to camp or not to camp?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by turnitonagain, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    As it is my first real XC Trip, and our goal is to do all of Canada Coast to Coast my question is, keep in mind leaving financial factors out. Is it worth to Camp out vs Hotel/motels and why?
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  2. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    I guess what I meant to say was..... bear in mind this trip will take us to some remote (not completely remote) parts of the country Ontario - NWT, I'm trying to figure out bearing in mind the physical toll of riding 8 -10 hours a day + the added work of setting up camp etc... VS. pulling into a hotel/motel and going from there. If I were to camp and I know it's not always possible I would be winging it, because I don't have pre-determined spots where I will stop to camp out. Essentially, I will ride till I get tired, and when I do I'd just set up camp. Remember, I'm a rookie and don't have many long distance adventures under my belt so I wouldn't be good at judging the when, the where, the who?

    Another factor eating away at me is provisions/supplies especially for a journey of the size I want to take part in. should I get used to eating power bars, and meal replacement type deals? maybe beans out of a can, I'm not picky.
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  3. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    Well, if you leave out financial considerations, then that makes it an easier question since it seems a lot of people generally camp just to save money. If you like camping, though, then it's different. When I go on a trip, I like to spend more time in a tent than in a hotel room.

    That said, it is nice to get a hotel once every few days, or at least camp at a site that has showers. :1drink

    Setting up camp doesn't have to take much longer than rolling into a hotel room. My tent takes only about 2-3 minutes to set up, then you just open the valve on the pad, and toss it in along with your sleeping bag. Then you're good to go. You can cook for yourself at camp (my preference, it gives you something to do until the sun goes down) or you can stop at a restaurant like you would for a hotel. (Of course, there might not be a restaurant nearby when you're camping) And you don't really have to carry days and days' worth of food, you can usually find a grocery store or something along your way and restock every day or every other day so you're not carrying so much.

    Edit: On long trips, it's best to get into a routine of having wheels rolling early in the day, so that by the time you're tired and ready to set up camp, you still have enough daylight left to set up camp and settle in. Eventually you'll get into a routine that works for you.
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  4. BenZens

    BenZens Adventurer

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    Personally on long trips across Canada I generally do a little of both. Some nights I will camp and others I hotel it. It all depends on a number of factors, first off is the weather. If I have been cold and wet for a couple days (sometimes even just one day) then I definitely make the effort to find a hotel. Get a hot shower and dry my gear. Its quite a sight to see all your gear spread out over a hotel room drying.

    Also where you camp makes a difference. If you camp at a camp ground most times you have access to hot showers, porcelain toilets, fire pits, nice flat camp spots and sometimes even wi-fi. The bad thing at some of these commercial campgrounds is you have these huge RVs' running generators all night, camp sites that are nothing more than a gravel drive way (for the RVs'). There are campgrounds that are just for tents but sometimes they only have pit toilets and may not have showers.

    Now I am one of those weirdos who doesn't always camp at camp sites and have been known to just make a lean too with a tarp from my bike and sleep in a sleeping bag next to it. The great thing about having your camping gear is, if you are out in the middle of nowhere you have your accommodations with you and can generally find a spot out of the way to camp. This might not always be a "legal" camping spot but most of the time you won't be hassled.

    If you are planning on passing through Saskatchewan shoot me a message and perhaps we can meet up.

    Ben
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  5. toddiscdn

    toddiscdn Take off, EH!

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    Just a thought, but if you are comfortable with it check out the tent space thread, sometimes its more than tent space and gets you a room and food. Otherwise, Id like the idea of both as well, a hotel option is always a nice treat if the weather turns real bad or you have had a trying day.
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  6. BackRoader

    BackRoader ROK strapper

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    Always carry your camping gear....you don't have take the kitchen sink, just enough to sack out for the night somewhere. There are masters of stealth cmping, who may chime in and offer some of their secret spots :evil

    Camping can get pricey in certain parts of the country...for example, Ontario Provincial parks are pushing close to $40.00 a night, whereas there are Mom and Pop Motels for $60 that include some form of free breakfast. Some private Camp Grounds are expensive, though their prices are driven by location.( KOA in Niagra Falls was $62.00 for a tent and no power)

    Use Tim Hortons and MacDonalds free Wifi to book ahead......

    (I carry bear bangers and BF Knife :evil)
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  7. isplat2

    isplat2 Been here awhile

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    When camping in bear country always park your bike facing the way "out".....Quick get-away.
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  8. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I'm with BackRoader on this...I almost always get hotel rooms...by the time you factor it all in, the cost at the roadside hotels isn't that much different.

