2-Up Motorcycle Camping

Camping for 2 while riding one motorcycle. There’s one solid solution, start with a trailer. If you are really camping for several days in one location with two people on a motorcycle, a trailer will fix the problem.

Now, if you’re like me and refuse to get a trailer, you’re going to have to consider some compromises. First compromise I personally make is, me and my girl don’t camp 2 nights in the same place, and usually we put a night in a motel between each camping night. This allows us to ‘live off the land’ of the thousands of small American business that provide food along the way.

I go absolute minimalist, I don’t take a stove, or an axe, a lantern, a hammock, no tent, no pots, no pans. I eat like a king in restaurants and like a pauper camping. I like buying firewood and meeting people to borrow an axe. I’m normally shy about asking for assistance, but no problem when we’re on the bike. It’s also an icebreaker to be social, people are generally amazed we’re camping from our bike. I own a couple of GPSs and a SPOT locator. When we’re wandering around only a state or two away, I leave them at home and just take a paper map. I also build in extra time and try to not have firm commitments on the ride. We’re just riding to ride, finding our little adventures along the way.

I do usually carry a multi-tool with a good knife, compact fire starters, small flashlights,  and bug repellant. I also pack a little self-protection, just to insure I’ll never need it.

We usually figure out food from the closest grocery store.  Most often we have a nice little ride seeking food for the evening after we unload the bike. Occasionally we buy our food on the way in, but it’s tough to get food and ice on an already stuffed bike. My food standards lower considerably while camping, I even like hotdogs camping.  Make up for your modest camping meals tomorrow with bacon and eggs at the first restaurant after you hit the road.

Everybody does it their way when it comes this topic, but for me and my girl, we go fast and loose, figure it out as we go. I think it keeps the adventure in it.

The serious biking campers rely on ultra small backpacking supplies, stoves, pots, dishes, hammocks, a bedroll for the dog riding on your handlebars, they figure out what they feel they really need and make it work. What works for us isn’t for everybody, but it’s how we roll.

Get out while you can.

-Patrick Juell  4/2011