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  1. Default Buffalo, NY to Seattle, WA

    Hi everyone. I plan to do a roadtrip from Buffalo, NY to Seattle, WA the second week of September. Basically a 7 day trip, if I could do it in 5-6 days even better. I plan to make stops to Chicago, IL, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone (for Old Faithful), and most likely Spokane, Wa. Any other recommended stops that aren't too far out of the way? anyone know of good/safe campgrounds during this trip to save money on lodgings (mainly between chicago, Il and spokane, Wa). I'm pretty new to the big road trip thing. So the only extra things I can think of to prepare maybe a GPS, tent, cooler, AAA membership, and possibly a spare container of gas (or is this probably being too careful). Anyone yeah sorry i'm real new, just doing my homework. cheers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Do not carry fuel!

    Quote Originally Posted by gspin2k1
    Hi everyone. I plan to do a roadtrip from Buffalo, NY to Seattle, WA
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Unless you are an experienced roadtripper, do not carry a can of fuel in your car! Best way I know to get yourself and anyone around you blown up. Seven days is a good time period for such a journey. There is plenty to see along that path. You might enjoy this field report from South Dakota and you ought to check the "Gear Up" section for packing tips and this article and this one for general roadtrip gear and supplies.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-21-2006 at 04:54 PM. Reason: added a link

  3. Default

    Thank you for the response, i'll take a look at the articles and ill post if i have any more questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Safe Camping

    Just wanted to address your concerns about safe camping locations. I have done a lot of solo camping while roadtripping and I've never felt unsafe or been in any situation where I have been concerned about my safety. Some hints:

    * Use common-sense. If there is something about the location that doesn't "feel right", don't stay there. A good personal safety radar system is the most important item to have in your arsenal to be safe. Learn to use it and heed it's advice.

    * Privacy: Some campgrounds, especially state and national park campgrounds, will have very private campsites. This is great and the type I prefer when doing a more "real" camping experience but I sometimes bypass these if I'm traveling solo. I just don't feel as safe in an isolated location when I'm by myself. So I will normally give up a bit of privacy in order to be closer to others. I tend to pick large family groups with parents and children camping together. These groups tend to be the friendliest, too. So I will strike up a conversation and this seems to make them feel somewhat responsible for me or something because they will often ask if I'm OK, if I need anything, etc. I don't but it's nice to know that they're watching out for me. I have, however, accepted some invitations to join them for dinner. That's always cool.

    * If you are near some partiers and not getting rest, it's probably best not to confront them if you're alone. Sorry....that's the breaks. Just plug some cotton in your ears or, is possible, move to another campsite. When you're alone, is not the best time to stir up hard feelings.

    * Privately-Owned Campgrounds (KOA's, etc.): These tend to have tent camping areas that are not very private. I avoid these when I'm going to be spending a few days somewhere and really want to have a peaceful camping experience. But I find them ideal for a quick over-nighter while on a roadtrip. With all the people around, the camping experience itself should be quite safe and there are bathrooms open all night, etc. so it's easy to get up early and get on the road.

    Hope this info helps you feel more comfortable about camping on the road!

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default If you're worried about fuel...

    On any roadtrip, my rule of thumb is "At a half of a tank, start looking. At a quarter of a tank, get nervous... if you reach an eighth of a tank, then you may panic."

    What this means is that at 1/2 of a tank, beging 'shopping' for gas. Start looking for places where you can stop, and find a good price. At 1/4 of a tank, become less concerned about price and more about availbility, and find a station ASAP if you're not familiar with the area. At 1/8 of a tank, fuel up at the first place you see, or if you don't see one, do a map check to find out where you are in relation to the nearest populated place. Most of those 'dots' for even the smallest villages usually will have some sort of gas station in them or near by, or will have a business there that knows where one is.

    Using this rule of thumb has always prevented me from getting in a bad situation. I even use it while commuting. There's not too many places in the US where the average traveler will typically go without a gas station being within a quarter tank's distance (unless your vehicle has really poor milage). However, there are plenty of places where the average traveler can wind up that are miles from the nearest fuel.

    It may seem like overkill, but it's saved my tail a few times.

    Most states don't allow the carying of fuel inside the passenger compartment of a vehicle, much less the trunk. Carying a small, empty, fuel can on the other hand is not neccisarily a bad idea. Although rarely needed if you follow the "1/2, 1/4, 1/8" rule mentioned above.

    An AAA membership is good as well, as it could offset the cost of a tow or other service besides fuel. After working for AAA for a while, I found out that a tow can easily reach $100 or more.

    Just play it safe out there!


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