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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,642

    Default Another resource.

    Quote Originally Posted by mckentie View Post
    So i basically want to find somehwere where it's going to be lit/patroled all the time.
    And that would be truckstops. But these typically will not be near wilderness areas. They are mainly, but not exclusively, along the interstates.

    Here is a great resource to check which truck stops make RVs welcome. Be sure to park in the RV overnight area. Tucked in between two large RVs usually blocks out a lot of the bright lights. And let someone at reception know that you will be staying overnight.

    Lifey

  2. #12

    Default

    ok thank you!! One more question if anyone knows the answer, what is the NPS's definition of a 'backcountry campsite'? (which you need a special permit for) does this mean you're allowed to set up camp anywhere you want in the park?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,576

    Default

    It depends upon the location.

    Many times national parks will have designated campsites in the backcountry, for those who want to go on significant hikes and camp. Typically, within a national park you are quite restricted on where you can camp.

    National forests are far more open to what is called dispersed camping. Many forests allow you to set up camp, for free, almost anywhere in the forest. The big thing you need to do, however, is to check with the rangers to find out the restrictions. Typically, you need to be a significant distance away from any roads and waterways. There can also be restrictions on fires, and of course, there are no services and everything is pack in/pack out.

  4. #14

    Default

    Ohk cool..that's the impression i got but i just wanted to make sure. thank you!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,126

    Default

    If you are going to be hiking and/or camping in remote areas and/or away from organized campgrounds, make sure you check in and out with the rangers. This is ESPECIALLY important if you are solo. Cell phone coverage is very unlikely. I may be overly cautious, but I personally wouldn't do it without a GPS and a satphone or EPIRB/GPIRB/PLB.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Penang, Malaysia
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Bravo being so brave and doing this so young!! Im impressed!! And good on your parents for giving you the OK!! Have you considered couchsurfing for some of this trip? You should have no problem finding places since you are a party of 1!! This is with people in their homes so age shouldn't come into it. Good luck on this trip of a lifetime!! (check that you can use the couchsurfing site at under 18 - otherwise your parents may need to make bookings for you)

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,642

    Default Going solo.

    Whereas a solo roadtrip is mostly a wonderful experience, all good courses and literature on hiking will caution, and many will actively discourage solo backcountry hiking. Especially for the inexperienced. A party of four is recommended for safety, and two is the absolute minimum.

    If you have significant hiking experience (doubtful at your age), and / or have done advanced hiking training and bush survival skills, you may be OK. Without those, I would urge you not to go off the beaten track. If the main purpose is to find free camping spots, you may find yourself paying a very high price.

    Glc's suggestion of getting an EPIRB or similar, though good advice, is really no substitute for the experience needed to tackle backcountry hiking on your own. And no experienced hiker would set out without good topographical maps, and the ability to read them.

    Lifey

  8. #18

    Default

    I don't plan on doing too much hiking outside the main trails (which usually have plenty of people on them, right?), but i will at least get a gps and make sure i have maps, compass, things like that. I don't have alot of training but i have some experience and with some common sense i think i'll be fine. thank you for the suggestions...but i'll admit i have no idea what a EPIRB is and what i would use one for. I will definitely look into that though. And the couchsurfing thing! i've never heard of that either but ill give it a look. thank you all!!! i appreciate it

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,126

    Default

    An EPIRB is an emergency locator beacon usually found on boats and aircraft, a GPIRB also has a GPS in it (A PLB is the least expensive of those devices - it stands for "personal locator beacon"). It's invaluable if something happens and you need help. If you are solo, you won't have a buddy with you to go find help. If you stay on the marked trails, check in and out with the rangers, and stick to established campsites, you should be fine. If you want to go camp back in the woods, be SURE to check with the rangers. Their job revolves around visitor safety.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,576

    Default

    If you are planning to stick to the main trails within a national park, then you should be fine.

    The concern would be if you are thinking about doing any backcountry hiking - which is pretty much required if you are hoping to do any (free) dispersed camping. That pretty much requires you to get well off the beaten path, and that's where you can really run into danger. Frankly, common sense would pretty much say you shouldn't do it at all unless you have a lot of experience, but if you are, then a beacon device is a bare minimum to at least help you get help if you have an accident. Its a lot better than having to cut off your own arm, 127 hours style!

    Couchsurfing is something to look into, but you might run into a problem, as it really is supposed to be a two way street - where you both get rooms on the road, but also host people at your own place. At the very least, you'll need to build a relationship with your host and its fairly common courtesy to take them out to dinner or otherwise provide a gift of thanks which its an affordable lodging option, but certainly not free.

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