Equipment

Equipment

 

TOURING GEAR

 

4 of the 27 trademarks (Kron Bicycle, Garmin Turkey, The North Face Turkey, Ortlieb) which I’ve mentioned here sponsored me for their products I’m using during this world tour. The remaining 23 brands are not my sponsors. I bought their products from the advertisement income of my homepage www.gurkangenc.com and from the cash support of my followers which I have saved while on the road. I’ve been sharing the list of my supporters for years on Gurkan Genc Support.  All the equipment I possess has been bought with the sweat of my brow or better said my legs. You may also read Frequently asked questions” section on my homepage for further information.

 

The bicycle I’m using during my world tour

 

Gurkan Genc World Tourer

(Only three copies of this bicycle have been produced by the Tukish company KRON. Not this bicycle nor a similar product is on the market.)

 Its frame consists of seven triple butted tubes made of 7005 Aluminum. This frame with 30% enhanced elasticity has higher durability. The tubes were connected to each other by a special thinned butted welding technology. Weld finishing was not applied upon my request at joints facing excessive force. The bicycle I had used during my Tukey-Japan North Asia tour was a professional mountain bike. We have made use of some of the features of this bicycle while working on the new tourer model. Furthermore, necessary changes were made for V-brake compatibility. The most important change was on the rack part. Since I’m riding for long distances and hours on dirt road with a huge load on the bicycle vibration increases dramatically. Also, an extra of 20 kg adds up from time to time (water and food while riding through deserts or desolated areas). I’m riding through such places on purpose. Being this the situation, there was a need to undertake something to strengthen the joint of the rear rack not to break down. In the Netherlands I made a start regarding this subject. It is my dream to produce a new frame and even new rack systems with the experiences I’m gaining on the road (On December 16th, 2016 I produced my first rack and mounted on my bicycle.)

 Crankset

For crankset my choice was 22-32-44 Shimano XT. The reason for choosing 22 is obvious, you can see on my web page what climbs I made riding a 55-60 kg loaded bicycle. Where there are the steepest and highest climbs along my route I’m there!

Cassette

11-36 Shimano XT cassette. Throughout 75000 km ride, I replaced the cassette six times. First in Germany after the cassette was gone through all the harshest/worst winter conditions. As a second one I also used a Shimano XT cassette which I replaced in Morocco after the tough Alpine routes and the harsh European winter. The third cassette was a SLX cassette which I expected would last longer but although I didn’t climb much after Morocco the desert sand must have worn it out. It lasted till Jordan but I’ve continued to use it till Saudi Arabia. In Riad I mounted the 4th cassette on my bike, this time Deore. The 5th in Pucon/Chile and 6th in South of Brazil. I’ve only changed twice the rear Free Hub along 75000 km ride.

Front and rear derailleur

Both are Shimano XT. Along my 75 000 km ride I’ve only changed once the rear derailleur and still using the front derailleur. After 44 000 km the upper and lower pully whells were completely worn out which I had to change arriving in South Africa.

Brakes

Shimano XT which has dual control V-brake system. I’ve found it very useful during this tour. By this way with just a small force applying to the brakes, I easily achieve a slow down to a certain extent. At this point it would be a big lie to say that a Shimano XT system is lightweight but not robust and not long lasting! These components are both very lightweight and robust. One of the most frequently asked questions is “why I do not use disc-brakes?” If you are asking this question at this point, then you haven’t had read my road memories yet. You may jump to touring cycling experiences.

Wheel hubs and rim set

Rear hub: The one I’m using is Shimano XT with 40 spoke drillings, a rarely available hub. Once at every 30 000 km only the free hub body breaks down. For this I buy a new hub, dismantle and take out free hub in new one. After that I put the new free hub into  the old one.

Front hub: I use a SON dynamo hub with 36 spoke drillings for a constant source of power. I can charge my electronic devices as mobile phone, GPS, GoPro camera, satellite phone, I-pod, photo camera and computer. The electricity produced by this hub doesn’t contribute to the movement power of the bicycle, that is it is not an electrical bicycle. The cables from the dynamo are directed into the transformer to which you connect your device to be charged regulating the ampere or voltage it requires. On my bicycle those cables are first connected to a lithium battery and then to the device. By this way I’m able to continue to charge my devices even the wheel stops to turn. The brand of both the transformer and the battery is E-Werk. Does it have a negative impact on the wheel power? It turns as easily as a Shimano Deore hub. It doesn’t slow down to affect the angular speed of the wheel. I find it quite useful since I frequently travel in places with no electricity. I’ve used solar panel and similar stuff before but didn’t find using small panel effective (my capacity on load is limited) since it needed adjustments for the right position, etc.

