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Old 07-26-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
filmguy123 OP
Joined: Jul 2014
Oddometer: 9
Motels VS Camping

Just wondering thoughts. My initial thought was "cool! camping would be cheap and fun!"

But then by the time I bough saddle bags and tail bags and small/light backpacking camping gear etc. I realized I probably could have spent the night some 20 times in a motel before I saved any $$. Plus charged up all my devices at night, etc. Plus, most camping sites cost a good $15-$25+ a night to boot. On top of that, I could have had a lighter and more compact ride without hauling gear - perhaps a little nicer in the twisties, etc.?

So, is it worth it to camp? Why or why not?
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:09 PM   #2
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Del Rio Tennessee
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Camping vs motels

Just returned from 6 weeks trip to Alaska.Carried complete camping gear.Huge weight and inconvenience.Used it once in Alaska..... Of course it rained a lot, making motel hugely convenient and justifiable.And I traveled with a buddy,making motel cost half.
Camped one night at Wonder Lake,in Denali National Park,at the foot of Mt.McKinley.Camping is the only option there.
On the way home,after my buddy and I split,I camped in British Columbia two nights beside a beautiful lake.
If I had to do it again,I wouldn't take any camping gear.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:24 PM   #3
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It's definitely worth it to camp for my situation:
I live in the half of the country with lots of BLM and National Forest land, which means that if it looks like a good camping spot, it usually is. It's been a long time since I paid for a campsite.
It also means that towns with motels can be few and far between, though on the plus side, those motels can be really cheap.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:42 PM   #4
Joined: Feb 2014
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Recently returned from a nearly 6 wk AK trip and didn't use lodging in motel until the last 2 nights, the last of those was due to heavy Monsoonal storms.
We did stay at friends in Anchorage for a couple days but otherwise all in the tent aside from the ferry down to WA.
Since I camp, hunt, fish I use all the gear regularly so it is not exclusive to a riding hobby.
I'd advise anyone to always get a good quality tent if they intend to count on it to keep them warm and dry.
From what I saw motels along our route could have run over $100 a night and probably never under $70 and it's gone when you drive off the next day.
I'm happy with the racks and bags/boxes and am sure I will continue to utilize them for years to come.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
Joined: Jul 2014
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Motel VS Camping

To answer the question motels are always best. Camping there are so many concerns: weather, animals, comfort and as you said the cost of camping gear.
Hotels get my vote!

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Old 07-27-2014, 03:34 AM   #6
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A night in camp is time well spent learning about the plants and critters of the area. Campgrounds tend to be more social with people saying "hi" at the water pump or on walks around the grounds.

A night in a motel room is just wasted time. Motels can be isolating. People are there to do something else and the motel room is just a necessity for the night.

If you want to camp then there is no reason not to. There's a trick or two, but it's very easy. Rain is not an issue once you practice camping a little. The equipment isn't all that expensive unless you get only the best titanium furniture recommended on this site. Setting up a tent should take about as much time as registering at a motel (but there's also registration time at camp).

You can clearly pack less for motels.

Camping lets me cook and eat food that's far better than what I usually find in restaurants. With motels it's usually easier to eat in restaurants, and restaurants survive by including more salt, fat, and sugar than people really need. When camping, I usually have a restaurant lunch and occasionally a restaurant breakfast. I enjoy eating. I just prefer to eat better food.

You may not like to camp. I do. There IS a significant cost difference, but I'd rather pay motel prices and sleep in my tent than pay camp prices and sleep in a little stuffy room.
Motorcycles are magical.

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Old 07-27-2014, 03:56 AM   #7
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: West by god
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+1 for the camping.

I really think it makes a difference where you are going to be.

Rural areas; camp free/city area pay camp only; hotels make sense.

My wife and I did the TAT last summer. Stayed in Hotel 3 nights... Most of the trip we would just pull over wherever we wanted to and camp along the trail. Or go in late to a campground leave early good as free. The times we did stay in the hotel it was so hot that the AC was nice and we wanted to give our stuff a chance to dry out...
We go on overnight weekends all the time and always bring the gear.

