Menu Close

Motorcycle Camping Gear – Motocamping again at Hungry Mother State Park (Marion, VA)

I recently decided to return to a favorite state park in Marion Virginia. The Hungry Mother State Park is a beautiful place with wonderful riding options all around! While I wouldn’t consider myself a veteran when it comes to motocamping, I’m no longer a newbie and I have made changes to my motorcycle camping gear over time.

I haven’t done a primitive camping trip yet. I like having a shower and toilet too much! And since most state parks offer those amenities and so much more, I’ll stick with those. I really like the Hungry Mother State Park. The strange name derives from a legend involving a young mother and her child who escaped capture and wandered the woods eating berries to survive. It’s one of Virginia’s prettiest state parks featuring beautiful mountains, streams, and a lake.

Back of the Dragon (Route 16)

The state park is beside the popular motorcycle road called The Back of the Dragon (route 16), Virginia’s only designated motorcycle route and a premier riding road on the east coast boasting thirty-two miles and over four hundred curves. There’s usually a photographer in the area who takes lots of pics which riders can later view and purchase.

Packing My Gear

Last year, I bought and filled a huge gear bag called the Trackside Optima gear bag, which held a lot! But it was really too big. For my subsequent trips, I’ve been really pleased with a pair of Rhinowalk rear seat bags that I can stack. I love how the included straps make it easy to secure to my passenger seat. My campground neighbors were amazing at how much stuff I managed to pack! Here’s a couple pics that show last year vs. this year.

Wi-Fi and Cell Phone Service at Hungry Mother State Park

Last year, I didn’t have cell phone service or Wi-Fi at the Royal Oak campsite. This year, I had Wi-Fi provided by the park, but it was too slow for web browsing. It was only useful for text messaging. I noticed the park is using a Rocket M2 antenna to extend their service to different parts of the park, but it’s based on 2.4 GHz and it was either under too much demand by devices, or perhaps radio interference was an issue. Signal strength was great! But it was slower than molasses in the winter time.

Burkes Garden Virginia

On my second day there, I headed to Burkes Garden which has the distinction of being Virginia’s highest valley and Virginia’s largest rural historic district. It is truly beautiful, and it’s definitely a must-visit spot if you’re in the area. The general store is also a must-see choice. The club sandwich was amazing.

Whitetop and Grayson Highlands State Park

There are so many beautiful areas within an hour ride of Marion VA. I rode to Whitetop and then to Grayson Highlands State Park on my 3rd day. I will probably plan a future camping trip to that state park. The views are just stunning.

My motorcycle camping gear

I’ll share a list of gear I’m enjoying for motocamping with links.

  • I love my Easthills Outdoors Jungle Explorer Double Camping Hammock! It will apparently support two people and up to 600 lbs! But I haven’t tested that capacity yet.
  • I love my Rhinowalk rear seat bags. They are stackable, hold tons, and are easily securable to your bike.
  • My two-person tent made by Ciays is holding up well, and I love how compact it is for travel. However, it’s a bit cramped inside for sleeping, especially if you store your bags and gear in there too. I’m a convert to tree hammocks for sleeping so my tent just serves as a storage place and it’s great for that.
  • It’s always a good idea to pack some paracord because you might need it to tie down your tent when the campsite only allows for tents to be pitched on a wood platform deck.
  • You quickly realize how often you have to kneel in front of a tent, over and over again. So a small portable knee cushion is nice to have. I found one at Walmart, similar to this pad on Amazon.
  • I am happy with my OASKYS sleeping bag. It’s a 3 season lightweight bag but it’s not warm enough when the temps dip below 55 fahrenheit (13 celcius) unless you add another layer like this awesome blanket which helped a lot. Combined with a small camping pillow, it’s like being enveloped in your mother’s womb. Add a gentle rocking motion, and it’s even more pleasant.
  • I was glad I packed a camping chair. I have a bunch of camping chairs at home that are bulky but okay when you travel by car. But I bought the NiceC Ultralight camping chair (no longer available). This chair, currently available, looks identical.
  • For this recent trip, I also bought a solar power bank to help keep my electronics charged up. It worked well!

Below, you should see picture links of the items I am really happy with for motorcycle camping. (Note: images won’t appear if tracking protection is turned on in your browser).

Note: many of the links above are Amazon affiliate links that earn me a few small shekels.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Life After 40

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading