When you mix the joys of camping and the thrill of exploring the wide open spaces on two wheels, you have a recipe for a great adventure. Camping on a motorcycle provides the intrepid explorer with a different type of freedom over more traditional four wheeled touring. However, as with any outdoor excursion it pays to have a good idea of the type of camping equipment required to make the journey a successful one.
So, in order to keep one's motor running when heading out onto the highway, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Tent and Bedding
There are such things as trailers for motorcycles, but unless you plan to hook up to one of these purpose built bike trailers then the mantra for your motorcycle tent selection should be small and lightweight.
Make sure that the tent has a water proof floor to provide added comfort for your good self and an extension of some sort to shield your beloved roadster from harmful pain peeling rays or soaking rain.
You'll need to keep yourself nice and cosy when you bed down under the stars after a long day in the saddle. Unless you are as hard as nails and can get by with just a blanket and your helmet as a pillow, a small sleeping bag will do the trick.
Throw in a cold weather blanket, should you choose to camp down where the after hours temperatures can drop. A good tip here is to pack your tent into a separate waterproof bag to the rest of your belongings. If you are unfortunate enough to reach your destination and be greeted with an unwelcome downpour and not the adoring rays of glorious sunshine, you can at least unpack your clothes and bedding inside your tent in relative dryness.
Cooking Equipment and Food Supplies
Modern day army rations, freeze-dried food and small tins of of easy cook meals provide gourmet solutions for the backpacker on wheels, which can be served up in compact mess kits or 1 person cook sets.
However, when it comes the all important matter of feeding oneself on the road, a general rule of thumb for the camping motorcyclist is to pack enough food to last for one day.
Even the largest motorcycle is not designed to be used as a mobile pantry, so to ensure your that your camping party has a plentiful supply of food and drink, just simply buy what you need along your travels and dine out.
Travelling with minimal food stocks should not hinder your camping vacation. The very nature of your chosen mode of transport will provide you with a great opportunity to sample local cuisine and make stocking up on your supplies, when dropping in on the populated areas along your route, a lot easier than by car.
Your cooking equipment should also be lightweight and portable. A favourite among the camping brigade are fold away stoves that burn on butane or propane. The butane containers are no bigger than a can of fizzy pop and can provide you with a source of fuel for several days.
You may want to follow in the footsteps of the purist campers and elect to cook on a campfire. This is not always a good idea as not all campsites permit the use of open fires. Also if your morning ritual includes a cup of coffee that does not take an eon to make then a portable stove is the better option.
Clothing and Toiletries
Your off road attire will depend upon what you plan to get up to when you are not taking in the scenery from the comfort of your saddle. A couple of must haves are a pair of shower shoes and a light waterproof jacket. Again, make sure that your evening wear has it's own waterproof packaging.
There is no reason why you cannot enjoy the benefits of your favourite personal hygiene items while out on the road. All the usual toiletries can be taken along, such as a toothbrush, soap (the environmentally friendly type of course), toothpaste, and in my case, a shower cap. A secret weapon in your arsenal in your fight against abrasive sandpaper-like toilet tissue is a packet of baby wet-wipes. These little beauties can provide you with a level of comfort that will ensure your rear end and saddle will traverse the many miles in perfect harmony.
Besides the core items of tent, cooking equipment and the correct type of toiletries, you may want to consider a few other little extras to add to your panniers
- Fold-out Stool
- Pocket Utility Knife
- Plastic Sheet
- Small Repair Kit
- Mini First Aid Kit
The marriage of motorcycle and canvass will not always provide you with 5 star luxury, but it is a fun way to explore the countryside.
It is always a good idea to test out any equipment that you are not familiar with before you set off and to get in some practice of packing and repacking your gear.
You will want to make sure that your compact camping kit works and that you will not be the campsite jester as you struggle to stow away your luggage before heading off into another sunset.
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