Front rim set: 36 spoke drillings Rigida Grizzly

 Rear rim set: 40 spoke drillings Koga

On both rim sets I use DT Swiss Champion 2.00 mm diameter spokes. Supporting a 40 spoke drillings hub with the robust spokes of DTS and using a special rim product of Koga not the spokes nor the rim will easily break down. With such a set you hardly need to make any spoke adjustments.

Pedals

The pedals on my bicycle are Shimano XT M785. The best on these are that they have a wide platform which both enables me to exert force on a larger surface when using SPD shoes, also it is easy ride with regular shoes. The cleats easily lock in and out, no matter mud or snow. When riding on desert sand, although small sand particles stick on, they are easily removed by washing.

Fork

Horquilla MTB Manitou R-7 Pro compatible both with V- and disc-brakes. Aluminum 1620 g air fork, its lockout is on the side. A quite precise and good working fork

Saddle

One of the most important items for a long-distance tour is the saddle. We all seek for a comfortable saddle. I’m intending to travel 84 countries for about 115 000 km in 7 continents for several years. Well, which butt would endure this? Yes, this issue is important. On top of it, I don’t wear padded tights. Dude, I really don’t feel comfortable in those padded bicycle tights. When you enter a shop everyone’s eyes are on your old fella. It catches too much attention. When everybody has an eye there, I get worry about its position.  Anyway, as pedaling from Turkey to Japan I used a standard saddle having a gel saddle cover. But this unnecessarily heavy product wore out in a short time. Therefore, I’m using “Brooks B17 Titanium saddle.  When you ride on standard saddles your bottom gets the shape of your saddle. But this saddle “breaks-in” and gets the shape of your butt after 2000 km with its large sitting area providing a comfortable ride. About 90% of the long-distance bicycle tourers prefer Brooks saddles.  For a comfortable ride, a proper adjustment of position and angle of the nose of your saddle is necessary.

Handlebar

I’m using a butterfly handlebar of Modolo, an Italian brand. This model isn’t produced anymore which I bought in 2012. I’m very pleased with it. The closest model to the one I’m using is Modolo Yuma.

Front and rear racks

There is no rear rack. I have a front rack with 20 kg carrying capacity.

The design of the front rack I’m using belongs to me which I produced together with Ismail Nalti in South Africa. I welded this by my own which I’ve been using since January 2017. It has passed all my individual tests, it is robust and user friendly, a perfect rack for bicycles with lightweight suspension forks. I may industrially produce this rack future .

Helmet

I prefer the Cratoni Miuro model. Especially, it has a user-friendly step lock buckle. The helmet comes with a rear light and has an insect protective net in-molded.

Water carriage capacity and bottle cages

There are exactly 5 water bottle cages mounted on the frame of my bicycle. I put my 3 L capacity water  bottles on the lower bottle on the down tube. 1L capacity gasoline and 2 L thermos are paleced in the cages on the main frame. On the rear of my saddle  left and right There are two 750 mL capacity non-smelly water bottles are placed in the cages so that I can consume easily 1.5 L water while riding. And 500 mL capacity bottle for hemp oil is placed front rack. The water bottles are insulated with a polar cover to keep the water cool in summer. There is always 6.5 L of water on the frame of my bike. Additionally, I can place 8 L of water containers on top of each front panniers and two 4 L capacity water tanks on the rear which makes up to 22.5 L water carrying capacity. And there is 750ml msr gas tank in the middle of the frame

Tires I’m using

Schwalbe Marathon 2.00

I had used these tires for the first time in South Korea which I continued to use after returning to Turkey. I didn’t even have one flat tire during those 10.000 km. These tires are good on paved roads and also on dirt road unless you do not speed up (I even took part in a MTB race with these tires). But unfortunately, they showed bad performance riding on mud and on icy and snow-covered roads. Also, they are heavier compared to the other tires. It is not possible to fold them and put in a bag resulting in structural deformation. They must certainly be preferred for paved road riding during long distance tours. When used continuously they last for about 10 000 to 12 000 km. I used them with a 45-55 psi pressure on paved road and reduced to 35-40 psi when riding on dirt road. The result: A very good tire.

