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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m sure there are folks out there with more experience than I have at camping with a motorcycle.
First the confession, hot showers & comfy beds are appealing, so I often use roadside motels.
But rumour has it some of the places I plan to visit this summer are firstly spectacular for a night under the stars & secondly it might well be easier to find a camping spot than a motel!
So, I’m interested in a compact, not that expensive but capable tent. I’ll be riding alone for most of the tour, so accommodation for one (plus cover for Arwen?) is sufficient. Arwen is a K1200RS with large panniers & an unoccupied back seat, so luggage capacity isn’t a significant challenge.

I don’t want to get drowned in an overnight rainstorm! It will be summer, so 4 season capability is not needed. Obviously marketing pieces/reviews are available to me, but just in case anyone has first hand experience, good or bad, I thought it worth throwing the question.
What should I look at? What should I avoid?

Best Regards Arwen’s Rider
 

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If you haven't already checked, Cabellas/Bass ProShop is an outfitter with online sales. REI if I am not mistaken, is another. I gave up on tents when I left the Army so others can offer better advise. If you are really roughing it just a tarp and some tiedowns making a leanto to cover you and your cycle would work, and you could easily find your cycle the next morning 😁. BMW MOA is a source and membership might be worth it if out on the road. There is a publication called "Road Runner" that may have archival online articles if you subscribe. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh memories! We always did the tarp, groundsheet & tie downs method, when visiting the Indian Ocean beaches in Natal. Caught fish, scavenged for fire wood, usually drank whisky & water, because a flask was lighter to carry than beer (& didn’t need to be cold!)
Sadly I’m no longer 24 & roughing it to that degree is history. But was real good back then.
 

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I have done some camping from the K1200's and used a hammock. The hammock has a great view of the night sky on clear nights and can easily be covered with a rain fly for the rainy days & nights. Does take practice to dress/undress but very doable. I found the hammock much more comfortable then sleeping on the ground even with air mattress. Just need to be sure you have trees or sturdy posts. They are very lightweight and do not take up much space.

Our campsite, my buddy uses a tent, because he fell out of a hammock a few years back. He was ok, the water bottle broke his fall and we all :ROFLMAO:, ah that is another story.

He likes the single person tent but it does take quite a bit of more room on the K1200RS back seat along with his blow-up air mattress.
Tire Wheel Plant Automotive tire Vehicle
Plant Tent Tree Shade Natural landscape


Getting ready for night under the stars in the hammock
Plant Plant community Tree Shade Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now that does appeal, especially because I can lay my hands on a hammock made by real guerrilleros out of parachute silk, that a friend of mine met at the Nicaraguan border.
He traded cold beer for a hammock & gave it to me years ago as a gift. It fits in your back pocket when crumpled up. Brilliant idea!
 

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If you can find a real US Army surplus jungle hammock they are great. Has a roof and bug netting. Don't get a commercial fake unless a well made one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you can find a real US Army surplus jungle hammock they are great. Has a roof and bug netting. Don't get a commercial fake unless a well made one.
I will definitely take one of those, if I ever find one. Sounds fantastic.
The parachute silk hammock I mentioned could be considered “US military”. Blue night silk used in supplies drops to the Contras, back in the day. The guys would have won as well, if the supplies had kept coming. Instead we got Sandinistas as neighbours 😟
 

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I have used the Eagle Nest brand for many years on motorcycle and scouting adventures. I have two versions; single that I use in the warm months and double that I use in the colder months. The double is wider and accommodates the bulkier sleeping bag and clothes. The double with warm weight sleeping bags tends to banana wrap you and then you miss the night sky.
 

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I have used the Eagle Nest brand for many years on motorcycle and scouting adventures. I have two versions; single that I use in the warm months and double that I use in the colder months. The double is wider and accommodates the bulkier sleeping bag and clothes. The double with warm weight sleeping bags tends to banana wrap you and then you miss the night sky.
Nothing worse than waking up in a sleeping bag laying face down. Don't panic during the zipper search.
 

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Ahhhh, tents. I remember the year the BMWRA rally was in Quebec City. It rained, and rained, and rained. Everyone, even in the high dollar tents, was wet.
A few things:
Always use a plastic ground cloth, even if the manufacturer says you don't need one. It should not extend beyond the tent edges. At the very least you'll appreciate it on a long trip when you have to pack it up every day.
Choose a tent with a full size rain fly that extends all the way down, all the way around the tent. Even a less expensive tent with a better rain fly will out perform a pricey unit with a fly that is too small.
Think about a tent that has room for some gear stowage space under the fly but not in the tent. Trust me, it's nice.
Finally, for 1 man camping, buy a 3 man tent. I'm 6'3" and my 3 man was just right. At least need room for you, at least one saddle bag and room to work to pack up your clothes and sleeping bag in the dry if it's raining out. At least you can keep essentials dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahhhh, tents. I remember the year the BMWRA rally was in Quebec City. It rained, and rained, and rained. Everyone, even in the high dollar tents, was wet.
A few things:
Always use a plastic ground cloth, even if the manufacturer says you don't need one. It should not extend beyond the tent edges. At the very least you'll appreciate it on a long trip when you have to pack it up every day.
Choose a tent with a full size rain fly that extends all the way down, all the way around the tent. Even a less expensive tent with a better rain fly will out perform a pricey unit with a fly that is too small.
Think about a tent that has room for some gear stowage space under the fly but not in the tent. Trust me, it's nice.
Finally, for 1 man camping, buy a 3 man tent. I'm 6'3" and my 3 man was just right. At least need room for you, at least one saddle bag and room to work to pack up your clothes and sleeping bag in the dry if it's raining out. At least you can keep essentials dry.
Now that sounds like lessons learned from (bitter) experience, especially the Quebec part. I plan on going there in August. Better have rain gear available. Thanks for the input, these will all be valuable recommendations to review in 6 months before I set off. Thanks everyone.
 

