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Camping gear & motorcycles?

This is a discussion on Camping gear & motorcycles? within the Touring forums, part of the Types of Bikes category; I'm planning a cross-country trip. I intend to sleep outdoors as much as possible. I was just going to look ...


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Old 06-05-2006   #1
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

I'm planning a cross-country trip.

I intend to sleep outdoors as much as possible.

I was just going to look for a sleeping bag, but a tent would be a good idea too.

I want to keep the cost down as much as possible, but I know quality is going to cost money. If I can nail a brand/model to go with, I can hunt around for the best price.

THE GEAR MUST BE LIGHT AND SMALL TO FIT EASILY ON A SPORTBIKE!

Any suggestions? I'd want a sleeping bag rated to deal with as cold a temp as possible. A cheap bag might be easier to pack, but if it isn't warm enough, you won't sleep well.

I don't know what to look for in a tent. It's mostly intended for shelter from the elements while sleeping. It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be compact to store and as easy to set up and take down without tools as possible.

I know some people do this. Looking around, I see "backpacking" equipment which might be my best bet, but they really don't tell you much along the lines of how compact it is to store or how easy it is to assemble and break down.

Any advice? :confused
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Old 06-05-2006   #2
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

Of course you have to have a GOOD rainsuit also. CC trip on a bike can be less than comfortable, unless you can deal with it. Showering for instance. You could stay at a Super 8 or Motel 6. Roadside motels are a cheap shower/place to get a good dry nights sleep once in a while and wash clothes. Maybe a resort. Finding a quiet place to sleep can be tough outdoors. Bugs while riding and while sleeping. All kinds of fun stuff. No wonder why the hardcore riders look a little scraggly...

Sounds like fun though...
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Old 06-06-2006   #3
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

I'm looking for a picture of my rig with all my camping gear on it, but can't find it.

What I use is a tankbag and soft saddlebags, and I carry a 3-man tent, Therm-a-Rest, and a mummy bag. In the bags are stove, food, couple changes of clothes, rain gear, and tools. Tank bag has toiletries, more clothes, and little stuff I need.

The tent came from Bass Pro Shops many years ago, and it's wearing out. It packs into a tube about 7" diameter by 20" long, about the same as the Therm-A-Rest. The sleeping bag is new, I just got a new one. I'm short, so a children's sized one works for me, and it's also smaller than my old one.

A decent sporting goods store like REI, Bass Pro Shop, or place like that will have good gear. Hiking / Mountain climbing gear will be small and light (and expensive). General "camping gear" sold at the big box stores is bulky and cheap. Looks like you're finding that out too.

There are a lot of very cool lightweight, small tents available now. Mine is huge inside, which is nice: I can move ALL my gear into the tent once it's up, great when it's raining. Since a tent is mostly empty space, it smooshes down small when packed. A smaller tent may pack up a little smaller, but you also won't have as much room in it for you and your gear when it's up. What I don't like is how fussy mine is to put up. Newer tents have a different way to attach the tent to the struts that's a lot better and faster.

Bring a tarp, too. I fold it up and lay it down on the seat before I put the tent, sleeping bag, and pad on the bike.

Getting wet is a problem: It's no fun to pack up a wet tent in the rain, arrive at your destination that evening, and have to put up a soaking wet tent (in the rain again). Carry garbage bags. Aim for dry weather when you can.

Food was always the toughest, as it's heavy and takes up a ton of space.

Hooking all the gear to the bike is also problematic, sportbikes don't have many places to hook luggage. Adding a fender eliminator meant I no longer had those handy turn signals to wrap bungie cords around. And you will want to be very careful and neat when you strap your gear on your bike: Loosing your sleeping bag or your tent poles on the highway is a bummer. You may need to add some hooks or some other provisions for attaching cords to your bike.

Rokstraps are way cool, in that they're adjustable, have built-in loops, Fastex connectors, and some stretch.
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Old 06-06-2006   #4
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

I've added moto-camping gear to my collection. I've camped during my last two trips, but not every night. I have too much electronic stuff that needs to be charged at least every other day. :laughing

I use an REI Half-Dome tent. This (http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH) is the one.

