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I was thinking of going camping sometime this year on the bike, maybe. But I am not sure how to pack it. Also, I am curious what is good to put gear in; like which type of a bag(s)?

I have a top box on the bike, although I can pull it off if that makes more sense. I would only camp for a day or 2, bringing a tent, sleeping bag, mattress pad, and the rest of my stuff in perhaps a duffle bag or something like that. I have some back packs but that doesn't seem like they would work on the bike, or am I wrong? So I was thinking maybe I need to buy a duffel bag and use that ( I don't have any duffel bags)

WHo's got pics of a loaded bike with the above gear and no panniers? Top box or no?
 

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I don't have any picts, but when i lived in san diego, i would pack my internal frame soft backpack and wear it and use it as a back rest, and wearing it, i didn't have to worry about it coming loose, tent, stove, sleeping bag, food went into the top case with the blue ice, i was never a fan of strapping stuff to the bike, and if i stopped on the way, the backpack was on me so not to worry about watching the bikes so much
 
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On long trips, I would almost always strap a large dry bag to the seat and up against the top box. My tent is older, so the poles are on the long side. If you have a smaller tent, that dry bag doesn't need to be so big. But anyway, there was room enough between me and the top box. Sorry I don't have pictures on my phone, but maybe on my work computer I can find something.
 

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Dry bags!

SW-Motech makes affordable and really well made dry bags. I have 4, all different sizes depending on the outing, right up to the 60L for bigger trips. You can stack them with the built in strapping mechanism.. really effective, cheap, and easy.
Agree with Webfors....dry bags are awesome for camping. I can fit tent, inflatable air pad, sleeping bag and gear all in
one Wolfmann Medium dry bag. This fits across rear seat nicely and it is easy to isolate campsite into one package.

I have small Give e-22L sidecases but can, and often do, run without them using only dry bag and top case. Top case is nice for helmet when stopped and for a short duration camping run, I can fit everything needed in dry bag. YMMV
 

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How big is your tent and sleeping bag? Down bag in a compression sack and 2 person cicling tent? Or synthetic bag with 3 person car camping tent? Are you bringing cooking gear or eating out? Bringing spare shoes or wearing riding boots in the evening?

What you bring will affect how you pack.

If you pack ultralight then a 50L waterproof duffle might take it all.

I can pack for 1 night in my Giant Loop Columbia dry bag, but that's without spare shoes and minimal clothing or toileteries. Because it rolls up from either side, i can add or remove gear while it's strapped down (jacket liner, gloves, etc...).


If I'm gone for more than 2 days, I fill all 3 hard paniers.

Moto camping is great! Much more convenient than lugging gear up to a hotel room.


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Dry bag.

Many many years ago I had a hard-framed pack and I'd almost prefer that to the dry bag across the rear seat. Let the shoulder straps out some and those WILL act as a good backrest. Soft frame packs - meh.

One good point about the dry bag, my camping rule is that all the camping shit HAS to fit in that. If it won't fit something gets left behind, setting some limits is a good thing :). I think mine is 60l and it does hold the tent, mattress, sleeping bag, camp chair, cooking gear and anything else I think I need for camping.

The top box is for the bike, food and maybe some clothing.
 

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If I'm travelling and plan to camp, I use a Dry bag strapped to the rear seat.. I use the same SW Motech bag linked above and it has served me well.. I carry tent & tarp, sleeping bag, thermarest, camp pillow, fleece blanket, camp stove and a spare fuel cannister, a pot pan and cup, utensils, small cutting board, and have plenty of room left over for food and other misc smaller items.. I have things broken down into smaller stuff sacks to compartmentalize and make it easier to handle all the smaller items.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dry bag.

Many many years ago I had a hard-framed pack and I'd almost prefer that to the dry bag across the rear seat. Let the shoulder straps out some and those WILL act as a good backrest. Soft frame packs - meh.

One good point about the dry bag, my camping rule is that all the camping shit HAS to fit in that. If it won't fit something gets left behind, setting some limits is a good thing :). I think mine is 60l and it does hold the tent, mattress, sleeping bag, camp chair, cooking gear and anything else I think I need for camping.

The top box is for the bike, food and maybe some clothing.
I have a Molle II backpack with frame, but if I put that on the bike, how do I tie it down what do I tie it to? the top box? I had thought of trying to use the backpack, I just noticed that the duffle bag or the dry bag seems to be popular. What are people using to tie it down? Rope? Bungie cord? Hemp? lol

That's what I want to know is what to use to tie it and what people are fastening stuff down to as well, especially with no racks or panniers to tie stuff to.
 

