What camping gear do you take?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Khabel, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Khabel

    Khabel Adventurer

    Nov 25, 2014
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Im curious about what gear people use. I'm on my first trip and have discovered the tent I've got is good, the sleeping bag is rubbish and the sleeping pad is so so
  2. -E-

    -E- Klaatu barada nikto

    Oct 6, 2008
    White Room
    As little as possible. Tent, pad bag, chair stove and cup. Add a bit of food, hooch and a ukulele for happy times. What else do you need?
  3. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

    May 2, 2011
    New England
    Must have for me..
    Tent (size dependent) but good quality for foul weather.
    Air mat.. I have a Klymit for my one man tent.. But use a conventional air mattress for 2 man and up. ( I have 5 tents)
    20 degree fiber fill bag.. Fill insulates wet and dries fast. When traveling, panier leaks happen.
    A chair,
    A stove
    My DSLR kit
    a small tarp to hang my gear under in bad weather or to cover my bike
    some sort of camp shoe (weather dependent)
    an air pump for mattress/ boot dryer/ fire bellows
    and I almost always cary a set of Loppers to cut small branches and brush for my fire. (my chair, loppers, tripod and tent lay across my seat and bags)
    kojack06 likes this.
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    I'm in the minimalist camp (pun intended).

    small pop-up tent
    25 degree sleeping bag (actually good for about 35-40, but I have a fleece liner for it that adds another 10 degree capacity if needed)
    self inflating sleeping pad.

    If I'm out on my own, I might bring the Esbit stove, a small pot, and food (hooch is one of the food groups, right?). If I'm near civilization, I just bring granola bars to get me on the road.

    I have about had it with my 6x6 dome tent, though. I am sick of having my head touch one end, and feet touch the other. I like the easy cheap tent, but I need to find one that is 5x7 or something. That would still be fine for my wife and I.
    kojack06 and tjzondrz like this.
  5. justlookin

    justlookin Been here awhile

    Dec 16, 2007
    I would recommend trying out your gear close to home overnight or a weekend. I am a hammock guy but keep a tent setup for when I travel somewhere I can't hang. You want to be comfortable. If you spend a night miserable, cold and wet, it takes the fun right out of it. Skip the table and chairs and all the rest that just adds weight and bulk . Be sure to get a good warm sleeping bag and whatever type of insulated ground pad or air mattress. I went to Sturgis 2 weeks ago and camped next to a guy with a 2 man tent.He had the thickest air mattress that I have ever seen, looked like at least a queen size and probably 8 - 10 inches thick.I was fixing breakfast the next morning (oatmeal and instant coffee) and I ask him how he did , said he about froze to death. Don't think he understood that he spent the entire night trying to heat that huge bag of air with his body. Good luck and have fun.
    kojack06 likes this.

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Dec 23, 2005
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Most any tent. First time you erect it spray all over with Scotchguard. Should have clips for the poles and not sleeves.
    Best mat you can afford. Air pump.
    Dependent upon weather a set of sheets and a comforter and a good pillow.
    A chair with arms, I like one close to the ground so I can use the ground as a table.
    Hat with a built in light.
    Footprint for tent.
    Groundhog tent stakes. Mini claw hammer from Harbor Fright.
    1TRAK likes this.
  7. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

    Dec 18, 2012
    Up the Dandenongs
    Hi Khabel, good question, what gear?
    I reckon it depends where you're camping and personal preferences. I've just spent the past 2 months liberty camping most nights in the USA. My gear consists of a Aussie swag, a 2 man tent and a spoon. The swag is just a canvas bag that contains a thin mattress and sleeping bag. It rolls up around the tent and is weather and mossie proof. I pitched the tent most nights if I wasn't taking too much of a liberty, but if I was, that is where the swag comes into it's element, it's very unobtrusive. The spoon came in handy eating a can of peaches each morning before getting on the road and looking for my favourite diner, they have great oatmeal.
    Mark P_20170621_213014.jpg
  8. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin'

    Dec 7, 2016
    Seattle & Phoenix
    I'm new to this whole moto-camping thing, however after one 4 day trip:

    -- Used REI half dome 2plus tent with footprint.
    --Thermarest cot (I will never sleep on the ground again)!
    -- Sleeping bag (or blanket(s) if it is warm out)
    -- iPad -- plenty of reading material on one unit
    -- Whisperlite & fuel bottle
    -- MSR stainless pots
    -- utensils
    -- mug
    -- water bottle
    -- knife
    -- lighter
    -- pillow and 2 cases
    -- flashlight --> Fenix LD41 which uses 4AA's and is as bright as a car high beam if needed. no special batteries. If your headlight failed on the bike you could use this in place of it.

