I camp as often as I can. In fact, my preference in the natural order of things is to camp. I like the fresh air of outdoors and, frankly, it’s more economical to camp, especially when you can find places to hang your hammock or pitch your tent for free. And camping gets me closer to cooler things to see. Additionally, a few items I carry to camp I also use when I am not camping, such as heating up some lunch with my stove.
Total camping equipment weight: ~ 31 lbs / 14.1 kg
Hilleberg Nallo 3 Tent
Purpose: My house away from home.
Do your own research, of course, but after trying tent number three over the past year of motocamping, there is not a better tent in my opinion in terms of quality and features, and pack size and weight. My first tent was a Kelty 2-man backpacking tent, which I liked for its weight and pack size, except it was too small to move around in. My next tent was a Redverz tent, which I liked for the extra (esp. standing) room and storage, except it was too big and heavy on the bike!! So, I went searching for the perfect tent, something in-between the first two tents. I found Hilleberg. Hilleberg makes a line of arguably the highest quality tents in the world (see their reviews!). This tent is the perfect size for me and my gear and packs up light and small. Plus it’s of very, very high quality – these folks take tent making to new levels. Seriously check them out yourselves.
Kammock Roo Hammock “System”
Purpose: Sleeping; relaxing.
A couple of trees and you have simple and comfortable accommodations. Here, I say system, because I don’t use the hammock by itself. I also use the mosquito fly as well as my Kelty Rain Fly (see below) — and you really do need the Hammock straps to attach it to a tree, although any ropes would work I guess. The bonus here is when you are not sleeping in the hammock for the night, it makes a great place to relax and look up at the sky or read during the day. It’s also super light. I use this setup when the weather is nice.
Nemo Nocturne Sleeping Bag
Purpose: Sleeping comfortably.
Super-uber comfy and light. This bag is a pseudo-mummy and good down to 15F/-9C. I have used it down to the mid-20s and been perfectly comfortable. The unique shape gives your elbows and legs room to maneuver, while keeping it snugly at the waist. And with the extra “foot box,” your feet don’t get wet when your bag touches the side of the tent. As with most mummy-style bags, the hoodie is great for keeping the warmth inside the bag.
The outer material is 15D nylon riptstop and DWR. The inner lining is made from 30D Nylon Taffeta and is smooth and silky feeling. The zipper works great. The bag is filled with 2 lb. 2 oz. of goose down. The bag come in different sizes, so I won’t list them here. If you want more technical specifications, you can find them here.
I have been very happy with this bag, but rest assured it is in the Rolls Royce class, but hey, when you sleep you want to be as comfortable as possible, right?
Therm-a-Rest Neo-Air Xtherm Sleeping Pad
Purpose: Sleeping comfortably.
Well, I am kinda picky when it comes to sleeping. If things aren’t just right, I usually don’t sleep well. So, when I decided to strike that balance between backpacker light and comfort I went with the the Thermarest Neo-Air Xtherm Sleeping Pad.
Oh man, I am telling you this thing is super light (a kg maybe?) and appears to have been made by NASA. According to the manufacturer, ThermaCapture technology traps radiant heat while Triangular Core Matrix construction minimizes convective heat loss-all without the bulk, weight or durability issues of down and synthetic fills. 2.5″ (6 cm)-thickness and baffled internal structure provide unrivaled stability and support. Free of bulky, conventional insulating materials, the XTherm mattress packs to the size of a one-liter water bottle. Advanced materials and a tapered design reduce weight without compromising warmth. It has an R-Value of 5.7.
Folds up to the size of a one-liter bottle? Yep. Super-tiny. But, once inflated this mattress gives you a full inch of air between all parts of your body and the ground or whatever else you’re laying on. The material seems strong and unlikely to tear, but included is a patch kit. This is NOT a self-inflating mattress, you have to blow it up or use any inflator. I use the thermarest inflator because it, too, is tiny.
I also use the matching Thermarest pillow.
Kelty Rain Fly
Purpose: Shade on those hot days; quick shelter; cover for my hammock.
So, I only carry one pole with me, so if I have one tree or post I am all set. When in the hammock, this serves as a rain cover. Otherwise, while tent camping, it’s a shelter from the sun or rain when out of the tent.
MSR Whisper Lite International Stove (v2)
Purpose: Cooking; heating up water.
So, most folks take some sort of camping stove with them when camping. I chose this one primarily because it has had a great following and it takes several types of fuels, including regulate gasoline. Using the MSR bottles to store fuel, I also have a backup of a quart or so of fuel if I need it for my moto. As for he stove, I find it really easy to use and light (we are talking about gasoline here!) in wet or even windy conditions.
Helinox Camp Chair
Purpose: Having a ready chair to relax anywhere.
I like camping and having everything I need with me. But, on a motorcycle both space and weight are at a premium. When I searched for lightweight, rugged, compact camp chairs, the choices seemed few. Thankfully, I found this gem, the Helinox Chair One Camp Chair.
Let me tell you about this awesome chair. First the chair folds up and stows in a carrying case, much like any other camp chair, but in a much smaller form factor. Packed, the bag is roughly 4in by 4in by 12in (10cm by 12cm by 35cm) and weighs a paltry 31oz 897g). According to the website, once assembled, the chair will hold a person weighing 320lbs (145kg). Wowee!
Now, some might suggest that such a small chair would be uncomfortable, or shaky, or confining. I can attest to none of the attributes. I find the chair very comfortable, solid, and roomy (then again I only weigh 165lbs, or 75kg).
Putting the chair together is a snap as all the bits are connected via internal bungees – just shake it and it seems to fit together autonomously. Then, just stretch the chair over the poles and everything comes together nice and tight.
To round out camping, I’ll just list the several other items I specifically think of for camping:
Stove and Fuel bottles
Zip Loc Bags (lg & sm)
Collapsible Water Jug