Moto camping advice
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Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3063
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:08 pm quote
I've been invited to join some blogger buddies for a loop from Montreal to Portland Maine then north to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, then around the Gaspé Peninsula and back home.

Since we'll be camping, and I have no gear, I need advice.

Can anyone suggest a list of gear I should take?

I plan to upgrade to a GTS before the trip. My friends will all be on MCs.
Molto Verboso
2009 Vespa LX150ie, 2007 GTS250ie, 1982 Honda CB900F, 1989 BMW K100RS
Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 1075
Location: Sydney Australia
Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:37 pm quote
I have not been camping for a very long time, but I would suggest getting gear that packs up small and light, such as that used for hiking. I guess you will need a tent and sleeping bag as a minimum, and probably some form of mattress (self inflating light weight hiking type). Also, since you are getting a GTS, it might be worth getting a front rack (as much as I don't like the look particularly) to distribute the weight more evenly on the scooter, as things tend to get back heavy pretty quick. If the centre of gravity of the scooter is too far aft, handling gets pretty squirrely. For other gear, such as cooking etc, I would coordinate with the other riders so that you do not double up or get things you do not need. For example, if you plan on eating at restaurants/diners etc, there will be no need for cooking gear.

Enjoy your trip!
Hooked
2012 GTS 300 Super
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 122
Location: Nashville, TN
Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:41 pm quote
Camped at the Hill On Wheels Rally in Chattanooga last year and really liked my Eureka Backcountry tent. This is a one-person tent but with a pad and sleeping bag, I was plenty comfortable. I was still riding my Stella at the time but have since upgraded to the GTS300.

Molto Verboso
lx150
Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 1237
Location: Adrian, Mi
Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:53 pm quote
I love Eureka tents! Great quality easy as any to set up and fair priced.
Moderator
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 5145
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:10 pm quote
My very generic basic minimalist list...

A small tent that you can set up and tear down easily by yourself.
A sleeping bag that can handle the coldest nighttime temperatures you expect, and then some.
A mat or, my preference, a small inflatable mattress.
An inflatable pillow.
A collapsible chair, even a very small one.
A lantern.

As far as everything else, lay out whatever you think you will need and leave half or more of it at home.

The tent need not be expensive, but you will want to make sure it doesn't leak. Waterproof it yourself before you take it on the road. I've been using a Wally World tent that I bought used on a whim at a thrift store for the last eight years and it works just fine. Maybe I just got lucky.

A warm sleeping bag speaks for itself. I have a Coleman that works just fine, and I don't restrict my camping to hot summer days. Check the rating. No matter what, your sleeping bag will probably be your bulkiest single item. Make sure you have something waterproof to cover it...you do not want it to get wet.

I bought a cheap inflatable pillow because it packs up about as thin as a piece of paper. Stick it in a spare T-shirt and you have a comfy-enough pillow.

I tried using a camping mat. I didn't sleep well at all. I found a single sized inflatable mattress (even a raft will do in a pinch, but it's not nearly as good) which I inflate with a 12V mini-pump or, sometimes I just blow it up myself. You'll ride better the next day if you sleep well.

Sometimes you just want to sit down and there's no place to do it that isn't soggy or rocky. That's why I recommend a small collapsible chair.

I have one that looks something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Ameristep-821-Tangle-Tripod-Folding/dp/B000BT1GBM/ref=sr_1_17?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1351566411&sr=1-17&keywords=collapsible+chair+lightweight

And I just bought an even smaller one to try out that's similar to this:
http://www.amazon.com/Rothco-Army-Digital-Folding-Stool/dp/B002A8L4ZA/ref=sr_1_10?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1351566411&sr=1-10&keywords=collapsible+chair+lightweight

A camping light doubles as a flashlight. It doesn't have to be super-bright...just bright enough to read by or light a path to the necessary room at night.

