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I'm still continuing my research on how to camp cross country for two weeks and now comes the carry question.



If you are going to be camping in June for 2 weeks what do you bring. A list of needs. Also two people not one.



For some reason I cant wrap my head around what's really needed. Most likely a tent and blanket but what else. Probably buy food along the way with intentions not to actually cook.



I saw a video once of a guy who had what seemed to be everything just short of the kitchen sink on his bike but it was really packed down. And I know I can't or shouldn't carry all that crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I found this list. Looks basic.







Basic items you're likely to need include:



* Cooking tools

* Ground cloth

* First aid kit

* Flashlight

* Food and water

* Matches

* Pocketknife

* Sleeping bag

* Sleeping pad

* Sunscreen

* Rain poncho and/or rain suit

* Tent

* Toiletries

* Weather radio
 

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A change of clothes fitting the climate. Insect repellent. Swim trunks. Soap and towel. Toothbrush. Clean undies. Rain gear. Flashlight. Water. Lighter. Snacks. Camera etc.



I try to bring only what I will actually need, but always pack way too much... "I might need this and that"... but if you don't need it in an average day at home or on a day trip you probably wont need it while on a longer trip. My last trip I used about 1/4 of the stuff I brought.



I took a three month motorcycle trip years ago and all I had with me was an army poncho, a sleeping bag, a lighter, a bar of soap, a toothbrush and the clothes on my back. I would pick food along the way (literally) and eat it and sometimes eat at a small local cafe. Then pull off the road at a likely spot around sleepy time and snuggle down into my bag. If it was raining on me I would roll up in the poncho. I would find a secluded spot at a stream or lake and wash me and my clothes when needed, and proceed when dry. Lots of memorable moments.



When camping now I use a tent and a camp mattress, the kind that self inflates. Trouble sleeping on cold hard ground now that I am older. I also carry a small camp stove and a metal cup so I can brew a spot of tea or heat up some mashed potatoes (my favorite)

 

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And a cheap pair of flip-flops for the campground showers. You never know.




I'll second the flip-flops, some showers Don & I encountered on our trip to Alaska/Canada were nice but others, you would definately want FFs. Several times we found campgrounds that were operated by the small town and they were usually pretty good. We did not cook, Don was concerned about bears so we had little food with us, just energy bars, stuff like that. We never left any wrappers close to our camp site.

Gene
 

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I would think you have seen lots of ugly showers in the many campgrounds on your long trip Gene. Don't know where BS plans to travel, but if its in bear country, food storage is a topic. I put what little I carry in a sealable tupperware type box and leave it on the table or hung in a tree. Don't really want a bear opening my sidecases or topbox or coming into the tent. Bear spray is a good idea, but in your area a handgun would be far more efficient, and works on human animals too.
 

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One little item I am always careful to take in addition to your basic list is a small plastic bowl that is the largest size that can fit in the pannier or bag. this is excellant for washing dishes, washing hands, & hand washing clothes. In the event of mechanical trouble, when plastic lined becomes a drip tray/oil change pan etc. Put a towel on top of it and its a damn good footstool also


another item I try to take when poss is a small piece of steel sheet, 16 or 18 gauge, about 4inx4in with a small magnet. then if I have to do any roadside repairs I have a magnetic base to put all nuts/bolts/washers on so I dont lose anything, particularly as if thats going to happen, it does so in the rain at night!
 

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I would think you have seen lots of ugly showers in the many campgrounds on your long trip Gene. Don't know where BS plans to travel, but if its in bear country, food storage is a topic. I put what little I carry in a sealable tupperware type box and leave it on the table or hung in a tree. Don't really want a bear opening my sidecases or topbox or coming into the tent. Bear spray is a good idea, but in your area a handgun would be far more efficient, and works on human animals too.




Gopher, the handgun was an idea but never very serious. Your border folks are very serious about guns so we decided bear spray and a very loud air horn (type used by boaters) would be our bear defense. As I said we hever saw a bear and had no trouble anywhere.

Gene
 

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Don, as you are finding, there is plenty of room for lots of stuff if you are solo. Bringing Melody along makes it much harder especially since you don't have a big touring motorcycle. I think I've seen a posting from you about a trailer? If you have a trailer coming that should help a whole lot.



One thing you have to decide is if you plan on doing laundry and how often. I assume since you are talking about two weeks there will be a few laundry days. One trick that I just learned a few years ago but I wish I knew about decades ago is to put one day's amount of a change of clothes in gallon zip-lock bags. You roll up a t-shirt, socks, underwear and roll each item as tight as you can, stuff it all in a bag, push out as much air as possible as you zip it up. You need a bag for as many days you plan to travel between laundry days. The zip lock bags pack away much easier than loose clothing and saves tons of room and makes it all very easy to find. Using this method I don't need to plan a laundry day for a week long trip because I can pack enough for 9 days. Of course, since I'm a biker I don't try to pack a clean pair of pants for each day. A pair of jeans should last at least three days, IMO. Otherwise you will quickly run out of room.



When you take today's clean clothes out of a bag you put yesterday's dirty clothes back in. Mark it "dirty" with a marker. Last summer I didn't pay attention and accidently put a previous day's dirty clothes on (yuck!).



Otherwise, think backpacking gear and keep it all light and small.
 

