I’ve been on my fair share of camping trips on a motorcycle. It’s not an easy task to do, but it’s been accomplished. Trying to fit a tent, clothing, and all other necessities on the back of a hog is all about playing a game of tetris with your sissy bar and saddle bags. You have to know how to pack your belongings and what’s necessary to bring and not bring.
In your luggage, you should always have a tent, sleeping bag, and some kind of mattress. If you can keep your air mattress in the box, that’s a great base or topper for all of your gear. It’ll make for a sturdy surface for tying down or balancing. There are a variety of options for what you can put your gear in:
- Aluminum case
- Saddle bags
- Ortlieb drybags
Inside of the luggage, you should try to fit some cooking gear, clothes, your sleeping necessities, water, and other quick grab items for when you stop for food or a drink. You should also make sure that you carry a self defense weapon of some kind if you’re camping in the wilderness, such as a machete.
If you don’t think you’ll need it for self defense, they’re also useful for chopping down small vegetation such as branches for fires. If you haven’t already, read up on a review of highly rated machetes or two to find one that’s best for you and your trip.
If you’re going to rough it rather than take one of those pull behind campers for motorcycles, you should choose your tent wisely. Do you want a tunnel or dome tent? The tunnel offers more space, but the dome is more stable and ventilation possibilities are better.
Ventilation is something else that you should consider as well. If you don’t have enough ventilation, everything in your tent is going to become damp, which can lead to mold after you roll up your tent and sleeping bag. Proper ventilation calls for openings in the front, back, and top.
Sleeping Bags & Mattresses
This is another one of the most important things that you are going to need on your trip. If you go for a sleeping bag that is made from down, they are ideal for packing on your motorcycle because they are light and pack in small volume. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in damp weather; this is where synthetic bags are best. Another advantage of synthetic is that they are cheaper and can be compressed for a long period of time without losing shape.
Mattresses, on the other hand, are much harder to pack once they are taken out of the box. Your best bet is to leave them in it, pack the pump in a saddlebag, and remove it once it’s time to set camp up. Due to the fluctuating weather temperatures, your mattress might lose air throughout the night, so make sure you have that pump handy.
Camping while out on the open road is a fun experience, i’ve done it a number of times and each time, it gets easier because I already know how to do it. Along with all of the obvious gear, make sure you pack your safety essentials such as bug spray to prevent against mosquito bites, sunscreen, thermal underwear for those cold nights, and a first aid kit. Be safe on the road, folks.