I find there are three sides to the concept of camping while traveling on a bike.
- Stealth Camping: Living temporarily in a location, usually for recreation, in a covert or secretive fashion. Stealth camping is also referred to as wild camping, ninja camping, or free camping. (source: stealthcamping.com)
- Tent Camping: Enjoying the great outdoors living in a tent usually in some sort of park or campground
- No way tent camping: Enjoy riding a bike from hotel/motel to hotel/motel
Cheryl and I are mostly #2 and #3. Our theory about riding and camping/tenting is this…..If it’s not raining when we stop for the day and we are not too tired, we camp. Our definition of camping can be setting up our tent or staying in a cabin. We usually don’t mind if it rains on us after we get camp set up but truly dislike breaking down wet gear and having to pack it. If it’s raining, we are tired we might still cabin it or hotel/motel.
When we travel it’s a holiday for us. We do not feel pressure from the ADV gang to do anything we really do not want to do. I know and have heard some conversations between ADV riders that if you do not stealth camp you are really not an adventurer. There can be a lot of judgement out there regarding who is defined as a true ADV rider.
We think everyday you ride, no matter where it can be defined as an ADV. No matter what bike, size, destination…being on two wheels is MUCH better than 4 and the smell of the outdoors, the feel of the sun, rain, dirt on your face is adventurous in itself. Having said all that I have to be honest, riding a cruiser on the pavement for thousands of KM’s seems a bit one-dimensional and perhaps a little boring but hey this post is about not passing judgements rather encouraging all who ride to vary their accommodations. ;-)
Presently, we use a BIG AGNES Gore Pass 3 Tent. BA no longer makes our tent but we got it to be a true 3 season tent, more floor square footage, big vestibule and inside height. If we are going to be in a tent neither one of us want to feel too cramped, need room for gear and a vestibule that we can actually use to stay dry or for privacy.
We always bring camping gear, pots and pans, cooking tools, stove etc. Most of the time we camp in secure areas but we like it that way. Sometimes we cook out, sometimes we just stop for food before we stop for the day. We may bring food to the site as well. In any case, we do LOVE camping when we both feel it. If we need a break, a nice air-conditioned or heated hotel does the trick as well. ;-)
Now, while talking about tenting, some swear that the Series II Expedition Tent makes life all that much easier when tenting. Made by REDVERZ sure looks tempting. Other than the 13 lb packed weight which might deter many riders (NOT US), this seems almost ideal to use at the end of a long day.
So, this tent looks impressive but is there enough room for two people inside to really justify the expense over $400 and enjoy the size? Not sure. Our tent has a floor diagram similar to the next picture. This is the Copper Spur floor plan but very similar to our Gore Pass 3 tent.
No matter what you choose to have a roof over your head when traveling it’s all good. But everyone who rides should bring a tent as a back up just in case you can’t make it to a campground or hotel. Bikes have a funny way of breaking down at the most inopportune times.
Knowing how to set up your tent and use before going away is a good idea. Practice setting up even if you never plan on using your tent. For those who only use hotels or cabins again, traveling with a tent is probably in your best interest for those just in case moments. A recommendation we are making for when you travel roads like this
You at least know you would have a place to sleep if the road never ended. I guess the point of this post is enjoying the outdoors could include camping or for some just riding a bike does it all. For us, we vary our places to sleep to add to our trips. We often embrace what weather and conditions are thrown at us when on our bikes. Knowing that while taking a trip we have many options where to stay, how much money we want to spend and when, makes our trips unpredictable and that much fun. Cheryl and I both agree to not over planning any trip we take because there is a part of us that likes to figure things out on the fly. No matter what you do when riding remember this. “Life is so much better on two wheels”.
If you make it to the end of this post, would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and what do you choose for yourself…camping, hotel, both etc……? Crap! My own post is making me CRAVE the road less traveled. I think I just depressed myself. ;-)
One last thing…camping can also invite guests that are less than wanted…. ;-)