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 2.00

These tires are legendary among touring tires for long distance cyclists. One tire costs about 75 USD. There are two models, folding bead and wire bead. I have been using both these models for a long time. There are weight differences between these two models and the rubber of Mondial is hard. After 8000 km visible wear outs are to be recognized. The wide spaced tread voids between lugs increase the grip on muddy and sandy ground but also increase the chance of thorns or similar objects to prick into the tire! But that doesn’t mean the you get always a puncture. There is a special rubber belt (high-tech fiber breaker strip) which increases puncture resistance. Its grip on paved road and off-road is pretty good. Above 22 km/h speed the noise it makes on tarmac surfaces makes one mad after a while. Depending on road condition I inflate the tires to a pressure 40 or 50 psi. While using these tires I observed that if the load on the bike plus the cyclist’s weight goes beyond 140 kg it wears out very fast.  I have used these tires during two different periods and had 15 punctures within 5000 km plus tears and worn outs. For a total weight not exceeding 130 kg, it is a good tire. I had periods without a single flat tire for 10 000 km. Also, throughout my travel in Africa I didn’t have a flat tire.

Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus 2.00

I’ve started to use these tires in South America. Above a speed of 18 km/h they are making a strong noise on paved road. The tread voids between lugs are small so that the chance of thorns or similar objects to prick into the tire is quite low. Anyway, these tires are protected by smart guard. Due to small tread voids its grip on dirt road is not as good as that of Mondial. The grip on wet surfaces is quite good. It doesn’t have a foldable model.

Schwalbe Marathon Extreme 2.00

This was the tire I had used during November to December 2012 and January 2013 riding through Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. The rubber is soft. This lightweight foldable tire occupies less space in bicycle panniers. Its grip on icy snow-covered roads makes it reliable to ride in winter.  Well, one must consider the heavy load on the bicycle also, without any load its grip on road may not as much. Nevertheless, I was pleased with this series of Schwalbe at snowy winter conditions.  Also, its performance on dirt road was very good. But on paved road with a speed above 18 km/h it makes too much noise which results in an uncomfortable ride after a while. Furthermore, it gets deformed and wears out soon on paved road and at hot weather. The wide spaced tread voids between lugs may increase the chance of punctures due to thorns or similar objects.  I’ve used them at a pressure 45-50 psi. I carried this tire as spare tire in my rear bag for a while until I found a foldable Mondial.

Schwalbe Ice Spiker

There are many followers wondering how I continue to ride on snowy roads. Well, thanks to this tire, the ultimate bicycle tire for winter usage. Spiked tires. It is possible to speed up on ice and snow even without heavy load on bicycle (I had a comfortable ride with a speed of 20 km/h) using these tires due to their good grip on snow and ice. I even pedaled on an ice skating field in Sweden. They are also foldable which adds up. When used on paved road and off-road without snow or ice the spikes wear out extensively. Its rubber is soft. During January, February and March in 2013 I used these tires riding through Finland, Sweden and Norway. Also, I passed the Arctic Cycle while riding through Finland in February 2013 with these spiked tires.

Scwalbe Smart Sam Plus

I started to use these tires on November 2017. This is a mountain bike tire different compared to those I’m normally using. This 2.1 tire features compact tread. It has an excellent grip off-road. It showed a good performance off-road with large rocks for 60 km with an average speed of 20 km/h. On the other side, is not durable for long distances since it wears out quickly due to its soft rubber. Although it is guarded, the possibility to get a flat tire by the tire-cords of truck tires on the road is high due to large tread voids between lugs.

Spare parts

The bike equipment I’m using wears out over time, but it is impossible to carry spare for every piece of equipment. I pay attention what to carry depending on the region I’m traveling. For example, it is nonsense to carry a spare chain in Europe because you can find a new one in every town. Instead, carrying a chain link is much more advantageous. On the other hand, you need to carry a spare chain in Africa. The same applies to tires. In Europe it may be enough to carry only tire patch, but in Africa a spare tire. In short, spare parts I carry differ depending where I’m traveling in Europe, South and North America or in Asia and Africa. Chain, V-brake pads, tire, inner tube, inner hub, cassette, V-brake and gear cables, V-brake adjustment screws, screws and ferrules, front hub ball bearings, additional apparatus for the suspension fork pump.

