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Old 02-08-2012, 07:27 AM   #1
ksburner OP
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How to ride dirt cheap

I'm new to this forum so i apologize ahead of time if something like this question has been posted before. With that said...I am a new rider and as soon as I get through MSF and get my endorsement I plan to take a trip. I don't know where I'm going or for how long I'll be gone but my goal is to ride and explore the country and to do it as cheap as I can. So I guess I was wondering if anybody has any ideas about how I can make my trip as cheap as possible. I can live off of Ramen noodles and will eat fresh road kill if that tells you anything about how cheap I am so don't hold back, if it's cheap I want to know about it.

Thanks in advance,

Keith
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
ThomasVolomitz
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Sounds like you need a KLR and a milk crate to start with... and camp at national and state parks.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
Flashmo
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Read this:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=315322
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
willys
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KLR and stealth camping, no deodorant to keep flies at bay.....also, make 100% sure bike is in tip top condition before you set out! On road repairs are god knows how many more times as expensive than when done at home before the trip.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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Honda Cub or similar, cheap tent or tarp, buy food at a supermarket. No hotels or restaurants, stealth camping only, don't pay to sleep on the ground. Bathe in lakes and rivers. If you have someone riding bitch, make her pay for half the gas and/or pay in sexual favors at the end of the day.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #6
wibornz
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When it is cold and rainy, go to a hospital and sleep in the ER. You can get a couple hours and no one will bother you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wibornz View Post
When it is cold and rainy, go to a hospital and sleep in the ER. You can get a couple hours and no one will bother you.
Not sure about the hospitals where you're from, but when it's rainy and cold our hospitals are packed full of homeless and others using the ER's as their Dr's office. It's a madhouse!
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #8
tallpaul63
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I am a master of stealth camping, I say with all due humility.

Look at your map and plan to be in a lightly populated area around dusk. Look for the green on the map; forested and woodsy areas, national parks, or farmland. Hilly country is better.

Plan to set up camp with the day's last light, and get well off the road when no one is looking. Try to find a place where there is no reason for anyone to come around. Get practiced at making and breaking your camp quickly. Try to be at least a few hundred yards from any well used road.

Some good tips:

Look for orchards where you can tuck away behind rows of trees for the night. Also river bottoms, side roads in the desert, logging roads, railroad right of ways, roads that serve power lines, fire roads that lead away from built up areas. Farm roads can be good too, but areas with livestock are likely to be fenced in and watched more closely. If you can follow a farm road to an area that's not being farmed, that works. On the coast, beaches are usually a bad choice unless they are really hard to get to. People party on beaches, and the authorities usually patrol them. You want to be where nobody has reason to be.

You may be able to camp behind the church in small towns; ask nicely or just leave a small footprint and be on your way early.

Try to avoid places where teenagers and drunks like to party. Lots of beer cans...look elsewhere.

When you want to visit a city and spend a day or two, try the hostels. Look up AYH and get a membership. Cheap dorm beds usually, and a chance to meet fellow travelers and share stories. If you want to stay a few days at a hostel, ask the manager if you can work for your bed, pulling weeds or cleaning up around the place. Try warm showers lists and couch surfing sites as well.

Plan on two meals a day from the supermarket, maybe one at a restaurant for a bit of local flavor and comfort. I always have a quart of water, peanut butter, bread, and some fruit with me. Can always make a meal, even if its unplanned. I don't do much cooking when stealth camping, but oatmeal and pasta dishes are cheap and quick.

If you must stay in campgrounds, ask the host if they have simpler sites like a hiker/biker site or a group camping area. Explain that you need a tent spot only, just for the night, and are on a budget. No need for hookups etc. Plea poverty and offer them five or ten bucks. They may work with you. Campgrounds that cater mostly to the RV crowd are not promising in this regard.

I have been known to pitch my tent on the "periphery" of a campground, out of sight and out of mind. Unethical? Well, I am no saint. Do a good deed some day and balance it out.

