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  1. Default NJ to WY, leave monday

    Ive been told by a few people that truckers and roadtrippers routinely use the parking lot of Wal Mart, and they say that its pretty much know that its a good place to go.

    anyone heard of this or am i being yanked?

  2. Default NJ to WY, leave monday

    This is it. Sojourning the way from NJ to WY.

    The Drive (keep in mind, going west, ill be taking almost zero interstate, but coming back, ill be taking mostly interstate)

    21 days

    8 days driving West, 6 days driving East, leaving 5 days of camping.

    Must average 250 + miles per day going West.

    Total Funds - $1700

    All estimates are on the high side, and rounded up.


    Days on Road - 8 days West, 6 days East.

    Gas - $480 (150 gal. x $3.20 per gal. = 5250 miles) (should only come to $420 in reality)
    Lodging - $500
    Food - $320 (Sandwiches, drinks, diner's etc.)

    Sandwiches - (Ex. $5 per lb. of cold cuts, 2 lbs. of cold cuts ($10) = 8 sandwiches,
    8 sandwiches = 2-3 days of sandwiches.)

    Diner's - (Ex. $10 check at diner for 1 meal, 21 meals (once a day) = $210)



    Total Cost - $1300


    -- CLOTHING --
    - Boots, shoes
    - Poncho (1)
    - Thermals (3)
    - long johns (1)
    - Hoodies (2)
    - T-shirts (all i have)
    - Pairs of jeans (3)
    - Trekking pants (1)
    - Underwear/Socks (all i have)
    - Blanket, Pillow

    -- NAVIGATION --
    - Magellan explorist 200 GPS
    - Compass (2)
    - Road Atlas (2)
    - Road trip USA/Wyoming books

    -- CAMP EQUIPMENT --
    - Bug Spray (3 cans)
    - Canteen (2) (Camelbak 100 oz. hydration system; basic canteen)
    - Biodegradable Camp soap (1 bottle of concentrate)
    - Flashlights (2) (1 D cell Maglite w/ extra bulb, 1 AA Maglite)
    - Flashlight/Lantern (1) (AA Coleman)
    - D cell batteries (14)
    - AA batteries (26)
    - Bic lighters (5)
    - Zippo/Zippo fuel
    - Matches (2 boxes, several books)
    - Shovel
    - Hatchet
    - Machete
    - K-Bar knife
    - Swiss Army knife
    - Leatherman tool
    - Tent and Fart Sack
    - Rope (50 ft. thin white, ~ 25 ft. thick yellow)
    - Duct Tape (2 rolls)
    - Bungee cords (6)
    - Trusty Spoon (2)
    - Work Gloves (2 pairs)
    - Coolers (2) (1 Large cooler; 1 small "car" cooler)

    -- FOOD and DRINK --
    - 5L water container (2)
    - 2L water container (1)
    - 1L water container (1)
    - Water purification tablets (2 bottles of 25)
    - Freeze Dried Beef Stew (4 bags)
    - Freeze Dried Spaghetti and Meatsauce (5 bags)
    - Soup (5 cans chicken noodle, 5 cans beef stew)
    - Pouches of Pemmican/Sunflower seeds/Peanuts
    - Bags of Pretzyls/Chips
    - 32 oz. Gatorades (12)
    - Jetboil stove kit
    - Jetboil propane cans (8)

    -- EMERGENCY --
    - First Aid kit
    - Snake bite kit
    - Magnesium Fire starter
    - Rescue Mirror

    -- PERSONAL EFFECTS --
    - TP (4 rolls)
    - Paper towels (2 rolls)
    - Face towels (2)
    - Body towels (3)
    - Hand rags (2)
    - Soap (2 bars)
    - Shampoo (1 bottle)
    - Camp Soap (1 bottle)
    - Toothbrush (2)
    - Toothpaste (1 tube, 1 small tube)
    - Listerine (1 bottle)
    - Deoderant/Axe (2 sticks; 1 can)
    - Sewing Kit (1)
    - Band Aids
    - Pepto bismol (1 bottle)
    - Chap stick (1 stick)
    - Anbesol (1 tube)

    -- MISCELLANEOUS --
    - Cigarettes (15 packs)
    - Leather bound Journal
    - Pens (4)
    - Pencils (2)
    - Book (1)
    - Super Glue (2 tubes)
    - Post its
    - Sharpies

    -- ELECTRONICS --
    - CB radio
    - Emergency car roadside kit
    - DC Car Converter
    - iPod/charger
    - Cell phone/Charger
    - Computer/Charger
    - External HD
    - Blank CD's
    - Camera/gear/charger

    -- SKATE STUFF --
    - Boards (2)
    - Skate Aid kit
    - Skate shoes
    - Skate tool
    - Helmet

    Wish me luck, suckas, cuz theyre bears where im going.


