Packing For Weekend Adventure: What’s In My Panniers?

For those new to adventure motorcycling and particularly moto-camping, one of the first questions they inevitably ask is, "what do I pack?". While some of us may pack light, and others pack everything under their roof, the challenge is to find just the right balance. Do you really need that 750ml bottle of whiskey? No. Do you really want it, though? Rhetorical question. Afterall, the whiskey certainly tastes better after all that work. Before going into what's in my kit and why it works for me, it's best to take a simpler look at what should be considered essential to a moto-camping pack out.

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Northwest Upper Michigan, September 2021

Wednesday 9-15 / Grand Marais With over 4 hours in the saddle, I wasn’t overly enthused about leaving, which may have been part of the reason I delayed the whole trip. Eventually, I figured I could at the least make it a tolerable challenge. Maybe I could ride without stopping until the last minute for gas. After packing everything up in my drybag saddlebags (went soft vs hard bags just in case I dump it on a dirt road on…

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Northeast Upper Michigan, July 2019

The month of June was 30 days of impatience boiling over. I had my route planned through Sault Ste. Marie into Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, and as June neared it's end, so did my motivation. Wisconsin's weather had become a ridiculous exhibition of rain, and well into June I heard on the local news we had only two dry weekends for the year. The trip was planned at least a month prior, and the relentless rain was melting…

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