1) It is always better to travel alone than with someone who has incompatible riding habits or skills. Be very, very careful who you choose to take a long trip with. many years ago I planned a trip with a long time riding buddy, and our riding styles were compatible. Come the day of the trip he shows up with another buddy. I could not stand to ride with him, 2) A very good idea to separate if a trip is going badly. I lasted one day before we separated, they their way and me mine. Gawd, stop and turn off the motor to make a quick 30 second roadside decision and he had to do the full TCLOCKS routine before he started up, he couldn't sustain Intestate highway speed because his motor oil consumption went crazy, and was just generally too slow a rider. 3) This can be a very bad idea. If your history doesn't include several all day multi-hundred mile motorcycle day trips and long distance several hundred mile round trip weekend camping trips you have absolutely NO history riding with them. You also don't want the danger of a new rider on a new to them motorcycle. Your new story will probably be a tragic one. 4) Don't be over eager, aggressive, insistent, when you invite strangers to ride along. Many are like me, visit while stopped on the roadside, maybe share a picnic or restaurant table for a meal, but I prefer to ride alone on the trips. See 1) above. 5) Use some sense. Be choosy about invitations, especially in isolated circumstances. You are alone and there are predators out there. Regarding equipment, use it for a few weekend trips before you head out for the long haul.