From Germany through North America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Atemlos-reisen, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Atemlos-reisen

    Atemlos-reisen n00b

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    Hey Everybody,
    I just joined here. Right now iam on a trip x the U.S. iam struggling with finding good spots for my tent, so i mostly sleep in motels, but thats not working for the 3 months. So someone told me about the Tent Map here on ADVriders. I hope some of you can help me out.
    I introduce myself on a day were i can get my Laptop out, cause its kinda struggle to write that much on a phone. Today iam heading to Wilmington, NC and than along the seaside direction south.
    Thx in advance guys.
    #1
  2. CO1K

    CO1K KOYAANISQATSI

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  3. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    There's this one:
    Posted by boney yesterday-
    "This one took me a while... I've been trying to track down an easy way to find the out-of-the-way campgrounds. I think I can make a file to load them into the GPS with POI loader (another project for later), but more importantly, here is a GPX of all the campgrounds listed in the USFS database in 2018. Put it into BaseCamp and you can see the sites near where you're going, and then look them up on the webs."

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/all-the-usfs-campgrounds-listed-in-their-database.1394159/
    #3
    Atemlos-reisen likes this.
  4. Atemlos-reisen

    Atemlos-reisen n00b

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  5. Atemlos-reisen

    Atemlos-reisen n00b

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    Ty Harvey will Check this put!
    #5
  6. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    #6
  7. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    If planning to camp in the US, you need to understand the difference between public and private land. Public land is open to everyone (including non-US residents). But private land is private - you need permission to be there.

    Public land in the US where one can camp include National Parks, National Forests, Wilderness, State Parks, and BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). There are other public lands such as National Monuments and Conservation areas, but camping is mostly prohibited in the National Monuments and Conservation areas.

    1. National Parks - these are places like Yellowstone and Yosemite. You need to pay a fee to enter the park, you need reservations for campgrounds, and the price of a campsite can cost as much as a hotel, but the campsites are usually very nice with all amenities, including showers. The campsites in National Parks are usually reserved months in advance, especially in the most popular parks or during busy holidays/weekends. If you plan on visiting multiple national parks, inquire about the annual pass that will save you a lot of money on entrance fees. As far as I know, the Smokey Mountain National Park is the only NP with no entrance fee. Some National Parks offer primitive campsites (no water, restrooms, or other amenities). These cost a lot less, but you need to be self-supporting and carry out all your garbage, and bury your poop.

    2. National Forests - these are my personal favorite because essentially you can primitive camp almost anywhere you want for free. The term for this is dispersed camping. There are usually some rules such as you need to be a certain distance from water (lakes, rivers, creeks) and a certain distance from roads. There are also rules about campfires - in general if you don't see a fire ring, don't start a fire. There are also developed campgrounds in National Forests that will have designated camp sites, bathrooms, and garbage bins. Some will have potable water and showers as well. The price is much lower than campsites in National Parks. Sometimes the campsites are free, but in general the cost is $5-$20 per night, per campsite. If it is a designated campsite, many times you need to make a reservation on-line and you will need a credit card to make your reservation. National forests are most commonly found where there are mountains (see map). There are areas of the country where you can travel for weeks and never pay for a campsite or hotel, and other areas (like Texas) where you will almost never be on public land once you leave the highway.

    3. Wilderness areas - these are areas of public land that strictly limit the type of travel that can be done through them. Only non-motorized travel is allowed. There may be a road leading into the wilderness area that you can ride on, but you can't ride off that road. I have used these in the past - park my bike on the road, then carry my gear a hundred yards or so down a trail, and set up a camp. Camping in wilderness areas is primitive and free, but there may be rules that you can only camp in designated camp areas.

    4. State Parks - these are one of my least favorite places to camp. Most do not require a reservation, the campsites are often very close together, and you may be trying to sleep right next to a big camper running a generator all night. Cost is usually at least $20 per night but there are restrooms, water, garbage bins, and sometimes showers.

    5. BLM land - This is public land that is a free-for-all and one of my favorite places to ride and camp when traveling in the West. Essentially you can camp wherever you want, and there are very few rules regarding campfires and motorized vehicles. Most BLM land in the US is located in the Western USA. BLM land is leased to ranchers, so if you open a gate to ride through, close it behind you. Camping is primitive - pack out your trash, have plenty of water available, and bury your poop.

    Camping on private land: you need permission from the owner, but sometimes you can find a privately-owned campground. KOAs are an example of privately-owned campgrounds. These are my least favorite places to camp and will only do so if there are no other options. Often the price is close to the price for a cheap hotel. Showers, and sometimes even swimming pools are common. These campsites are often loud, crowded, and far less beautiful than public land.

    Stealth camping, which I will describe as secretively camping on private land, is a choice, but keep in mind you are breaking the law, and many Americans have guns and will use them to protect their property. I have needed to do this a few times, but only as a last resort and after the sun has already set. Also, I have only done so on privately-owned tree farms or churches where I am less likely to get shot. If I do this, I make sure I am out of there in the morning as soon as the sun is up, and make sure I leave no trace.

    Some other things: if camping in a forest, do not bring food, toothbrushes, or toothpaste into your tent - if you can put it in your mouth, don't put it in your tent. Try to store those items in something you can lock, or hang from a tree far from your tent. If you are at a designated campsite and you see a bear box, use it. The further to the north and west you travel in the US, the more likely you are to encounter Grizzly bears. Grizzlies are much more likely to harm you than other bears in the US.
    #7
  8. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    Here's another I just found- ioverlander a free app (website, iOS, or Android) with various user contributed sites.
    #8
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  9. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    Depending on where you are and how remote, you can also look into couchsurfing.com to find people who will host you. I have had good luck with it and have hosted plenty of people traveling through my area.
    #9