Saturday, August 1, 2015

Packing for the East Trip - 1

I always find it difficult to pack for a trip on the bike. It seems to take a long time. And, this time I had decided to do some camping and wanted to keep things as compact as possible. Here is the result:

The top box is excluded at this time, I want to keep it for very light stuff and my helmet, if possible.

Also excluded is the tank bag, with camera & other stuff.


1 The saddlebags for the BMW R1200RT are a decent size and can hold a bunch of stuff. I wanted to pack heavy stuff in them. Turns out each of the above weighs 27 pounds. It was pure luck to get them equal.


2 Opened up, you can see the left side has some loose stuff, while the right side has a couple of bags.


3 The right side bags are a nice cloth bag from Canadian Tire and a fitted bag shaped to fit in the saddlebag.


4 Those loose items on the left are mostly for eating while camping. By row from the top and left to right:

Collapsable water bucket - Base for propane tank & the main stove burner (fits on tank)
Tarp & flat grill & cutting board & small water bottle - main grill pan w/ folding handle
Main pot & mini butane burner & butane (fits in pot) - nesting pans & dishtowel

The mini burner was a gift from Bob Leong on my birthday last year. The other stuff is over a decade old, used perhaps a dozen times. I don't do much camping.


5 For the right side, in the CT bag, from the top:

A white bag contains a nice LED lantern and one AA cell. The other three are in the lantern. This prevents the lamp from being turned on accidentally. The bag keeps the loose battery from being lost or getting somewhere I can't find it quickly. Next to it is the main propane tank for the main burner. I used to worry about running out of a tank on a trip. Never came close to it. But, these are very commonly available.

The black bag in the centre is a Luxurylite cot. Available here: Cot

Below that is the tent's top fly.


6 Another CT cloth bag. At the bottom of the bag is a safety triangle (if I break down), tire plugging kit (never had to use it and I now have tire puncture coverage as part of my BMW MOA membership). The grey item is the tent. The colored bag is my compact tripod.


7 The fitted bag contains clothes for the trip. It will also hold toiletries, but they are in use. I roll up long and shrort sleeve Dri-Fit shirts from Mark's Work Wearhouse, and match some Tilley underwear and socks. These can be easily washed and dry overnight. In the centre is a rain jacket which can double as a windbreaker if I am out on a chilly evening. Below that is a swimsuit.


8 The Held bag is waterproof and the long PVC container is a home-made tube that protects the tent poles from getting bent and broken. These go across the passenger seat.


9 Inside the Held bag is my sleeping bag, a bag holding an inflatable pillow, a bag with stuff (see below), and some tinfoil for cooking. The plastic bottle is kept close by the cot at night... . I have a length of cord with a weight on it to put a food bag up in a tree at night to keep critters away. The lead fishing sinker makes it easy to throw up over a tree limb. There is room to spare for more clothes and light soft stuff.


10 In the bag referenced above, I have a triangular nesting cup and pot, Then, a green folding washbasin, Sporks, soap and safety blanket, fire starter sticks, and cooking oil and detergent.

That's it.

And now the kicker - I'm leaving it all at home. I don't feel like camping this year, at least on this trip. But, I may go later in the year and wanted to be able to replicate the packing!

And besides, I promised you all I would show you what goes where.


  1. Loved the ending ... takes a real weight off if you're not camping! But man, when you do, you take way more things for cooking than me ... I'm a one pot gal.
    Hope our paths will cross.

  2. Is it possible you know how to do this better than I do? One sign of uncertainty is overpacking. If you look back in my blog, you will see a trip I made in 2006 to southern PA. stopped in a real butcher shop in PA and got a nice pork chop. I remember cooking it on that ridged pan - and it was great!

    Rodney taught me to put a potato (cut up) and some veggies in tin foil with butter or oil and roast near the fire. Works great. The rest is for cleanup.

    But, it's mostly theory and not much practice.

    What kills the joy is the dewy wet tent in the morning. Pack wet, or wait until it dries?

    1. Wet tent and quite a bit of added 'pack the bike back up' time every morning. Beginning to think myself that energy is better saved for the road!

  3. What a surprise ending to the post.

    We too have a tendency of overpacking. Sometimes on the bike it is just easier to find a motel so you carry less gear, but camping has it's perks.

    1. Up here in Canada, camping is not usually as cheap as it is in the US, I believe. And, at my age a motel has definite attractions. Don't mind camping with someone, but alone with no help is a drag.

  4. I have come up with my idea of moto glamping, trailer the bikes and tow behind a motorhome, drive to a destination and park for few days and explore by bike, co e home and nest in the moho.

    1. I must admit I have thought of that too, never done it though.