MOTORCYCLE CAMPING: THE PACKING NECESSITIES
After several motorcycle camping trips, I’ve come up with a list of essentials I won’t leave home without. Of course, your sleeping bag, tent and ground mat are essential camping gear. But there are some other indispensable pieces of kit that make motorcycle camping easier.
The first thing I always do is pack for every season. I assume one day will be unreasonably warm for the time of year and one day unreasonably cold. Especially on a motorcycle. The wind exposure can drive the cold right into your bones. Layers are even more essential for motorcyclists.
A KICKSTAND PAD
One of the smallest pieces of kit in my bag, but also one of the most useful. You would not believe the times I have found the perfect campsite, attempted to park my bike up with all my gear strapped to the back and the kickstand digs into the ground and sends me tumbling to the floor. This handy plastic mat lets you put your kickstand down on any terrain and will keep the bike standing. If you come off your bike it should be under impressive circumstances, not stationary in soft dirt.
EXTRA BUNGEE CORD OR STRAPS
Things happen bungee cords become lost or broken. The last thing you want when you’ve left civilisation behind you is to break a cord and have no way of securing your gear. Take it from me, scratching around the bush for a vine strong enough to secure your camping gear to your bike is incredibly frustrating. You can never have enough bungee cord for those emergencies.
A POCKET TOOL KIT
There are many brands of toolkits on the market to choose from. I personally use Cruztools, which gives a pretty good collection of tools. You don’t want a mechanical problem to ruin your getaway. Duct tape is always included in my tool kit and some oil for my chain.
Wearing riding boots constantly gets uncomfortable fast. You may look like Valentino Rossi, but your feet smell like King Kong. Bring some thongs to wear once you are off your bike. They give your feet a chance to get some fresh air and for the skin to dry out.
MOTORCYCLE KIDNEY BELT
Generally made from elastic fabric, these belts are useful on long journeys. Despite protecting your kidneys in the event of a tumble, they provide your back with a lot of support. It helps to stabilise your upper body and supports the lower lumbar region of your back.
TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE AND PUNCTURE KIT
I use the Stop and Go Tubeless Puncture Pilot, but there are heaps of puncture kits available. A tyre pressure gauge is a must. Tyres without the right amount of pressure can be dangerous as well as dragging you down. There are times when you might want to change air pressure, say when you are changing to dirt roads. This is when a good quality tyre gauge will come in very handy. E
MOBILE PHONE WITH PORTABLE SOLAR CHARGER
I always pack a solar charger so I can keep my phone charged even when off the grid. It’s safer to have a fully charged mobile in case of emergencies. The solar charger means that I don’t have to leave my phone plugged into a dodgy restaurant or campsite bathroom plug socket. If your motorcycle has a decent charging system, then you can get chargers which plug directly into the bike. I haven’t tried it with my bike yet. She’s been around quite a few years and I’m not sure she’d manage the extra charge.
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