Bicycle panniers

 The front panniers are Ortlieb Gravel Pack 25L

On top of the front rack I use a 15L capacity Oritlieb Dry Bag.

Handlebar bag, 6L capacity “Ortlieb Ultimate 6M Plus Bar Bag.

On the frame 4L capacity Ortlieb Frame Bag 4L.

The rear bag 16L Ortlieb Seat Pack L

On the total I have 66 L storage capacity on my bike.

12.5L Front right bag: 1 pair of trousers, 1 shirt, 1 T-shirt, 3 pieces of underpants, 1 pair of socks, 1 hat, laptop, towel, cables of the electronic devices I carry on my bike, soap, personnel care products, 1 pair of sports shoes, 1 4-TB external hard drive. Total weight: 6.3 kg. [This is the only bag I use when I have a short stay as a guest.]

12.L Front left bag: winter gloves, thermal underwear (top and bottom), snow and desert glasses, 2 buffs, 1 technical singlet, spare flags, 1 4-TB external hard drive, tripod, water tank, GoPro chest mount, kitchenware, camping stove, 2 packages of muesli, 2 packages of macaroni, 6 cans of tuna fish. Total weight: 6.3 kg

16L Rear top bag: Matress, sleeping bag liner, shorts, singlet, a winter jacket which I use a pillow, sandals Tent adn tehere is a another somel bag for  rain wear (top and Bottom) and Sandals

15L Front top bag: Sleeping Bag (for  -40C )

6L Front handlebar bag: Wallet, Sony compact X mobile phone, a small note book, pencil, tooth brush, tooth paste, GoPro 4 Black, Sony RX100 Mark 5 camera, passport, sun glasses, spare batteries for the camera, GPS and GoPro, e-book reader Kindle Oasis, Spot positioning system, Leatherman pocketknife, head lamp. Dji Mavic Drone

4L Frame bag: This 4 L capacity bag carries about 4 kg food. All the daily snack is packed in this bag. The tools bag is under handlebar in front of the water cage.

 

Bicycle/Road computer, GPS and vehicle positioning system

GPS and track record

The GPS device I’m using is “Garmin Montana 680T mounted on the handle bar.  I prefer to use this device when I’m on sideroads among villages or traverse deserts. It is one of the most helpful devices in choosing which side ways to take, in managing water and provision shortages during desert traverses, in guiding for shortest city exits. Furthermore, this is a device keeping all the track data as where and how many meters I climbed, at which speed I pedaled, pulse, calories spent, weather temperature. In short, all the digital data related to road together with the coordinates showing the distances I covered with bicycle which will be used to officialize my tour! All the road data are saved on Garmin Dashboard monthly! : ). Also, my previous Turkey-Japan tour was tracked likewise. It seems that new chapters will be opened in the Guinness Records Book upon sending those records. Really interesting data are accumulated throughout the years I’ve been on the road.

Why am I recording my track? Since I’m already travelling why not send my travel data to Guinness World Records. My aim is not to set new records but while you are on a tour like this you set some records anyway. Why not to record? But this recording increases the power consumption of the batteries substantially. I carry 5 spare lithium batteries. (Let me add a little detail: Tracking your route during international tours could get you into trouble if you are questioned!) After minus 30°C its processor slows down and screen touch time delay occurs. At minus 40°C its screen gets covered with ice but continues to work at minus 57°C yet. At plus 55°C and above the screen touch does not respond to commands and at 60°C does not respond at all and gets locked but continues to record road data. I open the device at the start and shut down at the evening when I stop. Every battery lasts only 3 days, but in time the life span of the batteries shortens.

Garmin VivoSport is a smart activity tracker watch. I had travelled with a pulse band on my chest for years which was very uncomfortable, but I also didn’t want to carry a huge watch. This watch is a compact small device. I have tested both bands for heart rate monitoring. Both gave the same results. Furthermore, I have tested them on treadmill, no difference. The battery lasts 6 days for me but may extents to 7 days. It monitors pace, heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep, etc. It has also applications for walking, running and strength training. This waterproof device features also GPS. A good model which I like very much.

