So, one thing I wanted to do is to “learn” how to motorbike camp and as an analog learn how to pack for long, extended, voyages. What does that mean to me? That means striking a balance between what you need to carry, what you want to carry, and what you can carry. Thankfully, the R1200GS is like a mule, meaning it can carry quite a bit considering I only weigh 155 pounds. So, if weight is not an issue, then space has to be. Therefore, the considerations are really: need, want, and space. Small, light, and multipurpose are the keys here, I think.
At the top of the “must have list” are items associated with shelter, fire, and food. You must have these things to survive if you intend to rough it and camp along the way. Everything else is considered a luxury after those primary needs are met. So here you need:
A good quality tent (I use a Hilleberg). I also make a hatchet available to set up camp (to drive stakes).
My Kammock for nights I do not set up a tent.
A spark source – I carry a couple of cheap lighters and fire starters.
Basic cooking equipment: pots/utensils/water and something to cook, like freeze dried stuff (this is over and above the tank bag snacks I take).
Something to keep you dry while setting up camp is also good.
Battery powered illumination, for setting things up in the dark. I use a battery powered head lamp (actually my one item I must have)
I really put all of my camping/touring skills to the test when I took a 12-day trip from Virginia to Canada and back in the Summer of 2015. That was a lot of fun, but more importantly I learned a lot. Mostly, I learned I was carrying too much, which is advice I hear frequently from other overlanders. Perhaps the desire is comfort in knowing you are prepared for anything, but in reality most of the stuff you think you need, you really don’t. My favorite part of that extended camping trip was meeting people.