Wayward Son: The Best Motorcycle Camping Gear

Photo: Stay Exposed Bivouac

Aside from setting out on your favorite cafe racer, adventure bike, tracker or even touring bike for a meditative ride, the only possible activity more remote and introspective could be motorcycle camping. And unless you’re traveling in a pack of riders, bound for the unknown and living the so-called “life on the lam,” odds are you’re out there alone. Just you, the asphalt, and your bike; an introvert’s bliss.

And just like car camping, backcountry camping, or backpacking, the aesthetic requires gear to both facilitate a comfortable night’s sleep, a full stomach, and transportation. It’s not like you can simply pack up, toss everything in the truck, and get on your way. Here, it’s all about weight management, durability in goods, and weatherproof technology that ensures even if you show up a little wet to the campsite, your gear will not. So, with that in mind, and because any type of camping getaway is going to pique our interest, we decided to piece together a list of camping gear built either specifically for two-wheeled outdoorsmen or gear that caters nicely to that lifestyle. It’s a big world out there, best get started early.

KiWav Kickstand Pad

Unless you’re settling in for the night at an established campground or motel, odds are the ground beneath your tires is soft and giving. That’s why there’s the KiWav Kickstand Pad – positioned to help stabilize your bike on soft ground. Of course, we don’t need to sell you on what that’s important.

Purchase: $8

Ortlieb Saddle Bags

Available in three sizes these saddlebags are the perfect travel buddies that won’t take up too much space on your bike and provide firm and vibration-free mounting. They’re also 100 percent waterproof, feature buckles and D-rings for locking each bag, and also come with a mounting set that’s available as an accessory if necessary.

Purchase: $35+

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Cook Kit

It’s a simple fact that you can’t cook without cooking equipment, and this superior backcountry cooking equipment from GSI Outdoors is both packable for easy transportation and boasts a non-stick surface that makes cleanup a breeze and reduces the presence of hotspots. Each kit includes a 1.1-liter pot, nylon strainer, a 14 oz insulated mug, telescoping foon and a waterproof bag to keep everything nice and dry.

Purchase: $44

MSR Alpine Deluxe Camping Kit

Not only will utensils and cooking equipment be necessary for whatever trip you had in mind, but the key thing here is to keep things organized. MSR offers just that with their Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set – complete with a handful of different yet necessary tool to get the job done. Some examples includes BPA-free plastic utensils, a cutting board, a stainless steel, cutting knife, and corkscrew to name a few. Best of all, the whole set only weighs 1 lb 6 oz.

Purchase: $55

Alps Mountaineering Ultra-Light Series Air Pad

Let’s be frank here, sleeping on the ground is terrible, especially since we’ve become so accustomed to modern mattresses. In that regard, save your back from the inevitable aches and pains it’ll experience and get yourself a sleeping pad. This offering from Alps Mountaineering is a lightweight and highly packable option featuring open cell jet stream foam and is available in two different sizes.

Purchase: $60+

Therm-a-rest Quadra Chair

Finding a camping chair that doesn’t take up a whole lot of space is difficult. That’s why we were so pleased when we came across the Quadra Chair. Not only does it provide ample comfort around the fire after a long day’s ride, but the chair actually packs down into its own base, thus transforming the reliable camping companion into a 2 lb. 11 oz packable addition to your luggage.

Purchase: $90

Powertraveller Portable Solar Charger

These days, cell phones are an ever-needed important piece of tech that can actually get us out of a jam in a jiffy. Aside from keeping touch, they boast GPS, handy apps to keep you on track and on time, along with plenty of other recreational uses. Needless to say, it’s important to keep them powered up. And with the help of the Powertraveller, this won’t be an issue. Simply put, what we have here is a compact and lightweight solar charger with a lithium battery that comes complete with a USB socket to help power your smartphone. It’s also fully water and shock resistant and can charge an iPhone up to 2 times.

Purchase: $110

Biolite Campstove 2

As an indispensable piece of camping equipment, the portable stove is one thing you certainly shouldn’t leave home without. And if low maintenance is your preference, then the BioLite Campstove 2 is the perfect option. It’ll ignite and burn wood you can find around the campsite to both cook hot meals and simultaneously charge your smartphone. Can’t beat that.

Purchase: $130

Kriega US 20 Dry Pack

Here’s an obvious pick. It’s no secret that any additional gear will need to be safely stowed away while in transit. That’s why the Kriega Dry Pack is such a necessary option here. It’s completely waterproof, comes outfitted with a roll-top closure for additional weather protection, fits perfectly with just about any bike, and each bag comes with a 10-year guarantee. No matter what the weather, rest assured there will be a dry set of clothes available once you settle in for the evening.

Purchase: $139

Zero Tolerance Titanium Flipper

Without a reliable pocket knife on whatever camping excursion you may be on, the simplest of tasks can suddenly become quite burdensome. So, best mitigate the avoidable with a little help from this Zero Tolerance Titanium Flipper. It’s a sleek manual-open 0095BW option from the trusted brand boasting a tungsten DLC coated ‘harpoon’ style blade and a KVT ball deployment system.

Purchase: $225

Stay Exposed Bivouac

Bivouacs are great, especially for motorcycle camping in which lugging around a weighty tent isn’t exactly your first option. And in this instance, the Stay Exposed Bivouac is actually made specifically for motorcycle camping. That is, the nightly shelter uses the motorcycle as a part of the supporting structure – thus reducing the package size to an absolute minimum. It’s also made from 500 Denier Cordura, boasts vegetable tanned leather straps, and comes with a 10-year warranty to boot.

Purchase: $464

Feathered Friends Hummingbird Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags. These are obvious we know. That’s why when considering motorcycle camping we wanted to include something that’s incredibly warm, comfortable, and can easily pack down into a convenient travel-friendly size. It’s a narrow mummy shaped bag, with a YKK two-way zipper, and is made from 10 denier water-resistant yet breathable fabric.

Purchase: $479

The Best Bike For The Job

In terms of camping/adventuring there really is no better option out there than a dual-sport motorcycle. Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself and see what we mean.