What’s In All Those Bags?

Here is a detailed list of what I packed for my all-season US motorcycle trip (since I get asked a lot). This list will change depending on where I go.

Obviously, this list won’t work for everyone, but hopefully, it will give you an idea of what you might need!


motorcycle camping

My tent was $20 and from Walmart! 


Riding Gear

  • Doc Marten boots (I use them for hiking too!).
  • ICON “chainbrain” helmet (because it looked cool, and glows in the dark).
  • Cowhide leather jacket (with armour).
  • Leg armour.
  • Down jacket.
  • Blackjack heated vest.
  • Leather gloves.
  • Neck warmer.
  • Balaclava. 


Motorcycle Stuff

  • 40 L magnetic tank bag by Cargo Endurance.
  • Overboard! Yellow waterproof duffel bag.
  • Cargo net and bungee cords.
  • Motocentric sport saddlebags.
  • Plush cardinal (stuffed in the windshield, lol).
  • Paper and Marker (for writing directions to put in tank bag’s clear pocket).
  • Mini WD40.
  • Multitool.
  • Mini chain lube.
  • Disc lock with alarm.
  • Stock tool kit.
  • Waterless car wash.
  • Motorcycle cover.
  • Spare keys.
  • Tire pressure gauge.
  • Kickstand pad.





  • iPhone 5s unlocked (mostly used as a GPS).
  • iPhone 4s unlocked (spare phone.. shhh).
  • LifeProof case.
  • Flash drives.
  • Portable battery charger.
  • Nikon p7000 (advanced “point and shoot” camera).
  • Sony earphones (that always survive the washing machine).
  • 13-inch Macbook Air SSD (used).
  • Kindle.
  • Mini portable speaker.
  • Collapsable headphones.
  • Headphone splitter.
  • 1TB WD external hard drive.
  • iPhone chargers.
  • Battery Tender USB Charger.



  • Flip flops.
  • Sandals.
  • Blouse.
  • Dress.
  • Pants & shirts.
  • Swimming clothes.
  • Unmentionables (which I basically just mentioned).
  • Socks.
  • Hoodie.
  • Chain.
  • Hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Bandanas.
  • Extra shoelaces.


kids motorcycle travel

One of them kept asking if I had a boyfriend.



  • Small mirror.
  • Jewellery.
  • Make up.
  • Nail polish.
  • Razors/shaving gel.
  • Tiny hair brush.
  • Red contact lenses.
  • Dry shampoo.
  • Baby powder.
  • Perfume.
  • Lotion.
  • Basic toiletries.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Tiny towel.
  • Diva cup.
  • Deodorant.
  • 100 SPF Sunscreen.
  • Ear plugs.
  • Eye mask.


Camping Gear

  • 150L Flashlight.
  • Walmart junior dome tent.
  • Sleeping pad.
  • North face -18C sleeping bag.
  • Bug spray (doesn’t seem to work on me!).


motorcycle travel

Cardinal, my motorcycle, fully loaded.


Health & Safety

  • Water flavour enhancer (so I drink more water).
  • 3 days worth of food (mostly tuna and bread).
  • 750 ml water bottle.
  • Dog spray” (not for use on dogs).
  • Assorted knives.
  • Other self-defence items.
  • Fox 40 whistle.
  • Caffeine pills.
  • Vitamins & supplements.
  • First aid kit.
  • Naproxen and Advil.
  • Emergency blanket (the ones that look like tinfoil).
  • Medical tape.
  • Can opener.
  • Tea tree oil.
  • Locker lock (for hostels?).



  • Envelopes and cards.
  • Passport and all other important documents.
  • Cards and cheques.
  • Tiny scissors.
  • Goop and crazy glue.
  • Zip ties.
  • Ziplock and garbage bags.
  • Boot polish.
  • Sewing kit.
  • Wire cutters (long story).
  • Lighter.
  • Gorilla tape.
  • Sketchbook & colour pencils.
  • Spare batteries.
  • Road atlas.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Mini calendar.
  • Canadian flag (eh!?).
  • Rubber gloves.


stripper heels biker chick

Yes, that’s me. No, I don’t ride with those!


Items I Did Not Use

  • Rainsuit (I’d rather get wet?).
  • Road atlas (I used my phone instead).
  • Battery tender trickle charger (um… who the hell told me to pack this?).
  • Dark face shield (They make me feel claustrophobic).
  • 6-inch heels (stop laughing!).
  • Curling iron (It looked so small at first…).
  • Stove (like I have time to cook?).


Packing Tips For YOU

  • Use assorted ziplock bags to organize and waterproof your belongings.
  • If you find yourself not using something, just ship it home or dump it.
  • If you’re not sure if you need something, just buy it along the way instead of bringing it (better to under-pack than overpack).
  • Read several “what to pack” articles to get some ideas, and tailor it to fit YOU.
  • Black garbage bags (and bags) are always somehow very useful. Just bring a couple.
  • You don’t need more than 3 outfits. This is coming from a fashion-conscious woman who started out with 8 of them *blush*.
  • If you’re not going anywhere remote, you do *not * need a gazillion survival items.
  • Make sure everything is as small as possible. Make everything mini, even cut things in half. Get creative!
  • Buy more expensive items used on Craigslist or Kijiji (I did this for almost everything, especially electronics).
  • Amazon is pretty amazing for quick and cheap shopping (even for used items).



A cheesy stock image.


There are a few items on my list which you don’t usually find on a typical motorcycle traveller’s packing list (make up, baby powder, )… however, they are items I use very frequently, therefore they have much more value to me than some others.

You may pack items that you don’t technically need, but bring anyways, because you can’t do without them? We all may have slightly different views of what we deem necessities.  For example, I don’t consider a pillow or a rain suit a necessity.


What is the most important item you would use on your trip?




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