I have found that I am going out less because of gas prices. I already have an economical car (37 gpm on highway) and live fairly close to good backpack areas (most trips are within 200 miles), yet I am hesitating. I think it is the sticker-price shock factor. The best way I can see to reduce gas price is to carpool (this implies that I need to find more backpack partners). I am also delaying buying new gear. I also am thinking about trade-offs - for instance skip the fishing (out of state license at 80$ buys about 23 gallon of gas or about 850 miles - that's almost pays for the trip to Wyoming if I decide to go to the Wind Rivers).
Also the gas prices are not just directly applicable to my backpack mileage. I am now spending more on gas for non-backpack reasons, leaving less for backpacking. I have been using the equivelent of a backpack trip's gas to see my new grandson weekly, the equivlent of several trips to fly to see my elderly mother and the equivelent of LOTS of backpack trips to fly across the country to see my newest granddaughter. I am really torn.
I also wonder if I should bit the bullet and do my farther away trips this summer betting on even higher gas prices next year.
Gas here today is $3.60 per gallon and going up fast.
Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
It's starting to get noticeable. I don't need my little truck to get to work - I ride my bike. My truck gets 30mpg. I've got a granddaughter 450 miles away and I just plan accordingly. I guess the jump in fuel price has caused me to plan more, not do less. I think I would curtail a lot of non-essential expenditures before I would give up driving.
For those around in the 78 fuel crunch, it wasn't the price of gas that was the problem, it was the availability. Where I was living they had odd/even day gas rationing. Fortunately I could ride my bike to work then, and still do now.
Gasoline prices are so visible but they are a relative thing. As a teenager, gasoline was priced at about .29 (yeah I'm 62 now). My wages went up along with gas costs. During the 1960's the gas mileage of most cars was under 20mpg. Today's vehicles offer improved mileage as you know. By my estimate I can travel farther today on a gallon adjusted for inflation than 30-40 years ago. Just the same I try to drive efficiently & plan ahead to economize. I drive a 2002 Subaru Outback & with synthetic oil the mileage is 29mpg on a good day. I likewise have sons & granddaughters living on the other side of the U.S. Cheaper to fly then drive to see'em.
But it makes little sense to drive a few hundred miles to walk 10 or 20, does it?
Well, I don't have much choice up here in Alaska where I'm at. I have to drive at least an 40 minutes to find any trails. I'll have to do the same when I go back to Boise also, though there I'm hoping to bike places a bit more. But, I'll still drive the half day to Yellowstone or the full day to Glacier to hike for a few days or for a week. The sights are more than worth the price, though I'd rather get there in a more economical and eco-friendly manner. The gas prices will probably decrease the number of long distance trips though.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle
Yep. I feel it twice; out of my pocketbook AND my wife constantly reminding me to cut down on miles. I bike to work every day which might help a little (unless there’s snow on the roads). I always carpool w/ backpacking trips and my groups vary between 3-6 unless we’re with scouts.
I just bought a house that is 40 minutes from work. Luckily I also found someone else who works the same hours and at the same place, and lives in the same little town that I do, so we carpool. We are looking at a third person (hopefully).
I am going to say something a little controversial, and maybe off topic. Even though I pay a lot for gas, I hope the price keeps rising. Why? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Because then it would force change. At the price right now, it is only inconvenient. We do a little economizing, drive a little less, and really don't change much. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
For me, No, but then again the "rising gas prices" are more of a USA phenomenon - it's been over a buck a litre here for a while, and while it's been going up some, it was already high <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> - but for me it really comes down to the time to go is more hard to come by than the money right now - so by the time I can go, I just spend what it takes on the gas - I'll carpool/bus/bike to work instead.
The only time I suppose I really get bitter about it was like this weekend, when I ended up being forced to bail out early on, and so spent about 80 bucks on gas for what amounted to a lot of driving and not a lot of being out <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
I put about 12K miles per year on my car. At 25 MPG, that's about 480 gallons per year. Going from $3 to $4 changes my gas cost from $1440 to $1920 per year($120 to $160 per month).
