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Thread: Scooter camping

  1. #1
    Fuse lit.... PittsDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Annapolis MD

    Scooter camping

    Being more of a car camper myself, all of my gear is pretty bulky and heavy though great quality stuff. I may be spending a week or 10 days on the road mostly camping off of my K16GT and I was wondering if any of you had any recommendations for some stuff that packs up small, light, and works well for say, 3 season camping. No cooking or living stuff. Just a tent, pad, bag, chair, ground cover/footprint. I've got great little LED lights - no help required there. It's been several years since I've shopped and there's a whole bunch of new very lightweight small stuff out there. Any tips for scooter camping?

  2. #2
    Registered User stanley83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Somerville, MA
    Search this site for tent threads, lots of recommendations here.

    Backpacking stuff works well. If you have an REI or similar large outdoor place with a focus on human powered travel, you can check out tents that are set up and get inside them. Weight isn't as important as with backpacking, so you don't HAVE to go "ultra-light".

    The size of the stuff you get depends on the volume of the luggage on your bike and how much you are willing to strap to the outside. Compression bags are great for shrinking your load.

    Several companies make devices that turn sleeping pads into chairs, e.g. , but the Kermit chair is a perennial favorite with the Beemer crowd.

    Down sleeping bags are lighter, pack smaller and last longer than synthetics of the same temperature rating.

    Heavy plastic sheeting from the hardware store works as well, last a long time and is much cheaper than tent-specific ground cloths. One roll can make ground cloths for all your tents.

    On an MC you can carry a larger/heavier tent than you'd carry on your back. I recommend a free standing model as you don't need as many stakes and you can pick it up and move it and shake it out before you break camp.

    Same thing for pads, more weight gives more comfort but also larger size.
    Justin in Somerville, MA
    76 R75/6, 78 P200E, 63 VBB
    Lots of bicycles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    I would also recommend investigating tents that are rated for at least one more person than you intend having in the tent. That way room for not just you, but at least some of your "stuff."
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep
    MOA Biergarten co-chair

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    3,358 & eBay & craigslist & REI & read Backpacker magazine reviews of equipment online

  5. #5
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    SW Iowa
    Post number 2 has some very good advice, but for me I still kept an eye on weights when buying equipment because it all adds up.
    Here's a link for REI which has a store locator button at top of the page.

    My wife and I almost always camped on bike trips from 1978 to 2003 and we never carried chairs because of the extra weight and bulk, plus we usually had a picnic table to sit on.
    This year going to the National, I decided to buy a couple lite weight chairs (Getting old )
    Here's a thread that mentions a few compact and lite weight chairs.

    If you use REI, they have a outlet section that may save you some money.
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #6
    Motorsickle Rider brisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    De Soto, KS
    Take a look here.
    These guys get it and carry great products for motorcycle camping.
    Also check out some of their articles in the FAQ section.
    Kansas. Eleven curves in three hundred eighteen miles...
    '09 R1200RT '73 R75/5, '11 Ural Patrol
    Iron Butt Assoc. #47865

  7. #7
    Big Agnes
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    Registered User amtoro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Start by looking at websites that feature products for backpacking camping; motorcycle camping is essentially the same but on two wheels.

    There are a good number of motorcycle-specific camping grounds where you will find all the essentials and you don't need to carry cooking utensils, food, etc.

    My wife and I camp riding two-up, and we carry clothes, towels and shoes on the saddle bags, sleeping pads (thermarest "Basecamp") on top of the cases; then, sleeping bags, rain gear and a ground sheet in the top box and the tent on top of the box (on a BMR rack).

    The tank bag carries first aid kit, snacks, tools and a lantern.
    '04 R1150 RT

  9. #9
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Heck, you've got a light truck on two wheels! The scooter topic title got me in here. I too, had a KLT1200 some years ago and my best friend always called my BIG bike a light truck. I towed cargo trailer too, for two up travels/camping on the KLT. A best bet for two and camping on a large bike with the means to do it well. Solo, you get by pretty well without a tow behind. Randy PS; Some of the real scooters today are 650cc and up class, making them something we may SEE more of touring/camping!

  10. #10
    Fuse lit.... PittsDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Annapolis MD
    Alrighty now - I'm pretty well equipped for the camping part of this upcoming adventure. I picked up a Big Agnes Copper Spur 2UL tent and footprint, and I'm set on the thermarest and bag. I may still score a camp chair before I leave but not essential. I also picked up the 55 liter Motorrad soft top case/bag for my K16GT. That thing looks very well built and was on sale at Bob's BMW for $199.

    So the next question on this topic of bike camping is about what tools you use to find the best locations for camping along a route. Speaking just for myself and the guys I ride with, we're very anti-rigid plan and never have a reservation anyplace for a hotel, etc before about an hour before we arrive. We really like the freedom of riding as long as we want, stopping as much as we want, and just ending up where ever we end up. So, what I think I'm probably looking for is some kind of iPhone/iPad app that will show me the closest motorcycle friendly camp sites near a position. Some that works primarily in the US but also Canada is important. There are probably places we'll be with no internet service or cell service so something that comes with a database and works with the internal GPS would be preferred.

    Any ideas?

  11. #11
    Plasterman tgf429's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tiffin, Iowa
    I don't plan either. I pick a couple of states I want to investigate and go. State parks can be very nice and usually no more than $15 for the night and usually have showers.
    Then there are always the bi-gone era cheap hotels, some of which are actually nice and have very friendly hosts.


  12. #12
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Oklahoma City

    Sleeping Pad...

    I have been camping with Thermarest sleeping pads for 30 years and like them...

    I did have the luxury model, that i use for car camping and been using on moto trips... But for my birthday this year the misses bought me a neo air x lite... something like that... talk about rolling up small.... I could keep it in my tank bag...

    anyway... I think that would be a good start for the sleeping pad... it is 2.5 inches thick, my luxury was 3 inches.... and most are only 2 inches...

    as for blowing it up... since it isn't self inflating...

    I posted this ...

    Sleeping bad, inflation idea

    My next trick is getting a smaller (pack size) tent...
    Ich Fahre Nicht Zu Schnell, Ich Fliege Nur Niedrig
    Oklahoma Adventure Trail

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