Choosing the right motorcycle camping gear is absolutely crucial for a pleasant and long term motorcycle journey. Below you will find my recommendations based on own experience.
To be honest with you, I still prefer sleeping under a roof in a hostel or airbnb than pitching my tent somewhere along the road. In South America or Central America I would not feel very comfortable to do so in non secure areas. This changed rapidly when I arrived in the USA and Canada where the average hostel costs are around 40 USD a night and a simple motel around 70 USD. You won’t have a choice anymore unless you have the necessary change with you :p
My friends from Brazil gave me a simple one-man-tent which was doing an “ok job”. The set up was really easy and I had sufficient space for all of my gear and myself. This was also the problem…
Sleeping in a tent after heavy rainfall when your clothes are wet until the underwear or a long dusty road or significant cold or heat is definitely no fun anymore. Don’t believe the romantic stories other people are telling you on Instagram.
Certainly, there are exceptions when camping is really fun like, for example, the picture you see on top of this site (The Toe, McCarthy in Alaska). This is truly an amazing experience!
What you should be taking into consideration when purchasing a tent is the following:
1. Small size and weight
You will have to carry it with you for the complete trip – therefore, the smaller the better)
My last tent was not self standing and I always needed a soft ground to insert the hooks of my tent. You can guess what happened when the ground was rocky… exactly… it was not possible to pitch it. Therefore, choose a tent which can be pitched independently from the ground (“self-standing”)
Make sure your tent has enough room for air circulation or ventilation, respectively. My last tent had a tiny hole and made breathing quite a challenge after a while. Especially after waking up the complete inside was wet due to the condensation of breath etc. No big surprise but I am sure in higher quality tents this would be better!
4. Tarp or Awning
As mentioned above make sure that you can leave your stuff under the tarp of your tent outside. You will have more space in the main tent and no issues with smelly or wet clothes and boots.
Make sure the tent has a sufficient level of being water proof. It is no fun if it suddenly rains into your “house”
Sleeping Bag NorthFace
When I started my trip, I knew it would be crucial to have a warm sleeping bag which covers also temperatures around or minus 0 °Celsius. Therefore, I decided to buy a Northface sleeping bag which unfortunately came with huge packing dimensions. I was happy for its performance but it took a lot of space on my bike. I would try to buy another one with small packing dimensions. Worst case, sleep with more layers on…