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Thread: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

  1. #21
    jkane13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SE WI

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    I am pretty much counting on them nor anyone else getting past the pin number locking my mobile device! ICE is a cute idea, but I don't want someone else wandering around in my portable brain that keeps a lot more than just phone numbers in it.

    Besides ... 90% of the time my wife would be riding next to me at the time!
    -- Jeff
    2000 H-D Ultra Classic
    2005 H-D Dyna Trike
    2008 Roll-A-Home Camper

  2. #22
    bluepoof's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    San Carlos, CA

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Baby wipes!! They're a must-have for me on overnight trips -- a makeshift washcloth, sweat rag, hand wipe, something to wipe camping dishes off with....I love em!
    '07 Kawasaki Ninja 250 * '02 Yamaha XT225 * '08 Honda CRF80F *

  3. #23
    Yamifj1200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Richmond Va.

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by bluepoof View Post
    Baby wipes!! They're a must-have for me on overnight trips -- a makeshift washcloth, sweat rag, hand wipe, something to wipe camping dishes off with....I love em!
    They are also great to help prevent monkey butt on long rides.


  4. #24
    HOGCDR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Here is my loadout list, I keep updating it after each ride or gear added.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Photo/Journal Website:

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    baton rouge

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Here are a few of the ideas I've used on my MC camping trips:

    Before leaving, make a copy of every document you keep in your wallet and
    notify someone in your family or close acquaintance where the information will
    be kept at HOME. Losing a wallet on a trip can be a serious problem(I have
    done it) and with copies of your documents you can re-create it more easily.

    Keep some cash and/or a credit card hidden on your bike somewhere so that at least
    you will be able to pay for gas/hotel/tow, etc. to get home if the wallet disappears.

    Key in your critical phone numbers, insurance, credit cards, your cell phone so that
    you can easily make phone calls. Under stress sometimes it's difficult to think rapidly and

    Although some people plan on cooking in camp, I find that it causes multiple problems:
    - you must carry additional gear for fire starting, and cooking
    - you must carry food
    - food and cooking in camp attract animals, a nuisance or perhaps even dangerous
    I"d suggest a small, foldable ice chest for ice,water and snacks, but eat away from camp.

    Carry toilet paper in your tankbag or other easy to reach place, when you need it, you need it
    now !

    If you don't have a GPS, and you're traveling through busy, but unfamiliar speed
    limits, interstate or trafficky city streets.... get a small notebook and write your turns in large print
    for your next several miles, until you get away from traffic. Easier to look at the notebook's
    large print than try to memorize turns, or read a map and watch for turns and heavy, fast
    moving traffic.

    I bought a cheap tarp, and trimmed it to size and a shape that is slightly smaller than the footprint of my tent, and I left a small flap about 2 x 2' to use in front of the entrance, for my dirty boots.
    Using a ground pad protects the tent bottom and cutting it slightly smaller than the tent
    footprint prevents any water that drips down the tent in a rain shower from running underneath
    then tent. The small flap for the entrance can be rolled up under the tent if necessary, but allows
    for a place to set boots, water bottle, ice chest etc.

    Bathroom in a bottle:For the men in the camping group...I keep a plastic, quart size empty bottle in my camping gear in case the
    call of nature "calls" me. In crowded campgrounds you may have to wake up very early or very
    late in cold or wet weather to tramp to the bathroom. With a portable potty and a little maneuvering,
    you can stay in your tent near your warm sleeping bag, not bother with shoes in the dark and still get some likely much needed relief. Watch your aim.

    Buy an inexpensive small hand mirror, a whistle and a fire starting kit and keep them handy, in
    your tankbag, or in your riding jacket. If something happens, you'll at least have a way to
    signal others of your location and with a fire starting kit and a few balls of petroleum soaked
    cotton, you'll have a way to start a fire should you need one.

    Since I use a small hand axe to drive and remove my tent stakes and chop kindling if need be,
    I also keep it at the head of my sleeping bag so that I can find it immediately and in the dark,
    should I need it for any emergency.

    I.C.E. Medics are trained to look in our wallets and on our cell phones for any numbers
    listed as case of emergency. Include those numbers in your wallet and cell phone.

    I've tried for years to find the right light for use in camp and have come to the following
    conclusions. Sometimes you need light that is cast over a distance and sometimes you need
    light that is focused. I use two sources, a small LED bulb/battery powered lantern for
    lighting my camp area for walking or to see better around areas, and I use a small
    spelunkers' headlamp for focused light, reading, packing etc. Both can be had for less than
    $30 from Wal-Mart. Get ones that use the same kinds of batteries to again lessen your camping
    hassle. NO flame, no gas or other combustibles, less danger and hassle.