Road Computer

I use a road computer, Bontrager Trip 300, on the left side of the handlebar next to the GPS. The distance covered, speed, maximum speed, average speed, cadence, weather temperature, calories data and total distance are all monitored on daily basis by this mini-computer which I only remove arriving in big cities or are strolling around in cities, since I don’t like to take off and on while I go into restaurants, groceries, etc. Due its WIFI feature it can receive all the data which I record for GPS.

Why am not using only this device? Such devices usually don’t feature a GPS system and don’t record track. Furthermore, I can change the odometer, that is the total distance I travelled manually. If I said that I’ll have a goal and I’ll cover such a distance, then I record everything that I do. GPS records heart rate, wheel speed and cadence through satellite and justifies numerically. You cannot change the data on GPS as you wish. It monitors what you have done.

Real time location sharing

Spot Connect is an individual security system which I’m using in this tour. There is a section “Where is Gurkan?” on my web page www.gurkangenc.com. This link shows where and when I’m riding. Every morning when I start to ride it starts to track my route till I stop for camping in the evening. I guess the person who liked this device the most is my mother. At least she would track where I’m on real time. This device signals every 10 minutes and draws a line between subsequent spots. That is, the distance between subsequent signals depends on my speed which will fall close when I’m riding at a speed of 10 km/h and falls apart at 35 km/h. This does not mean that Gurkan Genc caught a motor-vehicle. You can also send SOS messages during emergency situations. SOS signals alert the nearest military base. I annually pay 130 USD for this system to work.

SUMMER-WINTER WEAR AND ACCESSORIES

 Jackets, pants, shirts, T-shirts, technical singlet, underwear, shoes, hat, head wear, glasses

Jackets

Throughout years the jackets have become lightweight, the fabric have changed and have become more resistant to wear out and occupy much less space in the bags. The North Face Turkey is sending me the new products for years.

At rainy and windy weather I use The North Face Men’s Fuseform Montro Jacket. It has large pit-zip vents underarms. The North Face has developed a new technology and got rid of the Gore-Tex fabric. The new fabric seems to be more durable than Gore-Tex. It is also wind-stopper.

At cold weather I use The North Face Men’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket. It is possible to ride at minus 40°C wearing this jacket under Fuseform. It is stowable in hand pocket which reduces to palm size. This is an important feature occupying less space in the bag.

Pants

I carry 4 pairs of pants on my bike.

At rainy, cold and windy weather: The North Face Men’s Venture 2 half zip. While pedaling under heavy rain this pant remained waterproof completely. This pant is at the same time wind-stopper. But since it does not stretch it curls up during pedaling. I wear a pair of Gore-Tex gaiter titanium series of Colombia which I bought in South Korea during my Japan tour so that my pants stay tucked in and my feet don’t get wet. This pant is also stowable in its own pocket reducing to palm size.

At very cold weather: I use a thermal base layer tight. This is an old model, therefore it is not displayed on their web page.

During summer time: The North Face Men’s Paramount Trail Convertible. I have two pairs of this model, a green and a gray one. These convertible water repellent pants are easy to dry. During certain periods I use them on bike. Also, when I’m invited to formal occasions I wear them. They are also stowable in their own pockets reducing to palm size.

Shirts

I carry 3 The North Face Ventilation Long Sleeve shirts on bike. You already know the white one showing up in almost every photograph since the last 5 years. I have also cream and grey colored ones. The fabric has UV protection feature and doesn’t wrinkle. The shirts have underarm and back ventilation and dry quickly. With technical underwear it creates a cooling effect.

T-shirts

I use 3 T-shirts. A T-shirt of Atilim University, a The North Face technical T-shirt and a Merinos T-shirt of Wool Nat.

Technical singlet

I also have two singlets of the same series, Men’s better than naked which I’m wearing for the last 5 years under the white shirt.

Underwear

4 pieces of Mark&Spencer’s black cotton underpants.

Hats and beanies

I have two The North Face hats, one regular and one for desert traverses or very hot days. One The North Face beanie, 3 buffs (one of them is merinos buff of Wool Nat) and one The North Face ear gear.

Eyewear

Normally I’m wearing Oakley Half Jacket 2.0. It has 3 interchangeable lenses: One colorless, one polarized blue and one prism red. These special lenses inhibit reflections from surfaces. I use the red lenses during foggy and cold periods which enhances vision range and recognition of iced surfaces. Polarized lenses also remove the bad traces due to wear out over time.

