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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at a coast to coast and back again trip this year maybe, or a several smaller ones. Thinking about spending a couple nights camping to save money and for the fun, then a hotel before the turnaround. What say you all about camping off a KGT? Or any K bike for that matter than belongs on roads, paved roads. Finding campsites, reservations versus just being able to show up.

Yes, I've been over to Adventure Rider but can't muster the strength for another message board in my life (this is like, my 4th). I'm not so much concerned with gear, just the idea of finding a place and having it be GT friendly.

Kind of a broad question I know, but that's where I'm at right now in my research and just thought I throw this out there see what sticks.

cheers :xcheer:
 

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It's doable, but can be a big PITA. Here's my early setup:



The inverted U-shaped bag on the pillion seat had camping essentials like tent, bag, water, and general camping stuff. Soon I added the Kermit chair, different stove, and the need of a bear canister now required in some parks. I thought the idea of a backrest was a good idea which, at the time, did work out well. Cases held clothes and misc. bike and hotel stuff.

Once I got it all loaded on my last outing, the thing weighed so much it was impossible to lug off the bike to a campsite. Probably weighed as much as a sack of concrete. It was almost impossible to get on and off the centerstand due to the weight.

The inability to park near the site in some parks made it impractical to try and haul all the stuff even though I only bought backpacking-sized stuff with the exception of the Kermit chair. I think the adage would be pack smaller instead of one big one. Comfort comes at a cost in weight.

Traveling two-up with one of those Mag's U-shaped bags lying flat on the rear rack. She liked it as she had armrests while riding pillion. it took two of us to lug the thing into motel rooms. It looked like we were dragging a dead body around at times as people stared at us. It was a real bitch carrying it up and down stairs - although sometimes funny.


Mack
 

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somewhat of a sidetrack... but related info.

Packing light... get yourself some MRE's and a little portable stove/waterheater like the Jetboil. As far as clothes is concerned, under armor. Easily washed and rinsed in some water, fast drying, wicks sweat, comfortable. :) Being in the military, you learn how to pack light. less stuff to haul around, and more room for essential gear like ammo, tactical gear, sleeping mats, and dirty magazine.... j/k :D

I'm planning on going on a short camping trip on my KR this spring or summer, if I can find someone to go with that is...
 

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Another idea you may want to use which I picked up from the guys I ride with is to throw away as you go. That is to say when your packing take socks T-shirts, and under wear your ready to throw away. Wear them once, and do just that throw them away. This lightens your load as you go, and makes room for road cha chi's you buy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My goal on the camping, personally, is to spend a couple nights camping to get where I'm going (for example, Knoxville to SoCal) and then hotel when I get there.

I wasn't planning on even bringing a cook stove. Just some canned chow, fruit, granola and lots and lots of water. Eat out of a can on the road and at camp. Then eat out or hook up with someone when I hotel it. Easy to pack, store, throw away as you go and restock at any Walmart or grocery store.

I was thinking, basically, a tent, pad and sleeping bag. That's it (aside from some chow and normal gear). Figure I can easily back that in the panniers, my soft BMW top bag and the back seat.

Oh yeah, found THIS SITE. pretty cool.
 

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Interesting...I too plan to camp this coming season. How and what kind of tie-downs have you used on your GT? I have the usual things to secure - tent, sleeping bag, mattress/pad, etc.; but, there are not alot of options when it comes to tying the load down. Any suggestions?
 

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Wayfarer said:
Interesting...I too plan to camp this coming season. How and what kind of tie-downs have you used on your GT? I have the usual things to secure - tent, sleeping bag, mattress/pad, etc.; but, there are not alot of options when it comes to tying the load down. Any suggestions?
The GT really does not need Bungee buddies like I have on my RT. Rokstraps are the way to go for tie downs. My tent is from Catoma, and set up is important since you can be setting up in the rain or the dark,Thermarest is my sleeping pad, Northface sleeping bag with compression stuff sack so it's very compact. See links below for the goodies. Hope this helps. :)

http://www.thermarest.com/

http://www.rokstraps.com/

http://www.topratedadventures.com/Mfg/CatomaOutdoor.htm

http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/equipment-sleeping-bags.html
 

