to camp or not to camp?

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

  1. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

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    I'd do both - they're a different experience and you meet more people camping but hotels are more comfortable and I find them to be a quicker in and quicker out experience.

    I'd think about joining the KoA - their cabins are a pretty nice compromise and knowing where they are can help in route planning.
    #41
  2. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    We do both as well, when making "big miles" we motel to save time, when we get to our destination or riding an area and doing smaller rides we camp.
    #42
  3. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    wow folks, very informative..... I took a nice look at the places and spots and they look breathtaking. I'm so excited to do this thing!
    #43
  4. Suitcase

    Suitcase Suitcase

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    Getting the rite gear is uber important to make camping enjoyable. What i look for is dual purpose gear that can double for bike camping an backpacking. In both adventures light weight and compactness are absolutley necessary.
    Setting up your motorcycle for a long haul is a trial and error endeavour....in all aspects from how much toolkit to pack, sizing and fitting saddlebags, tankbags (get the biggest tankbag you can find) tailracks and cases. Learning to load the bike quickly and most importantly Securely will take practice. Bungees are ok...but cam type cinch straps are better. Dont forget to tweak your rear suspension to accomodate the additional weight of gear.
    Some bazic camp/on tour essentials for North America. ...small axe/hatchet - bear spray and poppers - parachute type cord - 8 x 10 tarp - couple of flashlites - dry sacks - good rain gear including boots - bbq style long nose lighters - .

    Get to know your bike. ....uhh mechanically that is. That knowledge will help in deciding how big a toolkit to carry.It may also save you from a breakdown on the road. Unlike travel in a cage...you really have to check your bike daily to avoid problems. If you got chain drive it will need lube regularly and with long miles going on daily it will need adjusting.

    Once you get the hang of camp site set up and outdoor food prep belive me...you will avoid motels except for extreme weather shelter. Nothing beats a 2 or 3 dish meal cooked on a fire followed by a double shot of sambuca before crawlin into a sleeping bag under the stars.

    If BC is on your agenda..pm me for a coffee and ride meet.
    #44
  5. Suitcase

    Suitcase Suitcase

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    Gettin old or gettin soft??? From an ex KWerite.
    #45
  6. achtung3

    achtung3 Long timer

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    I vote for camping, if: the weather is reasonably good- some rain is not bad, bear safe area-keep your food at least 200+ yards away from where your tent is and up on a branch at least 10ft or more, or bear safe locker.

    I was in BC and Yukon this summer and rained pretty much everyday and Pour some nights when I was camping, not fun but I had a waterproof tent and that made more tolerable.
    I'd rather be camping in the rain than riding in the rain.
    I was very impressed by some of the campsites in Canada.:clap

    Enjoy your ride.
    #46
  7. SoSlow

    SoSlow Having fun

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    For me, camping is part of the adventure. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction at the end of the day when I'm lying in my sleeping bag listening to the leaves, birds, bugs or rain pattering outside whilst reading a book by flashlight.

    I also have a tendency to gloss over my bad camping experiences and remember only the good ones...
    #47
  8. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    The 50/ 50 factor. I did my cross Canada trip last year for 60 days, and I ended up in one hotel.Just about every town has a rec-center to have showers, and there are no shortages of lakes and rivers to go swiming in. I set up my tent on free land, and I saved about $5900 "at a $100 per room." The saved money filled my fuel tank up for the 60.000 km bike ride. Saving money means more miles, and more miles mean more fun. Bike and tent if you know how to do it, and if your that type of person, then hotel it.

    From Jeathrow Bowdean in Western Canada.
    #48
  9. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Sounds like a very cool trip.... wish I had the time
    #49
  10. Back Tire Brad

    Back Tire Brad Dryden rider

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    Fire, Beer, and buddies what can be better. There is also something to be said about a soft bed and a hot shower.
    #50
  11. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Have done it both ways and there are merits to all. Camping is a cheaper way to go, especially in the summer travel season when motels have top rates. Most places i have been are typically between $10 and $20 for a tent site although if you want a place that has amenities such as hot showers, a restaurant etc the price will go up accordingly. You will also normally meet and talk to a lot more people when you camp vrs motel

    When you camp you have to factor in the time needed to set up and tear down. Also sometimes you do not get the best nights sleep in a tent and that can result in a tired days ride the next day. That tiredness can get accumulative, so plan on a motel once in a while to get proper rest. You will enjoy your trip more. Another thing is get a bigger tent than you think you will need. Minimum for a single individual is a 2 person and a 3 person for a couple. Also make sure it has a decent vestibule to put boots and stuff under.

    Also if it looks like a long rain storm, plan on the motel. Riding in the rain with proper gear is not that bad but nothing is more frustrating than setting up or tearing down camp in the rain.

