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Off-grid Tent Camping (Central Oregon)

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Hope everyone is having a good evening tonight! Currently have a storm rolling in, but all good so far.

Some us here about people wanting to do the off grid lifestyle, long term, or semi long term, but don’t quite understand how much work is involved off grid living takes.

Since I work during the day, I’m up by 3am to get the wood stove going to get hot water for coffee every morning. I set myself an hour before my typical wake up time. After work, firewood gathering, scouting areas of animal tracks, 4 mile area of checking over a dozen traps every 2 days, getting the fire ready to cook dinner, checking water levels, then finally down to relax for an hour or so before the process starts all over again. When it’s time for bed, one thing I learned is to get the stove ready but don’t ignite until you wake up in the middle of the night from freezing. I was getting the fire going right before bed, then freezing all night because the wood was burnt up. The more fire pits and wood stoves you are using, be expected to double your work load. With two fire pits being used for all meals, and one for warmth, firewood gathering takes twice as long if not longer. Other things to look at in preparation for a trip like is:

Weather: is there a possibility of rain, and wind, are you in an area of possible tornadoes, hurricanes and so on? These are things to prepare for.

Checklist: the number one thing people forget on weekend camp trip, or long term outdoor camping is toilet paper. Luckily I make sure to always remember this, but this trip was a can of chili with no can opener. Luckily a spiked rebar stake off the tent and hammer fixed that issue. Making a checklist is something needed. Being able to zero in on the fine details is what will help make your trip a lot smoother.

Damaged Items: if something gets damaged what will you do? Tent in a wind storm getting demolished, tarp shelter ripping. By all means, do not throw anything away! More then likely you will find some sort of use for it.

Protection: Researching wildlife in the area is a must! In another blog I’ll be showing some ways of keeping predators away.

Fulltime RVing isn’t for everyone, this definitely is only for a selected group that can physically, and mentally do it. I would suggest to give it a try on a long or short term trip, just so you have the knowledge what you would be looking at with isolation from media, people, and the constant process of having a job that doesn’t end. We are currently located about 5 miles off the nearest main road in the mountains in Central Oregon. I can’t give exact location on here due to safety issues. To me, this is the ultimate freedom and hope you find yours out there if you haven’t already. Blogs coming up with be techniques used for trapping, we will check out some of Oregon’s hot spots to see if ever in the state, devices used off grid, and a little detail of the type of work I’m doing out here.

Stay safe, and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.

How to maximize your next road trip!

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Theres nothing worst then planning a road trip just to get from point “A” to point “B”, and passing hidden attraction along the way, or burning yourself out with to much driving. Those that have been following my page for awhile, know that when I make a road trip, I see attractions along the way. Some may not even have known that these places existed, or didn’t know how to find a specific place.This post is about how I prepare for a long trip, some of the apps I use, and how I budget to get the most bang for my buck.

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Fuel: yes, the nightmare of it all is having to invest in fuel. Before I make a long trip, I want to figure out how I can save the most on to put this money elsewhere. First things first, general maintenance to your vehicle needs to be done which is changing the oil, install a fuel filter if needed, air filter if needed, making sure tires are aired up, and all liquids are topped off.

I use the GasBuddy app on my phone which will locate me to the cheapest gas stations to fill up. Every will up I do, I will put in fuel treatment to help keep the moisture out, injectors cleaned, which in turn will give me better miles down the road. ( just recently started doing this with every fill up due to the Roswell incident).

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Over Night Stays: Hotels are very pricey, campgrounds are very pricey! So how can you make your nightly stays not only enjoyable but free? If your hauling a rig check out http://www.harvesthost.com that will let you stay over night at farms, museums, wineries, and many more places for free. http://www.boondockerswelcome.com is another good one to check out. Traveling by tent or vehicle? Check out http://www.campendium.com to find free campgrounds or low cost campgrounds across the country. Campendium is the one I’ve been solely using for this trip since I’m going by tent. All of these camps I’ve been staying at have been with them and http://www.freecampsites.com.

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Attractions: I have used multiple apps on finding attractions along the way, and have found that http://www.roadtrippers.com has been my favorite so far. You can take already made trips, or custom trips of where your going. You have many options on if your looking for food, photo areas, amusement, and many more. Roadtrippers will set you up with maps, and give you every attraction along the way to where you can pick and choose your stops to visit.

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Driving: I know that at times we are on a set schedule to be at a specific area so taking it easy sometimes won’t work, but if you can, I would recommend doing the least amount of miles possible. Not only would you still be able to focus on your driving without drowsing off, but this will give you time to see everything that you want to see. Me personally, I try to stay at no more then 200 miles per day of driving. This gives me the flexibility to leave camp when I want, arrive to camp early enough to still have daylight, and to take trips to check out new things.