I use this one: http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-MicroPacker-Compact-Battery-Lantern/dp/B000EH0NLK

That's the basics...
The rest depends, since you are traveling in a group, on common items. You don't need a stove for every person on the trip, for instance.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3063
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:12 am quote
Thanks, it's those details like the folding chairs, mattress, camp light and pillow advice I really need.

For cooking / meals, we have plenty of time to build consensus among the riders and maybe share gear if necessary.

That's good advice on the front rack, and I think I'll order one of Didge's floor racks and maybe a top case rack too.

One challenge is going to be fuel because the MCs will have a lot more range. I'll go back to the Cannonball thread to see what options people used. Hooking up an auxiliary tank is overkill though.
saggezza di scala
2009 'Burma Shave' Red GTS 250ie
Joined: 13 Mar 2010
Posts: 6899
Location: Israel
Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:19 am quote
If you have limited experience camping, once you've bought all your equipment, I strongly advise you to give everything a shake-down in your back yard overnight. This should include preparing dinner and breakfast.

You don't want to find out you don't know how to set up the tent (or are missing parts) once you are on the road.

You will likely find that some of the stuff you buy you'll decide to leave at home.
Addicted
Honda Silverwing 600
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Posts: 897
Location: Salisbury UK
Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:37 am quote
No suggestions about equipment but a couple of things which made camping more comfortable for me - we used to camp at the Drag Strip when campaigning our cars from early Spring until well into November.

1) Make sure you sleep on a mat, blanket or whatever - insulation from the ground is as important if not more so than having covers over a sleeping-bag.

2) Don't be tempted to sleep in the clothes you've been wearing during the day. I always wore pyjamas and although was invariably the butt of jokes I was always warm!

3) If you have an 'ordinary' sleeping-bag (not a cocoon one) wear a woolly hat (or Buff) - we lose most of our body-heat through our head and if that's uncovered we get cold. I was laughed at for that, too, until my friends realised it was a 'good thing'.

I repeat: these are things which made for a comfortable night's sleep for me.
Hooked
2008 LX 190 Nero Grafite (Sold) 2015 Moto Guzzi V7II Special
Joined: 06 Dec 2009
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:50 am quote
1. Headtorch - much smaller and more useful than a flashlight. Petzl or Black Diamond will see you right.
2. Good quality folding knife - I have a SOG Flash 2 - brilliant knife.
3. 10m Para Cord - 1001 uses and packs up small.
4. Multifuel stove if you're cooking - can run on ULP from the Vespa if necessary.
5. Toolkit for the Vespa (But you always carry that RIGHT?)
6. Thermarest make the best self-inflating camping mat - GET ONE! Don't compromise on a good nights sleep.
7. A down sleeping bag if you can afford it - they pack up much smaller than nylon/synthetic fill. Better to go too hot with a sleeping bag than too cold - you can always unzip them to cool down - not so easy to get warmed up with a light bag.
8. Whatever stowage you are using, no matter how waterproof it claims to be - use big, heavy duty garbage bags to pack clothes, sleeping bag etc inside the outer bag. Again, garbage bags have a 1001 uses and can even be fashioned into a waterproof suit or shelter if everything goes tits up!

9. Flint steel - for starting fires - get a good one - it'll last you for life.

Take half as many clothes as you think you'll need - underwear, socks and t shirts can be washed and dried over night.

If you're going fully wild consider a water purifier as well - Steripens or similar are relatively cheap and pack up small.

Parachute silk hammocks are also brilliant - pack up to about the size of a coke can and can either be used for sleeping or just lazing about during the day!

My 2 c's - Most of all have fun!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7968
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:20 am quote
Gear designed for backpacking is what we use. Packs small both tents and sleeping bags. Get a sleeping bag rated at least 10 degrees (5c ) colder than what you expect to be your lowest nighttime temp.

Take a spare pair of long underwear for sleeping. Sleeping in the same clothes y0u wore all day will not keep you as warm but you don't need pajamas if you have fresh long underwear. Plus if it gets really old you have spares to wear and the nigh tech long underwear packs smaller.

