Since plenty of hikers have benefited from lightweight outdoor products of luggage brands like KingKongApparel and Northface; another hobby seems to be forming out of the horizon. Moto-backpacking is the current trend in outdoor activities – combining the thrill of motorcycle riding with the adventure of camping.
It makes perfect sense to fuse the two: with the multitude of backpacking enthusiasts who also love to ride their bikes, it won't be surprising to see a rise on moto-backpackers in coming years. It actually makes the camping experience better because there's no need to carry around heavy equipment for miles on end. Plus, the adrenaline rush of road travel is always a welcome advantage.
Is It Right For You?
Just because almost everyone is doing it nowadays, doesn't mean you should too. If you haven't even tried hiking before; then it's only logical to try that first before going on a mix of riding and camping. Also, there's a need for a bike. Asking yourself necessary questions before going on a moto-backpacking journey will save plenty of time, money, and effort.
First and foremost: gear. A motorcycle has very limited capacity. Unlike backpackers who can carry ten or even twenty-pound loads in their duffel bags, such things would only be cumbersome (if not dangerous) to a moto-backpacker. Purchasing new equipment might be costly as well so it's important to think about this idea beforehand.
Next would be camping requirements. Typical hikers go light since it's more convenient and there's really no need for comforts when out in the wilderness. For a beginning moto-backpacker, that's not always the case. Even though it's vital to pack lightweight items, these type of campers can choose to have the luxury of motels or restaurants. Knowing in advance what you want to gain from the experience would make the entire event more rewarding. It would also help during the planning process.
There are three main things to keep in mind when preparing for the trip: gear/equipment, food, and shelter.
Gear/Equipment: Much like the classic backpacker, it's never been more important to pack light than when going on a moto-backpacking journey. Write a checklist of only the most essential items to bring along like a tent, sleeping bag (if staying outdoors), motorcycle apparel, and/or change of clothes. Pick the right travel bag to hold all these; something sturdy and lightweight but also made especially for bikers.
Food/Meals: Portable or freeze-dried food would suffice if making meals on the campsite. If dining out or you are expecting to make quick pit stops, bring enough cash to cover expenses. Also, ensure that cookware such as gas stoves are packed safely.
Shelter: Tents and/or sleeping bags make for the ultimate camping experience. But moto-backpackers can spend the night in motel rooms should they wish. That's the beauty of moto-backpacking – it makes for faster and easier travel!
Make sure to make these arrangements ahead of time to avoid last-minute mishaps. Start out modestly on your first attempt, then gradually introduce variations as you continue to enjoy your new hobby!