Budget Travel the Jamie Z Way

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Jamie Z, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. p_funk

    p_funk Patfunk

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    Per the site: Senior Pass ($10.00 - valid for the lifetime of the pass owner; must be 62+ older, U.S. citizen, and a permanent resident)

    Sorry.
  2. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

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    Good question. Not sure if the USA recognizes non-Americans for this program.

    62 is the age.

    http://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html

    Who qualifies for the Senior Pass?
    U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are 62 years or older. (You must have turned 62 before you can buy the pass).

    NOTE: Owning property or paying taxes in the U.S. does not automatically qualify you for a Senior Pass. You must be a permanent U.S. resident, or a U.S. citizen with identification such as U.S. Driver's License, Green Card or U.S. Passport.
  3. schneller

    schneller Adventurer

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    Great thread, interesting reading!

    With regards to your bike tipping over due to tying one end of a hammock to it: orient the bike longitudinally to the hammock (and other connection point), not perpendicular to it, attach the hammock to the back end of the bike which should be on its center stand. (I have not tried this myself, but theoretically, it addresses the tipping over concern.)
  4. GP1200

    GP1200 Been here awhile

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    Theoretically all of these tips are great. Practically, after a long day on a motorcycle and/or it's getting dark it's very stressful trying to figure out a free place to put up your tent, shower, or find the cheapest place to eat. Sometimes the national parks are full and you are put on a waiting list. I usually cave and get a room. Love the concept though. If you are with a lady friend you are definitely not using most of these tips or you will quickly cease to have this lady friend.
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Lady here, I do 100% free tent camping. So uh.

    Your mileage may vary. :deal
  6. Marco Moto

    Marco Moto Voyager

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    ...or "objects in the mirror may be smaller than they appear" :D
  7. kels

    kels Adventurer

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    Small airports are not a good camping place anymore.
    Our local cops check ours twice a night.

    Due to vandalism, cemetaries are a bad choice also
    Some counties have dusk to dawn curfews for them

    When in a small town, ask the local cop about places to camp.
    One place we stopped had a lot of summer bike across the USA
    people stop thru. You could camp in the city park for free and
    use the showers at the swimming pool for 50 cents.
    For a dollar, you could swim.

    One little town, I asked the local policeman about camping
    He said that the town had a campground at the NW part of town.
    It had bare bones type showers and bathrooms with HOT water.
    When I asked how cost, he told me. I asked if I paid him?
    He shook his head. The boss will be out at 8:05 in the morning
    Its his first stop when he comes to work. When I told him that I would
    be gone by then, he grinned and said, too bad I didnt see you tonight HUH?:rofl
  8. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    The real trick is make a lot of friends, Stayed in a summer house near Tryon NC for 3 days, a couple years ago free.

    And scored free 2 night stay last week, in this place near Boone NC that belonged to a friend of a friend.

    You can have your cemetery and picnic pavilions :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  9. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

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    Sweet deal.This will keep happening, and maybe more, as long as people act responsibly while lounging in someone's house.If I get my house remodeled I would be willing to open my house trailer to ADV members passing through.If I rent it,I still have a couch.For those that wanna be outside but out of the weather,I'll have covered deck.I can't wait to get my house done.
  10. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    A couple comments. If you're traveling on a budget, National Parks are probably off the list. They're almost never cheap. Most recently when I stayed a couple days in Big Bend National Park last year, I found a couple of other motorcycle travelers and split a campsite with them three ways.

    [​IMG]

    I do agree that there are occasions where a good stealth campsite isn't immediately clear and darkness is coming (mine seem to occur in desert locations where I can't find a soft patch of ground for my tent). My techniques do not preclude staying in a hotel room, but if you're staying for free (or cheap) most of the time, a cheap motel room isn't going to bust your budget. In any case, when I'm on a trip, I rarely think I had a "long day on [the] motorcycle." If I'm stressed, I'm doing something wrong. Plus, I make a point to start looking for a place to stop well before sunset.

    Depends on the lady.

    You forgot rule #1. Don't use the word "camp." Always describe it as "Setting up my tent" or "Laying out my sleeping bag." Camping has negative connotations for land owners and officials.

    I don't understand the connection between cemetery vandalism and stealth camping. Vandalism has been a problem since the dawn of time, it's not like that's a new thing. I think if anyone finds your tent and motorcycle in a cemetery, it should be pretty clear that you're not there to vandalize. In fact, you could point out that you're keeping an eye on the place.

    I continue to sleep in cemeteries (three Es, no A) with no problem. It depends on the location, but in my experience, nobody will bother you in a small rural cemetery.

    Local police can be a good source of information, but they're also just regular people, most of whom think an ax murderer will come get you if you sleep in your tent outside an established campground. They also have the authority to tell you no. I've had mixed experiences by asking local police where I can sleep. On one particular occasion, I had the local cop tell me I could set up my tent in the city park and he would come by and check on me now and then. And I had another cop call up the fire department who let me into their gated property where they let me set up my tent. In another case, the only thing the cop could tell me was that there were no motels or campgrounds in town, and I'd have to continue on. In another case, I had a cop give me an explicit "NO" when I asked about setting up a tent in town. I didn't dare try it after that. I tend not to approach police officers about tenting unless the situation falls in my lap. In each of the above scenarios, the officers either approached me, or I found myself in a situation where I thought I should explain myself, so I'd turn it into a question about where I might set up my tent for the night.

    Each situation is different. My general philosophy is that unless you're doing something really illegal, just setting up a tent somewhere isn't going to get you in trouble. The worst that could happen is that someone asks you to move, and so far I've never even had that happen.

