day. Highway pegs are real nice... except when you get too comfortable and almost doze off doing 80 and your foot slides off the peg........ I top off on my own fluids when stopping for fuel, never found the need to drink while riding. That bottle of water has been in my saddle bags for years now. Nothing worse than having to pee while riding, so I limit how much I drink. That's just me though.....
 

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I guess all those folks that call me a caveman must be right. I still like using my maps and atlas for finding my way around... they never need batteries or let me down. I seldom go farther than 125 miles between stops for fuel anyway. Me personally, I'd rather invest in a pillion bag (I did) than go the second set of saddlebags route. A well packed pillion bag seems a better backrest to me than my bed roll (too soft). Most well made pillion bags are waterproof. Either that or a solid built backpack. A lot of them are waterproof also. Have you made distance runs with your running partners before?
 

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with a drain, I'll bet no one will fight you for the back postion on the ride huh!!!

Is one way for just transit and the return for sightseeing or are you just pretty much hauling butt going each direction?
 

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Oh yeah, I got one of the waterproof military duffles, it got straps like a backpack and a tote handle too, about three feet long by 20" round......I seen sgt. Pusser toting the same bag yesterday whilst watching Walking Tall...
I used it my last 1200+ miler, tied on as my backrest with sleepingbag, and other stuff inside...
It done good as support also...
My old seabag made a couple of coast to coasters and my first Alaskan highway run. Tougher and simpler bags have never been made!!!
 

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I'm betting you are really staring to chomp at the bit waiting to get going on this trip!!!. I have no use for one on a daily basis but the phone w/ internet capability comes in nice. I forgot about bringing something for bee stings. Them little *******s hurt when they land stinger first right under the glasses at 75 mph!!! I completely agree with you on the GPS. I don't need breadcrumbs to tell me where I've been, maps tell me where I'm going and I can do the math at the gas pump to make sure my meileadge holds true. Cramp Busters are the way to go, though I still like my throttle lock for the big open stretches. Not being worth a crap as a mechanic, I don't have the need to carry more than just my basic bikes took kit. If you can find a safe place to stow your wallet when riding, that can be nice in the summer. Otherwise a wallet can start to wear a hole in your butt if you have to do a 12 to 15 hour day in the saddle. If you are going to spend money on something... besides boots, my recommendation is to NOT go cheap on raingear. You might only need it once, but good fitting raingear that is easy to get on and off and fastens under your boot heel really makes life nice!!! Just remember back when you chased the sun and know that now it's going to be even better. Finding out you forgot something just shows your ability to do without... don't stress... I'm looking forward to hearing some great roadtrip stories and lessons learned when you get back!
 
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