In winter time I use Uvex Pocket. It is also very comfortable to use during sand storms in deserts. It is foldable and has interchangeable lenses.

Boots and sandals

The boots I’m wearing are Shimano MT91 Gore-Tex SPD MTB Boots. The ones who have experiences with SPD shoes know that they clatter when walking which is not the case with the Vibram sole of these boots. But walking off-road too much mud and snow accumulates on SPD lock mechanism which makes it hard to walk. The boots are waterproof which I used in summer as well as during winter. Below minus 10°C you feel the cold. I bought half a number bigger size so could place wool linen at the bottom which protected me from cold during winter. When on snowy and icy roads I don’t use SPD boots but all the other times I generally prefer to use SPD. When an elephant is wearing these boots for 365 days, they lose their Gore-Tex features and cracks appear at bends. Even, a finger sized hole appeared. But I must say for this pair of boots tested under such harsh conditions that they are worth to buy. I have also a pair of sandals and sports shoes. 2 pairs of knee high thermal socks, one pair of ankle high thermal socks and two ankle high socks.

CAMPING GEAR

Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, mattress, head lamp, first aid kid

The North Face Triarch 1 a one person, lightweight (860 g) one poled user-friendly tent. It has closed vestibules on the back and front large enough to store bicycle bags. All the four 10 L bags on my bike fit in the back vestibule. There are 6 pockets, 2 at the head, 2 at the feet and 2 up on the ceiling, for keeping gear. I’ve tested this tent under rain and 21 km/h wind, quite good. Without the fly you can watch the stars in the sky with 160° angle at night. I first started to use this tent in March 2016 and then received a second one in February 2018. Although I’ve used it carefully and clean it lasted only for 2 years.

During January 2013 in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway under minus 40°C, in Arabian Peninsula under sand storms in desert and at 61°C the tent I used was  North Face Mountain25. I replaced this tent with Triarch 1 in March 2016 in Zambia. TNF Mountain 25 is an excellent tent which I’ll use once again when traveling in North America and Siberia.

Sleeping bag

An issue which catches the attention of the ones who know my world tour route is that I prefer to choose the toughest routes possible. I try to climb to the summits, to traverse the deserts in the hottest season, to pass through regions during the coldest period riding on my bicycle. Doing this way, I need to carry professional gear not to get sick or at least not seriously. One of these items is my sleeping bag and the liner.

Since I’m struggling with very cold weather I use The North Face Inferno. During my Russia traverse I encountered minus 40°C. It is waterproof. It is hard to use as a blanket because the zipper is on the middle and is only half-way but during winter it provides a high protection. The design of the zipper makes it easy to handle the computer, mobile phone and the Kindle. Furthermore, it is not heavy for a minus 40°C sleeping bag.

Sleeping bag liner

Sweating inside a sleeping bag is sometime annoying, therefore a liner is a must. The liner keeps my sleeping bag clean by this way I don’t need to wash my sleeping bag frequently and just wash the liner. There are various types of liners. The one I’m using is a model of Sea to Summit series, Reactor Compact Plus. This liner gives a 11°C protection which is enough for summer camping.

Mattress

The mattress I use is Therm-a Rest All Season. This is the second mattress since the start of my world tour. The first one was a different model of the same brand. After it started failing, my friend Ilker Burgac sent me this second one. Thanks again. The reason of failure for first one was extensive usage under harsh conditions for 3.5 years. With this mattress I slept on snow at minus 35°C and in a 5 cm thick water layer. I had never a problem.  One of the features of Therm-a Rest All Season is the small pump working with two small batteries. It automatically inflates the mattress to a certain pressure. Furthermore, during hot summer days it makes you feel good blowing out the air.

Head lamp

During this tour I changed 4 head lamps till now. Mostly they either broke down or failed to function due to moisture or cold. The one I’m using now is Black Dimond Revolt model a gift of my friend Ismail Nalti from South Africa. It works with 3 AAA batteries whopping 130 lumen light and if rechargeable batteries are used they can directly be charged via USB socket outlet.