Raingear is another ting you will need but you would have that with you on any Vespa tour anyway. A camp chair or stool, waterproof tent with tie downs and sleep mat (self inflating my preference) will round out the necessities. Small stove and something to heat water in is always useful even if you plan to eat out instead of cooking. A cup of hot tea, instant chocolate or coffee can make a cold night or morning setting up/taking down camp much better.
Hooked
Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 169

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:46 am quote
David,

You don't say what time of year you're doing this. I'd recommend just looking at the backpacking forums and even the minimalist forums, too. Remember a tarp (Silnylon is way good), some Paracord that has the seven strands inside. At least three, but little more, changes of NON COTTON clothing/socks.

I have a rack on my GT 200; it is kinda high up. Depending on how particular Johnny Law is where you are travelling it is always good not to block your headlight but strapping your tent and pad on the underside of the rack frees up a lot of space and shouldn't touch the fender...



Good luck!!!!

Last edited by daibutsu on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
Honda Silverwing 600
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Posts: 897
Location: Salisbury UK
Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:51 am quote
Does anybody bother to read previous posts before saying exactly the same as as already been said a few posts before?
Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21457
Location: Palatka, Florida
Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:59 am quote
All good tips here especially Trep's shakedown recommendation. You can play camp in your yard.

This book might be good. Though about getting it when I was planning a trip. http://www.motorcyclecampingtips.com/index.html

Other

http://www.roadrunner.travel/magazine/read/march-april-2007/page/44
Moderator
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 5145
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:19 am quote
cdwise wrote:
Gear designed for backpacking is what we use...
As an overall recommendation, this sums it up nicely.

A lot of family camping gear you'll come across at the local department stores is for people who have room to bring everything including the kitchen sink along.

On the other hand, backpacking gear is designed to be reliable, lightweight, and tiny.

Let us know the details: What time of year for instance?
In the hot summer, for example, a small battery operated fan can be a Godsend. Tents don't retain heat, the outside temperature is the inside temperature.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3063
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:35 am quote
As expected, phenomenal advice.
Thank you all very much.

Planning has barely started, we're thinking July 2013.

I'm more concerned about range and refuelling than keeping up with the MCs speed-wise (Suzuki V Strom 650 and a Yamaha V Star 650). I'll have to refuel more often and that's OK, but I don't want to be stopping at every gas station in the back roads in case the next one is beyond my range.

Size and type of spare fuel container and effective total range is what I'm wondering about.

Oh... that, and I'm now kicking myself for not jumping on Trepp's saddlebag bandwagon.
Addicted
MP3 500 - Black Sunshine
Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 859
Location: Shanghai or Ventura
Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:54 pm quote
Spare fuel, you say? Check this MV thread.
Molto Verboso
2009 Vespa LX150ie, 2007 GTS250ie, 1982 Honda CB900F, 1989 BMW K100RS
Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 1075
Location: Sydney Australia
Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:13 pm quote
MikeO wrote:
Does anybody bother to read previous posts before saying exactly the same as as already been said a few posts before?
At least those that have offered advice that is notionally the same as previous posts add something to the thread, unlike people simply complaining about how others post.

If one person says it, it is just opinion. If several say it, it is probably good advice. Several posts mentioning the same gear will give confidence to those reading about the choice of equipment.
Hooked
'19 BMW C400X; '07 Vespa 250 IE;'13 BMW F700GS; 87 Elite 80
Joined: 18 Sep 2011
Posts: 193
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:26 pm quote
Go with quality
Sounds like fun. I would get geared up with some quality gear.
Check out REI or Backcountry.com

Sleeping bag: Light weight synthetic 20 degree (stays warm when damp) Go with Mont Bell or Mountain Hardware.

Big Agnes inflatable pad - (or thermorest)

REI tent - Half Dome with footprint

Water proof riding gear

Water proof pack or top case to pack everything in.

