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Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 PM   #46
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Joined: Jan 2009
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An MSR Pocket Rocket stove, a fuel canister and an 800ml steel or Ti cup will let you heat water quickly and with minimal mess without a big space requirement for soups, hot cocoa or coffee.

The Marmot Limelight should be fine for what you're doing but a Black Diamond Lighthouse is much smaller and lighter if you're not expecting to stay in the rain much.

There are many good sleeping bags out there. I've had good luck with Marmot, but the best ones are Western Mountaineering ($$$). A 15 deg. bag should be fine for 3 season use if you're a normal sleeper. If you're a cold sleeper you might want to consider a 5deg. bag. Remember, a higher fill power down is not only lighter and softer but also more durable because it's a more mature down cluster.

I can't imagine you'd be much more comfortable on one of those small cots than a 4" air mattress but the air under you has to be heated up by your body heat or you'll be cold from underneath. That's why the T-rest mattresses are so popular. They heat up quickly, have a high 'R' value and don't allow the air underneath you to circulate.

A folding three legged stool, I believe Campmor or REI calls them Beyer, will pack down very small and be very useful if you're not too big.

Have good fleece clothing. Polartec is the standard. You know what you're getting. 200 weight minimum jacket, 100 weight pants come in handy on chill mornings.

Other items that come in handy are a Leatherman Wave/ Multitool, Parachute Cord, fishnet style hammock to get your gear off the ground, a small plastic spade and I like having my water filter. Just because.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:40 PM   #47
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On camping and stuff

I had posted this reply on a similar thread, although as someone has said don't spend to much initially until you know what you like and really need.

We do about 80 camping/20 hotels on moto trips. When we were riding the ST1300, not a lot of room for stuff, we went pretty minimal with thermaresl lite mats, Flight series mumy bags from North Face 4C, fleece pillow case stuffed with clothing, and 2 P Sierra Design tent.

The kit sucked (for us) the profiled matts are very narrow and even in tight fitting mumy bags your arms slide off. Because they are so thin and our bags only rated to 4C we were always cold. The tent was fine but very cramped with the gear in and the tank bag.

I sold the lot, only kept the tent for hiking and solo trips.

Our new set:
2 Exped mats DownMat 7LW I put small velcro strip to stick them together and its a queen size bed rated -24C, very comfy

2 Marmot Sawtooth Membrain (wide mumies zipable together) as other have said forget about synthetic.,173

1 3P MSR Holler tent 3.5 season. Great also b/c you can use the fly with the foot print just as shelter so good for a day at the beach, etc...

2 nemo pillows

2 silk inserts (pack very small and great if weather is really warm, or if your caught in a crappy motel and don`t trust the mattress

The whole kit packs suprisingly small and fits well on the GSA (waterproof compression bags), I have Micatech panniers. Overall I think there is a 2.5 lbs difference from the original kit. None of these are cheap but we only paid full price for the tent $400.00. The Muta Hubba HP was our first choice but it`s for the European market and not sold in N.A. They sell the non HP model but it is mostly mesh so too breezy when cold and windy.

2 Monarch butterfly chair and your set, we opted for the chairs over the sleeping mats housing because they were too bulky

A couple of weeks of camping pays for the kit, and both of us are very very happy and rested in the morning, even on cold nights.

We looked and tried at Big Agnes mat/bag combos and were not happy with the limitation and the bulk of the kit. Lots and lots of tent choices.

Frontal lamps, and small led flash lights are enough.

I know you said no cooking but as others have said, you can do lots with water, and it's nice to have a cup of hot something in the morning

We carry the Optimus

And the smallest cook kit we could find for two. Also 2 cups actual size is a cup with an integrated french press lid, great for good coffee and anything else to drink or measure with.

3 days of clothing sounds about right, with those small thin towels mentioned before.

We also carry a flask and make lots of friends with JD, Johnny, and the Captain...

I am going next week
FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:49 AM   #48
born to ride
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Location: Netherlands
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Of course a free standing tent is nice under some circumstances..
I was on a campsite next to theOurthe in Luxembourg. It was May and still cold. I'd just put my tent up, there was no wind. I walked to the bike to get the pins, when, out of nowhere a gust of wind picked up the tent and sent it in to the fast moving river. As my pants contained all kind of electronic devices like cell phone etc. I dropped it and ran in to the ice cold water and swam after it. I did retrieve it, yes!! So beware with the free standing.
It did come in handy when it needed drying inside the house though ;)
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #49
Merckx the Cannibal
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Location: Palm Beach County, Fla.
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First off, re-read go gonzo's post, #14. Print it out, memorize it, frame it. Buy all of those items. Camp shoes (and, yes, Merrell is the best brand for this) might not sound important now, while you're in front of a computer. But in camp, you'll thank yourself for having them. Moto boots, walking shoes, camp shoes. Have 'em all.

