Motorcycle Camping - What to Take
Just Back From the Redwood Run
My old man and I just back from our first motorcycle camping trip of the season. What a great trip up to the redwoods in Humboldt County, California!
It was our first trip on our "new bike." It is a 1965 "Panhead." We have been used to riding a 1947 Knucklehead for the past 30 years.
I've learned a little about what to take when camping on the bike over the past 30 or so years, and on this trip it seemed we had everything we needed and not much we didn't use. So I'm going to go over everything we took while it's still fresh in my mind.
This is really more from the standpoint of camping. All the mechanical stuff is my husband's domain.
Clothing, of course, will depend on where you're going and the weather. The weather on this trip was expected to be partly cloudy to sunny with temperature lows down to 40° at night, and daytime highs in the 70s. We were gone for 4 days.
I wore jeans and a T-shirt, took my leather jacket, a sweatshirt, 2 T-shirts, a long-sleeved button up shirt and a tank top. I bring a pair of leggings to wear under my jeans for warmth or sleeping, also if you need to wash your pants you have something else to put on.
I wear a pair of sturdy boots, but I like to bring a lightweight pair of shoes or sandals so I don't have to wear my boots the whole time around camp. Don't forget to bring changes of underwear and socks for each day, it makes a world of difference in your comfort.
With two of us traveling on one bike, space and weight are even more of a consideration than with one rider. Backpacking gear is a good option for bike camping.
For sleeping, I prefer the self-inflating camp mats to the big air mattresses that are popular these days. I think they are much more comfortable, and warmer, and they roll up smaller.
I got myself a new Therm-a-Rest self-inflating air mattress for this trip. I had the REI self-inflating pads before, they worked really well and lasted a long time, but it was finally time for a new one.
When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag, down bags compress the smallest, and give the most warmth for their size. Some of the new synthetics come very close to down though, and they can still keep you warm if they get wet; wet down is no good at all.
Sixty Second Tent
The is my favorite piece of camping gear. If you are not familiar with them, they are like a regular dome tent, but the poles are already inserted and they just fold up. You unfold the tent and lock the hinges and boom, you're done. The first time I saw this tent in action, I knew I had to have one. 60 Second Tent
They cost a little more, and are a little bigger and heavier when packed up, than an ordinary dome tent. Still, if you do a lot of bike camping, especially if you are traveling every day and camping every night, it's well worth it.
Food and Cooking
We like to take a to make coffee in the morning. The one we used is tiny, and pellets it uses are compact, safe and easy to transport. It is not always necessary to bring one if you're going to be at a place where you can get hot coffee, but sometimes there are long lines. We bring a canteen that has a metal cup over it that can be used for a pot. small pellet fuel camp stove
We usually have our meals at restaurants while on the road, but it's also nice to have some traveling food like Fig Newtons, granola, nuts, or maybe some beef jerky. Sometimes, if we are rough camping, we bring food to cook over a camp fire.
Some Other Necessary Items:
- Water - be sure to carry plenty of it.
- Flashlights and matches or lighters
- Chap-stick, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth and towel
- Small first aid kit.
- Sunscreen - this is essential. I never forget to take it with me, but sometimes I forget to put it on before I leave on the first day. Learn from me, apply your sunscreen before you put it in the bag, and don't forget your chest and the back of your neck.
- Tools - My hubby always brings along some basic tools. Especially with these old bikes, there are usually some necessary adjustments.
I hope you've found my list useful. If you notice anything I've forgotten, please make a note of it in the comments section. Ride safe out there.