Author Topic: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident  (Read 1994 times)

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Offline colini39

Hello again,

This is my second post as the last was very helpful,I have a few questions.

Where do people recommend as the best places to camp cheaply?

I have seen a few posts suggesting Fire stations and local parks,but how realistic is this?

I would also like to know the approx cost of a phone, I think you call them prepaid.

Hope to hear from someone soon.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 03:47:06 pm »
On the Nothern Tier, I can remember camping free or nearly free in city parks, fairgrounds and the like at least 16 times in 92 days. Another two nights were spent at hiker/bikers sites in a national park, which were $5/night. Three nights were in state parks that also charged $5 for hiker/biker sites. Another night we stayed at an ice cream parlor that allowed camping on their back lawn. That was also $5 I think. Another night we stayed in a senior citizen center for free, although we left a donation. Keep in mind that our group was "high maintenance" in that the majority preferred privare campgrounds with amenities like laundry facilities. We could have stayed at more cheap/free places. Finding cheap/free established camping ot harder in the northeast.

On the part of Trans Am I did the following year (between Missoula and Fairplay, CO), I stayed for free in Wisdom, MT, Lander, WY and Walden and Kremling, CO and a couple cheap sites in Yellowstone/Teetons. In Ennis, MT I paid a modest fee at a fish commission campsite. Could have stayed for free in a few more places but I chose not to because money was not a big concern. When you pass through Twin Bridges, MT, make sure to check out the free (donations encouraged) bike camp in town. I was there last year. Great place.

One thing you have going for you is that you are not in a large group. Somewhere like a fire station or church is probably more likely to allow to pitch a tent if it's just you and your son.

Another option is National Forests. With certain limits, you can generally practice what is called "dispersed camping" for free. Note that you generally won't really have access to tap water and bathrooms. Developed sites with running water, picnic tables and tolietes usually cost something.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 04:13:52 pm »
... I would also like to know the approx cost of a phone, I think you call them prepaid.
There are dozens of prepaid plans. Try a Google search for "prepaid phones." The one I use is Tracfone.

Unlike Europe, where GSM is everywhere, the U.S. has several major carriers, all using different technologies. They are incompatible, although some very expensive phones contain the circuits to work with all.

The prepaid outfits all buy blocks of service from the major carriers and resell them to you. Get one that resells Verizon, which has the best nationwide coverage. After that, pick a phone and a calling plan that suit you.

An example: My Tracfone costs $100 + tax for a year of service and 600 minutes of talk time, calling anywhere in U.S. and Canada. I paid $20 for a basic phone: voice and text only. Clearly, you want a shorter purchase and probably calling to the U.K. as well. A little time on the web will find a good one for you.

Fred

Online staehpj1

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 05:10:30 pm »
Where do people recommend as the best places to camp cheaply?

I have seen a few posts suggesting Fire stations and local parks,but how realistic is this?
I think we averaged about $5 per night on the TA in 2007.  We were splitting the sites between 3 of us so that saved us a few dollars.  We probably stayed for free half the time or more.  In the middle of the country, little small town parks were our favorites.  In Oregon the state parks were really nice.  We stayed in a few churches and with a few hosts.  I don't recall ever staying at a fire station although we did stop at one to cool off and fill water bottles..

Offline irc

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 01:24:57 am »
The best source of up to date info on good camping/lodging  spots is riders coming the other way. Almost every other touring rider will stop and chat. Ask them.

One great place I was pointed towards in 2009 in Lander, Wyoming was the Holiday Lodge (beside McDonalds as you enter the town from the SE).

Not free, but for $10 you get hot showers, a nice grass pitch beside the river away from any traffic, I think there might have been a hot tub, laundry facilities, and a coffee and bun in the morning included. It's a family run place with friendly staff.

For me, the Kansas town parks with free camping and outdoor pools were among the best places - like Tribune, Scott City, Larned. Friendly people as well. Unsecured wifi at the nearby libraries. Almost every library on the transam has wifi. Often open and accessable at the front door even  when the library is closed.




Online staehpj1

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 07:03:06 am »
One great place I was pointed towards in 2009 in Lander, Wyoming was the Holiday Lodge (beside McDonalds as you enter the town from the SE).

Not free, but for $10 you get hot showers, a nice grass pitch beside the river away from any traffic, I think there might have been a hot tub, laundry facilities, and a coffee and bun in the morning included. It's a family run place with friendly staff.

Also in Lander is the city park where we camped for free.  Nice bathrooms but no showers.  There were showers at the pool which I think were free, but they were not open early enough on the day we rode by.  We did stop while still in town at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership Schools) and they graciously let us use their showers as well as offering other support, great folks.

We found out about other nice places from riders going the other way.  Gillian in Ordway, CO was one of our nicer stops that we found that way.

That was all in 2007.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 10:03:50 am »
One great place I was pointed towards in 2009 in Lander, Wyoming was the Holiday Lodge (beside McDonalds as you enter the town from the SE).

Not free, but for $10 you get hot showers, a nice grass pitch beside the river away from any traffic, I think there might have been a hot tub, laundry facilities, and a coffee and bun in the morning included. It's a family run place with friendly staff.

Also in Lander is the city park where we camped for free.  Nice bathrooms but no showers.

Glad to hear it's till nice. Spent two nights there. Think I did shower at the pool.

One piece of cautionary advice that can be applicable to any city park: Make sure you leave your tent fly closed when the tent is unattended even if there is not a cloud in the sky. A cyclist who was staying in Lander waiting for his pal to get out of the hospital after a nasty crash left his tent unattended with the fly open. He returned to find it flooded with water and everything inside soaked thanks to the park's sprinkler system, which came on while he was away.

Online staehpj1

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 11:16:59 am »
Oh and one other thing...  Be aware that places in the American west with green grass are likely to have sprinklers that come on at night.  Try to figure out where the sprinklers are and when/if they come on.

One way to avoid them is to camp in a picnic pavilion.  That is nice because on hot nights you can leave the fly off the tent without worry of rain.

Most of the people we talked to on the trans america got wet from sprinklers at least once.  We did only once in an area we thought they had turned them off.  We found we had camped right on the edge or the area they were still on.  It wasn't bad because I quickly put an inverted cooking pot over the retractable sprinkler and put a rock on the pot.

Offline Blackbear

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 11:28:50 am »
Colin: Place to camp no the Trans Am...never a problem.  The Wanderlust in most people you meet on the TransAm generates incredible hopitality.  Churches, Fire stations, City Parks, individual home invitations.  Go for it!  Blackbear

Offline indyfabz

Re: Places you are allowed to camp on Trans AM from a UK resident
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 01:57:20 pm »
Not to get too far off target, but Lander, WY is mentioned in today's Dining section of the "New York Times." Apparently there is a kick-ass market there (Mr. D's Food Center) that sells, among other things, organic foods.