Camping Trip Planning Advice.


Information, ideas, experiences and help with camping, pulling a trailer and roughing it on your Goldwing
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someone548
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Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:42 pm



Hi all,
I am planning to take a big camping trip on the wing the 20th-29th of May. This is the first time I've really done one and tried to plan my stops. I'm kind of confused as to how to book these campsites. Some say first come first serve some say reserve online. I'm not really quite sure how I should go about it. I was just wondering the thoughts of the more experienced campers out there as to how you guys plan your camping trips. I know it might be kind of busy seeing as how it'll be memorial day weekend towards the end of the trip. Not sure how that will factor in. Thoughts and advice are most welcome.



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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by harvey01 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:55 pm

Reservations may be necessary if you are going to be near big tourist areas. It looks like part of your trip will coincide with Memorial Day weekend which is sort of the time the season begins.

I would suspect that many prime federal and state park sites are already reserved. But it also depends where you are headed and whether or not many others want to camp there also. Also it depends on what your idea of camping is--do you have an RV, or a camp trailer, or will you be in a tent. Tent spaces that don't require water or electricity are usually more available than sites with utilities.

Generally if you know where you want to stop for each night now and have it planned out that way, I would try to get the reservation. But if flexibility is the key, you might want to get a reservation for every second or third night so you have a place to rest.

And another factor is how comfortable are you readjusting your plans if no campground is available, and motelling it?

If I know well in advance when I am going to be at a specific place, why not reserve and take the hassle out of having to hope space is available. I usually don't plan my trips that detailed though!
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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:02 pm

Harvey,
My trip includes, Mt hood, the Oregon coast, Crater Lake, and lolo hot springs in Montana. Those first three are kind of touristy. I'm just doing a simple tent and my bike. I honestly need just a spot to tent up.

I am torn because I know what my plan is today, but on the road sometimes I change my mind. Freedom is the idea so I tend to lean more towards "winging" it as I only need a simple tent spot. I could motel if I had too. Maybe just make a few of the main reservations Mt Hood and Crater and wing the rest....hmmm

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:12 pm

I very seldom make reservations and even then, it's only when attending a gathering at a State Park where there will be a lot of attendees.
I feel that making a reservation 'locks you in' to a certain route and time period, which takes away from the freedom of changing your route/destination on a whim!
I've done a lot of 'MotoCamping' over the years, sometimes being on the road for 3+ months and camping the whole time and I've only run into a full campground situation a couple of times in all that time. There's always another campground to be had just down the road a ways.

I prefer using National Forest campsites as they are 1) rustic, so that keeps most of the RV crowd and those needing electric away. 2) Quite plentiful and located in usually scenic areas. 3) Quite inexpensive. 4) Usually quieter than National/State/Private parks.
If you are 62, or older, you can get a Senior Pass for $10, which gives you free entrance to any National Park and half price camping fees at any National Park/Monument/Forest/Corp of Engineers/BLM campground.

Here is a website for National Forest Campgrounds that have 10, or more campsites in a campground - http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/list/nflist.htm

Here is another valuable campground resource I use a lot to find campgrounds along what ever route I decide to take. - http://www.uscampgrounds.info/

BTW: - I highly doubt that Crater Lake's Rim Road will be open in May, as it usually doesn't open until mid July, due to all the snow/high elevation! - https://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Even nearby Diamond Lake campground in the Umpqua National Forest doesn't open until the 2nd week of June (weather dependent) and that's at a lower elevation.
The high country/higher elevation passes hold snow until well into the end of June, so you may have to modify your route to accommodate those facts.

Just head out and don't sweat the minor details and have a ball. MotoCamping is IMHO, the best way to see the country up close! :mrgreen:


















I just reread your post and saw that you plan on going to Lolo Hot Springs.
There is a nice National Forest campground just a couple of minutes away from there, called Lee Creek Campground. Nice spot. I prefer the upper loop as it is a little larger and a little more 'airy' as the lower section is quite bushy and probably bug prone.
Make sure you fill up in Kamiah, or Lolo, as gas is hard to come by between those two towns!!!









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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:07 pm

Dusty Boots,
Thanks for the long and quite through reply. I'm 25 so I definitely don't qualify for the senior pass! Would be nice though... This will be my third camping type trip so still learning.

Will definitely check out the linked websites. I've actually never been to any of these locations except lolo. Didn't realize that much snow stays that late! I moved here from Tennessee a few years ago. Snow is something that happens in extremely limited amounts there so it didn't even occur to me for a May trip.

