Motorcycle Packing Tips: Must Haves For Long Distance Rides
I have dated Lin now for over 6 years and he loves BMW motorcycle adventures. This was a bit nerve wrecking for me at first but only because of the size of my bag that I am allowed to pack in. Talk about anxiety. I mean this could have easily been a major deal breaker. Our first long distance ride was a disaster from a packing standpoint. I had no idea what I was doing.I even made the mistake of choosing fashion over comfort. This has been such a long trial and error process for me but now I can tell you that I have aced it! Our last trip in September all through Colorado was seriously a breeze. When taking a motorcycle journey, you need to pack efficiently. It will add to the overall experience and an experience that you could absolutely love. I ONLY want to travel on the back of a BMW motorcycle now.
My packing essentials were perfect and there was zero stress with anything related to that process. I had EVERY single thing that I needed and used everything that I brought. You all have been asking for my packing secret for a while now so I am super excited and over the moon to share it with you. I feel it will be good for everyone too, even if you do not plan on taking a moto adventure anytime soon. This can also easily adapt to a small carry on really for the airport or a car.
Before we start with your packing essential checklist, you will first need the right bags. You will not be unpacking your stuff each night like you would if you were staying in a hotel the whole week. You might be in the same location for more then one night but if you are traveling the way we love to travel, you will be moving to a new location everyday. Not only is there hardly any time for unpacking and repacking, but you will be so beat, you really will not want to waste the time or stress doing that. The only thing on my mind after a 6-hour ride is a hot bath and a nice meal in a new town. So your stuff needs to be packed neatly, and in a manner that allows you to get what you need without rifling through your whole pack. I even keep my P.J.'s and toiletries at the very top of the pack so I can just grab those if we get in late and are just leaving first thing in the morning. And the best solution is..(Drum roll please)
Hefty® Slider Bags - Oui, indeed. You can purchase these from Wal-Mart.
I personally love the gallon size storage sliders for clothes but the quart size work great for the toiletries. Hefty® Slider Bags cost less than Ziploc® Slider Bags, when comparing the same type of bag (freezer/storage) and size (quart/gallon) of the closest price point too. They are perfect for my moto packing adventures but also so great for my kitchen pantry. I have been making these on-the-go fruit cups in them and they work perfectly. I will post that little recipe to the blog soon. The Slider Bags allow you to see what's inside easily but the real beauty in them is that they allow me to utilize the most space possible in my tiny 10x12x18x moto pack. And that's for three weeks usually. I know, I know. Don't pass out just yet. Stay with me girlinas. This is why the Hefty® Slider Bags are critical. TRUST ME! The bags also keep things dry should you find yourself in a storm when you are unloading the bike with no cover. Plus you would hate for your toiletries to leak out onto your clothes and these amazing bags have a strong seal when shaken, dropped or stacked, thanks to the patented Max Lock Track Design, so you are super protected! I am so "a better to be safe then sorry girl" myself!
So...neatly fold each item and place each item in the Slider Bag, then zip the bag almost closed, then sit on the bag until all the air inside vanishes. Seriously drop it like it's hot ladies. Get a squat workout in. Multi-task. Your booty acts as a press letting all the extraneous air back into the environment. Slide the bag completely closed, and you should now have a very flat compressed bag of stuff. Now you have created needed space. Needed space allows for more essentials making you smile.
Now for your Must Have Essential Checklist: (please note there are things you need just for the bike like oil, cloths, helmet cleaner and so on but this post is just for your carry on ladies) I will also write a future post on my recommendations for your actual riding clothes. I have tested so many out and now have the perfect pair of riding pants, protective boots, jacket, gloves, and helmet. Always feel free to reach out in the comments too if you have a trip coming up quickly. Happy to assist!
1. The obvious – ID, cash, credit card, insurance & roadside assistance info, phone/camera/charger, (and I have the best organizer for all the cords that I recently found), maps/directions, sunglasses, lip moisturizer, (the wind will kill your lips) several pony tail holders, a wide headband or I love a turban, and ear plugs. (pack some band-aids too...if your riding boots are new, you might get a few blisters from breaking them in.The head band and ponytails are to keep your hair from slapping you in the face and getting all tangled. Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to do some laundry. If so, consider packing your own powdered laundry detergent in your slider bags or taking small sample sizes which will be cheaper than buying detergent on-site. (get a roll of quarters before departing too)
2. Clothing – take 1 extra pair of pants or leggings, 2 or 3 changes of shirts or jersey tunic dresses which are my favorite because they compress nicely and do not wrinkle.(consider layering them & switching up the layers on different days), socks can be worn 2 days each, change underwear daily, something to sleep in, and a jacket for around town. I love bringing a fashionable leather that folds up small. Remember 3 thin shirts are warmer, lighter, and more flexible than 1 thick hooded sweatshirt. In cool summer temps, a fleece vest or pullover keeps you “warm” without making you “hot” and is easy to layer. Your rain jacket (kept in the saddlebag) can be your go-to jacket for nighttime rides and whenever temperatures drop a bit. In the winter, pack an extra fleece jacket as well as warm gloves and a scarf.
3. Shoes & Accessories- For Summer, I always pack a gladiator sandal and in the fall and winter, I always pack a pair of boots. I pack those at the bottom and actually stuff the part where my feet would be with stuff to maximize space. You will only want to wear your riding boots to ride. I do pack some feel good accessories. You guys..I am a glam girl and I have to have something that makes me feel good for a dinner out on the town. They take up very little room and I enjoy them. So do what makes you feel good too.
4. Toiletries (hotels have shampoo & soap) – toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, comb/brush, nail clippers and file, lotion for dry skin, facial wipes, rosewater mist to hydrate the skin, perfume, and I carry along my curling iron. It's just my one item I refuse to live without. And of course add any cosmetic items you will need. You might have those in your cross-body purse too which will also save space in your pack. (I adore the Tocca perfume and lip gloss sticks because they are so versatile) I also pack a mini candle. (highly recommend the CandleFish mini's) In smaller towns, the hotel selection is not grand and the room can sometimes have a musty smell.
5. Prescription meds/vitamins – anything you regularly take, as well as a couple of ibuprofen and cold tablets just in case (I toss a few ibuprofen and cold tabs into my regular pill bottle, rather than taking separate bottles/packages of meds on the trip.) Your neck and back could feel a little tight too on a windy ride. I also take some melatonin to help me sleep. Sometimes if we are staying in a louder hotel off the freeway, I need a little help.
6. Extra bags –Pack along extra Hefty® Slider Bags and 1 large garbage bag for dirty laundry
7. Planner, journal, & macbook- If you are a blogger like myself, I never go anywhere without a journal, even if it is a smaller notepad. I also love this mini planner to keep things organized for my clients, and of course I do not leave anywhere without my macbook.
And there you have it traveling gypset babes! I really hope this was a huge help.
And I have a great Ibotta offer for you to take advantage on for your Hefty® Slider Bags to make your travels that much easier. And you will have more dough for some roadside souvenirs. (well if they are incredibly compact, ha)
Plus the Slider Bags can be used in so many different ways.
What special tips do you have when packing for a moto adventure?!