One thing that has enabled me to reduce the number of miles I put on the car has been the addition of a 100+ MPG moped. But I can only really drive it maybe six months out of the year. I put a few thousand miles per year on it.
These costs alone would be easily containable. But the cost of gas creeps into everything. So I cut back on unnecessary trips and keep my purchases to the necessary.
When it's time to take vacations, I tend to stay closer to home to cut back on the travel expenses.
It's not a major concern for me. I'm lucky enough to live near work and I only work 3days/week. I often bike or run to work. Sometimes I go several days without driving a car at all.
By saving money on my work commute I feel less guilty about spending money on gas for trips.
And yes, every cloud has a silver lining. I hope that increased gas prices will result in cleaner air, less congested roads and less dependency on foreign oil. Drivers will become more efficient. Many of my work buddies drive huge SUV's or pickup trucks to work. Most never haul anything or even see so much as a dirt road.
Since its between 5 and 25 miles from my house to ski, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> bp, 4wd, fish, etc, it doesn't matter much. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> BUT I wish my business truck was a motorcycle but I couldn't haul compressors and ladders too easily. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Gas here today is $3.60 per gallon and going up fast.
How are you all handling this?
I gnash my teeth, call my congressman and yell, blame Bush and Cheney a lot, and tell all my friends and neighbors that voted for "Oil Men" that they're to blame too.
So, all in all, I'd say I'm handling it pretty well.
I'm doing even better this morning because I just watched a mini-movie by Shell Oil that's running 24 hours a day on Dish network right now. It's a real drama, with romance, and forest fires and all the hard work they do to get us the energy we need. I give it $$$$ Up!
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
It isn't just gas prices. It's the price of everything that requires petroleum products for growing (food), shipping, etc. Plus the increase in prices of anything from overseas due to our incredible shrinking US dollar. It's especially fun when you're on a fixed retirement income, as I am. I got a temporary respite this year (which about offsets the inflation of everything else) by getting a cheaper (i.e. higher co-pay) Medicare HMO plan, but if I should get sick that could really come back to bite me!
I am making less trips to Seattle to see the grandkids (I am going this weekend, my first trip since mid-January), going out to the Columbia River Gorge to hike only once a week (much to the detriment of my training because there are no significant hills in my neighborhood), and trying to combine all shopping/errands/church trips into a single outing as much as possible.
I still plan one trip to the Rockies this summer. I am obligated to a week's backpack in northern Colorado and decided to tack on an 8-day trip into the Wind Rivers (thanks to wandering daisy's trip reports!) right after that. I will reduce motel expenses by camping at the trailheads at both ends of each backpack trip, so that I have a total of only two nights in motels for the entire time.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I managed last year to knock 2,000 miles off my annual mileage by going home after work instead of driving around for something to do. I put 20,000 miles on my truck the previous year, so I did cut back on a couple weekend trips and made money by cutting firewood to sell to pay for car insurance on my car that sits in the garage while I cut firewood and deliver it.:( Go figure. I don't let the price of gas cut into vacation plans, something I plan on and I save by staying out in the boonies close to the trailhead on vacation trips.
Wandering Daisy, there is a small but busy group I belong to that do a lot of bping and dayhikes to the coast and into the mountains, most of the members are down in the bay area/Sac area vicinity. I go when they have trips closer to me in the Sierra. We are doing a trip to Lassen VNP this coming weekend, about eight are to show up I believe. Most are carpooling, we have been a group for 4 years now. One or two post here some. A trip or more a month through out the year, with many posting very good photos.
I have a newish car that gets very good mileage, but with gas prices up & my payments almost finished I'm thinking of picking up a scooter or small motorcycle for commuting. They often get 50-70+ mpg, and if you get the right one you can even take it to the trail. Otherwise, I've been carpooling to the trails as usual. I make up for my increased gas bill by not driving as much during the week.