Hope this helps you out of little details that can be done to maximize your trip to the fullest.

Evel Knievel Snake River Monument (Twin Falls, Idaho)

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”In 1974, with much media fanfare, dare devil Evel Knievel tried and failed to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon on his specialty, engineered rocket motorcycle. His drogue parachute accidentally malfunctioned, and opened on take off. Evel and his contraption floated to the bottom of the canyon, landing on the near shore (if he would have gone into the river, his safety harness probably would have drowned him)”.

Author: Unknown

Most of us, but not all of us, remember or have heard about dare devil Evel Knievel. Some of the jumps that he made, no sane minded person would even think about doing. One of his big stunts on the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho turned out to be a disaster due to issues with his parachute. Today, when you make a pit stop to the location of his jump, you can find a grave-stone like marker with a carved likeness of the rocket powered motorcycle. The large dirt ramp is approximately 2 miles east of this point on the south ridge of the canyon.

If this isn’t something that might interest you, it’s still worth the trip to see the magnificent structure of the Perrine Bridge that you cross to see the historical marker.

The Perrine Bridge is approximately 1,500 feet (457 m) in total length, with a main span of 993 feet (303 m) and a deck height of 486 feet (148 m) above the Snake River. It is the eighth heighest bridge in the United States. Elevation above sea level, the bridge deck is approximately 3,600 feet (1,100 m).

The bridge is named for I.B. Perrine (1861–1943), who spearheaded the early 20th century irrigation projects in the Magic Valley region and is largely credited as the main founder of Twin Falls; a statue of Perrine is at the visitors’ center at the south end of the bridge.

 

Minors Canyon (Saratoga Springs, Utah)

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Sometimes free campgrounds can be an area that you don’t want to spend more then 1 night at due to traffic, garbage, bad area and so on… Other times free campgrounds can be a gold mine that you would expect to have to pay for to get in. Luckily, Minors Canyon on Lake Utah was a goldmine!

There were quite a few boondockers at this location, which did make it a bit of a pain to find a spot. Big rigs are required to park above, and down below to the lake you will have people fishing for the day, kids playing in the water, while others were there to just relax and catch some sun. If your tent camping, or driving a van or sprinter, you can get away with camping down at the lake.

There are multiple signs stating how far you can be on the BLM land until your trespassing on someone’s property, and where vehicles can, and can’t go.

Town is only 10 miles away, so it isn’t to bad to get groceries, or fuel if need be. Backwoods boondockers know that at times, you can be back in so far that it’s worth getting everything upfront before trekking in to your camp.

Overall this was a pretty nice camp, bit crowded, but that’s to be expected when your getting free camping with some amazing views, and water front within distance of town.

Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)

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Welcome to the Arches National Park located in Moab, Utah!

This place was amazing to see, and is well worth the stop if passing by. If your hauling a big rig, this might be an issue getting into the park due to a very steep inclines hill with multiple sharp switch backs. Places like this is why I’m glad the 5th wheel was left behind, because there would be no way of hauling the trailer up the hill.

If you don’t have the National park pass, expect to pay $30.00 min. To get in. There’s an information center at the main parking lot that gives the history, and information on the park that is worth checking out. The drive up will have multiple pullovers to get pictures, or head out on the hiking trails to get deeper into the rock formations. Expect to spend a good 3 to 4 hours here if not longer. Of course like anything, you save the best for last, which is why you will want to drive to the end to see some of the most amazing rock structures that the park has to offer. Not sure what the exact miles are, but you can expect to have about a 15 mile drive (or so it seemed) to see the driving part of the park, with endless trailheads at each major destination along the way.

Overall, the price may seem to be a bit steep to get in, but if this is a once in a lifetime experience, I would highly look at making a stop here. It’s an experience you’ll never forget, but may regret in the future of not making the stop.

Brown Springs Campground (NW New Mexico)

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Hope everyone had a good Father’s Day!

This campground outside of the Navajo Indian reservation is probably one of the best free camping spots I’ve stayed at. There was another one I stayed at about a year in a half ago outside of Jackson Mississippi about 40 miles South that would give Brown Springs camp a run for its money.

The campground is 3 miles down a dirt road off of the main road, with other areas to set up camp for the night, if you don’t want to make the full trip out. If you have ATVs, bring them along. With miles of trail riding on the BLM land, this is the perfect place to set up camp, and enjoy some trail riding, or hiking.

Finding free campgrounds can be a challenge in certain areas, but not impossible. Knowing where, and how to find the information is something that really is needed to make life a lot easier of knowing where you are looking to camp, instead of just hoping for the best.

Have a great day everyone, and we will see you at the Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

Bottomless Lakes State Park (about 20 miles East of Roswell, New Mexico)

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Good morning everyone! Hope everyone is having a good morning so far.

