Ready to try camping. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 12:24 am Thread Starter
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Location: MEDFORD, OREGON, USA
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Ready to try camping.

Traveling this summer to Texas and east to GA. I have some liteweight camping gear that I have not used for years. Question is how do I find a camp area when I decide to stop? Most trips I ride for 4/500 miles find a motel and stop. This trip I would like to camp for a few days and then stop at a motel.

So how do I locate camp areas? I really don/t plan ahead all that much, for some days are better rides than others.

Just looking for input from seasoned travelers.

Any suggestions would help.


Thanks,

BP
2000 K1200lt
2006 KLR
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post #2 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 12:33 am
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Re: Ready to try camping.

BP,

You might try this link for national park type campgrounds ( Corp. of Engineers etc. )

http://www.recreation.gov/browseMaps...=CampgroundMap


Ron


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post #3 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 6:31 am
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Re: Ready to try camping.

I used to just keep my eyes open as we got toward the end of the day. This method requires some flexibility. We were open to state parks, family owned camp grounds, KOA, etc. We liked state parks because the tent sites were often more primitive and gave a little more privacy and sense of being in the woods. Some "campgrounds" are primarily RV parks, and while they may have tent sites are less appealing.

There are campground guides that list in detail the facilities of campgrounds and where they are located. These can be a little bulky and take up more space than you want to give up on the bike, especially when you are loaded with camping gear.

Many road atlases have a campground guide included, either with icons on the map pages or listed on a separate campground page.

We gave up camping before I had a GPS on the bike, but I'll bet the GPS mapping software has campgrounds listed, that is probably the best way to locate campgrounds today.

Have fun.
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post #4 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 7:43 am
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Re: Ready to try camping.

just find a city at the approx. milage you wish to travel for the day and and look up the koa web site and check what they have . you can check by city or state ect. on a recent trip i was able to plan my stops by milage often having the option of more than one spot and different milages along the route i wanted to take, so i could stay somewhat flexable.
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post #5 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 8:03 am
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Re: Ready to try camping.

Finding a good campsite is quite often like finding a decent wine or a good scotch; there's a lot of hits and misses. Here are some simple suggestions:
1. DeLorme Atlases are excellent sources for each state. The down side is that they are large and don't pack well. But, nevertheless, they're a good research tool.
2. State websites (e.g. www.state.pa.us) are getting better and better; especially with the listings and descriptions of state parks. The setup for Pennsylvania allows you to make online reservations and gives a pretty good description of the campsite (shady, open) and the distances to facilities and neighboring campsites. Whether it's relevant to your trip or not, most state parks do not allow alcohol, but do a pretty good job of policing the area.
3. National forest campsites are fairly primitive. Be advised that you may find yourself looking at a tent site, a ten ton picnic table and a pit toilet, but no water.
4. National parks have some pretty good campsites, allow alcohol, but are so understaffed that policing (noise, security, etc.) is almost non-existent.
5. Private campsites can range from wonderful to atrocious. Go online and check their websites. Most of these sites have a gallery where you can see some pictures and a rough map of the campground. If you're tenting, how close do you want to be to the RV campers? (Not to offend those of you who own RV's, like me, but it's hard to relate to nature when the neighbor's are catching reruns of Gilligan's Island and you spend the rest of the night trying to get the theme song out of your head.) Most campgrounds that cater to large RV's (Such as KOA) are also going to be close to highways and not tucked away on some narrow two lane twisty.
6. Ask around and see if anyone else has traveled your route and camped along the way.
7. Finally, if you're planning ahead, use Google Earth to look at some of the campsites. Aerial and satellite shots can be pretty useful when you start looking at campsites.

I've been doing this kind of traveling and camping for 40+ years and I've found some fantastic campgrounds that I'd go back to in a NY minute. Others I'd pass up and sleep on a park bench outside a bus depot.

And don't forget to check all that gear before you head out.

Take care,
Chris
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post #6 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 8:51 am
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Re: Ready to try camping.

+1 here for the KOA. We have used the KOA Travel book (free at KOA) and toss it in the bike. Plan on how far you want to go and find a campground there. Some are better than others but you know what to expect.

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post #7 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 10:06 am Thread Starter
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Smile Re: Ready to try camping.

Than you all for the suggestions. Very helpful, and as usual, the comments and the treads have answered my questions.

Ride safe and be well.

Bill
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post #8 of 8 Old May 30th, 2008, 8:20 pm
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Re: Ready to try camping.

With camping being more popular it seem to be getting harder to find a great spot to pitch a tent. Here in California it can be impossible unless you reserve 6 month in advance. I use Google Earth alot to plan out stops and to checkout camp sites. I've also joint a cool little board dedicated to Moto Camping. Check it out there is alot of helpful hints to be had here. Go here http://www.motocampers.com/? and see if it helps you. Sometimes you just have to plan ahead and stick to a schedule

Craig Hutchison
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