    Also, they are easier to get to, and you have the convenience of a shower, place to dry out your stuff, etc. (and not having to store all that stuff on the bike)

    Old Fart at Play, Backroader, and I have hauled camping gear all over the country...and often laughed about how it has been used maybe twice over the years!
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  9. edwin

    edwin Been here awhile

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    i am with slomo and others above....
    take camping gear and do a nite here and there indoors too!
    for moi, many times the highlights are the places i camp for the nite...i almost ALways free-lance except when i need a shower. the nature i experience is amazing along with the views and the feeling of being away from it all...

    getting nice camping gear is a bit costly unless you can find some of it used. but after one trip you would have most of it paid for by saving on motels. and i dont cook....(i do at home but not on a trip)...buT, then i havent been secluded from humanity for an entire day on my motorbike trips so i dont need to bring pots and a steak.
    all the best planning!
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  10. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I'd do both and depending on how things went that day would determine where i slept. Most of my camping would be on crown land where id try and get a location close to water with some fishing and a fire. Hotels would likely only be every few days for a hot shower, or the weather turned bad, but I would budget for a hotel every night. Some healthy snacks, canned fish and some fruit is all I need to eat while camping.
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  11. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    all very excellent and knowledgeable replies I must say. I now have a mental picture or outlay of what I require more or less for my trip cross country. for those of you who haven't seen my bazillion posts of route I am basically starting from Toronto and want to go all the way up the Dempster trail To Inuvik. I really don't plan on sticking to the route 100% I plan on some interesting detours that some of the other members pointed out to me.

    I plan on taking a few small trips next spring to get me,myself and my passenger all comfortable with the Idea of a long distance journey.
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  12. klondike1

    klondike1 Nobody in particular

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    I love camping. Do it all year. If you are keen try a little weekend practice run and see how your gear and packing works out. I can set up my tent quicker than i can make our bed. That being said i have had years where i spent more nights in my tent than in my bed. If you have to buy gear get the best you can afford. The days of waking up wet since it rained over night is no excuse. The gear is top notch now so comfort, dryness etc should be no problem.
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  13. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    Some where in the advrider web sit there is a tent space thread, that includes piles of people offering their yard for you to camp... So far I have never left anyone outside, i have fed everyone coming through the door.. and usually a few laughs with beer... Sounds like a little home work will get you near a free trip except for gas... if I find the thread i'll post it...


    edit: ask google its says the thread is in trip planning.... d'oh!
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149585
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  14. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    that's what I was thinking... I was thinking of doing a Tobermory Run next spring... I've yet to even purchase a bike yet!!! so many decisions ahhhhh!!! I went camping to Algonquin this year got rained on and was cold but all and all a fun experience!!
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  15. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Strangely enough, I find I am often on the road earlier when camping. I don't eat an elaborate breakfast, and when the sun hits the tent (hopefully) I am awake.

    Staying in motels increases the urge to stop for breakfast, which can use up an additional 30 minutes to an hour in the morning. With today's modern butane stoves, you can pop a pot of water on for coffee or tea, whip up a little oatmeal or whatever you fancy, and have the gear packed in a fairly short time if you concentrate on developing a system to do so.

    Many times, I will not cook dinner. I'll grab a sandwich (being careful not to get potentially hazardous things like mayo on it,) and perhaps heat a can of soup.

    If you root out the little municipal campgrounds that seem to be common in various places in Canada, you're in for a treat. They are generally clean, have hot showers, and in my experience are nicely set up.

    One of the real pleasures of doing a long trip is talking to the people who you meet. Folks are far more open and willing to converse at campgrounds. You can build a fire. I do stay at motels occasionally when I ride, but the experience is far richer when camping.

    With careful shopping, you can get a fairly good camping setup for $400 or so. This time of year, there are some phenomenal sales on. While it may seem a chunk of change, it will last you many years with proper care.
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  16. OurBC

    OurBC Live to Travel

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    One advantage to motels and hotels vs camping is the amount of bugs you have to deal with especially during prime time. Would you rather be watching something on TV or holed up in a tent avoiding mother nature.
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  17. ThumperGuy

    ThumperGuy Adventurer

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    i would rather be doing anything other than watching something on TV, especially while travelling to see stuff.
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  18. hewhohesit8s

    hewhohesit8s Been here awhile

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    I've been going on August road trips for 5 years now and the number of nights I spend camping has decreased from 10 (of 30) the first year to 2 (of 28) this year and I'm not sure i'll even take the camping gear next year. I don't mind riding in the rain, but dislike setting up and tearing down in the rain. I usually live blog the trips so motels are more convenient for that too. As long as you start looking for a place a few hours before sunset, you can always find a town with an available room. (I hate to drive between dusk and dawn).

    Like others have said there is not a big price difference between camping and moteling. Plus, for me, it's more about the riding and the talking about the ride than camping (and the bugs that that entails).

    I'm willing to admit that my preference for motels gets stronger the older I get.:gerg
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  19. bungie4

    bungie4 Frostback

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    A couple of years ago 2 buddies and myself rode 16Km over 3 weeks. Ontario to BC to NM To AL to ON. We all brought our camping gear but we never used it once. The one time we were going to use it was on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, theirs a little place called Jacob Lake that we had reservations at. Got there only to find we DIDN'T have reservations.

    When asked if their were any campgrounds close by the clerk says "Ya, but you don't want to stay there. They have a bit of a tarantula problem". Right, back across the desert to the Comfort Inn in Kanab UT! LOL!

    Regardless, the 3 of us would split a double with a cot and it was usually WAY cheaper than camping.
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  20. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    Good advice for travelers in the States, too. One of the nicest campgrounds I've stayed at was a county campground in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Free showers, electrical hookups, and nearly completely empty. Not the kind of place I'd be looking for if I were backpacking, but perfect after a long day on a bike.
    #20