Sunday, 27 January 2013

Kit-tastic #5: Keeping warm and dry

The trip presents some temperature challenges. The deserts of Central Asia will need minimum covering and maximum airflow. The high passes of the Pamirs and Tibet will be cold.
Route 66 taught us a bit about staying cool in extreme heat. I’m not taking the evaporation vest or a specialist mesh jacket – I don’t think we will see enough days of really hot stuff to justify packing them. The BMW Rallye suit was designed for the Dakar Rally so opening up all the ventilation should do the trick.
I HATE getting cold and a layer system is the answer: Base Layer of merino wool top and leggings, warm layer is adown fill jacket, wind proofing from the Rallye 2 suit and water proofing from the one piece “banana suit” I took to Iceland.
As an extra precaution I’ve bought a heated jacket that plugs into the bike’s 12volt supply and provides 105watts of toasty infra red (Powerlet – category winner in Adventure Bike Rider). I’ve tried it out on the road on a cold day and if anything it is too warm. The interesting thing is that when you have it switched on, your fingers don’t get cold even though it doesn’t cover them! Must be something to do with circulation and keeping the core temperature up I think. Anyway up – it works.

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