I've been into energy conservation for decades but saving money is only one of my motivations. Still, 'back in the day', I cancelled a trip from San Antonio to the Everglades because gas prices got so high...they were up to 45˘/gallon! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> A few months later I realized that the marginal cost of that jump in prices would have added $65 to the cost of the trip. There's no way I should have given up a two-week trip to the Everglades for $65...
I agree that gasoline prices seem high but if you calculate how much this year's trip costs vs. what it would have been last year the sticker shock is tempered a bit. If it's still too much consider changing driving style. There's usually a big savings to be had dropping the speed from 75mph to 65 or less. Similarly, air conditioning, which generally sucks up a lot of gasoline, usually isn't needed in the early morning hours...
I too grit my teeth over gas prices today but I don't cancel 'trips' because of it. The sad point, IMO, is that for Americans gasoline is still too cheap...there's been little change in demand...little conservation resulting from these high prices. My neighbor still fires up the SUV to drive the mile and a half to the country store to buy the newspaper and chit chats for twenty minutes or so...while the vehicle idles. Three hours later the first mile and a quarter is repeated to pick up the mail. That behavior and the other idling cars I see at the store tell me that gasoline price isn't an issue...yet.
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution
I have a 50 cc Honda Metropolitan, which gets about 100 MPG. The only drawback is the top speed of about 40 MPH. If you need to go faster, look for something in the 125-150 cc range. They still get 75-80 MPG, depending on which you get. And they can do 50-60 MPH.
The other drawback with a scoot is when the weather sucks. Nothing stings quite like a cold rain at speed.
I try not to let the price of gas cut into my BP'ing. I have a 4-cylinder Toyota pickup I use on trips that gets around 30 mpg so I don't feel too much pain there. A lot of my neighbors feel the need of F-350's and their ilk (10-14 mpg?).
The gasoline cost of my getting to the trailhead has increased here by about 20% and I am offsetting that by running most of my errands using my moped. I have a Tomos moped that will get between 100 and 120 mpg, depending on headwinds and does 31mph tops.
I live on a small acreage in the desert between Tucson and Nogales; over ten miles to the nearest store and eight miles from the Post Office. No public transportation. Getting groceries and mail would be expensive without the moped. I take a pack with me and plan on a slow, pleasant trip into town. Unless there is a really big load to carry, this is how almost all the errands are handled. I am also on a more-or-less fixed retirement income and have to watch expenses. At least I don't have the expense of commuting to a job to deal with!
Just an FYI........there is a device called a tornado that creates a vortex in your engine from the air intake. This allows for better gas mileage because the gas/air mix is better (or so say all the manufacturers of these things). There are a bunch of different companies that make these things, the particular one I have is here: http://www.tornadoair.com/ , but I'm sure other ones work as well. It is very easy to install (I am not a car guy, but it was extremely simple for me to install it). With the amount of driving I do, it paid for itself in one year (and that is when I first bought it, with around $2.10 gas). With gas only going to get more expensive, these are definitely a relatively cheap way to become more fuel efficient. The only thing you have to watch out for is getting the right size for your particular make/model/year.
It will be a crap shoot as to whether or not this device will help for a given model. For most modern vehicles, I'm willing to bet it would actually be detrimental. At least the very least, it may help for some conditions and hurt for others. Engineers put a lot of effort into optimizing charge motion these days. If there were such a device that could be put into the air stream that would improve fuel economy across the board, we'd be using it.
I believe the actual principle this tornado device operates on (differentiating it from the countless others marketed over the last quarter-century) is that it creates a vortex over your wallet causing dollar bills to spiral out of it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Total Cr$p! I get soooooooo tired of hucksters dumping this stuff on suckers. Of course, PT Barnum is proved right all the time, so maybe I should just let the parasites feed and the hosts feel good about their fuel-saving purchase.
That device has been proven worthless. If it worked, auto makers would have installed them in vehicles. You get what you pay for. You could try chipping the computer but a lot of the newer autos cannot be improved on by just chipping.
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