Pirsig's Packing List

  1. Clothing
    • Two changes of underwear.
    • Long underwear.
    • One change of shirt and pants for each of us. I use Army-surplus fatigues.
    • One sweater and jacket each.
    • Gloves. Unlined leather gloves are best because they prevent sunburn, absorb sweat and keep your hands cool.
    • Cycle boots.
    • Rain gear.
    • Helmet and sunshade. Bubble.
    • Goggles. I don’t like windshields because they also close you in. These are some British laminated plate-glass goggles that work fine. The wind gets behind sunglasses.
  2. Personal Stuff
    • Combs.
    • Billfold.
    • Pocketknife.
    • Memoranda booklet.
    • Pen.
    • Cigarettes and matches.
    • Flashlight.
    • Soap and plastic soap container.
    • Toothbrushes and toothpaste.
    • Scissors.
    • APCs for headaches.
    • Insect repellent.
    • Deodorant.
    • Sunburn lotion.
    • Band-Aids.
    • Toilet paper.
    • Washcloth (this can go into a plastic box to keep other stuff from getting damp).
    • Towel.
    • Books. I don’t know of any other cyclist who takes books with him. They take a lot of space, but I have three of them here anyway, with some loose sheets of paper in them for writing. These are:
      a. The shop manual for this cycle.
      b. A general troubleshooting guide containing all the technical information I can never keep in my head. This is Chilton’s Motorcycle Troubleshooting Guide written by Ocee Rich and sold by Sears, Roebuck.
      c. A copy of Thoreau’s Walden… which Chris has never heard and which can be read a hundred times without exhaustion. I try always to pick a book far over his head and read it as a basis for questions and answers, rather than without interruption. I read a sentence or two, wait for him to come up with his usual barrage of questions, answer them, then read another sentence or two. Classics read well this way. They must be written this way. Sometimes we have spent a whole evening reading and talking and discovered we have only covered two or three pages. It’s a form of reading done a century ago…when Chautauquas were popular. Unless you’ve tried it you can’t imagine how pleasant it is to do it this way.
  3. Cooking and Camping
    • Two sleeping bags.
    • Two ponchos and one ground cloth. These convert into a tent and also protect the luggage from rain while you are traveling.
    • Rope.
    • U. S. Geodetic Survey maps of an area where we hope to do some hiking.
    • Machete.
    • Compass.
    • Canteen. I couldn’t find this anywhere when we left.
    • Two Army-surplus mess kits with knife, fork and spoon.
    • A collapsible Sterno stove with one medium-sized can of Sterno. I haven’t used it yet. When it rains or when you’re above the timberline firewood is a problem.
    • Some aluminum screw-top tins. For lard, salt, butter, flour, sugar. A mountaineering supply house sold us these years ago.
    • Brillo, for cleaning.
    • Two aluminum-frame backpacks.
  4. Motorcycle Stuff
    • A standard tool kit comes with the cycle and is stored under the seat.
      This is supplemented with the following:
    • A large, adjustable open-end wrench.
    • A machinist’s hammer.
    • A cold chisel.
    • A taper punch.
    • A pair of tire irons.
    • A tire-patching kit.
    • A bicycle pump.
    • A can of molybdenum-disulfide spray for the chain. (Once it has dried off, however, it ought to be supplemented with good old SAE-30 engine oil.)
    • Impact driver.
    • A point file.
    • Feeler gauge.
    • Test lamp.
    • Spare parts include:
    • Plugs.
    • Throttle, clutch and brake cables.
    • Points, fuses, headlight and taillight bulbs, chain-coupling link with keeper, cotter pins, baling wire.
    • Spare chain (this is just an old one that was about shot when I replaced it, enough to get to a cycle shop if the present one goes).

And that's about it. No shoelaces.

Pirsig, Robert M.. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. Chapter 4.