If your looking for a nice place to stay, Bottomless Lakes State Park is a good place to be able to park the RV, and enjoy your time adventuring the aliens in town. Bottomless Lakes State Park has hiking trails, paddle boat rentals for the lakes, and a play area for the young ones. The place was really nice, but a lot of rules which some campers don’t mind, but others may.

We ended up going a couple miles down the road past the state park and found campsites scattered with restrooms, and water. The place was nice and quiet, with some amazing sunset views.

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Roswell, New Mexico is a place that I will never forget, and even with all of the problems that happened there, in the end worked out to be quite an experience that I can look back on of what the nomadic lifestyle sometimes bring to your front door. Those that nomad by RV, tent, or drift, know that problems are always around the corner when you least experience it. How you deal with these problems is how the outcome will be.

Safe travels everyone, and we will see you again soon as we make our way in towards Colorado, and Utah

 

Roswell, New Mexico

Welcome to Roswell, New Mexico.

Im going to keep this blog on how I would have seen it if issues with the truck didn’t happen, but unfortunately the trip to Roswell starts with the truck issues.

About 80 miles East of Roswell New Mexico, the truck started sputtering as if needing fuel. Trying to make it to the next town 20 miles to go, check engine light came on, and truck just died. My biggest fear on the road is breaking down in the desert, miles and miles away from any cell service. If you’ve gone through Palm Springs, California to Parker, Arizona, you probably understand with 100 mile spaces of no fuel or cell reception. Luckily I had reception, but decided to try to start it up again. Made it 5 feet and just died.

I ended up calling for a tow which the nearest dispatch was in Roswell and the only place that had mechanics and auto part stores. Once the driver loaded us up so told him I believed it was water in the fuel, or fuel pump was bad which he agreed after seeing the symptoms.

On our way into Roswell his truck started acting up the same as mine which we had to pull over, drain the water out that mixed in with the diesel so I believed that it was the gas station I filled up at last ( which still wonder about).

I had him drop me off at auto zone to put some fuel treatment in (which he did also for his truck). We got the RPMs running good, no stalls, or any problems. Thought “great, going to head to camp about 18 miles from here”… things never go as planned.

5.6 miles to the camp, the truck dies again. Ended up road siding it for the night which wasn’t bad when you have solar, a radio, and a 12 pack on ice next to a camp chair. Besides the mosquitoes, it was pretty nice.

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Next morning I decided to make a run for it to town to hopefully get to an auto parts, but died again right in front of the sign to welcome me to Roswell. Town was still a good 8 miles to go, and another 2 to the closest auto parts… called for another tow back to autozone.

I started calling mechanic shops to see if I could get it in to get a diagnostic of what the issue was before I decided to start draining 100.00 in fuel. All shops in town were booked up for a min. Of 2 weeks, and only 2 shops in the town work on diesels which were over a month wait. After doing plenty of research, and talking with family and friends, all of us agreed that it sounded like water in the gas so at autozone, I got the tools needed and drained the tanks, added fuel, and more additives to the fuel. Took it not even a block, and it died in the middle of the road.

A neighbor in the area helped push the truck to the curb, and I just desired I need a break from the truck, and Roswell still hasn’t been explored besides autozone.

Main Street has the main attractions in the town when it comes to aliens. You can’t pass a clinic, fast food restaurant, or government building without it having to do something with aliens. Gas stations have alien wood carved aliens. Pass by Baskin Robbins ice cream and you will find a 50’ alien holding the sign. Mc Donald’s is shaped like a UFO that lights up at night. Inside looks like aluminum walls and roof. Gift shops have everything you could imagine dealing with aliens.

after a tour of the town desired to head back to mess with the truck to accomplish a task that I didn’t believe was going to get fixed.

Once the truck quit starting all together, I decided it was time for a hotel for the night since I was stuck in town. The guy that helped push the truck offered to park it in his driveway so that it wasn’t in the open, so We got the truck parked, and reeked 1.7 miles to a dog friendly hotel to take a break.

The next morning I tried starting the truck and the batteries were completely dead. Luckily Autozone was across the street so I took a battery over to be tested and found out that both batteries were completely shot. I thought I did pretty good getting the life out of them that I did that were 2 years beyond there life.

2 new batteries, later, I got enough power to get the truck back to Autozone to try and drain the tanks again to start the process over since I still had some fuel that was missed. In fear of ruining my injectors I made multiple trip to the gas station with a 5 gallon diesel can to fill up again and start the process again but this time with a new fuel filter. Once done, thinking it would work this time… and nothing. Luckily one of my brothers is a diesel mechanic (Kirk Sawyer) and recommend checking the cam sensor. Of course AutoZone didn’t have it so found an O’Reilly auto parts that had one left, so walked 2 miles to pick it up, installed it, The the truck started right up.

