On the advice of a friend I stopped by REI yesterday to get some gear for my cross country motorcycle trip this July. Motorcycle camping is a lot like back country camping; you need to pack light and small.
REI has a heavily promoted annual sale. Don't expect to save a ton of money over online retailers but you will get the benefit of seeing, touching, feeling before dropping a C note on a sleeping bag.
Case in point, I walked into REI with the goal of purchasing the cheapest best sleeping bag I could find that would allow me to sleep through the night in Glacier National Park in July. After consulting with the shaved headed goatee'd salesman I bought the North Face Cat's Meow sleeping bag for $121. That's a pretty decent price but not cheaper than you can find online.
I'm not complaining though, the price was good and the sales guy helped me out a lot.
As I will be camping most nights of my 3+ week journey I thought I'd go ahead and get everything I need now at REI instead of little by little over the next month and a half. That may have been a mistake, we'll see.
Here's what I got (click links if you care enough to see the brand and model):
- Camping pillow
- LED lantern
- Dorky head lamp LED thing
- a couple water resistance ditty bags
- Sleeping bag (see above)
- sleeping pad
- Spare gas can for those long stretches of road
- quick dry Sham-Wow type camping towel
Now all that's left is rigging the bike for travel. I need to figure out a way to attach my large bag to the rear fender and saddle bag brackets. Then there is the power plug which I need to charge my cell phone and gps.
I got the North Face duffel from eBags for $130. It's huge so it should hold all the gear I need. I got the white one thinking any extra visibility would help. I plan to add some retro tape to the back and sides as well.