Motorcycle Camping For the First Time

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Dear Lynda,

I want to go on a motorcycle camping trip for the weekend, but I’ve never done that before. How do I pick up the courage?

Dear camper,

Building confidence comes with practice, so by first focusing on what you already know you may feel more courageous. Do you have experience camping or backpacking? Are you planning to go alone or with others? If with others, are they campers themselves?

The simplest scenario is if you’re only adding the motorcycle to the equation, where adapting your gear to fit on the bike will be your main challenge. Going with others makes it even easier if you are able to share equipment, distributing weight across several bikes and not having to figure out how to get it all on yours along with your regular riding gear.

If you’re a first time camper, then asking advice of more experienced friends can help you understand what equipment is essential to have a successful outing. Going with others on your first few trips can build your confidence setting things up, sorting out cooking options, and learning how best to pack your bike.

Backpacking gear works great for motorcycling camping: it’s smaller and lighter, thus easier to carry in limited space. Drybags, waterproof sacks in which you can pile a lot of equipment, can be strapped on top of pillion seats or racks. Researching camping spots that are bike friendly, easy to access and park, and feel safe to you can eliminate some anxiety, and letting others know where you are if going solo is just a smart move.

It’s perfectly normal to feel a mix of anxiety and excitement whenever you try something new; the key is to keep practicing until it becomes familiar and comfortable. Starting with a simple outing, close to home and maybe only one night to work out any kinks, might be a reasonable option. Then pack up, get going on your weekend trip, and before you know it you’ll be the one offering advice to the next novice camper.

-Lynda

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