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Kickstands Up!

What’s in my saddle bag? Necessary Items for a Multi-day Trip

This is what we call overpacked!

Though I am not a hardcore long-distance rider, I have made many long-distance motorcycle trips. I'd consider anything 5 days or longer “long-distance” where you must put some effort into planning and packing for your trip. Having travelled a lot over the years, I've learned a few tips and discovered the hard way some items I should have packed, besides clothes and toiletries. This recommended list is by no means exhaustive.

If you end up taking a road or ADV ride with Canada Rides, your guides will be carrying many of these items for the group to use; no sense in 10 people carrying a left-handed smoke shifter when only one is required. We always have Zoom or Teams meetings before the trips to let you know what items we will pack so you don't have to bring them. Unfortunately, not all of your rides will be with us though, so here's the list of items that I would consider “must-haves”:

First Aid Kit

You can buy these (I use one we got with my wife's car), but I would recommend putting a good one together in a waterproof container. Google “what to put in a first aid kit”, or go to for a comprehensive list. This item is number one on this list for a reason; don't ignore it; your riding buddy's life could depend on it. Further to that, make sure you tell the people you ride with of any conditions a medic would need to know in case you can't speak for yourself. Let your riding partners know if you wear a medic alert bracelet/necklace.

Zip Ties

These things are so multipurpose, I bring a minimum of 50 of them in varying sizes. They can fix virtually anything that has come loose on your bike. On day 2 of a 6-day solo gravel travel ride in Northern Ontario, I stopped at the Watershed on Highway 144 for gas before tackling Sultan Industrial Road. When I looked down, I saw the shift peg was askew on the lever. I reached down and it came off in my hand; the screw holding it onto the shift arm had just come off. If the peg had dropped off as well, I would have been euchred. Using two zip ties, I jammed the hole where the screw held the peg on and threaded them back to the back of the shift lever for tension. While I was nervous, and constantly looked down to make sure nothing was amiss while riding, it held for the remainder of the trip. When I took it into the dealership when I got back, the head mechanic looked at it and said: “Nice MacGyver.”

Duct Tape

Anything that can't be fixed with zip ties can usually be fixed with Duct Tape. I've had the best experience with the black Gorilla Tape.