    I use a small, circular, waterproof thermometer to help me dress for the day. Sometimes it's
    difficult to judge riding temps while standing in still air, so I bought an inexpensive unit from
    Formotion and veclroed it to my dashboard. A quick look tells me how to dress for the morning

    I fashioned three 12V outlets as conveniences on my bike. GPS, Cell Phone, Radar detector.
    Since they all use just a very few volts I can actually use all three simultaneously, or I can
    use my heated gear when necessary.

    Although my friends chuckle, I still use bungees as my primary packing accessory. With
    webstrapping fashioned as hold downs, to prevent scratching my bike, bungees are easy to
    engage, and remove, they keep constant tension on the load and are simply replaced.
    I asked my wife to sew loops in both ends of 14 inch webstrapping and I wrap them around tie down
    points on my bike or luggage rack, then hook the bungees to the straps. Simple, fast, cheap,
    virtually mistake proof. Just make sure you hold both ends of the bungees as you fasten then to your loads.

    Keep a small or medium size " blood clotting" agent in your first aid kit, available at
    Cabelas and other adventure stores. It may save your life.

    Since I ride my bike on camping trips, or to overnight away trips to meet with clients, I've
    worked out what gear I need to include on the different kinds of trips. If anyone wants a copy of
    my "camping gear" , or my Overnight bike ride to a client's gear," drop me an email.

    I have others, hope this helps my colleagues in camping.

  6. #26
    Blue Knight Rider TJ Willy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    And when trying to 'learn' your kit and narrow down what your bring... especially from the non-essential list.... when you get home. Unpack the bike immediately. Make two piles. Stuff I used and stuff I did not use or found got in my way.

    Pick from the stuff not used that you deem absolutely necessary.

    Toss the rest. Write it all down.

    Also, keep a logbook/journal for the days on the trip. Take note of the "glad I brought gear" and the "this is just taking up my space". Keep it handy when you pack for the next list.
    2001 BMW F650 Dakar
    1999 Triumph Trophy 1200

  7. #27
    Blue Knight Rider TJ Willy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by G wizz View Post
    Good advice ... And I've used it.
    After motocamping for, oh lets see, going on forty years now, I've gotten my list down to a spare pair of sox and a tooth brush.
    Now I have plenty of room for ... nothing.

    G wizz

    See folks!!! The system works!

  8. #28

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    I've moto-camped for years 1-up allowing myself all kind of indulgences in what I carry. I am now planning my first long distance 2-up trip and find I must exercise considerable self restraint to get it all on my ST1300.

    I was originally going to ditch my Top Box and go with a couple of Helen Twowheel bags...but my wife expressed dismay at loosing the Top Box because she likes the security it offers her. So the Top Box stays. I'll probably order Turbo Tom's rack for the Top Box if only for a place to strap a couple of backpacking thermorest pads on. Anyone use one (the rack,not the pads)?

    One of the good things is my wife is a very light packer. I will probably have to insist she take an additional item or three for layering (temps from 40-105 this trip).

    I wish I had time for a 'test ride' weekend trip but we are launching straight into a 2 weeker: (I may load the bike for just a test ride around the block, that's all work allows.) Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah. Trailering it the near 2,000 mis to Denver then riding 2,900 mis. Yeah I hate trailering a bike but that allows the cover the most interesting riding in the time I have alloted.

    Fortunately we backpack so I do have some light/compressible gear. If I have to leave behind my coffee maker and Kermit chair I'm going to be pissed...

  9. #29
    2WheeldPrym8 Ripshod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Knoxville, TN

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    This thread points out the diversity of camping styles. I look at it a little differently. Instead of paring down the load to what I absolutely need, I've assessed what I want, and have worked to devise a way to take it all safely and conveniently. Since I always travel one-up, I've tried to make the most out of any and all space which would have been used by a passenger. I keep the load laterally centered, low, and forward. That way, a gear load of 100lbs is completely doable and affects handling even less than a passenger would. I like to camp as much as I like to ride. The gear I take and the way I pack it reflects those preferences.

    The gear list in the OP is great. Some of the Comfort/Luxury items on the list are things I'd consider to be essentials, but then I see my personal comfort (and luxury, to an extent) to be essential. For instance, almost all of the cooking and eating supplies are bare essentials for me because I see camping as an opportunity to eat well. In fact, my camp meals are routinely better than the average meal I get at home. It's a big letdown when due to weather or time on the road, I have to settle for a restaurant meal. I would never see Cup 'o Noodles and freeze-dried food as a luxury.

    I'm not suggesting a change to the list at all. (Having said that, I might suggest adding 'Footstool' to the list of luxury items, though it's part of my basic gear) I'm just using this opportunity to express what an oddball I am as compared to the average motocamper. I'm a maximalist and proud of it!

    Green states, camped in - Orange states, ridden in.
    2011 Honda NT700V, 2002 Kawasaki Super Sherpa, 1990 Honda VTR250

  10. #30
    Administrator Trailace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Houston, TX

    Re: Motorcycle Camping - The Basic Checklist

    Added Footstool
    Trailace/ Rick
    “You can tell the size of the man by the size of the things that bother him”

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