You wont be happy if you are wet or cold.
Molto Verboso
'05 Vespa Granturismo
Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 1610
Location: Rancho Cordova, California
Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:28 pm quote
I believe most modern Vespas have a plastic lens on the headlight that requires an open air flow to keep he plastic from being melted by the heat of the headlight filiment.
If you have a front rack, make sure that your load does not obstruct the cooling airflow.
Unfortunately, I found this out by carrying a case of beer on the front rack.
Molto Verboso
2009 Vespa LX150ie, 2007 GTS250ie, 1982 Honda CB900F, 1989 BMW K100RS
Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 1075
Location: Sydney Australia
Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:39 pm quote
Richard H. Lemmon wrote:
I believe most modern Vespas have a plastic lens on the headlight that requires an open air flow to keep he plastic from being melted by the heat of the headlight filiment.
If you have a front rack, make sure that your load does not obstruct the cooling airflow.
Unfortunately, I found this out by carrying a case of beer on the front rack.
Please tell us the beer was unharmed!

I have found that a case of beer will fit on the floor between my feet on both the LX and GTS
Addicted
Honda Silverwing 600
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Posts: 897
Location: Salisbury UK
Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:37 am quote

If one person says it, it is just opinion. If several say it, it is probably good advice.


Indeed but many people show their confirmation or agreement by typing +1 and/or something like 'I agree with the previous poster's remarks/experience/advice', not just blundering on as if no-one has ever had the same thoughts.

In fact, to ignore the previous poster who has already posted the information is sheer bad manners.
Ossessionato
Vespa GTS Kymco AK550
Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 3107
Location: London UK
Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:50 am quote
MikeO wrote:

If one person says it, it is just opinion. If several say it, it is probably good advice.


Indeed but many people show their confirmation or agreement by typing +1 and/or something like 'I agree with the previous poster's remarks/experience/advice', not just blundering on as if no-one has ever had the same thoughts.

In fact, to ignore the previous poster who has already posted the information is sheer bad manners.
Personally I would rather posters put down their full thoughts and ideas. I get very little from a comment like +1. I would rather the poster was articulate enough to post their personal experience (rarely exactly the same as another's)-one could always skim or ignore if they thought a post repeated excessively.
Just my opinion of course.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3063
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:16 am quote
Cheryl, MikeO, thanks for the tips on sleeping. It's unlikely I would have thought of that.

Richard, the tip on keeping airflow to the headlight lens might have saved my yet to be brand new GTS an expensive repair.

Sticky, thanks for the links, Trepp the backyard shakedown is now on my list.

Dan, thanks for reminding me about that fuel thread.

I'm going to put a link to this thread on my iPhone home page to keep it handy. We have a Mountain Equipment Coop store and La Cordée the oldest outdoor / adventure outfitter here and the brand name suggestions should be easy to find there.

One of my close friends does a lot of hiking and he buys all he hear online, or at least he did when he was living in North Carolina, so I'm planning to pick his brain too.

I'm really looking forward to this.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190, Primavera
Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 5988
Location: New Zealand
Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:26 am quote
Hiking stuff isn't necessarily what you need for a motorcycle trip. Weight isn't such an issue and you pay a lot to shave off a pound or two.
Get the GTS and racks and then see what will fit. Cheap and cheerful is OK if this is going to be a one off trip.

My MC touring setup was a one man tent, foam bedroll, large cheap super warm sleeping bag. Switching to bicycle/hike gear I now have a hennessy hammock, small down bag and inflatable half sized mat.

Of course going the superlight super compact route leave more room for beer....

I apologise profusely if anyone has already mentioned this any of this.
Molto Verboso
2007 LX190 RIP 1980 Honda CM400T SOLD 2013 Shadow 750 RIP
Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 1496
Location: Crofton,MD
Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:17 am quote
I am surprised no one posted this again..






Best way to camp. IMHO.
Moderator
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 5145
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:30 am quote
MikeO wrote:
Does anybody bother to read previous posts before saying exactly the same as as already been said a few posts before?
Would it be snarky of me to point out that there were a couple of posts mentioning sleeping bags and mats before your post on the subject?

