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Author Topic: Real World Camping Gear Info for Motorcyclists  (Read 683 times)

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Offline Chitza

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Real World Camping Gear Info for Motorcyclists
« on: August 20, 2016, 07:37:14 PM »
When shopping for camping gear, there are three things that are most important to me: performance of its function, weight and actual pack size. When shopping for gear I can easily find info on weight and written as well as video reviews of performance. Actual pack size is occasionally mentioned, often a "questimate" and frequently just plain wrong. I suppose pack size is not so important to car campers but you would think it would be just as important as weight to hikers. This thread is for photos of your favorite gear WITH a measuring tape. You can also add reviews on function, performance, durability and give it stars if you want. I'll be adding some videos on my tent set up, sleeping pad and other gear in actual performance mode. Feel free to add any relevant content.
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Offline Yankee Dog

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Re: Real World Camping Gear Info for Motorcyclists
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 08:54:07 AM »

The Tiger will have to suffice for a ruler.  The green bag attached to the crash bar contains a shelter system for two (less poles), a stove and cook pot.  The shelter system is a bug hut, a silnylon tarp and a shower curtain ground cloth.  The cook system is an alcohol stove and a Stanley pot from Wally World. 

The dry bag attached to the top of the painnier hold two sleeping bags and two air mattresses.  They are both Big Agnes sleep systems.  Pricy, but light weight and effective. 

Here is the shelter.  I will have to dig for a photo of the stove and pot.


Offline SpeedyR

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Re: Real World Camping Gear Info for Motorcyclists
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 01:47:44 PM »
good topic but might want to move it into the general section just for more visibility.

having worked in the outdoor industry for a long time (but it's been a while since I did)  and at local higher end outfitters, I have often found that you do get what you pay for with gear. Not always though and there's definitely ways to find great gear at a discount. And is that last 5% of function worth an extra 50% in cost? that's your choice. :)

more related to backpacking and camping but I always found that I was perfectly happy to spend money on three areas: sleeping, eating and walking. If your trip goes to h@ll but you can sleep well, eat well and be comfortable hiking, it's all good.

for motorcycle camping, for me at least, my big need is to have the item pack small. I don't really care about the weight as much but want it to be very compact and compressible. Your needs may be different. I want to be able to camp for 2 days out of a small duffel bag strapped to the back of the DS bike. So compact wins! I have a bunch of 4 season gear that was great for camping in the dead of winter but not so good for fall and spring dual sport trips. So I have been slowly going thru and replacing a few things.

   shelter- to each their own but having a solid shelter is essential. if your tent leaks, it's not a tent, it's a bug screen. Get one that has sealed seams. from the factory ideally, but you can do it on your own with a bit of time and a tube of seam sealer. Do it when the tent is new. floor of the tent, rain fly, etc. inside and outside just to be sure. stitching is holes. thread wicks moisture. if it's not sealed you'll get wet. I've woken up with my tent in 2" of water and been fine. no water inside the tent. Because of space and packed size, I have moved from tents to hammocks. Much smaller, lighter, and IMHO more comfortable. BUT you have to have trees around to really utilize them. Yes you can use it as a bivy bag and use the tarp as a tarp over you, but it's better if you have some trees. I have a Warbonnet Blackbird and love it. not cheap but the double layer design is ideal. I can put my sleeping pad in between the layers and it provides insulation below me, comfort, and rigidity to the hammock. I can sleep on my side and be very comfortable and warm. bug netting and a very nice fly over the top. The only thing I'll change in the future is to get a larger fly so I have more room under the tarp for cooking, hanging out, changing, etc.

sleeping pad- Get one!!!  Insulated, self inflating ideally but the newer ones where you can use the stuff sack to inflate the bag are very nice and much lighter. Sleeping on the ground is uncomfortable and cold. Heat is sucked out of your body into the ground. If you are using it for extended trips try not to blow your breath into the pad as you have a LOT of moisture in your breath and its not good to have water inside your sleeping pad.

Sleeping bag- get a nice mummy bag if you can stand to sleep in them. I always use down because of the weight and compressibility. Plus it just lasts a lot longer than any synthetic with proper care. The higher the down fill (i.e. 650 vs 800) is more “fluffy” so less weight and more compressibility. Any good brand is good to go. I found a deal on a North Face Gold Kazoo last year at a local outfitter. Less than 2lbs, 30 degree rated, and packs down to the size of a grapefruit with a good compression sack. Yes they don’t work if they get wet (down bags) but if you get your bag wet you are doing something wrong. I’ve camped in rainforests for weeks at a time and only once got a bag wet (my rain cover ripped off and blew away crossing a volcano. Really). I now use waterproof bags to pack everything. I can float across a river with my bags and the contents stay dry.  Pack a little inflatable pillow. It’s the little things.  Nemo Fillo (wife loves it).

Eating has been covered. The Jetboil type stoves are great if you want to boil water. If you drink coffee/tea or eat out of bags, they are hard to beat. Most of the time I like to actually cook food (depending upon the day) so I like something more like an MSR Dragonfly. But then you need pots and pans and a lot more stuff, but it depends upon what you want to do. Having hot apple cinnamon muffin bread for breakfast when everyone else is eating oatmeal is spirit lifting. Ditto for Cajun shrimp alfredo pasta for dinner.  I like being able to refill the bottle with coleman fuel and being able to use unleaded gas is a bonus (don’t do it unless you have to, it’s dirty fuel compared to Coleman/white gas). I’ve got MSR Whisperlites, XGK’s,  and other stoves. MSR is my top because you can fix anything wrong with it with their repair kits. Again for simplicity, a Jetboil is hard to beat and even if you don’t plan to cook much, is a real godsend when it’s cold and you are stranded somewhere. A hot drink and some ramen noodles will do ya good while waiting for help or if you can’t find food locally (getting in late in a small town).

Chair- I like to carry one, so I have an REI Flex Lite chair. Small and comfortable. Nice if you are camping away from campsites.

Accessories- HEADLIGHT. Buy one. Make that two. Main lighting and backup. I have a Petzl Tikka, and another one by Coast that’s got variable output, waterproof, adjustable beam and runs on three rechargeable AAA batteries so I can swap out if needed with primary cells. Even a little Zipka is good in the tank bag. Once you use a headlamp you’ll wonder why you ever bought a flashlight. Especially around bikes or camping (or setting up camp in the dark, using the bathroom at night (when there’s no restroom).

Water Filter or tabs- always carry some way to make potable/drinkable water. A real pump/filter setup if you are going to be camping away from facilities, or at a minimum a nalgene bottle and some way of treating the water (tablets or drops). I just picked up a Sawyer Mini filter and bag. Great backup. Learn the difference between a filter and a purifier if you are travelling outside the US. Even if you plan to stay in hotels and campgrounds every night, again you might get stuck somewhere and being able to have drinking water is a lifesaver.

lastly if you are looking for gear- check craigslist (local and regional, use a website like Search Tempest), outlets online (REI Garage, Sierra Trading Post, etc) and Amazon. Some of the gear you find at walmart may be good quality but check reviews online. is a good one that seems to have good ratings and respectable reviews.

anyway just some other areas to consider as far as camping gear. Maybe later we can get into riding gear. lol...

Offline SpeedyR

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Re: Real World Camping Gear Info for Motorcyclists
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 01:56:23 PM »
couple of photos of dual sport camping. These trips were usually just two nights, so not a lot of gear.

small waterproof bag- didn't have hammock or sleeping bag in this one but more clothes to go out at night with friends... since this photo I picked up a First Gear 40 liter dry bag duffel for the back of the bike: