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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking of how to pack all the stuff for motorcycle camping, since hotels are so F'n expensive. Where to stay would be cool too.

Any ideas? Like how to strap it on the bike and what is the best stuff to buy? :confused:


I'm getting a wild hair and want to dissapear for a few weeks on ride about here sometime soon. Bucket list ya know.
 

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If you have side cases that allow you to strap gear on top that will be a big help. I have the Hepco & Becker Explorer side cases and top box and you can easily strap gear on top. That actually got tested last night when I got a little carried away at Lowe's buying stuff to stain my deck tomorrow. Probably looked a little strange riding home but at least I didn't have to come back with my truck.
 

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Pick up one of those mesh nets with bungie hooks on 4 corners to secure stuff to the rear of the bike. Lash it all tight as well. My brother crashed on the interstate when his sleeping bag got loose and wound up in the rear wheel.
 

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Any ideas? Like how to strap it on the bike and what is the best stuff to buy?
For me, it all has to fit inside the luggage or it doesn't go on the trip. This means finding gear that packs down to the smallest possible size, and that process took me a few years.

Lots of folks here and elsewhere have a full set of luggage along with a huge hockey gear bag on the pillion seat. I have no idea why you'd need all that stuff, plus I'd never be able to get my old leg over the seat.
 

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For me, it all has to fit inside the luggage or it doesn't go on the trip. This means finding gear that packs down to the smallest possible size, and that process took me a few years.

Lots of folks here and elsewhere have a full set of luggage along with a huge hockey gear bag on the pillion seat. I have no idea why you'd need all that stuff, plus I'd never be able to get my old leg over the seat.
For a weekend trip I can get everything in the luggage, but for a week or more, especially if there's a wide climate variation, the tent/sleeping bag/mattress/stove get moved to a dry bag across the rear seat. Not having the luggage completely stuffed makes life on the road easier too.

To the OP. Get good backpacking gear for camping. It's smaller and lighter than the Walmart car-camping oriented stuff. More expensive, but worth it in the long run.
 

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Backpacking Gear:thumbup: is great for space and weight, but it comes at a price.

This is a pic before I bought a smaller tent, air pad and camp chair this year. I had no probs with this set up.
Four man tent
Full size airbed
Air bed pump
Full size camp chair strapped in between the givi racks.

The black bag on top is a waterproof backpack that was holding my sleeping bag, airbed, pump, and JetBoil stove. Now I can fit my new two man tent in it since the pump is gone and my airbed shrunk by 3/4.


I use a bungee cargo net and then a ratcheting strap for ultra security. I dumped my bike several times on the WABDR last summer and never did anything fall off...except blinkers:green_lol:

I have not tried my new lighter, smaller stuff yet. Come on Summer:thumbup:
Now maybe I wont strain as much to lift my bike when it takes a nap. I probably lost between 15-20lbs of gear.
 

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Packed for a week of camping and riding last year.



Tank bag has stuff I might need often - maps, GPS, etc.

Right behind my seat is a duffle, with the tent packed crossways as is the foam sleeping pad for under my sleeping bag.

The pack on the back (Ventura) has the stove, food, etc. The three bags go on quickly. The duffle isn't water-proof, so everything inside is wrapped in a plastic bag. Kept it all dry despite a couple of days of rain on the trip last year.

Decent backpacking gear helps, because it packs down real small and light. I backpack, so I just use the same gear. Some key items that have worked out well over the years.

MSR Whisperlite stove - fast boiling, rugged. Mine takes white gas, but others are made that will burn many different fuels, including unleaded gasoline.

Mountain Hardware "three-man" tent. Well - they'd have to be little men! It's great for one guy and all the gear, or two people. Roomier than the two-man version. Quick to set up, and it's been nice in both warm and cool weather - also holds up well in the wind.

Sleeping bag is an old North Face down bag that I've been using for a long time. Keeps me warm, yet packs very small and light. Keep it dry!

Often I haul along a fly rod as well. Nice... I ride in my hiking boots.

