Getting the most from the great outdoors

Motorcycle Camping – Your 10 Top Tips for Hitting the Open Road

motorcycle camping

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When you are planning to go camping with a motorcycle there are a few things that you should consider before you set off for the great outdoors.

Some preparation and planning before you leave will help you to make the best use of your motorcycle storage while ensuring that you have everything that you need.

Camping with a motorcycle is an awesome, adventurous way to spend the night. It’s not for everyone but if you’re looking for something different from your typical camping experience this might be great for you. There are a lot of things to consider before heading out on your next trip.

1. Plan your route and mileage

Regardless of how far you plan to travel or where you plan to camp, it’s important that you map out your entire route ahead of time so that you can get an accurate idea of how long it will take.

You should also plan your mileage so that you can give yourself time to stop and enjoy the view.

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2. Decide on a camping location and activities

Once you know how far and for how long your trip will be, you can plan your route to include popular campsites along the way as well as any other attractions or activities that interest you.

3. Pack your home away from home

Although you are likely to take clothing, camping gear, food and other supplies with you on your motorcycle for your trip, it’s important to make sure that everything packs away easily because this will enable you keep the weight to a minimum.

You should also select items that are compact or small enough so that they can be carried without difficulty.

4. Check the weather

It’s important to plan for extremes when you are camping because just one bad day on a camping trip can ruin everything from your clothing to your comfort level.

Check out the weather report in advance and pack accordingly.

5. Put together an emergency kit

In addition to making sure that you have packed everything that you need, it’s also important to put together an emergency kit.

This should include a tire repair kit, a first aid kit, a flashlight and extra batteries as well as a way to signal for help if needed.

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6. Pack the right clothing

You will need proper motorcycle clothing whether you are going camping or not but it’s even more important when you plan to be out doors for an extended period of time.

Pack things that will keep you warm and dry as well as comfortable enough to wear all day long, then plan on dressing in layers so that you can adjust if needed.

7. Select the right gear for your vacation

When it comes to camping gear, there are a few special items which could make your trip a lot more comfortable if you have them available.

Items such as an air mattress, a sleeping bag or a hammock can all make your vacation that much better.

8. Prepare the motorcycle for travel

Before you set off it’s important to get your bike ready for the journey.

Check the tire pressure, oil level and all other fluid levels as well as the battery to make sure that your motorcycle is ready.

You should also give your bike a good check over making sure that there are no loose or missing nuts or bolts and that your bike is free from damage.

Check the chain and tension, add chain lube if needed.

9. Get your storage sorted out

Unlike a car you don’t have large amounts of storage and you’ll need to pack carefully making good use of the space that you have.

Panniers are one of the most common storage options on a bike and these can be supplemented by a tank bag.

You can also use a rucksack for smaller, lightweight items.

10. Pack your own personal comfort pack

A few personal comfort items to help make your trip more enjoyable no matter how long it may be.

Items such as games, books, magazines or a digital music player can ensure that you have something to do while out on the open road.

motorcycle camping

What do you need for a motorcycle camping trip?

A motorcycle is an excellent choice for camping because it provides you with the ability to go off on your own adventure, can carry all of your gear without making too much extra effort and doesn’t require large amounts of storage space.

However, there are some special items that can make your motorcycle camping trip even more comfortable which include:


When you are choosing a tent make sure that it is lightweight, easy to put up and take down as well as compact enough to carry on your motorcycle.

Sleeping bag or blanket

You will also need to choose a good quality sleeping bag or blanket depending on the time of year that you will be spending outdoors.

Air Mattress

Another important item to pack when you are motorcycle camping is an air mattress in order to make sure that you stay comfortable through the night.

An air mattress does not take up a great deal of space either so it’s easy enough to carry without taking too much room from your storage space.

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First aid kit

Every time that you go out on your bike for a ride it’s important to keep some kind of first aid kit with you.

This way if anything happens, whether it’s an accident or just some minor bumps and bruises that you can clear up right away before they become more of an issue.

