Camping

#1 Aug 9th, 2005, 09:15
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  • MeCasa is offline
#1
I did a search but found very little on the subject. I didn't post in mountaineering because I know camping is acceptable in the mountains.

I don't like cities and will spend the majority of my time and all my nights in rural areas. I realize that guesthouses are priced reasonably but it's not a matter of money. I don't like hotels/guesthouses. I'll be travelling by cycle and I'm totally self sufficient and I sleep well in my tent, sorta like a familiar house and bug free.

Any opinions

Thanks
MeCasa
#2 Aug 10th, 2005, 02:56
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  • machadinha is offline
#2
*bump* has no one anything to say on this?

MeCasa it looks like with increasing domestic tourism more and more Indians go out camping but I don't know the details of it, I assume they mostly go to official campsites. For "wild" camping I hear you can expect to attract a *lot* of attention (not to mention wild dogs etc. you have to cope with), in a country where you'll be the center of attention anyway, esp. in rural areas. That's just what I hear though, never tried. I think I can vaguely picture me in my tent though with half the state's population curiously looking on and wondrously commenting at every move I make and feeling all your gear up and down ("He's smoking Indian cigarettes! How strange! Yes that [water] container is for turbo power!" etc. If you can understand them at all that is. Believe me, I've been there in non-camping situations.) I'm sure people do it but know what you're getting yourself into. For a bicyclist who's toured and camped the world and has at least one or two chapters on India look for Josie Dew's books, her website is at http://www.josiedew.co.uk/ . Not high literature but entertaining, funny and insightful. I know she has a chapter on India in The Wind In My Wheels.

Other than that like you say with ridiculously cheap accommodation virtually everywhere you might reconsider, but I can see where you're coming from, it's a nice idea. Esp. in smaller places you might well be very welcome to pitch a tent at a hotel's lawn for a small fee btw which might be the best of both worlds so to speak.
#3 Aug 10th, 2005, 03:28
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#3
Indian's do go out camping . http://groups.msn.com/thehikers And in india there aint anything like an official camp site .Nothings official and on paper its always requires asking and trying out stuff .Every camp we've gone for , we've had to ask the locals(village folk) for the best place's to camp /hike.
The only place I've camped in tents was in the gharwal himalayas .The other areas we stayed in the local village .So can't comment on the other areas .
#4 Aug 10th, 2005, 05:05
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#4
Hi MeCasa,

I've been hesitant to comment, hoping someone with more recent experience might step up as it has been 10 years since I did something similar to what you are planning. Like you, I am quite experienced in guerilla camping having done several long trips to Central America back in the 70's, as well as more recently, touring western US secondary hiughways and camping in the National Forests. I had travelled quite a bit in India, and thought that a motorcycle would be ideal for getting to more of the difficult-to-reach places like the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries -- I assumed that camping would be possible in the parks as well as some of the quieter rural areas -- I was pretty well aware that there was no real camping infrastructure in India. I brought my regular camping/touring gear to India and bought an older Bullet in Delhi planning to camp when feasible.

Cities/towns: Unfortunately the 'Tourist Camp' in Delhi is no more -- it was a nice leafy spot not far from Connaught Place and had inexpensive rooms as well as camping and space for 'overlanders' to park and get organized. I have heard that there is another camping place near the interstate bus station but I haven't checked it out. Some hotels do have a courtyard or some area you can get a bike off the street, but not that common. I noticed a couple of Bullets parked on Pahargang side-streets in March when I passed through: many of the 'cheapies' have the registration desk right at street level, so perhaps parking directly in sight of the desk clerk probably safe enough.

