Motorcycle Camping Gear

The Best Motorcycle Camping Gear to Make Your Trip as Great as It Can Be

Here's your guide to the best in motorcycle camping gear.

If you're going to do some motorcycle camping, then you are almost certainly going to have to think smaller and lighter than the rest of the camping crowd. That doesn't mean that you will have to leave some of the best items at home, just that you will need to think about being more compact.

When the time comes to downsize so that you and a friend can get on the open road, you're going to want a camping system that will allow you to think of nothing else besides the ride. Once you've reached your destination and break out your gear, part of the fun will be the telling of how you came across the great camping gear in your saddlebags.

You may be asking yourself if you can even go motorcycle camping, or how difficult it just may be, but think no more because we've got all that info for you right here. Camping from the back of your motorcycle can be awesome, whether you ride a Harley-Davidson or a Honda.

Motorcycle Camping

It's easy to take any trip outside of the home for granted when we all want to be comfortable. Any trip to the campground can involve the entire family, and getting the kids comfortable can be some work. That's not to say that the kids can't go on a camping trip from the back of your favorite bike, just that everything needs a bit of downsizing first.

Not many of us can really get the full experience of wide open skies like riders do. Now add to that the fact that camping comes with unrelenting views of the sunrise, sunset, and the starry nights we all love, and you've really checked a good one off of the old bucket list.

In fact, the camaraderie that cycle riders have for one another can go a long way towards the camping experience that we all know and love. It's these shared efforts to get there, relax, and enjoy that makes them a special breed, and if you can add in some great camping gear, so much the better.

Sure, your cycle is going to have be travel ready for stowing extra gear, but manufacturers have been thinking about that for years. Your only concern should be where you want to go, not how you need to pack.

Motorcycle Camping Tent

Most tents that are highly-rated options for the serious backpacker, lightweight camper, or even a bicycle camper will work well for a motorcycle camper. Make sure they are easily packable. They should also be waterproof, wind resistant, and freestanding while having enough room for yourself and your potential passenger. This option from Ascend is great and relatively inexpensive. 

Compact Ultralight Folding Chair

These two offerings are completely easy to break down, pack up, and store without taking up much space. They add almost no weight to your ride making it simple to have one for both yourself and your partner. A good camping chair is a must for anyone out on the road. 

Sleeping Pad

There are many good options for an ultralight air-cell sleeping pad and most can practically be stuffed into your pocket. They come water resistant and quite comfortable with an easy design meant for ease of deflating when it's time to ride again. It's almost as good as an air mattress, but without all the bulk.


This may be a bit more of a luxury for some since many riders are used to roughing it, but why not have a place to lay down and relax on your stay? They come with everything you need to set it up, and then break down into a neat and small pack that gets out of your way in an instant.

Sleeping Bag

Without experience, you may not think that a portable, waterproof, and lightweight sleeping bag would be comfortable, but they are surprisingly great to sleep in. Add to that how easy it is to pair with a sleeping pad, and you've got yourself a good night's sleep in places that many campers choose not to go or simply can't get to.

There are all-weather bags, three and four season bags, and so many colors and styles that you'll have a hard time choosing. Opt for a packable, lightweight bag that's rated for the coldest temperatures you'd expect to be camping in.

Camp Pillow

Believe it or not, you can pack a pillow on your bike without taking up much room. You can thank the backpacking crowd for making these popular. It will keep your head off of a rock or other hard object making a good night's sleep even more possible.

Mess Kit With Mini Stove

This is another in the line of "do you really need it?" items, but a bug out bag-style mess kit can make all the difference. These kits include everything you need to have your dinner and eat it too, just without taking up all the room.

The best part of all is the included mini stove which is easy to use for boiling water and cooking simple dehydrated meals.

First Aid Kit

As one last essential, we'll suggest a first aid kit, an item that has found its way into many a motorcycle saddlebag. You may have much of what comes in this amazing kit at home, but organizing it all in one place and being sure to bring it along is a great move for motorcycle campers.

Other Considerations

For motorcycle camping, it's nice to find a place that offers some form of running water such as toilets and showers. Other obvious needs include trash cans, picnic tables, fire rings and a grill; most established campgrounds will have these. 

Once you've gotten your feet wet in the genre, you may just find yourself far away from the crowds having an experience like you never knew was possible.

Other things to look for are a good water canister, headlamp, dry bag, bungee straps, and a multitool. Much of this you may already have as a rule, but it helps to have a reminder.

A motorcycle camping trip shouldn't be an out of the ordinary excursion, especially for first time riders that want to pitch a tent and enjoy the landscape for a night after a long day of riding. "Car camping" will never be the same once you've skipped the car and done it from the back of a motorcycle.

These items won't get in the way of your regular riding gear on your road trip. Motorcycling has become more and more popular and more of them are joining the ranks of motorcycle campers. Good luck, and good camping.

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