5 Tips to Elevate Your Next Motocamping Adventure
Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love. [email protected]
Planning your next (or first) Motocamping adventure
The air is getting that distinct autumn chill. The leaves are changing, lining the roads with awe-worthy fall foliage. Autumn is officially here, and that means one thing: it’s time for your next motocamping adventure.
Although you can technically motocamp any time of year, spring and autumn are some of the best times to camp with your motorcycle. (And let’s be honest: we could all use a little getaway before the holiday rush begins). But although motocamping can be a much-needed opportunity to reconnect with nature and the open road, it can also pose some issues if you come across unexpected bumps.
Read these tips to make sure your next motocamping trip goes off without a hitch. Then, channel your inner Easy Rider and hit the road.
- Go with a group
For many riders, the thrill of motocamping is in the “lone wolf,” DIY aspect of getting out into the quiet of nature solo. But at the end of the day, motocamping is a lot more safe—and a lot less work—if you do it with a group. With friends in tow, you’ll be able to divide up heavy gear and have extra support if that inevitable unexpected event occurs.
Still convinced you’d rather go it alone? Make sure you share your plans and route with friends and family. And as with any other camping trip—motorcycle or not—it’s crucial to keep your ICE contact handy.
- Pick the best routes and campsites
There are two kinds of motocampers: ones who plan and the ones who don’t. But although hitting the road and finding campsites on the fly seems like a romantic idea, it won’t always work out that way—and issues have a funny way of popping up when you’re in the most remote areas. To minimize mishaps, research routes and campsites before heading off for your adventure.
Want to avoid the overcrowded routes and explore somewhere new? Check out this quick article on using Google Maps to find the perfect ride. And when it comes to camping sites, have a handful on hand just in case one is closed or booked for the night. The best campsites for motorcycles will have high, flat ground where you can park your bike and pitch your tent. Amenities like running water and grills can help you keep down the weight of your gear—something you’ll be thankful for after your first day of riding. A shower isn’t a bad thing to look for, either.
- Get savvy about maintenance
You love your bike, but how well do you really know your bike? Could you repair it without cellphone reception or a nearby gas station? Knowing what repairs or services your bike needs—and getting them taken care of—before heading out can mean the difference between a good or miserable motocamping trip.
If you don’t already know how to plug a flat, get savvy before hitting the road. I have recommended this kit from slime to thousands of riders over the years. And if your bike doesn’t have a toolkit, create one yourself so that you’re prepared when the inevitable strikes.
- Pack right (and light)
Your bike’s smaller frame has advantages and disadvantages over a car. But when you start to pack for your trip, keep in mind that packing smarter is synonymous with packing lighter. The more you can compact your supplies into one piece of luggage or bag, the smoother your trip will be. Calculate the max weight that you should carry, including food, to avoid the overloading your motorcycle. Keep the heavy items closest to your center of gravity to avoid road-handling issues.
The packing list for a camping trip with a motorcycle doesn’t look too different than a normal trip; but it’s much more condensed. Small, packable tents and multi-purpose items are even more important to find when you have to pack light. A few additional must-have supplies? Straps that keep your luggage, tent and other supplies attached to your bike and not barreling down the road behind you; waterproof bags that protect your stuff from Mother Nature; and a tarp, which will undoubtedly come in handy whether you expect it to or not.
- Decide whether or not to bring food
There’s a lot of debate online about whether to prepare your own food or eat out on your motocamping trip. Some riders say half the fun is meeting locals at diners and dives—and spending more time riding than preparing meals. Others swear by cooking meals at the campsite to get the full motocamping experience.
If you fall into the latter category, avoid bringing unnecessary cooking items. Foods like pasta only require a pot and water to cook, while other meals can quickly dirty multiple pots and utensils—the last thing you want on your motocamping trip.
When done right, motocamping can connect you with amazing rides and unforgettable experiences. Check the Reddit Motocamping thread for more tips and inspiration, and call on Motorcycle Shippers to get your bike to your next motocamping destination quickly and efficiently.
Have you ever gone motocamping? What items are must-haves when you head out for your trip? What unexpected issues have you encountered on your adventure?