For the sleeping bag, I use a North Face bag rated to 40 degrees. They make bags rated much colder obviously, but my justification for the 40 degree bag was that if it was much colder than that there was no way I was camping. :laughing

For carrying the camping gear, I have one of these (http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...e-p-16405.html) in the large bag from Aerostich. It's a great bag, zips open on both sides, has lots of storage, and also has straps on the back/top that you can use to strap a Thermarest if need be. It also includes straps at all 4 corners so you can make sure that it is well secured.

Here's a picture of the bag loaded on the bike with the Thermarest strapped to the back. Also, the tent setup if you care to see that.




Also, a rainsuit is mandatory. You can get a cheapie for $50, or you can get an Aerostich Roadcrafter for $850. :D I got one, and it's great. Gives you enough room to layer under it as well if you encounter cooler temperatures. Something else to keep in mind when you're considering rainproof gear. Don't forget what effect rain will have on your boots and gloves. I neglected that on my first sport-touring trip to Maine 2 years ago, and I *now* have waterproof boots and gloves. I can make recommendations on those too if you get to that point. :D
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Old 06-06-2006   #5
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

The Eureka 2XTA is a great little tent that weighs less than 6 lbs, packs up really small and costs about $100. For a good, small tent, that's actually pretty cheap.
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Old 06-07-2006   #6
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

Big Anges Air Core sleeping pads roll up to the size of a water bottle if you need one of those, too.
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Old 06-07-2006   #7
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

There you go. Gixter's tent is probably a thousand times faster to set up than mine: You snap the poles together, then clip the tent shell to the poles, popping the tent into shape. Probably a one or two minute job. Collapsed, it's probably smaller than the Therm-A-Rest (visible on his bike, behind the bag).
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Old 06-08-2006   #8
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

Thanks for the tips.

I have a Givi Wingrack and three hard bags. I can fit more on the bike on top of that, but that gives you an idea of what storage capacity I'm starting with. I'll also bring my small tankbag for odds and ends I'll use during the day.

I'll be camping mostly to save money. I've traveled enough to know that hotels are getting unreal in pricing. Every now and then, I might stop at a mom & pop motel (those tend to be pretty good and under $50), but I'm prepared to camp wherever if I just need to stop and can't find a good place to do it.

I'll bring food and water for the road, but I'm not planning on the whole "camping out" experience. It's a 6,000 mile trip to the west coast and back, and I'll be spending most every day in the saddle.
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Old 06-09-2006   #9
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

As much as you can carry comfortably is my option.


Of course the lighter the better.

When the wife and I did our 10 day, 3000 mile trip we were loaded for bear....but damn it was nice to have all of the stuff we did to be "comfortable". 300 miles in a day is no biggie, 300+ miles a day for 10 days, all the while also playing tourist and site seeing, will wear your ass out. So a nice shower, a decent meal, are amazing things to have.

Pay a bit, stay at campgrounds with showers, see if there are motorcycle specific ones in your area (there a a lot more then people think) and keep a flexible attitude....cause the weather will be!

Here is the FJR loaded down:
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Old 06-09-2006   #10
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Default Camping gear & motorcycles?

Couple of things you might consider:

Dont remember the manfacturer, I think I saw them in RoadRunner mag. Synthetic underware you could hand wash, and they would dry overnight. Supposed to be antibacterial and stain resistant. Very light weight but not cheap. There was also a camp towel of similiar material that is supposed to be absorbant and dry quickly. Serves to cut down the bulk.

I am a fan of FroggToggs rain gear. I keep pair on my bike all the time. Very light weight. Machine washable. Wind proof. Pants have elastic bottom with a zipper that allows you to put them on over your boot. Rode 150 miles in rain at 55, the only part that got wet were the cuffs of my jeans.

In the old day I used to camp under a tarp. Large enough to get me and my gear under it but basically pitched it in a "C" fashion so I slept on part and the other part covered me.

Some folk like slick and fancy, some like simplicity. Where you intend and when would really drive some decisions!

Good luck. Let us know what works and what doesnt.
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