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Discussion Starter #1
Let's say I'm philosophically opposed to dragging a trailer with a bike. Certainly nothing against those who do--I just can't shake the memory of a friend's observation on seeing his first M/C-pulled trailer: "Why don't that guy just break down and admit he'd rather have a station wagon?"

In any case, let's say I'd still like to camp. Anybody got suggestions as to a tent, air matress, and sleeping bag that can be reasonably hauled within the existing tupperware on a GL1800? Sounds like a tough thing, but worth asking.
 

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I use a backpack 2 person coleman tent I got on Ebay for $45. It packs down to the size of a large loaf of bread. I also use a back pack sleeping bag that is about the same size compressed, with a ground pad...fits well in the passenger seat or on the luggage rack.

*forgot to mention that the tent and bag store in the left saddle bag...I keep right saddle bag and trunk for clothes, food, and helmet storage*
 

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The first time I camped without a trailer was with my GL1200. That was two summers ago.

I went with some friends to GWTA rally in KY. I took a sleeping bag, small air mattress, and a small dome tent along with my clean clothes.
I went without my wife so I had room on the back of the seat for the sleeping bag. The air matttress was fastened on the trunk rack along with the tent, which was in the box. In the top trunk, I had my extra jacket for cold mornings and rain gear along with the usual bike stuff. The side bags had the clothing on one side and the other side had pillows and extra snacks. My friend hauled my folding chair for me, as I had run out of room for it.

I kind of looked like a gypsy going down the highway but I still had a ball on my first adventure as a camper on a bike.

Now I have a 1800 and a matching trailer orderd for it. The trailer is in and I am waiting for a day off so I can go get it.

It can be done, you just have to think it all out and decide what you really want and do not want to take.

I thought I would never own a trailer, but now I would not be without one for longer trips, especially when the wife goes along.
 

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There is a camping section on the BMWOA site that gives a lot of good information. Go to http://www.bmwmoa.org/ On the left index under area look into motorcycle camping. I carry a two person tent, single to small, thermarest cushion, sleeping bag and ground cover, and folding chair. I fit this on the passanger seat since my SWMBO considers camping a Holiday Inn.
 
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Can't help here!

Spent 20+ years camping courtesy of Uncle Sam and I've had my fill.

My last camping trip with the family was at a beautiful place near Pagosa Springs, Co. It ended early one morning. As I was in the tent awaking the kids, I heard dynamiting (road construction) just up the hill. Thought it was incoming rounds and nearly killed everyone trying to find cover.
:eek:4:
I remember telling my troops what a deal, "Camping with the boys, and you get paid for it." Something about those incoming rounds that takes all the fun out of it
No more camping for this old soldier! :flg:
 

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Mojo:

I use backpacking type equipment due to its strength and weight. I have a two man sierra design tent that is extremely good in high winds, the big thermorest for extra insulation against the ground and all depending on the climate a sleeping bag. I carry a backpacking stove, a pot and some water bottles. I put all of this stuff in my trunk and side bags. I keep all my clothes and personal items in a t bag that I put on my passenger seat so that on the nights I stay in hotels or sponge off a friend I just have to carry that in and just lock the bike up.

I did a 6300 mile trip last June through Rocky Mt. NP, Grand Tetons, Yelloowstone, Olympic NP, North Cascades NP, Glacier NP and Roosevelt NP and then on home to Illinois. Sponged ah spent one night in your neck of the woods in Sandpoint, Id.

If you have to buy this stuff e bay was mentioned. Another good spot at times is on the REI website they have an outlet store. Just remember, as I am sure you already know there is not always shelter available in bad storms in the mountains and that is why I try to be over equipped than under.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all who responded!

Truth be told, for the most part, I'd rather do the motel trip, but it's gotten so expensive...plus my facility in Far Middle Eastern dialects is faltering at best, making it difficult to communicate with most concierges I encounter.

Anyway, I plan to check out the suggestions made here.

Thanks again!
 

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I prefer motels but can't afford them so I camp often. I use a 7'x7' dome tent bought at Kmart for $25 about 5 years ago and it has served me very well. The tent fits nicely in the trunk of the 1800 with lots of room to spare. The mummy style sleeping bag fits in a stuff sack which fits in the right saddlebag with room to spare for a jacket , rainsuit and a few other things. Used to use a small air matress but it was such a workout to inflate that a few years ago I bought a self inflating sleeping pad and that has worked but this year I might try a bigger and better air matress and some sort of inflating device. Normally everything I carry fits inside the bikes storage compartments.
 

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Backpacking gear is definately the way to go. Sierra, Mountain Research and some of the higher end Eureka's are worth their light weight and small pack size. I had an old Eureka Timberline tent which saved me from getting wet in a very heavy storm which left the tent in a puddle of water two inches deep. Since it had a "bathtub" bottom, none of it got inside!

Whatever kind of tent you go with, be sure to properly seam seal it before you take it out on your first trip. Nothing will spoil your night more than a wet tent. I'd also recommend a tent with a seperate rain fly. Manufacturers will put very large mesh screens on tents like this which help the tent to breath, while keeping you dry. In warm weather with no sign of rain, a mesh ceiling will allow you to enjoy the stars while avoiding the insects. Aluminum poles are better in the long run than carbon, as they are less likely to break. Get a matching tarp as well, the same size or a little smaller than the tent floor, as this will prolong tent life. If you get a larger tarp fold it under the tent so that none of the tarp sticks out, as this will channel water under you if it rains. Vestibules on the rain fly are handy for gear storage and if there is an option for an annex, get it, it will allow you to cook without getting wet.

