CTX 1300 Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some of you out there have loaded up the CTX and hit the road. I'm in the process of lining up equipment for a camping trip and would like to know how you managed to get it all attached and stable. Bungees? Straps? A few big bags vs. many small bags? The biggest challenge is posed by my tent, sleeping pad and bag. What to you suggest?:350x700px-LL-66dd6d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
flytrap,
I'm not a camper, but maybe I can stir the pot a little.
Several of my neighbors are bike campers. The one common statement from them is to pack for the trip. Now go back and take 40% of it off and you are ready to go.
Seems tent discussions are like oil discussions. What fits you may(not) fit someone else.
In North Georgia, there is a guy named Wompus that makes custom luggage racks. You can do a (Google) search and see some of his handy work. He doesn't currently (last I spoke to him) make racks for this bike, but his racks would work well for oversize packing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
@flytrap - Sorry about being wordy here...

A lot of how you pack, or more correctly what you have to pack, will depend on if you are thinking of tent camping on the trip or staying in motels. From your statements I will assume tent camping since you'll be bringing one along. Though there's nothing wrong with occasionally staying in a motel even if you do bring a tent along.

See my trip photos in my Flickr link in the signature below.

Think in terms of backpacking when camping on a bike. You want small but not really so concerned with the weight as backpackers would be. I have a Coleman MAX camp stove and cook set that I can pack into a single package. The stove and can of fuel fit into the quart pan with lid and that all is contained in a mesh stuff sack. The whole thing is about 4" diameter by about 7" long. The cook set and stove are mainly for boiling water. I can cook a lot of meals by just boiling water. Like oatmeal for breakfast, or Quinoa and chicken chunks for dinner. Very quick and easy to make. I don't usually pack much food. Maybe one or two backpacker meals, and I pack some sandwich sized ziplock bags with each serving of oatmeal or Quinoa, and some raisins and brown sugar since that's how I like my oatmeal. I bring enough water for the trip to the first campsite and buy any other food (like a can of chicken chunks or snacks and fruit) and water I'll need when I arrive at the local grocery. Most of my trips so far are a 5 hour ride or so and stay for 3-4 days riding around the area. So I stock up for those days. That way I don't have to carry it all on the bike while just going there. I have a soft side Polar Bear cooler (holds 12 cans plus 6# ice) and I bring it empty and folded flat and then fill it after I arrive on the site. Saves a bit more packing space. I have a small can of insect spray and sunscreen spray or paste. I also carry a folding camp saw... not a hatchet as those are useless. A good hunting knife and the saw are much better. I have a small hammer for the tent stakes (sometimes it takes a hammer to pull them out of hard ground and it doubles as my percussive alignment tool for the bike :D )(not the plastic garbage you can buy but a real hammer, just smaller than normal). I also bring along a 15ft outdoor power cord just in case. My electronics are limited to my Nexus 7 tablet and smartphone, a very small camp lantern and NOAA weather radio, and extra batteries for what's not rechargeable. My tablet is WiFi only and many camp grounds have it available for campers. If not my smartphone does allow being used as a WiFi hotspot so I can still use the tablet, I just end up using a little of the data plan. I don't do much other than post a photo or two during a camping trip since that's what I'm there for so it works out really well. My smartphone is my camera also (multi use). Both devices use the same charging connector/cord/12v adapter (so I only need one) and I can charge everything on the bike with the 12v socket in my right saddlebag while riding around during the day. I also have a charging brick about the size of my smartphone but twice as thick that will charge both devices twice and also can be recharged on the bike. I also bring some extra rope/cord.

Now for the packing. I use a lot of small stuff sacks to hold "like" things together. These are easy to manage and contain in the saddlebags. I put anything related to cooking and food in my right saddlebag as well as my rain suit and riding gear liners. I put anything related to power or tent setup or bike emergency. That includes a tire patch kit, Slime mini air compressor, mc jumper cables, bike tool kit camp saw/knife, etc. This all doesn't sound like much in the saddlebags but it all fills them. I don't plan on stuffing the saddlebags since there's always something else along the way that you might want to put in there.