If you do get caught where you're not supposed to be, try to convey that you're on a shoestring budget, having an adventure, and that you mean no harm...and you can be on your way in a jiffy. Smile a lot and be nice.

You may be able to score a shower at a municipal swimming pool, or a campground where you're just passing through. Be discrete- park your bike elsewhere, like in a picnic area, pocket a bar of soap and use a tiny little towel you can tuck away. Or just offer to pay for a shower. You can often pay for a shower at a YMCA, and have a workout to boot.

Good luck and good travels.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:08 PM   #9
sillymike
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For a quick showers, truck stops are another good option (if the lake/river/creek are not looking good).

When out in the boonies and looking for a place to camp... just ask one of the locals. People are usually happy to help 'stranger' discover their part of the world... Here's one such spot we were shown...

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Old 08-10-2012, 12:39 AM   #10
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when i did my cross country moped trip, i found that a lot of the time being some place at the right time and instance provided me with more money and resources than i had planned. the short of it was that i wanted to take a trip with very little money to my name and see what happened.

now, i never ASKED for anything, but was often was given more than i needed. it started (and continued most of the trip) when i would stop for gas and to get feeling back in my balls. being on a moped with south carolina tags, i parked tags out most of the time because the bike could be moved easily. this was enough for people to spark up a conversation as to just wtf i was doing. something about this made people want to talk to me.



invariably i would tell my tale of the search i was on, and that i had very little money to do a ton of stuff (this was the point of the trip, not a ploy) and that i chose a moped for its low fuel costs. a lot of the time, someone would offer to pay for me to fuel up (at the time, averaging $3.75 in gas per fill up) and would often offer a meal. i would graciously decline, but i cant tell you how many times i was handed a $20 bill. in the end, i left my house with $100 in my pocket to get as far as i could, and ended up going to california and back home with $300 in hand.

as for sleep, when it came down to REALLY bad weather, i would look for small mom & pop hotels and ask for a room explaining my situation. i usually was given a room, and even at big chain hotels i could make arrangements.

but when i camped, id just pull over some place near the main road and setup. be gone early with no trace. my best campsite was in an orange grove in florida.

as a disclaimer, i made it a point never to ask for anything outrageous and wouldnt misrepresented myself in the process. i would eat at gas stations and value menus for quick stops, and grocery stores for other things.

main thing is, be polite and if you have a story to tell, dont be afraid to share!
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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Budget travel tips.

I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.

P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.
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fractalsource screwed with this post 08-10-2012 at 10:11 PM Reason: added a ps.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by fractalsource View Post
I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.

P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.
Many police depts do have something like this or can tell you of where to go to get assistance. While using this as a way of traveling is just another type of con, as far as I'm concerned, if you end up running out of money and get stuck somewhere then it's a reasonable option. For the cops it gets people out of town who may otherwise become a problem. While I've never needed it I had friends in my youth who did and as broke as I was even a small mishap could of left me needing help. For the record I'm not against people asking for help when needed, but I think planning a tip based on doing so or doing so to save money is a lowlife move.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractalsource View Post
I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.

P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.

i was homeless for a while after my house burned down, and traveled like this (similarly at least).

i met with a local church thru the salvation armys lists, and they drove me to greyhound to get a bus voucher and then to get a temporary food stamp card for a week.

NOW, i didnt do it just to do it, i needed to. point is there is help if its really NEEDED. i know that sometimes, even when well prepared, life happens.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
tallpaul63
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Okay....

Let's make a distinction between traveling cheap and traveling on someone elses dime.

We can probably agree on being frugal, resourceful, and perhaps a bit rough in style...but not beggars or thieves.

If you have the backbone to travel this way, you also have the backbone to work for your supper.

Right?
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #15
dukedinner
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I agree..there is a big difference between being frugal to save on $$$ while tavelling vs being cheap and deceptive towards others while travelling to save $$$. If you can afford the bike and the gas and the computer to type on this forum, you can afford to buy a coffee and some food while on a road trip.
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