Have been doing this stuff a long time, riding and backpacking. My gear isn't fancy, but it's well proven and works for me.

CW
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ooooh! I like that set up Cascade! :thumbup:

Tank bag, duffel bag then the tenting/sleeping stuff.

Do people still stay at KOA's or go to parks for setting up camp?
 

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I was going to ask Bigislandguy1 and DGrav about their hammocks...but that was before I read Darkshadow1's packing list which includes his air bed and pump. Now THAT sounds like a good idea for these old bones. The last time I camped, I slept on a supposedly new-and-improved super-duper Therm-A-Rest and maybe got one solid hour of sleep and a next day of sore body. I sore I'd never do that, again. But, now, thinking about long overnight trips, there's places I want to go where (thankfully) there are no motels or other commercial spoilment.
 

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For a weekend trip I can get everything in the luggage, but for a week or more, especially if there's a wide climate variation, the tent/sleeping bag/mattress/stove get moved to a dry bag across the rear seat. Not having the luggage completely stuffed makes life on the road easier too.
I've done 8 days in the luggage several times, wide temp range, including heated gear. The only thing I strap to the bags is a gas can and the Kermit chair once in a great while.

I figure if I can't pack all the gear in the bags, i'm not thinking creatively enough.

To me, a bag on the back seat when you own full luggage is just being lazy or you just bring 50 pounds for stuff you don't need.
 

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Sleeping in a hammock takes some getting used to but once acclimated it is very comfortable and being off the ground is huge. i like air mattresses but the problem there is all of them will eventually leak. Also you would still need a tent to cover you so the hammock solves several issues at once. Everything you need in a very compact package.
 

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You ever try hammock camping in the desert? Yah gotta have trees at the right interval. I'll do tent and in sand washes tent pegs fail in a wind. I hate when that happens.
There are so many variables to the camping show it's hard to make a best guess.
Some campgrounds cost so much now it's better to get a cheap room and watch telly. :green_lol:
 

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I was thinking of how to pack all the stuff for motorcycle camping, since hotels are so F'n expensive. Where to stay would be cool too.

Any ideas? Like how to strap it on the bike and what is the best stuff to buy? :confused:


I'm getting a wild hair and want to dissapear for a few weeks on ride about here sometime soon. Bucket list ya know.
My big rule is "Only one bag for the camping stuff.

EVERYTHING camp related fits in there or something gets left behind. If you don't do that you carry a lot of crap you never use.

Other tricks.

Buy SMALL rather than light, and take your time buying, you aren't carrying it yourself. That means the second tier tramping gear (quite often on special at the big stores) works very well.

I'd also suggest start off CHEAP, do a couple of overnighters and replace what just doesn't work. A lot easier to toss a $20 tent or sleeping mat that just doesn't work for you than a $300 one.

I hunted ebay until I found one of the seat kits for a sleeping mat at a reasonable price. Added some polycarb sheets to the bottom (two cutting mats taped together) so I don't have worries about punctures. Works brilliantly. Saves finding space for a seat and is really comfortable. (Folded into a chair the seat base is about 3" thick.) Bonus feature, the straps that pack it away fit nicely around my inflatable pillow so that doesn't run away in the middle of the night.

Large synthetic sleeping bag, modded with a fabric pocket stitched underneath for the sleeping mat to slip into. Doesn't part company from the sleeping mat and is a lot warmer than it should be. (probably good for at least another 5-10 C in rating). If it's really hot it works better then as well, just leave it unzipped and you have a blanket you can pull over yourself in the middle of the night - one that can't go missing.

Weed mat with the edges sewn to stop fraying, normally just goes unto the tent - which means the tent stays drier, but in really muddy conditions lay it out in front of the tent and you have a clean dry area at the entrance. (Takes near zero space folded).

Do a couple of overnight trips and get the gear RIGHT before you do a couple of weeks.

Cheers
Pete
 

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air mattress

I sleep on an air mattress.Modern air mattresses don't leak and they give you 4 to 6 inches of comfort.They do weigh a few pounds but it is one component that I will splurge on.I also use a pump for inflating and exhausting the air.
 

