Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To camp or not to camp

So I've been thinking about the possibility of camping my way across the USA.  Of course, there will be many nights I can stay with friends or churches.  In fact, the trip is already set up largely that way, but there are gaps where I will have no one.  I will do my best, however, to fill my gaps with Calvary Chapel churches across the country or other Christian churches. 

Coleman's SunDome 7x7' 3-man tent.  I like it.
I feel like I want to have a tent big enough to bring the bike into, if I have a tent.  Coleman has a series of tents that can be easily set up by myself and just as easily taken down.  The thought of camping means ramping up the supplies I need, because i don't have the basics like tent, sleeping bag, matress pad, whatever.  I have nothing.  There is no way I can afford to stay in motels every night although certainly that would be convenient during the gaps. 

I haven't been camping since I was a kid.  My family, all 8 of us, used to go camping a lot.  We had a tent trailer and a big six-person tent.  That tent was set up with two sets of bunkbed cots, and we used to go up to 11-Mile Canyon in Colorado or to Lake Teryall and sometimes to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but mostly it was 11-Mile.  My dad went off to fish and the rest of us played in the woods, hiked and explored.  I would like to have been fishing with my dad, but that was something he really wanted to do alone.  Still, it would have been nice to have a fishing pole.  Sometimes he caught trout and sometimes he didn't, but my mother always prepared a nice camp supper for us regardless.  The tent trailer was sold in the summer of '73, and I don't remember camping after that.  I went to stay with my aunt in Iowa for a little while to help her with her two small boys when she and her husband first moved there, and when I came home, the tent trailer was gone.  I was sad to see it go.

But camping now brings up a ton of other issues.  I don't want to be carrying pots and pans and cooking stuff.  Just for the following items I would need to set aside $272 (approx): Coleman twin inflatable bed, Coleman SunDome Tent, sleeping bag, fleece liner, Camelbak 100oz.  I do have the pet trailer which can carry 40 lbs, so it can double as a cargo trailer with limited cargo.  I will have the full panniers also, although I don't know if I will put panniers on the front wheel.  I am quite certain I am completely over-planning this.

I will say that I have been looking at a new route - that instead of getting on the 10 freeway outside of Palm Springs to head eastward, I'd like to take a detour south to see the Salton Sea, a place I've never been to.  They have public campgrounds there.  So I might go south after that and catch the 8 freeway across.  Eventually I'll go up to Phoenix and stay with friends there.

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