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Old 16 Jan 2007
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Camp or Motel it in Mex & Central America

Planning a trip from Toronto to Panama City (2008 or 2009). Still debating whether I should plan on camping much of the time or not. We recently completed a cross Canada trip, and camping saved us huge $$$.

I've heard from others that motels/b&b's in Mex and Central Am. are plentiful and priced about the same as a camp site is here in Canada. I've also heard that camp sites are fewer and farther between south of the U.S. Granted, we'd camp while travelling in the U.S., but I'd rather not carry the gear if motelling in Mex and S.Am is just as cheap.

Any input on this is appreciated. Should we leave the tent at home?
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Old 16 Jan 2007
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Organized and ófficial´camping site availability is no where close to what you find in the US and CN.
Sure, you can go that route or hotel it.
C/A is cheaper than Mexico.
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Old 16 Jan 2007
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Ridden in Mexico often and to the Panama Canal once. Did not see many campgrounds but lots of motel/hotels @18-20 USD. Some good, some bad. Most with secure parking. I would not bother with a tent again. Too much hassel and too little return.
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Take your camping gear, there are lots of places in both Mexico and Central America that as you pass through you may want to stop at, but don't have a hotel or proper campsite, i spent a lot of time out there and very rarely ever had a room, you can always find i spot for a tent. Just think you your tent and the stars. Skip
Do the best you can with what you have,
A stranger in a strange land now heading North South East West to.....
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Old 18 Jan 2007
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Skip the camping gear.

There aren't alot of places in Mexico & CA to camp - not like you are used to finding in the US and Canada. There are places, but you'll spend a lot of time asking around to try to find them.

If you camp, you'll miss out on the the great atmosphere in the towns and cities. You can always find hotel accommodation with secure parking in any town - and to walk out the front door into the streets to enjoy being part of the lively nightlife is not to be missed - much better than stirring pasta on the camp stove in the dark.

Its just not worth hauling that much gear for a couple nights sleeping on the ground. And you won't miss the bugs at all - they'll find you wherever you happen to be sleeping.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Old 19 Jan 2007
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I think it's worth taking a small tent just in case you end up in the middle of nowhere and have problem with bike or nightime is rolling in.I must admit I only camped a couple of times in Mexico and once in CR.You're right you can miss out on meeting the locals etc.
Camped on beach in Baja and left door open(too hot) never again,got stung by scorpion !
Have Fun !
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Old 31 Jan 2007
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Your camping gear will be usefull in Baja. I would not bother for CA. I have been camping on my trip and it has saved me some bucks, but after waking up to people with machetes 3 days in a row, I decided I should take their advice - they all said it was too dangerous to camp where I was. (Due to robbers and spiders.)
After 40 days of travel I got a bed in a Hostal in Leon, Nic. There is allot of great things in the towns and it is a shame to miss out on them. If you can save up a few dollars extra for the trip - do it.
There are no "camp grounds". If you find a cleared bit of land big enough for your tent, this is were you camp. Or open a gate and sleep in someones field.
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Old 31 Jan 2007
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Thanks for the great info!

We're heading south to Tierra del Fuego, leaving from Calgary, Alberta in July. We'll be taking the tent because we love camping and because we anticipate using it through the U.S.A. and in southern Chile/Argentina. I suspect we won't be doing much camping in C.A. and Mexico but it is nice to have the option. We're on two bikes so space isn't as big an issue for us as it might be for others.
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Old 1 Feb 2007
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Thanks folks!
I'll take the camping gear and play out my options as they present themselves. At least we can save a few $$ while travelling through the US.
Based on the replies, we'll probably just carry it around (or ship it home) once we hit Guatemala.

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Old 24 Feb 2007
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what about it Sth America?

Could I please have your opinions on whether or not I am likely to want / need camping gear in South America (Arg, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Brazil, Ven)? I will be starting in Buenos Aires in April and heading North West for warmer weather initially. Will come back down when the southern areas start to warm up in Spring. I am frantically getting things together already and need to figure out weather to buy the camping gear I will need (so there is a cost / reward component here too)

Many Thanks!
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Old 4 Mar 2007
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I wouldn´t bother with camping gear. I´m doing your exact trip right now, but backwards. Panama to Toronto. I don´t know why I would ever camp when I can get a hammock in a hostel for around the same price. Unless you really like camping (not me - my KTM Duke II doesn´t have any luggage racks, so everything´s on my back) i wouldn´t bother bringing gear.
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Old 4 Mar 2007
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Cool camp in C.A.

I went to Costa Rica on a fly in rent-a-bike trip a while back without camping gear. If I do go back I will take a light bag and tent because to me time spent in a room with the door closed is time not spent well.
My experience is limited to the Pacific coast and only Costa Rica ,but there are canp sites listed in the Lets Go guide.
ride,smile,repeat as nessasary
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Old 4 Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by Ekke View Post
We're heading south to Tierra del Fuego, leaving from Calgary, Alberta in July. We'll be taking the tent because we love camping and because we anticipate using it through the U.S.A. and in southern Chile/Argentina. I suspect we won't be doing much camping in C.A. and Mexico but it is nice to have the option. We're on two bikes so space isn't as big an issue for us as it might be for others.
Hey Ekke - when do you leave Calgary? My g/f and I are aiming to arrive in Calgary right at the end of July en route from Anchorage to Ushuaia. If you're still around, at the end of the month, do you fancy a ?!

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Old 6 Mar 2007
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i´m on the road doing all the countries in Latin America. I´m carrying my camp gear. i agree that in Mexico and C/A there are few campsites but there are! Most of the times i´ve used it in MX and C/A was when the hotels were full and i asked the hotel owners if i could camp in their secured yard or in people houses. so yes take the gear!

Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay have amazing secure campsites and a lot cheaper than hotels.
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Camping Gear

Take the gear. Over 7 weeks in Mexico we only used it twice but we would've been screwed without it.

Next time I go I'll plan on camping more. There are many remote places which would've been ideal.

Have fun, be safe. Vampyremp
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