Government tourist hotels/guesthouses etc are often on the edge of towns or near scenic areas and invariably have parking. Many have inexpensive dorms and gardens. There are also a number of small facilities for travelling civil servants (DAK Bungalows, Inspection Bungalows, etc) located in rural areas -- often in choice locations with lots of green space. While admission often a problem ('full', or 'you must get permission from.....located in.... etc) but asking to set up a tent sometimes works in either getting a room or permission to camp. It is not possible to camp in the National Parks -- even in the areas where there are bungalows (too dangerous, I'm told, and that might be correct )

Roadside camping: As others will tell you, for safety reasons it is *really* important to get off the road before nightfall. When there is no promising town ahead and the wayside not promising, then truck-stops offer an alternative. Usually a large open space for trucks to park, food stalls many of which have string beds for the truckers -- I would just get as far away from everyone else as possible and set up my tent. Finding a quiet enough area to camp on my own was not that easy and, even well away from towns, you will attract unwanted attention. Camping on beaches in Goa and Kerala didn't work out well either -- you can't really comfortably leave your gear to go for a swim or do anything away from your camp and the police in Goa will mess with you also. There are a few beach places set up for camping -- generally with large, well-equipped tents at the price of a hotel. It might be possible to use your own tent for a fee and have the use of the bathrooms, restaurant etc. The government of Maharashtra has a few such places along the Konkan coast, and there is/was a camping place by the beach in Diu when I passed through. One very useful organized place was a govenment tourist bungalow setup on the Kullu-Manali road -- a large meadow by the river with a dozen or so rustic cottages and camping permitted -- nice place to get away from the Manali scene and quite safe to leave things while exploring around the area.

I have posted a few touring photos in the gallery:

here's a link to the defunct Delhi Tourist Camp with a shot of my nicely cosmetically restored Bullet (which was to give me daily grief for 5 months and 10,000km)
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...rt/4/ppuser/23

and here is one of the best roadside 'finds' near Nasik in Maharashtra:

http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s.../500/ppuser/23
#5 Aug 10th, 2005, 13:25
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  • seventies'hippy is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeCasa I did a search but found very little on the subject. I didn't post in mountaineering because I know camping is acceptable in the mountains.

I don't like cities and will spend the majority of my time and all my nights in rural areas. I realize that guesthouses are priced reasonably but it's not a matter of money. I don't like hotels/guesthouses. I'll be travelling by cycle and I'm totally self sufficient and I sleep well in my tent, sorta like a familiar house and bug free.

Any opinions

Thanks
MeCasa
I think that you just might change your mind about camping & sleeping in a tent especially once you have arrived in and started to experience India,,,,,,,,

It's not the sleeping outside bit, I've experienced sleeping continuously outside for a long time in the past, theres no finer experience, but those nights have been in shanty places like temples or monuments or on a roof someplace & only seen by people doing the same thing.Or in the sort of places that people half expect people to be sleeping,,,,,,,,,,,,


What I'm saying is you're going to attrack loads of attention to yourself just by pitching a tent,especially in a place where a tent wouldn't normally be pitched,You'll get lots of inquisitiveness, questions etc Unless you've already had experience of this type of pressure & are willing to accept/handle it then I would advise having a contingency plan for guesthouse accomadation.
#6 Aug 10th, 2005, 21:07
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#6
machadinha, thanks for the bump

Since I originally came up with this plan I have been reading everything I lay my hands on. The most interesting reading was some day-to-day journals, which really pointed out the differences in Indian life and what it means to travel in India.

Everybody has a different traveling style, different version of adventure and different likes and dislike, none are right or wrong except to the person living the experience. Ironically, I travel to remote wilderness places and generally avoid people, Thanks to ya'lls help I now understand the reasoning why camping would be difficult, at least unless you wanted to see even more people which would be kinda at odds with the original reason,This means I will be at home in the Himilayas and a lost soul in the rest of India. After reading about India I had decided to get to the mountains quick and then I could decide how much time I was willing to spend in the rest of India after I had aclimated myself to Indian ways because whether I like it or hate it, it's the experience that counts. And India is obviously an experience

But now trouble has erupted again in Nepal, which would have been my first destination. With winter closing in fast all I can do is monitor the situation and see what shakes.

