The roads are mapped out and the motorcycle is topped off and ready to go. But what motorcycle camping gear do you need for your trip?
Without the right camping equipment, you have put the brakes on the trip quick — and may end up turning back or spending the night in a hotel.
Another option is bringing way too much equipment, which is not good either. Packing a motorcycle for camping is an art.
Here are a few essential items for spending time in the woods.
The tent is your home away from home. It makes sense to invest in a good camping tent.
Generally speaking, buy a tent that sleeps 2 more people than you will need. This will offer room for your gear and keep claustrophobia at bay.
There are small motorcycle tent options, as well as large.
I am more of a minimalist and my tents reflect that. For solo travel, I use the Eureka! Solitaire.
It is a one-person tent, which packs to a small footprint at 4″x17.5″ in size with a 2 lb 9 ounce weight.
Note: I like to keep extra poles with me when using the Solitaire because they can break.
If you are not a minimalist and like more room and storage space, check out Redverz’s Atacama Expedition Motorcycle Tent.
From the videos and reviews I have seen and read (I have not used it), this tent is like a mini home in the woods. It sleeps three people and has a motorcycle garage. If the garage is not used, it will sleep five people.
Their motorcycle camping tent features waterproof Ripstop polyester, is 14 lbs, and packs to a 21″x9″ size.
Below is a video of the tent.
A warm, light, packable bag will keep you warm when it is cold out. Buying a bag with a silk liner is helpful, too. When it is too hot to sleep in the bag, you can sleep on top the bag and use the silk bag.
Also, a sleeping pad is a good investment. I have camped on rough ground without one and it makes for a rough, sleepless night. The pad can soften things and (for me) helps with a better night’s sleep.
I bought a Coleman Big Basin extreme weather sleeping bag, which was designed for taller people.
Because it is for taller folks, it is probably not the best sleeping bag for motorcycle camping because it is bulkier and takes up more space than other bags. That said, it is roomy and warm.
Although everybody has their favorite bag, Big Agnes brands are popular on motorcycle touring forms like advrider.com.
Camp stove: Coleman Peak 1 review
Unless you are bringing all dry food or are eating at restaurants, you will need a camp stove to cook your meals.
I use a Coleman Peak 1. It is a minimalist camping stove, which uses a butane and propane mix fuel cylinder. The lightweight and folding design make this a great little stove for backpacking.
It has an adjustable burner, which works well.
The only downside is this stove has no ignition source: Don’t forget the matches.
A small headlamp is essential when camping — whether for reading in your tent, finding firewood, working on your bike, or any number of items.
A small, bright flashlight works well but a head-mounted headlamp works best. I bought a knock-off light on Amazon for around $20 bucks.
My cookset is minimal. It includes two Ozark Trail stainless steel cups, a small frying pan, and a silverware set, which I bought at a local retail store.
A knife is an essential piece of equipment in the woods. Some people have really nice, expensive knives that last for years and years with proper care and maintenance. Others buy cheap ones and replace as necessary.
Whatever your philosophy, a good knife is essential for any number of tasks — whether cutting food for dinner or fixing a flat tire.
I have been using TAC Force TF-705, which is a 3-1/4-inch blade knife. Half of the stainless steel blade is serrated and its thickness is 3 mm. It has an aluminumn handle.
The TAC Force is inexpensive and has lasted well for me. The knife is sharp out of the box and holds an edge well.
Nobody expects an minor accident — such as a cut, bruise, or scrape. This is why a good medical pack or first aid kit is essential when you are roughing it.
Whether you piece together your own kit or buy a ready-made medical kit, just make sure you are prepared if something goes south.
Odds and ends
There are consumable items you’ll need as well. So, don’t forget the fuel, food, water (or water filtration capabilities), matches, and anything else you think you would need to survive while camping.
Also, it is important to note that the trip determines the gear. This is an overview of equipment for a trip, not a be-all-end-all checklist. Everybody will have variations.
For example: On one or two night solo trips, I know I’ll eat supper at a restaurant and have granola in the morning. This means I won’t pack cooking supplies or a camp stove but I list them below as “essentials.” There will be variations on what you bring based on situations and circumstances.
I hope this provides a few ideas about motorcycle camping gear to bring with you on the trip.