Motorcycle camping requires a minimalist approach, and a solid checklist will ensure you have all of the essentials without overloading your bike. Motorcycle campers can carry camping gear in saddle bags or a side car, and some motorcycles have the ability to pull a small trailer. Saddle bags are ideal for riding dual purpose motorcycles on narrow dirt roads, but side cars and trailers allow you to pack more gear.
Carry the motorcycle equipment that you normally store on the bike. Do not sacrifice important tools, oils and lubricants to make space for excess camping gear. Also, wear a helmet and eye protection while riding the motorcycle. Wear multipurpose gloves that can be used for climbing and warmth while you are camping and that have a good grip for riding your motorcycle.
Backpacking gear is ideal for motorcycle camping. Carry a lightweight backpacking tent, sleeping bag, pot, stove and spork. Dehydrated foods are easy to pack, but canned and bagged food can be carried if you have room on the bike. Use compression stuff sacks to minimize the surface area of your gear and pack it tightly in the storage compartments. Carry a lighter and waterproof matches to light the stove, and wear some of your bulky camping clothing while riding. Hiking boots and heavy pants and jackets can be worn while riding to save storage space. Rain gear and long underwear are compatible and can be packed away. Use water bottles and bladders that can be compressed when not in use, and carry a small water filter or use iodine tablets.
First Aid Kit and Miscellaneous Gear
Carry a minimalist first aid kit with gauze, tape, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment and any medications that you require. Also carry a survival knife, flashlight or small headlamp, toilet paper, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. You can store recreational gear on your bike, but space is limited and bulky items like bicycles will not fit unless you are pulling a trailer or side car. Multiple-piece fishing rods can be stored in a small space, and medium-sized items can be safely strapped to the seat of the bike if necessary.