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San Carlos - camp or Solosports ?
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reality



Joined: 22 Apr 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject: San Carlos - camp or Solosports ? Reply with quote

hoping to make my first trip to San Carlos this year but am not sure if I should camp on my own or stay at Solosports.
I have heard the positive and negative scenarios to both and was wondering what others think.

any advice is greatly appreciated
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katiedog



Joined: 09 Jul 2000
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I lived within a days drive to the border I would drive and camp,But I don't . I live on right coast and go with Kevin.You can drive ,camp and pay to take meals I think. It takes a good vehicle and planning to camp (,food .water etc.)
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1561

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Reality,

If you are more a vacation type person or you only have a week or live a long way from the border I highly recommend Solo Sports. Lots of wind protection, great food, unlimited booze and ice, internet, lots of boards and sails, photographer and you avoid having to make the long drive yourself. Often you can even fly in on a private plane.

On the other hand if you are more of an adventure person then camping at San Carlos will definitely be an adventure.

For the last 20+ years I have always camped at San Carlos. Sometimes in a cab-over camper but mostly just sleeping in the back of a pick up truck. I like adventures more that vacations.

With a camper or RV it is an easy experience if you remember:

1. Bring all your own water, gas, propane, food, chairs, sun shelter, mountain bike, tarps to cover rigged sails and tarps with stakes for a floor and booze. There are no supples anywhere near San Carlos. A solar panel is a good idea.

Getting out of the wind when you are not sailing is critical. Some people have fancy skirts that snap to the windward side of their rig. When I arrive I just lay out a very large tarp held down by rocks on it's windward edge. Then just drive and park on the tarp about 3 feet from the edge. Use shock cord & padding to pull the tarp up the windward side of the truck. This gives you wind protection in the lee of the truck and a secure place to store your boards. There are times when it blows strong night and day so be prepared.

Camping in the back of a truck is much the same but be sure to bring a warm sleeping bag and warm clothing if you are there early season. A table is essential for cooking as is a 5-7 day ice chest.

Watch for rattlesnakes in your gear. Be sure to check your engine before leaving since mice love to build nests in the engine compartment often on the exhaust manifold.

Like I say in the Baja Guide you really don't get into Baja until you pass El Rosario. The drive from the border to El Rosario mostly goes though the urban or agricultural strip towns which are not very attractive. And once you hit El Rosario you are only about a dozen miles from the turnoff to San Carlos.

The road into San Carlos can range from rugged to easy depending upon the recent rains. Get road info before leaving. You absolutely have to get Mexican insurance. Check out Vagabundos.com

However you go to San Carlos try to be there when Wyatt and Tyson are giving lessons.

Here are some photos: http://windnotes.phanfare.com/4680002_5176764#imageID=100065873

There is tons more I could say but I am sure others will cover what I left out.

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 5942
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm figuring that you will end up doing it more than once, it's that good, if you catch it good. So go with Solo Sports first, then you will get the lay of the land and what all is needed. On your second trip, you will know exactly what you need and what you're up for. You might go with them again, or you might not, but at least you'll know.
Besides, you can't take it with you, you might get run over and killed by a health food truck, so spend it now.


Last edited by nw30 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 888
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: You have to be a hard partier to stay in the camp. Reply with quote

You have to be a hard partier to stay in the camp.
At least that is what is was like when I went.
A lot of people take advantage of the free bar well
into the night. And the tents are right next to it.
Think camping in the middle of a wild bar party.
It is one of the best point breaks known though.
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gronquist



Joined: 12 May 2000
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You only live once. Live the dream and be self sufficient, enjoy the environment. Camp it, and your whole experience will be amplified. Guaranteed.
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mikecole



Joined: 21 Sep 2000
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go Solo Sports and go on the plane you will be spoiled for life. I've not experienced the late night parties... In fact KT usually likes to close the bar around 10pm due to lack of patrons... If conditions are good Baja midnight strikes around 9pm because your toasted from a full day of activity. The cleanest right I've ever sailed. I'm with NW30, can't take it with you... Watch out for those health food trucks!

Mike
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hilton08



Joined: 02 Apr 2000
Posts: 479

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can afford the trip with Solo Sports, then it is well worth the money.
If you have more time than money, then you might consider driving and camping on your own.
Their slogan "You just don't know, until you go" applies well to both options.
With Solo, you don't know how great it is down there, and how much you are getting for your money until you have done the trip at least once.
Imagine what it would cost to fly to Maui, rent a house on the beach, fill the garage with every piece of gear from the rental shop, stock the kitchen with unlimited food and booze, and hire a personal chef for the week.
With the camping option, it is hard to know what you will need to bring (everything) and anticipate what might go wrong if you have never done the trip before. But I guess that can be part of the adventure.

As for late night parties at Solo, I've never had any issues with noise. Baja Midnight does come fairly early after a long day on the water, and the sounds of the ocean helped me to sleep great.

Great video of the Solo experience here: https://vimeo.com/81893045
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loopless



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the money , limited time, and this is a "one-off" trip go the Solo sports path.

If you have plenty of time, a suitable vehicle, a feeling you might do it more than once, and a sense of adventure then go for it.
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mauiguy



Joined: 18 Feb 1997
Posts: 58
Location: Maui

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to SC with both Solo and by camping. I agree with Mike above. Solo offers convenience and quality service, but at a price. I've never had the issue with excessive partying there. Camping is more adventurous and a lot cheaper, but takes lots of organization and time. Solo is a group experience, while camping is just you and whomever you go with.

If you camp, you need to bring everything you think you'll need. I do a similar tarp thing Mike does to break the wind. I like a big tarp where part of it goes completely up the windward side of the vehicle, then the rest goes under the vehicle and extends on the ground on the leeward side to provide a non-dirt surface to hang out on.

Little things can make a big difference in your comfort level. For example, I bring metal binder clips to take any slack out of the folds in the tarp so I don't have to listen to the incessant flapping noise of them from the wind.

I bring an extra tarp to cover the sails and protect them from the sun.

Sun protection is crucial. I bring metal awning support poles, with a tarp held by elastic cords to break the sun. It needs to be staked down and then weighted with rocks. I tie it to the downwind side of my vehicle. Bring a good sunhat. If you can't sleep in your vehicle, you need a tent. It often gets cold there, especially in the spring.

Ideally you would go with someone who has been there before and knows the routines. You have to bring your own windsurfing or kitesurfing gear, (including spare parts), wetsuits, surfboards, mountain bikes if you want to ride, solar showers and water for it and drinking, food, beer, sunscreen, lip balm/sunblock, cooking supplies, the list goes on.

If you decide on camping contact me and I can email you my packing list.



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