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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you know that I am a somewhat outspoken proponent of the idea that motorcycle camping does not really save loads of money, unless you already own most of the equipment AND have plenty of time to set up and take down day after day. I would also remind you that at no time ever have I suggested that I did NOT like camping or wouldn’t do it under what I consider acceptable circumstances.

Those circumstances appear to be aligning for this upcoming summer.

Say it with me now... slowly... UTAH!

Having said such, I am interested in whether any of our members have “pre-made lists” of equipment they typically carry. CJ? Dusty?

Bear in mind that I already have most of the major pieces of equipment and don't really want to spend too much on new equipment and I am not going to be toting a trailer. I already own:

  • A North Face backpacking tent
  • An Optimus 8R stove and accoutrements.
  • A wide selection of sleeping bags
  • Other light camping doo-dahs and thingma-jigs.

So… when you camp?

What do YOU take?

Specifically?

If you can attach lists in .txt format that'll help.

I am looking forward to this..

T
 

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Just another ORF!
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With, or without tugging a trailer, T?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With, or without tugging a trailer, T?
Dusty...

I do not own a trailer... although I do have a hitch a harness and a hitch rack with a fitting cooler. See attached...

 

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Just another ORF!
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You know how compact backpacking gear is, so that is where your search for gear should be focused. Also, check out a few of the stickies in a few of the forums concerning camping gear for ideas.

You have a good, thick. insulated sleeping pad T? Here is the 1 I would highly recommend.

I'm also big on packing along/using a quality lightweight 9 1/2' x 13' silcon impregnated nylon tarp for use as a cooking/living shelter, be it from rain, sun or wind!
You won't find another tarp that packs as small and has as many quality features in a tarp at a price anywhere near this, as this one.







 

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When it comes to checklists, I go here to make my own. Lots to choose from and seeing things may cause you to remember something you forgot.
 

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My list is for camping with a trailer so it won't do you much good. I will attest to the tarp that Ken carries, they are great. Don't forget the 100 feet of cord to use with it.

Other than that it depends on what your priorities are. Do you want to cook yourself some good meals or will it just be a cup of coffee for breakfast and restaurants the rest of the time? The Kitchen needs make a big difference on what you need to carry.
 

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-- biggest backpack tent you can carry: We went for years with a Eureka 4 person Timberline, but this summer we used a Mutha Hubba 3 person, and it packed up much more compactly. I'd get a good tent, Utah is subject to summer thunderstorms and high winds....a tarp would just complicate matters.
-- quality sleeping bags for the temperature range you'd expect on this particular tour...also, get quality. A cheap and heavy Bi-Mart special won't cut it.
-- air mattresses: makes it possible for old guys to sleep comfortable, but...get a thermal air mattress, one that insulates as well as cushions. Can't sleep cold. And above all, stay away from cots! They allow cold air under you, which sucks heat away from your body more efficiently than you can imagine...... Shivering for eights hours straight has nothing going for it.....
-- cooking: if you're new to camping, get a good cartridge stove with two cartridges... the MSR Pocket Rocket is a good one. You need two cartridges, one entirely virgin, so if you run out of fuel you can install that and finish your dinner in piece. Just make sure you replace the exhausted cartridge the next day; Coffee drinker? Get a good stainless or plastic French coffee press, and get some coarse ground coffee beans at Safeway. Utensils: Red and I get by with a simple wooden spoon for cooking, two lexan sporks (google em') for eating, one " Swiss Army knife..... one cook pot, two lexan cups, and a plastic scouring pad. We only prepare one-pot meals on the bike, including our favorite "Supermarket Stew:" a can of this, a can of that... we sometimes have coffee in the morning, ride a 100 miles, breakfast at McDees, and then shop for dinner makings before making camp. I quit eating lunch while riding because it makes me too sleepy.
-- Incidentals: one 10"Acer notebook (most campgrounds now have wifi), two Kindle ebook readers, two headlamps, one small radio.....

That's all I can think of right off the bat..... Ask questions, or I'll check back as I think of stuff..... Also, my apologies on the tarp...if you can afford the space, get one for a cooking or shade shelter...I thought they were talking a tarp as a primary shelter. It can function that way, but it takes someone of Dusty's skill to rig right.....



