View Full Version : camping..

04-16-2010, 07:43 PM
My two MC live in NYC, but are travelling like 3-4 hours to go to a cabin that's on private property.

Would that distance put them in New York state?

What town can I research to get an idea of the environment and the surrounding area?


04-16-2010, 08:15 PM
I'm not intending to be harsh, but this is such basic research that you should be doing a fair amount of it yourself.

Draw a circle around NYC. Assume they'll use the first half hour of their travel time in city traffic, then can average, oh, say 50 miles an hour. How big a circle do you draw for 3 hours? What geographical areas does it include? What gets added when you draw a 4 hour circle? What towns or areas are in your circles? What is their population? What attractions are in the area?

These are all real basic--and the reason writers are preached to write what they know (which includes what you can teach yourself through research).

Maryn, who's visited the Catskills and the Adirondacks many times

04-16-2010, 08:27 PM
Google maps and google earth are all you need for this kind of thing.

04-16-2010, 08:47 PM
Where I come from, staying in a cabin is NOT considered camping. :D

04-16-2010, 09:22 PM
To me, that's camping. If I'm stuck out in the middle of the boonies with no computer, no civilization, stuck in the middle of bug-infested terrain...that's camping.

We have a camping trailer. It has a kitchen and shower, but to me that's still camping.

Either way, I hate it.

I'm sorry, Maryn. I didn't mean to ask an asinine question. :flag:

04-16-2010, 09:38 PM
Oh, not asinine, just asking that others do work that you could do without ever leaving your chair.

I agree, a cabin without electricity or running water is still not camping. I don't even consider staying in a vehicle of any kind camping.

We've spent some happy mini-vacations hiking for the day, then returning to a luxury hotel. Ahh, now that's the life!

Maryn, to whom camping is a hotel with fewer than three stars ;)

04-16-2010, 09:50 PM
Or you could just look up a place that interests you, research the dickens out of it and simply gloss over the travel time.

One suggestion is to look up the Finger Lakes region. I lived in upstate NY and we went there on several occasions. There was a Girl Scout camp (Camp Comstock) that rented out space during the summer when they didn't have scouting events happening.

04-16-2010, 09:58 PM
Besides, all kind of depends on how fast they drive.

I can get quite a ways in 3-4 hrs, and in upstate New York that's more than enough to get good and lost.


.... and camping involves a tent and a fire. Otherwise you're just pretending. :tongue

04-16-2010, 09:59 PM
Maryn is just being mean. Why should those who live in clean cities even think about life in the wilds, much less research them?

Why else do you think you country bumpkins are allowed on this site unless it's to answer country bumpkin questions. Really!

Cabins are so camping! Where are the thermostats? Why is the garbage disposal a bear? Who would even think chunks of wood burn?

Chase -- was camping all this time growing up in country and didn't even know it.

04-16-2010, 10:01 PM
That's where you got it wrong. I'm not asking people to do my research. I just asked for a name. If I got a name, then I can do the research myself. A little hard to do research on something, if you don't know where you're looking. I like doing my own research, but just needed pointed in the direction.

No different than asking for directions when on a roadtrip. I don't expect anyone else to drive my car for me to get me there, just point me in the right direction. This is just the same thing.

Now that Catskills have been mentioned, I have a name and area that I can research the hell out of.

I live in Ohio. How am I suppose to know where driving 3-4 hours out of New York City will land you? For all I know, you'd still be in NYC. That's why I came here and asked. For those who live in NYC and the vicinity so they could just give me a name.

That's all I was asking for. A simple name (direction). No research on their end, but a name. :)

04-16-2010, 10:10 PM
Mapquest and google maps are both great for these kinds of questions. Start with where you know - NYC and then just look at the maps...

Or start with a state - type in NY and it will pull up the whole state, and then you can zoom in and look.

Whenever you're faced with determining where to set something, just start as general aas you need to and zoom in. It will usually be faster than posting and you'll often get other info and inspiration as you look.

And then if you have specific questions, post them - people will be more likely to answer questions that you can't answer as easily yourself through a bit of googling/looking at google maps or mapquest.com.

Good luck with your research.


04-16-2010, 10:12 PM
I live in Ohio. How am I suppose to know where driving 3-4 hours out of New York City will land you? For all I know, you'd still be in NYC. That's why I came here and asked. For those who live in NYC and the vicinity so they could just give me a name.

As has been pointed out - google it. Google maps work wonders. Heck, could have just typed "camping in New York State" and been on your way.

I wasn't going to say anything, because it has been said, but now that you've gone back and whinged about it - they're all entirely correct. Your opening question was five minutes worth of internet research. I don't care if you live in Hawaii (although I would be jealous), this isn't hard to figure out.

I've been to some big cities in the world, some of the biggest, and even from dead center three to four hours was plenty of time to get out of them, as long as your MC's, whom you have established as residents, are smart enough not to try and leave in the middle of rush hour.

Now, you could have gone and asked *about* the different kinds of camping, which is what I presumed you were asking when I wandered over here. That's a little harder, when you're trying to get a feel for what different environments are like without a proper frame of reference. I've camped in tents that didn't have floors - in the dead of winter - and that's a heck of a lot different than a cabin. That kind of advice I think anyone here would have offered up in a heartbeat without taking you to task for not doing your end of things.

Or if all you wanted a name, a better question to have asked would have been "Where do you if you live in NYC and want to go camping for the weekend?" That's also the kind of advice anyone here would have given you without taking you to task - though again, you can Google it fairly easily.

But this idea that because you live two states over in Ohio, this somehow cuts you off from figuring out where you could go to from NYC, is ridiculous.

