Baja Tips From the Wolf Pack
Recommended Checklist – JB Weld, Zip ties, spare bolts, duct tape, tools, tubes, patch kit, tow rope and tequila. Don’t forget a robust first aid kit. Consider some first aid training ‘cuz a great kit is only as good as the person administering the aid. This isn’t the place for the “if I don’t bring it I won’t need it” mentality. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
Navigation in Baja can be a challenge. A map from AAA is a good start but things still get tricky. I’m pretty sure I have never seen a street sign in Baja. The only things marked are: highways, cities, towns, and villages. Trying to hook up with specific unmarked dirt roads can get difficult.
Before the trip I bought a Trail Tech Voyager GPS for my 450, and it works really well. I can pre-program routes, save routes and add way points as I’m riding to go explore later. The Trail Tech Voyager also provides speed, map, zoom in/out, a compass and engine temp.
Got any tips for good local food, hotels, campgrounds, streams or swimming holes?
Research and locate your gas stations and pack food just in case the villages you pass don’t have little taco stands opened up. Most of the locals are very welcoming. Don’t be too afraid to knock on someone’s door. More often than not you’ll wind up with a fantastic homemade meal. Baja is an adventure and some people are secretive when it comes to sharing badass singletracks, swimming holes, surf spots, bays and beaches. Be polite, leave places cleaner than you found them and be aware.
What did you learn this trip?
Everyone comes home from Baja with different appreciation, stories and lessons depending on the trip. I always return to the United States with appreciation for the country I live in. Baja is poor, the people don’t have much at all, yet they are so nice and welcoming. This trip reminded me that anything can happen in Baja and that I, as a group leader, should be better prepared for potential problems.
What did you wish you knew before going there?
That I would need JB Weld!
If you could give anyone else a tip before going what would it be?
NEVER pass gas in Baja. That’s the golden rule. If you come up on a PEMEX station, top off because you don’t know where the next gas station may be. If you are on a dirt road that has a gate that you need to pass through, be sure you close the gate behind you (cattle and livestock could get out). Be respectful, be polite.