Yes...yes it would. Sorry.

Still, it just goes to demonstrate that additional advice and elaboration can be both helpful and appreciated.

For instance, your advice:
Quote:
If you have an 'ordinary' sleeping-bag (not a cocoon one) wear a woolly hat (or Buff) - we lose most of our body-heat through our head and if that's uncovered we get cold.
To which I would reply... +1
Quote:
I was laughed at for that, too, until my friends realised it was a 'good thing'.
Yeah, let 'em laugh. Luck favors the prepared.
Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21457
Location: Palatka, Florida
Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:40 am quote
ashbrook wrote:
MikeO wrote:

If one person says it, it is just opinion. If several say it, it is probably good advice.


Indeed but many people show their confirmation or agreement by typing +1 and/or something like 'I agree with the previous poster's remarks/experience/advice', not just blundering on as if no-one has ever had the same thoughts.

In fact, to ignore the previous poster who has already posted the information is sheer bad manners.
Personally I would rather posters put down their full thoughts and ideas. I get very little from a comment like +1. I would rather the poster was articulate enough to post their personal experience (rarely exactly the same as another's)-one could always skim or ignore if they thought a post repeated excessively.
Just my opinion of course.
+1

Sorry had to do it. It is my nature.
Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 2959

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:13 am quote
Compression sacks are your friend. This goes along with the advice for backpack camping gear.

The front foot well can handle a 60 to 70L backpack. That is enough gear all by itself for 3 days hike. Put the heaviest gear here, it will help balance the load on the back.

Behind the rider can hold another 40 to 50l in a large sack, and you still have the topcase and possible some of Trep's nifty saddlebags. (get two! they fit!)

Topcase reserve for bulky but light items, like shoes and your marshmallow supply. (yes, they fit better in a compression sack. No, they don't spring back...)

TL:DR LIST:

Campstove (optional)
Camping cookset (optional)
1 gallon plastic bags
LED Flashlights
LED Lamp (optional)
Medical kit
Personal Medicines!
toolkit
BIC lighters and/or strike anywhere matches
Tent
Knife
Sleeping bag
Pillow (Optional, I stick clothes in stuff sack and sleep on that.)
Hygiene. Don't be the guy that is surrounded by empty tables at the Diner and whom the waitress talks to from behind a napkin.
A Towel. the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.
CASH. I stick an emergency stash in the toolkit. I got stuck begging for gas money at Tuolumne Meadows because the cell towers were down. Also, could not get a campsite!

Specific items:

MSR DragonFly stove, small, light, powerful and very adjustable on the flame. I love my trusty ~20 year old Whisperlite, but it takes White Gas and has 3 effective settings: off, on, and full blast.

LED flashlights. As many as you want, they are cheap now, HF gives them away, and you can never have too many. I also love my Blackdiamond LED lantern. Good light, adjustable brightness, lasts forever.

Cooking kit: I like the GSI Pinnacle camping set. Light, compact and has everything I need for two people. The MSR fits inside too, bonus.

Sleeping bag: I am a side sleeper only, so the range of bags available is a little limited. I settled on the Big Agnus system. The sleeping pad fits in the bottom half of the bag, there is no insulation down there, just the pad.

This has some benefits: Swappable bottom pad means it works all four seasons by getting different insulation. I can do down to 0 degrees, or +40 depending on the pad. They come in long sizes and wide sizes, both of which means you are not mummified in the bag.

(Remember temp ratings are for SURVIVAL, not comfort! add 15 degrees or so to find the likely minimal comfortable rating. Remember, you can open the bag to cool it, but making it warmer is hard!)

They make double bags too, which is great for snuggling!

Synthetic thermal underwear: Not much space, huge utility. Sleeping in cotton/wool clothes is a bad idea in a sleeping bag. You sweat, get damp, and end up being colder than wearing nothing. Wear nothing if you want, but when that bear starts knocking down the tent...