    Will add for next trip:

    -- Helinox Chair with rockers (decided on this after ending up places with only a picnic table and thats not comfy enough for me)
    -- Small packable table -- it's a soft top, but it's small and light enough and can hold food & drinks
    -- small ax (for kindling work, pounding tent stakes, protection against werewolves, etc)


    shirts (up to 5)
    sweatpants (x1)
    Underwear (up to 5)
    Riding pants (x1)
    Rain pants* (x1)
    Riding jacket (x1)
    Rain jacket* (x1)
    Fleece coat (x1)
    Baseball cap (x1)
    Shorts (up to x2)*

    *depends on trip length and weather forecast

    Riding a 1200GS solo this is not much to carry at all.
  9. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

    May 14, 2009
    where elephants roam
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

    Feb 17, 2010
    below the sea
    The actual act of sleeping is a most important, nay vital, part of your trip. It has ended up taking me a lot of money over too many years to find what worked for me.
    First thing I found difficult was size - over the last decade or so, larger bags have become available in higher spec temperature wise. Before big bags were for crashing in a van or dorm, not anywhere uncomfortably cold.
    The other thing I wanted in a bag was a decent pack size - my bike has only 55hp and has to carry two, with enough gear for up to 6 weeks, so big, heavy and bulky was out. So after the debacle of expensive but otherwise inadequate synthetic bags - twice - I lashed out bought a down bag. It was even more expensive as it was at the start of the down being proofed, ie made more or less water resistant. But it turned out to be a wise investment - I can still use the same bag today. As well as much more compact when packed the biggest bonus is that temperature regulation is much better, no more waking every 1/2 hr to close or open a zip because I am sweating or freezing. Or maybe that is just me.
    It is 3 season rated, but I always take a liner, surprising for me it is a "technical" synthetic liner, intended to add a at least a season to the bag . It also works as a light hot season bag on its own. Very comfortable and stretchy, so no problems turning. Various permutations allow me to mix and match to the changing seasonal weather. From the full monty, bag + liner, to me just laying on top, pulling the unzipped bag over in the cold of pre dawn.
    In 30+ years, the bag has never given me problems. It has got wet, but always dries OK. Every morning I air it over the tent to dry any condensation. The liner also means I have never felt the need to wash the bag. No smell yet.

    The other part of your sleep system is your mat. Lots of options. But now I just buy a cheap PVC air mattress for £10 when I get to the south of France and either give it away when I'm done. Although fairly heavy, the flat shape means they are easy to pack and carry - under the tent or slipped inside a side box. If you are travelling alone you could put in on the seat behind you, under any duffel you have.
    I have tried all but the very newest mats, but on lumpy rock n'roots, useless.

    For me a tent should be compact and reasonably light. With a decent sleeping space and cover room outside the sleeping area to put luggage out of sight, and stow riding gear, crucial if it is wet.
    With the poles and pegs packed separately, the fabric bits in their sack can be used to provide enough padding for my passenger to lean against and have a sleep as we ride.
    I like a ground sheet/foot print. Helps keep the tent clean, and the crap out of where you sleep and off your stuff. I used to use a sheet of builders plastic, but now Tyvek house wrap is much lighter and easier to pack.
    My experience is that you generally need an extra place in the tent, ie two of us use a 3 man tent. My single tent is officially a two man. Some brands are much better in this regard.
    Most of my tents have needed decent tent pegs - what works on clay, is useless on sand or rock. Both my current tents have extra long straps for the fly so you can substitute a stone for a peg. Any tent could be adapted easily enough. You will find this quite useful on camp sites round the Med on some up in the Alps.

