There’s nothing better than the feeling of being free on the open road! Something about motorcycles makes answering the call to adventure a thrilling necessity – and there’s no better way to do that than to go camping!
Camping allows you to reconnect with nature and find balance in yourself. There are few things in life more harmonious than pitching a tent near a bubbling stream and skipping rocks well into the evening. Motorcycle camping, however, requires some adjustments to be made when it comes to planning and packing.
Before you really start considering what to pack, make sure you stick to lightweight camping gear and compact items that won’t take up too much space or weigh you down. Also keep in mind that many of the items (especially clothes and containers) can be used for at least two purposes. An example would be a stuff sack that holds your cookware can also be used as a bucket or wash basin.
For clothing you want to be prepared for any occasion. Don’t forget rain gear if there is even the slightest possibility of rain where you will be riding. Dress in layers and look for clothing made of synthetic materials as they will normally be thinner and lighter while giving increased performance in addition to keeping moisture away from the skin. Of course you will want to choose comfortable riding jacket and pants that fit the temperature range you will be in. There are many different styles available made of both leather and synthetic materials for any application.
There are many different ways to set up shelter when motorcycle camping. While most people prefer to pack a tent that will give a little extra room and comfort, some prefer the minimalist set-up of a Camping Hammock or a Bivy. There are many types of tents you can invest in but remember the larger tents also weigh more when packed and take up a lot more space. Some tents even have a large vestibule to park your motorcycle in. When using a camping hammock you will want to consider whether or not you will need one with insect netting and if you are going to use it in cooler temperatures you may also want an underquilt.
Most sleeping bags are made with either synthetic filling or down. Each have their own pros and cons and the best choice depends on what sort of conditions you will be experiencing. Make sure to choose a bag with a temperature rating that is 20-30 degres lower than what you will be camping in. Remember that those ratings are survival temperatures and does not mean that you will be comfortable in those temperatures. If you are using a motorcycle camping hammock you may want a sleeping bag that fits around the hammock instead of putting the bag inside the hammock. With the bag on the outside of the hammock the bags filling is more effective because it does not get compressed.
Most campers remember a sleeping bag but forget their sleeping mat! Although it may seem like something that isn’t necessary, a sleeping mat is an essential piece of motorcycle camping gear! Having a mat will help to ensure that the ground doesn’t suck away too much of your warmth at night if you are in a tent, and in a hammock it will help give support to the bottom adding comfort and warmth.
Cooking Gear and Food
Some motorcycle campers prefer not to take food on their journey and instead just stop at restaurants along the way for their meals. It’s a solid plan that helps minimize the amount of stuff you need to carry with you, however some prefer to save a little money by packing freeze dried meals or buying food locally and preparing it at the campsite. At minimum you will need to bring some type of portable camping stove that has the ability to boil water for coffee or meals, along with whatever type of fuel is needed. You will also need some type of cookware and utensils. Look for lightweight motorcycle camping gear for these items as they are made to be lightweight and compact for easy transportation. Also don’t forget trash bags and be sure to pack out what you brought in!
Dirty Clothes Bag
No matter how well you pack, you’ll need a dirty clothes bag if you want to have an ideal adventure. You won’t want your dirty clothes mixing with your clean clothes – especially your dirty clothes are soaked from the elements! Using a well ventilated bag will allow wet or sweaty clothes to dry out.
Find the Center of Gravity
Before you start packing lay out all your gear and take inventory of what you are taking before you pack it. It’s important to make sure that you put the heaviest items low and towards the center of your bags and the lighter items on the outsides. This will help to ensure that your motorcycle isn’t thrown off balance when you’re riding. You also may want to consider what items you need to keep accessible for quick stops along the way.
Now with all your items packed you are ready to set out on your motorcycle camping adventure!