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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm assembling all the stuff for an extended camping trip and need some advice. I'll camping primarily to save the cost of a hotel room, so I won't be preparing food. Mostly I'll be stopping at a camp site (state parks, national parks) to help me get from Atlanta to California/Washington and back. Wife will be flying in to meet me in Seattle.

I've got all the major stuff (tent, pad, etc).

With this in mind -

- Should I get a micro fiber quick dry towel or can I just a regular cotton towel?
- For this type of trip is a camp chair required?
- Do I need an insulated container for ice?
- I'll be reserving camp (reserveamerica.com) sites a day or two in advance, is this enough time? Should I reserve sooner?

My goal is really to cut out the hotel expense in route to and from my destination. I'm planning about 15 nights camping +/- a few days. In the past I would have just stayed at Super 8s along the way. But I can't afford those many nights at this time.

Thanks.

Greg

PS - anything else that comes to mind would be appreciated.
 

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If it's not raining, pull into a Wal-Mart parking lot (or an office/industrial park), park next to a grassy spot, throw down a ground cloth, and sleep the night away. You may want to carry, though, just in case.
 

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Camping :D
I did just that last year. To address some of your concerns time and weather come into play. 1. A chair/ stool comes in handy if you have to sit near a campfire. If summer time you may not need. 2. Cooler for ice great since you wife is not with you can park on pillion seat. 3. Reservations tend to force you into a rigid schedule. But if you could get some for the more challenging areas yeah do so.
Plan how many miles ride in a day, start time and end time. When evening hits you want to set-up before darkness and don't forget your headlight. utility knife/can bottle opener. This is some of what I could advise some you might already know. I will try to answer any other inquiries. Are you riding alone or other bikes. Oh yes a hydrapak . . . water. Maybe post a route map.
ride safe :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Knife said:
You may want to carry, though, just in case.
I'm definitely carrying, but the laws very so much by state its ridiculous. Just picked up my conceal carry for Utah which will help me with Washington. But I'm sol for Calif, Oregon and New Mexico.

Hadn't thought about the Walmart option - wouldn't the rent-a-cops harass you for camping on premises?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill,

Thanks for the tips. Here's the 50K foot view of my route -
 

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Check out KOA camp grounds.
A season pass gets you into any of their sites I am not sure of the cost and I think you get a senior discount. I don't know that you are just saying. I looked into it last year for my route 66 trip but did not follow up on it went to TX instead visited family and friends.
ride safe :bmw:
 

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There are several convenient National Forest and State Forest campgrounds along the Michigan Upper Peninsula portion of your route, as mapped. Also several private campgounds available including at least one KOA that I can think of at Newberry, MI. Camprgrounds are listed in the UPcruising.com ride guide.
 

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Gruivis said:
Bill,

Thanks for the tips. Here's the 50K foot view of my route -
What happens between northern Cal and Portland OR.
What happens from MI back to GA.
When I suggested mapping you route I did not think you would plane trip and do a fly over. Or do you have access to a low orbiting satellite :histerica :histerica What's your total milage and are there any side trips planned.
ride safe :bmw:
 

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I often camp for no cost in National Forests along my routes. You can often times find a forest rode to pull down, or walk in a little from a trail head. It sometimes becomes a slight pain in the tukus as the land is often intermixed with private property, but it could save you 50-150 dollars per night. It can be very peaceful out there with only the sounds of nature. You have to have a flexible personality. I don't believe in carrying guns and never had problem in all my years of doing this type of travelling. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
billsmith said:
What happens between northern Cal and Portland OR.
What happens from MI back to GA.
My last stop in California is at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. From there I'm following US101/Oregon Coast Highway up to Fort Stevens State Park in Hammond OR. And then on to Bainbridge Island for the ferry ride to Seattle.

After the Mackinac Bridge I'll follow US 23 along Lake Huron and then catch up with I75 for the dreaded ride back home. I'm always glad to get back home, but for some reason I just hate riding the last segment.

