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Looking for tips/advice for motorcycle camping gear and camping in general...
a) what's good for motorcycle camping gear...there's probably a wide range from the low end to high end gear--I am curious what's out there
b) what's the best way to pack camping gear for motorcycle camping (how to keep dry, how to keep it compact, etc.)
c) what's the best way to locate the good campsites

I'm planning a long road trip for Sept of this year and would like to camp at least part of the time. If there are any good tips or advice, please do share :wink:
 

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If you don't want the camping gear to get in the way when you are travelling, then high end lightweight backpacking gear is the best. Plan on spending around $500 if you have nothing.

Here is my bike loaded up for 4 weeks on the road.


and my buddy's ZZR


My tent, self inflating mattress, and sleeping bag is in the big yellow dry bag. My buddy's tent, self inflating mattress and sleeping bag is in the little yellow dry bag. Big difference in size and price.

We both have the Jetboil system. Great for heating water for oatmeal and coffee in the morning and water for freeze dried meals at the campsite. We eat a good lunch while out on the road.
 

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Have you camped before?

Best resource if you're trying to get everything on a budget is CL. Amazing what you can find!

Buy yourself a decent waterproof bag to hold whatever won't fit in your bags. Our tent, sleeping bags, pads and kitchen stuff goes in ours easily and straps to my backseat. Leaves plenty of room in my bags for stuff we pick up along the way.

We "stealth camp..." If you want to do it legally keep an eye out for national forest and BLM land. Dispersed camping is free. We rarely deal with campgrounds where you have to pay, unless we are home basing for a few days. A nicely asked question at a gas station at the end of the day will often land you a free place to put your tent down at night. We have been invited to use church grounds and small city parks plenty of times.
 

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Looking for tips/advice for motorcycle camping gear and camping in general...
a) what's good for motorcycle camping gear...there's probably a wide range from the low end to high end gear--I am curious what's out there
b) what's the best way to pack camping gear for motorcycle camping (how to keep dry, how to keep it compact, etc.)
c) what's the best way to locate the good campsites
Camping gear will depend on how much you plan on roughing it. :)

Just camping is relatively easy. All you really need is a tent or tarp, a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag rated for the temperatures you'd expect.

Add in food and or cooking items and it gets a bit more bulky but not any more complex.

Add in the canoe and well, that's a bit extreme.

I'm not aware of any motorcycle specific camping gear unless you talk about tent trailers for bikes. I'm sure though someone makes some but any old camping gear will do.

Compression (stuff) sacs are a great way to get more articles that will compress into a smaller format and dry bags (think of the kind kayakers use) help too.
But any way you pack your regular gear for a bike trip to maximize space and keep it dry will work. Think of camping on your bike as a regular trip with the accommodations in the backwoods hotel.

As well, how many people you are taking plays a deciding role on what you need. 1 person needs less stuff and a smaller tent than 2.

For cooking Jetboils are indeed great small cooking systems, as are many of the other LP(gas) and canister(gas) cook stoves you can get. If you want to really get adventurous take a peek at a Kelly Kettle. It's a bit bigger & only boils water but runs off sticks, twigs etc. If you really want to keep it down in weight and size there are lots of minimalistic stoves that run off alcohol or wood. Some you can even make yourself. Here's a great stove site: Zen Backpacking Stoves - How to Choose a Stove

I usually do an alcohol stove insert (penny stove made from soda cans) in a small stove that also burns hexamine or wood.
StansportFoldingStove_full.gif
My cooking "pot" is an army surplus canteen cup. Fit's right on top.

You can find lots or good stuff at an army surplus store, usually at a fair price (not to knock Craig's list)

Food (assuming you are not eating out) can be either prepackaged stuff made for camping (think Mountainhouse) or even Ramen noodles and canned Spam. Or you can take dried soup mix, rice, etc. Just boil your water, mix, wait while it simmers, and enjoy.
Whatever you take to eat though make sure you try it in advance. Nothing worse than getting intestinal distress when you are trying to enjoy yourself.

Now for the accommodations bit. You can go with a variety of small tents. They usually don't compact much more from how they come from the store, and you'll likely want some sort of pad and sleeping bag system. The sleeping bag will usually compress in a stuff sack quite nicely.

My favorite way to camp though is in a hammock. More specifically a hammock tent. The only catch here is you need two trees (or suitable points) to hang from. These compress nicely and negate the need for a pad unless you want one. They are usually comparable to a new tent in price, but the comfort level is much nicer (in my opinion) There are a variety of companies that make them (look up Hennessy Hammock, Blackbird warbonnet, Jacks R Better etc.) I originally had a Eureka Chrysalis which was nice, but the Hennessy models are much better at keeping out bugs and compress very small.