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Tour Camping

Iffybicks;
I think you have a great opportunity to enjoy this country's roads on the GT and not sweat the problems of hauling all of the extra materials that alow you complete independence. Last year I took a 3 week ride covering 37 states of just less than 10K miles.
The plan was to camp for two days and then motel it for one night to rest up and clean everything. Before I left the KOA camping guide was consulted and I found that it was an outstanding resource for my route. The main advantage here was their on site store (fire wood, snacks, lighting, entertainment, showers, washing machines, etc.) and services. One of the neatest services that I found while in the Blue Mountains area and Gettysburg was being able to order dinner from a restaurant in near the camp and having it delivered to the camp site. Now, that was cool.
All these services allows you to pack light with only the things you really want to carry. Enjoy the ride and send pics. Ride swiftly and safe.
EJ
 

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I've camped in 12 different campsites in past year. I have shown up without reservations to campsites, and if it's not a holiday, not a weekend, not the peak foliage time of autumn, you are generally ok. :) On those stated exceptions, I have had the experience of finding the last (least desirable) campsite, and even a full campsite. It is pretty exhausting to have to search for new campsite when you've been riding all day. I've since gotten in the practice of reserving (and paying) online as I plot my course. Sometimes I show up way after the office closes, and leave before they open, so that way at least I am safe and they get paid. I generally get online to check out the facilities and make sure they have firewood too! That GT will go on unpaved roads of most campsites as well, just be careful and use common sense. I love the drive up tentcamping sites the best, where I can back my bike right into the tent site and unload easier (don't forget your kickstand pad!!)

I didn't cook at all, so it's doable. I packed tons of CLIFF BARS which I ate for breakfast and lunch, and then picked up Subway or the like right before getting to camp site. Since you have no place to store food like in a car, it's best not to have food on you at bedtime unless you like nuzzling with bears. Helpful hint: stop at the first available Subway or grocery, etc when you are getting close to camp. Countless times I said to myself, there will be another one before I get there... and of course there isn't!
 

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Instead of throwing away clothes, you can ship them. I picked up that brilliant idea from someone here before my last trip. Knew the hotel I was staying at, packed a box of clothes, paid for shipping to and from (put the return sticker inside the box), and sent it slowly on its way. Presto chango when you get there open up fresh clothes, pack up stinkies (and souveniers), slap on the label and leave at hotel counter for pick up! Of course that was the only way I could ship 2 suits, dress shoes, and ties for the job interview! :teeth
 

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Aznatama
Come on out to Borrego Springs this coming weekend (Jan.31/Feb. 1) and hang out with us. Part of the group is South Coast BMW Riders Club and some are not. Meeting some folks at the I-5/Ortega Hwy at the Chevron station on the WEST side of the interchange at the Chevron station at 9:30 am. Then I-5, 76, 79 and S22 to Borrego. Camping at the campground on the west side of town.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hermes said:
Instead of throwing away clothes, you can ship them. I picked up that brilliant idea from someone here before my last trip. Knew the hotel I was staying at, packed a box of clothes, paid for shipping to and from (put the return sticker inside the box), and sent it slowly on its way. Presto chango when you get there open up fresh clothes, pack up stinkies (and souveniers), slap on the label and leave at hotel counter for pick up! Of course that was the only way I could ship 2 suits, dress shoes, and ties for the job interview! :teeth

That's one of the best ideas yet. Only gotta pack a half or so as much gear. Good one!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wayfarer said:
Interesting...I too plan to camp this coming season. How and what kind of tie-downs have you used on your GT? I have the usual things to secure - tent, sleeping bag, mattress/pad, etc.; but, there are not alot of options when it comes to tying the load down. Any suggestions?
I was looking at seat bags from Aerostitch. They could hold a tent and bag and pad (depending on the size) then at least it's mostly out of the weather. I've got a couple RokStraps and next order to wherever I'm gonna get some more, they are the best. Between the panniers, tank bag and top case I'd be pretty well covered. Just a seat bag for the camping stuff or just wrap it up and strap it to the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
erniejen said:
Iffybicks;
I think you have a great opportunity to enjoy this country's roads on the GT and not sweat the problems of hauling all of the extra materials that alow you complete independence. Last year I took a 3 week ride covering 37 states of just less than 10K miles.
The plan was to camp for two days and then motel it for one night to rest up and clean everything. Before I left the KOA camping guide was consulted and I found that it was an outstanding resource for my route. The main advantage here was their on site store (fire wood, snacks, lighting, entertainment, showers, washing machines, etc.) and services. One of the neatest services that I found while in the Blue Mountains area and Gettysburg was being able to order dinner from a restaurant in near the camp and having it delivered to the camp site. Now, that was cool.
All these services allows you to pack light with only the things you really want to carry. Enjoy the ride and send pics. Ride swiftly and safe.
EJ
That was another question I had. Making campground reservations or just show up? Ideally I'd like to just roll in, then I'm not tied to "have to get there-itis". So KOA was good eh? That website I found (in my 2nd post, 1st page) is a pretty good listing of bike friendly places, mostly state parks.

