How well or detailed do you plan your trips? route/timeline/campspot

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

Nomad

Rank III

Advocate II

626
I plan my route itself in detail but the timeline Is difficult for me as I like to rock hound a bit and just enjoy the scenery here and their but in the evening it can make it hard to find a free camp spot/boondocking spot for the night since I dont know where I will be along the planned route..
So how well do you plan your routes and timeline for your trips?
 

O.Dfj

Rank VI
Member

Influencer III

3,689
Foothill Farms
Member #

1466

Im terrible at keeping my time line, I try but i always get distracted by something. My buddies laugh at me cause it never works the way i plan, but we always end up seeing way more stuff than if we stuck to a ridged schedule.
 

Adventureswithlaylay

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Van nuys
Member #

0826

I like to plan my campsite first. I'll find a spot I want to stay at but I'll also look around for back ups. Than I look for a few trails to hit. Everything else I usually try to do in the moment. I've always tried to set timelines but I tend to rush through things and don't end up enjoying the trip. So now I just plan my campsite, route, a few trails and that's it. I usually give myself a extra day either to relax after a trip or just in case I come across some fun things to do. Before leaving I'll browse around Google maps and look for gas stations and food and markets just in case we ever need one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Truckerbizz

Gunnermoose

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,741
Mesa, Arizona
Member #

1599

For the most part the route gets planned. I consider a few optional side trips into this planning also. As for schedule...you never know what you will find out there to see. More importantly, if you are going with a group, schedule can usually mean nothing anyways. i think I have only been on one trip where everything went as planned, hated it!
 

ExploreDesert

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,813
Menifee, Ca
Member #

1372

I love me some mapping and planning - to the point where it may be a problem haha.

All of our trips are planned around reaching a new destination each evening and exploring POI along the way. I start by finding and drawing routes throughout the general area as well as marking primary way-points to lay the groundwork. Once that has been established I can start tallying mileage that is reasonable to be covered during a day given the terrain type. Then start searching for camp sites. Camp sites are labeled from most preferred to the least giving us several options in the event they are already occupied or not obtainable.

This is an example of our July trip throughout the Sierra's.
  • Red line is going to be our main route.
  • Blue lines are other routes through the area.
  • Green squares and stars are campsites.
  • Red dots are mining claims and/or structures
Of course as you zoom in it doesn't look like such a cluster and there is obviously more detail, but this gives you an idea of my addiction...

iliketomapitmapit.JPG
 

Attachments

Last edited:

MOAK

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,835
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

It depends on where we are going. Big Bend NP does not accept reservations for campsites. Canyonlands NP requires reservations, so our timeline is built around reservations. Other than that, free birds. Next June we will be on the White Rim Trail, reservations necessary, but we are pondering wether to start our western states tour there or begin it on the Olympic Peninsula. I prefer getting the reservations done first, then free birds the rest of the trip, However, that will put us right smack in the middle of tourist season as we wind through the mountains of California, Oregon & Washington. So, like I said to begin with, it all depends on where we are going..
 

RaggedViking

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,528
Readsboro, VT
Member #

2183

My biggest issue in planning was always with gear. Not for the rig - because that stuff is always with my 4Runner - but camping gear, etc. In the past year I have found a way to get really organized and now I can easily pack and unpack in minutes. So, my planning really goes on the trails. I do as much research as I can on something ahead of time - either by googling, talking to you folks, etc. - and then I just get out there with a destination and date in mind.
 

MOAK

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,835
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

It depends on where we are going. Big Bend NP does not accept reservations for campsites. Canyonlands NP requires reservations, so our timeline is built around reservations. Other than that, free birds. Next June we will be on the White Rim Trail, reservations necessary, but we are pondering wether to start our western states tour there or begin it on the Olympic Peninsula. I prefer getting the reservations done first, then free birds the rest of the trip, However, that will put us right smack in the middle of tourist season as we wind through the mountains of California, Oregon & Washington. So, like I said to begin with, it all depends on where we are going..
well then ::: I'm reminded what a luxury it is to be retired and able to change plans. Our daughter didn't want to pull the boys outta school early in June, she'd rather extend their spring break a couple of days.. So, instead of next June on the WRT, we will be on the WRT during Easter Jeep Safari. So we must make our reservations in December. Then after that the Needles for 2 nights. Then for the next 4 weeks, no reservations anywhere, free birds. It will be odd though that our families will be in Japanese iron along with all those jeeps in Moab.
 

MOAK

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,835
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

My biggest issue in planning was always with gear. Not for the rig - because that stuff is always with my 4Runner - but camping gear, etc. In the past year I have found a way to get really organized and now I can easily pack and unpack in minutes. So, my planning really goes on the trails. I do as much research as I can on something ahead of time - either by googling, talking to you folks, etc. - and then I just get out there with a destination and date in mind.
absolutely, what gear is needed for what trip. Even that can backfire, as last year we did not anticipate that most of our evenings would be down to the mid teens. (5 weeks out and about) Tent heater? it was at home on the shelf, so we bought a cheapo that mounts right on the propane tank. Now the heater has a permanent home in our trailer...
 
  • Like
Reactions: RaggedViking

RaggedViking

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,528
Readsboro, VT
Member #

2183

absolutely, what gear is needed for what trip. Even that can backfire, as last year we did not anticipate that most of our evenings would be down to the mid teens. (5 weeks out and about) Tent heater? it was at home on the shelf, so we bought a cheapo that mounts right on the propane tank. Now the heater has a permanent home in our trailer...
I need to grab one of those... I actually had one in my cart at Cabela's a few weeks ago and said to myself "Well, I'll wait until it goes on sale......."
I'm usually good once we get in the tent, but when I step outside in the middle of the night to take one of the kids to the bathroom, or I have to go... Or even in the mornings... Well that's when the world is like a frozen hell... So.. Hahah
 

MOAK

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,835
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

Maybe I should do a review of our Mr Buddy, little buddy heater. I'd warm up the tent for bedtime, and once we were in our bags I'd shut in down way low, up early, I'd crank the thing up get back in the bag, dose off then wake up to warmth. We have no fear of cold weather any longer..
 