 

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While I agree with you that the initial cost for motorcycle camping is a bit spendy if you go hog wild and buy everything in the first year. But it does save money over the long haul and you really do get to meet some great people in the campgrounds. As for setting up time, if it just an overnight camp without any frills or tarps, I can be set up in 20-30 minutes with the same take down time. If I am going to be there a few days I might set up my tarp like Dusty. (I am not that proficient yet on setting it up) So that is why I will not set it up for just an overnight stay.

I have to add my thumbs up for the Eped synmat 9 sleeping pad that Dusty posted a link to. I have that same one, and it is a lifesaver.

As for food, I do not carry a whole lot of food because stores whether it is Walmart or just a convenience store are plentiful and you can almost always find a can of chili or ravioli at the gas station. I carry my single coffee packets for my coffee in the morning along with oatmeal and some great powdered eggs that I found at Sportsmans warehouse.
I also got a great little BBQ grill that packs up small called the Grilliput http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82732 Thanks to CJ who I think is who posted that grill the other year.

One thing that I did get, that I have found invaluable is a sleeping bag liner. It is great for when the weather is too hot initially for the sleeping bag, but cools off after midnight or so, but still too warm for the sleeping bag.

I will defer most of the camping experiences to the camping guru's like Dusty and CJ though. I thought I knew about camping until I joined this site and read all that Dusty and CJ have to share. :applause:
 

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Since your looking for advise on "absolute necessities",, the check list that Brianinpa posted, is very helpful. I also use it for every trip I've taken. And a couple of those trips have been with Dusty.
I also have the same sleep pad,, worth every penny I spent. The lady that rides with me now,, even claims that it is more comfortable then some motel beds :cool:,,,, and I agree.
I had to start from the very beginning, and buy all my gear. What I found,,, is you don't want to be cheap on yourself when it comes to your shelter/tent,, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. In the middle of the night, in the forest, and no town for 20+ miles,, during a cold hard rain,, is not the time to "wish" you had spent a bit more.
I am basically echoing CJ & Dusty,,,,,,,,,,,,, they also got me started (and addicted) to the life of adventure on my motorcycle.

BTW,,,,,,, your Hitch Rack will be very helpful. Keep thinking I should do the same :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Seriously... thanks for all the replies... but...

I think some of you are getting the wrong idea... I am pretty proficient at lightweight camping and because of my long history of back packing coupled with taking school kids to Big Bend I have enough light weight tenting and bedding to sleep 28 people at altitude...

I can handle what to do about what bag/tent/stove to take... I have ALL that equipment already and have used it extensively. I have a North Face tent that is rated for the Himalayas for crissakes... it can certainly handle anything Utha in July can offer. (Ditto on the spork thing CJ... I have a couple of those... cooler than pookie on a stick. I have lost several to other bikers who do not return them. I also like the grill thing from Zia... )

What I want to know is the details...

When I tour in the summer... I take stuff like... trash bags, white and black, I take clothes pins, rubber bands, a multitool, I take a power strip, my phone and laptop chargers, I take a minor sewing kit, I take ziplocks... many sizes... I take a P-38... I take plastic dinner wear... I take a full sized beach towel. Like Dusty... I like Crocs... because they are a "slip-in" shoe that has a toe. I take single load detergent packs... I take parachute line... I take a laptop, a portable DVD player and movies. (Nothing I love more that a close by REDBOX machine.)

Skip the big stuff guys... I have the tent... and the 0 degree down bag... and the super deluxe camp stove and all the cooking gear any trail head could wish for...

I want to see YOUR friggin' packing list... right down to the number of socks you take... your shampoo, your soap, the number of q-tips... and anything else you take...

So... clean em up... delete the things you don't want me to see and send em too me.


T
 

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I would like to add that we always carry some sort of dried food. Either Ramen Noodles, Cup 'O soup or something like that. If you get caught out where you need to have a hot meal and there is no good place to shop an emergency supply is a really good thing to have. I think we used ours once in all the years we have traveled and camped but that one time it was worth having it along. Otherwise eat that as your meal on the last night out so it does not go to waste.
 

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It looked good in excel, I guess copy/paste does not work real well but you can look through it i suppose.



