When you plan to go for a ride down the coast, there are a few things you should always have with you. Extra cash and rain gear are a must. No matter when you travel, you will run into rain somewhere for a little bit. If you do not want to stop and wait it out, then taking along a wetsuit, poncho, or some other form of waterproof clothing is necessary.
Knowing what to take depends on how long you are planning to ride
A short trip along the North Carolina or Florida coast may only take a day or two. How much you take with you is contingent on the length of your trip. Another consideration is whether you will have a passenger. For two people, you will need double items. If you have two people, then the number of bikes makes a difference. Two bikes mean more room for necessities. The size of your saddlebags or storage area is a critical factor when choosing what to take on your trip.
The season will dictate some of the gear you take on your trip
Many say traveling on a motorcycle is best when you go before October. If you want to avoid chilly mornings, then waiting until May is also advisable. A cooling vest or heated gear is essential depending on the season. When you plan to ride along the shore for most of the ride, then heated grips or gear you can plug in for warmth should be at the top of your list. When you plan to stop and take a dip in the ocean or swim at the hotel, then swimwear and towels are handy, so you have less to buy on the road.
What you will always need for your Gulf Coast motorcycle trip
In any condition, sunscreen and sunglasses will protect you whether you are on the bike or not. Your helmet and leather gear are always essential. A camera or smartphone is fantastic for taking sunset photos and extraordinary scenery along the way. Packing a USB stick or memory card will give you plenty of storage should you find you are snapping tons of videos and shots.
Many riders suggest taking Ziploc bags for all your electronic devices. Storing them when you are not using them can prevent damage and the need to replace something when you get back. Chargers and power blocks come in handy when you drain your devices too quickly. Unless you plan to stay in a hotel, then packing travel-size toiletries for camping overnight is a must.
Top safety items that should always be in your pack
Riding for long periods or not, wearing earplugs will keep you from long-term damage to the ears unless your helmet is a Shoei Neotec or other sound-dampening model. Maps are a must, no matter how good your GPS. If your device fails, runs out of signal, or suffers damage, then it will do you no good in the middle of nowhere. A lantern will come in handy should you break down or need to see where you are going to pitch your tent in the dark. Basic tools like screwdrivers, pliers, a small socket set, Allen wrenches, and an adjustable wrench may be your best friend if you need simple repairs along the way.
A day’s supply of healthy snacks and water can be a lifesaver should you get stranded. Emergency flares are a must for any trip whether you plan to go across town or clear across the country. Always pack a first-aid kit. Whether you need a bandage for a sliced finger or burn gel after accidentally touching the muffler, you will be glad to have these items on hand. Storms can pop up along the coast, so a weather radio or access to weather information is imperative for a gulf trip. Reflective vests or tape for your gear will help you remain visible no matter the weather or light.
Fabulous extras if you have the room
Many people feel a list of must-stop places is on the essential list. You can carry these in your pocket or put a digital list on your phone. To have the most fun, a great travel playlist will ensure your trip is enjoyable. Bungee straps come in handy for so many things, including tying down additional gear like sleeping bags, tarps, and extra layers when it is too hot to wear your leathers. If you have several riders in your group, then having someone bring along a portable air pump and a tire plug kit can save you the hefty cost of paying a road service company to fix a flat. If you have emergency assistance, then these tools can save you the time waiting for someone to come and find you on a long stretch of highway.
A few final tips for your trip
Be extra careful of drivers turning left since studies show these situations are common in motorcycle accidents. Timing is important as well. Weekday travel is the most dangerous for motorcyclists. Always bring your medications, and keep a list of your health conditions, doctor, and emergency contact in your wallet, bag, or purse. Should you find yourself in a motorcycle accident while on vacation, then contacting a trusted attorney with a reputation for fairness and success is something you will want to do as quickly as you are able.
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