    Greg.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-10-2006 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Format

  3. Default

    I've heard that too -- but its not an official policy by Walmart to allow this. Whether or not you can stay overnight in a parking lot is set by local community ordnance, and enforcement of "no overnight stay" policies is dependent upon the local law enforcement.

  4. Default

    Ill certainly try to check with the local authorities before i try to do it, but in the event i do pull into a walmart to sleep and cops do bother me, ill just very politely explain my situation, im 19, from New Jersey on my way across the country, and am trying to do so on a budget, hence me sleeping in my car.

    What could happen then? besides a nightstick to the face and a night in jail lol?

  5. Default Check this out...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Varies by Location

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As Larrison has said, it will vary from location to location.

    However, even if a store will allow it, it is highly recommended that you check in with the store manager and let him know what's up. It should certainly save you any hastles of being waken up in the middle of the night.

    If you are planning to sleep in your car, you might also consider truck stops as another option.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Budget

    Gas - $480 (150 gal. x $3.20 per gal. = 5250 miles) (should only come to $420 in reality)
    Lodging - $500
    Food - $320 (Sandwiches, drinks, diner's etc.)
    Honestly, your estimates seem a little bit on the low side to me.

    Starting with gas, What kind of car are you driving? It looks like you are figuring 35 mpg for your car. That's fine if that's what you can get, however, it looks like you're going to have quite a bit of gear loaded down, so that could put a drag on your mpg. Sadly, you could also be seeing gas well over the $3.20 mark too.

    Lodging, you are only giving yourself $24 per night. The nights where you are camping you shouldn't have a problem staying under that, and you will save some money if you spend a couple nights sleeping in your car, but a couple of motel stays could start to put a big hole in that budget.

    Food, also seems a tad low. $15 per day really isn't that much. Even if you do most of your eating out of a cooler you will have to really watch things here. It can be done, but you will really have to limit your purchases of snacks and drinks. Those quick gas station purchases can start to add up rather quickly.

    I don't think you are being totally unrealistic with your plans, but I don't think you've given yourself much room for error. Make sure you are keeping a close eye on your money total, particualrly as you reach the midway point of your trip, so you don't realise too late that you've splurged a little more than you'd planned.

  8. Default Looks like you've already bought most of your food...

    Hmm.. looks like you've bought a bunch of your food already, so that food budget may be reasonable, but you'll be tight on funds anyway.

    Anyway.. a couple of random suggestions?

    35 mpg? That may be a bit high -- don't forget that while you may be doing a lot of freeway driving with good mileage, you may be doing some amount of slower, less gas efficient backroads driving too.

    Stop somewhere every couple of days and hit up a grocery store for fresh fruit and perhaps some veggies. Most of what you have packed for food looks like freeze dried and canned stuff. Great for long term storage without ice, but it gets untasty real fast from taste boredom. Get some grapes or oranges or apples or carrot sticks or the like. It shouldn't cost too much, it'll keep you healthy and mannnn will your taste buds appreciate it. Grapes will take like candy after a couple of days of bland canned or freeze dried food -- and it'll keep you from hitting up the junk food at gas stops.

    Also -- don't forget you'll need a towel and some change and perhaps a little bit of laundry soap. You'll want to hit up a laundromat and run clothes and stuff through the machines every week or so... makes you (and the car) smell nicer, and folks will like being around you a bit more.... Cost if you have soap is minimal -- maybe $2-3 of change to launder everything. Same with having some change to use in pay showers in some camp sites. If you checked my car on a road trip, I've always got maybe $5 in change in the glove compartment for this. After a long hot day driving, there is nothing more wonderful than a hot shower, a stretch of the legs and putting on clean clothes.

    Lastly -- emergency funds? I hate to say it, but something can happen -- it hasn't happened to me yet, but I know several folks who needed to do things like get a longish tow, buy auto parts/ get something fixed, buy a new tire, etc. Having a credit card on hand (but not planning to use it) or having some spare funds or travelers checks stashed somewhere in the car can be reallly helpful.