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The hard frame pack I used a belly band and let the shoulder straps down, it was attached to me, not to the bike. It'd just sit on the pillion seat with that taking the weight. Wonderful in a crash - well provided you packed the soft stuff against your back and things like a frying pan on the outside. Just roll onto your back as you come off and you fall and slide down the road watching the scenery go by. I could even steer pretty well by dragging the backs of my boots. (Yeah, tested that.).

For the dry bag, webbing ratchet straps backed by bungee straps to stop shit shaking loose. You need both, bungees are a bit unreliable and vibration tends to make the webbing come loose. Just pull the dry bag back against the top box at the back. (Downside is, it's too far back to use as a backrest, upside it's far enough back to not make getting on and off a total PITA).

Oh and if you make a couple of webbing loops you can hook them around the frame rails, tuck them in when not in use and fish them out to give you really good forward anchor points. (Just behind where you sit). The rear rack provides the rear anchor points though you can do the same there. A large loop of webbing running under the rack, tuck the ends in when not in use, fish them out when hauling cargo. Needs one cable tie to stop it falling off the bike when not in use.
 

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There's also motorcycle-specific saddle bags, where you attach webbing to the pillion seat, and two bags then hang down from the sides. You can then add a drybag across the seat for additional storage. Between those saddlebags, the drybag and the top case you should have enough storage capacity for a multi-day camping trip.

Here's just an example. (Not an endorsement BTW - I've never used this method myself since my bike came with a full set of hard cases.)

https://sw-motech.com/en/products/luggage/Legend+Gear/saddlebags/4052572034255.htm
 

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For tying things to the bike (like the Molle backpack mentioned) get rok straps. Fantastic straps. Absolutely perfect to tie down snug, but with the bungee in them, if your bags compress a little more whole riding, it self tightens around it more keeping it secure the whole way. Regular tension or ratchet straps maintain tension, but sometimes end up a little loose if what you strapped in moves or compresses more during the ride.

Alexi
 
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Totally agree, Rok straps are the way to go. 1" set works well.

A loose strap can be dangerous if it gets into the chain or wheel.

Heres a pic of two tie down points I added using seat belt strap from an old car seat.

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Rox straps or nylon straps stay tight. I've used a U pack from Rev Pack. I have dry bags from 30 years ago too. Most invest in some sort of saddle bags either plastic, metal or fabric.
What you buy to use for cooking and sleeping can run hundreds of dollars It's amazing when i add up what I've got in that U pack strapped to the back of the seat. Then i have more stuff in the Aerostich tank panniers and the saddlebags and top box.
Look at what you have and put it together and estimate the size of bag you'll need to hold it. Once you try motocamping you'll see if you need to upgrade to sleeping bags that pack smaller and air mattresses that are more comfortable and a stove that works easily.
A friend was afraid of my Seva 123 stove 'cus of the archaic manner of starting it. Thought he'd burn himself. So he got a fancy jetboil and promptly melted the poor thing.
Practice in the back yard and you may save a miserable night far from home. If it don't work in the backyard it will really suck 200 miles from home.
REI has sales on some high end stuff. Check the close out prices.
 

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Also important is equal weight distribution side to side. I go as far as to weight each side bag on heavy long tours. Practice dry runs first. Check all bungees and tiedowns after a few miles into your trip. Practice makes perfect, you'll make improvements trip after trip. ??
 

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I have a Bilt dry bag i bought out west, 60L. I can fit a 6 person tent, a slim sleeping bag, compact camping chair, few clothes, a couple gifts for the family on my way back, etc.

I tuck it against the top box over the handles, but i could just as well set it on the length of the bike since the bag is equipped with straps that tie to the bike at the four corners.
 

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I have been camping a few times with the setup you describe. At first I used an old nylon roll bag with a garbage liner inside for my tent, sleeping bag and mat, all attached to the rear seat with bungee cords (it is what I had at the time). Cooking gear, clothes and food in the top case.

I have now graduated to a dry bag and Rok Straps (MUCH better!).

For me this works better than any backpack solutions as I can still stand and balance well for off road work. Downside of this is when off road the gear in the top case bounces around a bit. If I am planning some off road I now remove the top case and pack that stuff into a second dry bag.

Not sure if you have them in USA but Aldi had dry bags for ~$20
 

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Here is my wee loaded up from my camp out a couple of weeks ago. Ratchet strap the backpack on and bungee cord the chair. the rest of my stuff is in the hard bags. just saying we ride VSTROM's no need to spend big$$ to strap stuff down. lol....
 

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