Thanks for all the awesome pics too! I hope to grow my collection on this trip. Near Lolo, I'm going to stay at the the Lolo hot springs camp ground. Definitely gassing up in Lolo. I did that trip last November. No services for quite some time.

Really appreciate the response!

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:25 am

Yes, 'Flatlanders' (people from the east) are totally unaware how much the big mountains in the west influence/create their own weather and that winter clings tight, well into June. That is why when I'm riding through that area in the shoulder seasons, (May to early July, Sept to late Oct). I always carry my heated full jacket liner with me. Although temps can be in the 70s/80s in the valleys, it is not unusual for the temps to drop 40* or more in the higher elevations!!

In Glacier National Park, the Going-To-The-Sun Road usually doesn't open until late June/early July, due to snow.

Here are a few shots of out west, taken in late June!


















When camping at elevation, make sure you have a warm sleeping bag and a good insulated sleeping pad!
I was camping at Lost Creek in Crater Lake on Sept 2nd one year and the morning temps were 31* !! ... so go prepared!






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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Viking » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:52 am

My experience with just a bike and a tent has been - no reservations, as they just cause one to lose money. If it is raining like a bugger and you end up with a mud hole as your site, you are out the bucks if you reserved it. No refunds is the major campground default. If you did not reserve, you can either find a campground with better drainage, or hole up in a cheap motel for a night.

Second example. You decide to stay an extra day in an area to look at more scenic stuff, or ride some twisties a second time? You lose if you reserved that night 300 miles away. Take a chance. Be adventurous. Most campgrounds can fit one more tent in somewhere.

Some great pics Dusty Boots.
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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:07 am

Dusty Boots,
I have a good jacket and some good thermals that keep me comfy on the bike down to about 30 degrees so no worries there. Got a good bag and pad too. Definitely a different world for me thinking about snow in late May! Really cool pics once again.

Viking,
That makes sense. That's kind of why I reached out. I wanted to know what the rest of you experienced campers do. Sounds like the way to go. Appreciate your comments.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by cyberlon » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:21 am

Dusty Boots : I admire your restraint for not leaving a cursive and yellow signature on that wall of snow.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:05 am

cyberlon wrote:Dusty Boots : I admire your restraint for not leaving a cursive and yellow signature on that wall of snow.
Ha ... that's just because I hadn't had my morning coffee yet! :D ;)

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Viking » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:31 am

Dusty Boots wrote:
cyberlon wrote:Dusty Boots : I admire your restraint for not leaving a cursive and yellow signature on that wall of snow.
Ha ... that's just because I hadn't had my morning coffee yet! :D ;)
And besides that, in all likelyhood, he had already left three of those, and was running on empty. :mrgreen:
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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:11 am

Actually ... while 'MotoCamping' I don't pack coffee along with me, but rather prefer Tea, which I will brew up 2 cups while making breakfast and/or breaking down camp.
I reserve Coffee while cruising the roads/area around home, because it is such a diuretic! :o
When touring out west/south west, I have a 2L bladder on my back seat/in a soft sided cooler/gear bag that I sip on throughout the day to keep hydrated and because of the very low relative humidity, I find I don't have to stop for a 'cursive signature' near as often as around home!

It IS very important to keep hydrated during a long day in the saddle!







That way I'm able to drink when ever I want without having to raise a cup/bottle to my mouth and have a large reserve of fluids for many hours of riding before I need a refill!

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by cyberlon » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:02 am

Never played much with those bite valves, they became known to me after I started losing teeth. It's not like I can go to REI and try one out, so I have to ask, does anyone know if these types of systems can by used by "gumming" them? I've seen reviews on YouTube for various items that use bite valves, but nobody mentions how much pressure it takes to operate. Are they a pain to maintain? I'd worry about mold, but I'm sure somebody's on the ball.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:20 am

I find that the CamelBak Big Bite Valve is my favorite bite valve as it flows the most and is the easiest to use/open with lips/gums.
Not sure if they work with all hydration bladder drink tubes, as I see quite a few makers are now using slightly different diameter drink tubes, but it works fine with my bladder's drink tube.

If you are looking for a hydration bladder, I'd recommend the CamelBak UnBottle insulated reservoir in either the 2 Litre, or 3 Litre size (includes the Big Bite Valve) as they have plenty of attachment points and are insulated to help keep your fluids cooler, longer.

