riding across country, never having camped- need some advice

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riding across country, never having camped- need some advice

This is a discussion on riding across country, never having camped- need some advice within the General Ninja 650R forums, part of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R category; I have bought and 3 season tent and lugguge. Im getting a little coleman peak 1 stove and fuel for the few times I feel ...

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  1. #1
    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    riding across country, never having camped- need some advice

    I have bought and 3 season tent and lugguge. Im getting a little coleman peak 1 stove and fuel for the few times I feel like hot food at camp. Im planning on showering at truck stops. I should mention Im not planning on paying for a campsite (unless). Other than what is mentioned thats all Ive done so far. I have rain gear and tools. Im leaving san diego and may be going as far as Pennsylvania. probably august or sept. My only real main concern is where will I sleep. I know there are free spots in national forrest, but if I have to dirtbike 40 miles to get there I might not be interested. So if you have any advice Im all ears. thanks

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    Obo
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    My first thought is if you've never camped before, this could be a long trip

    I'd try a few local overnights to see how you do before you set out. You also never mentioned if you were accustomed to doing long distances on your bike.

    Assuming these are all good, I'd get a good inflatable camping pad for your tent. Your back will appreciated that. If you are looking for a recommendation, there are lots of camping/backpacking forums that have reviews. A good pad will not be inexpensive but you also don't want something that when deflated is the size of a dufflebag

    If you also have a rough itinerary of your route, check to see where/if there are any local hostels etc along the way. Sometimes it's nice to get in out of the elements plus you may end up in a civilized area with no remote place to camp and just not be able to go any further. Being exhausted, sore or trying to setup a tent while soaked in the pouring rain is far from ideal!

    Preplanning the route for possible areas, and alternative accommodations, is always a good idea - unless you really want to just get on, go, and let the wind take you as it will.(which is totally doable too.)

    I know that's somewhat vague, but there's no simple answer unless you just wing it and accept what it becomes along the way.
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    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    a pad and sleeping bag are on my list. Im wondering if i can reasonably rely on people i meet along the way letting me pitch my tent in their yard if need be?

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    a pad and sleeping bag are on my list. Im wondering if i can reasonably rely on people i meet along the way letting me pitch my tent in their yard if need be?
    I wouldn't rely on being able to use peoples yards. I'd also allow for a sleeping bag that will cover down to at least 32F. At elevation, or as the months drag on, it can be down right cold at night, and you can't rely on your stove to keep you warm. (that's actually dangerous!) The flip side is it will be warm on the hot days but you can always unzip it or have a thin sheet cut down to use as a "blanket" and sleep on top of the bag.
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    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obo View Post
    My - unless you really want to just get on, go, and let the wind take you as it will.(which is totally doable too.)

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    can you talk alittle more about this

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    Hey mate, I was on YouTube just today and this came up in my recommendations. Haven’t watched it myself but if its not good theres bound to be others. Maybe take a look and dont forget to post up what you found. I’d love to hear how you go as well.
    2010 ER6NL ABS

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    can you talk alittle more about this
    It's fairly simple. Pack whatever gear you think you need / want. Head out in the direction you want. Whenever you want to stop and sight see or rest, do that. When you've decided you've had enough for the day, find somewhere to stop and stay that you feel is safe. It might mean you're sleeping at a truck stop, in a farmers field, a hotel, hostel, somewhere you've found a room to let on Craig's list, or some good Samaritan you've met along the way who let's you had a couch, bed or the lawn. No plans, no time lines, just living the life of a nomad so to speak on a motorcycle.

    Not my cup of tea anymore as I like to over plan everything still knowing that unexpected things come up that will mess with plans. (flat tires, traffic delays, bad weather, sore body parts etc.)
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    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    yep thanks, 30 degree bag on the way. do you prefer foam or inflatible pads for motorcycle camping.

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    yep thanks, 30 degree bag on the way. do you prefer foam or inflatible pads for motorcycle camping.
    I prefer inflatable but like I said I'd rather be comfy over compact. Easy enough to also bring along a pump. (there are options for hand and foot pumps if you don't want to huff n puff with your lungs. I'd shy from 12v or battery as your tent may not be close to the bike.)

