Motorcycle Roadtrip Packing Pt. 1

Or to pack for a 2 week motorcycle trip cross country and still look fashionable.

I can’t tell you how other people do it, and I can’t tell you how you should do it. But if I can give you some tips to lead you there, then hopefully I’ve helped you. Because when I realized that we both needed to live out of  tiny bag (relatively speaking) for 2 weeks, I was pretty sure it couldn’t be done.

First I scoured the internet for motorcycle packing tips– but most of them were geared toward men. I did get some tips from a hardy gentlemen whose blog I can’t remember, but who had some pretty sage advice about telling his lady not to pack full-sized beauty products.  I’m pretty sure this biker did not have a wife who said she was going to take her cowboy hat to Nashville come hell or high water.

When the biker tips didn’t pan out, and mostly because they were advising me on tools and not shoes, I decided to look outside the box.  It was then that I thought of backpacking! Specifically backpacking through Europe. Typing that into Pinterest, yields millions of results. Perfect! This is what I learned and tweaked for a motorcycle trip:

  1. Pack clothes in the same color family. A lot of bikes/backpackers advised darker colors because it hid dirt.  Plus, we were able to throw everything to wash in one load.
  2. Only pack items that played well with each other. Meaning, every item was thoughtfully selected and could pair well with any top or bottom. No random fancy dresses you could only wear once.
  3. No random fancy dresses– You’re a biker! Where are you going to wear a fancy dress too?
  4.  I pared the essentials down to this:
    • 2 pairs of jeans (1 to ride in, 1 to wear when we stopped for the day)
    • 1 t-shirt, 1 long-sleeved shirt, 1 tank top
    • 1 Pendleton wool shirt
    • 1 pair of shorts
    • 1 bathing suit
    • 1 nightgown (took up less room than a 2 set of pajama’s)
    • 2 bras
    • 3 pairs of quick dry under wear. I recommend the ExOfficio brand I got from REI. 1 was washing, 1 was wearing and 1 was a spare if we got lazy.
    • 1 pair of good wool socks.
    • Leather jacket
    • Denim vest
    • boots to ride in
    • Sneakers
    • And of course, my trusty cowboy hat. How could I go to Nashville without it?

For any trip, I think it’s best if you some sort of  idea of where your going and what type of activities you plan to do. Most over packers have clothing FOMO. Telling themselves, “what if I want to go to a ball? What if I need to go sky diving? What if I need my 6 inch red heels?”  Chances are you will never need any of those things. And it’s almost liberating to only have 5 pieces of clothing to choose from. I’m surprised at the variety of outfits I pulled together!



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