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Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by ClearwaterBMW, Jun 8, 2007.
Yeah! And what if you are bringing the girlfriend instead?
Oh, I forgot! We will need a category for travelers with dogs, as well.
But seriously, if this topic was a bad idea, feel free to disregard.
I used to ride all over with just one of those bags strapped to the back of my old DRZ. They worked surprisingly well and kept all my stuff dry.
Here she was taking a nap....
All these things weigh into what is needed or wanted when heading out on a motorcycle camping trip.
While the big wife vs small wife I suspect was a job but the person's size actually does matter. For example if I take a pair of shoes for walking or hiking they are probably a lot smaller and less weight than the shoes a 6' 200 lb person would need to take. Same goes for a change of clothes for off the bike. I discovered this years ago while riding with a male friend and we were comparing the size of our gear. While we brought about the same thing in the way of clothes his was almost twice the size. Same thing with my sleeping bag and Thermarest. I have a woman's petite Big Agnes sleeping bag which is quite a bit smaller than the full sized bags. I only need a 3/4 length Thermarest. They pack up smaller and lighter. I also ride smaller bikes than my bigger friends.
Dirt vs Pavement makes a difference too and another consideration is if you are sharing the load with another bike. Couples on two bikes probably take one set up camping gear. Some riding partners may split who brings what - One person might bring a stove and the other brings the cook gear, etc. I have read where some riding partners split who brings what tools. I always bring everything I need or might need and don't split the load, even with my best riding partner.
I'll be packing up to go on a week-long trip at the end of this week and I will weigh my gear and post it to participate in this scientific study.
I changed wife to rider/passenger and added a couple more considerations.
Here's the list of considerations so far:
One-up vs two-up
Camping vs Hotel
Camp kitchen vs coffee only vs restaurants only
Boondocking vs sites with water & services
Weekend vs extended trip
Hot vs Cold weather
Big bike vs small bike
Big rider/passenger vs smaller rider/passenger
Dirt vs Pavement
Riding partner and splitting the load of some things vs solo packing
Bring a dog vs no dog
It is an interesting subject and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes out with considering the different types of riding choices.
@BLucare this is a great subject, thank you for bringing it up.
There are folks that won't be interested and they can scroll past the posts about this subject. I do want to see what others are doing and my guess there are others that will be interested as well. I added the dog to the list since this is a consideration for some riders, granted not many but there are those that bring their best buddy along and it adds to the packing.
Thanks for reminding us that there are boys and girls etc cruising this thread etc. I wish I could train my cat to ride with me at least a little bit.
I too pretty much only travel solo and carry all of my crap. For a 3 day trip I carry almost the same as for a 3 week trip.
Unable to go to Norway (the Lofoten islands) due to quarantine for Belgians, I took Bonnie on a small trip to Northern Switzerland (Jura) this summer. Quiet, single lane passes such as the Weissenstein Pass and Grenchenberg were actually more fun than the famous but crowded cols in the Alps further south.
- Holan Nomada luggage rack.
- Holan Nomada Pro pannier on the left.
- Nomad ADV pack plate with a Rotopax on the right.
- Upgraded shocks front and rear (+ 3 cm lift with extended sidestand).
- USB charger to allow GPS (instead of a rather useless solar panel).
This setup drastically improved my travel experience. About time, after 10 years of riding a stock Bonneville.
The packing plan:
- 30l Kriega US drybag carries tent, clothes and a bag of small, handy stuff (headlamp, ducktape, multitool, toilet paper, zip ties,...). It's a bulky but rather light bag.
- 32l Holan Nomada Pro pannier carries all else.
- Bungee on top of the Kriega to carry water bottle, maps and groceries at the end of the day.
- 3.8l water Rotopax on the other side, enabling me to ditch the camelbag, have better ventilation in my jacket and being able to brew more coffee on the road.
- For more remote regions I add an additional fuel Rotopax which gives Bonnie a range of about 300 km. More than enough when travelling on road in Europe.
Sadly, turns out I don't have a picture of the gear all set up. So this is what it looks like, although it was 2 years ago in Norway.
Tent is a Robens Voyager 2, a Danish brand. Not the most famous, but truly great stuff. 2.8 kg of bombproof materials. I've been looking at MSR, but rumour goes they don't properly tape their seams? Is that true? Also seems difficult to set it up in the rain while keeping the inside dry, anyone got experience with that? The Voyager sets up inner and outer tent in one go, which makes sense when travelling north.