I hear what you're saying about paying online for the office being closed. Is there like a drop box or something? What if you just show up after hours? Then what? Set up camp wherever or what?

I'm lacking on the basics. The only time I've ever gone camping I owned the whole 40 acres. Never done the campground thing. I know, I'm weird. Get that a lot.
 

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I know what you are saying about get-there-itis. There was a bit of that, for better or worse. Not bad if you are trying to stay on schedule, but something to be said for spontanaeity. I think if I was taking a liesurely stroll across the country with long summer days, I would just pick out a dozen campgrounds (probably in geographic pairs), save them in the GPS, and start looking for camp well before the shadows get long. Unless it's 4th of July, odds are real good you'll have a nice site. You can always call as your day shapes up too.

I pulled in around midnight to a campground in maine, and they didn't have a drop box. I just found a site, set up and stayed the night. Left early morning to catch the ferry and I'm ashamed to say I haven't paid. Keep meaning to get the check in the mail you know :teeth Most campgrounds do have some kind of drop box though. I try and be honest as i can so bikers don't get a bad rap. Most will have a list of reservations for late arrivals, and most sites will be marked if reserved or not. Each may vary about how they assign sites (first come first serve, reservation of specific site, reservation then assignment of site upon arrival, etc.)

BTW if you have a bungie net, you should be able to strap 8-12 pieces of firewood onto your bike

Oh, and nice find with the Kermitchair. A place to park your ass is a must. I have a flimsy 3 legged TravelChair (23" long) - packs into 51L BMW bag nicely. The kermitchair looks MUCH more comfortably, and 22" long is very packable.

OK now you guys got me all excited about camping again! Not fair when there's 14" of snow outside. :snowlaff:
 

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Eureka Apex 2XTA tent - packs small
Kermit Chair - packs small
Coleman 40 degree sleeping bag - packs real small
Coleman felt insert for sleeping bag - packs inside the sleeping bag
Thermarest sleeping pad
NOTE: If I were camping in colder climates, I would look at the integrated Big Agnes Sleeping bag and pad
Waterproof Helen2Wheels Bag - but any waterproof bag should work fine
Maglite Flashlight
Coleman softside cooler (big enough to hold a 12-pack)

I don't do camp cooking because there is always a diner or restaurant close by.



iflybricks said:
Looking at a coast to coast and back again trip this year maybe, or a several smaller ones. Thinking about spending a couple nights camping to save money and for the fun, then a hotel before the turnaround. What say you all about camping off a KGT? Or any K bike for that matter than belongs on roads, paved roads. Finding campsites, reservations versus just being able to show up.

Yes, I've been over to Adventure Rider but can't muster the strength for another message board in my life (this is like, my 4th). I'm not so much concerned with gear, just the idea of finding a place and having it be GT friendly.

Kind of a broad question I know, but that's where I'm at right now in my research and just thought I throw this out there see what sticks.

cheers :xcheer:
 

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iflybricks said:
The only time I've ever gone camping I owned the whole 40 acres. Never done the campground thing. I know, I'm weird. Get that a lot.
I've been camping on a bike one time - in 1975.

Spent a week on a CB550 Honda. Rode from Omaha, Nebraska out through the mountains in Colorado and back. Clothes, tent, camp stool and sleeping bag was it. One of the keys to the clothing is tolerating the same outfit for 2-3 days. Always ate at restaurants or grabbed something at the convenient store.

My gear was not 'bike friendly' but I got along just fine. I suspect I could get a whole lot more gear on my K bike.
 

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Instead of a flashlight consider one of those coleminer lights, that use an elastic band around your forehead. If you set up in the dark you will want two free hands. :)
 
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