Towel: A good towel. Maybe two! I got a microfiber one, it is immensely more useful and compact than a regular one. It dries well, even if you can't wrap yourself in it, and dries fast.
Towels are incredibly useful as: tourniquet, pillow, arm sling, compression bandage, food covering (bugs), sun shelter/hat, and of course, to dry yourself.

1 Gallon plastic bags: Indispensable. Carry some, it will keep your towel dry if nothing else. =)

Extra bungees and straps.

Tent. I like my Cabelas XPG. Packs down to 6L size with fly and the aluminum poles are tough. The poles snap into the tent, no threading through fabric sleeves. Color coded tabs so that the fly goes on right the first time. No fly == great view of the sky.
I can set it up in less than 10 min, even in the dark.

Get the 3 man, I wish I did. 2 man is cramped for one person + gear.
Ossessionato
2010 ThunderFly 190, 2008 250 GTS
Joined: 29 Apr 2011
Posts: 2623
Location: Springboro, OH
Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:43 am quote
I recently went camping on my scooter and you should try to be as minimalist as possible without being uncomfortable. That's sometimes a difficult balancing act and each person will need to make their own decision on the extras. I've had a lot of experience backpacking, caving and kayaking for extended trips.

Tent - a 2-3 man tent is compact enough to travel and large enough to put all your gear into in the event of bad weather. Even a new tent should be waterproofed. Set it up several times before you set out for several reasons...find any damage that needs to be repaired or replace the tent, familiarize yourself with setup, and practice repacking the tent in its original bag for transport. You should cut a groundcloth or tarp to place under the tent. This helps keep the bottom dry, clean and protected from small rocks and sticks that can poke holes. Medium to heavy weight clear plastic dropcloths from a home improvement store work well.

This stuff http://www.kiwicampdry.com/ works great for waterproofing and is readily available from local retailers and online. 3 cans should be sufficient for 2 coats on a small 2 man tent.

Sleeping bag - I err on the side of caution and typically have a bag rated for at least 20 degrees colder that the temps you anticipate. You'll be going in the summer and lows might be in the 60's at night, so a bag rated for 40 degrees should be sufficient. I usually wear a light weight t-shirt and gym shorts inside a sleeping bag regardless of how cold it is. Your body heat is necessary to warm up the bag.

Air mattress - should be compact and easy to inflate. Big Agnes is a brand that I've used with great success for backpacking and kayaking trips. Well made, very compact and light weight. Can be a bit pricey and pay attention to the size as some can be undersized.

Flashlight - a small LED headlamp is ideal. Can be held in your hand, or strapped on for hands-free as needed. LED's don't drain batteries as quickly.

Small first aid kit - I still use my Boy Scout kit and it serves me quite well. I've added a couple of items to suit my needs.

Personal grooming items - often overlooked, but can prevent you from being mistaken as homeless and helps make you feel a bit more civilized.

Pocket knife/leatherman multitool - you just never know when you might need to cut something, open a can, etc...

30 ft of para cord - this stuff is amazing and you never know when you might need some line. Compact and strong (500lb cord is awesome stuff)

Keep us posted on your planning and during your trip.

Scoot ready to camp.JPG
All my gear is there. I should have put my pack on the floorboard to help with balance.

Scoot ready to camp2.JPG
everything fit in the oversized crate designed to hold 6 1 gallon milk jugs...tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, chair, extra boots. had everything i needed

Ossessionato
Vespa GTS Kymco AK550
Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 3107
Location: London UK
Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:35 am quote
stickyfrog wrote:
ashbrook wrote:
MikeO wrote:

If one person says it, it is just opinion. If several say it, it is probably good advice.


Indeed but many people show their confirmation or agreement by typing +1 and/or something like 'I agree with the previous poster's remarks/experience/advice', not just blundering on as if no-one has ever had the same thoughts.

