Best Camping Gear for Overlanding Bikers in South Africa

Best Camping Gear for Overlanding Bikers in South Africa

South Africa’s diverse landscapes and stunning scenery make it perfect for overlanding adventurers. We live in a country that’s a haven for adventure enthusiasts, especially overlanding bikers.

You could explore the rugged Drakensberg Mountains, take the Old Postal Route, or navigate the sandy trails of the Kalahari Desert. We’ve been a fan of overlanding trips for a while.

An overland journey through South Africa promises to be an unforgettable experience.

However, having the right camping gear is essential to maximise your adventure. While camping can be classed as roughing it, you want some comfort when resting overnight.

We’ve narrowed down the best camping gear for bikers who want to overland through South Africa – comfortably.

Let’s start off with shelter.


Durability and portability are key when choosing a tent for bike trips in South Africa. You should find a light but strong tent that can withstand various weather conditions.

The biggest drawcard to selecting a great overland tent for bikers is having an overnight spot for the motorbike.

A tent that stood out for us was the MotoTent by Lone Rider. While you’ll have to pay a premium for the product, you can still get locally high-quality tents from brands like Coleman or Cloud Tourer.

Sleeping Bag

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for long road trips. While the weather conditions in South Africa don’t often plummet below freezing, this doesn’t mean you should avoid investing in a good sleeping bag that provides warmth and comfort.

Luckily, sleeping bags have been developed to ensure they don’t add too much bulk to your gear.

A generalisation about sleeping bags is that down-filled sleeping bags are light and offer great insulation, while synthetic ones are cheaper and work well in damp conditions.

Brands like First Ascent are great, especially the Ice Breaker Down Sleeping Bag. The Coleman Single Sleeping Bag Silverton Comfort 150 Mommy is great for riders looking for something a little more affordable.

The last suggestion is more of a special recommendation, but Melvill & Moon’s Bedroll with a covered mattress is amazing. While not rated for seasons or outdoor conditions, it is a great-looking product that delivers opulence to any adventure. It also saves space on packing a sleeping pad.

Sleeping Pad

If you want a restful sleep, we strongly suggest in investing in a sleeping pad.

When selecting a pad, the main attributes you’re looking for is one that offers enough cushioning, is compact and lightweight, and has enough insulation from the ground.

Most overland adventurers will invest in great hybrid sleeping pads, which are inflatable (self-inflating) with additional padding.

Buying a sleeping pad that’s a trusted brand is the first port of call.

A locally trusted brand is the R5.8 Ultralight Sleeping Pad from Naturehike, which is exactly what it says it is. While a bit pricey for many, you can get away with buying the Therm-A-Rest Trail King SV sleeping pad (rated highly internationally) or the Aero 5.5 Lightweight Mattress from First Ascent.

Now that you’ll have a good night’s sleep, ensure you don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.

Cooking Equipment

Preparing meals while overlanding adds to the adventure.

We’re all aware of small camping stoves due to load shedding, and brands like Jetboil or Fire Maple spring to mind.

These stoves often provide the option to purchase a package that includes light, fast-heating, and durable cookware.

Opt for durable utensils and dishes that can withstand outdoor use. Brands such as Opinel make great camping utensils, but you can get away with items from the kitchen too.

Don’t forget to pack a good water filter, which will help keep you hydrated on your journey.

Navigation Tools

Navigating through South Africa’s diverse terrain requires reliable navigation tools. Investing in a trusted GPS device will be advisable – think Garmin. But always take a map atlas (AKA: detailed map) with you just in case you’re too far off-road with a compass as a backup navigation tool.

Emergency Kits

Safety is always first when going on an outdoor adventure. Make sure you pack a full first-aid kit, the more supplies, the better.

Your new medical kit should contain bandages, wipes, painkillers, and bug spray.

Also, you should customise your first-aid kit based on where you’re going and how long the trip is.

As your bike will be venturing through rough terrain, carry a good all-around repair kit with tools and certain parts for your bike.

These items should include tyre patches, a multi-tool, spare tubes, and chain lubricant.

As always, make sure to inspect your bike and perform maintenance to prevent breakdowns during your journey.


Good lighting is key for doing anything around the campsite at night. A brand that creates quality lighting solutions is Ledlenser.

Always pack a reliable headlamp or flashlight with a long battery life and consider bringing solar lanterns or string lights.

Now You’re Ready To Explore

Starting an overland biking adventure in South Africa is an opportunity many dream about internationally. Luckily, you’re a local.

So, ensure you’re equipped with the right camping gear tailored for your next overlanding adventure.

Always ensure your motorcycle’s battery is in proper working order. If you need a new motorcycle battery, SABAT Batteries is here to help.



Best Camping Gear for Overlanding Bikers in South Africa