Only 3 more days until I embark on a much anticipated motorcycle/van road trip that goes into parts of Canada and of the east coast US. Leaving for a month can be stressful, and nerve wrecking, if you let it. Packing for a month can also give some people a headache. Whether it was hopping in van with 4-5 other dudes for a few weeks, or going on a solo motorcycle trip, I’ve learned to pack as light and efficient as possible over the years.
As Harry Dunne once told Lloyd Christmas, “just get the bare essentials.” This is a really good quote to live by when packing for a long road trip, or even just a overnighter, or week. If you’re leaving for a week, pack for 2-3 days. If you’re going to be out for a month, pack for a week. Pertaining to clothing, you can always find a laundromat, or do laundry at a friend/family’s place. Most likely you’ll be wearing the same clothes for days at a time anyway(you’ll get used to it).
As far as other toiletries/necessities go, I usually hit the travel bins at your local pharmacy or Walmart. Travel size liquid soaps(cheaper and less messy than bar soap), shampoos, deodorant, sunscreen, and dental hygiene items will be your best friends, and the space you save is detrimental. I’ll keep all the aforementioned items in a small separate pouch type travel bag, in a easy to get to location. When I’m on my motorcycle, it tends to stay at the top of everything else in my backpack. You’ll probably end up using it more than you think. Another thing that comes extremely handy is wet/clean wipes, especially when camping. They are a god send!
When it comes to camping gear, I really love that it’s 2018 and the technology we have for light weight items these days. I couldn’t imagine camping on a motorcycle with a not so compact, and heavy tent, let alone all the other things that have to come along to survive. Mostly all of my good camping gear comes various companies you can find at REI. Even they make great quality and efficient gear that is travel friendly. The tent Ive been using the last year or so is the REI 2 person half dome tent. It’s lightweight, compact, reliable, and durable. Everything you need and want while on the road from your gear.
This trip is a bit different from all my recent motorcycle trips in the past few years. It’s going to be a mix of the days when I would cram in a sweaty van, and my modern day choice of travel on two wheels. Though I’ll have a van and a lot more space, I’m not packing or bringing along anything I can’t fit in a backpack and on my bike since I’ll be doing a little bit of both in the duration of it. Stay peeled for more updates in the coming days/weeks.
– Sean Reilly / 30on2