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A noob is feeling uneasy

Discussion in 'Americas' started by JayhawkGSA, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Roadslayer

    Roadslayer Adventurer

    May 28, 2006
    The Edge of Washington
    attn. JayHawk. I've ridden dualsports quite a bit. I don't know about other states,but here in Washington State we have Dept. of Natural Resourses(DNR) maps. Some call them Forest Service maps. Each county has one and you buy them at the local Ranger Station. Or probably online now. Each map shows every 'dirt' road in the county. It shows if the dirt road is 'paved' sorta'. Graded,plowed,mud,sand,gravel,rock,water,you name it. Each road is numbered on the map and if you're lucky you might find that number nailed on a tree.You can figure out feet,yards,miles,elevation,incline. It shows landmarks,lakes,rivers and streams. And are updated regular. More then once I thought I got myself way in over my head and with a little study and and patience have found my way out. Check'em out.

    'Cheers' Roadslayer:deal
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

    Nov 19, 2005
    right here on my thermarest

    Most of mine are dead reckoning trips of exploration. I do lots of planning, but it's all contingency preparation that enables me to have the freedom of continuously changing my plans on the fly. So I tend to take lots of maps along as well as the GPS. It's not an adventure for me unless I find it on my own!
  3. dfwscotty

    dfwscotty Long timer

    Apr 9, 2006
    Denton, TX
    If you haven't taken the time to do it, take a weekend practice trip. People are always wanting to take a transcontinental trip for their first one when they haven't even camped or planned on how to load the bike.

    Use the small trip to work out the bugs for the big one.
  4. PistolaPete

    PistolaPete Adventurer

    Jan 26, 2008
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Hey man I know it will sound cheezy but do what I do most of the time pack well and just go with the flow and follow your nose if you get stuck, lost or break down well hell thats what I call adventure. If it goes too smooth means its over planed crap I want to go to Iceland and I haven't looked at map but once and my biggest concern is how I get my scoot over there. Good luck Bro
  5. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it

    Nov 22, 2005
    Can't emphasize that enough!

    Wow. That's amazingly obvious, now that you've posted it! :lol3

    I don't think it's ever occurred to me to go through that without staying somewhere overnight (I'm just a bit slow on the uptake sometimes), but now I think that line of thought is something I probably should incorporate into other aspects of my life than just motorbike camping! :nod

    The most enlightening aspect of your post is the "go 20 miles away" part, which insures compliance without inadvertantly/subconciously cheating.

    Howdy, Geode! :wave

  6. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Jul 31, 2005
    Moscow, Idaho
    Some good tips here Jayhawk, I may have to try a few.

    The packing and unpacking thing gets routine after a while, and things start falling into place. After a few days, I usually wind up mailing a box of unused stuff home.

    Supplies can be replenished on the road, so don't carry donuts for the whole trip. Keep camping utensils to a minimum, unless cooking is your thing. I rarely do more than boil water.

    Slow down and enjoy. Don't pass those, I wonder where that goes, roads.

    I usually just carry an atlas page. If I want more info I'll buy a state map or a USFS map. Ask the locals.

    Just take the first step.
  7. Itchykawa

    Itchykawa Been here awhile

    Nov 30, 2007
    Southern Appalachia
    Take a can of pepper spray and keep it within reach. Those country dogs can be mean and aggressive. Almost every farm or ranch on those good backroads has a few too. You wouldn't want to get a leg chewed off as you dismount to take a leak or check a map. It has happened to me a few times. :eek1
  8. stewks

    stewks Dakota Wandering

    Dec 25, 2006
    Well if you be ridin from Kansas to Canada, you'll be passin my way :freaky North Dakota has alot of dirt road and prairie trails, most going at right angles to each other. I echo what some others have said here, last year I put about 5,000 miles travelling our lonely roadways and back roads on a KLR after getting back into motorcycles after a 20 year absence. Usually I just pick out a new trail to try out going in the general direction I want to go. I find the Garmin 60csx loaded with both city navigator and a topo of our area helpful. It usually shows even the pararie roads, although they can sometime end up in the middle of a slough that can't be crossed. Good riding with some moderately twisty roads can be had in the river valleys or out west. The state has great county maps available for free online at: http://www.dot.nd.gov/road-map/county-base/index.htm
    Good luck, it sounds like a fabulous ride. Beware that March up here is really fickle and if the ridings good it usually also means the prairie roads and maybe the gravel too are mudswamps from the winter melt. :eek1
  9. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

    Jul 25, 2006
    Broken Arrow, Ok
    Turn North on the first nonpaved road West of where ever you are in Kansas and keep heading North and West until you get there.

    Like Gaspipe said, never plan on a trip like that just find the way and go. I assure you it will be a great ride.

    Take pics and report, will be some great reading.