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Old 10-24-2012, 10:17 AM
 
23 posts, read 43,511 times
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I'm admittedly 'green' when it comes to all things camping. In spite of that, I want to give full-time camping a go. Maybe it will blow-up in my face and I'll regret it but I want to give it a fair shot anyway. That said...

Me, a 20-pound dog, and whatever will fit in my non-off-road car. I'm looking for all manner of helpful comments, everything from locations to camp by season (or even a 'dream spot' to camp year-round?) to concerns surrounding having a pet with me (everything from wildlife interactions to facility restrictions) to minimum gear lists (something a bit more specific than "a tent and a sleeping bag, and a lotta luck!" would be most helpful :-)

I realize there are myriad negatives one might list from a status-quo perspective. I don't really want to cover those in this thread but if you feel strongly that they deserve a hearing then I welcome a separate thread to discuss them; feel free to DM me if you start one along that line and I'll gladly chime in.

Thanks in advance for all helpful replies!
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,379 posts, read 2,558,621 times
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Where are you located? And will you be traveling while camping? Starting now??
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,057,966 times
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My first concern about any "dream" lifestyle is financing. The dog, because it is small, should not be a big problem. Will you have a crate for your dog? That would be helpful as would be microchipping the dog just in case you become separated. Will you be working as you travel? I think you will need to be more specific about your needs/wants in this lifestyle. Camping is not cheap, not even tent camping.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:45 PM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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So you plan on living out of your car with the occasional convenience of a tent if you happen to be at a camp site.?
You'll need income, wheres it coming from,?
With a dog its going to basically have to go everywhere you do as you cant leave it in the car.
Mailing address?
Winter?
Sounds more like being homeless than full time camping.
I'd recommend starting off slow by first buying something better than a car,at least a full size van, then i'd start by trying it for ever lengthening time periods before giving up the permanence of house and job.
Scour Google for stories of others who have done what you plan on doing and get their take on the experience.
Plan-B? become a long distance truck driver or join a traveling carnival.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: denison,tx
866 posts, read 933,191 times
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we are looking to do something similar...
make sure your vehicle is in good running order first and foremost...
get the best quality gear you can afford, as it will be your home and will need to last.
camping can be done at various locations...state parks,Bureau of land management areas,
national forests...
internet searches for each of those categories will yield lots of info...
camping in a tent is doable yearround if you stay in warmer climates during the winter months:
southern parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona have campgrounds/areas open for public use...
most areas are very primitive( no water/electric/bathrooms/showers etc.)so there may not be a
fee to stay there...however, there is a time limit (usually 14 days), then you are required to move
a certain distance and start all over again...
some places will not allow pets, most require they be on leash at all times,and under control...
you will definately need to be aware that there will be wildlife where-ever you set up...bears, coyotes,snakes etc.
whatever is native to the area, and one needs to be prepared for possible encounters..
Alaska may have areas where one could live for extended periods but the environment/climate is much
harsher than elsewhere...Good luck with your adventure...
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:38 PM
 
1,474 posts, read 2,975,279 times
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RV.net

Forums.

Register.

All things about camping/RVing. I mean ALL.

Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:35 PM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
RV.net

Forums.

Register.

All things about camping/RVing. I mean ALL.

Good luck.
I'll second RV.net
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:35 PM
 
23 posts, read 43,511 times
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Wow, thanks to everyone who's replied so far. Let me quickly hit the high spots in reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
You'll need income, wheres it coming from,?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
My first concern about any "dream" lifestyle is financing.
Income is fixed and modest but hopefully sufficient for mobile living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
So you plan on living out of your car with the occasional convenience of a tent if you happen to be at a camp site.? ... Sounds more like being homeless than full time camping.
"Homeless" is one of those words that almost always is intended as a disparaging term. In fact, surrendering one's home for a more mobile existence is homelessness in the most literal sense, but not necessarily with all the negative connotations our status quo may intend.

To the extent that 'home is where the heart is,' a home may be much, much more than a place designated by an address; in some ways, it may be much, much less, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
The dog, because it is small, should not be a big problem. Will you have a crate for your dog? That would be helpful as would be microchipping the dog just in case you become separated.
Great point. She's already microchipped but I suspect if we ever got separated where there are predators, a reunion would be unlikely. Sad thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I think you will need to be more specific about your needs/wants in this lifestyle. Camping is not cheap, not even tent camping.
Fair point. Ok, I'll take a shot...