After use, I will run a water/vinegar solution through the system to remove any mold build up.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:15 pm

Any advice on tent selection? I have a cheap two man tent now but thinking a 3 or 4 might be easier for gearing up and comfort. What does everyone use and where do you guys store it? The length seems to be a quite limiting factor. Anything bigger than what I have might have fitment issues.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:34 pm

Although I have/use a large 2 man tent with 2 large vestibules, I prefer to use my 4 person tent with 2 large vestibules, (same maker as the 2 man, just a larger model) as that provides me with plenty of room to store gear from the bike in one vestibule and enough height inside the tent to stoop slightly to pull my pants on. There's also enough room to set up my chair inside if need be. There is not much difference in packed size between the 2!!
You'll want a tent with a full coverage rainfly to protect from rain and it helps to keep the heat in if it's cool outside. (Yes ... even in July!)
I pack my poles separate from the tent/rainfly and stuff the tent body/rainfly/groundcloth into a compression stuff sac.

You would not want to be stuck inside a small tent for very long during inclement weather, which is 1 reason why I carry/erect a lightweight tarp, as it provides additional shelter to cook/sit out under during rain/full sun, for very little weight/space penalty.



















































The tarp I use is an expensive Silicon Nylon affair that weighs just 605 g for a 9 1/2' x 13' tarp. While it is very compact, it is big enough to fit/cover most picnic tables.
Here's a shot of it in it's own stuff sack with roughly 175' of cord of various lengths, which I use to string it up.
































Here's one way how I'll pack for camping off the bike. ......








Hope this helps!

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:46 pm

Very helpful Dusty! Could I ask what brand and model the 4 man tent is? I can't really tell.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:50 pm

Thanks again for all the good info. The detailed packing pictures are really helpful. If we cross paths out on the road, I owe you a beer.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:03 pm

I bought it about 10 yrs ago and they have changed it slightly and jacked the price up about $150 since then, but it is the MEC Wanderer 4, which is the Canadian equivalent of REI.

This is the 2 man version of it that I bought about 14 yrs ago. MEC Wanderer 2

This is the lightweight tarp I use. MEC Silicon Guides Tarp. Because they've 'updated' it and seeing as it now comes seam sealed, the weight has gone up about 30%! :o

Needless to say. I'm not very pleased with the direction the company (and prices) are headed, as they seem to be targeting the status seeking 'Urban' crowd now, instead of the wilderness adventurer of yesteryear!!! :cry:

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Fatboy46 » Mon May 01, 2017 1:43 pm

;-)... Holiday Inn, IHOP, Waffle House...all provide excellent sleeping accommodations and food..but I didn't like Boy Scouts...and 2 weeks at Ft. Hood -Nat. Guard - reminded me why I did my time in the Navy instead of Army!!

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Mon May 01, 2017 1:45 pm

True, but if I stayed at holiday ins every night, I would have to increase my budget for my trip quite dramatically.

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Dusty Boots » Mon May 01, 2017 2:39 pm

Fatboy46 wrote:;-)... Holiday Inn, IHOP, Waffle House...all provide excellent sleeping accommodations and food..but I didn't like Boy Scouts...and 2 weeks at Ft. Hood -Nat. Guard - reminded me why I did my time in the Navy instead of Army!!
Hotels are such 'Sterile Environments' where you shut yourself up inside for the night, watching the weather channel and never get to meet anyone. I spent too many nights in Hotel rooms when I was working and I hated it. I felt 'caged'! :?

I'm way more at ease at a campsite and meet a lot of different, interesting people at the campground! 8-)

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Mon May 01, 2017 2:42 pm

Dusty Boots wrote: Hotels are such 'Sterile Environments' where you shut yourself up inside for the night, watching the weather channel and never get to meet anyone. I spent too many nights in Hotel rooms when I was working and I hated it. I felt 'caged'! :?

I'm way more at ease at a campsite and meet a lot of different, interesting people at the campground! 8-)
Agreed. If I wanted to be shut out of the world, I'd have just stayed home anyway. :)

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by Fatboy46 » Mon May 01, 2017 3:50 pm

Dusty and Someone... and to each his own... camping is just waay too rough. "Roughing it' is a motel with no HBO... or just having Waffle House as a meal choice.. You guys go ahead- live and love that outdoors!!

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Re: Camping Trip Planning Advice.

Post by someone548 » Mon May 01, 2017 4:21 pm

Fatboy46 wrote:Dusty and Someone... and to each his own... camping is just waay too rough. "Roughing it' is a motel with no HBO... or just having Waffle House as a meal choice.. You guys go ahead- live and love that outdoors!!
Fatboy, absolutely! I hope you didn't feel we were criticizing you in any way! To each their own and whatever makes you happy! I don't have cable or HBO to begin with so, I don't miss it. Take care! :D



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