Getting ready to go camping is very important for the comfort of the actual trip. If you’re planning to hang hammocks instead of planting a tent, and you need the whole shebang to fit onto one or two motorcycles, it’s even more important! Knowing what you’re likely to need (based on where you’re going, time of year, who you’re going with, etc) will help figure out what to take. Knowing what you’ve already got, what you need to get, and where all of it is is essential. It all starts with lists for your gear and an idea of where it all goes. The following pages are our basic starting point on what we bring with us (excluding food) and where we put it all.
Kitchen List – How we cook when we’re on the road.
Hammocks & Rigging List – This is how we hang
We also have some very specific gear for carrying all of our camping equipment. There’s only so much space on a bike so you have to choose your gear carefully. You also have to pack based on your needs. What may seem to be convenient may end up being a hassle. One thing that we’ve noticed is that having one large bag is not as convenient as having a number of smaller bags strategically placed. Our first trips in 2016 (the Olympic Peninsula trip and then the Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast tour) taught us that a large capacity dry bag strapped to the back of a bike might give you lots of space, but it’s a pain to load and unload each day. Not to mention having to carry the darned thing.
As of June 2016 I have the Mosko Reckless 80 v2.0 and NMBL is carrying on with her Shad SH 42L side cases along with a duffle dry-bag instead of a traditional tail bag.
This should give us ample carrying capacity plus a more discrete packing system. It will also help us evenly distribute the weight of the gear. The Mosko system comes with MOLLE straps, enabling system expansion. It’s also a very modular system: the side holsters come off the main base and its has two dry bags that fit into both the holsters and the tail bag for the base, giving us up to 80L of variable space. We’ll let you know how it all works out as we go along.
Our tank bags are the Rapid Transit Recon 19 and the Nelson Rigg CL-2020 GPS. Both bags are hydration ready and we do use them with hydration bladders. NMBL’s Nelson Rigg is expandable to 27L from 21L in its standard configuration. This gives her a lot more space for packing extras. I personally don’t like riding with a large tank bag so I’ve kept to the 19L Rapid Transit. Both systems give us lots of packing options and fit our own riding styles.
Each trip gives you an opportunity to figure out what you need and how you’re going to access it. Some things will go by the wayside and not be used again. Others will be regular use items. You don’t truly know until you’re out there. Our lists are starting to get more streamlined due to experience. Not only are we figuring out what we really need and what we don’t, we’re making better use of our packing space as well.
TANK BAG (Hydration Ready)
- Lip balm
- Passport (if crossing borders)
- Insurance documents
- Post-its / note-pad and pen / Sharpie
- Sunglasses and case
- Camera (with straps, case, focus ring, and extra battery)
- Leatherman tool
- Bluetooth headset and case
- Polar fleece turtleneck
- Cooling vest (very important for hot summer days)
- Water bladder
- Quick snacks
- Helmet bag
- Pacsafe cage for tail-bag (maybe can go in or on tailbag)
- Cable lock for jackets and helmets
- Bandanna / neck gaiter
- Handy wipes
- Extra motorcycle gloves
TAIL BAG/PANNIERS – GENERAL USE
- Waterproof blanket to protect bike seat
- Bike maintenance kit (maybe can go under the seat)
- Chain wax
- Top-quilt / under-quilt / liner (in one stuff-sack)
- Hammock set (we don’t need no stinkin’ tents)
- Personal care kit
- Kitchen kit
- Water filter kit
- Fire kit
- Lights and rigging kit
- Pot and coffee set
- Stove set (multi-fuel and/or Biolite)
- Motorcycle cover
- Chairs (Thermarest Treo)
- Table (Little LL Bean aluminum coffee table)
- Handy Hammock supports (for when there are no hammocking trees available)
- Charging station (Pacsafe fanny pack, with micro USB and camera cables)
- USB battery chargers
TAIL BAG – PERSONAL
- Camp pants
- Flannel shirt
- Fuzzy pants
- Swimsuit (optional/seasonal)
- Rain gear (seasonal)
- Laundry bag
- Sandals or mules
- Shower shoes
- Personal care kit (personal)
- Work gloves
As we go on more adventures, these lists will evolve. With the Mosko Reckless 80 pannier system, the Mosko Scout 60 Duffle, and the Shad hard bags we’ve got loads of space for our gear. We expect to replace the Shad hard cases within the next year as they are starting to show wear.
Sep 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm
Having camped a lot and put hundreds of miles on a motorcycle, my suggestion would be to include an IFAK (individual first-aid kit), it may also be useful to investigate a company called: Lewis N Clark http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Lewis-and-Clark-Nylon-Tarp/productDetail/Tarps-Rope-and-Tie-Downs/prod999901362542/cat100936 they sell nylon tarps that are quiet in the wind, take up 1/4th the space of a PVC tarp and are very lite and east to carry.
also, please check out the canteenshop.com http://www.canteenshop.com/index.html for wonderful products that you will love. I really like this website and everything you are doing and have said! This is the best! Please keep this up, I am telling people about it starting right now!
Douglas Edward Fraser
Sep 11, 2016 at 6:35 pm
Thanks for the kind words and suggestions Doug! We’re definitely going to take a look at the websites you’ve suggested and perhaps even link them in the blog. I think the Canteen Shop in particular will be a guilty pleasure.