Packing for the long miles

By Miguel "Lobo" Oldenburg

I often get asked about the way I pack and what to bring for the long distance rides. This is an interesting topic that varies greatly with each rider, since we all have different needs, lifestyles, preferences, and things we can not live without.

I personally have a minimalist approach to packing the bike, and I am constantly researching for new smaller and practical gear. Good examples of this is my rain gear which I used to have a Motocentric two piece suit that not only was bulky but it didn't perform well on heavy downpours, so I upgraded it to a set of Rev'it two piece rain gear that packs in individual compression bags in half the space of my former suit, also super light and made with an impossible yellow that people can see from miles away amid the rain. The point is, in our motorcycle realm space is sacred and it's best practice to go small and compact without sacrificing performance. Little adaptations like packing slip on Vans shoes instead of full laced sneakers can save valuable space and weight in your cargo.

On my first rides I remember carrying stuff that I never used at all and being annoyed by these items every time I opened my bags, many of these things I throw away... like that old scout style collapsible cooking set, I used it once to make a burger and then realize dang! now I need to spend time cleaning dishes. So I started laying on the floor of my living room all I thought a wanted to bring out,  and then I forced myself to cut it in at least a third, this practice ended up giving me a sense of what I really needed on the road, which at the end is not much at all.

I ride cross country on a non-touring bike with no windshield and no saddlebags. My old Dyna Street Bob, which I call "La Loba" (Spanish for she-wolf) gets a small setup to hold my stuff. I mount a detachable passenger backrest to attach my bags to it and rest them on the seat facing me so I can use the luggage as back support. I use a Dry Bag that holds all my camping gear, a Main Bag (under 3000c/u) for my basics, and a Small Top bag for things I need to keep handy on the road. I also add a tool roll on the front forks and a down tubes bag that holds my bike locks. I installed a small battery cover pouch where I store my riding glasses.


I made a packing list, which is very useful for me every time I ride far. This list is the best way to keep tracking of my gear, and also the best way to illustrate the way I pack.

Here it is:

On the Bike (La Loba)

  • 1 luggage bag 2400cu/in
  • 1 secondary bag 900cu/in
  • 1 Wolfman large dry bag 
  • 1 saddle blanket
  • 1 air hawk seat cushion
  • 1 bike tools roll
  • 2 multitools
  • 4 bungie cords
  • 1 zip ties packet
  • 1 tire pressure gauge
  • 1 personal first aid kit
  • 1 fuel bottle with holster
  • 1 Ram X mount rig
  • USB power adapter


  • 1 light riding long sleeve
  • 1 flannel long sleeve shirt
  • 1 swimming shorts
  • 1 riding pants
  • 7 t-shirts shirts (I know it can be way less but changing my shirt daily is one of those things that makes me feel good, clean, and somewhat civilized)
  • 2 pair of calf long socks
  • 1 pair of ankle socks
  • 1 set of thermal underwear
  • 1 pair of compress underwear
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of riding boots
  • 1 belt
  • 1 hoodie
  • 1 riding leather jacket
  • 1 Motorwolf vest (get yours now!)
  • 1 pair of 3-season gloves
  • 1 pair of gaunlets
  • 1 riding sunglasses
  • 1 riding clear glasses
  • 1 full face helmet
  • 2 bandanas
  • 1 balaclava mask
  • 1 hat
  • 1 heated gear set
  • 1 beanie
  • 1 light sport short
  • A few plastic bags


  • 1 sunscreen
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 tooth paste
  • 1 small hair comb (brush)
  • 1 deodorant
  • 1 nail clipper
  • 1 soap + case
  • 1 small camp towel
  • 1 bugspray
  • 2 extra sets of contact lenses
  • 1 reading glasses
  • 1 small lenses solution
  • 1 contact lenses case
  • 1 medium stuffed sack for laundry.


  • 1 tent (2 people)
  • 1 sleeping bag
  • 1 sleeping pad
  • 1 utility knife
  • 1 camping knife
  • 1 lighter
  • 1 bear spray
  • 1 wool blanket


  • 1 passport
  • 1 license
  • 1 registration
  • 1 insurance
  • 1 AMA card
  • 1 HOG card

Photo & Video

  • 1 Nikon D750
  • 1 Nikon camera battery + charger
  • 2 Nikkor lenses 
  • 1 GoPro Hero3+
  • 1 GoPro charging cable
  • 1 iPhone 6
  • 1 iPhone charger cable
  • 1 USB wall adapter
  • CB Radio with power cables and mic

To summarize, packing is a personal and continuously changing task that adds to the fun of motorcycle touring... research, keep it small, pick your materials to be light, collapsible, and compact; use compression bags and choose wise on your gear. Adapt your packing style to your bike characteristics, your own preferences and needs. Pack your weight low on the bike and "Ride Far" often so you can learn your own do and don'ts of packing.

Ride Far!


  • Scottegram

    Hey M- I am heading out next week on a trip from Wisconsin to California, then hopefully up through Canada to see Banff area and then over to Ontario before dropping back down to Wisco. When you see
    my bag setup, it’s gonna look, well, like a Lobo special- pretty much the same bags in similar locations! Why reinvent the wheel, am I right? Also going to take your advice and wear an SLR when I ride through scenic country, and so I don’t have to take my helmet off I got a modular so I can flip it up to get the shots.

  • Laydon

    I’ve been following your travels on Instagram for a couple of weeks now. I’m living vicariously through your adventures. I’m glad I found this post. I’m planning my own cross country trip to the Grand Canyon, and the southwest. Your post helped me a lot…

  • Vladimir Russián

    Grande Mi Pana… Easy to read and very useful … Thanks!

  • Joker

    Great read, man.

  • JOse

    Awesome! Safe travels!

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