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You ever try hammock camping in the desert? Yah gotta have trees at the right interval.
Deserts can be a problem, my hammock has a way to set it up as a ground bivy.

A buddy of mine who does a ton of touring, plans his days to end near water where there are usually trees.
 

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If you've never camped before, test everything out on a short trip as suggested before going.
Some things I use/do:

I have always had a 7' x 7' tent- two different brands now. Not the smallest, but it will hold me and all my luggage and leathers so in wet weather I can stay inside. I just bought a 7' by 5' tent with a vestibule which I haven't tried out yet.

As well as cutting a ground cloth to fit under your tent, cut a second sheet of plastic which fits inside your tent and goes up the walls an extra 3 inches all the way around. No matter how hard it rains or how long you and your stuff will stay dry even if your tent floor feels like a waterbed in the morning.

Make a sleeping bag liner out of a twin size bed sheet. It can be folded and put into the stuff sack before stuffing your sleeping bag. Just take the sheet, fold in in half lengthwise, and sew it up so it is like a sleeping bag. Don't sew it all the way, keep about 1/2 to 1/3 of it open on one side. This will add a few degrees warmth to a bag, or if it is gets warmer you can unzip your bag and use just the sheet at the top. The main purpose is to keep your sweat and body oil off your sleeping bag during the season/trip so you just have to wash/replace the sheet bag.

Before sliding your tent into it's bag, slide it into a garbage bag. Then slide it into the tent bag and tie the garbage bag shut with all the air out squeezed out of it. IT will be dry in the rain.

Same with a sleeping bag- stuff the bag into it's stuff sack, then put it into a kitchen size garbage bag. Squeeze all the air out of it by sitting and placing it between your legs and arms, then tie it shut. The garbage bag makes a vacuum and it stays that way for a short while. The whole thing will slip into a 8 X 18 duffel/gym bag and you can easily just bungee this onto the bike or luggage. Both bag methods keep your stuff dry and the bags are good for a week or so but take extra in case.
Garbage bags are good for dirty laundry also in that you can squeeze the air out before tying shut so they look vacuum packed.
If you buy a new tent, more often than not the stakes that come with it are junk. Scrap them and buy sturdier ones.

Get a good flashlight which can be suspended from your tent ceiling to provide light or can be sat on it's end in the tent for the same purpose. My current favorite is the Maglite XL50- Made in the USA, guaranteed for life, gets 8 hours from 3 AAA batteries and has 104 lumens on high for those times when you really need to see something at night.
Take a lot of ziplocks for soapy, wet toiletries and almost anything else that has to stay dry. The blue, Glad freezer bags are the best in my opinion.

I use a 6-pack size insulated lunch cooler with a hard liner. I just pack regular stuff into it and keep it inside my luggage, sometimes tied on top, and at the campsite or motel it keeps my beer cold.
 

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"Do people still stay at KOA's or go to parks for setting up camp?"

Mostly I stay out west. Have ridden, camped and backpacked back east, but I'm at home out here in the west. There are many places to stay. Take a bit to plan ahead and you'll find all sorts of public land, with free or low cost camping. If you want the amenities of a developed campground, like showers and stuff, you're going to pay a bit. If you'll settle for a level spot to pitch a tent, there are free options.

National lands such as National Parks, State Forests, BLM lands etc.

State lands such as State Parks and other state-owned parcels. Often a state department of fish & wildlife will have lands that are very suitable for camping.

County parks are another - there are some good ones scattered around!

I've stayed everywhere from really nice, comfortable campgrounds with showers etc, to just a little chunk of more or less level land off the side of the road... Today with the 'net, it's real easy to plan ahead, scouting potential campsites ahead of time. With the minimal space required for a bike and a backpacking tent, a rider/camper can be real flexible.

Will admit that every few days I like to stay in a motel, or a cabin, where I can get a shower and sleep in a real bed. Makes for a nice change. I'll couple that with a good meal or two as well.

Enjoy! CW
 
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