Advice Needed on Packing a GSA for a Two Up Camping Trip

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by AdventurePoser, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hi all,

    Ok, the OEM boxes on my 2011 are, well, cavernous, and if I was going by myself, I'd have no problem packing. This time I am taking a 5-4 105# friend on two separate trips totaling about 12,000 miles. She is pretty small, and the packing space on Bikeopotamus is huge, but still....

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    Note to Mods: Seems like the right place to post this question, but I won't be offended if you move me!:norton

    Ok, here are the specifics...this will be a camping trip for the most part, staying in nicer, more developed campsites (read KOA style) We are figuring on a ration of 4:1 camping/motels. We are not planning on cooking in camp, though I will bring a Jet Boil for coffee, tea, soup, etc.

    We are making no reservations, riding no interstates, and will navigate around any city with more than 200,000 souls residing there, using paper maps and virtual tourist.com to make sure we hit some highlights of every state we visit.

    I'm thinking of leaving the OEM top box at home and using two Wolfman bags, a med and a large for the bulky wet stuff like the tent, ground cover, etc, and the other for bulky sleeping bags, pads, and warm fuzzy jackets etc.

    What is your experience camping and packing two up? Any and all tips and caveats are welcome!

    TIA,

    Steve
    #1
  2. TaterHarry

    TaterHarry Redneck Emeritus

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    The only problem with leaving out the top case is that you lose a potential backrest for your pillion. If the case doesn't have a back pad, a sofa pillow bungeed to the case works just fine.

    Don't underestimate the importance of keeping her comfortable. :deal
    #2
  3. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Give her one saddle bag, other one for tools and your stuff. Dump the top box and get a stand alone backrest for her that you can strap dry bags/tent stuff behind her. In this photo i gave her the blue bag and told her whatever she brought had to fit in that bag...thing weighed a ton when I picked her up at airport! I like the drybag/duffels.

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    #3
  4. bmdubyou

    bmdubyou Adventurer

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    I wish my passenger was that big! She has a good advantage....petite = smaller clothes and she can pack more! :clap
    #4
  5. CanadianX

    CanadianX Oh!? That is deep.

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    Take the top box your passenger will thank you and like every trip having a little extra locking space won't hurt. I freed up a lot of space by putting my sleeping bags in dry bags and strapped those to the lids of the panniers. I had another dry bag that went on top of the top box. Stuffed rain gear in there and a few other small items. I had a bungee net that stapped over the top of this to secure it and allow for quick access. Side panniers were for personal kit and tools. Top box was the tent, stove and a few other items. Tank bag had cameras and extra gloves, food stuff for quick snacks, tire pressure gauge and the like. I've posted pics some place on here of this set up...
    #5
  6. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Ditch the camping gear and motel it the whole way.

    Whatever you do STOP by 3pm. DO NOT ride all day and look for a night stop after 4 or so. Stop early and enjoy the place where you are for the rest of the afternoon and evening. DO NOT ride until later and then look for a place, it sucks, SHE will not like it and it gets argumentative.
    I have travelled with my wife for 12 years on motorcycles, trust me on this...STOP EARLY.
    #6
  7. srpuywa

    srpuywa Big 'G'

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    thats the best plan - I rarely camp anymore

    #7
  8. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    When you mentioned large cases and small passengers, I immediately thought of combing the two, but unless she's a contortionist....
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    You don't mention if your friend has much motorcycling experience but one thing I've heard from new passengers is that it's much more exhausting to be a motorcycle passenger than a car passenger, so that 3 hr drive to Vegas is no big deal.....but the same 3 hr. ride to Vegas isn't as much fun. That being said, allow enough time for non-bike exploration. I love KOA as they are bike-friendly and usually have Kamping Kabins, which combine camping with some comfort. 12K miles is a lot of saddle time. Have fun
    #8
  9. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    This passenger has little experience riding two up, but I don't, having put on about 50,000 miles two up with someone else.:huh

    Taking it easy is critical...not too many miles, especially at first. This isn't a problem for me, because I am a photographer and love to stop for pictures. Generally on a multi day tour I'll put on about 250-400 miles per day with a passenger on board.

    So, keep the advice coming about where to put it all in terms of moto camping two up. Motels are great, but campsites rock as well, especially in terms of meeting fellow adventurers, and new experiences!

    A happy pillion pays huge dividends...:evil

    [​IMG]

    Steve
    #9
  10. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    Here's our set up for two up packing and camping:
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    We have Micatech side cases, and a Vario top case.

    The camping gear goes into the dry bags which are lashed to the side cases. The top case holds our rain gear, extra gloves, bike cover, and some miscellaneous tools.

    I'm the passenger and I get the left hand side case. It's smaller than the right hand one (because of the exhaust cut out). In addition to my clothing and personal items, it also holds a 2 liter container of water, a road atlas, laundry soap sheets, a book for reading, and extra snacks.

    Here's generally what I take on trips. Pretty much the same for a 2-week trip as a 6-week trip:
    -Chacos sandals
    -Swim suit
    -Fleece hat and mittens
    -Long underwear (longjohns and shirt) -- Hey! I get cold camping!
    -Zip-off pants
    -2 pairs extra socks: 1 pair for motorcycle boots and the other for sleeping/hanging around camp
    -2-3 short sleeve shirts/tank tops
    -1 long sleeve shirt
    -Fleece jacket
    -Knit dress or skirt ( I get tired of wearing pants or shorts all the time and it's nice to have a dress or skirt if you're having a nice dinner out)
    -3-4 pairs undies
    -Camp towel, soap, shampoo, sunblock, etc.
    -Contact lens disinfectant and saline

    I also take a roll of quarters for laundry and campground showers. Also, a sarong is nice to take as it can be used as a skirt, swimming cover up, a towel, or a picnic cloth!