Do some short shake down trips and get down to what you need. Then you do not have to carry quite so much stuff. It is amazing what is on the market now for super light stuff for backpackers.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:58 AM   #8
Joined: Jul 2012
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also it might be nice to stay at the hotel but if you think about it the money that you spend upfront to camp for free with buying gear you always have the gear to maybe sell someday down the road. If you spend the same money on hotels instead then you will never see any of that money again... its like paying rent=throwing money away in my mind...
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:20 AM   #9
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: western pa
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if you don't like to camp, then you'll never "get" why people enjoy camping, its the same as when people ask why ride a motorcycle when you can just drive the car, because hey, you don't get wet when it rains.
as for me, I love camping, I love waking up IN the scenery, as opposed to waking up and looking at a parking lot. I love sleeping outside in the mountains, I love that first cup of coffee from the campstove or fire on a chilly morning, watching the woods come to life. I love sipping some beers around the fire, whether alone or with others, contemplating the days ride and planning tomorrows.
yeah, I own some expensive camping gear, and over the past 30 years, I've worn a bunch of it out and had to replace it, I could have stayed in some really nice hotels over those years, but I'd have missed out on some of the best experiences I've ever had in my life. For me, camping on a trip is PART of the trip, it's not simply about riding the bike, it's the entire experience, and camping is a huge part of that for me.
on a long trip, I will get a motel once in a while, usually in a cool funky town that has some good bars I can walk to.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:24 AM   #10
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“If you fancy a real taste of the great outdoors – away from the mini suburbia of campsites – try wild camping… The views are much better and it won’t cost you a penny: you genuinely feel part of the countryside, not once removed from it” Dixie Wills.

One of my wild campesite spots along the Adriatic Coast in Croatia.

You should seriously consider wild camping. Maybe punctuate it with the odd motel or try hostels, you can even earn a few dollars by reviewing them.
__________________ Mongolia & Siberia 2012: Adventure Moto Madness

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Old 07-27-2014, 06:37 AM   #11
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I just recently got back from doing the CDR and CBDR back-to-back..Camped some and hoteled some. I LOVE to camp when I can carry my portable hot water heater/shower, gas grill, ice chest with real food, huge blow up mattress, full size pillow, roomy tent, fold up table, etc...However camping using what I can carry on a motorcycle just sucks for me..Just say'n...But camping is better than not going...
"I thought I was getting senile..but I just forgot about it!"
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:07 AM   #12
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I also often ask myself this question, and then if I'm going to camp, do I cook? To me it's very situational.
Probably the largest deciding factor is whether you enjoy camping. It is more work and takes a while to make monetary sense.
To ME it depends on the trip. 4 to 7 days and the ride is the point of the trip? Motel.
Some trips the camping is the point.
Once a year 2 week summer vacation and I'm only camping to hopefully save money? Motel. I've found situations where the only available camping in 90 degree heat was a $26 KOA. The Days Inn was $47. No brainer.
My personal prejudice is I no longer even attempt 2 up camping trips.
Will motel expense keep you from making the trip? Camp.
With all that said, now that I'm retired on a fixed income, if I'm going to travel as a life style I have to use every opportunity to camp.
Still undecided on the cooking thing.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:18 AM   #13
U'mmmm yeaah!!
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Location: Barrie Ont
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I like camping for the outdoors, talking with neighbors, having a campfire and a few shots of rum. And catching a trout if possible.

however, around here a campsite for a tent is 45 bucks and firewood is 10.... certainly approaches the price of a motel.

Don't sweat the petty things; Pet the sweaty things !!!
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:22 AM   #14
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There is no motel in Lower Economy NS. Standing on the top of the hill overlooking the incoming Fundy tide is priceless. I can not remember all the places I have camped where the nearest lodging was many miles away. Most were awesome.
Motorcycle only campgrounds are normally very friendly places. Regular campgrounds allow interaction with other people, unlike motels.
When I traveled regularly, I could check in pitch the tent, leave the thermarest inflating and take a shower faster than I could haul everything to the second floor motel room I always seem to get.
Drinking my morning coffee in a nice campground is always preferable to sitting in motel room.
Many commercial campgrounds are located next to interstate highways and tend to treat tent campers as second class citizens on the other hand. In many areas, the forest service has nice campgrounds with room between sites, hot showers, flush toilers, running water at the campsites and frequently electricity to recharge things.
My sleeping bag does not have bed bugs.
Given a choice, I will always camp even when traveling in a cage.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:36 AM   #15
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I camp not to save money its because I like. When I was younger had no choice.It was either camp or stay home. I now can afford hotels if on the F800GS tend to travel where there are no hotels.

If on my Harley tend to travel allot differently In the end its comes down to what you like. Will be the first one to admit setting up a tent in the rain sucks.

I will grab a hotel depending when strikes my fancy or a real comfortable bar stool
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