Any rider can load the saddlebags on their street machine and hit the highway to the next hotel. But, when it comes to taking a machine off the grid and into uncharted territory, a different set of essentials is required. Safety, reliability, and efficiency of your gear become a top priority while riding through Mother Nature’s playground. These are the top ten minimalistic travel essentials for roughing-it in Baja’s desert terrain.
1. Garmen Montana 680t
This is the ideal GPS for any off-road adventure, it includes all 4×4 roads, hiking capabilities, over 250,000 preloaded geocaches, an 8mp digital camera, a track manager to easily start/stop recording track logs, and a 1 year Birdseye Satellite subscription. The Montana fits snuggly in a handlebar mount (sold separately) on the center of your bars for easy access. Signage isn’t all that prevalent through Baja so having your routes loaded into the GPS and carrying detailed hard copy maps is a must. The old saying, “the ride is about the journey, not the destination” still rings true. But, in the vast Baja desert, it’s important for your own safety to have a clear idea of where you are when it comes to needing water, fuel, and food.
2. Acerbis Gas Tank
Speaking of fuel, some routes through Baja leave fuel stops few and far between. A standard dirt bike tank may strand you miles from the next available gas. The Acerbis tanks offer an increased fuel capacity and are made to fit a wide range of machines. When there could be 200 miles between you and the nearest gas station it’s also a great idea to carry an extra bottle of fuel along. The MSR fuel bottle and Wolman Luggage’s bottle holster make a great team for your extra fuel carrying needs.
3. RRR Tool Solutions Modular Moto Wrench Tool Set
Lack of fuel might not be the only thing that leaves you stranded. The RRR toolset was created to fit and fix all things moto. This toolset is compact and redefines “multitool,” with its modular designs incorporating over 100 different tools. There are 16 hand-wrench options, 32 combo wrench possibilities, 19 nut drivers fitting everything from flat to torx and Allen heads, 19 90-degree drive handle tool options, a set of modular pliers equipped to cut wire, and, for those slaves of fashion out there, the little case comes in a variety of colors to match any machine.
4. Ridge Recon 58-piece 1st Aid Kit
Fixing your machine is important but being able to “fix” yourself might be necessary too. Ridge Recon has you covered with this first responders kit, it comes in a 900D tactical bag built to take abuse. Inside, you will find everything you could need to treat a wound including an Israeli bandage and CAT tourniquet. Other important supplies consist of a flashlight, scissors, blanket, gloves, ice pack, antiseptic wipes, and forceps. There are places throughout the peninsula where help and a hospital may be as far as four hours away so it’s best to be like a boy scout and always be prepared.
5. 6D Helmet
Sticking with the safety theme, your head has never been more protected than it is inside a 6D helmet. They have redesigned comfort and protection with their unique Omni-directional suspension technology. Each helmet features a suspended duel liner filled with hour-glass shaped “shock absorbers.” This technology displaces impact energy away from the brain at low, medium, and high-velocity impacts and both linear and angular accelerations. Super light and comfortable, wish I would have discovered this helmet before my last few concussions… I don’t mean to brag, but, I do a damn fine job of landing on my head when I crash.
Kiss saddle sores goodbye with a pair of Moto-Skiveez! As we all know, dirt bike seats are not designed with creature comfort in mind. Generally, we don’t sit much when riding the track or trails but on a Baja adventure there will be many miles sitting in the saddle. Moto-Skiveez are lightweight and breathable and come with a variety of hip and butt padding options to keep your undercarriage happy and sassy.
The SPOT is a GPS beacon that allows you to contact multiple people from any location on the planet, no need to ask if they can hear you now. The device is programmable with your VIP contacts phone numbers and emails. It enables you to send for emergency response or simply let everyone know you are safe with one push of a button. Your contacts will receive the coordinance of where you are and a preprogrammed text with any info you wish to provide. We opted for, “It’s not an emergency but we are seeking help,” and “we are ok just checking in.” as our personalized messages.
8. Baja No Pinch Tire Tool
Appropriately named for this excursion, Baja Tools has mastered the art of trail-side tire maintenance. The no-pinch tire tool is a rack and pinion system that slides into the axel and pushes the bead over the rim as you pull the lever back, rotate and repeat until you achieve success. This is a 3 piece tool that folds up to be 12″ long and 1.8 lbs for easy packing. The terrain of Baja’s backcountry is not the most forgiving with its rocky roads and flat tires can be a common thing.
9. Wolfman Luggage
Wolfman has mastered the art of dirt-bike travel with their wide selection of bags. We are using their enduro tank bag with a waterproof liner as well as a 3-piece set of Rolie’s with a B-base. All waterproof, durable, and custom fit to most dirt bikes.
10. Sealed Products 12-in-1 Emergency Survival Kit
When traveling in remote areas on the less beaten paths its a great idea to be ready for any situation. Sealed Products has the perfect combination of resources for this in 1.1 lb storm-proof box. The tactical kit includes a wire saw, paracord bracelet, whistle, steel tactical pen, blanket, flashlight, folding knife, multi-purpose credit card tool, a compass, fire starter stone, and flint. There isn’t much you can’t handle with this kit and it is a compact 7x5x2 for easy packing.