Many riders on a road trip prefer to connect with nature by camping outdoors. For many
first-timers though, packing for the trip may cause confusion, especially because storage space is at a premium on a motorcycle. So what equipment should one carry while on a motorcycle camping trip?
It is the dream of every motorcycling enthusiast to go on a road trip. However, one needs to make stops in between as adequate rest is required to recharge and recover from the strain and tiredness of riding continuously for hours.
Camping or staying outdoors is a unique experience that helps one discover new places and experience a number of challenges on the journey.
It also allows riders to catch some stunning sights such as the sunrise or animals migrating in the ocean from the comfort of their temporary accommodation.
After embarking on numerous road trips, both solo and with fellow riders, the items mentioned in the list above are the must-have items if you decide to camp outdoors during your road trip.
Read on as I explain them in detail, including why they are necessary. This will help you pack ideally for your road trip, making it the experience of a lifetime.
Utensils and Stoves
Riding for hours can really sap the energy out of the most seasoned riders as well. Camping outdoors can often mean stopping in locations with minimal access to stores and restaurants.
As a result, it is important to have the required items to help you prepare warm meals to give you the energy you need.
You will need to have basic utensils like a pan and cutting boards to help you cook your meals and do basic preparation. You can also pack some basic cutlery like knives, forks, and spoons to help you enjoy your meal.
It is essential that you carry flasks and water bottles to help you store water. This will ensure that you remain hydrated during and after your ride.
Having a stove can help you prepare your meals quickly. It is an essential item to carry especially if you camp in the wild or in remote locations away from civilization. If not, you can still manage with matches and wood to create a bonfire as the cavemen did.
Outdoor camping requires riders to make their own living arrangements. Some designated camping sites have tents for rent, preventing you from carrying your own tent amongst other luggage.
However, this is not feasible if you are looking to camp in remote areas. It is also an unreliable option as this provision depends from the campground to campground.
Despite advances in technology, tents are still quite bulky items to carry. They may end up taking an entire bag or pannier, which is a lot of space on a motorcycle. You will also have to carry the related accessories such as the tent pole and pegs, guy ropes, and so on.
However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons if you are riding across the country. The advantage of having your own tent is that you know exactly how much space you have.
As a result, you can plan your luggage and other required items beforehand to ensure you are comfortable.
You can also choose a good quality all-weather tent of your choice that can withstand rain, heat, and snow. This will keep you comfortable within the tent and allow you to stop at a location of your choice without the weather coming in the way.
Many of us might find camping chairs unnecessary, especially considering how camping helps us connect with nature.
However, as a seasoned motorcyclist with numerous road trips under my belt, having a proper seat to rest on with adequate back support is a truly relaxing feeling after a long day of riding.
Camping chairs nowadays are extremely portable thanks to unique folding designs that ensure minimum storage space. They are extremely easy to assemble, with durable materials ensuring maximum comfort and durability in rough weather.
Camping chairs were the most useful during group trips. We would all light a fire and gather around. But there are very few camping chairs for motorcycle rides, they need to be extra portable and lightweight because we cannot carry a lot of things on a motorcycle.
While lazing in our camping chairs, we would share a drink and wait while our meals were getting cooked. The great conversations made for some of my best memories while being on the road.
Sleeping bags, pads, and pillows
While camping can be a great experience to riders on their first road trip, it is important to keep in mind that stopping for extended periods is the best time to give your body some rest.
Every rider must make their own sleeping arrangements beforehand to ensure they are well-rested and good to go the next day.
Sleeping bags give you a good amount of thermal insulation. They are especially important when you are camping in regions that can see temperatures plummet during the night. It helps you maintain your body temperature, helping you feel snug, and ensure you sleep well
Sleeping pads on the other hand keep you warm and prevent body heat from escaping into the ground. It also protects you from insects and rodents that you may be camping over, allowing you to sleep peacefully.
Riding for extended periods of time with a helmet means there is an enormous amount of stress placed on your shoulders, neck, and head.
A pillow can provide much-needed support to you when you are resting, allowing you to avoid any discomfort or long-term problems in the neck and head.
Having a comfortable pillow can be the difference between feeling refreshed in the morning or riding with a splitting headache because of lack of proper sleep. They also do not take up too much space, allowing you to pack them easily with other luggage.
First Aid Kit and Insect Repellant
Safety must always be paramount in any activity that you undertake, be it camping or riding a motorcycle. Having a first aid kit is an absolute must to help treat minor injuries and bruises.
It will also help you administer medical help that can potentially save a life before trained paramedics arrive on the scene, which may take a while if you are camping in a remote area.
Ensure that the kit has disinfectant liquid, bandages, dressing gauze, and adhesive band-aids. Also ensure you have a pair of scissors, emergency medication like aspirin and antacids, as well as tape and gloves in case you need to dress a wound.
If it is your first time camping in the wild, then you are highly susceptible to insect bites and allergies. Having an insect repellant that you can apply on your skin can help keep them away. This will allow you to enjoy your time camping and stay safe from unknown insects and diseases.
Wallet, permits, and cash
It is a cardinal sin to leave your wallet behind when you go on a road trip. Ensure that you are carrying a valid form of identification and your driver’s license at the very minimum in your wallet.
Adding an emergency contact list can also be very helpful in case your loved ones need to be contacted in an emergency.
Camping is an activity monitored by the State Forest Department of the region. While designated camping grounds do not require permits, you may have to get specific permissions if you wish to camp in the wild.
Ensure that you have the approved permits on you beforehand or the documents you need to obtain at the location itself.
Credit cards and digital forms of payment can make life easy on the road. However, not all gas stations and stores in remote locations accept card payments.
In such cases, it is important to have a sufficient amount of cash on you, allowing you to make purchases in emergency situations.
Emergency repair kit and puncture kit
Motorcycles are susceptible to breakdowns at any point of time. As a result, many riders may be left stranded in the middle of nowhere without being able to get their ride started. In such cases, having an emergency repair kit can help you make basic repairs that might allow you to ride to the nearest mechanic to get your ride properly inspected.
Punctures occur commonly on the road, especially if the roads are bad. Having a puncture can help you patch your tire and allow you to continue on your ride without too many issues.
However, if there is a serious tear, the puncture kit will allow you to make temporary repairs that allow you to ride to the nearest puncture shop without causing too much damage to the motorcycle.
Road map and motorcycle documents
In this modern world, we hardly hear of road maps thanks to GPS and mobile-based technology. It is important to remember though that many camping sites are located far away from urban infrastructure to help people enjoy nature at its best. As a result, you may end up with poor cellular coverage or poor GPS signal strength.
In such cases, good old road maps can help you navigate through your current location and help you on your journey. However, make sure that you know how to read these maps and understand the different symbols.
Also make sure that you have the latest map that has been updated by local authorities, which gives you the most accurate information regarding your surroundings.
Another important item that you must have on you is your motorcycle documents such as registration. This ensures that you are not on the wrong side of the law during traffic stops and border crossings.
In many cases, it will also allow you to park your motorcycle in camping ground parking lots at a small fee.
I hope this article has given you enough clarity about some of the most important items you must have if you are going on a motorcycle camping trip. Be sure to check out 7 Reasons to Go on a Motorcycle Road Trip as well. Ride safe and enjoy reconnecting with Mother Earth on your next trip!