Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Motorcycle Camping


I like learning new things. Researching what gear is available, figuring out how to use it, and then experimenting in the field. It's a process I enjoy. I'm in the midst of a new learning-curve for outdoor adventure.

Nature and motorcycling both appeal to me so I thought about combining the two. Camping while travelling by motorcycle is a unique creature: it requires extra equipment which needs to be attuned to the storage-limitation of a bike. You want enough gear to be comfortable but not too much to overload your storage-capacity.

Hotels are nice but expensive. Paying $100-200 every night adds up, especially when you can save 90% of that cost at a campground. I plan to take longer trips in the future (as I wean myself off work). Including some camping on those long trips will lower the overall expense and add the fun of sleeping in the woods.

I've spent the past few weeks looking at this situation. Figuring out what I need, where to put it, and learning if my choices work. After a trial-run, I'm happy to report I'm set!

For sleeping, I got a tent that's large enough for two bodies but compact enough to store on my bike. In addition to a sleeping bag, I know from experience the most important ingredient for outdoor-comfort is a sleeping pad. Pads keep you off the cold ground and offer cushioning. Mine is self-inflating and an inch-and-a-half thick. All my gear came from the best outdoor store around, named REI. It's a coop where I'm a member and get good discounts.

I have enough basic cooking equipment to make a simple meal and brew coffee. That's adequate for overnight stays. My days will be spent riding or hiking so I don't need more camping stuff than this.

Next month I'm riding up to Maine to camp in the wild. Do you like to camp?

33 comments:

  1. Fabulous! Here's to many many happy nights road tripping :) :) Great choice of tent. I wish we had REI here in the UK, loved browsing the stores when we were over in the US, it's a great store.

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    1. Thanks, Zoe! Your example inspires me to move in this direction.

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  2. It seems you have kitted yourself out adequately for your road trips. I'm especially in awe of your ability to travel light. Essential if you travel by motorcycle, of course. Although the idea of camping appeals to me, I'm not very goods at travelling light ... xxx

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    1. It's a skill that improves with practice. For example, you learn what's essential and what isn't. And that gifts bought during trips can be shipped home and not carried.

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  3. You will absolutely enjoy riding your bike and camping. My dad does just that! He's been retired for the past few years. Have you heard about the ROMERO riders? Retired Old Motorcyclists Eating Out. Check out their website-http://romeoriders.com/wp/

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  4. Ally this is so exciting! I can't wait to hear all about your Maine trip! This is awesome!

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  5. Great to be so mobile! I can't do tents. Too claustrophobic.
    Enjoy your freedom. xo Jazzy Jack

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  6. Oh wow how adventurous ! I have camped, i think just once, lakefront, it was a superb experience. It was just 9 of us and entire lake !

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  7. I'm more of a "glamping" person myself, lol. I had enough of camping as a kid. I love this new adventure for you, Ally!

    We have a store similar to REI here, called MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op): https://www.mec.ca/en/ - they carry everything!

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  8. This makes me miss camping so much! I imagine it's got to be exciting to figure out the logistics and fine tune the equipment so it's just adequate for what you need. Plus, saving the cost for hotels is nice, too! I haven't done this in years (certainly never tried with a motorcycle!) but made me miss walking through REI for all the fun things :)

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  9. I really want to like camping. You make it look like an awesome adventure but I'm more of a "glamping" girl myself :)

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    1. That's okay. We all like comfort. I just enjoy roughing it now and then for contrast. My favorite travel memories are of difficult times, not easy ones.

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  10. I admire your sense of adventure. It does seem to color so many things you do! I am so not a camper, too vulnerable with my autoimmune disease, but I can live vicariously! It does save some serious money, too!
    Xo, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

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  11. If you are ever near Asheville come pop by!!!! Or let us know and we'll tell you amazing inexpensive spots---maybe join u!!!! My friend does graphics for Blue Ridge Motorcycles Magazine. People are super into riding and camping around here!

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    1. Asheville is on my list of places to visit! Hear so many good things about it. I'll let you know when I'm swinging by. :-)

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  12. I do not go camping, but it sounds like you have an awesome trip planned!

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  13. Oh gosh, I'm so not a camper but I know a lot of people that are. Sounds like a fun trip!

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  14. I freaking love camping---I car camp and also go on ultra-light deep wilderness treks. I never thought about motorcycle camping, though. Shares a lot in common with ultra-light trekking because of the space limitations. Maine is gonna be great---look forward to some pictures :)

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  15. I think the closest I'd get is glamping. I'm unfortunately hella allergic to bugs that bite and my current medication makes heat intolerable.

    Maybe a winter camp with a fire and All The Blankets

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    1. I'm not a fan of heat so camping next month will be perfect: in the sixties during the day and the fifties at night.

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  16. This sounds so fun! And I love the idea of only being able to pack the essentials because you are on a motorcycle and only have room for so much. Hope you enjoy your trips to come!

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  17. Campers will be kind to old guys on motorcycles.

    Many years ago (circa 1970) a buddy and I went on a road trip. All we had was an old tent and sleeping bags and a tiny car (his Opel GT). We were camping on the locks outside of Montreal. It rained like crazy and we watch those campers foolish enought to pitch their tents in low places float away.
    Along came a biker on a 650 BMW. All he had was a sleeping bag. We squeezed him into our tent and the next day he let us both test his bike. it was a quick and interesting learning curve but I had a blast on his bike...the raw feeling of power and speed sitting under you can be intoxicating and exciting.
    Pat

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  18. I've only been camping once and it was a family trip with the inlaws. It wasn't very pleasant and we left early because I was so miserable hanging around with them aaaaall day. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if it was just me and husband and kids. In fact, we've been getting our camping gear together for the past two years to take a trip sometime soon. A family of four needs quite a lot of stuff! LOL

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  19. Good for you! I hope the weather is good for you. That time of the year should be beautiful up that way.

    I remember enjoying camping as a kid. Then I grew out of it. Ha ha! Now the closest I get is glamping.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  20. Good luck with your new adventures! I look forward to seeing photos of your hiking adventures.
    I've never been camping (or maybe when I was a child but can't remember), I'm more of a 'give me luxury hotel' kind of girl... I think my friends would die laughing if I even suggested going camping, or even glamping (they think I'm a city girl through and through and can't deal with countryside...).

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    1. I like luxury as much as the next gal but that doesn't stop me from exploring other adventures. Everything has its appeal.

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  21. We just came back from camping for the weekend. So fun and good to get out!

    -Kati
    Almost Stylish

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  22. I just went camping for the first time a few weeks ago. I enjoyed the experience but ... not for too long, haha. I need my civilization.

    7% Solution

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    1. Good for you! Yes, a little hardship goes a long way. I want to taste camping, not gorge on it.

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  23. We were camping at Music Camp for 10 days! I like camping BUT I find the ground so hard and don't sleep so well!! Also wasn't helped by the drunken oaf who was 'dancing' with me at our dance evening and who picked me up and span me around and somehow pulled a muscle in my side- made sleeping really hard!

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