If you ask non-motorcyclists they would say it’s impossible to go motorcycle camping. Imagine that you need to fit all the camping gear, something to cook on and eat on, things for your hygiene, non-riding cloths and other essential stuff onto your motorcycle. Now you want to take a pillion. Well…you’ve got to be kidding me!
An yet, it’s awesome! Many bikers do it with passion because they like to be outside day and night. No matter what it takes, sleeping under a tent is the real pleasure after a day of riding. Taking your motorcycle camping gear doesn't mean you have to every day, although that is what generally happens as you don’t like to give up the fresh air. Having your camping gear with you gives you the freedom of choice how you want to spend the night.
I personally don’t sleep anywhere better than under the tent. See the picture below? Sometimes, I don’t even stay on camping grounds if I find a pleasant spot like this. Bear in mind that spots like this will only make sense when you tour on your own or with a few friends and it will be not suitable for larger groups.
Camping grounds generally though have the advantages of hot showers or even drying rooms which is much appreciated when the weather turns ugly. You may also feel more secure on camping grounds but I guess that will depends on your mind set. On the downside, they can be busy in holiday times and some will not allow bikers in so check before you call in.
You’ll always find camping sites on your GPS but they would be rather the biggest, not necessary the nicest. Check for camping sites at home before going and make reservations if you know exactly your route. You can search for motorcycle friendly camping sites but really any camping ground would be good as long as it’s not overcrowded.
If however you don’t know exactly your route you will look for them as you ride. You can always have a detailed map with you but if you travel long distances chances are that you don’t have such a map. Important as you ride is to start looking for the sites rather early, before you get too tired. Otherwise you may get very irritated when you feel exhausted, desperately looking for a place to sleep. That can be a dangerous thing too.
Having a chain lock is best but it's rather the heaviest option. I think a disc lock is good, preferably with an alarm. It takes much less space and weight but it gives you extra peace of mind, especially when you've got to leave your bike far from your tent. Personally I don't like that and honestly I have never stayed at a camping site where I didn't have my bike close. The reason is I keep things locked in on my bike in the hard luggage so I don’t have to keep them in a tent. Also when you want to go for a walk (and you will) to stretch your bones you can leave your valuable stuff secured in the hard luggage so one would have to break it (and it’ll be hard to break) if they were to steal anything.
On camping grounds or any other grass it is important to secure your bike from falling. You just need to make sure your stand will not sink in the ground specially on a wet ground. You can put something flat under the stand or even lean your bike against a tree with a handlebar. It happened to me once that I was woken up by the smell of the petrol and in that very wet morning I found my bike laying next to my tent. Luckily, I had enough sense to leave it couple of meters from my tent so it did not fall on me.
you will need to eat and eat well. Read more on what to eat on your adventures on the camping food ideas page.
Return to motorcycle sport touring Home Page