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  1. Default Toronto to California for 2.5 months - solo

    I am planning to drive from Toronto to California/Northwest USA late-march to early-june. My current plan is to drive along the east coast, zip through the south and spend the majority of my time in the Southwest/West/Northwest. I want to see all the National Parks/Forests that I can, eat as much BBQ as possible and drink lots of good beer/wine. I will be travelling solo and plan to camp most nights with the occasional motel/airbnb for extra rest. I will be driving an older honda civic that I hope will serve me well. What I still do not have is camping gear. I have yet to decide if I want to rent gear (I've used Lower Gear before and it was great) or if I want to buy my own.

    I have yet to plan a rough itinerary so anything would be great. What I should hit, how long I should stay, etc. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Might be a bit early for camping.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Camping at the start of your trip could be problematic. Most campgrounds do not open till after Memorial Day. Camping in March and April in the north east can be very cold. I would get the best gear you can afford. For 2.5 months, it is definitely worth buying. I would imagine there should be some really good quality gear available in your area.

    As for where to stop, etc. will depend much on your interests, of which you have not told us anything. What exactly do you hope to get out of this trip?

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Camping at the start of your trip could be problematic. Most campgrounds do not open till after Memorial Day. Camping in March and April in the north east can be very cold. I would get the best gear you can afford. For 2.5 months, it is definitely worth buying. I would imagine there should be some really good quality gear available in your area.

    As for where to stop, etc. will depend much on your interests, of which you have not told us anything. What exactly do you hope to get out of this trip?

    Lifey

    I just looked up Memorial Day and that is at the end of May? Surely there are campgrounds that open before this? I've camped in early April in New Mexico and it gets quite chilly so I totally understand what you mean with the North-East. I may just head South as quickly as possible if this is the case.

    I want to see the sights, eat great food and immerse myself into the journey really. I want to see the parks, forests, oceans, lakes, mountains, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by poklim View Post
    I just looked up Memorial Day and that is at the end of May? Surely there are campgrounds that open before this? I've camped in early April in New Mexico and it gets quite chilly so I totally understand what you mean with the North-East. I may just head South as quickly as possible if this is the case.
    The year before last I was in the Adirondacks in the first week in September, when most of the campgrounds were already closed. It is then that I was told that they open for Memorial Day weekend and close after Labor Day weekend. Unbelievable, I know, but that is the way it was.

    After many phone calls I found one place just south of the Park which was open. The weather was still quite warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by poklim View Post
    I may just head South as quickly as possible if this is the case.
    Sounds like a good idea. Not sure in which State the campgrounds open earlier.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Memorial Day is very late for most campgrounds to open up. April to October is much more typical in my experience - and usually there are some campgrounds open all year, catering to the more brave winter campers. Certainly, at the start of your trip, you'll have to plan out your camping options, but you should be able to find places most of the time.

    The bigger issue really will be the weather, as it will be very cold overnight. Sleeping in a tent when temps are below zero is not fun if you aren't very well prepared, and that includes quality winter camping gear.

    For a trip this long, I think buying camping gear is going to be your only logical choice, and you will have to spend some extra money to make sure you have proper gear to be comfortable in very cold temperatures overnight - even if you head south right away, will still likely see temps near the freezing mark overnight for a larger part of your trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Too many to mention.

    I have yet to plan a rough itinerary so anything would be great. What I should hit, how long I should stay, etc. Thanks! -
    I think that would be like putting the cart in front of the horse. :-) There are literally hundreds of thousands of options. What I would recommend is that you use the forums and road trip planning pages in the tool bars above as your research centre and together with a good map start listing the places that grab your attention. Once you have places mapped out a route will start to form and once you have got that far, we can then offer ideas and tweaks and help piece it altogether and of course, ansewr any questions along the way.

    Does your trip end in CA or will you loop back to Toronto ? I would certainly recommend looking at Colorado, Utah and Arizona as well, they offer a high number of National parks and State parks and some great scenic drives.

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