    If I understand from your other threads, you are in Europe now. One pretty widely dispersed outdoors/camping store is Decathlon. A supermarket type set up, trying out and playing with the merchandise is OK. Prices are mostly cheap, quality is not the same as premium backpaker, but decent value considering. This is where I get the air mattresses, the last one has lasted about 6 years.
    There are lots of top grade stores like Globetrotter in Germany - always very helpful and experienced. Top quality gear at rarely discounted prices, but always prepared to work at finding a solution for you. All the staff I have dealings with have at least "enough" English.

    For cooking, I have the same trangia I bought many years ago. Since modified to use gas canisters rather than meths - burns longer and is much easier to control. Packs down to less than the size of 1/2 a foot ball, but includes burner + stand and windbreak, two bowls and lid/fry pan, gripper. I can also fit in an old, empty bic lighter for sparking up and a trivet to hold a moka pot. New ones come in a little sack.
    The fuel - as always is separate, a litre of water, a nalgene screwtop for the coffee and the bialetti. Salt an pepper sachets from cafeterias, some chilli flakes and/or herbs (readily available growing wild in the south of France). A plate and small board and a decent knife, an Opinel off a French market - they all have a seller of Opinel.
    Cutting food up on a plate can be a pain, and a metal plate will fuck up your knife edge, hence the board. Plus it is so much easier if you are actually going to cook food rather than reheat the predigested stuff.

    A decent mug. I usually base camp these days so I buy a pot one from a nearby shop, surprisingly cheap. A glass too, for wine you know. Works for beer also.
    Most French campsites will have a fridge and/or freezer. The SOP is to put a bottle of ordinary water in and help yourself to one already frozen. No wasting time and cash on the silly little packs. Note: you don't need to carry the water around once it is thawed. But the bottle can be reused over and over.
    Markets will also have the freeze sleeves you slip over a bottle to cool it down. Put it on the frozen bottle first thing, by the time you have pitched your tent, the beer should be cold enough. Many smaller shops will have water and beer in the cooler already, you just need to stop it warming too much before use. I have worked out my own tactic for that.

    Have a great adventure
  11. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

    Oct 10, 2003
    SW CT
    I use my UL backpacking rig @ ~5lbs/10L - clicky - add clothing, gadgets, and luggage to suit mode of transport and length of trip.
    Kerrizor likes this.
  12. Honsolo

    Honsolo Adventurer

    Oct 26, 2016
    Some brands to research for ya:

    All these are top line equipment that will last and more importantly work in all conditions for years.

    Hilliberg tent makers


    Montbell sleeping bag (huggers)


    Smart wool long johns
    Smart wool socks

    MSR Whisper Lite camp stove
    (Field repairable)

    Paco pads (bulky, but on a bike? O' so plush) Use it as a chair, a raft, a bed.
    The best, $$$


    Mystery Ranch packs instead of top bag?
    Why a duffle when you can have a top line day pack for hikes? I'm going to use one, and stuff into a dry bag during travel.
    It will second as my fly fishing pack also.
    Mystery Ranch packs used to be Dana Design packs

    Gore-tex is your friend

    Stay warm?
    Poly prop' on skin shirt and pants
    Smart wool next layer long sleeve and pant..
    Wool sweater
    Polartec pants and fleece jacket
    Gore-tex shell jacket and pants
    Smart wool socks
    polypro. Liners under socks
    Gore' gloves
    Gore lined boots

    You won't get cold

    Henessey hammocks? Fun

    MSR water filter

    That should give you somethings to research. All very good products

    I have proven them in back country wilderness locations all over the US.
    Less the paco pad, its to bulky for me to carry. On a bike, you bet'cha' I'll have one!
  13. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Jan 14, 2006
    Ojai, Ca
    Big Agnes Angel Springs2 tent, Big Agnes 45 degree bag, with BA Q core SLX pad. BA makes the best sleeping systems with a sleeve on the underside of the bag that your pad fits in, never roll off the pad again
  14. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

    Jun 4, 2010
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
    Cheap tent from Walmart. I don't want to cry when my tent gets stolen.

    Sleeping bag that I got for $10 at a liquidation store.