Black Diamond's Apollo lantern is brighter and more expensive than the Orbit lantern that one or two people have mentioned. You can set it on a picnic table or hang it from a branch or from a ceiling loop in your tent, using a little carabiner.

Before you leave, make sure you have a working power socket somewhere on the bike, plus the appropriate hardware so you can recharge your phone, iPod, iPad and whatever else.

East coast state parks usually have fine campgrounds. There are nice national park campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway; I hope you ride that road on your way back from the east coast.

Take one or two cloth diapers. They're wonderful for all sorts of cleanup and drying duties. When a diaper is wet, just tuck a corner under the Rok strap holding your tent to the bike and let it dry in the breeze.

You don't have to pack your tent (or anything else) in the bag it came with. I pack my Thermarest and my tent in one long drybag and strap it to the pillion seat. The sleeping bag goes into a separate drybag, also strapped to the pillion seat.

Note that I strap those items instead of using a bungie. Rok Straps are awesome.

Also awesome: soap sheets. These come in a plastic holder that's roughly the size and shape of Glide dental floss. They are a wonderful way to carry body soap. They're little sheets, about the size of postage stamps, that you peel out of the holder. Place three or four sheets in a wet washcloth and you have a soapy washcloth (read: cloth diaper). You also can find similar sheets for washing your clothes in a small basin.

Speaking of washing clothes, carry paracord and maybe a few clothespins, so you can hang clothes to dry.

Seriously, take a journal. You'll be glad you did.

Fill a prescription bottle with quarters. You'll use them in showers and laundromats.

An MSR Whisperlite stove, or something similar. Use it, at the very least, for boiling water to make Starbucks Via instant coffee. Those little Via packets are my lifeblood in the morning. If you use instant oatmeal packets, you can put the oatmeal in paper bowls and mix and eat using a plastic spoon. Throw away when done.

Also heed the word of advice from bat out of honda, at #37. Three days of clothes. Wash clothes every three days.

I'm a big fan of Ex-Officio clothes, which are made for travelers. Their Give-N-Go brief is the best underwear I've ever worn. It's synthetic, dries quickly, and doesn't harbor stink. I'm reluctant to admit this, but here goes: When I go motocamping, I take two pairs of these briefs. I can wear them indefinitely without worrying that they'll turn gross and stinky.

Finally, Icebreaker wool T-shirts. They're warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather, they breathe, they dry quickly, and like the briefs above, they don't hold stink. They're not itchy at all. They are more comfortable than cotton T-shirts. They cost a lot, but I'll repeat: they dry quickly and they're warm when you want them to be warm and they're cool when you want them to be cool. If wool were a synthetic fiber, it would be considered a miracle fabric. And speaking of wool, wear lightweight wool socks while you're riding.

And always have a flask of Wild Turkey 101.

Merckx the Cannibal screwed with this post 04-30-2012 at 10:15 AM
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:27 AM   #50
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if you can find a MSR-GK stove get it - they burn just about anything. They don't simmer worth a crap but heat water fast. Sounds like a jet engine when running

underwear good for 4 days: frontwards - backwards turn inside out repeat - throw away - saves on laundry.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:27 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Merckx the Cannibal View Post
Finally, Icebreaker wool T-shirts. They're warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather, they breathe, they dry quickly, and like the briefs above, they don't hold stink. They're not itchy at all. They are more comfortable than cotton T-shirts. They cost a lot, but I'll repeat: they dry quickly and they're warm when you want them to be warm and they're cool when you want them to be cool. If wool were a synthetic fiber, it would be considered a miracle fabric. And speaking of wool, wear lightweight wool socks while you're riding.
I am a HUGE fan of Icebreaker gear. I layer the clothing according to how cold it is - I have 100 and 250 weight long johns and long sleeve t-shirts. You can wear them for days, no stinky. I use them in my dry suit as well for cold water diving, and dry suits *stink* if using synthetic thermal gear - no stink with Icebreaker. You can go riding all day in Icebreaker and then hop into the sleeping bag at night with no adverse results... (well, maybe go shower in the morning...)

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:32 PM   #52
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couple of points

I've been doing this a long time. There are a few things that i will scrimp on, and a few that i WON'T.

cooking, bring the lightest, smallest cannister stove that you can. or go without. Rarely are you that far from someplace where you can get something to eat.

Light... same thing. I use a headlamp for setting up, and a small lantern or flashligh for around the campsite or in the tent. I prefer firelight anyway.

tent.... other than free-standing, whatever works for you.