Everyone who knows me has recognized for years -- decades, even -- that I have a nomadic spirit. Doubtless some of it comes from a very mobile childhood, maybe some from a neurotic streak that won't go away :-)

I want/need to feel the freedom to come and go as I wish, with enough knowledge & experience to 'set up camp' wherever, and whenever, I wish; no leases to sign, or to break. Whereas some people find comfort in a nesting instinct, non-mobile 'stuff' feels like an anchor on me.

I want to travel, but I don't have a budget to do it while paying rent someplace else (given my nomadic streak, I don't have any desire to buy a place of my own, even as an investment). So it seems to me that my choices are to 'play it safe' and try to live a status quo lifestyle, or I can take the unconventional path -- come what may -- and try to live in a manner that's true to me regardless how atypical it may be for others to imagine. I choose the 2nd option and I want to make the best of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I'd recommend starting off slow by first buying something better than a car,at least a full size van, then i'd start by trying it for ever lengthening time periods before giving up the permanence of house and job.
Good advice if I were still in a position to leverage it but I'm not. The car is intended to be a vehicle, not shelter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftmyheartintennessee View Post
camping can be done at various locations...state parks,Bureau of land management areas,
national forests...
internet searches for each of those categories will yield lots of info...
I've heard that camping on National Forest and BLM land is free for 14 days at a time as long as you don't try to camp where it's expressly prohibited. Unfortunately, these kinds of primitive locations aren't what appear when one searches for campgrounds. I've nothing against amenity-rich campgrounds, but I'd prefer to choose them when I wish vs. limiting myself only to those cost-per-night sites. I imagine that there are some really decent locations that fall under the "14-days free" umbrella, but they're not on the official web sites, at least not that I've found so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Scour Google for stories of others who have done what you plan on doing and get their take on the experience. Plan-B? become a long distance truck driver or join a traveling carnival.
I've done quite a bit of reading of others stories and I've learned quite a bit from them. The thing is, there are a lot of opinions about how much & how little this or that matters so I hope that by engaging in a forum dialog, some of the points may become clearer through conversation.

Heh... there can be no plan-B for me; let's just leave that part alone, k?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
RV.net ... All things about camping/RVing.

I mean ALL. Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I'll second RV.net
Will check it out this evening.

Thanks again, everyone. Still looking forward to replies/conversation here.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,057,966 times
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I understand your motivation all too well. We have moved around a lot and right now are staying in a tent camper while we look for a house. If not for all the crap in storage, we could go anywhere, right now! I keep imagining the biggest yard sale that city we left ever seen with me at the cash register. So, waiting for retirement to be "free", the only thing I really want. One thing that I thought of that you might not be interested in is "workamping", have you heard of that? There are paid and volunteer. I like to dreamily read the ads at: Summer Jobs and Seasonal Jobs in Great Places | CoolWorks.com. Do you have a plan for working with the extremes of temp like a where you will be at certain times? Also, hope you have a good tent since we learned the hard way that there is a difference in comfort between a $100.00 tent and a $300.00 tent. Good sleeping bags make a big difference. At 58, a tent really doesn't have much appeal to me - too far from the floor to standing up anymore. I know you have your heart and finances set on a tent but have you considered maybe building a teardrop trailer? We have. There is great website that gives an abundance on doing that and since they camp with minimal, you might gain some insight there: Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • Index page I don't know of any forum dedicated to full-time tent camping. Suggest very lightweight towels and nylon clothing is well worth the money when it comes to washing your laundry since it takes little space and dried easily. A little stove that we have had forever and burns leaves, coal, etc. is: SIERRA STOVE mostly because we don't care for transporting fuel or fuel cartridges. A good source that we always use for camping supplies is: Camping Gear & Outdoor Gear - Outerwear & Outdoor Clothing from Campmor.com things like cooking pots and such. We tent camped when the kids were little and then full-timed in a small trailer for a couple years so space was always at a premium. Good luck with your adventure. Now, I have to go back to the real world and look for a house, yuck!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:02 PM
 
Location: denison,tx
866 posts, read 933,191 times
Reputation: 1531
TENTDOG: when you look at the camping websites are you looking at regular campgrounds or "dispersed" camping?
Dispersed is the term used for open camping areas with NO established/designated camping sites
I have printed off lots of info for camping at national forests and BLM areas that are low cost(as in $10.00 and under per night)
or free...
another site that is helpful is "freecampsites.com"...It has listings for just about all the states

Also the majority of public lands (BLM & National Forest/Parks) are going to be found west of the Mississippi,
more specifically following a line from portions of West Texas through New Mexico, Arizona,Nevada,into Utah,Wyoming
there may be other states I haven't mentioned...I mainly focused on TX,NM,AZ as we plan to travel to the eastern states
in late spring but need somewhere to go during the winter months...

East coast because of the density of people will have very few areas of public land...
hope this helps
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