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How we Pack for Sturgis

Posted on July 27 2020

How we Pack for Sturgis

Packing for the Road Ahead


Two moto-vloggers passionate about traveling and the open road.

When it comes to long trips, staying prepared is always a priority. It's better to have something and not need it then...yea, you know where we're going with that. That being said, packing can get a little complicated sometimes, so we're here to help, and show you guys how we like to pack for both long and short trips. Packing the right way means you can focus on the journey ahead, and be confident knowing you have everything you need, and know where to find something when the time comes. 

Bags & Luggage

It may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to pack more than just your saddlebags, you need somewhere to put everything! We've run a lot of different luggage over the years, and finding bags that are durable, ergonomic, and organized are essential. Knowing exactly where to find something when you're out on the road while fitting all your essentials is one of the most important aspects  when looking for the right bag to fit your needs.

Our Luggage Picks

From duffle bags to luggage, everything has its purpose. For short weekend trips with no passengers, we like to stick with duffle-style bags like the Saddlemen TR3300DE Tactical Rack Bag, or the Thrashin Supply Mission Duffle as they fit everything you'd need and securely strap to a rack or sissy bar. For longer trips or trips where we're carrying passengers, we opt for something larger such as the Saddlemen BR3400 Tactical Sissy Bar Bag (pictured). These allow you to stow all of your essentials and stay organized with all of the different pockets and compartments. The best thing about all of this bike-specific luggage is that when you arrive at your destination, you can simply unstrap the bag and take everything with you. No need to get items from the saddlebags and wonder if you grabbed everything. 

What's in the bags?

Before we get into where we put things and why we bring them, here is a list of essential items for the road ahead:

  • Clothing for Each Day + 1
  • Toiletries & Sunscreen
  • Arm Sleeves and Neck Coverings for the Sun
  • Rain Gear (Jacket, Pants, Booties, and Bike Cover)
  • Rain Sock (for Air Cleaner)
  • Gloves for different weather + oversized latex gloves to put over your riding gloves in the rain
  • Tool Kit & Extra Hardware
  • Extra Oil (We carry a quart)
  • Flashlight 
  • Extra Bungee Cords & Straps
  • Cash, Portable Charger, and anything else you might need

Where Does it all Go?

An important thing to keep in mind is whether or not you'll need certain items frequently or at a moments notice while on the road. For items such as clothes for the rest of the trip, toiletries, or other items you won't need while riding, those can be put in your luggage closer to the bottom. For items like tools, rain gear, gloves, sunscreen, or other essentials, you'll want to keep those close and accessible. Since we run saddlebags, we like to keep most of those items in there as you can quickly pull off to a safe spot and grab any items you might need. You don't want to be going through all of your stuff trying to find rain gear when the rain starts coming down!

Down to the Details...


Just as you would pack clothes for different weather scenarios, the same goes for gloves. We like to bring 3-4 pairs for longer trips, especially when we're expecting weather on all ends of the spectrum. To start, we'll pack a pair or two of comfortable moto-style gloves for warmer weather such as the Covert Gloves. For colder weather, we usually opt for a pair of Siege or Gauntlet Gloves as they are made with insulated leather. Regardless of your glove choice, it is important to always have a few pairs of latex shop gloves to throw over your riding gloves when expecting rain. For best results, bring latex gloves that are a size bigger than you would normally wear so that they can fit over your riding gloves comfortably and keep them dry.

Rain-Related Essentials

Along with the latex gloves, you'll want to keep a rain suit accessible. We like to get jackets and pants that are baggy enough to fit over our clothes, without being restricting or tight. Rain booties to cover your shoes are also a great addition to the suit, especially if you're not rocking lower fairings on your bike. You'll also want to make sure you have rain covers for your luggage. Most luggage, like the bags listed above, come with rain covers. You'll be glad you brought it! We also highly recommend carrying a rain sock for your air cleaner to keep your bike running strong, even in wet conditions. Last but not least, it's always nice to come out to a dry bike in the morning, so make sure to pack a rain cover for your bike. No need for something huge, just a compact water-repellent cover should do the trick.

Essentials for Hot Sunny Days

As much as we love catchin' a little tan, a 700+ mile day in the sun can be a little much. We always like to have sunscreen on hand, but lately we've been rocking arm sleeves and neck gaiters/bandanas. Not only do they protect you from the sun, but they also keep you cool. As you sweat, they soak up the moisture, and as the wind blows by, you cool down quite a bit. Some of the guys even wear evaporative cooling vests under their shirts, which you can soak beforehand and get 5-10 hours of cooling relief on the road.

Bike Essentials

Especially for Sturgis, you're likely to be a long way from home, and possibly a long way from the nearest shop. We always like to carry tools and an extra quart of oil. The open road is full of possibilities and you never know when these items will come in handy! Just make sure you have the right tools and oil and you'll be good to go! We like to keep our tools organized in the Thrashin' Tool Roll.

Now Get on the Road!

Thanks for checking out the video and the blog! We hope you guys found it informative, and maybe picked up a trick or two. Just like anything else, with packing you get better at it over time and find your way of doing things. This is what works for us, but there is no one size fits all solution. Do what works for you, and you'll be ready for miles to come! Thanks for all of the support, catch you on the next one!

Stay safe...stay inspired!


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  • KY_ Abroad: February 10, 2021

    Some good food for thought. I’m curious what tools you carry. I carry what I think will get me through a pinch, but maybe you’re carrying something I haven’t thought of.

    I’ve tried arm sleeves, but with 14" bars I was getting burned on the bicep because the t-shirt sleeves would ride up from the wind. I went to anti-rash surf shirts. They’re long sleeve so you get full protection, SPF 50+ and they breathe well and dry quickly. Just another option for some people.

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    Thank you!

  • Michael Eddy: December 22, 2020

    Great info. I’m taking my first very long road trip in July, so I appreciate the gear tips. Love that tall thrashin supply rucksack! Hoping you still sell it. Going to search for it along with that saddlemen flip top bag. But anyhow, an off the wall question for you. I noticed that wicked nice looking blade that Lance was sporting on his belt and it made me curious. Do you guys ever run into any issues, on or off the bikes, with law enforcement when they see you carrying a long blade? I have a CCW permit that most states are supposed to honor via their reciprocity agreements, but obviously a cop is not going to know that until AFTER they’ve inquired with me. Curious if you or any of your crew have ever had any issues with open carrying that kind of blade on your belt? Thanks much.

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