Hope if you visit, you have a better experience. Over all I like Roswell, Seems to be more of a tourist trap and the only place you find companies competing not of what they have to offer, but who has the best alien. My next post will be on a really nice camp I found that you will probably enjoy if your in the area and looking for a camp.

Goodnight everyone, and we will see you on the next stop.

 

Foster Park – San Angelo, Texas

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Hello everyone! As some of you know I’ve been stuck in Roswell, New Mexico for going on the last 3 days but will get into more detail on that with the next blog I do.

Those of you that fulltime RV, and have been three Texas, know that kindling free camping can be damn near impossible. When you cut back to renting, this makes it 10 time worst finding an area that is decent.

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After doing my research trying to find a camp, I finally found one in San Angelo, Texas that met everything plus some of what I was looking for to pull an overnighter on this new journey.

Foster park has 4 days of free camping, picnic table, and BBQ grill for each site. A beautiful pond to swim, fish or feed the ducks that will come right up to you searching for food. As of right now, campfires are ok since there has been so much rain this last season.

pros: free camping, beautiful scenery, not many campers during the work week but weekends I here gets pretty crowded

cons: close to a road that gets a good amount of traffic, closest anything is 10 miles away, bathrooms are in the day use area across the river with the only access of driving or walking across the bridge.

This was a real gem finding such a nice campground in a state that is hard to find free camping. If you have any questions about here, send me an email. Like I said earlier, my next post will be in Roswell, New Mexico that has put a little damper on things for the moment on vehicle issues.

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How To Make Money On The Road

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I had a post about a year in a half ago about a typical day workamping at campgrounds, but haven’t gave a whole lot of detail on how to find these jobs, or if someone wants to start doing this life style but doesn’t have a rig to haul. This post will help the new RVers that are riding on the sales of there house they just sold but have no knowledge on how to find work, and for others that can’t afford a rig but would love to live the nomadic lifestyle.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Harvesthost, this is a program that with a paid membership will let you stay at farms, wineries, breweries, museums, and other amazing places for free while on the road in exchange but not required that you purchase something that these places sell or a service that is offered. At the farm I am currently working at, we have this program (which some of you that follow us know since you have boondocked here).

Some of the full timers that come in are brand new to this life style, that just sold there house, living on the expenses of there house, but don’t have a clue on what to do next for an income. If not planning right, expenses for food, fuel, campgrounds, and entertainment will wipe you out faster then you think. When we first started, we blew through $20,000 in about 3 months not properly planning.

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http://www.workampers.com is probably the best resource if hauling a trailer, motorhome, or any other RV. With a low yearly cost of about $40.00, this will help you get a resume set up on there system, give yourself exposure to every campground across the country, receive email alerts 5 days a week of new openings across the country, let you apply to jobs, and let’s campground owners and managers contact you directly on possible opportunities. You can literally set it up, and just wait for calls to come in. I typically get 10 to 15 new positions open during a work week with 2 to 7 calls weekly on positions that are interested in hiring me. One thing that most don’t realize is that there are more campground hosting alone then they have full timers looking for work, so it’s easy to get picky of where you want to work around the country.

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Have a skill? Use that skill or talent to your advantage. Most resorts have areas that you can put your services at the front office for short and long term campers to see. This can be anything from mechanical work, cutting hair, dog walking/sitting, arts and crafts, and so on. Why travel miles out of the way to get a haircut when you can just see your neighbor about getting one. Long term campers like to vacation from there vacation and need someone to care for there animals. The possibilities are endless.

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Blogging. Yes that’s right, you can get paid documenting your travels as you go. This does take a lot of work, but there are many fulltime RVers that do this for a living.

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Don’t have a rig and can’t afford one? Don’t let this discourage you from living a nomadic lifestyle. Places like http://www.coolworks.com have positions all over the country that you can tent camp, or even get into positions with housing and food included. Best part is, is that these jobs are all fun jobs. Examples of jobs I’ve seen is ATV riding tours in Arizona, white water rafting guides down the Colorado River with training included, kayaking tours in Alaska and the Virgin Islands, taking care of sled dogs in Alaska, hiking guides, camp counselors for kids, camphosting, working at some of the top lodges and resorts, fishing guides, and the list goes on and on. About 75 to 80% of these jobs will give you housing whether in a tent or dorm, will supply 3 meals a day, and will even pick you up from the airport if traveling greater distances.

Finding work has been a lot easier for me personally on the road then living in the sticks and bricks, and reasons for this is because:

– Your not stuck in a specific area looking for work that is close to your house. The United States, becomes your job searching area.

– There are more positions open then they have workampers on the road so your not competing against thousands of people for that one position.

Hope this information helps you out if your just starting out, or wanting to do this but fear of how you will make an income to support your journey.

http://www.workampers.com

http://www.coolworks.com

http://www.craigslist.com