    $30 thermarest self inflating air mattress.
    PlainClothesHippy likes this.
  15. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

    Jun 4, 2010
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
    Who am I kidding. That's what I used to use. I haven't slept in a tent since 2010
  16. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2014
    Made the transition to a hammock after many years on the ground. Age makes getting up and down a lot harder. Added a Helinox chair after the cheap chair failed. It is nice to sit comfortably at day's end. A boy scout looking stainless mess kit I bought at a rally years ago, a percolator, fork, knife, spoon set, cup canister stove from MDR smaller than my fist and obviously a gas canister arfe my kitchen. An underquilt and a sleeping bag for warmth rounds out the gear. There is a small tarp for the hammock, stakes and a hammer. It works in a downpour.
    Gear sits on the chair at night covered with a contractor bag under the tarp if not in the panniers.
    Non refrigerated food such as some of the rice and beans are not bad. Summer sausage or cheese are another light meal. I try to eat a good meal at lunch while traveling from place to place.

  17. monkey wrench

    monkey wrench Been here awhile

    Dec 20, 2012
    somerset. ca
    That is a personal question. Some folks only need a sharp knife others bring an RV with a toy hauler.

    I pack light. I enjoy improvising. A good sleeping set up is important to me though. I find a high quality sleeping bag and pad to be the most important pieces of gear. Combined that with some money, a lighter and a Swiss Army knife your ready to take on the world.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Bacca and -E- like this.
  18. River-Runner

    River-Runner Been here awhile

    Apr 11, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Camping is my wife and I. With two of us, we can split up the load. We camp off KTM690's with Giant Loop bags and now the GSA's with Mosko Moto gear. We've been out a month several times on the KTM's and many shorter trips.

    We've been taking a Sirius satellite radio lately with a self powered speaker, I power via plug into an SAE cable from the bike or a battery power pack. Pretty compact. Great tunes and news.

    When we camp in the puckerbrush, a 10 x 10 foot piece of tyvek is really nice to sit and cook on. Keeps everything clean. A tyvek envelope to surround your sleeping bag will really warm up sleeping and will not trap condensation. Check out youtube for construction hints. Run tyvek through the washer to make it soft and quiet. Tyvek folds down to nothing and is really cheap! You can buy precut pieces on ebay.

    We've also been carrying a tent plus a tarp. The tarp is big enough to protect a picnic table. A tarp big enough to save the day isn't that much bigger or heavier than one too small to work well. Much better to sit under a tarp in the rain versus being confined to the tent. Keep the tarp in a separate bag if you make a fire under it, otherwise everything you own smells like smoked salmon.......

    The wind will blow hard, it will get colder than planned and it will rain buckets all day and night. Much better to prepare than to deal with it as it hits you......
  19. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate

    Dec 17, 2015
    NWFL Panhandle, Florida KHRT
  20. FlatFifthFury

    FlatFifthFury Adventurer

    Jan 23, 2016
    Longmont, Colorado
    For me it's no different than what I take on a backpacking trip only rather than my gear going into a backpack its going into my panniers and top bag. Quality gear goes a long way.

    My packing list:
    Tent - REI Dash 2. Fast to set up yet small, light with dual vestibules and enough room for me and my gear.
    Sleeping bag - Eddie Bauer Karakorum. Down 20 degree bag that is warm, well made and squeezes down the size of a football.
    Pad: REI Flash. Fast to set up and take down while being small compressed. Comfy and a 3.2 rating for warmth.
    Pillow: Nemo. If you don't sleep well then your trip will suck. This guy is comfy and compresses tiny.
    Cook set: GSI solo. Pot, bowl, cup, spoon in the size of a grapefruit.
    Stove: MSR Firefly. Works great and fits into the GSI set as well.
    Light: Luci inflatable solar led lantern. Charges from the sun while I ride and illuminates the whole tent nicely so that I can read after dark.
    Seat: A cut down foam kneeling pad from the hardware store. Costs $4 and puts some cushion on my tushy. I don't need a fargin Barka lounger when I'm camping.

    After that it's just a Nalgine of water and something to eat. Oh and a flask of whiskey for sipping on while watching the stars is always a good addition. A rig like the above will take you anywhere and last for years.

    For clothes I wear/take 3 days worth of quick drying technical tops, socks and underwear so that I can easily wash them in a stream, gas station sink or what have you. It will dry in an hour and I'm back in action. A single ply gore-tex jacket for the rainy days. A pair of 5.11 cargo pants and pair of shoes for walking about. Smartwool beany because it will get colder even in the summer. If it's early spring or fall then I add in a micro puff down jacket for added warmth.

    What else would you need?
    rrindfield likes this.