    Jamie
  11. moventurer

    moventurer Adventurer

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    People are constantly confusing national parks with national forest and/or grasslands... But that is not surprising.

    BBBAAADDD
    National parks are fenced, heavily patrolled, charge admission, and have a long, long list of strict rules. They basically function like an outdoor environmental museums patrolled by jack-booted thugs. Camping on NPS grounds will cost a lot and you will have a park ranger babysitting you and probably waking you up to "check up" on you.
    National Park Service
    http://www.nps.gov/index.htm
    http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm

    GGGOOOOOODDD
    National forest or grassland on the other hand, are open for public use, generally do not charge fees, and although they are lightly patrolled they have much less stringent rules.
    National Forest and/or Grassland
    http://www.fs.fed.us/
    http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml

    What the Forest Service won't tell you unless you twist their arm...
    Anyone can camp almost anywhere on national forest/grasslands for FREE. It is called "dispersed camping" and is allowed anywhere throughout the national forest/grasslands within 300 feet of the center line of any road or vehicular trail. (A relatively new rule, passed during the last decade within the "Travel Management Rule Initiative" http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/final.pdf) There are additional rules, like not camping within 100 feet of a lake, pond, stream or marsh and every local forest service district has various restrictions on campfires/burning depending on the time of year or weather conditions.

    Here are some examples of "dispersed camping" rules...
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/fishlake/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5121831&width=full
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/centraloregon/recreation/camping-cabins/?cid=stelprdb5291492

    National forest or grasslands do have developed campgrounds run by the Forest Service (a branch of the USDA.) These developed campgrounds do charge small fees, usually $6-$15/night, and are regularly patrolled. They have camper spots, fire rings, some have potable water, vault toilets, etc. These developed campgrounds have their own rules, not associated with "dispersed camping".


    MY OPINION:
    This info and the rules are confusing. This is on purpose. Since the 70's, the Forest Service has been overrun by administrators that have a gigantic, throbbing hardon for shutting down the national forests/grasslands and operating them like the National Park Service runs their parks. If any rational, honest public servant was in charge of these lands, they would prominently post this info at the top of the fs.fed.us website, because that is what the lands are there for... Public use. BUT, they just can't stand having scum sucking plebeians using their own lands, and usurp access by intentionally misinforming and confusing the public. (This is because they cannot ban access to public lands outright, because the law will not pass as long as people can still vote.) Also, the new Travel Management Rule is designed to slowly restrict travel throughout public lands, until eventually they can be closed and turned into restricted wilderness areas where you cannot touch even a stick or rock, and allow foot access only.
  12. p_funk

    p_funk Patfunk

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    Well put. Nat. Forests are an awesome resource and one of the reasons Teddy Roosevelt was so cool. It's a shame the higher-ups seem to want them hidden.
  13. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    I don't think I would try this. What I have done is tie on to the side of a bike and then run the line from the opposite side down to anchor on the ground. The ground line preventing the bike from tipping and the bike keeping the line off the ground.
  14. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC Long timer

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    Regarding sleeping in cemeteries: Perhaps people will think you're just plain crazy and will stay away from you.

    Just kidding...

    maybe...


    :hide
  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    That's perfectly true. No kidding at all. That's one big reason cemeteries make good places to crash for the night.

    Would you approach someone sleeping in a cemetery?

    And just to clarify, I don't usually sleep *in* a cemetery. Cemeteries quite often have space out back, along the driveway, or behind a maintenance shed which make good places to pitch a tent.

    I wouldn't recommend sleeping among the grave markers.

    Jamie
  16. ducnek

    ducnek Satisfied customer

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    :lol3

    Im not superstitious, but NO WAY IN HELL!

    +1 on the dispersed camping tip. I camped this way at Big Bend last spring a couple miles down the 1st dirt road into the park. You have to get a permit to do it legally, and they charge about $5. It was a pain in the ass to get the ranger to issue the permit, and I was treated like he was doing me a favor.

    I camp here in the SE in national forests regularly in the back country, and have never got a permit, or been hassled. I do make sure to tread lightly, and leave no trace.
  17. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    I've done that in LBL National Forest. I got the $5 yearly permit, and all three times that I camped in one of the backcountry spots I was asked (usually around 9:30pm) to show this to a ranger. The couple of times I've camped off in the woods (overnight backpack trips), I left a note on my car with my permit number.
  18. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

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    I've been a longtyme subscriber to this thread...and I just wanna say "Thankyou" to Jamie and all the many others who have submitted such great information in regards to camping and traveling on the cheap. :clap :norton

    All this fresh info about NP's and NF's is awesome...and info that I'll definately will get some use outta!! I've learned alot about camping (or is that 'pitching my tent') on FREE BLM Land thanks to this thread.



    Keep it coming folks....I'm all ears! :ear :deal
  19. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Sure thing.

    Here's a guy on the Tent Space list who took me up in his airplane and let me fly it.

    [​IMG]

    And when I stayed with a couchsurfer in NYC, he invited me to come for a back room tour of his place of employment. The UN building! Here I am in a United Nations Conference Room. Chairman, baby.

    [​IMG]

    This other couchsurfer I stayed with (on the right) invited me to a party when I arrived.

    [​IMG]

    The best way to travel is to stay with old friends or make new ones... but in a lot of cases that's not an option. I consider the residents of a cemetery my friends in the meantime.

    Jamie
  20. uberaudi

    uberaudi Adventurer

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    Just read the whole thread, a lot of awesome tips in this!