Doesn’t that nice, warm air feel great? Well, we think it’s time to go bask in it. There’s no better way to embrace good weather than a camping trip. Get into the great outdoors with your ATV, UTV, or motorcycle for camping like you’ve never experienced it before.
Depending on your ride, there are many journeys to take. With a motorcycle or 3-wheel, you can hit the open road and find beautiful places to set up camp along the way. You can go anywhere the road takes you. With off-road, a deeper trip into the wilderness is in the cards so you need a different game plan. Here’s how to make your camping trip a great one.
So you want to go on a 2 or 3-wheeled adventure. There are a lot of options available for camping with a motorcycle, as long as your destination is near a road or trail. Here’s a couple things to think about when planning your motorcycle camping trip.
First things first: you’ve got to pack. But what do you bring? Of course you need the usual camping supplies, plus your riding gear and anything else for the road. There’s one very important detail to remember while packing: a motorcycle only has so much room for cargo. So, you’ll be looking for the most space-saving and lightweight supplies available.
To load your supplies, really strap your luggage and sleeping bags down with bungee cords, bungee nets, and/or zip ties. Bring extra cords and ties to keep your bags securely fastened throughout the trip! Keep them from touching the tires or exhaust and blocking any air to the engine (the air usually flows around the front and down the sides). You’ll be putting on your own balancing act with luggage position and weight distribution.
Proper weight distribution is a very important safety measure to take when mounting your luggage. If you load too much on the back, for example, you’re prone to unexpected wheelie-ing. Not ideal. Look in your user manual for load limits and shop/pack accordingly with even weight distribution. A way to check even distribution on a motorcycle is to gently hold your bike upright by the handlebars and look for tilting. Give your bike a slow test drive with all your supplies mounted to get used to handling the loaded vehicle.
Now that you’re ready to go you have to decide where to go! It’s easy to wing it and find campsites along the way. But, you should have a rough idea of where you’re stopping. If you’ll be in a popular spot, like along the west coast in the summer, it’s worth looking into reservations so you’re not left with nowhere to go. In less popular spots, you should look up the general availability of campsites to make sure you’ll have a place to stay.
If you choose to ride remote backcountry roads, you may need a permit depending on the national or state park. Whatever your plan, a little research can have a big payoff. And always bring a map or GPS! Now it’s just you and the open road. With everything you need loaded on your motorcycle, camping possibilities are endless.
Camping with an ATV or UTV can bring you pretty far off the beaten path. So there’s a little more planning involved. Being far from civilization brings a whole new set of considerations to your camping trip- here are a couple things to think about.
You’re not stumbling across any mechanics or gas stations in the wild, so you need to bring any vehicle supplies with you. Pack a couple basic tools for minor repairs to stay up and running, and prepare any gas you’re going to use. The last thing on anyone’s list is getting stranded in the woods, so bring more fuel than you think you need.
If you’re lucky enough to be close to an ATV/UTV friendly park, you may not need a trailer to get to the campsite on your vehicle. When loading all of your stuff on an ATV, the same weight distribution rules as a motorcycle apply. Even if you hauled the vehicle on a trailer, keep your stuff secure and balanced when packing for the trip from your car to camp. A quick tune up could also be helpful to make sure the gears are ready for some rock crawling or river running.
First order of business: find a place where you can camp and ride your off-road vehicle. Advance planning is more essential for off-road adventures. Many areas have changing seasonal schedules for visitors so you definitely want to check that out before you leave. You also want to get any necessary permits and have your route planned so your trip goes perfectly!
Another thing to think about: when camping with UTVs and ATVs, you can get deep into the backcountry around many wild creatures. Aside from animals that you’re legally hunting, ensuring the safety of local wildlife is essential to keeping trails open (and keeps park rangers happy with you). Watch for critters while riding to and around your campsite to avoid wrongful injury, and even penalties or fines if you hurt a protected animal. As long as you stay in designated ATV/UTV areas, your trip will go off without a hitch. You’re ready to go into unexplored territory with your off-road vehicle!
We hope that these tips got you excited to do some ATV, UTV or motorcycle camping. The joy of powersports extends to infinite amazing adventures to enjoy with your friends and loved ones. Now get out there and experience camping like you never have before!