    Camping or moteling it, stay away from the branded franchises when you can. Small mom and pop operations are great. Some times you will get a dud but I have done a bunch of this and I don't think there are any that i would not go back to (except maybe one camp place in Swift Current). In the west there are a lot farm or oil patch workers using camp sites and they can not only be costly but are not really pleasant with lots of activity 24 hrs a day.

    So go enjoy your trip. Take your camping gear and take your time. Be a fair weather traveller. Camp when the weather and situation suits it, motel when you think you need it, and don't let the economics run your vacation.

    We took a trip to Alaska and NWT this summer. There are lots of available camping locations all the way up. We had no daily plan and it worked out al right. I think there was one night where we had to do a bit of searching but it was daylight for 24 hrs so no worries about travelling at night

    As a far as food goes, your choice. Packing food and cook gear along with cooking pots and dishes takes room. If I were to do it again (and I will) Ideally I would have some cereal cereal bar in the morning. (That being said i like my morning coffee so I usually stop to get one at some point in the morning.) For lunch stopping at a grocery store and getting some yogurt, fruit or other snack or just a bowl of soup and toast at a restauant, then restaurant it for the late meal, but don't leave it to late. If you plan to ride late, stop and eat earlier and then put your extra miles on.

    One thing we found this summer heading north was that food was probably the most costly item. Even gas and accommodation was not an issue. Gas was in the $1.35-$1.50/l for premium (the highest was $1.80 a litre for premium at the Esso in Inuvik), Our tents sites averaged $15 and motels around $80-100 but food ended up to be the issue. If you wanted to eat burgers/sandwiches and fries then it was not bad but going beyond that at a restaurant got costly.

    Did that exact ride this summer, (except the Toronto-Dryden part) if you have any questions it is fresh in my mind so don't hesitate to drop a line. One thing that you will have to adjust to is the 24 hr daylight. That can make it a bit tough to get a full rested nights sleep so make accommodation for some lighter days when you get tired.
    #51
  12. corney

    corney Adventurer

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    I have ridden to Hyder Alaska, Montana, Koteenies twice and other short trips in Saskatchewn with my riding buddies. Fifty nights in a tent, one in hotel and one in a B&B when we hit a prairie storm from £**£! It's the way we like to roll.

    If you are around Saskatoon, SK contact me and you have access to a place to set up a tent and a shower. We are building a house out at Blackstrap Lake this summer so I won't have a shop until September 2013. We'll even feed you and I may indulge in some adult beverages!
    #52
  13. alberta bob

    alberta bob Been here awhile

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    Check out the tent space list for some of your camping and trip planning .
    #53
  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Also, if you're sleeping under a lean-to by your bike, pitch your bedroll out on the side away from the sidestand, so if it falls over, it falls away from you.
    #54
  15. edwin

    edwin Been here awhile

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    klay,...goood advice....not that i dont use a tent, but for those minimalists out thar....
    #55
  16. Forest Cop

    Forest Cop Forest Cop

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    that sounds like an awesome trip.....can't wait for spring!
    #56
  17. Forest Cop

    Forest Cop Forest Cop

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    Went for a ride from Windsor On. to Rapid City,South Dakota this past summer. We stayed in motels most nights, just because it's nice to have a hot shower and a soft bed to snooze! The weather was sunny and hot! 40C on the tarmac. We did stay at one state park. I had reserved a cabin for about $56 US. It was great. Nice and clean, two bunk beds. We had our camp gear as well, so we just had to use our sleeping bags. Great trip all around.
    So, my only comment is to be prepared for all possibilities and take advantage of what is available...showers, campfires, dry motel rooms on a rainy night...etc.
    #57
  18. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    in any event I'm up for a huge challenge... God only knows we won't be sticking to the route because we are going to find more places to stop and see!! I'm still planning.. the hardest thing to plan is what to take/what NOT to take.. What type of gps is for this kind of trip etc.....
    #58
  19. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    What not to take....:roflI still get caught and I have been doing that for a long time. Leaving for a few weeks, that's half a day finding/packing my stuff and days later....why the heck did I bring that.:wink: Really worked on that last summer, got it now....!:rofl

    Seen too many unnecessarily overloaded bikes in campgrounds and on the road. Looks like an explosion when they unpack and takes too much time to repack and go in the morning.:eek1

    Make a pile, look at it and then you can probably leave lots of it behind. The cheap stuff, always to be found somewhere if you really need it that is.

    Do not fill the luggage to the brim, keep some room you'll need it if only for food or beverages.:1drinkAnd prioritize for safety....dry, warm and well fed!:wink:
    #59
  20. sherpaguy

    sherpaguy Been here awhile

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    I agree with shipwreck here. The wife and I crossed Canada and some states this past summer (15000kms) we received some great hospitality off tent space inmates. We are now on that thread ourselves. Lots of room here.On our trip we mostly camped but promised ourselves a restaurant breakfast after a couple of hours ride in the mornings.

    Leave the gps at home-use hard copy-who can resist giving travelers advice when you see them pouring over a map!
    #60