Either you didn't to do the basic steps to get you to where you needed to be, or you didn't ask what you really wanted to know. That's what got people shaking their heads at you.

04-16-2010, 10:14 PM
I live in Ohio. How am I suppose to know where driving 3-4 hours out of New York City will land you? For all I know, you'd still be in NYC.

Maps. Works every time for me.

04-16-2010, 10:18 PM
I apologize for the miscommunication on my end. I didn't realize that it would start anything by asking.

third person
04-16-2010, 11:00 PM
Google maps. It's your friend. Or Bing, if you prefer. They have a nifty bird's eye mode, which is a 3/4 view that can be VERY useful. Tradeoff is it can be slow.

Kathie Freeman
04-17-2010, 08:00 PM
Don't mind them, hon. Even with a map you wouldn't necessarily know what driving conditions are in a given area. I lived for 20 years in the Los Angeles area and it would be very easy to drive for 3 or 4 hours and still be in a metropolitin(?) area if you left at the wrong time of day. Hell, you might still be in your driveway.

Bing Z
04-17-2010, 09:45 PM
I think something are missing. What is going to happen during the camping? Do they need a log-wood (camp) fire? Do they need the company of a bear? Does the hero need external stimulus to save his darling (a bear or gang of thugs)? Must the campsite be primitive (without electricity) etc? All these may affect the whereabouts of the camp site that map software may not be able to help.

Like Kathie Freeman said, if the pair starts their drive on the Saturday morning of a long weekend, it is quite possible that 4 hours later they are still on Cross-Bronx Expressway.

What I prefer to do in this situation is, instead of relying on maps, to search for vacation cabin rental within a certain radius from the city. I get the locations, facilities, some photos, etc. If they fit my requirement, I buy out the cabin (in my dream) and make them private property ^_^

04-17-2010, 11:43 PM
Kathie your post made me giggle. Thank you for that.

Everyone keeps mentioning maps, which I have now looked at. I have a name (Catskills), so now I did my research. I just wanted a name of an area. I still feel that my question was no different than asking for directions.
I guess some just like to make snarky comments. Whatever. Others here have been helpful (which I appreciate) with supplying me with a name.

Bingain, the cabin is set on private property. I just like seeing what is in the surrounding area so if I need to include something, it wouldn't be unbelievable.

Thanks to those who were willing to be helpful. :)

04-18-2010, 12:21 AM
I didn't see anyone being snarky in telling you that research is the author's to do. The first two posts told you how to get started doing the research yourself without leaving your computer, but apparently that wasn't enough done for you. You wanted to draw directly on someone else's knowledge rather than doing the work authors do. This doesn't bode well.

I know, you're in Ohio and not able to travel on a whim, but your computer skills and a bit of effort can take you almost anywhere, so don't ask other people to drive you.

Maryn, done here

04-18-2010, 12:47 AM
I don't think anyone's being snarky, Stitchingirl. While writing The Toast Bitches, I relied on Google Maps and tourist sites to get a location for my NYC based Bitches to gather on odd weekends. It wasn't a real place, but I wove in the characteristics of the Catskills area. I'm doing the same thing for my suspense novel based in the Pyrenees. I calculated driving time and weather conditions from Barcelona based on internet research.

BTW I live in Canada and can only guess about New Yorkers' exodus out of the city. We have our own flow of humanity out of the Toronto area with its own characteristics.

04-18-2010, 01:29 AM
I've never really used Google Maps. I may have to incorporate that into my stories.

04-18-2010, 01:37 AM
You should. Online mapping is incredibly useful, not just for research but for personal use.

Find your own house. Click on street view and see if they've photographed it. Use the rotation thingy to look all around in a circle. See your neighbors' houses, the view up and down your street? Neat, huh? (You can see my old car in the driveway when I do mine.) Now find a familiar business, something not too close. Map between the two. Pull the route to another street, or avoid highways, or set it for walking.

Okay, now you can have some real fun. Take yourself to New York, or Paris, or the Rockies.

Maryn, who loves going places she never will

04-18-2010, 01:43 AM
Just an old atlas or road map printed on paper will do the same job, combined with multiplying the average speed the car is travelling at by the length of time travelled.

In any case, it's up to you where your protagonists end up in 3-4 hours of travel. Do they pick the rush hour, do they leave at 2 am, do they take a wrong exit, do they stop for gas, a bite to eat, to go pee, is there an accident which backs up traffic, do they have a flat tire?

04-18-2010, 02:03 AM
I may have to buy a street atlas for some of the areas that are in my stories.

Thanks for the idea, Bushrat! :)

I should've asked my Dad about the Catskills. He was a truck driver for years. I don't know why I didn't think of asking him. Duh!


04-18-2010, 02:15 AM
Aw, I just went on and found my old school in Spain. The basketball court is still there.

04-18-2010, 02:23 AM
I used google maps to find a place in Texas that fit a story I wanted to write. It had to be in an area that had cattle, so I looked up cattle breeders in TX. I needed an idea of what the country looked like and the types of trees and grasses that grew there so I looked for USDA and state maps on vegetation and topography from TX. Temperature, weather, rainfall--National Weather Service. After narrowing down the search to fit the distance I wanted from point a to point b, I took a virtual 'drive' around the town with google maps. That gave me an idea of what businesses were around and voila--got my town and story. A very kind person on here answered my questions about 'dry' counties in his home state and even took a weekend drive to get a few pictures.

So, if you think it's the Catskill's and they're in a cabin, you're well on your way. Good luck.

04-18-2010, 02:58 AM
I checked out Google Maps, as some said that they used.

I'll have to get an actual address, so I can see the street views.