Justin Reiter | Ambassador
Moto camping is a great way to add a twist to your normal routine of camping or riding. The unique combination of two activities bring about a kinship of the road that is seldom felt during a day’s ride. The energy of the road and nature often are in conflict, each harboring a different vibe and volume. However when the wind and throttle chill you by day and the campfire warms you by night a door opens in your soul that allows for a greater spectrum of enjoyment. You realize the world is simultaneously bigger and smaller all at the same time. While intimidating at first the amalgam of the two can be simplified with a few key tips.
Simpler is better: Seek to limit the amount of gear keeping your pack down to essentials.
Plan your gear: According to the weather, and choose good weather for your first trip, plan your equipment to match the conditions. (Cold hot wet or dry)
“Don’t forget your camp spork and Leathermen. For nostalgia bring your favorite enamel mug.”
Light dehydrated food is best. Breakfast is about two packs of oatmeal per person per day. The packets that instant oatmeal come in are water resistant so you can rip the top off, pour in hot water, mix, and eat directly from the packet. Pack instant coffee or tea to make the mornings more appetizing when rolling out of your warm sleeping bag into the fresh often cold morning. Don’t forget your camp spork and Leathermen. For nostalgia bring your favorite enamel mug.
Lunch can be found on the road at your typical road side diner. However if you’d rather stay off the grid salami, cheese, and crackers are clutch moves. High in fat the energy will sustain you for miles on the bike and require no dishes so eating roadside is easy.
My go to for dinner is couscous and smoked tuna or salmon packs. Sounds a lil fancy for the road but it packs the energy without sacrificing the weight or space. Prior to leaving on your trip pour the couscous into a freezer bag add some spices and seal it up for when you arrive at camp. Once you cook the couscous and the water is absorbed add the tuna or salmon mix in and enjoy.
Water is key when planning your trip. Try to stay close to water sources or plan your rides to end near a place to fill up. Throw a 2 or 3 liter bladder in your pack and make sure it’s filled before you pull over at night. This will be enough water for dinner, hot drinks, and breakfast provided EACH PERSON has 2 or 3 liters. If you are in more remote areas bring a small water filter to filter water as you need it. DO NOT drink water directly from sources you find. Rivers can contain giardia and countless bacteria that can ruin a trip with one unfiltered sip.
While the rustic appeal of a big flannel sleeping bag and wool blanket strapped to the front of the bike look like the epitome of cool in Hollywood movies they aren’t practical and can make life on the road pretty miserable should they get wet. I’m a fan of ultra light backpacking gear. A compact bivy sack or tent with a good inflatable sleeping pad and warm sleeping bag will literally make your trip! The lighter and smaller the better. To keep them dry, store them in your pack in a trash bag or rafting dry bag. Use compression straps to reduce the space they take up.
“It may sound silly but hot whiskey cider and chocolate bar under a blanket of stars will have you wishing the night would never end.”
And then, the luxuries.
Finally the good stuff. A flask with your favorite night cap. Comfortable and warm wool long underwear for hangin’ out at camp and sleeping in. There ain’t no fashion awards on the road so leave the extra fancy clothes at home. Pack some flip flops to give your feet a break from the Moto boots as well as some warm socks to sleep in. Desert or sweets after a long day are amazing. It may sound silly but hot whiskey cider and chocolate bar under a blanket of stars will have you wishing the night would never end. Lastly, if you can pack it well bring the blanket on the front of the bike. While not necessary it sure makes ya’ look legit.
All of this gear should not exceed a 25 – 30 liter pack and be around 20 pounds minus water. If you have a sissy bar it’s great to strap it to that or load some saddle bags. If you are without those options, shorten your trip and carry it on your back. Remember the journey is the reward.
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