Carton free packing or extreme packing.

It is not always possible to get a carton but this is not as bad as it might seem.

Here are some examples of strategies that have worked well.  

GOA packing.

We knew there would be no carton in Goa, the end of the trip. So we took, from Australia, some pallet wrapping plastic which is like Gladwrap but wider and thicker. On other trips we have bought products like Gladwrap in western supermarkets. All this is doing is holding newspapers and bathmats (bought on the way to the airport) in place. Rope which is light, cheap and always available, is used extensively. Note the disc rotor is facing the bike rather than away from the bike. Take great care of the rotor. Keep a bit more air in the tyres to protect the rims.

SOPHIA packing

This trip ended in Sophia, Bulgaria. I had a BOB trailer and before riding out to the airport I looked around the city for cardboard. But the garbos had been through and there was not much available. Just some empty banana boxes. Fortunately there was a plastic wrapping machine and all ended very well.


Note the way the RD was unscrewed from the hanger but the cable and chain were left attached. The RD was  tied under the chainstay with a zip tie. This avoids the risk of a biff that might have bent the hanger. A bent hanger is hard to recover from if you have indexed chaingears.

Bathmats, papers and rope (all bought near the airport)and gladwrap (taken from Oz) were used.

ISTANBUL packing

The airport is not far from the city. On the way out on the bikes we stop at a hardware and buy a kg of rope. They sell it by the kilo.

Scouting the terminal we found some used cartons and these were able to be packed around the "packable items" . There is a plastic wrapping machine at Istanbul (IST) airport.

So you don't get stressed in the phase where you can't find the cardboard, leave plenty of time for this!

TEHRAN packing (2011.)

This was a tough one with cardboard very hard to find. It was at least 10 km of riding in the city before some was located. It could not be transported on the bikes so we packed near to where we found it. We had the rope etc already. After getting to the "wrapped item" stage we pulled a small truck over and offered money for a ride to the airport. At the airport there is a plastic wrapping machine so it was a very happy ending.

TEHRAN packing (2012.)

We were at a hotel in the city the night before departure and the flight was not till 10pm so I figured there was plenty of time to find cardboard on that last day. The airport is a long way out in a desert so we were getting a large taxi. I started looking at 7am but the garbos had already been through. (Mental the cardboard hunt the night before). Then, back at the hotel, I spotted 6 fridge cartons. Easy peasy. Hardly extreme! We already knew there was a plastic wrapping machine at Tehran airport.


We'd love to receive your own extreme packing shots, neat places to store cartons for later, your discoveries, your ideas. It is great being free of the need for bike cartons and we are able to ride into most airports employing a range of tactics, some of which are documented above.



HomeAbout UsProductsWhere to buyTechnicalTravellingContact Us
Site by Magicdust Affordable Website Design