First-aid kit

I carry a small first aid kit during the tour. I remove or add some items from time to time. I especially added a couple of items for ticks. Pain killers, muscle relaxants and jock itch medications. Nail clipper, tweezers, file, a small scissor. Medication for constipation and diarrhea. Antibiotics. Besides those, a serum mix for diarrhea and poisoning, I have 4 packages. I got vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, Japan encephalitis, meningococcus, yellow fever, typhoid, H. influenza, pneumococcus, hepatitis. I also carry condoms. (There are still people saying, “why are you mentioning this?” My dear, when you have a sexual relationship you have to use it in order to protect yourself from diseases.   Some sent me messages written in bold “shame on you.” Get away …..yallah!)  In this list there is no sun cream. I usually wear my long arm shirt and desert hat protecting my face and neck from sunshine. I had not a sunburn problem till yet.  It is important to use a hat especially covering your neck!! When you cream yourself after a while you will it sweat out anyway. Instead of sun cream, using long armed breathable shirts are more useful.

Camping Kitchen

Camp stove, water purification system, water tanks, cookware, multi purpose pocket knife, ax

Camp stove

My camp stove is MSR Dragon Fly which is a multi-fuel stove burning with both gasoline and also diesel.  It is robust and durable, easy to handle, shows excellence performance in dusty environment, easy to find spare parts in big cities or capitals throughout the world, it is space saving. What else shall I mention? It is good. It is the solution in itself. Basta! Let me give you an additional information. When you are connecting the gas tank to the stove check that the stove remains turned off. Pump the tank 30 times. Then, turn on the stove slowly just to let enough gasoline come out and turn off quickly. Lit it to warm up the upper cover of the stove. Don’t let the fire fade and then turn on the stove fully, first a black smoke will come out which will turn into blue soon.

Water purifying system

Guardia Purifier is the ceramic water purifying system which I’ve used during both of my tours. Sludge, sand, mud, haze, color, odor, bad taste, parasites and parasites eggs, larvae, heavy metal ions are removed with this filter and drinkable water obtained. Taking in to account that I purified my own urine and mixed with fresh water while traversing Gobi Desert, there is nothing left to mention further.

Water tanks

Ortlieb water bags. I carry two 4 L capacity water bags on my bike. I like to ride on roads away from any settlements, therefore these water bags are very useful for me. The mouths of the bags are compatible with the MSR water purifier. By the same time, they are handy for having a shower.  I also carry big plastic water bottles.

Kitchenware and utensils

I use Trek 900 Titanium model of Snow peak series which are lightweight and durable. The spoon I use is a classical model of Snow peak. I also use Titanium Spork. The thin pot quickly cools down enabling to use inside the tent comfortably.

Multipurpose pocket knife

Leatherman Sidekick Wave. This handy pocket-size tool is a must for everyone on long tours or camping outdoors. Its pliers, knife and saw are quite good and handy. The blades get locked once opened which prevents you from having cuts, especially a good feature for saw and knife blades. It has also wire stripper, ruler, can opener, bottle opener and three different types of screwdrivers.

Ax

At the beginning I was thinking what the hell I’ll need an ax for, but I’ve used in so many situations that I got surprised. A small ax is really very useful on such long-distance tours. It is placed next to the water cage on the main frame.

Electronic equipment

 Computer, Camera, mobile phone, action camera, drone, music player, external hard drive, batteries, shaver, e-book, tripod, monopod, SD cards

Computer

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Features: Core i7e 6600u 2.2Ghz, 16gb Ram, 512GB SSD 12 inches screen, weight 750 g. UAG case  and screen saver .

To my opinion Microsoft created the perfect device, a portable tablet with a power of desktop computer. An excellent computer what else to say.

Drone

I’m using a drone in my world tour since 2014. Even though I rarely share photos or video records done by drone, you can see that I’m using the drone from the videos and Instagram posts I share from time to time. With the further development of the technology, it became easier to carry a drone. For the time being I’m carrying DJI Mavic Air Combo. Taking its compactness and feature in to account it is more than enough for such a journey. I’m using a Lexar 1000x 128Gb SD card with this drone.

