MUST HAVE items for your next moto adventure
It seems like just yesterday that I got my MC license. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been involved in powersports most of my life, usually on 4-wheels, and always threw a leg over a dirtbike when the opportunity presented itself, but street riding never really piqued my interest till I started working here. Getting my license presented a whole new world of adventure in my eyes though. I loved the thought of packing what I could on the newly acquired 2016 Yamaha Super Tènèrè SE and just hit the open road till I found the perfect camping spot in the mountains or along the beach. The ST provided the perfect platform for me since ADV bikes can be taken off-road when you’re tired of dealing with fast-paced hectic city streets.
I knew what I wanted to do with this bike so I started making my list of things necessary to go off-the-grid so to speak. The obvious choice was to protect the machine first, so I made a few calls to AltRider and was sent out a set of their Crash Bars, Skid Plate and other protection items to ensure I wouldn’t be stranded on the trail. I also installed a set of Yamaha Hard Cases and Top Case to securely hold all of my gear and equipment for any of my adventures.
Now comes the tricky part. I’ve been camping all of my life…. But usually out of a trailer or the bed of my truck. This whole moto-camping thing poses a whole new challenge because space is drastically limited compared to what I’m used to. Considering that I want the ability to ride dirt trails, I also need to be conscious of the additional weight that I’d be lugging around so the bike wasn’t obscenely heavy and sluggish to maneuver. Sure I could take my chances and guess what I absolutely need to carry with me, but why not turn to an expert who lives and breathes this whole ADV lifestyle?
This is where I turned to the Senior Editor for XLADV.com, Eric Hall. I friended and followed him for a while on Facebook and can tell you that he’s got a passion for Adventure Bikes and where they can take him. Eric also has plenty of moto-camping experience under his belt so he would be a perfect resource to answer all of my questions about what my must-have items should be and why. Scroll down to see which items Eric recommends for every moto-camping enthusiast and why. You just might find yourself re-evaluating your gear selection and possibly upgrading.
1. Nemo Galaxi 2-Man Tent: Unless you’re an extreme minimalist, the Galaxi 2-man backpacking tent is the perfect shelter when you’re done riding for the day and want to get a good night of sleep. This 3-season tent weighs just over 6-pounds, takes up minimal space when packet (19”x8”) and is simple for someone to set up alone. If you’re camping in great weather you can pull the rain fly back or remove it completely to stargaze at night through the mesh canopy, or encapsulate yourself if the temps are too low. The 2-man size means that there is plenty of space for you and your gear inside and it comes with everything you need from stakes, repair kit and footprint to protect the underside of the tent from rips, tears or anything else you might have to set-up on.
**Upgrade alternative: If you really want to go all out on shelter for you and your bike, you can get a Redverz Motorcycle Tent. Some people say “If you’re cold, they’re cold,” the Redverz Motorcycle Tents let you shelter your steed from the elements with the built in garage that you can completely close. You get all of the benefits of a quality 3-season tent with the added feature of a portable garage built in one with a slightly higher pricetag.
2. Nemo RIFF Men’s Down Sleeping Bag: Since we’re trying to save space and weight, having to pack multiple blankets is not an option. The Riff Down Sleeping Bag is available in temperature ratings down to 30° and 15°, weigh just over 2-pounds take minimal space when compressed into the supplied stuff sack. Full length double slider #5 YKK zippers make it easy to get in and out of and the construction has a ton of features to ensure you’re comfortable all night long.
3. Nemo Astro Sleeping Pad: You can have the best sleeping bag and tent combination that money can buy, but if you don’t have a good sleeping pad to keep you off the ground you’re not going to be comfortable. The Nemo Astro is available either insulated or non-insulated and in a standard or long/wide model for us larger bodied campers. At 3.5-inches thick, it provides a comfortable sleeping base with its lateral baffle design and is simple to inflate/deflate to your liking with the micro-adjust valve. Like the tent and sleeping bag, it compresses tight for minimal storage space on your moto.
4. Nemo Fillo Backpacking Pillow: You can’t get a good night of sleep without a comfortable place to rest your head. That is where this Nemo Fillo pillow comes into the picture. The thick luxury foam is the perfect resting place for your head that inflates within a matter of seconds and isn’t much smaller than a pillow you’d use at home. Once you’re awake and ready to get packed up, it stows away in its own integrated stuff sack again with minimal space requirement.
5. Fire-Maple FMX-X3 Personal Cooking System: After a long day on the road or off of it, you need to refuel your body and the FMX-X3 is a great compact cooking system from a company that doesn’t contribute to organizations that try to close down riding areas like some of its competitors. The kit works with most butane/propane mixed fuel canisters and comes with an insulated aluminum pot with integrated plastic-coated stainless handle, multi-purpose pot-holder for use with other pots and pans and fuel canister tripod. You store all parts of the stove in the pot for secure storage when traveling and minimal space requirement.
6. Trailmaster Adventure Gear Trailside Grill: Let’s face it…. There’s only so much dehydrated food you can tolerate on a trip and the Trailmaster Adventure Grill gives you the opportunity to get a great cut of bovine from a nearby butcher and sear some flesh at the end of a hard day on the road. The grill is made from 22ga. Stainless steel, weighs less than 6-pounds and assembles quick and easy. Aside from being a killer grill, you can also use it for fire containment to keep warm and make S’mores for dessert.
7. Silipint 16oz Pint Glass: These unbreakable silicone pint glass is perfect to hold your afterhour’s beverage so you can relax for the night. Hot or cold, it will hold it all! Added bonus is that it also provides TP storage while packed away in your panniers!
8. Quality Headlamp: There’s no one headlamp that I recommend over another, but just get one that is bright and easy enough for you to use when you’ve got a late arrival at camp. Prices on these can range anywhere from $20 – $200+ so do a little research and see what would work best for you.
9. Helinox Chair Zero Camp Chair: After a long day in the saddle, the last place you want to sit is on a rock, log or hard ground. The Chair Zero keeps you comfortably off the ground, provides support in all the right areas, is lightweight (510-grams) and super compact for easy storage when not in use.
10. Gerber Combo Axe II: From pounding in stakes for your tent to chopping up wood for kindling, the Gerber Hand Axe is an absolute must have in my panniers when I’m going off-the-grid. It has an overall length of just over 15-inches so you can get a good swing to break wood, and weighs in at only 26-ounces! An added bonus to this is that it comes with a small tree saw stored inside the handle.
Now armed with the knowledge of the must-have items for ADV Moto Camping, it’s time to go shopping and get geared up for some great adventures since this has given me even more drive to get out and explore the country on two wheels. If you’ve ever wanted to give the ADV moto-camping thing a shot and are up for an adventure, you might want to check out and participate in XLADV.com’s 7th Annual “High Sierra” event. You’ll get to experience riding in the High Sierra with great hosts at and event to benefit Motorrad Angels. The event is limited to 80 riders so the trails won’t get heavily impacted and it’s a more personal event where people can get to know each other to help the community grow.
What do you think of this list? Do you agree? Maybe you’ve got suggestions to include? Feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. This way we can help others in our riding community who might have questions or even make a part 2!