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So, I also anticipate staying in churches along the way. How do you usually get in contact with a church, or some place like that? Is this part of being organized a day or a couple of days ahead of time, or do you just appear and work out the agreements?First, I check the door to see if it's unlocked. If so, there's probably somebody inside to ask. Failing that, I call the phone number on the church sign out front. The pastor's phone number is usually there.
I am anticipating planning most every night what my next day will look like, including having a good idea of where I want to stay. Is that being too optimistic about my planning abilities (or just naive to the reality of the trip) or am I right about the planning that is involved with staying on top of things the night(s) before I arrive?When using ACA maps, it's generally pretty easy to plan out where you will spend the next night. Sometimes, however, there are no free places to stay listed on the map, and there are no Warm Showers or Couch Surfing host listed either. In that case, you just have to improvise when you get there. I virtually never plan the day after tomorrow. One day at a time is enough.
If I were doing it over there was one really crumby campground (Jerry Johnson Campground) where we could have stealth camped a few miles up the road.The Jerry Johnson Campground is in the middle of a National Forest that openly allows dispersed camping. So you wouldn't really call it stealth camping. There's no need to conceal yourself. I "dispersed" camped just a few miles down the road from Jerry Johnson and it offered me almost as many services as camping in the campground would have offered.
How waterproof is your piece of uncoated nylon?I don't think the answer to that question matters. A waterproof footprint won't help keep water out of your tent, and may in fact make it worse (by holding a puddle of water under your tent).
So, what are the most common types of camping sites I am going to come across while crossing the country? Are parks with a fee the most common or are small campsites the most common?Depends on what you're looking for. If cost is a big concern, then you'll probably tend to avoid the higher-priced camping. Some people are willing to pay for camping in exchange for nice showers, a picnic table, a leveled tent pad, a convenient store and a higher level of security. But if you are very price-sensitive, you'll be willing to compromise on these things. There's a whole range of stealth camping. Sometimes you're pretty sure that you're not suppose to be there, so you take measures to not be noticed. Other times, you think it's okay to be there, but you're not entirely sure. So you risk being rousted in the middle of the night in order to save money.
Of course I will be stealth camping along the way also, but what will I be running into most along the way in terms of types of camping and prices?
I'm trying to get an idea of what I might be encountering. Mind you, my budget is not the loosest, so price will be a high priority when looking.
Ideally I would like to camp in places where there are others camping, but where I won't be spending $20 a night.