I read a few motorcycle related blogs and forums, I know, imagine that. But, what I often see on forums are questions about what to bring on a motorcycle venture. I’m going to do my best to address some of these questions from my own experience and opinion and bring some pics to the table for you hard learners to see.
What these pics contain are just most of the stuff I brought. It’s not the ultimate collection, it’s not the mandatory collection. It’s just what I thought I might need. This post, I’m covering the what I need for every day life and comfort.
To set the stage, I’ll begin by telling you a bit about the trip. Myself and 3 other guys left from Lawrenceville, Ga and traveled about 375 miles to a small island off the coast of Florida by Pensacola to an area called Fort Pickens. We spent two days at the campgrounds there and then packed up for 215 miles to New Orleans. We stayed in a hotel there that was over 200 years old! After two nights in NOLA, we went back to Fort Pickens for a night to break up the miles for the long road home.
I wont address what clothes to bring. With all the handy tech., you should know the approximate weather and should know what you need for yourself in that area. Pack light and find clever ways to get your stuff cleaned if you have to. (we each bribed the hotel lady to run our stuff through the washer and dryer while in NOLA).
Here are some essentials just for everyday living. Of course, everything will need to be placed into something. Just for this trip, I got a motorcycle back pack at good ol’ Wally World for $35. It was inexpensive, slips over and secures to by back rest, and was a great buy. Sleeping bag, Bed Roll, lightweight small tent, soap, a bit of fist aid supplies, cooking pots. TP, flashlight, etc.
Whats not shown is the small camp body towel I brought. It is kinda like a large sham-wow.. it did the job and was cheap. I also can not stress how much i use the every day, common, cheap and gangster cotton bandanna. I always have at least three of these things near by. I use them to cover my face and head, soak with water and wrap around my neck to cool me off, use as a soft wipe to get gas leaked on my gas tank during fill up, hand towel, wash cloth, etc. I use these things for all kinds of stuff.
I made the mistake of thinking that I could get a cheap tent. I knew better but, figured that a tent would last a few uses and then I could throw it away if I had to and not care too much. Well, the tent leaked, and it rained… A LOT! Don’t be a cheapskate in this area. You just may come out of your trip looking like a prune. In fact, just stay away from anything made by Ozark Trail…
You can however, use whatever cheap bedding that is appropriate for the weather and fits safely with your travel pack. A lot of folks can be seen of using the classic Mexican blanket (shown top left). One night I just used my denim jacket and was fine. The small blue bag labeled “cocoon” sitting beside the flashlight is an REI product. It’s an over-priced but awesome inflatable pillow. It cost about $30 (which was as much as my crappy tent) but, was completely worth it!
I brought some small cooking pots that uses several pots and a cup that can be stored all within itself. This is a common camping item and can be found anywhere. To the right of the cooking pot you can see a bag full of tin foil. I used every bit of that tin foil for cooking. Very easy to use to prep food on, wrap food up, and throw it in the fire to cook then throw away. I’ve always called this a “silver turtle” because of the way it looks.
The “silver turtle” pulled out of the fire. Once rolled up with the food inside, just throw this sucker directly on the camp fire coals.
Inside the turtle, you have potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli and a hamburger patty all cooked and steamed inside together! Damn good!
Other essential items that you may not think of are: trash bags (waterproofing, carrying items, make-shift rain gear, over the head suffocation device, etc), toilet paper, rope (clotheslines, tarp hanging, equipment securing and securing annoying drunk campers…) flashlight, snacks, soap and a first aid kit. My first aid kit consisted of stuff I had around the house just placed into a plastic baggy. That is what I do for a lot of things. If you already have the items, just stick them in a bag to make your own kit. Screw wasting money on over priced first aid kits containing just band aids and alcohol swabs. Hell, just a bunch of plastic baggies came in handy on this trip.
Make sure everything packs up secure and then waterproof!
During each trip you will refine the gear you bring. Some items may work and others not. You may find a need for something that I don’t need. What is your essential to pack “every day life and comfort” items?
Next post, I’ll cover tools and emergency items to keep your bike on the road.
Feel free to post your opinions in the comment section. What do you bring? What did I miss?
Peace, grease and a life of ease,