For the bulk of my "big" stuff I use dry bags. The kind where you roll down the top 3 times and pull the ends around to buckle and they keep all rain out. You want good ones. I've tried cheap Walmart dry bags and they don't work so well. I do have one older dry bag from Walmart that does still work well and another from Sea to Summit I got from a sports store. These have been through tornado weather with torrential rains and still kept the contents dry. I put my sleeping bag and clothes in one dry bag. I have a separate dry bag just made for my sleeping pad (a Thermarest base camp model, nice and thick). And I put the tent, ground cloth, tarp, tent/tarp poles, guy lines, stakes in their own dry bag. Each of these items have their own stuff sacks too for keeping them organized. I don't really need tent poles inside a dry bag though, and I will often leave the tarp poles out in the open since who cares if they get a little wet. I do bring along my small tail bag and just put the rain cover on it. I pack the dry bags and tent/tarp poles across the tail of the bike rather inline with the bike. Seems to fit better that way.

I use both bungee cords and web straps to hold it all on the tail of the bike. I'd like to add the luggage rack to improve on packing though and that is in the plans for next year. I find that I can use the web straps cinched down real tight for the first layer of the bigger dry bags and use the hooks from those to hook the bungee cords into. I found that when I did hit a few really big bumps the web strap hooks can come unhooked if I didn't do that. So the bungee cords help keep the web straps hooked. I then use more bungee cords over the second layer of smaller dry bag and cooler and tail pack. I even then put a bungee web over the tail pack to ensure the rain cover doesn't fly off. You can see it all in my Flickr photos albums for the two trips I took this summer. Want to take more trips next season.

Oh, a tip: I use a sheet of Tyvek house wrap cut to size (just less than the tent floor size) for a ground cloth. It breathes and yet keeps water out from under the bottom of the tent and folds up really small. Got some left over pieces for free from some builders at a new apartment project in the neighborhood.

Oh, and tip 2: I have a packing list document that I keep listing EVERYTHING I pack on the bike and where for any camping trip, even what's in my pockets. After every trip I take note of anything I found that I didn't need to bring and edit the list. The list used to be a lot longer than it is since I just threw in everything I thought to bring. I found I really didn't need half the stuff I brought. Even when I was pulling my camper I am now packing that much lighter than I did at first. This goes along with the idea of gathering everything you think you need and then leaving out much of that stuff as not really needed. I know of some ST riders who eat out at restaurants for every meal, even breakfast, and don't bring anything for cooking, even to make morning coffee! They also seem to pack everything in the saddlebags and top case and have extra room in those.They just bring their tent, sleeping bag, and clothes and that's it.

Tip 3: For clothes. Pack light. You don't need a pair of pants for every day. One pair of jeans. If in summer bring a swim suit instead of shorts and use those even if you don't swim to save space. regardless how long the trip is I only bring enough underwear, socks, shirts for 3-4 days at most since there is always a place to wash in a camp ground, even in the sink of the bathhouse or at the water pipe at the camp site. You don't need coats or jackets since you really should be wearing riding gear to ride and that is good enough for any reason you would need to stay warm. My riding boots and flip flops are all I need for footwear. Again, saving space and multi use of as much as possible to keep the pack smaller.

Tip 4: At night have a campfire if it's allowed. The smoke from the fire will keep many of the bugs away and it sets a good mood when you're with friends to tell stories of your better than imagined exploits while riding that day. :)

-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Bob,

That is a goldmine of info. Have you every tried those single person tents? I have one that holds two people but the one person backpacker tents now available are super small and weigh almost nothing.

Jim
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
Yes, I tried one before buying my 2 person outfitter type tent. The one person was about the same as a sleeping bag with a canopy over it. Couldn't even sit up in the thing. I set it up in my living room and just knew "no way" this thing would work and returned it the very next day after buying it. I do recommend a two person tent for just you alone. At least a three person, or maybe even 4 person, tent for two people. Mine has 2 vestibules to hold lots of gear but there is always some stuff you want with you inside the tent. I no longer bring any food or drink inside the tent to keep out bugs and critters. I keep it under the tarp as you may see in some of my camping photos.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top