COT... i LOVE my GoCot. yes, it bulky and a little bit on the heavy side. But i sleep better in it than i do in my bed. On long trips; i NEED A GOOD NIGHTS REST. when it's cold, i put a Thermarest underneath my sleeping bag. even better.

Last thing. DO NOT USE BUNGEE's! Use straps to hold your stuff down. Can't tell you how many times i've seen stuff in the road or bungees stuck in a rear wheel.

Bottom line, just get out there and do it. You'll figure it out as you go.
'12 R1200GS Rallye Edition, '99 R1100GS,'77 R100S

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #53
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Another word on the luxurycot, I used mine so much the material started to come appart, I figured I just wore it out. Then someone pointed out that it has a lifetime warranty. I called, sent it in and a new nylon was sent back with some upgraded feet as well.
Customer service like that counts for a lot. If needed, I'd buy another one in a heartbeat.
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Anchorage to Ushuaia
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:27 PM   #54
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Guys, keep the suggestions rolling! I'm so happy the op made this thread, I have been wondering about trips I am going to take, this really gives an excellent overview.

From an ADV newb, thanks!
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
Just get a bike and ride the fucking thing and shut the fuck up.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:53 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post
Its worthwhile to know that you can almost always do "dispersed camping" on national parks and BLM land. This means you don't always have to find a "campground" sign to camp. If your like me, and can't stand having to comb a designated "campground" area filled with RV's and capers to find one spot, you can just follow a dirt road for a bit, pick a nice area off the road, and set up camp. Some general rules to follow:
  • In most locations, you must choose a site at least ¼ mile from the nearest paved road.
  • You must not choose a site closer than ¼ mile to any "developed facility" such as a campground. (There are some exceptions - BLM often permits overnight stays in picnic areas, for example, whereas the Forest Service does not.)
  • If you are going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that's been used before. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites, so using existing ones will minimize your impact.
  • Camp on bare soil if possible, to avoid damaging or killing plants and grass.
  • Do not camp within 100 feet of any water source such as a lake, stream, river, or spring.
  • Do not camp in the middle of a clearing or meadow -- try to make your campsite less visible so that other visitors will see a "wild" setting.
  • Don't try to level or dig trenches in the ground at your campsite. For tents, pick a site that's already level with good drainage.
  • "Pack it In -- Pack it Out": do not leave any trash behind.
  • Restore the site to its condition before you occupied it.
These are YOUR lands and YOUR parks. Know the rules, and you can use them to the fullest.

Very good advice, but the "dispersed" camping information you state relates to the National Forest Service more than it does to any National Park Service unit in which I have worked over the past 25 years. The NFS and NPS are two entirely different entities with two very different mission statements. The NFS has a "Multiple Use" mission that allows the dispersed camping you describe. The NPS has a "Protect and Preserve" mission (Organic Act of 1916) that regulates overnight use much more strictly, and limits dispersed camping.

While there may be some exceptions, generally you need an "Overnight Use Permit" to camp outside front country campgrounds within National Parks. You cannot simply ride down a dirt road and set up a campsite anywhere you please in a National Park. A National Park will usually have designated Primitive campsites accessible by backcountry roads, or wilderness campsites for backpackers in areas that are not accessible to motorized vehicles. Smaller National Park units such as National Memorials or National Monuments may have a designated campground accessible to motorized vehicles, but seldom allow camping outside their designated campgrounds.

The best advice I can give anyone who is visiting National Parks with the intent of camping is to go online ( to check regulations that pertain to the individual Park units, and apply for Overnight Use Permits before they head out the door. BTW: I usually avoid the hassle and choose my route to camp in National Forests or State Parks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:42 AM   #56
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Image gleaned from DirtyDog (thanks)
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #57
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Look, you can buy all of the latest fads and more and more expensive tents and sleeping systems you want, but if your looking for something that is cheap and works well for the dollor so that if it gets damaged your not out the big bucks, here's what I use and it just plain works. First a little on me. I'm 6'8" and 300lbs, so I don't like sleeping straight on the ground. I'm a cheap bastard, but I want to stay warm and dry, so here's my stuff. Coleman, Sundome 3 man tent. $90 bucks at your local Academy Sporting Goods Store. Insta-Bed air mattress, come with a d cell inflator, , Wal Mart $45. As for your sleeping bag, find one in the temp range you like but make sure it comes with a water proof compression sack. You can find one for around $100 that will work just fine at a sporting goods store as well. Electrical tape and super glue will fix most problems with holes long enough for you to get home and not spoil your weekend, so go cheap, have fun and spend the money you saved on good fine dinning.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:45 PM   #58
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A couple of people have said it but I'll repost it here for clarity:


Do NOT use bungee, rope, string, nets, tie downs to secure your stuff. ROK STRAPS are the shizzle.