In fact, to ignore the previous poster who has already posted the information is sheer bad manners.
Personally I would rather posters put down their full thoughts and ideas. I get very little from a comment like +1. I would rather the poster was articulate enough to post their personal experience (rarely exactly the same as another's)-one could always skim or ignore if they thought a post repeated excessively.
Just my opinion of course.
+1

Sorry had to do it. It is my nature.
LOL! I knew someone would do that! Thanks Sticky!
Hooked
Gearing up for 2013 GTS 300 Super
Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 152
Location: Chicagoland (Western Burbs)
Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:48 pm quote
znomit wrote:
I now have a hennessy hammock, small down bag and inflatable half sized mat.
Hennessy Hammocks... Typically, I despise camping with mid-large groups. A significant part of my feelings for camping is down to the time and frustration the entire group has with tent setups and tear downs.

One day I'd like to travel cross country on a bike and camp for most of the nights. Part of my "bucket list" if you will. Your mention of Hennessy hammocks sparked a curiosity and research that has probably found me the perfect solution. A tremendous thank you!
Hooked
2012 Vespa GTS 300 Super, 08 Vespa LX150, 2000 BMW R1100RT, 01 Honda Reflex (sold)
Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 177
Location: Western North Carolina
Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:24 pm quote
I camp using an Eno Single Nest hammock, Eno rain fly, and Eno straps. I slept high and dry in a downpour that swamped my fellow camper's tents. Besides, sleeping on the ground has lost its appeal. I take along a small 8x10' tarp with plenty of cord or small diameter rope and four aluminum tent stakes. A compression sack for your sleeping bag is a must. I carry a 2x2'x 5/8" thick piece of foam covered in duct tape to stand on as I get in and out of the hammock and to sit on. I have a Sealline 20 HD waterproof bag that fits everything but my sleeping bag. If you are going to get serious about scooter camping consider a Jetboil stove. It boils water as fast as a microwave, it's fuel efficient, lightwieght and self contained inside it's insulated pot. I eat in resturants when out on the scooter but having a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa ready in just a few minutes first thing in the morning is nice. An LED headlamp works so much better than a flash light. Camelback makes a water bottle that has a built in ring that can hang on the hook above the glove box. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. At 55 years old I was about ready to give up camping until I discovered sleeping in a hammock. It's wonderful!
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Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:26 pm quote
railchaser wrote:
I camp using an Eno Single Nest hammock, Eno rain fly, and Eno straps. I slept high and dry in a downpour that swamped my fellow camper's tents. Besides, sleeping on the ground has lost its appeal. I take along a small 8x10' tarp with plenty of cord or small diameter rope and four aluminum tent stakes. A compression sack for your sleeping bag is a must. I carry a 2x2'x 5/8" thick piece of foam covered in duct tape to stand on as I get in and out of the hammock and to sit on. I have a Sealline 20 HD waterproof bag that fits everything but my sleeping bag. If you are going to get serious about scooter camping consider a Jetboil stove. It boils water as fast as a microwave, it's fuel efficient, lightwieght and self contained inside it's insulated pot. I eat in resturants when out on the scooter but having a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa ready in just a few minutes first thing in the morning is nice. An LED headlamp works so much better than a flash light. Camelback makes a water bottle that has a built in ring that can hang on the hook above the glove box. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. At 55 years old I was about ready to give up camping until I discovered sleeping in a hammock. It's wonderful!
OK, this is really interesting and really appeals to me. Seems so simple, comfortable and minimal all at once. I need to know more. The burning question I have is, we're planning on KOA campgrounds. How do you know that you'll always find a suitable place to hang a hammock?
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Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:25 pm quote
this is a cool thread
bug net...you'll probably want one of those too...
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Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:22 am quote
Would it be snarky of me to point out that there were a couple of posts mentioning sleeping bags and mats before your post on the subject?

Which serves only to prove the point that few bother to read what's been said before.

