Motorcycle Camping Gear: 10 Must-Have Items

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These days, camping isn't a monolithic experience. You can go primitive camping, RV camping, even "glamping," or luxury camping. 

For the dedicated motorcyclist, those remote stretches of road can lead to excellent camping sites. Also, with these 10 essentials, you'll have what you need for a successful camping trip.

Motorcycle on a winding road in the mountains. From Motorcycle Camping Gear: 10 Must-Have Items

1. Compact Camping Tent

Back in the day, old-timers depended on a tarp for motorcycle camping trips. Fortunately, modern times have brought us a choice. You'll find an amazing variety of lightweight tents that make the perfect tent for motorcycle trips. Look for one that is weatherproof, easy to set up, and large enough for at least two people. Loners who baby their bikes can even find a person/bike tent combo. 

2. Saddlebags

You may have seen bikers strapping gym bags to their back bumper with bungee cords. That's no longer necessary since, today, you'll find a complete line of accessory bags that are made specifically to attach to bikes. They're designed to distribute weight evenly across the motorcycle's frame while holding all your gear. 

Vintage green motorcycle with saddlebags. From Motorcycle Camping Gear: 10 Must-Have Items

3. Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag will make your motorcycle camping trip much more comfortable than making do with a tarp and a blanket. The choices available are almost overwhelming–from synthetic ones to the old-fashioned goose-down bags. Look for one that will be suitable for the kind of weather you'll most likely be traveling in. Mummy-style bags heat up the quickest. 

4. First Aid/Survival Kit

A first aid and/or survival kit is the last thing you hope to need but will give you much peace of mind. You can put your own kit together with things like waterproof matches, wound-care items, a snakebite kit, weather radio, and other emergency items. You can also save time and purchase an already prepared survival kit. 

5. GPS 

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are available on smartphones and even watches. But to get the most out of the GPS technology while on an extended motorcycle trip, you can find units especially made for riders and rugged adventures. Mounting kits are available so the unit can be attached to the handlebars. No more worries about wrong turns! 

6. Multitool

An all-purpose multitool is a must-have for any type of camping, including motorcycle camping trips. Carry one on your belt or include one as part of your traveling survival kit. They come in several styles, including folding knives, fixed blades, and even survival business cards that fit inside your wallet. These tools perform a host of functions, from opening bottles to skinning fish and game.

3 gleaming silver multitools. From Motorcycle Camping Gear: 10 Must-Have Items

7. Camping Stove

How will you eat on your motorcycle camping adventure? There may or may not be stores, roadside stands, and restaurants along the way. If you're planning a real wilderness adventure, consider a portable wood stove. These stoves use wood for heating, so you won't have to worry about running out of cooking fuel. 

Pack a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pot in your saddlebag, and you're all set to heat food over an open flame in real camping style. 

8. MREs

Not everyone is skilled in the art of campfire cooking. But that doesn't have to keep you from preparing a meal off the grid on a motorcycle camping adventure. Today, delicious Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) come in a variety of cuisines that are much more flavorful than the C-Rations of old. Choose from military-grade pre-packaged MREs or civilian brands. The meals are sealed against the elements, simple to prepare, and nutritious. 

9. Portable Solar Charger

Having a portable solar charger with you will eliminate the need of finding a place to keep your phone and other small electronic devices charged to use on your motorcycle camping trip. You won't have to wait until you're driving to take care of your charging needs. 

10. Water

Most people know that you can actually go without food much longer than water. You can only carry so many bottles of water by motorcycle, so you'll need to identify potable water sources along the way. For extra peace of mind, carry along some water purification supplies that you can use for questionable water sources.


What is your favorite item, when you go motorcycle camping?