How to go motorcycle camping - tent next to motorcycle

Pretty much everyone on the planet is looking to get the hell out of their homes right now. And it seems like camping is one of the most popular getaway ideas for Summer 2021. Have you seen the stories about how the National Park System is being overwhelmed? Even State Parks are facing extremely high demand for their camping spots.

But it is still totally possible to find campsites if you’re willing to be flexible. Have you tried Googling “Dispersed Camping Colorado” or “Dispersed Camping Tennessee” or “Dispersed Camping Georgia?” (You get the idea.) Basically, dispersed camping is the term used for camping spots that are outside of for-pay campgrounds. Usually, it’s free but you can’t reserve spots, so you have to show up and hope one comes available. (I recently found an open spot near Grand Lake, CO, so it’s possible!)

Clearly, to camp in a dispersed campsite, you have to be flexible. But what’s more flexible than motorcycle camping? People hauling giant fifth-wheels or trailers have a lot more to think about when they decide to go camping. (Are there hookups? Will I be able to back this thing into the spot? Can I drive through?)

Motorcycle riders have the luxury of knowing that pretty much any camping spot will be big enough for their bike.

But how do you prepare for a motorcycle camping trip? Those fifth-wheels mean that the owners can chuck just about everything and anything into the camper and take every luxury with them. (Camping snobs would NOT call that camping!) But motorcycle riders need to plan very carefully for successful camping trips.

What Do I Need to Take on A Motorcycle Camping Trip?

You have to pack light for a motorcycle camping trip. That much is obvious, right? But HOW do you do it? Well, ask yourself a few questions first: How long will you be gone? Will you be able to shop for food if you’re gone several days? Does your campsite offer any amenities? The answers to these questions will guide you through some of the details.

Here are a few tips to get you started!Heavy duty straps by Brother Moto

  • Make sure your bike is in good condition. You should try to learn some of the basics of motorcycle repair and maintenance before you head out on a long trip. For example, practice checking tire pressure, oil levels, clutch and brake fluids.
  • Pack extra bungie cords and straps. They are just ridiculously handy. These are some great heavy duty straps offered by our friends at Brother Moto out of Atlanta, GA.
  • Pack some basic first aid supplies.
  • Bring a multi-tool that gives you what you need to work on your bike and your gear.
  • Pack clothes that you can wear multiple times and in multiple ways (ie. layers). It may be days before you can get to a laundromat.
  • Designate different saddle bags for wet clothes and dry clothes. And extra trash bags are great for transporting wet stuff.
  • Balance your gear on both sides of your bike. It is very important to pack the heaviest items close to the center of the bike.


Motorcycle with small tent camping

Gear for Motorcycle Camping

You probably know by now that I’m a gadget geek. I love researching fun stuff like camping gear. Honestly, you don’t need a lot of newfangled gear to go motorcycle camping but there are a few things you will probably need no matter where or how you camp:

  • Sleeping bag: Take a cue from backpackers and get a very light sleeping bag.
  • Lightweight camping cookware: There are some fantastic camper cook sets out there!
  • Propane canister: One small, 16-ounce canister is probably enough for a full week of campsite cooking.
  • Tent: See below.

Motorcycle Camping Tents

I can’t help myself. I fell into a rabbit hole on this topic… There are so many cool tents for motorcycles! Here are a few brands that I ended up falling in love with:

If you go motorcycle camping this summer, send Rider Justice some pics or just tag us @MotorcycleRiderJustice! We’d love to share your adventures on our social channels. Find us on Facebook and Instagram.