I took a look at KOA but they're relatively expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Munmi said:
MI. Camprgrounds are listed in the UPcruising.com ride guide.
What's the best campground that's closest to the Mackinac Bridge? And do you recommend reservations? Thanks.
 

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wilderness state park is about 8 miles west of I-75/Mackinaw, just before you get to the bridge (going north). its a great place to stay. might want to check the MI websites and see how busy they are, you may need a resv..
 

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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has three National Forests....the Ottowa, the Hiawatha east unit, and the Hiawatha west unit (of which I am most familiar). There is a real nice National Forest campground on the UP side of Lake Michigan right along the shoreline, west of St.Ignace along US2. I don't know of cost or need of reservations. Another state forest operated campground along US2 is Hog Island. That is a very nice little campround that offers spectacular sunsets views over Lake Michigan.
As stated, Wilderness SP near Mackinaw City is nice,too.
 

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- Should I get a micro fiber quick dry towel or can I just a regular cotton towel?
Micro fiber - absorbs more and dries much faster. A long narrow towel will also suffice as a scarf for warmth or when soaked in water as a cooling agent.

For this type of trip is a camp chair required?
Wooden picnic tables and their benches aren't too comfortable. Consider a Crazy Creek chair. Padded on the bottom and nylon straps to hold the back rest. Cheap and small.




Do I need an insulated container for ice?
Not unless you plan to keep things cold for more than a few hours. Nylon insulated lunch containers are great. Non-rigid and the fold flat. Will also double as a sink for cleaning you or utensils.

- I'll be reserving camp (reserveamerica.com) sites a day or two in advance, is this enough time? Should I reserve sooner?
Haven't had any experiences with tent sites being full at major campgrounds. However, the sites at National Parks will fill up quickly. A lot of the vacancies at the parks will depend on your arrival time. Reservations can't hurt, but they do prevent you from staying an extra day at one place


PS - anything else that comes to mind would be appreciated.

A tarp is a great thing to have. I recommend a coated nylon tarp (10x12). If the campsite is wooded it can be hung over the picnic table and/or your bike allowing you to sit outside when it's raining instead of hunkering down in your tent (a nylon coffin?). Tarp also doubles as a back-up rainfly for your tent. Avoid the blue poly tarps, they don't last and they're bulky.

L.E.D. headlamp - don't leave home without one.

Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife.

Battery powered lantern/fan combo is perfect. Ask anyone who sweltered in the nylon saunas during last year's MOA rally in Bloomsburg.

Finally, you are not heading into the hinterlands. If you realize you do need something, there are usually stores to be found that will sell you what you need.

Enjoy the trip.
 

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I've been motorcycle camping for years and all the responses you've received are great ones. Some other thoughts:

1. Someone suggested a tarp, which is a great idea. However, instead of a tarp I would suggest you pick up a ground cloth for any 4 person tent. They are large, fold much smaller than a tarp and are waterproof. Include some light rope to hang it up over your picnic table.

2. You'll love having a comfortable chair to sit on at night. You really just can't beat the Kermit for packability and comfort. http://www.kermitchair.com/

3. Pack a pair of hiking pants and sandals to throw on around the camp at night. It's great to get out of the riding gear and let it dry out from a long day on the road. Get the hiking pants with the removable zippered legs so they double as shorts.

4. Pick up on of those mesh hoods to throw over you head if the mosquitos happen to be out thick at night. Trust me...you'll be glad you have it.

5. Nice to have a small LED camp lamp to set on the picnic table for light. You'll also want a head lamp.

6. I pack a couple sets of underwear and wash a pair out at the end of each day. I carry a small mesh pouch that can be tied on the outside of my bags...things will dry out as I ride.

7. Pack a small hand axe and folding saw to help with splitting up wood for your campfire. Heres my favorite saw...you could build a house with this thing, man, can it cut!
http://www.svensaw.com/

8. I've never made reservations for tent camping and have never had a problem finding a site. I'm partial to the Forest Service campgrounds because they tend to not be very crowded and are inexpensive.

