Motorcycle Camping 101


So you’re planning a motorcycle camping weekend, or setting out on a longer bike trip? Here’s what you need to know.

Packing for a Motorcycle Camping Trip

Packing for motorcycle camping is very individual: some people prefer minimalism, whereas others need camping chairs and beer coolers to feel comfortable. It’s up to you to decide on your perfect motorcycle camping weekend, but here are some essentials that will help you along:

  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a pillow. These are your basics: although some people might recommend using a rolled-up jacket or sweater for a pillow, your tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad are pretty much a must.
  • Cooking equipment. Plan to cook your own meals? Bring a stove (gas or fuel, or one that works with both), a pan or a pot, a plate, a spork and a cup for your morning coffee.
  • Portable shower. Most of the time, you’ll probably camp near a body of water or at a campsite with shower facilities, but if you intend to wild camp and aren’t sure about water availability, bring a dromedary bag that can be hung in a tree and used as a shower. Alternatively, try Purequosa – shower in a bottle!
  • Bring the right stuff. By that, we mean pick the equipment that will pack light and small: there’s no need to lug a huge old school sleeping bag and tent that will take up lots of space on your bike. Modern tents pack down to little bundles, a good sleeping pad can pack down to a softball size, and a decent sleeping bag will take up only a third of your pannier space. Same goes for cooking equipment: the smaller and lighter, the better. Check online stores for best deals, and see our motorcycle packing post!

motorcycle camping


Picking the right spot

Do you prefer KOAs, campsites, or wild camping? It’s important to make a decision and plan a little in advance if you want to use organized camping facilities – just do a little research, and map them along your route.

But what about wild camping? Here are some pointers:

  • Make sure it’s legal. If you camp on a ranch or similar property, always ask the farmer for permission.
  • Make sure you’re either incognito, or that everybody knows you’re there: camp in the bush, away from towns and villages, and out of sight – that way you’ll be safe from petty thieves, drunk teenagers, and other overly curious individuals. Or, camp in the central plaza of a town, near a police station, or close to someone’s garden: if the whole village knows you’re there, there’s safety in numbers.
  • Don’t leave a trace, just your tire tracks. Pick up all rubbish and put out the fire: be responsible.

motorcycle camping

Cooking at a campsite

So you’ve decided to cook your own meals? Roadside recipes don’t have to be dull: with a little bit of imagination and a few fresh ingredients, you can make your camp meals into a gourmet feast.

  • Plan in advance. How long will you be camping? Pack pasta, beans, lentils and similar foodstuffs as a base if you intend to be out there for a while. These items pack small, travel well and don’t weigh much.
  • Add canned chicken, tuna, beef, and canned peppers or other veggies. This will be your main dish; cans weigh more but they keep forever and you can mix and match to keep your camp meals interesting.
  • Always have at least two fresh ingredients: it’s amazing how a little bit of crushed garlic, a bell pepper, or tomatoes can liven up a meal! Carry fresh whole onions and/or garlic, bell or jalapeno peppers, cherry tomatoes, dried mushrooms, or any other fresh foods you like. Adding just a little fried or grilled veg to your camp dinners will make a huge difference!
  • Carry your favorite spices! The right spice can make a boring can of tuna taste like a gourmet seafood.
  • Carry healthy snacks: apples, nuts, protein bars, seeds, organic dark chocolate. Yes, it’s very tempting to just stuff your face with gas station hot dogs, but do yourself a favor and keep it healthy – your body needs good food just like your motorcycle needs good fuel!

motorcycle camping

What are your motorcycle camping essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

1 thought on “Motorcycle Camping 101

  1. That’s a nice blogpost. Thx in advance for the next ones.
    We’re travelling since June 2017 with our MOTORBIKES, tent and all that stuff. But I learned many things you wrote in that post. Cheers thorsten

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