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Old 08-29-2009, 03:02 AM   #151
Jamie Z OP
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk
I'll throw in a couple of thoughts.
I agree almost entirely.

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:00 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk
  • Having more time is better than having more money.
Oh yeah. Cheers!
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:54 AM   #153
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Egg transportation is EASY! You break 'em first and put them in a leak proof container. My brother did this and two hundred miles later on a motocycle the yolks were still intact! You could buy some at the end of a day and break them in to your nagel water bottle.

You could travel all over the world using the 'BMWMOA Anonymous book' as a cheaper or free sleeping arrangement.

I have heard couchsurfing folks to be too apt to want to party (I have no first hand experience).

Remember stuff fits inside stuff. Our cutlery fits inside our lidded coffee mugs, our stove sits inside our pan. People often balk at taking a larger pan but what if it is stuffed with something else you need?

In the end you don't need much at all as everyone who has done this can atest. I traveled all of the USA and down to Panama in 1976 for nine months with no cooking gear, no tent, no nothing except a small valise I could carry in one hand. When I flew back to England via Nassau and Luxemborg I stepped off the train in my home town with my very small bag in hand and looked for a taxi. I knew the driver and he couldn't beleive the bag was all I had, plus he took me the 2 miles home for free! Along the way I went through many T shirts and socks and underwear, but still had the same pants and shoes until I got to London, it was raining and I bought new shoes. Meeting people was the best. I had free rooms and food, free haircuts, even free transportation after I sold the VW bug I was driving at the time in Honduras. I got a free ride on a boat to the Isles Tres Marias. I got a free airplane ride back to Guatemala. I got a FREE ride from Costa Rica to Panama in exchange for the driver practising is english language. I got a lot of stuff but gave too. I helped garden, including moving trees. I washed cars, fixed stuff. Once I stayed in a couples house and took them to the airport in their car, leaving me with the car and house!

Someone said 'time' is valuable, it's so true. If you are flexible with your time good things can happen. Often you have to hang around for an opportunity to transpire or come to fruition. I've met people at work, grocery stores, gas stations, anywhere, and they have asked me to stick around till they get off. Being young helped, being from England helped. Often I was 'showed off' to friends as a curious prize, that was okay it became part of the trip.
I always had money, plenty in fact, but was VERY thrifty, it too became part of the trip. I was always clean and well groomed. I never did understand the whole grubby traveler look. Even now I know many motorcyclists who think they should not shave on a trip or wash the bike. It's like a badge of courage or 'look at me I'm awesome' thing. It was much more interesting to show up with a hand bag and fresh face and announce I had just come from an 11 country trip and had the passport stamps and dates to prove it!

I'm older and wiser and married now. We still travel on the cheap. We wash ourselves and wash our bikes. We carry more stuff.

We like to host travelers at our home. To qualify you must be self sufficient, be clean, have money (not spend it just have it) and know how to be organized and be flexible. Showing up at short notice is OK, hanging around for weeks is not. When you stay anywhere you should have an exit date/time and let the host know up front. It's not a good idea to show up on holidays.

Just a few tips from experience, thanks for reading, I enjoyed looking back.
James and Colleen Tucker.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:59 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by bgoodsoil
this applies more to motorcycle camping than anything else but my favorite places to camp cheap are powerlines and radio towers. Radio towers are lifesavers at night--they have a big red blinking light at the top saying 'hey sleep here!' Aim that front tire at the light. A lot of radio towers have signs that say 'Warning: Emitted frequencies known to be harmful to human beings" just pitch the tent a few feet further away

Lipton Noodles is the best food on the trail. Boils over a simple stove in no time, comes in all sortsa varieties and usually only costs a buck a pack. Substitute olive oil for butter, I keep a little squeeze bottle full of it on all backpacking/biking trips. You can get chicken pre-packaged like tuna at the grocery store--chuck it in the noodles and you get more protein.

I'm a coffee ADDICT and instant coffee is NOT coffee--that junk tastes like you brewed it in your socks. I carried a french press that fit in a coffee mug for years and years but it weighed a full pound. Now I carry coffee pods with me on backpacking trips, just pour in water. I have a salt shaker full of non-dairy creamer I bring. Coffee pods are more expensive than normal coffee and I still carry my old Aero french press mug on the bike.

I use a white gas stove in the states but it's hard to beat the afforementioned coke can stove in the 3rd world. I've also used alcohol based hand sanitizer in them and, of course, Golden Grains.
Wow!! Funny we haven't run into each other at the grocery store or near the power station/lines. Pretty much how I do it.........lipton noodles, coffee pods, and an occassional fish .

Start noodles while setting up tent, camp and supper done in about 20 minutes. All I need now is one of those Kermit Chairs (I somehow caught the fever) and things are rosy.

good thread,

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:20 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk
I'll throw in a couple of thoughts.

My first budget travel was '73 spring break. A buddy on a CB350 and me on my Mach III left Tacoma, Wa for SoCal. We packed camping gear, 2 lb. bologna, a loaf of white bread, and a jar of mayo at the start of the trip. Bologna sandwiches and water rationed for three meals a day. When we made it to Big Sur we ate out once and got burgers. Then it was 2 lb. salami, a loaf of wheat bread (healthy ya know), and a jar of mustard to get us home. Two bikes from Tacoma to Big Sur and back for 11 glorious days for $66 total expenses including fuel. Yes, gas was cheap but we never ate at restaurants (except the once) and never paid to camp.