As for a sleeping pad, I'd personally get a self-inflating foam pad from Therm-A-Rest, and get the thickest one they make. Air matresses are nice, but unless they're the king size variety like WarBirdBob's, they won't insulate you from the ground if it's cold.

Sleeping bags are such a subjective topic, I don't have any advice for you there other than get a bag which fits you, and that fiber-fill will keep you warm if it gets wet, where down will not. If you are travelling two-up, you might consider getting the same rectangular bag for each of you so that you can zip them together.

You might notice that I'm mentioning water quite a bit...plan on it. Plan for heavy rain and when it comes you can be warm and comfortable and best of all, happy. :)
 

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Do any of you occasional campers ride two up w/o a trailer or camper? We're trying our best to make that happen (like Mojo, we love to camp but don't want/afford the trailer right now....but so far, all I can come up with is to do some sort of 'limited' camping without cooking. All that boils down to is basically pitching a tent and sleeping there, getting up early and grabbing a bite on the road. Seems the ability to cook while camping (pots, pans, stove, cleaning supplies, etc...) gets sacrificed but I can't see how to overcome this. If any of you two up folks have a workaround to this somehow, I'd appreciate hearing how. We're going to be doing a 10,000 mile tour of the country this summer (was shorter till Mike from MI got involved with MI suggested rides)...lol....and staying in motels for that long will be stretching the budget big time...thanks...(from a virgin Gold Wing rider-to-be...picking up first-ever Gold Wing from Hal and Chris in Apri from Sunnyside).
 
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We love camping - with or without the trailer. Actually the trailer is for golf clubs - Ride 90 miles, golf, ride 90 more miles home.

What a country. :eek:
 

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Bill said:
Seems the ability to cook while camping (pots, pans, stove, cleaning supplies, etc...) gets sacrificed but I can't see how to overcome this.
My wife and I have gone two-up, no trailer, with the gear needed to cook along with us. It depends a lot on the type of gear you buy. I went with a Coleman Peak1 Model 442 Dual Fuel stove. It fits in with matches and lighter, plus a hot pad in a small padded bag which measures 5x5x7 inches. Add a couple of MSR fuel bottles (if needed for the trip duration) a spatual, spoon and cooking set which measures 7 inches diameter by 5 inches tall and you're not taking up much room at all. Our tent, sleeping pads, cooking gear and miscellaneous gear all go in the trunk, with the sleeping bags and clothes in the saddlebags. With a good compression sack, sleeping bags can crunch down amazingly small. If you go with backpacking gear, you can fit it all in place.

Mind you, this leaves but three or four sets of clothes each for us, but laundry facilities are available at many camp sites so it's never been a big deal.
 

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Sans trailer

Mojoman was asking for advice about travelling without a trailer. I tried to help out, as did about half the posts here. The other half just raved about running with a trailer.

I've done tens of thousands of miles riding and camping along the way on cruiser styled bikes, my last being a Shadow 1100. Bungee cords and the like, leather saddlebags and no trunk at all.

So many here seem to want to "have a station wagon"...

So I ask, are there any others out there who can live happily on just a tent, a sleeping bag and cooking gear and food, or are all of the current GW generation motel and trailer camper surrogates? I've been planning a solo Alaska trip for this summer and realizing that I'm going to have plenty of room to spare in the stock luggage of the bike. Am I that atypical?

Who knows, maybe I'm just feeling young, against the majority here. :? Arthritis has been with me since age 12 and getting worse. Is it only a matter of time before I can't sleep on the ground anymore?

Pardon the philisophical rant, but this thread got my mind in a whirl...
 

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One of the things that I use that helps a lot is stuff sacks that i got from helen two wheels http://www.helen2wheels.com/. I have two sizes, one small for my tent and ground cover and a larger one for bag, thermarest and small pillow. They make packing tight and are waterproof with tiedown straps so I can secure them to the pillion seat. All of that on the back seat makes a great back rest to lean back on and stays put no matter what.
 

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Camping is a small tent, sleeping bag, ground cover if you wish, and MRE's for food.... drink lots of water, and enjoy your ride....

Be a rider, not an owner....
 

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Stormbringer
You bring up a very good point about camping / age. While I still camp with sleeping bag, tent , etc. I noticed that last year was more difficult as the age factor increases. While still in good shape I will turn 59 in April and I am starting to notice a difference. I am now toying with the idea of purchasing a camp trailer. You get to that point where those little creature comforts make a big difference. I'm sure there are some folks out there that can still rough it into their 60's and up. I ride with a friend who has a camp trailer and he doesn't have to sacrifice anything when on an extended trip. I am starting to believe that this is the best of both worlds....camping first class. While it may not be for everyone, I am looking to go this route. I can also remember that while in my thirties/early forties I would look at older riders and say "I sure won't be doing that when I'm their age. Well, guess what..now that I'm their age a lot of those things make very good sense. People adapt to the circumstances that present themselves.
 
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