5 Great Ways To Document Your Ride

How to unplug from your phone and make your next trip truly memorable.

Relying on your cellphone too much during a long motorcycle ride can really take a toll on capturing the essence of the experience. To switch things up a bit and take a more “old school” approach to chronicling your next ride, try to slow down and get back to more basic methods.

Although the camera built into your phone is convenient, it doesn’t really compare to a true purpose-built camera with an optical zoom and higher megapixel count. And when’s the last time you looked to a printed map for directions? The same goes for taking notes on paper—how long has it been since you jotted down impressions on a notebook? These simple items can give a motorcycle ride more of an analog feel and make the journey a little more personal. Check out these five compact personal items to give yourself a whole new outlook on the road trip experience.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K 4K Digital Camera

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K 4K Digital Camera on white background.
Capture your ride with crystal clear photos and videos and a true zoom.Amazon

Sure, you can rely on your fancy smartphone to snap photos during your road trip, but if taking above-average photographs is important, you might want to look into a more capable machine.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K compact point and shoot camera will better document the sights from your journey that you may not ever have the opportunity to see again. The wide-angle Leica DC lens gives you a wide 24–720mm field of view (with 30x zoom), which is something no smartphone on the market can even come close to. This camera also offers 20.3 megapixel photo quality, five-axis optical image stabilization, Wi-Fi connectivity, 4K video capture, and a 180-degree flip-out touch feature-enabled screen that makes taking selfies a breeze.

Leather Journal Writing Notebook

Leather Journal Writing Notebook on white background.
Doodle, sketch, write, and take notes in style.Amazon

There are times when a thought or image pops into your head, and you should probably stop and jot it down. Sometimes it's the best way to accurately capture a moment. Sure, you could probably text something to yourself, but the whole idea is to leave the phone in the bag and get back to the forgotten joy of spending time with a pad and pen. This leather journal is hand-constructed from absolutely gorgeous, soft and supple genuine water buffalo leather. It is packed with 120 sheets of unlined paper that are just begging to be filled with sketches or poetry (if you are so inclined), field notes, or directions, daily journal entries—anything to help you relive the moment.

Rand McNally 2020 National Park Atlas And Guide

Rand McNally 2020 National Park Atlas And Guide
Get back to the basics with a 3-D chart.Amazon

There are quicker and more reliable ways of getting valuable information on the road than Google. In addition to the valuable travel tips and suggestions in Rand McNally's road atlases and guides, the National Park edition packs in riding ideas through some of the most beautiful places in the country. There is essential info, hundreds of photos and maps, and a complete road atlas for America's 60 national parks in this spiral-bound book. Find the best trails, stretches of roads, natural landmarks, and other points of interest that should be experienced during your next ride. Rand McNally's atlas and road guides are released annually, so rest assured that you're getting the most detailed up-to-date information in this book.

2-Piece 6-in-1 Multipurpose Pen

2-Piece 6-in-1 Multipurpose Pen
Write, measure, and tackle small repairs on the road with this all-in-one.Amazon

So now that you've grabbed a sweet notebook for the trip, you're going to need an even sweeter pen to write in it. Not all pens are designed equally, however, and this 6-in-1 multipurpose pen can handle multiple jobs, not just writing.

This two-pack includes not one but two heavy-duty multifunction pen tools that feature a tablet/smartphone stylus tip, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, a bubble level, and a universal inch/centimeter ruler built right into the package. The pen is also refillable, so get used to having this trusty multi-tool around for many more adventures on the road to come.

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod
Manfrotto’s Pixi Mini brings durability and a robust feature set to travel tripods.Amazon

To make the most of your new camera (or even the one on your cellphone), using a tripod can create the biggest difference between just snapping "cool shots" to capturing great photographs. Traveling by motorcycle isn't always conducive to packing a tripod, unless it's as compact and durable as the Manfrotto Pixi mini tripod. Manfrotto's Pixi tripod is the perfect complement to a compact system camera. It features a comfortable handgrip for capturing videos, and has a push button locking mechanism to keep a firm hold on your camera. It's lightweight, intuitive to use, and is easily packable. While you're changing the way you capture the journey, you might as well gear up with a trusty tripod to get the absolute most from your shots.