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  1. Default Camping in national parks....

    I realise this is kind of a subjective question, but thought I would ask for some advice anyway........

    My husband and I are planning on spending a couple of months driving around the western US next summer - we are mainly interested in the national parks and intend to camp (in camping grounds, not in the wilderness/back country) and stay some nights in motels (the ratio of tenting to motels will probably depend on the exchange rate at the time). We want to do quite a bit of hiking/tramping, but this will probably only be day walks.

    However, we are from New Zealand, which has no snakes, nothing poisonous or venomous, no bears or large mammals at all (well according to legend there is one moose roaming the west coast). We go camping/tramping a lot in NZ, but apart from the weather there isn't really a lot that is dangerous here.

    I am concerned that we don't have enough local knowledge to camp/tramp safely? Do you think camping is dangerous/risky/stupid for people inexperienced in dealing with/avoiding the wildlife?

    I really don't want to be the naive tourist that gets herself eaten/biten/stung by doing something stupid....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Just follow the rules

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    Millions of people camp in the National parks without any problems. I would imagine there is more chance of being hit by a bus then being attacked by a bear or poisonous snake etc. You have nothing to worry about but in certain parks [like Yosemite] there are simple rules to follow in the campgrounds to deter bears wandering down to look for food. This is a case of using bear proof containers to store food and products and not litter the area with food wrappers e.t.c. All trials in the main park areas are well trodden with lots of visitors and rangers about, which creatures tend to steer clear of.

    Here is a link to the National parks website that is full of great info. I can't think of a more pleasant and safe way to camp.

    If we can help you with any other aspects of your trip let us know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default asking is the answer

    I really don't want to be the naive tourist that gets herself eaten/biten/stung by doing something stupid....
    The fact that you are aware of potential issues and are asking questions already puts you ahead of the game.

    The reality is that the vast majority of people you will be camping with are going to be families and other tourists who are going to be much like you in the experience level.

    There will be some common sense safety things you need to follow, but it will be very easy to get that information. The people who run into problems tend to be those who think nothing could happen to them, and ignore those basic rules and safety practices.

  4. Default

    We just returned from a trip that included camping at the Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks. You'll have absolutely no trouble at all with any of the things that you mentioned. As has been stated, just follow the basic rules about food storage, and you'll have no issues at all!

    I have to know.....what's "tramping?"

  5. Default

    Thanks for your replies and reassurance.

    As I said, for NZers the main danger to be aware of is the weather, so I guess camping in the US will just require a different perspective/mindset - I will be sure to follow the advice and instructions of the National Parks and park rangers.

    Re: tramping - Where you walk off into the bush (forest) for anywhere between a few hours to a few days - it would generally imply some effort was involved - its not just an amble along the beach, you would need boots and maybe a map. Is that the same as hiking?

    I'm sure I will have more questions as planning for our trip continues - at the moment we are trying to organise time off work - hopefully May and June, but plan B is August and September. Thanks again for your help.

  6. Default

    I suppose the equivalent of "tramping" in the US would be "backpacking," or something similar! I like "tramping" much better!

    Depending on where you're headed, weather will be a consideration here as well, particularly in the desert Southwest. When we were there this past August, it was well over 100*F on many days, but obviously much cooler and more comfortable at higher elevations.

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