Published by OGE0
10 Motorcycle Camping Gear Essentials
Motorcycle Camping has become increasingly popular. It is an economical way to take a camping trip off the beaten path.
Here you will find the 10 essentials needed to make sure your motorcycle camping trip is a success.
When you’re finished reading, you will be equipped with the knowledge of what you need to take on the road for an enjoyable time roughing it in some beautiful country.
The first thing you need to think about is shelter for yourself and your bike. In the old days, a tarp would have been enough for most of us old timers.
But, today there are amazing tents that are lightweight, and come in any size you may need.
A good rule of thumb for tent camping is that you should always pack a tent that fits +1 people that will actually sleep in it.
You will be glad for the extra space as it allows you more room to move about and gets your gear out of the elements.
While you’re at it, you should make sure your bike is covered as well.
Motorcycle Tent Shelter
Now you and your bike are out of the elements. You can sleep soundly knowing you will wake refreshed and that your bike is ready to roll in the morning.
2. Sleeping Bag
Many of us used to make do with a tarp and a blanket when we went cross-country. But today for the Biker Camper you want a little better for yourself. Here is where a good Sleeping bag comes in handy.
The old-fashioned Goose Down bags are still hard to beat as they compact better than many of the synthetic ones. You need to choose the type of bag that is best designed for the weather in which you’ll be traveling.
Always get one that is rated for colder weather than what you think you will need.
It is always easier to cool down than it is to warm up.
Another thing you should think about is whether to go with a mummy bag or the standard rectangular bag.
Mummy bags heat quicker, but the rectangular bags give you more wiggle room.
Here is an example of an excellent mummy bag that is good for most temperatures you will you find through the United States for spring, summer, and even the fall.
In case you’re looking for even more wiggle room, then a bag like this will give you what you want.
Nobody has time to be sleeping straightway on the ground. Be sure to pack a sleeping pad like this one:
3. First Aid Kit
This should be on the list for anyone contemplating camping or a good idea in general if you are a rider.
Your first aid kit should include a first aid manual as well as the usual items such as band-aids and antiseptics. If you’re not familiar with a SWAT-T (Stretch, Wrap, and Tuck) tourniquet, then we suggest checking them out. The SWAT-T wrap is a high-speed way of stopping the blood, if you happen to come across an accident on your journey, or if you suffer a mishap yourself.
Some other items you might want to add are things like waterproof matches, a snakebite kit (Especially if you are camping in the southwest and western states.), and AM/FM weather radio.
Coleman puts out a comprehensive one that has most of what you will need, and you can look at it here.
4. Maps and a GPS
Along with your map(s), a GPS is also a good thing to have for any extended trip. Many GPS units are made especially for those who ride and Garmin Zumo makes one that is rugged
You can accessorize your GPS with a waterproof weather cover, check it out here.
A mounting kit is available to mount the unit onto your handlebars.
You can now navigate anywhere you want to go and not worry about getting lost or taking a wrong turn at night. View it here.
Be sure never to leave the house without an all-purpose multitool. This is a must-have for your trip.
Having a quality knife is next to having a quality motorcycle in this writer’s view and you should get the best you can afford.
Buck is often the first name that comes to mind. A folding knife you can wear on your belt makes a convenient tool and here is a good example of one such knife.
There are those that swear by fixed blade knives as well and Buck makes many variations of this classic form.
This is a standard hunting knife that is patterned after the classic hunting knives that date back to our frontier ancestors, yet it is modernized.
6. Saddle Bags
When you are hitting the road, you need the right bag or bags to hold all your stuff.
For a short day trip, a day runner seat bag like this will work just fine. Don’t be that guy who uses bungee cords to strap his old high school wrestling bag to the back bumper.
However, nowadays there are complete lines of accessory bags that you can get that are specially made to attach to your bike securely and here is a complete set of 6 that lets you not only pack your gear but distribute evenly across your motorcycle’s frame.
7. Camp Stove
Cooking outdoors can be exciting over an open flame.
Medium Size Burner
So with that in mind you can get a lot of mileage with a portable propane stove that can set up quickly.
However if you are going solo or are not too sure of your culinary skills a single burner may be more in line.Small Size Burner
If you’re only going to be on the road for a couple days, you can turn to your handy JetBoil burner.
If you’ve managed to save enough room for a cast iron pan or two, then you’ll want to grab this set. Sometimes cooking over an open flame is more important to your trip than saving some extra space in the saddle bags. If you don’t want to lug around cast iron, then a simple stainless steel camp cook set like this will work. Which is perfect if you are going to be cooking prepackaged food as talked about next.
Going on a camping trip often has cooking as either its high point or low point depending on your skills in outdoor cookery.
Many of us do not want to chance it and, therefore, bring prepackaged food that does not require a look of skill to turn out a nutritious meal.
We have come a long way from the days of C-Rations that some may remember. Nowadays Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) have replaced C-Rats and come in a variety of cuisines and flavors.
You can buy military grade prepackaged MREs that have a shelf life of years or you can purchase civilian brands like Mountain House (see below).
Now, if you’ve never done the instant meals don’t worry! You aren’t going to sacrifice much in taste, most if not all flavors taste fantastic!
Here’s why it might be a good idea:
- They are sealed and immune to the elements.
- Prep time is short and sweet.
- The food itself is nutritious.
- MREs taste pretty good too.
- Cleanup is simple and quick as well.
Here you can find a six-meal assortment of Mountain House’s most popular meal:
- If you want to purchase in bulk, this case of MREs might be your best option.
- Here is another that is great for a Motorcycle camping trip or if you are a Prepper getting ready for the big one. This one gives you 52 servings and has a shelf life of 25 years. Check it out here.
Of course, you could bring a basic fishing setup and try your hand at catching your meals. Might be a little risky, but you can’t beat fresh fish!
Surprisingly people forget this vital thing on their list of things to take on motorcycle camping trips. Today, outdoor sources of water are questionable unless you have your buddy fly you up to the top of the Sawtooths by way of helicopter and drop you and your bike off near a fresh mountain lake like this one.
Tips to ensure clean water on your trip:
- Carry your own water.
- Verify potable water sources at your intended destination prior to embarking on you camping trip.
- Carry Water purification supplies or a solar still.
- You might want to include a water test kit to verify that the water is in fact drinkable and not contaminated.
Montezuma’s revenge is no joking matter as it can lay you up for days and a long distance bike ride should not be on the to-do list.
Be sure to error on the cautious side when camping and think ahead before setting out on your camping adventure.
With that in mind, we come to our final essential.
Your camping trip may not end up being a life or death matter, but it’s a royal pain to travel hundreds of miles by motorcycle only to discover in your rush to get out the door you forgot a few key items. Now you’re sitting in the wilderness with no toilet paper and the nearest service station is two hours back in the opposite direction.
Thank goodness there are smart people in this world who have created a master motorcycle camping checklist with over 150 items! We’ve outlined 10 of the most common and important essentials for your bike trip, but this list acts as a great tool to do a quick check to make sure you’re not forgetting anything else. Obviously, you wouldn’t be able to pack all 150 items, but the checklist will keep you from forgetting the essentials.
Here is the link to the master checklist.
It is hoped that these 10 Motorcycle Camping Gear Essentials have shown you some of the key items you need to have in order to make your next camping trip enjoyable and fun.
As a final note, in case you were wondering what a real camping bike looked like…here you go, it’s a cross between a moped and mountain bike!
So here’s to you with our best wishes for a safe and enjoyable motorcycle camping experience.