The TAT Preparation Thread-the logistical side of it

Discussion in 'Americas' started by leftystrat62, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. esp41

    esp41 Been here awhile

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    We packed freeze dried food, but you won't need it unless you stealth camp. You will find food at reasonable intervals. Take some high energy snacks on the bike for breaks.

    We also packed a tent and the freeze dried food food as a safety measure. You never know where you might get stuck or break down. This is especially important westward of Moab. Also, we doubled our carry water to 6 liters when we got west of Moab (3 on our back, 3 in the pack)
  2. BDRichmond

    BDRichmond Adv'er

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    I'm planning a TAT ride of the eastern portion (up to Colorado is the current plan) next month and would like to camp as much as possible. How plentiful are campground's along the way. I have Sam's gps maps and know they typically end at a motel each day but I don't plan on strictly following his mileages/days. I know I could possibly stealth camp but would prefer not to do that. Are state campgrounds, etc. frequently on the route or just off it? And what is the best way to find these on the fly/road? I would like to be as unscheduled/unplanned as possible without completely flying blind.

    BD
  3. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    Plus one on the maps... They point to gas and motels. If you plan ahead..you can pick up stuff for an evening meal mid afternoon. Carry a freeze dried meal (can be ricearoni or knorr meal with packaged meat) for emergencies.
  4. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    State road or recreation maps will have campgrounds listed. There are apps that locate campgrounds.
  5. g.mccormick

    g.mccormick Been here awhile

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    Colorado old vs new.

    I have Sam's maps and also gpsKevin tracks. I've used gpsKevin's to fill in an alterate for the Hancock/Tomichi passes.

    I also have made the alternate that is at mile 485.12 on Sam's printed map. What is the old route? Is this something that is a fun to do?
  6. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    I'll assume my 2011 maps are the old stuff, and yes it was a lot of fun, and there were a few sections that an overweight/overpriced pig wouldn't be fun to ride.
    Blaise W likes this.
  7. rcrampton

    rcrampton Been here awhile

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    How hard is it to find gas if you're just using Sam's tracks (the tracks don't have gas/services that are noted on the paper maps)? I'll have a GPS basemap and 25k or 100k maps, my phone with offline maps as a backup. I am hoping it's realistic to just zoom out and look at gas options as I begin each day and each time I fill up.
  8. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    It really isn't too "desolate" in regards to fuel most areas before OK. It gets a bit more of a concern but when in doubt top up, even if it's a little. I did put an aux tank on the 990R I used and only got into it a couple times (had about 200m or so range) I started with a topo map on a Montana and while it's good to let you know of potential water crossings I switched to the the regular CN NA garmin map and it was fine. You of course won't get the terrain detail but then you're in it anyway, just look around. I had his maps which did help in pre-planning and determine range capability but I never had an issue. Fuel is either along the route or relatively close. I only went as far as OK so can't say for the western side. Would you have the capability for "nearest gas station" look up? In the CN nav maps also had the fuel icons available so another reference.
  9. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Really useful thread here - I'm going to be referring back to it a lot in the coming few months
  10. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

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    I glad it was useful. Haven't looked at it in a few years. Fun ride.
  11. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Gas ended up being a non issue. I skipped more than one gas station with the 5.8 gallon Acerbis. Averaging 70+ mpg at modest speeds with stock-engine DR350, the range was absurdly overkill.

    Other mods to the bike included Seat Concepts seat, which was so good I simply never thought about it. Heated grips were an absolute godsend and I will never take a long trip on ANY bike without them.

    Other aspects of prep from this thread were quite useful. I probably carried more stuff than necessary but had tools, spares, cold weather gear (never used), two cameras plus Gopro and a laptop, in addition to camping gear, etc. Used my tire irons and spare rear tube, spare chain link and chain breaker tool to help out a stranded Triumph 800XC, plus donating spare gloves, etc. Never used the small machete (in case of blocked trail or firewood gathering - dumb in hindsight) coffee making stuff or two of the four flashlights I was carrying.

    Choice of dirt bike armoured vest and knee braces under pants and jacket with armor removed worked exceptionally well.

    Two old modified Nuvis with gpsKevin route did the trick but the generic waterproof USB charger was not enough. Should have waterproofed some stock Garmin chargers.
  12. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    Just a thread I was looking for as I am planning the Eastern TAT in July or late June. Based on other TAT posts, I was going to enjoy my TAT experience and just ride until I am ready to camp pending any mechanical or other issues. I am planning to camp 2 or 3 nights and stay at a hotel 3rd or 4th night to cleanup, etc. I wanted to see what others are using to find campsites. I know that Eastern TAT should not be an issue for me to bypass at a certain point to find a nearest hotel. I am not sure about the cell signal but I heard someone post about Priceline app for finding nearest camp site. My carrier is Verizon.

    What did everyone else use? Something simple, where the "app" can locate my present position and provide me with a listing of nearby campsites both privately operated and US Forestry/Park camp sites.

    Thanks.

