I really never camped as a kid. This hobby came to me as an adult and I love it. It is truly relaxing. Combine it with a motorcycle? Well, duh! How awesome is that. Two of the most freeing activities you can do. Getting there without saddlebags or a sissy bar to carry all of my stuff was a challenge. So how do I do it? Let’s jump right into the gear.
A Tent — When I first started camping, I did it the easy way. “Car Camping” was my norm. I didn’t have a good tent to lug around on my backpack, let alone my Harley. I had a cheap Walmart tent that fit 2 queen air mattresses and it was damn heavy. Once I got the Harley I decided to get something more compact and lightweight. I bought a REI Quarter Dome T3 Tent. This tent is amazing. I bought this a few years ago and there are newer versions out right now. If you plan on solo camping, a 2 person tent will work just as well. A good rule of thumb is to get one person up, for how many people will be sleeping in the tent. 1 person in the tent = 2 person tent, etc. It’s always nice to have extra room for your helmet and other gear.
A Backpack — Make sure you get the appropriately sized backpack. REI is such a great resource in finding what you need. The staff helped me find the right size backpack for my body. I settled on an Osprey Kestrel 48 Pack. (Just like my tent, there are newer versions). Having a comfortable backpack will help you at the campsite, and while riding there.
A Tank Bag & Bungee Cords — You’d be surprised how much stuff needs to come with you. In order to save your back, it’s best to strap your backpack to the rear fender. Also get yourself a tank bag. Either strap type or magnetic. Pack your clothes in the tank bag, that way it is nice and soft to lay on. If you have low bars, it will save your back. Trust me.
A Sleeping Bag — Depending where you’ll be heading out, make sure to get the right bag for you. There are many ratings out there for different climate types. I grabbed one that will keep me warm in low temps as my all season bag. The Kelty Cosmic Down 41 Sleeping Bag. This allowed me to sleep comfortably in cold weather, and keep unzipped in warmer climates. I prefer to camp in the 40–80 degree climates anyways.
A Hammock or Camp Chair — Lemme tell you why. Sitting on the ground or a sharp rock will get old very quickly. I like camping in the woods, so a hammock is my choice. I use it as a chair and where I sleep. My gear stays nice and dry in the tent. If someone else is coming along, the tent still has plenty of room. My go to hammock, is the Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip Hammock.
Food/Water/Beer — Can’t really function without the first two…jk I want my beer. When I go camping, I truly enjoy having a beer while setting up and before bed. It’s hard to carry a lot on the bike, so get yourself a couple good sized beers in some form of lunchbox/cooler system. Oh yea, and the food. A good water bladder in your backpack or in your tank bag will hold you over for a little while. I prefer to carry freeze dried, or dehydrated foods with me on an overnight or two day camp trip. It packs small and you will be surprised how much you truly like trail mix. The yogurt in them….yussss…