-m2-, love the pictures especially the small lake, btw every journal I read gives time to fixing the Enfield, I'm not a bad bike mechanic, but I'm not a good mechanic either, at least until after I get over the original frustration and desire to set my trusty steed on fire. So if I go on a bullet, I may need to keep matches inaccessable

Thanks
#7 Aug 10th, 2005, 21:16
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Your last reply above indicates you've got it right. One thing you could do is camp on the grounds of the quieter rest houses. Also, as you said, Ma India is an exerience, and I'd hate to have you give it a miss just because of a lack of camping. You have correctly deduced that one has to do India on India's terms. All in all, it's the best pajama party going, so jump in
#8 Aug 10th, 2005, 21:42
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#8
i accept well camping folks at my bayside forest place...
#9 Aug 10th, 2005, 22:26
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeCasa Ironically, I travel to remote wilderness places and generally avoid people, Thanks to ya'lls help I now understand the reasoning why camping would be difficult, at least unless you wanted to see even more people which would be kinda at odds with the original reason,This means I will be at home in the Himilayas and a lost soul in the rest of India.
Nicely summarized You may well find that being alone in India is a state of mind more than anything else. It can be taxing sometimes but it's no reason not to give it a go.
#10 Aug 10th, 2005, 22:27
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#10
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Originally Posted by rangers i accept well camping folks at my bayside forest place...
That's nice of you and luckily most people who travel in this style are good people, No footprint etc.

But in the last few years I have even seen beer cans in some of my favorite remote places. I'll spend $50 to buy a peice of equipment just to shave half an oz.off my gear and these suckers are packing beer.

Who the hell are these people?

Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha Nicely summarized You may well find that being alone in India is a state of mind more than anything else. It can be taxing sometimes but it's no reason not to give it a go.
I still want to go. I'm a mite concerned that yesterday 40 Nepalese soldiers were killed by Maoists and another 50 captured. I hope the government doesn't retaliate and escalate this situation. But nobody knows. I learned through IM that Kashmir is one again becoming safe (well almost safe)

I just won't tell anybody I'm from Texas, they'll think I know Bush. I might even get some anti-Bush stickers for my pack Haha, I could always use the ones on the bumper of my truck
#11 Aug 11th, 2005, 00:00
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  • xealot is offline
#11
I can't verify the below info but when i read it i thought of this thread abd though it might give you some encouragement

Post on BikeForums.net by Roughstuff:

"Now, about riding in india: you wil love love love it. India was my FAVORITE country for cycling, and whenever i find myself wondering about whether humanity has a future or not, i remember the people of India and their wonderful countryside. (this is during the cool dry season...hahah). If you ride in the country, there are a zillion 'wild camping' places, and also alot of open air restaurant/truck stop type places, which Kipling referred to as paraos where you can get a meal, wash up completely at a small bath adjacent to the place, and sleep that night on a rope bed. Sometimes they will charge to sleep there, other times not. It might be a bit noisy if some truckers pull in. I often would camp across the street in a field where i could stretch out in my tent (the rope beds are very short, I am 6'3"). I would also be protected from mosquitos...make sure ya take your malaria medications.

On my trip thru india i came in from Lahore, went as far north toward the Himalayas as the weather would permit (I was there from Dec 15 to Feb 30), then turned right around and went all the way south tom Karnataka, riding alot in the western Ghats (Which i loved!). The I turned right around again and went to Calcutta, where I flew over Myanmar to Thailand. I stayed in the rural areas all the time...no cities for me!! You will love india for cycling and i am getting jealous thinking about it, so I must stop writing...."
Laziness is not a real word! It's most literal translation is "Differing Priorities"
#12 Oct 17th, 2009, 18:37
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  • Nattusbs is offline
#12
This thread is old, but the best place I found to post this:

Has anyone gone here:

http://www.pinehillsecocamp.com/index.php

Seems interesting and I would love to try.

Cheers

Nattusbs

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