Looks like you have a great trip planned!
 

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I'm in the midst of planning a 3-week, 20-state, 6,000 mile tour with my son on his bike as well! Truly looking forward to it and hope I'm not biting off more than We can chew! Our intent is to keep this trip on the down-low as much as we can for expenses as we intend to camp in National Parks and inexpensive campgrounds each night we're not staying on our friends' floors!

Since this is the first trip we've ever done like this, I'm open to suggestions as well! In my 29 years of military service as a light Paratrooper and Ranger, I'm well versed in "travelling light" and "roughing it" on the ground! I'm not looking to make this trip miserable, but desire to "upgrade" the options to which I've become accustomed (toilets and showers aren't a necessity when I've deployed and trained, but will certainly be nice on this trip!)!!

I don't intend to "carry" per se due to going into Canada and NYC and will drive right past questionable campgrounds and/or spots to throw our bags!

What is the best option for securing your gear on the back seat of your bike if you want to walk and sightsee along the way? Since our trunk and sidebags will be full, I'll use the helmet cable and use a thin wire bike cable lock for the jacket and my rucksack on the back seat.

I look forward to hearing y'all's input and sage advice! :bmw:
 

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BlauBeeMr said:
I'm in the midst of planning a 3-week, 20-state, 6,000 mile tour with my son on his bike as well! Truly looking forward to it and hope I'm not biting off more than We can chew! Our intent is to keep this trip on the down-low as much as we can for expenses as we intend to camp in National Parks and inexpensive campgrounds each night we're not staying on our friends' floors!

Since this is the first trip we've ever done like this, I'm open to suggestions as well! In my 29 years of military service as a light Paratrooper and Ranger, I'm well versed in "travelling light" and "roughing it" on the ground! I'm not looking to make this trip miserable, but desire to "upgrade" the options to which I've become accustomed (toilets and showers aren't a necessity when I've deployed and trained, but will certainly be nice on this trip!)!!

I don't intend to "carry" per se due to going into Canada and NYC and will drive right past questionable campgrounds and/or spots to throw our bags!

What is the best option for securing your gear on the back seat of your bike if you want to walk and sightsee along the way? Since our trunk and sidebags will be full, I'll use the helmet cable and use a thin wire bike cable lock for the jacket and my rucksack on the back seat.

I look forward to hearing y'all's input and sage advice! :bmw:
Seems like you should be the one sharing the advice.
I can't speak for others but I wish I had 1/10 of those years of experience. I have only tried cmaping once before with the bike so not much to add from ealier post but the if a picture speaks 1000 words you are already on the right track.
ride safe :bmw:
Thanks for serving
 

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Security I have always just put the cover on the bike, out of sight out of mind. This has worked for us for the past 32 years. Maybe we are just luck??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BlauBeeMr said:
What is the best option for securing your gear on the back seat of your bike if you want to walk and sightsee along the way?
Here is an option for a secure waterproof bag.

To save a little money, I'm just using an inexpensive steel cable to loop through my Hellen Two Wheels bag and secure it to the bike. It should deter the casual thief.


Greg
 

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Howdy Bill! :wave
The years being miserable on the ground is what I'm trying to minimize on this trip! I'm well trained in being miserable (wet, hot, cold, wet&cold, hot&cold.....), i'll admit it might be either age or experience that wants a little comfort! :D :rolleyes:

Greg, thanks for the link! :)

As I continue to research this ride, I'm finding out that campgrounds have gotten quite a bit more expensive than I remembered! For a patch of ground without electricity runs $20-$35 depending on the location/state!

Anyone out there ever successfully seek patches of ground to throw a bivysack next to the bikes without any problems? The cost of gas is going to be a big enough factor and food (and a few brews with my son) will be easy since we plan to pull off the road at cool spots to eat what we buy/carry along the way - the cost of camping or even hotel stays will make this really expensive!

Bill, do you have a packing list you go by and more advice for this novice 2-wheeled tourist that you might be willing to share?

Thanks again guys!
Kenny :bmw:
 
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