ShelterBedding__Trailer__Sleeping bag__ Awning__Sheets/blankets__Extra stakes__Pillow__Axe or hammer__Repair kit for air mattress__Mat for tent entrance__Dust pan/brushCooking__Coolers/ice__Potholders/oven mitts__Stove with fuel/propane__Pots and frying pans with lids__Matches/lighter__Soap for outside of pots and pans__Paper towels__Cook utensils-spatula, knife, spoon__Containers for food storage__Tongs__Heavy-duty aluminum foil__Skewers/grill forks__Clothes pins__Can opener/bottle opener__Dish soap__Mugs/paper cups__Trash bags__Ziplock bags__Tablecloth/thumb tacks/clips__Scrub pad/brillo__Plates & bowls/paper plates & bowls__Dish rags/towels__Silverware/plastic silverware__NapkinsClothesPersonal__Shoes/boots__Shower shoes/flip flops__Jeans/pant/belt__Towels/washcloth__Shorts__Soap in plastic case/shampoo__T-shirts__Tooth brush/tooth paste__Socks/extra socks__ Deodorant__Hat__Comb/brush__Swim suit/towel__Razor__Sweatshirt/jacket__Feminine products__Underwear__Toilet paper__Sleep clothes__Other personal items__Rain gear__Personal medications--take extra__ Shirts__Laundry bagMiscellaneous__Sunscreen/chapstick__Flashlight/batteries__Book/Magazines__Pocket knife__Extra batteries/bulbs__Plastic grocery bags__GPS__Binoculars__Bug repellant/candles__Rope/clothes line__Park map/guidebooks/trail maps__Canteen/water bottle/coffee pot__Tissues__Bungi cords/straps__Camp chairs__Duct tape/electrical tape__Maps/directions__Scissors__Backpack/fanny pack__Notepad/pen__Radio__Reservations info./confirmation__Work gloves__Umbrella__Travel alarm clock__Small shovel__ Towel (RAG)__Safety pins__Cell Phone Charger__Money/ID/credit card/quarters__Extension Cord__Motorcycle CoverFOOD__Drinks/snacks__Pepsi__Hot chocolate/tea bags/coffee__Ice Tea Mix__Milk__Meat for suppers__Chips__Cans of soup__Condiments__Cooking oil/Pam spray__Cereal__Seasonings/sugar/condiments
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looked good in excel, I guess copy/paste does not work real well but you can look through it i suppose.

Okay... so now we're talkin...

I snagged it as a text file...

Thanks Doug...
 

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Here is what I do. I work up till the night before I leave, find all the camping stuff and go to bed. IN the morning, I throw some clothes in a bag, and say F#$k it, I will buy what I need while on the road. Seriously.
 

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I would like to add that we always carry some sort of dried food. Either Ramen Noodles, Cup 'O soup or something like that. If you get caught out where you need to have a hot meal and there is no good place to shop an emergency supply is a really good thing to have. I think we used ours once in all the years we have traveled and camped but that one time it was worth having it along. Otherwise eat that as your meal on the last night out so it does not go to waste.
Double down on this: Extremely important! Ramen noodles will do the trick, and fit nearly everywhere...carry a can of tuna with the noodles and you've got an emergency feast! If you can't handle Ramen, big packs of beef jerkey also qualify, and have the added benefit of not needing to be cooked.
 

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Seriously... thanks for all the replies... but...

So... clean em up... delete the things you don't want me to see and send em too me.

T
I hope this works... Looks like it did.

Just a note - I took some advice from Dusty and the pants I pack have removable legs so I have pants or shorts depending on the weather. All my clothing fit inside one Vetter Saddle-bag.

Next year might be interesting since I now have Bates Bags on the bike, but I also now have a trailer, so room shouldn't be an issue for me anymore.
 

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The thing about clothing: Most people just starting out motorcycle camping take way too much, or try to.... the trick is to take only things that can be easily hand-washed, and that can be used for more than one purpose. Red and I now will cross the country on only three pairs each of synthetic underwear (which can be washed out and usually dry by the next morning). We use the "compression" style of black shirts and underpants. In addition to that, we have fleece jackets and convertible pants. For crash protection, we wear mesh jackets and pants while riding, and Frogg Togg Rain Gear over the top if we need wet protection or windbreakers..... and that's it! You can layer and adjust these few things for all conditions, hot to cold and wet to dry.... Whoops, almost forgot....a baseball cap for hiding your helmet hair when walking around!

One thing that maybe hard-corps, hard-baked macho riders will have trouble with..... take along a big golf umbrella! Yeah, I know it doesn't fit the "Easy Rider" image, but nothing makes getting around a rainy camp easier!