I made it clear at the beginning of my post that I was not offering advice about equipment but recounting experience of what made my camping nights more comfortable:

to lie on something to provide insulation from the ground, to wear different clothes in bed and to have some kind of head-covering if one didn't have a certain kind of sleeping-bag.

As for the use of +1, it's quicker to type than 'I agree', thus allowing more time for reading the previous posts.
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Location: Western North Carolina
Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:23 am quote
No available trees would be a problem when hammock camping. I always have stayed in State Parks or National Forest Campgrounds so It hasn't been a problem. I guess in a KOA type campground privacy may be an issue with a hammock as well. Space is always an issue when on a bike or backpacking but you could carry both, a single person backpacking tent and a hammock/rain fly. The Eno hammock and rain fly I use each pack up very small and fit inside the stuff sack with tent. I sleep so well in a hammock that my tent, if it is even set up, is used for storage.
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Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 am quote
Bear bags
One thing I haven't seen posted (for fear of redundancy!!) is a "bear bag" Hanging your food and pretty much anything, incl. toothpaste, is not only good practice but will keep little critters away from gnawing into your tent. On the east side these are really just "critter bags" on the west side these really are "bear bags." it's like the difference between "lightning bug" and "lightning" If you catch my drift....

Last edited by daibutsu on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:24 am quote
davidmasse wrote:
One challenge is going to be fuel because the MCs will have a lot more range. I'll go back to the Cannonball thread to see what options people used. Hooking up an auxiliary tank is overkill though.
If you exclude an aux tank (which you'll likely have to if you want to keep your top case), I would recommend just strapping a two gallon gasoline container to your floorboards. The MSR bottles, IMHO, are not really range extenders, more like an emergency use only option. With a spare two gallons, you should have plenty of gas to go most of the day.
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Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:39 am quote
Till about 12 years ago, I did many trips on motorbikes around Europe and Africa. Tons of fun!
When it comes to packing and gear, think Backpacking! Light and small. Don't go cheap on your stuff... you will regret it when your tent leaks, your mat looses air, your sleepingbag is too cold...

Anyhow, this past summer I went out again on my LX50.
Check it out

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Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:43 am quote
Re: Bear bags
daibutsu wrote:
One thing I haven't seen posted (for fear of redundancy!!) is a "bear bag" ...
I prefer the "rustic" campgrounds, so bear avoidance is good policy.

Not that you can really avoid them...they live there...But yes, you should do what you can not to attract them.

Camping with a group, a bear bag would be good policy.

I usually camp alone. Since I don't have to carry a lot of food and I want to travel light, I pack canned or sealed foods because they don't give off any yummy odors that might attract bears. This also saves me the trouble of a bear bag. When I'm done with my meal, I wrap up any trash in a plastic bag (another recommendation...bring a few along) and hike it off to the dumpsters (There are usually some bear-proof dumpsters at remote campgrounds) soon after. I most certainly do not leave any food debris laying around my campsite.

Funny, I just had a conversation with another rider/camper just yesterday, and he told me of a trip when another rider in their group left salt out, with the result that the group had to stay in their tents watching while a bear ransacked their supplies.

Last year, camping at Pine Creek Gorge, PA, late at night, something was sniffing around outside my tent...I thought it may be a bear but I didn't want to startle it by opening the tent to find out. The next morning I was told that law officials were called down to family campground in the next valley because the campers with a bad trash policy had attracted a group of bears.

Just a few weeks ago in the Shenandoah National Park, I found a bear watching me as I threw some trash into the dumpster. I ignored him and he toddled away. Other campers said he was one of several.

Black Bears usually don't want any trouble with people, but like many wild animals, they'll do almost anything for a snack.

As an aside, I don't bother with MRE's. They are expensive, and the size of the stiff packets take up the same amount of room as a can of ravioli and a 1/2 can of fruit. They are much lighter though, but that's not a big factor when it's my ride, not me, carrying the burden.
If you want a quick egg and bacon breakfast tho...Yeah, they're good for that.
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