Lessons learned then and since:
  • Grocery stores and markets are the cheapest places to get food. You can live quite happily on crappy food for a while if that's the difference between taking a trip and staying home.
  • Alcohol is the quickest path to overspending - anywhere in the world.
  • Arriving late, leaving early, and not making much noise are the keys to free camping.
  • The amount of money you spend doesn't change how much fun you have on the road.
  • Be friendly, polite, thankful, and don't look scruffy or odd. People will open up.
  • Don't sweat the tool kit and spares too much. Passers by will help if they see you in need. There is a solution to your problem.
  • Adding a few red pepper flakes will make most food taste better. Save up the free to-go packets at pizza parlors.
  • If you are totally self sufficient, have everything you need, and never get in a bind you'll miss out on the generosity of your fellow man and not make as many friends as you could have.
  • Do what you can to stay out of hospitals. Same with jails.
  • If you see somebody that needs help, stop and do what you can. It doesn't matter if they are on a motorcycle, bicycle, cage, or walking. It doesn't matter if you speak the same language. You will be glad you did.
  • Ramen, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, and some red pepper flakes taste almost like pad Thai.
  • Keeping your stuff dry is good.
  • The number of locals you meet is inversely related to the size of your group. You are more approachable if you travel solo, especially on a motorcycle. If you run into trouble while riding solo, you won’t have your old friends to help you out. Instead, you’ll meet new ones.
  • Having more time is better than having more money.

Here here...a great post indeed!
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:53 PM   #156
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While I'm still eagerly awaiting my first long jaunt, here's a few open fire/cheap stove cooking tips I've learned as a camp counselor:

Bisquik (starch of the gods) + anything + water = a decent cake thing.
I mean anything.

A personal favorite:
Take some tin foil, butter/margarine the surface so there's no sticking, mix bisquik, water, pork 'n' beans, and whatever stolen condiments (pizza parlor powerdered cheese, hot sauce, etc).
Wrap the tin foil, throw it on a fire or fire-heated rocks until you get some good steam emerging from the seams.

Make a lot at once, and take leftovers in a thermos or tupperware. It's not bad reheated.
(note: mix anything with bisquik. fruit, onions, brown sugar, chocolate, eggs, cheese, whatever random foodstuffs you can get your dirty hands on)

a #10 (folger's size) can is a great tool. You can boil water, make oatmeal or stew, and if you grease the inside, make a simple bread using bisquik. It's also the perfect size to carry other food and food-related stuff in.

A small bottle of A-1 steak sauce is worth the investment. Same with Tapatio hot sauce. Less than 2 dollars flavors a good 20 meals.

themarstrander screwed with this post 09-01-2009 at 11:59 PM
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:20 PM   #157
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Great Thread

Great job JamieZ and all contributors. I still have those Blue Ridge Parkway and Natchez Trace books I got off you a while back. Now I have all the ammo to go out and do it on a budget, the only way for me these days.

Cant believe I just found this thread, got to quit spending all my time in the FM

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:53 PM   #158
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I have a sort of scummy couple of additions for the USA.

free showers/workouts/sauna/swimming pool...

Get a 1 month membership to the YMCA with the "Away" feature. The "Away" feature let's you use all of the other YMCAs in the country while traveling. It costs an extra 10 bucks or something like that. You pay this 1 month fee of about 50 bucks and they don't stamp the card with an expiration date. You just take off for as long as you want across country and use the card at other YMCAs. The computers are not linked nationally so, the visits are free to you even after your card has expired at your home YMCA.

Free drinks...

McDonalds plastic cups. Need I really say more? If you keep your cup, lid and straw in good condition, you won't ever pay for another drink. Just walk in or walk in and buy a cheap 99cent sammich and get your drink from that drink station thing. Also, they have free filtered water for your camelback. I travel with a 3 liter unit and don't pay a cent for water when doing long trips. Just hit the McDs right before you head out into the woods and fill up with ice and water. 3 liters at the end of the day from my camelback will give me ample water to eat and then brush my teath at night and in the morning and clean up in the morning before hitting the road.

More Free Showers...

My 3 liter camel back when hung from a tree is just enough water to wet. Stop flow. Soap up.... then start flow and rinse. And I'm huge so you could probably bathe with your girlfriend.

Powerline camping...

Sometimes it's hard to spot a stealth camping area when you are in a new area. The powerlines always have cleared areas near them and sometimes even trails that help you access them. Good for impending storms and dusk...

Canned fruits and Vegies...

Believe it or not. If you're not worried about weight (i.e. moto camping as opposed to hiking) and you are worried about not having enough water with you, canned foods are awesome. You know that water that you dump out before you eat them at home? It's a life saver in certain situations. Drink it up and eat the rest. No cooking necessary.
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:05 PM   #159
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The is always a road under a big powerline.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #160
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Great thread. Just plowed thru this whole thing. I've been canoe camping locally for years. Hammock & 10' square tarp to wiki up and never had a problem, can even cook during a rain.

You can buy, if you can cook with, a small grate as a cook surface. Fuel is everywhere, and fish directly on the grate is great. Alum foil is invaluable for spuds and onions. On 2 wheels a good Thermos is worth the cost.

Eggs are a pain to pack as you get them from the store, and won't keep long. Unless you wax them. Dipped in wax they keep for weeks in warm weather.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #161
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Waxed eggs.....a novel idea
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by fmjnathan
Waxed eggs.....a novel idea
Lime and isinglass work well also.
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:55 PM   #163
Jamie Z OP
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Originally Posted by fmjnathan
Waxed eggs.....a novel idea
I've read about doing that, but haven't ever done it myself.

Hard boiled eggs stay good unrefrigerated for several days. I always carry a few of them for weekend trips.

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #164
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Novel, yes, but an ancient sailors 'trick'. Eggshells are porous, wax seals them solid against air and water.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:09 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by RandyB
Lime and isinglass work well also.
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