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Dave W has a list on one of his webpages. You should have that in the sticky section.

With the glut of walmarts and similar stores; I'd think to take only neccessities. If you tear a pair of pants you can by a needle and thread later and repair them or pick up another pair for $10.



WayneDW has some great ideas.



Leave the tux at home also. Blue jeans are accepted almost anywhere.



The quality of the raingear and other items would be something to consider.
 

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The saddlebags have a tendency to leak after many years, unlike when they were new and sealed well.



Wayne, that's a great idea about using gallon zip lock bags with a day's clothing in each. It's no fun to reach for a new day's clothes and find they are all wet from a heavy downpour the day before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wayne,

Those are some great ideas.

Yes there is a trailer in the works. I just got done wiring extra rear lights on it so I actually see the turn signals.



It's a harbor freight trailer scaled down. It has a 27x38 bed and the fenders stick out 6 inches each side. So a total of 39 inches. If there weren't some holes in the right spot then it would have been a bit smaller. In total it weighs 115 pound. And I still have to fab up an acceptable gooseneck for it. I got this temporary mess but it does the job.







The plan is to go from Milwaukee to Mount Rushmore to Denver and back. If time allows. There will be a second route planned up in case it's to much or the weather says no. It's 2500 miles the direct route. If we have the actual 14-16 days to do it then it will be under 200 miles a day. I'm sure the first few days will be longer riding so the 3rd or 4th can be spent around mount rushmore.



And yes jeans are the way to go and yes 3 days usually. We figure if we can make it around the Denver area we can do laundry there at our friends. If we were going without the trailer we figured as much stuff as we learned we didn't need we would mail back to ourselves.
 

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When on a long trip I like to use bicycling shorts (with the chamois) for underwear. I can wear these under my armored pants or jeans. they don't get bunched up and have flat seams. The chamois helps prevent "monkey butt".



Carhart jeans seem to have a bit more room in the crotch than wranglers or Levis, which is a good thing when in the saddle for hours at a time.



I agree the flip flops are a good idea, I use an old pair of boat shoes when camping.
 

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Blindstitch, until I noticed your comment about daily mileage I had never figured mine & Don's average daily mileage on our trip in 2008 to Alaska and back across Canada. I got in trouble for saying northern Canada since there are not roads up there, what I meant was we stayed away from the border when we could. Anyway we were on the road for a total of 76 days and the ST indicated we covered 15,256 miles, simple math, I just never did it! It comes out to 200.7 miles a day. Obviously, there were longer mileage days but I don't recall too many that went over 300. We had a few days with no mileage but only about 3 or 4 total. We went through the badlands and Mt. Rushmore area, I wanted Don to see the Presidents! This was the second week of June and in the Badlands, before we reached Wall, SD we ran into rain, sleet and snow! Next time that happened we were in Alaska going to Valdez!

Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Blindstitch, until I noticed your comment about daily mileage I had never figured mine & Don's average daily mileage on our trip in 2008 to Alaska and back across Canada. I got in trouble for saying northern Canada since there are not roads up there, what I meant was we stayed away from the border when we could. Anyway we were on the road for a total of 76 days and the ST indicated we covered 15,256 miles, simple math, I just never did it! It comes out to 200.7 miles a day. Obviously, there were longer mileage days but I don't recall too many that went over 300. We had a few days with no mileage but only about 3 or 4 total. We went through the badlands and Mt. Rushmore area, I wanted Don to see the Presidents! This was the second week of June and in the Badlands, before we reached Wall, SD we ran into rain, sleet and snow! Next time that happened we were in Alaska going to Valdez!

Gene
Wow. Rain, sleet, and snow. But really 76 days of vacation. God I need to retire one of these days. I got a thing in the mail from work and I will be eligible to retire in 2045. That's a long ass time.
 

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Don,



Come visit me again and I can go through some things for you to think about and consider.



Also, if you wish, I can lend you some stuff to "try" on your first big trip and if you like it you can buy your own similar equipment. If you don't like it you won't have expended any money.



Remember I camped for 10 years before I ever owned a trailer, so I know how to camp with smaller equipment. Also, I have a choice of several stoves, lamps and flashlights.



I might even lend you my compact (it really is) 4 man tent for your first trip. It really is nice to have some extra room ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dave it may be a while since Melody wants to go to the zoo on saturday and due to the paving or attempted paving of my parking lot my bike is locked in the neighbors garage with a 2 foot drop in front of it. Going to need a ramp just to get it out.



I have been drawing up new dimensions on another trailer hitch and finding the best way around that.



I'll probably finish the first one mounting saddlebag brackets on it if I cant modify it to my needs. Nothing wrong with having two hitches if I can bend up the metal.
 

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Dave it may be a while since Melody wants to go to the zoo on saturday and due to the paving or attempted paving of my parking lot my bike is locked in the neighbors garage with a 2 foot drop in front of it. Going to need a ramp just to get it out.



I have been drawing up new dimensions on another trailer hitch and finding the best way around that.



I'll probably finish the first one mounting saddlebag brackets on it if I cant modify it to my needs. Nothing wrong with having two hitches if I can bend up the metal.


Don,



I don't think you are going camping before spring anyway ... so there is no rush on my end.
 
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