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Ha, I wouldn't think of it as "bitter", just experience. It was so bad that weekend that they finally opened up a big indoor arena for people to get in to. The whole floor was wall to wall tents with barely room to walk between and all of the arena seats were covered with peoples rain flys drying out (every color you could imagine, it was quite a sight).
 

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I went on my first motorcycle camping trip last fall. I bought a 1 person tent on Amazon. I found the tent to be very small and claustrophobic. Also, there was little room for clothes and gear in the tent. We camped along the coast and everything was very wet outside in the morning. Next summer I will be getting a larger tent.
 

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I’m sure there are folks out there with more experience than I have at camping with a motorcycle.
First the confession, hot showers & comfy beds are appealing, so I often use roadside motels.
But rumour has it some of the places I plan to visit this summer are firstly spectacular for a night under the stars & secondly it might well be easier to find a camping spot than a motel!
So, I’m interested in a compact, not that expensive but capable tent. I’ll be riding alone for most of the tour, so accommodation for one (plus cover for Arwen?) is sufficient. Arwen is a K1200RS with large panniers & an unoccupied back seat, so luggage capacity isn’t a significant challenge.

I don’t want to get drowned in an overnight rainstorm! It will be summer, so 4 season capability is not needed. Obviously marketing pieces/reviews are available to me, but just in case anyone has first hand experience, good or bad, I thought it worth throwing the question.
What should I look at? What should I avoid?

Best Regards Arwen’s Rider
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL II is what I have. It is hard to beat, yet I’m looking at a TarpTent Moment DW [tarptent.com]. It’s a little lighter and packs slightly smaller.
 

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Back when we went to the RA rally out in Angels Camp we camped in one of those (for 1 night). Wife refused to stay in the campground in Nevada with waist high weeds and unisex bathrooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just ordered this;
It looks perfect for my tour & will fit nicely on the pillion seat, per EricK1300GTSE.
That & the guerrilleros parachute hammock will be sufficient.
Cheers Arwen’s Rider
 

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I love motorcycle camping and personally, I went with the REI Quarter Dome 3. It's big enough for two people plus our dog, reasonably priced, light, and compact. I got caught in a downpour in South Dakota and everything inside stayed dry. You can certainly pay more for something even smaller and lighter, but for me it was the sweet spot.
 

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I’m sure there are folks out there with more experience than I have at camping with a motorcycle.
First the confession, hot showers & comfy beds are appealing, so I often use roadside motels.
But rumour has it some of the places I plan to visit this summer are firstly spectacular for a night under the stars & secondly it might well be easier to find a camping spot than a motel!
So, I’m interested in a compact, not that expensive but capable tent. I’ll be riding alone for most of the tour, so accommodation for one (plus cover for Arwen?) is sufficient. Arwen is a K1200RS with large panniers & an unoccupied back seat, so luggage capacity isn’t a significant challenge.

I don’t want to get drowned in an overnight rainstorm! It will be summer, so 4 season capability is not needed. Obviously marketing pieces/reviews are available to me, but just in case anyone has first hand experience, good or bad, I thought it worth throwing the question.
What should I look at? What should I avoid?

Best Regards Arwen’s Rider
Man your gonna have fun. Do many meat places to camp. I prefer the western US.
I don't have any specifics for you other than I find alote of good stuff in backpacking. Seems alote of gear works well for both. Light and compact. Good dry bags, good rain gear.

Have fun
I’m sure there are folks out there with more experience than I have at camping with a motorcycle.
First the confession, hot showers & comfy beds are appealing, so I often use roadside motels.
But rumour has it some of the places I plan to visit this summer are firstly spectacular for a night under the stars & secondly it might well be easier to find a camping spot than a motel!
So, I’m interested in a compact, not that expensive but capable tent. I’ll be riding alone for most of the tour, so accommodation for one (plus cover for Arwen?) is sufficient. Arwen is a K1200RS with large panniers & an unoccupied back seat, so luggage capacity isn’t a significant challenge.

I don’t want to get drowned in an overnight rainstorm! It will be summer, so 4 season capability is not needed. Obviously marketing pieces/reviews are available to me, but just in case anyone has first hand experience, good or bad, I thought it worth throwing the question.
What should I look at? What should I avoid?

Best Regards Arwen’s Rider
General idea. Backpacking equipment world well for motorcycle camping. Pretty good stuff, compact and lightweight.
 
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