Motorcycle Camping - The Basics You Need To Get Out There

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If you enjoy taking long motorcycle trips or tours, it’s likely that you’ll need to spend the night out somewhere along the road. This is when camping is a great option, as you won’t have to worry about checking in or out – you can be off at first light if you really want. For a first-timer, knowing what to bring can be a real challenge so we’ve taken a look at some basic motorcycle camping gear.

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The very first thing you’ll need is a good set of luggage. There are three main categories to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.

  • Hard luggage – This can be made from fiberglass, plastic or aluminium and utilises mounting systems that hold it securely in place. The main advantage of this luggage is that it’s lockable.
  • Leather luggage – This is known for being the most enduring style on the market. Their biggest plus is their visual appeal. To keep the luggage looks good and is waterproof, it needs to be cleaned and preserved.
  • Textile luggage – This is a popular choice because it’s durable, can be waterproof, is affordable and is easy to mount/remove. It’s unlikely to be damaged in a tipover and doesn’t need much maintenance.



Unless you want to spend the night in the open under the stars, you need to ensure that you’re equipped with a suitable tent.

  • Family tents – These are your typical dome tents that can hold anywhere from 2 to 6 adults. They also range in price, depending on the modcons you want. As they’re designed for car campers, they can be a little heavy.
  • Expedition tents – These are relatively new and are actually designed for motorcycle camping. They’re divided into 2 sections – a sleeping section (for 1 or 2 adults) and a vestibule for your gear.
  • Backpacker tents – These are the smallest, bare-bones tents on the market. As they’re designed for backpackers, they’re lightweight and pack very small. This also means that they’re small inside.



There is plenty of other gear that you should bring along for the ride. Ensure that you pack for the season and bring along spare shoes (wearing riding boots all the time gets old quickly). Other items to consider include: portable solar chargers, compact camping stoves (with a few basic pots, pans and utensils) and a first aid kit (try to keep it compact – just what is necessary until help arrives).

Once you’ve got all your motorcycle camping gear together, you just have to pack it onto your bike. It’s essential that you don’t overload the back of the bike, as this can impact a whole range of things from braking to tire life. The key is to keep everything low, balanced and secure. It usually takes a trip or two to figure out a good packing routine for your particular motorcycle.

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