    I'd recommend going to a decent sports / outdoors (REI, D i c k's, Cabellas, Bass Pro etc.) store and compare all the pads they have and talk to someone there. You can then see thickness, bulk, R-value (warmth), sizes, prices etc. and make the best choice for what you need and what you want to spend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    yep thanks, 30 degree bag on the way. do you prefer foam or inflatible pads for motorcycle camping.
    I definitely second a pad, but IMO you don't need a pump. They have really nice/comfortable/compact inflatable pads that only require around 15-20 breaths to fill up and they only cost around 40 bucks. Sleeping pads are a must have if you ask me. After a long day of riding, it's nice to be as comfortable as you can be sleeping on the ground.
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    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    what little incidental things would you be sure to bring that I may be glad to have with me? pressure gauge? Ill have a light, plug kit/co2, and tools , maps. so far. also do i need to wipe the dew off my tent before packing it in the morning- how do you deal with that?

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    what little incidental things would you be sure to bring that I may be glad to have with me? pressure gauge? Ill have a light, plug kit/co2, and tools , maps. so far. also do i need to wipe the dew off my tent before packing it in the morning- how do you deal with that?
    As for the tent, I'd have a small tarp or some thicker plastic as a ground sheet to keep the dirt/mud off the bottom. You can always wipe the tent down with a small towel. To dry the towel put a grommet in a corner and hook it to the bike to wind dry as you ride (or get a golf club type towel that already has a grommet.) A tarp to put over it all as extra rain protection helps too. The key is taking what you need and not the whole kit and kaboodle. Anything you find you need but don't have can be bought along the way if you have the funds and can find a place to purchase them.

    Things to bring with is a loaded question. Some would say spare fuel (like an MSR / Primus camping fuel type bottle), some oil (a pint or a quart), a bottle of water (to drink or use with a microfiber cloth to clean the bugs off your visor..... spare throttle and clutch cable (not sure if the trip has a specific timeline of it's just "when I get there I get there"), bug spray, emergency mylar blanket (in case the tent/bag is cold!), some long zip ties & a roll of gorilla tape

    As for musts mine would include:ear plugs, ear plugs, ear plugs (see a theme?), chain lube (I'd say that's a must if you're not shaft or belt drive), LED headlamp, tire gauge, pain/headache medication, refillable water bottle, sleeping bag liner (to keep the bag fresher and or use as a sleeping bag on warmer days or with the bag on the colder ones), $ change/small bills to pay road tolls, rain gear, sun glasses, dry socks, fuses, headlight bulb (if you have a single bulb and will be dusk/night driving.) The spare clutch and throttle cable may be important too as you may not find one at your location and have to hang out for a few days for one to be shipped - they don't take up much space. Of course that's only IF you end up needing them.

    That being said, have the bike tuned up / checked over before you even leave. Check/change the tires, brakes, chain, oil & filter, air filter, coolant, cables, lights, horn. You'll be putting a few miles on and better to not have to stop midway thru to do things you could have done in advance.

    Make a parking puck for under the kickstand if you only have a side stand. Parking in soft soil if you are in the woods will likely result in the bike laying down for a nap as well and you'll end up putting your muscles to work getting it back upright.
    Last edited by Obo; Today at 10:04 AM. Reason: forgot to include check the chain! :)
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    Supreme Being kenors's Avatar
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    I did this many years ago on the cheap as you are. As for places to stay: I assume you're on a Ninja 650 since this is their forum. I was on a DP bike (Honda SL-350) which had some dirt capability which gave me some extra opportunities. I often just rode out into a woodlot and set up camp. If the weather was nice, no tent, just the ground tarp set up like a lean-to to keep the dew off the sleeping bag. I ate/drank cold, mostly peanut butter sandwiches and water.

    I think the best advice was to camp a few times before you set out on the trip. I remember starting out and the first few trips were real organizing experiences. Things got pruned from the list and other things were added. By the time of my "big trip" I had it pretty well down. You'll find out soon enough what's on your essentials list, your nice-to-have list and what's on the "why did I pack this?" list. Good luck and have a blast!
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    Up-And Comer kalifornia's Avatar
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    thanks all

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