Spent a few nights in a MSR many years ago on a mountaineering trip in the alps. It belonged to my friend and it didn't impress none of us, he sold it as soon as we got back home. Would never buy a tent that doesn't pitch dry and that can't keep foul weather out.
My Super Tenere setup for a weekend in the dirt. 2x 25L dry bags, a 10L Camelbak bag, some nooks and crannies on the bike, and my pockets. The big thing I found myself short onwon drinking water. We were primitive camping from before dinner and our first on route stop was at like 10 the next morning and my Camelbak was tapped an hour prior. I could probably carry an additional Camelbak but we were camped next to Lake Superior so a filter might be a smaller option. I think the two dry bags were somewhere in the 20-25# range to further the above conversation.
It seems to be a general trend that American tents are designed for hotter and drier climates. You have to pitch inner-first if you want the option of just pitching the mesh inner in the desert. Fly-first or all-in-one to make it easy to pitch in the rain seems a more European style.
I'm a fan of my Robens Voyager Versa 3. Good amount of space, and the porch is high enough to sit in in a backpacking chair. On the Versa models you can roll up the whole front if you want an open porch.
I see your Robens has the old red guy lines. On the Voyager and similar ranges they have now switched to pale grey guy lines I replaced mine with some reflective ones.
Here it is on the way to the Manx Grand Prix last year. Almost to the day... not happening this year for obvious reasons
Side cases are Holan Nomada 31l + 38l, top case is a Hepco & Becker Journey TC42, and the 40l Lomo motorcycle dry bag holds the tent, a tarp, tarp poles, footprint made from cheap woven poly tarp, and a camping table.
On the camp site:
The first tent in the second picture is my friend's MSR. I believe it has started to leak a little but he's had it for years and has had a lot of use out of it.
The lime green tent in the middle is a store own-brand pop-up tent that my other friend took. He is not a camper... it did not prove to be a good choice (which is why it's trying to hide under my tarp) But you've got to respect a man who's willing to ride half the length of the country with a pop-up tent strapped on the back of an RVF400
One good option if you need to pitch in the rain are some of the ultralight tents -- they are designed to be fly only sometimes, and several are single layer with mesh on the sides. Not cheap, but the ones that use dyneema are incredibly durable. Zpack and Hyperlight are amazing. The thing for moto travelers is that they are small (less material) which saves on packing space, and since they are designed for through hikers on the AT, etc., are very livable.
My MSR Hubba Hubba is very well made.
Over the years, I did the solo AK, Nova Scotia, all over Canada and Europe, etc with a loaded down GS....But not any more. At 62, this is how I roll now and it suits me just fine. This is from a couple of weeks ago at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground. I carry everything I need to be really comfortable.
You didn't ride Newfoundland?!
Yes, we are a judge-y crowd here
As a 6'2" guy I first noticed this in the ultralight backpacking world. For a guy my size to get a baseweight below 5 pounds was difficult just due to the extra fabric carried in each piece of clothing. It could still be done but it was difficult. I was much more comfortable with a 7 or even 8 pound baseweight.
The biggest savings on weight and bulk come from quality gear. I'm a big fan of 800 fill down bags and jackets. They last, basically, forever with proper care.
I still use a 3/4 sleeping pad or "torso pad" a lot though. My backpack or, now, motorcycle jacket goes under my legs for insulation since legs need significantly less padding than a torso. Back protectors are surprisingly warm.
I cut bulk by going to a quilt instead of a backpack but if that's an issue BA did sell sleeping bags without insulation on the bottom. It doesn't do any real good there anyway.
When it comes to packing shoes for hiking and such I like something that packs very very flat. Or even a pair of minimalist sandals. I've had and used a pair of Xero sandals long enough that it's time to re-lace them now. They're actually pretty comfortable for walking and running if a person is happy with minimalist footwear.
Socks and underwear are another area where quality pays off. Merino wool socks and Exofficio underwear are my go to daily because they wear like iron. But on the trail 2 pairs of each suffice. Wear one and wash one. Same with shirts. Pants... one pair will do other than my motorcycle pants. One bag travel sites have a lot of information about this type of stuff.
I've been packing Sanuk shoes on the bike, they go as flat as a pair of flip flops and I like them because it's a full closed toe shoe. Generally I wear them without socks but I have a pair I can fit light socks if I so choose.
They have multiple styles, but these are the one I like.
I love the idea of hte Sanuks but keep coming back to sandals because I like to air my feet out or even be barefoot after a long day and the sandals double as shower slides.
In a colder climates I could really see the Sanuks being better around camp.
Got you, I generally like to keep my feet enclosed, the Sanuks would work in the shower if I needed them to. Each to their own.