    We usually do laundry by hand every other day or so, and use a washing machine about once a week.
    #10
  11. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    Why? If the passenger has camped before and wants to camp, mixing up camping and motels can be a good way to travel. And, as AdventurePoser mentioned, camping can be a nice way to meet others and just have a different experience.
    #11
  12. HD Steve

    HD Steve Nonposer in Training

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    Your original plan was right on...her own side case...keep the top box though. We use dry bags on top of the side cases to coocoon in my pillion and to pack the camping equipment. With all that soft stuff in dry bags you can almost sleep as the passenger....a little tough getting on and off but it comes with practice. DON"T overpack though...you need room to take off clothes and add clothes...the top box is perfect for that. During the day, if everything goes right, you'll only be in the top box.
    #12
  13. kevinj

    kevinj Been here awhile

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    She's pretty!! Have an awesome trip!
    #13
  14. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Thanks guys....and lady!:clap

    Fortunately I own all the hi tech, lightweight gear I would ever need, thanks to numerous kayak camping trips and some backpacking years ago. Get the good stuff and it lasts forever! One the bike, how to pack for some reason really confounds me, so I really appreciate your input. I think the trick is having the stuff you might need immediately accessible, i.e., a change of gloves, rain gear, a layer to put under the riding gear, etc.

    At 6-3, 190 lbs, finding a place to store my size 13 hiking shoes becomes an issue. Love my moto boots, but I don't want to live in them either...

    Any other tips out there? Keep 'em coming! As I mentioned early, I don't plan on doing any cooking except for making coffee or tea/soup, so I will purchase a Jet Boil@ ....seems compact and efficient enough for my purposes.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #14
  15. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Thanks, Kevin. She's got the spirit to do a long trip which is great....12,000 miles worth, at least. Should come back with some great pix!

    Steve
    #15
  16. unboundspiral

    unboundspiral Adventurer

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    Like others have mentioned. I lash a 35 liter stuff sack which rests on the top of each vario side case. One sack contains the down sleeping bags and thermarests and one butterfly chair. There's enough room to just press in a sweatshirt too. The other contains the tent an rei half dome and a butterfly chair and rain gear. I usually stuff in the aerostich bike cover in there too This side is the potential damp bag. Usually I find my sweatshirt needs to go in the tank bag along with some extra tools a liter of water camera charging accessories. iPhone is mounted on the dash.

    Partner gets the right vario. If her computer comes must fit there too. Have BMW inner bags. They are convenient and easily go in the tent at night. We plan on going about 6 days before wanting a washing machine.

    Top case is mine. I add an iPad in when I'm packing. Oh forgot the two blow up pillows. They are with the thermarests.

    Left pannier is filled with the other camp gear and emergency rations. Eg MRI stove liter of gas, Msi 2 person cook set led lantern box with cutlery. Etc. btw you want camp towels too! And never forget the baby wipes! I also have a drip coffee maker and even manage the plastic table cloth in the lid. Still room in there for some dried or freeze dried food too. Toss in coffee and tea. I have a nice vacuum thermos stainless steel that goes in too. Usually fill it with some cold milk daily.

    With camping a key thing is leaving the day gear on the bike. You can't take jackets and pants into a tiny tent at night. Particularly if raining. I keep a cable under the seat. Both helmets will attach to the underseat hooks. Run the cable through the pants and jacket and snap the seat back. Take out that aerostitch cover and hide it all. It's no fun walking around with lots of gear and most places locking it on like this is probably deterrent enough.

    What did I miss. Hmm usually take the air pump for tires. And tire repair kit.

    One day I'll weigh all the stuff. Am sure we are at the max recommended weight load. The Olins make it all very comfortable.

    2up bike camping is easy. It does rely on great back packers gear and shop almost daily for an evening meal.

    Last item. Sena Smh-10 bluetooth headsets. Have enough charging points on your bike. The senas have never yet drained my battery charging them overnight.
    #16
  17. Pappy541

    Pappy541 Been here awhile

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    I have a 09 1200 GSA and ride 2 up with camping gear often. Last summer rode over 4,000 miles in 10 days with camping gear. I always use the top case. First you need to know how to travel and pack for 2. My wife gets the large r side I get the left And the top is for tools, emergency equipment and just stuff. The secret is to pack for 3 days and just wash cloths. The riding gear can be washed in the shower and will be dry in the morning. Next is the camping gear. On top of the left case are 2 chairs and 1 sleeping bag, on the r is the tent and a sleeping bag. On the top is a squashed down polar bear ice chest and a air mattress. Of corse all are in dry bags. . I carry no cooking stuff and after we set up camp we take the ice chest and make a run to town for what ever food and stuff we need. This works great and we have traveled all over the US like this. Being careful the bike is not overloaded but it is loaded. Good luck.
    #17
  18. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Pappy, good words...thanks for the complete and specific locations for gear. I agree with packing for three days and carrying EZ launder clothing....
    Also, no cooking in camp helps...
    #18
  19. bmdubyou

    bmdubyou Adventurer

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    got a tank bag? its a good place to keep little stuff (sunglasses, water bottle etc) & maybe a small camera that you can stop & take a quick pic so you dont even have to dismount!
    #19
  20. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I like the idea of strapping dry bags to the top of the side cases. I am looking at the medium size "Wolfman" bags...each one is about 40 liters, and they open along the top!
    #20