    Jon
  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Generally didn't think about it until half way through the day and this never became a problem. One evening we ended up at a campsite down a long, dark, steep, rough track which was not ideal at the time but seemed to be a nice location when we woke up. Depending on heat/humidity/dust/rain/etc., you might decide to stay in a hotel on a night you thought you would camp or you might find a nice campsite you hadn't anticipated, etc.
  14. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    There are convenient state parks in Tenn. Also stayed in one in Miss. Did the TAT shack in Ark. One motel night in Miss., Ark. Take theft protections at motels. I know a guy who's bike wasbstolen in Miss.
  15. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    I found the answer that I was looking for.... Pays to read the entire thread!. I found a post from DR. Rock, see below and post#130 in this thread in which he references POI Factory for finding campgrounds. I had to register at POI Factory before you can download and came across a GPX file with 21,925 campgrounds all across the US. I downloaded using POI Loader from Garmin. I do have to go to "Custom POI" menu in my Garmin 590 but I can now see all the campgrounds nearby my location. I may do the same with the hotels! Now, I don't have to worry about being in the middle of BFE trying to get a cell signal to find a nearby campground on my phone. Theoretically, when I decide to call it a day, I simply go to Custom POI and see all the nearby campsites. I may do the same for hotels although Garmin may already have it incorporated into City Navigator.

    Thanks DR. Rock!


    Jon

  16. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    I was going to post few lesson's learned stuff from my recent TAT experience from about a month ago. I think this is the right thread. Our TAT group consisted of four riders and we met through the TAT planning threads in ADVrider. We met in Andrews, NC and followed combination of tracks from Kevin and Sam's although majority of the tracks were from Sam. We followed the zig zag tracks from Andrews, NC to near Little Rock, AR before we called it quits. Approx. 1266 miles of Eastern TAT.

    I plan to continue TAT next year but starting in the Ozarks National Forest as that is where we were headed before we ran out of time. So, what did I learn from my first TAT? In the order of priority:
    1. Bugs- Primarily Chiggers. Can't say for sure but I believe somewhere in TN & MS, I ran into a swarm of Chiggers. May have been at a USFS camp sites as we stopped and tent camped at several along the route. I can handle mosquito bites but Chigger bites itch like crazy. We carried Deep Woods Off w/ DEET and I swear I saw one crawl on my leg immediately after I sprayed with DEET. These buggers seem resistant to DEET. Chiggers bites turn red and itched off and on for about 3 weeks before they started fading. I tried Benadryl, Cortisone cream and it only helps a little. Majority of my bites were on my legs. I still have several large bites on my waist line but finally fading. In addition, the baby Chiggers cannot be seen as they are size of mites. Note to self- Need to be protected on the next TAT. Not sure with what yet.
    2. Pack everything then leave half of it at home. I brought way too much stuff-tools, clothes, cooking gears, etc. I probably carried close to 100 lbs of stuff that I either did not use at all or could not find it when I needed it. Majority of the stuff was carried high on the bike because I tried cutting corners by using an old pair of Cortech saddlebags that I had lying around for years which simply was not the right gear for TAT. I bought it for my Vstrom 1K years ago and used it once before I replaced with hard panniers. My thought was that if it just lasted this one trip, it would be worth it. WRONG! My attempt at penny pinching simply made lot more work as the saddlebags simply did not work. I have now installed Moose side racks and have dry bags.
    3. Bike friendly hotels vs. primitive camping. I found out that I am not real keen on camping outside although I had a good tent, self inflating air mattress and a good sleeping bag. I guess I am getting too old for primitive camping. I enjoyed the ride but no time to relax as we had to setup our tent before it got too dark, change clothes, tend to the bike, etc. What I did like was that majority of Super 8 motels were bike friendly meaning that they were all outside corridors allowing you to park your bike right outside your room. It appeared that Super 8's are all owned by Indians but you can get double occupancy rooms from $40.00 to $65.00 which is reasonable as you can shower, do laundry, AC cranking, shooting the shit in comfort, etc. When I slabbed back home from AR, I stayed at Super 8 motels for around $45.00 a night. I will admit that if you are committed to staying in motels every night, it may mean additional miles of travel off the TAT to find one in nearby town. There were few times in which we were deep in the trail and would not have been possible to find a motel nearby.
    I may have few additional experiences that I will share as I think about it.


    Jon
  17. BlueRidgeBandit

    BlueRidgeBandit Taylor R.

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    I spent 7 years in Virginia and got Chiggers probably 8 different times. Aside from skinning parts of my body, which I came close to doing, the best thing I've found is to coat the area with clear nail polish. It may or may not actually kill them, but it makes them more bearable as nothing touches the bites to set off a round of itching.
  18. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    Chiggers were part of my NC childhood. Nail polish is the fix
  19. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    Not to prolong this conversation about Chiggers but even my wife told me to put finger nail polish on the Chigger bite as the Chiggers dug under your skin and lived there. Of course, that grossed me out to think that something is living under my skin and applying finger nail polish on top of the Chigger bite would suffocate them. However, Google stated that it was just an old wives tale and the reason for the insatiable itching was the secretion used by Chiggers when they bit you. The secretion actually softened your interior skin so that it was easier for them to feed on you. I know, pretty gross either way. I tried my own experiment on multitude of bites on my legs and just beneath my waist line and I had to admit that finger nail polish did seem to relieve the itching that Benadryl or Cortisone cream could not. I am still at a loss on this but agree with other posts.

    Word to the TAT riders, be careful about just walking around a primitive camp site with shorts around. Nothing else to add any value to this warning other than it happened to me somewhere in TN or MS TAT trails and/or USFS primitive camp sites.

    I'd love to hear how to prevent this hopefully for my continuing TAT ride next year.

    Jon

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