NO I don't work for them or sell them, wish I did, it's a very clever piece of equipment.

Just another addendum: Tent pegs. Get really good ones, they are expensive. I have the triangular ones from REI, haven't bent one yet. You can also get a shortie claw hammer from Lowes or Home Depot.

At a Rally folk laugh when I pull out the hammer and then everyone within sight borrows it to set their pegs.
James and Colleen Tucker.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:19 PM   #59
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Location: Sydney NSW
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Wow... lots of great replies.. as someone else said, reading this is MUCH more fun than work!

I feel it's mostly been covered, but here's my 2c.

I camp simple - no cooking, no food, no bears. Of course this might not apply if you are going deep into the middle no where... but through about 15 states, national parks, death valley, etc I've been able to camp within 10 miles of a town and still feel like in the middle of no where.

Here's the routine my buddy and I got into ..

Find a camp site, preferably before dark. Set up tents (+1 on the REI half dome 2). I use a self-inflating mat and an REI sleeping bag (forget which one.. but it is DOWN and small. about $85 I think). I've been comforable sleeping in the 30's with that gear... also nice to keep a fleece/hoody loose in the tent, in case you do get cold.

After setting up we'd leave our stuff at the camp site (keeping cameras etc in the panniers on the bike but leave everything else). Head into town... maybe a 10-15 mile ride.. who cares.. you're riding! Eat dinner at local place. Go the gas station, fill up. Now the best bit. Ask for a plastic bag. Get 1-2 cans of beer, add some ice into the bag from the soda machine.

Ride back to camp site, drink ice cold beer and talk about the great riding that day while you gaze up at the stars!

We'd alternate between KOA parks and remote National Park camp sites. Actually like the NP sites better (very quiet and dark.. ) but appreciate the KOA powered sites to charge all our gear (carry a double adapter) and shower every couple of days. Not that expensive... maybe $24 for two bikes. If you ask they'll put you in a remote spot away from the RVs, if they have such spots.

Oh...and watch out for bears!

But seriously... I have camped in California, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, BC, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, NY, W Virginia and have yet to see any sign of bears.. although the last camping I did was in fact a KOA in north west PA and the manager had photos on the wall from a bear in the park at dawn that morning.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #60
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Location: Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 535

Camping Gear

Tent, Cabela's Deluxe XPG™ Tent Four Man
Light weight, 9 lb
Free STanding
DRY!!! Vary dry...
big enough for two+. Great when by myself as all my gear, bags & etc. fit inside.
Easy to set up.
NEXT tent will be the Big Agnes, Big House 4. I am 6’4”- would be nice to stand up. MSR Mutha series is excellent, just not big enough for me. When I talk tents to guys, cheap tents seem to leek.

Lights- LED..
one headband, with red and white
one+ hand held.

Tarp- If I am staying 2+ days, I set a tarp partially over the tent and room enough for the bike too and a chair. I use the 16’ Kelty Noah’s Tarp. Big when up, small packed. I use two of their telescoping poles to get it high enough to walk under.

Chair- Kermits... hands down. I got the leg extensions.

Air Mattress x2
I use a cheap Coleman Twin for summer. Really good. Cheap @$35.
I use the Exped Megamat for cool/cold weather. It has:
down inside,
Built in manual pump
4” thick
Very small when collapsed

Sleeping bag x2... Don’t believe the factory rating..!!
Mid weight 32 degree for 40 degree plus
Heavy Weight for cold.... it is rated to -20.
Always have a velour blanket
Always have space blanket
inflatable pillow- large

Water- Platypus Platy Bottle. REI. These collapse flat when no water in them.

Urinal- hate leaving the tent- especially when it’s cold.. Little John Portable Urinal at Cabelas.

Towel. get this from any Auto Supply or Walmart... The Absorber*PVA Drying Towel, Artificial chammy. Better than 10 towels. I have small and large ones.

Soap, I like liquid soap in small plastic bottle. I use castile soap.

Shave- shave cream in a tube, bottle. repackage into small squeeze bottle.
flip flops for the feet.

Use compression bags-
Dry bags---
Zip Lock bags- I pack each day in one, or my t-shirts in one, pants in another etc. They are also good for wet clothes.

Primus Yellowstone Classic Trail Stove, for hot chocolate, soup, whatever.
super small not expensive, even heat, will simmer.
MSR WhisperLite
burns gas- always in the tank.
pretty even heat.
pots- choose your poison. Like Teflon, but be careful not to scratch.

utensils, SPORK. collapsing spatula and etc.
Insulated mug- Keeps things hot in winter.

Small collapsible Ice Chest. I don’t remember the brand, but keeps ice.. Great for some milk for breakfast and etc.
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