Lastly, don't forget the necessities: water, toilet paper, bug spray, hand sanitizer & flash light

Funny thing about it is, I camp lots, and bike lots, but have never mixed the two. Bike trips = hotel, motel, B&B, friends homes etc. Camping is drive the cage and park it, then head out into the wilds on foot, unless you are doing car camping which is quite a bit different. :)

As for how to locate campsites, hmmm. I'm with Smash on staying for free places, but if not national/state parks campgrounds are usually good. If you are not roughing it too bad check for ones with flushing toilets & running water vs pit toilets and tent specific sites. Nothing worse than tenting on a gravelly spot made for a 5th wheeler. Water at the site is nice, power isn't really needed and sewage would be (pardon the pun) a waste.
 

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LOL, if that's the case I'd recommend either doing some car camping before you go or take your trip with an experienced bike camper...
 

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I second the hennessy hammock ESP if it warm out 90 degrees with a slight breeze in a hammock is comfortable. In fact under 75 gets chilly.
 

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Like OBO said, the compression sacks are great.
For hauling gear, I have a GIVI 80 litre waterproof bag that has compression straps and anchors for bungee cords.
Compression sacks of various sizes
Jet Boil Sumo with Cooking system
Kelty Salida 2 man tent with foot print
REI 3 season bag
ThermaRest self inflating mattress and pillow
Eno Rain Fly

Couple other minimalist items

tie wraps
bungee cords
Duct Tape
Tie Wraps
Parachute Cord
LED Lamp on a headband for setting up camp in the dark. Or finding the last beer in the cooler at night

Beer
 

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Yep, love my Hennesy. Kinda lacking in the rain protection though, that's the only thing I don't like about it.

Look into a 12 by 8 silnylon tarp, it can be used over the hammock or by its self as a sun shade. I have a 15 by 12 I use over two hammocks at once, stayed dry thru the left overs of a hurricane. While tenters got soaked thru the floors of the tents and condisation.
 

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For food look into freeze dried pricey but no cooler needed.

You can make some pretty good meals from everyday stuff at the grocery store, that does not need to be kept cold. Lipton chicken pasta sides with a can of chicken mixed in is decent and filling with nothing more than boiled water.

Poor mans egg drop soup is ramen noodles onion soups boiling water and a egg broken and mixed in.

Breakfast is cereal and milk powder in a zip lock just add cold water and shake.

Done with mostly dry foods you are looking 1.5 to 2 lbs a day depending on temp.

If you a milk drinker go to a ethnic food store and look for klim, yes its milk backwards, its dry whole milk, tastes much better.

Btw you can eat like this for 4 bucks a day
 

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Look into a 12 by 8 silnylon tarp, it can be used over the hammock or by its self as a sun shade. I have a 15 by 12 I use over two hammocks at once, stayed dry thru the left overs of a hurricane. While tenters got soaked thru the floors of the tents and condisation.
I've got the tarp that came with my hammock, might look for a second to add some more rain protection. (for dressing, cooking, hanging out, etc). Do you have a good source for them?
 

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For food look into freeze dried pricey but no cooler needed.

You can make some pretty good meals from everyday stuff at the grocery store, that does not need to be kept cold. Lipton chicken pasta sides with a can of chicken mixed in is decent and filling with nothing more than boiled water.

Poor mans egg drop soup is ramen noodles onion soups boiling water and a egg broken and mixed in.

Breakfast is cereal and milk powder in a zip lock just add cold water and shake.

Done with mostly dry foods you are looking 1.5 to 2 lbs a day depending on temp.

If you a milk drinker go to a ethnic food store and look for klim, yes its milk backwards, its dry whole milk, tastes much better.

Btw you can eat like this for 4 bucks a day
If you want to keep your water and milk separate (or don't like powdered milk) look for the tetrapaks of UHT milk like the ones you'd put in a kids lunch. You can also get them in 1L sizes but once opened they need to be used or kept cool. No refrigeration required until the are opened and they have a 6-9 month shelf life.
 

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@ everyone with a Hennessy. Did you go side or bottom entry?
 

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If you want to keep your water and milk separate (or don't like powdered milk) look for the tetrapaks of UHT milk like the ones you'd put in a kids lunch. You can also get them in 1L sizes but once opened they need to be used or kept cool. No refrigeration required until the are opened and they have a 6-9 month shelf life.
Interesting... Never thought about that! I never carry milk while camping because it has to be kept cold (and I'm really particular about milk). Might have to rethink. But, since I've never carried it, now I'm not sure what I would need it for!

@ everyone with a Hennessy. Did you go side or bottom entry?
Bottom entry, velcro. Bought mine used, velcro has held up well. Never tried the side entry. But beggars can't be choosers!
 
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