TylerC

Rank I
Member

Contributor II

271
Medicine Hat, AB, Canada
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
C
Member #

2426

I love me some mapping and planning - to the point where it may be a problem haha.

All of our trips are planned around reaching a new destination each evening and exploring POI along the way. I start by finding and drawing routes throughout the general area as well as marking primary way-points to lay the groundwork. Once that has been established I can start tallying mileage that is reasonable to be covered during a day given the terrain type. Then start searching for camp sites. Camp sites are labeled from most preferred to the least giving us several options in the event they are already occupied or not obtainable.

This is an example of our July trip throughout the Sierra's.
  • Red line is going to be our main route.
  • Blue lines are other routes through the area.
  • Green squares and stars are campsites.
  • Red dots are mining claims and/or structures
Of course as you zoom in it doesn't look like such a cluster and there is obviously more detail, but this gives you an idea of my addiction...

View attachment 5546

What mapping software are you using? I like the looks of this.
 

Rogue Beardsman

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,531
Rotonda West, Florida
Member #

2286

It depends on what kind of trip im on. If im driving across the country I like to have a lot of flexibility. I have gone 2000 miles only taking naps at restops and eating from vending machines. Since ive done it a few times i have certain towns and restops i like and then i plan the rest on how much time i wanna spend on the road in one block. When planning a weekend trip to a park or on a trail, i plan when im leaving and when coming back. The more risk involved the more i plan out any what ifs.

Gear is another tricky part. Im an over packer. I like to make sure i have everything i need and more. Its all organized to start. keeping it that way is an issue. When i get back from a trip i have to put the puzzle back together. I really think a drawer system would help but Its not in the budget for now. I might have too much in each tote. It only all fits one way. I just need to experiment in the meantime.

When i get back from a trip i like to go through my gear and ask these questions.
What did I use?
What did I not use?
What did I not use,but could have needed?
What didn't I have that I wish I did?
 
E

expeditionnorth

Guest
I feel traveling is too fluid, you have to allow for stops that were not planned
most times those unplanned stops are the most memorable
 

Scott

Rank VI
Member

Influencer II

3,921
Bates City, MO, USA
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Heiser
Member #

2486

I generally just plan on a general camp spot. The time I get there is not important. Lifes too short to live on a schedule.
 

Traveler I

1,008
Phoenix, AZ
I always have a few trips in the planning stage. When I hear about a destination or a trail that I'd like to do someday, it gets a file on the computer. Related information gets added over time -- nearby places, restaurants that sound unique, maybe some oddball lodging, little known spots gleaned from forums like this or elsewhere on the net, etc. Eventually I'll begin mapping a potential trip on Garmin Base Camp with information pulled off maps, Google Earth, shared .gpx files, etc. Some climatology data will tell me the best time of year for the potential adventure. With all that, I can begin to work my vacation schedule and then the serious planning comes together.

As some have said, there are places that require reservations. Those become "hard points" in the plan. There may be some places that I just have to see on this trip. Those too are "hard points", though not fixed in the timeline usually.

Here in the Southwest we are blessed with a lot of open land, so boondocking a campsite can be easy, well until the sun is setting and there doesn't seem to be much around. So along potential routes I'll use Google Earth and get coordinates on what might be usable sites. There are some sites like freecampsites.net that are a good resource as well. Having a some backups makes looking for that perfect spot a little less stressful. The potential campsites go into the appropriate Garmin Base Camp folder with whatever information is available. Routing, alternate routes in case something blocks our path, fuel availability, places to replenish supplies, potential hikes, etc get filled in as soft spots.

From there an itinerary begins to form. Reservations for the "hard" points made with ample time between them to do what else I have planned plus some extra time for the unforeseen, good and bad. Distances computed with both time and fuel in mind. Meals planned out. Getting closer to departure information on weather forecasts and road conditions /closures are added. The Garmin Base Camp data is transferred to both my Garmin Oregon and my HEMA maps app on the iPad. Some destinations are also put in the onboard nav system in the 4Runner. Benchmark state maps are always onboard as a back up. We have a pretty standard load out, but any particular needs for that trip are added in. With the weather data in hand clothes are chosen. For extended or complex trips I build a book with most of the planning data for quick reference.

Finally the plan is passed along to trusted friends and family. Always a good idea for someone to know where you place to go. Since our trips are usually single vehicle, we use an InReach for more remote trips so the folks back home can check on our progress and the ability to call for help should it be needed.

There is obviously more that goes into it than this, but you get the idea. I find out if the trip is well planned there is actually more ability to take advantage of unexpected opportunities while insuring some level of comfort, safety and enjoyment.
 

Quicksilver

Rank VI
Member

Advocate III

3,127
Molalla, OR
Member #

5353

I'm a big fan of map recon. I plan destinations and routes in Google Earth. Our trip next month is a good example. It was originally going to be a weekend trip, with two destinations. Then as I started looking into the area more, I started finding more places I wanted to see. Suddenly, our weekend trip was a week-long trip. Each place we want to visit will be a campsite for the night. In Google Earth, I've plotted potential campsites for each night, but with the flexibility to move to alternate sites if needed once we get there. Once we're established at each location, we'll spend the rest of the day hiking and exploring. We're not too worried about the timeline in general, other than making sure we hit our planned campsites each day. This gives us the flexibility to bird-dog a little bit, and check out whatever looks interesting along the way.