Sometimes when you’re the new kid on the block you only find out about really cool stuff like the Babes Ride Out motorcycle campout in Joshua Tree RIGHT after the event happens!
It killed us having to wait an entire year for BRO4 to arrive so we absolutely recommend subscribing to the email list to guarantee you won’t miss out on news and ticket on-sale info.
Last year, early ticket buyers were rewarded with an awesome swag bag at the event.
Unfortunately while we patiently waited for October 2016 to roll around, our babe sensibilities kicked into overdrive and we packed everything but the kitchen sink. This is way easier to do with a sidecar. Don’t judge.
But seriously, having a year to plan your first desert camping trip would drive anyone with a penchant for survival gear and a wild imagination to bring too much stuff.
As first time moto-campers we won’t pretend to be BRO experts but you can definitely learn from our mistakes so here’s a brief run down of the Do’s and Don’ts.
Heads-up, this is not a sponsored post. But making purchases through the Amazon links below adds a few cents to our beer fund at no extra cost to you. Cheers in advanced!
Babes Ride Out | A Noobies’ Guide
8 Person Tent: DON’T
Unless of course you’re trying to be a landmark for your group in a sea of tiny motorcycle appropriate tents. Literally everyone else brought the 1-2 person ultralight backpacking style tents. Not us! We brought an orange condo!
Battery Operated Air Mattress: DON’T
This thing weighs a lot but we’d already decided on the giant tent, so why not fill it up with luxury glamping accessories.
A more reasonable approach would have been sleeping bags and inflatable pads. See next.
Mummy Style Down Sleeping Bag: DO
Our bags are rated for 20 degrees but the desert nights don’t care about silly numbers! It was freakin’ cold so bring heavy socks and your fleece warmies to wear inside the sleeping bag. Inflatable sleeping pads not only cushion your motorcycle weary bones but they help insulate as well.
Sleeping Bag Liner: DO
A lightweight version can add 15 degrees of coziness to your dessert slumber.
Plus it’ll help keep your sleeping bag a lil’ less dirty.
Inflatable Pillow: DO
They’re tiny and comfortable. A good excuse to get more miles out of that backpacking equipment.
Tent Heater and Propane: DON’T
Even though ours is safe for tent use, it added a lot of bulk and ran out before we’d get up in the morning.
Dehydrated Camping Meals, Backpacking Stove & Fuel: DON’T
These unused supplies ended up as dead weight that we hauled to and from. We didn’t bother cooking since there were plenty of tasty food vendors on-site, including early morning coffee, breakfast, vegan option, pizza and more.
Browse Yelp! for some grub options and support the local community. Lunch and drinks at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town was a trip highlight.
IceMule Inflatable Cooler Bag and 4 Cases of LaCroix Bubbly Water: MAYBE
Abundant fresh drinking water stations are available to refill your own containers and ice is available at the camp store. But this inflatable cooler is a rockstar space saver and worked fantastically well in daytime temps approaching 90 degrees. Just make a run into town to stock up on your favorite beverages.
Ultralight Backpacking Chairs: DO
It sure was nice to sit down. These chairs are so small and light you could easily strap em to your back and not even notice.
Definitely make room for a night cap! You could also pick up a bottle in town to save the travel weight.
Firestone 805 beer was free flowing all weekend but Sailor Jerry cocktails were of more limited availability so bring a flask to warm your belly.
Check the Weather: DO
For months the long term forecast for Joshua Tree was looking like a perfect October weekend of mid 70’s with evening lows in the 50’s until Indian summer reared it’s ugly head and brought us a heat wave with 90 degree days and 40 degree nights.
Bonus Info to Enhance your Babes Experience
Need help with your ride? No problem! DIY moto garage Lucky Wheels Garage was on site with plenty of loaner tools and helpful advice. Plus there are a bunch of knowledgable babes camping right next to you who love to talk shop so ask around.
Cars, Trucks, and RVs
Bringing a car or truck to the event? There is a separate parking aisle for vehicles nearby the motorcycles and tent camping. But your driver can drop all your gear off at the spot of your choosing.
Closest to the main event is a section for RV’s and we are seriously considering one this year. Desert camping can be hot and dusty so we were totally jelly walking by these comfy air conditioned palaces with their cushy camp chairs and fire rings, perfect set up for the after party or the afternoon nap.
Just the Tip
Party Like You’re 21…Again
Riding all day and partying all night may not come as easy as it once did. Once you’re back in camp after a toasty desert ride, take a nap! That’s right, recharge and a refresh with a snooze and shower and you’re ready to party like a rock star.
Otherwise, light sleepers who hit the sack early are advised to bring earplugs and Benedryl.
Tent spaces are unassigned and pretty much unmarked. Just claim a spot along each marked aisle, park your moto there and set up shop. The ones with shade trees will go first so the earlier you arrive the better choice you’ll have.
Get dirt. Clean up. Repeat.
Camp bathrooms and showers are closest to the main event area with a few port-o-potties on the tent aisle which works out for chilly midnight potty runs in your pyjamas. In addition to the regular showers a row of portable alfresco showers sits a few feet away. We loved the outdoor showers with on demand water heaters that had to be turned down because they worked so well.
Maps were available for rides out to Salvation Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, and more.
Babes Ride Out tattoos were in high demand. Sign up early.
Entertainment on the stage included Thursday karaoke, live bands on Friday and Saturday plus the Biltwell BRODEO. Yup! A legit mechanical bull riding contest and tons of gutsy babes trying all types of “strategies” to stay on top!
Bring extra dinero or plastic and leave a lil’ room for some Babes Ride Out swag. Be sure to also take advantage of the rare opportunity to try on rad women’s moto gear from Atwyld and Red Wing’s Women’s Heritage Collection.
So nooby or not, all the girls you’ll meet over this entire amazeballs Babes Ride Out weekend are super fantastic like minded motorcycle lovin’ peeps! Every single one!
We made so many rad new friends that just a few days later we co-founded the Long Beach California chapter of The LITAS so we could keep this amazing vibe going all year long.
Whether riding solo or with your squad, you’re now another step closer to a weekend of badassery.
What tips would you share with a Babes Ride Out nooby?
Ran across your blog on a Ural site,
Was considering trading one of my bike in for one.
Was hoping you had some breakdown info or good comments about your bike
Any info would be appreciated
Hey Rick! It’s an amazing bike that has opened up so many new adventures for us! Although, it is a different ride style than most folks are accustomed to. We can go everywhere…but no where fast. It gets a lot of thumbs ups and could push an introvert out of their comfort zone. We wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’d highly recommend visiting Soviet Steedsf & Facebook groups like Ural Motorcycles for more personal experiences.