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Dirt Bike Camping Trip Guide [List of Essentials]

Ever since I was little I wondered what it would be like to go on dirt bike camping trips. 

Fast forward to today and I’ve been on many weekend and extended trips where I rode and camped for up to 2 weeks.

Colorado 2020 12 Dirt Bike Camping Trip Guide [List of Essentials]

There’s a lot of things that I’ve learned over the years, whether I learned the hard way or just based on previous experiences while camping.

In this article I’ve put together a simple guide and list of how I camp with my dirt bike and the gear and tools I bring.

What Is Dirt Bike Camping?

Dirt camping is simply staying overnight with your dirt bike where you are riding. This could be out in the mountains or at your local trailhead. 

Why Should I Camp With My Dirt Bike?

There’s so many reasons why I personally enjoy camping with my dirt bike. I don’t use a tent anymore, but have many times in the past. 

Here’s all of the positive reasons why you should at least try dirt bike camping:

  • See new places
  • Get more riding in
  • Enjoy the outdoors
  • Better bonding with family/friends
  • Learn new skills
  • Challenge yourself when things go wrong
  • Eat yummy food
  • Understand your dirt bike better

Camping With Dirt Bikes vs Dual Sport Camping

Before we move on, I should clarify…

Camping with dirt bikes is when you haul your enduro or trail bike out to an area where you’re going to ride. You always come back to your same camping/parking spot by the end of the day. 

Dual sport camping is when you load up your dual sport/street legal dirt bike to ride and stop to camp at different locations each day throughout your trip. 

This guide will primarily be based on dirt bike camping, but I’m sure you’ll find some helpful tips that crossover to dual sport camping as well. 

Dirt Bike Camping Trips – Where To Ride?

First off, where are you going to ride? Even though many state trails have gotten shut down, there’s still so many places to ride in the U.S.  

New to dirt biking? Check out your local trails. For example, this list on the MN DNR website shows out the state trails, and has info on each of them. 

Best Dirt Bike For Camping

What kind of trails will you be riding? What’s your riding style and skill level? A dirt bike camping trip means that you’ll probably be doing a lot of riding. 

This means that you should have a bike that is reliable and comfortable.

That knocks off basically any motocross bike.

Am I saying that you can’t ride all day and all week on the trails with an mx bike? Essentially yes, but it’s still possible. You’ll just want some proper mods to make your ride more comfortable and durable in the woods.

Your best bet is to choose a trail bike or enduro bike. The suspension is softer, and the engine has smoother power characteristics. Both of these traits will allow you to ride longer without getting as worn out.

Colorado Trip 2018 Edit 25 Dirt Bike Camping Trip Guide [List of Essentials]
Riding in the mountains on our enduro and trail bikes.

Riding a motocross bike in the woods is harder because the stiff suspension will beat you up, and the abrupt power will wear you out quicker, especially if you are a beginner rider.

2 Stroke or 4 Stroke Trail Bike?

I’ll let you decide which is better when it comes to 2 stroke vs 4 stroke dirt bikes.

With that said, there’s a number of models from each group that are great for trail riding.

For example, a KTM 250XCW is a popular 2 stroke enduro bike, but maybe you don’t want a KTM. This list of the top 2 stroke trail bikes will help you decide.

On the other hand, the KLX230R is a good trail bike for beginners that want something comfortable, easy to ride, and don’t want to deal with a carburetor. For a full list of the best 4 stroke trail bikes read this guide.

Dirt Bike Camping List

Now that you’ve picked which dirt bike to take camping, it’s time to look over the list of essentials to bring. 

I’ve been out to the mountains many times and I’ve consolidated my list for efficiency. But at the same time I like to be prepared in case of emergency. The last thing I want is to drive many hours and either forget something or have something fail, resulting in a trip ending early.

This dirt bike camping trip list includes gear for camping, cooking utensils, and dirt bike tools:

  • Tent
  • Tent footprint/tarp
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat/Pad/Cot
  • Pillow
  • Canopy
  • Folding Chair
  • Headlamp
  • Toilet Paper
  • Multi-tool/knife
  • Lip balm
  • Bug Spray
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush/toiletries
  • Card/utility table
  • Portable stove
  • Pot/pan
  • Mess kit
  • Water container
  • Soap
  • Fender bag w/spare tube
  • Fanny pack
  • Tools for removing/changing tube
  • Hand air pump

I’m not going to include all of the clothes, riding gear, and bike requirements because that’s all personal preference and based on your needs.

To get my full list of lightweight tools and spare parts that I bring with me on my trail pack kit read this article.

Dirt Bike Tent

What’s the best dirt bike tent? I like a tent that sets up quickly, can withstand some fairly major rain and wind, and is big enough for me and any gear/clothing that I bring inside with me.

If you’re all about lightweight and minimalism then the BedNet System is a good choice.

However, a 2 person is the minimum size I used when I was by myself.

Bottom Line:

Plan ahead, and be prepared. You’ve got to be smart if you’re limited on space or weight. Remember to bring the right tools for basic maintenance or repair if something goes wrong.

Camping with my dirt bike is one of my all time favorite things to do. Riding in different climates and on new trails with amazing views or terrain is something that can’t be done if you sit at home!

How to ride safer off-road on your camping trip

Now that you’ve got the basics prepared for a riding trip, it’s time to increase your riding skill so that you don’t crash hard and get hurt! I want to help you out with proper riding techniques to quickly give you control and confidence. Click here to get started for free.


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Sounds like something I’d love to do with my son(12). We are just getting two new bike and would love to do exactly what was described. Unfortunately I live in NJ and I can’t find anywhere at all to go do this sort of thing. If you have any ideas or suggestions I’d really like to hear them. This would be such an exciting adventure to something like that.

Kelley Fager

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Absolutely, that's awesome to hear that you and your son ride together! Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with riding areas in the NE part of the country, and I've heard NJ is particularly bad for off-road... I'm in MN and usually head west to the mountains. So, you might have to do a little research and invest in a little extra time/equipment to do a longer trip out of state. I recommend finding a family-friendly FB page for dirt biking in your area and ask the locals where they recommend. Otherwise is a great forum for research and asking if you have the time. Thanks for reading, John!