I'm considering taking on an Extensive journey across the US, the likes I can't imagine have ever been done. But before I take this trip I have to start the planning with the basics, then add the extra flare to consider its feasibility. I won't even get into what the concept is right now, let's just focus on the basics. Start a journey from the Keys of Florida, up to Maine, across the north, down California, heading west through Nevada into Colorado, winding back through the states to get any missed National Parks until I arrive back in Florida. I don't plan to go to Museums or Concerts; the cities, people, culture, and landscapes will be more than enough for me. I understand there's a National Parks Pass for around $80, so I factor that in from the get go.
I already have some essentials like a solar ice maker, solar charger system, tent, and butane (when required).
The camping itself I feel I may be able to do completely free. As far as I can tell from freecampsites.net there are campgrounds spread all across the US that are free to use and the comments on each page help sort out whether or not each site is legit. Although I would always suggest calling the local wildlife/law enforcement agency beforehand to find out if the area is indeed a campsite.
I was afraid there wouldn't be free campsites near national parks but a quick search found this guy near Yosemite >> https://freecampsites.net/#!10672&query=sitedetails
As for transportation, is it feasible to get over a mountain in a moped towing a super-ultralight? I plan on building this >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiejAhol4Ps&app=desktop which seems like a pretty easy build with the elections coming up. If you don't wanna click the link, the guy builds a streamline super-ultralight camper (weighs 66lbs), that he tows with his Bicycle, made out of recycled corrugated plastic election banners. Blows my mind. $150.
The question next stands with whether or not a 50cc moped scooter like this one for $375 >> https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/mcy/5622453774.html will make it up the mountains of Colorado. I'm considering this 80cc moped/mountain bike >> https://miami.craigslist.org/brw/bik/5584255180.html considering it's a Mountain Bike, I should at least be able to peddle the thing if the motor can't handle it. But then again, towing 66lbs or more might make peddling up a mountain that a motor can't handle, pretty rough. The "Moped Mountainbike combo" would be extensively easy you maintain in the event of a breakdown as well, cheap and quick.
Food - I don't want to rely on catching my own food, I sure won't Hunt out of season and I don't even plan to bring a gun, but I do plan to fish and try my hand at survival skills. Still, I don't want to consider myself fed by my own hands for even a day; if it happens, yay, if not, so be it. I think I can get away with grocery shopping the whole time. I'm 26, I don't think it'll kill me to rely on Spam and Velveetta for a day or two here and there if I catch myself well off the beat path, far from a grocery. If I shop right I can get 6 packs of eggs to last me two days at a time and with the solar ice maker I could keep small batches of perishables at a time. If I'm not buying steaks or ribs every day and I try to shop at the discount grocers, I bet I could get away with $10 a day for food. I imagine if I buy things like 2 chicken breasts for $4 that's two dinners, $2 for the entree so far. I love veggies and they're always cheap, I imagine 75¢ to a $1 for a dinner side and then dessert is the cheapest (campfire cake, cookies, eclairs) at 30-50¢ a meal. Dinners should be less than $4 a day for a healthy meal. Lunch is super easy, camping would be no different than my days now, mostly rice mixtures with bits of meat or canned raviolis, both less than a dollar. That leave breakfast. I like my coffee, but I've been drinking instant coffee for about 2 years now so that'll be no change. A $5 jar lasts me about 2 weeks or more, 70¢ a day. Then there's eggs, about $2.50 for a 6 pack on average, lasts 3 days, 83¢ a day. I do like my pork roll or bacon though, I wouldn't be able to live without it for too long. Packs of bacon are going for about $4 a pound a Walmart (that's what I eat now anyway) and that would last at least four days; $1 a day there. So all together the breakfast would be $2.50 tops. Snacking in between should be about a dollar, if I buy the Sam's Club packs of Nature Valley bars. That's less than $10 a day.
Lastly, there's the petroleum, the real carbon footprint. I'm not 100% sure on what the mileage is on the moped scooter, im assuming around 150 mpg but I've heard the moped Mountainbike combos get upwards of 200-250 mpg. I'll have to do more research into this. Let's just say we're getting 150 mpg, would 10,000 miles cover the trip I want? Florida-Maine-California-Nevada-Colorada-...-Florida? I don't know if I want to Really hit all the national parks, if it means putting an extra 2500 miles in then definitely not. So if I'll avg 150 mpg and I do 10,000 miles = 67 gallons. With an average of about $3.00 a gallon (correct me if I'm wrong there) it should total out to just over $200 for the 10,000 miles.
So all in all it wouldn't be too crazy:
$80.00 National Parks Pass
$150.00 Camper Build
$660.00 3Months Food
$201.00+ Fossil Fuels
$0.00 Campsire Fees
$1091 (plus $409 for emergencies)
I think that might handle it, what do you think? Anything I'm overlooking?