Tire repair kit

Depending on where you are going and how far you may need to travel you could benefit from carrying a tire repair kit with you.

This is especially true if you plan on heading out into more remote areas where help will not be readily available should anything go wrong with your motorcycle.

Flashlight and batteries

It’s important to carry a good quality, reliable flashlight with you in order to be able to see everything that is around you even when the sun goes down.

Extra batteries are also a must if you plan on using your light source for an extended period of time because nothing is more frustrating than being stuck somewhere with a dead battery.

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Something to eat and drink

Of course no trip would be complete without food and drink.

If you don’t want to pack anything for this category then just stop at a supermarket on your way out of town and pick up some pre-made sandwiches and water.  

However, if you plan on cooking outdoors than bring along some ingredients as well as utensils such as a camping stove or grill to make the process a little easier.

Comfortable clothing

When you go out on a motorcycle camping trip it’s important to bring along comfortable clothing that is made of the right material for whatever weather may be in store while you are out on your adventure.  

This means choosing items that keep you protected while also remaining light enough to carry without taking up too much storage space.

Pack carefully

Even if you’re just planning on staying overnight for one night it’s always a good idea to pack extra items so that you can be prepared for anything.  

This means bringing along an extra change of clothes, some kind of basic cooking supplies as well as toiletries such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

As your bike doesn’t have much storage space it’s important that you choose items which are compact enough to bring along with you easily.

Figure out the best place to store everything so that it is accessible when you get where you are going and pack anything extra in sturdy bags or even plastic boxes for easy carrying.

No matter what kind of motorcycle camping trip you plan on taking make sure that you are well prepared for any situation that may arise.  This is the only way to ensure a fun and memorable adventure.

When preparing for a long road trip, it is recommended to pack light, organize every belonging and refrain from bringing excess baggage.

Every little bit counts when you are traveling, so it’s best to be prepared, efficient and keep everything you need within reach during the entire trip.

Luggage for bike camping trips

Motorcycle luggage makes carrying your belongings around much easier because they are specifically designed to fit snugly on your bike or in storage compartments.  

Additionally, motorcycle luggage is waterproof which means that your items will stay safe and dry even if there is a rain shower.

To carry everything you need, you can purchase different sizes of luggage from small to large and many options are universal making them suitable for all makes and models of bikes.

Popular motorcycle luggage

How to pack your bike for a camping trip

There are many ways to pack for a motorcycle road trip.  Many individuals opt to bring along camping supplies, tents, sleeping bags and cookware while other people prefer to only pack light clothing and toiletries.  

It all depends on what you need to pack and how much time you have for the entire journey.

Regardless of how you plan to pack your bike, the most important thing to know is that it should not be overloaded.

Every item you load onto your motorbike should be safely secured and balanced because failing to do this could cause your motorcycle to begin rocking while you are driving down the road which can cause a significant accident.

The basics are:

Weight – don’t be tempted to take too much with you. If you won’t need it then leave it behind.

Remember that you can buy most food locally when you arrive at your campsite so you can make reductions in this area.

If you do want to take some foods then think along the lines of dried foods, noodles, ration packs and other lightweight options that can be reconstituted with water.

Balance – pack carefully so that your bike does not become lopsided. You may need to alter how you pack to get the best results.

An unbalanced bike will be difficult to control, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Order – think about what things you are likely to need while you are travelling, you don’t want to be digging around in your luggage for your waterproofs if it starts to rain – keep things like this within easy reach.

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Final words

A motorcycle road trip is a great way to enjoy the benefits of traveling on two wheels.

It’s also an excellent way to save money and reduce costs while you explore new places and relax in beautiful surroundings.

Organization and preparation are the only ways to ensure that your journey runs smoothly and there is no room for anything else when it comes to motorcycle camping.  

Follow the tips and tricks in this article and ensure that you pack carefully, load your bike correctly and get ready for an exciting adventure.

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