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On a Motorcycle, from the Saddle… to the Tent

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Instructions for camping by motorcycle

Some tips to avoid being found unprepared if you are aiming for camping by motorcycle.

Thanks to the contribution of Mitja Gustincic’s decades of experience –  in an unfailingly ironic tone – we list the pros and cons of sleeping in  a tent when you tackle a motorbike route. All this in the form of…  survival manual!
Slovenian journalist and motorcyclist Mitja Gustincic (MotoSI magazine),  an experienced two-wheeled traveller, gives us a few tips on how not to  be unprepared if you are planning to go camping on a motorbike.

As you can easily guess, adventurous motorcycling has a key  ingredient: adventure. However, at a certain point… the body has enough!
If the road trip is planned to last a week or more, effort and fatigue  are factors to be taken into account, without forgetting driving safely.
As far as I am concerned, 500 km is the maximum distance that can be  covered in a day: 250 in the morning and 250 in the afternoon. If you  then decide not to exceed 350/400 km, your physical and psychological  well-being will undoubtedly benefit.
After hours and hours sitting in the saddle, the body requires – as a minimum – a hot shower, a cold beer and a decent bed.

Spending the night in a tent – if the weather is dry enough – is a  different, unique and interesting experience; it makes you feel better,  more alive and in tune with your surroundings. But problems arise when  you wake up… mostly with pain almost everywhere!
Jokes aside… after ten years of camping experience, I have drawn up a  sort of “manual”, a list of rules and practical tips for surviving  adventure motorcycling in camping.

  1. First of all, if possible, opting for a hotel room or a B&B is  absolutely the best solution! You have to consider that at high  altitude, from the Alps to the Andes, the night could be very cold. In  the south or near the sea instead the temperature is milder, but often  followed by heavy air and humidity, which make breathing more difficult.
    I have my own ideas about camping. If possible, I prefer to place a  Brazilian style hammock between two trees. Why? Because back pain has  been a faithful companion of mine for some years now, and I find relief  by lying in a cotton hammock rather than in a tent. All you need is some  good quality rope and a pair of carabiners. Mosquitoes could ruin the  “bucolic” moment. You need to get a repellent with a pleasant smell.
  2. Next tip: it is essential to bring a folding chair. Mine has an  aluminium frame; I discovered it on my last trip to America. It attaches  easily to all GIVI aluminium suitcases, and opens in a few seconds. Why  should the motorcyclist sit on the grass, helmet or suitcases? The  chair is much more comfortable! And you can have lunch like a human  being. Ah yes, don’t forget to bring a couple of thermal water bottles,  one for tea, one for coffee. Excellent the stainless steel model of  GIVI, 500 ml.
  3. During the stay in the camping, I suggest to keep the motorbike  close to the tents, both for safety and practicality reasons: it’s  better to leave the valuables locked away.
  4. If you stay in a real campsite, the bathrooms are shared and using  them is inevitable. Especially during this period, it is advisable to  bring sanitizing and disinfectant wipes with you.
Travelling on two wheels in remote areas today is not easy and can be  risky, especially if you do not have years of experience behind you. On  the other hand, moving where there are less tourists can also be easier  and safer from some points of view.

To the visitors of GIVI EXPLORER, who like me love motorbikes and  camping, the task is to give “depth” to this short vademecum, adding  useful advice and telling their experiences in tents.