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am with ya CJ... for the most part I gave up on cotton undies decades ago in favour of fabrics like polypropylene. Good stuff.. even in blazing heat they keep me far more comfortable day after day... and like you, I rinse em out and have a rig for hanging them outside my room. (clothes pens are awesome!) Of course down here in the Texas summer, they're dry just about as fast as I can walk over and back to the motel lobby for coffee. (That's not a joke!)

Agreed... Layers are the bomb!

T
 

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I just reread your "detailed packing list post," and I hope I wasn't condescending with my replies..... Red and I have been doing this for so long that we don't have a list..... some incidentals, though, I might mention.....

Water Carriers: you need something to get the water from the campground tap to your site, and we use camelback type bladders -- which are also absolutely necessary for keeping hydrated while on the bike. We fit ours with an extra long hose that can be handed back and forth, and which can be threaded up under our helmet chinbars. In hot country, like Texas, Red will fill the thing with water and ice from Mckie-Dees to keep us alert and going during the day. You probably already know this being a Texan (God, I love Texas!), but maybe somebody reading this doesn't.... They can also be used as in a pinch for a makeshift shower for those campsites without them....

Wet Wipes: these things are worth their weight in gold. I first started using them while running around the Yakima Firing Center in an M60A3 tank -- use them for general cleanup and for their obvious bathroom use.

Bear Spray: in deference to the mods, I'm not gonna mention Self-Defense issues except to say, "Yes, we do," unless we're going to Canada, or remote camping in bear country. Attacks by bears in North America are rare, but do happen, mainly due to the sloppy camping practices of car campers. Even our self-defense options are of limited utility against bears, so if we're headed for their neighborhood, we take bear spray... Canada is a special problem: on our two trips to Alaska, I carried a 12ga shotgun for bear defense, and had no problems getting it through with their "firearm declaration" form. But three years ago, up in Dusty Boot's country, I was turned down by a husky female Canadian customs agent who informed me that, "bears are no problem up here." Had to spend $70 to ship home a $150 gun. Well. I guess they have better behaved bears up there, although soon after we read of a man being mauled up in Nova Scotia. If you want to carry a shotgun for any reason, take a look at a used Model 12 Winchester; it will break almost exactly in half, and with our 1500 we carried one half in one saddlebag and one in the other.

"Nighttime Dehydration Device:" For those (ahem) of a certain age, nighttime nature calls are the norm instead of an aberration, and I usually have a wide-mouthed bottle in the tent for such use. If we're in a developed campground, I'll get a wide-mouth bottle of gatorade or some such, drink it with dinner, and then use the bottle at night.

Soaps, Cosmetics, Other Issues: Nothing special....We carry very small containers of shampoo, dental floss, travel toothbrushes, decongestants, aspirin, and small containers of tooth paste. I don't wear contact lenses while on the bike, although Red still does. I tried carrying an electrical razor, but it's too much hassle with recharging and all, so I reverted to cheap disposable safety razors. If we're lucky enough to have a shower-equipped campground (and most are these days), I'll carry my personal hygiene equipment in a see-through bag that I can hang in the shower stall. And I do everything in the shower! I wear my washable undies in, lather up, wring them out, floss, shave, and brush my teeth! One stop clean-up!

Extra tent pegs, lines, etc.: I make it a habit of picking up the tent pegs other campers forgot, and after 23 years I've gotten a huge collection! Take some parachute cord for guy lines, clotheslines, etc.

Tools: I take the very complete took kit for the 1300 that I had to get online as Honda doesn't provide them anymore. I also carry sockets to fit the wheel nuts of our bike, and a very good plug and patch kit. I carry both an electric inflator pump for flats, a tire pressure gauge, and a plastic bicycle floor pump ($11, Bimart) for topping off the tires every third or fourth day... I'm anal about tire pressure.....

Can't think of anything else.... I'll see if Red wants to chime in.....
 

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"Nighttime Dehydration Device:" For those (ahem) of a certain age, nighttime nature calls are the norm instead of an aberration, and I usually have a wide-mouthed bottle in the tent for such use. If we're in a developed campground, I'll get a wide-mouth bottle of gatorade or some such, drink it with dinner, and then use the bottle at night."

+1 on the wide mouth Gatorade bottles. They work very well. However be careful on your choices on flavors. I will usually get 2 bottles, drink one the night before and save the other for quick morning hydration. One of my favorite flavors is lemon lime. Just be warned, other campers will give you funny looks when you come out of your tent the next morning with that bottle of lemon lime Gatorade and proceed to start drinking it.....
 
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