    The rest of my comments are pretty random I think. You've got a pretty good list of stuff, and in my opinion maybe too much of some things (3 cans of bug spray?) but I think you're going to be well prepared. But a few things I didn't see in a quick read..

    Day pack or fannie pack?
    Sleeping pad or cot? (you'll want one if you're sleeping on the ground for multiple nights.. cost around $20 at a sporting goods store.)
    Sun glasses?
    Sun screen lotion?
    Hat? (Dude I burn fast in the sun, so I've always got these things in the car)
    Reading book. *laughing* I always have a novel or two on hand.
    Simple tool kit? (screwdriver, pliers, jumper cables, etc....)

    Hope you have a good trip!

  9. Default

    Two Quick Q's: is it legal to carry a red gas jug in your trunk WITH gas in it? i want to do so just in case. and

    Are pilot truck stops reputable?

    ive got soap, towels, of course, and i always have SG's (sunglasses) in the car. i have a few hats, sunscreen (screw my face, i gotta protect my ink), pretty much everything i could think of.

    the 3 cans of bug spray is for the 60 some odd ticks ive picked up since march in NEW JERSEY. ticks love me. i know 3 cans is prob alot, but who cares, 2 of the cans will stay in the car just in case.

    I figure ill be spending at least 4 of the 21 nights in my car, at least 4 or 5 or 6 nights camping, so thats only between 9-11 days at a motel.

    As for gas, i drive a 3 month old 06 honda civic (meaning, with only 6000 miles on it and a fresh oil change this morning, i shouldnt -knock on wood- have car problems other than flat tires), and i get 30 city 40 highway, so i did my estimate at 35mpg, although i feel ill be getting around 40 mostly, ill be using cruise control A LOT, and when youre on a road where youre doing 50 or 60 instead of 70 or 80, you wind up saving some gas.

    To tell you the truth, so what if i stink a little? as it is, i routinely wear jeans for a week, and t shirts sometimes twice. plus, when im camping, i have specific trekking clothes for that. ill just shower when im at a motel/river. Im all about roughing it, as this is a photo trip, and thats all i really care about in the end.

    I do have extra money, about 3-400 in actual money, and then an emergency credit card as well. i wont be buying any souvineers or doing much that costs anything (no movies, bowling, etc) this is my excursion into nature, so thats all im focusing on.

    I will be grocery stopping along the way, the freeze dried stuff is for when im camping deep into the back country.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpphoto
    I figure ill be spending at least 4 of the 21 nights in my car, at least 4 or 5 or 6 nights camping, so thats only between 9-11 days at a motel.
    I don't see how you can do this on $500. Even the cheapest of motels are usually around $35/night. That does not include tax so figure closer to $40/night. And there will be times when you simply cannot find a hotel that is that inexpensive. But, if you can, $40 x 11 = $440. You will find virtually no campgrounds for $10/night, so you will easily go over the $500 budget unless you camp a lot more and stay in hotels a lot less.


    As for gas, i drive a 3 month old 06 honda civic (meaning, with only 6000 miles on it and a fresh oil change this morning, i shouldnt -knock on wood- have car problems other than flat tires), and i get 30 city 40 highway, so i did my estimate at 35mpg, although i feel ill be getting around 40 mostly, ill be using cruise control A LOT, and when youre on a road where youre doing 50 or 60 instead of 70 or 80, you wind up saving some gas.
    You guesttimated your trip at 5250 miles. Does this include all the jaunts off the road for food, gas, lodging, and exploration of local sights? Probably not. On a trip of this length, I would add at least another 500-600 miles for these types of things if your explorations will never take you more than a few miles from your route. If you might travel farther afield, and if you're backcountry camping you probably will, I would add 1000 miles to give you some margin. And, yes, gas in some states is more than you're estimating due to the different taxes charged in different states.

    As for food, if you eat one meal per day in a restaurant for about $10 (does this include the tip or is the tip on top of that?), I don't see how you can do it. Fluids are of vital importance. And you will find that tap water in some areas is rather unsavory. Just the bottled water you should carry for hydration alone is going to add up. If you do like me and only eat at a restaurant once every 2-3 days, then your budget is more do-able.

    But you're on the right track. You just need to do a bit more tweaking to get things more realistic.

    As for Wal-Mart overnighting....RVs often do this. However, I don't think anybody looks too kindly on people sleeping in their cars. I think you're better off sleeping at truck stops than Wal-Mart.

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