Camera

Sony RX100 M5. I’m using this camera since November 2017. I ended up with this camera because I either broke down or ruined the former 3 cameras (Cannon GX, Sony Nex7, Sony Alpha 7R Mark2). It is user friendly. The quality of photographs and video records is very good. Its features perfectly fit the needs of a world tourer. The compactness of the camera makes it easy to carry in pocket or in the handlebar bag. It is easy to use while riding. With the smartphone application I can use my phone as a remote controller and can also simultaneously transfer the images on the camera to my phone. With WIFI and NFC features it makes it easy to transfer the images. I carry 3 spare batteries and 2  Lexar Professional 64 GB microSD 1800x cards for this camera.

Smartphone

I use Sony Compact X for  sharing photos and video records and to remain connected with social media. With this phone I use Lexar 64Gb 1000x micro SD card. The good features of this smart phone are: It has a camera of 23 MP (very good) and shoots incredible photos at low light, 4G connection, 3 GB Ram, 8.10 64-bit Qualcomm core processor (it says I’m fast) and robustness (stamina mode). I liked this stamina mode because when I turn off the screen, the background activities of most applications are reduced automatically. When I take it from the bag and turn on the screen to take a photo it starts to activate all the applications very fast. By this way the life of battery extends. I don’t need to recharge the 2700 mAh battery for almost 4 days. It has the best autofocusing ability among the phones I’ve used up to now. And when I recharge it (I recharge via my hub dynamo), it takes two and a half hours to reach 100% charging capacity from 0%. A smartphone with 128 gr weight, compact and palm size. This is the best phone which fits my needs.

Action camera

GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition. It continues to work even at minus 57°C. The casing should be replaced by a different one for better voice quality. For the 5 spare batteries, LCD screen, chest mount harness and the other accessories I have spent 250 USD. I’m using this camera with Lexar 64GB  1000x micro SD card.

Music player

Apple I-pod Nano 16GB Music is a must during such a long journey, especially fast paced music during climbs. Furthermore, I like to listen to music while on the road. I bought the first I-pod in December 2009 but had to replace this one since its battery was running down very fast in 2015. Then I bought an MP3 player of Sony brand, unfortunately it had a short life span; it fell in to water. I continued to use my old I-pod but after a short time its battery went death completely. If I don’t let it fall down into water or lose somewhere, this will finish the world tours with me. : )

External Disc

The resolution of photos and videos are quite high. A single photograph has a size above 20 MB. Furthermore, recording videos at high resolution like 4K, a problem to back-up the archives arises. I carry two 4TB external discs with me, Segate 4TB, but still they are far from enough. I have already sent 6 external discs to Turkey.

Power Bank

Sony CP-F10. Although I don’t have any recharging troubles, I carry a 1000 mAh capacity portable power bank, just in case I’ll need it. : ) With its two ports it just fits my needs, small and powerful.

Shaver

I prefer  Gillette Styler Fusion Proglide.You know in some countries hair-cutting is really very expensive. Not wanting to pay that much money I bought this waterproof model which I can use for long time with only one lithium battery. For many years, I’m cutting my hair and shaving myself.

Tripod and monopod

I also use a tripod and a monopod when photographing. The brand of the tripod I’m using is Sony VCT-R100 which is lightweight and robust. It is the only tripod brand which lasted intact during my travel. I’m also using a Xs-Ssories monopod for a long time which you can see on my video records. This an equipment having a robust locking system which I’ve even used in salty water.

e-book

On top of such a heavy load it wouldn’t be wise to carry books. My answer to the question “Who knows better, the one who travels a lot or reads a lot?” is traveling while reading or reading while traveling. Therefore, I use a Kindle brand e-book reader.  I’m on the road for the last five years and have read only 57 books. I used the PaperWhite model of Kindle between 2012-2016 but then during an accident it broke down. I started to use Kindle Oasis .  Its battery lasts for about 58 days. The main difference of Oasis model from the other Kindle models is that it is waterproof. For many people this is not an important feature, but my former Kindle fell into water during an accident. You can connect to internet via WI-FI. By this way I can download e-books from Amazon and from Turkish e-book providers.  I also had the opportunity to use it at cold weather (when I say cold I mean – 40 °C). I never had any problems with it. Furthermore, I uploaded an English dictionary, when reading an English book, I click on the word which I don’t know and immediately its meaning in Turkish appears on the screen. Continue to read while on the road! To me, every touring cyclist (or backpacker) should get this product and read the books written about the region they travel in. The book you see on the photo was written by Dilara Nagib (16 years old) whom I met in Bahrain.