Saturday, June 27, 2009

Free (and inexpensive) Camping

If you've followed this blog for long, you know we really enjoy camping. We camp on all our long road trips, camp with friends and family or alone, in sunny weather or rain. I prefer to camp away from city noises, and free or really inexpensive camping is ideal for me, but none of us are afraid of a pit toilet. Thirty bucks a night might not seem like a lot to camp, but when you're camping for an entire month...or more it sure adds up. ($900/month to camp at $30 per's gonna have to be some REALLY nice camping at that rate!)

I'm often asked where I found out about the inexpensive or even free camping spots along our last Big Adventure - the 9,611-mile (but who was counting) trip. I found a lot of them through local folks I talked to (or e-talked to) before we headed out and along our travels. I found some online while researching for the trip. And finally, I carried with us this guide:

When we found ourselves not quite meeting our time lines for the planned camping spot, I'd open the book to the appropriate state's map page, find the camp closest to us, read the description and make decisions from there. We had some GREAT finds thanks to this book, which features campgrounds that charge no more than $12 per night. Most of the free camps are far out off the beaten path. On the Central Coast, the listings are slim. But in Kansas, for instance, we camped at some fantastic lakes that provided free campgrounds complete with restrooms. In South Dakota, we found a city park campground that charged $7/night for a spot with flush toilets and hot-water showers included. Add another buck a night and you've got electrical hookups...such a deal! Note: This is the WESTERN edition, so if you're planning to head EAST of Kansas, it won't be of much use to you. (I was disappointed Missouri wasn't odd division of the country.)

Happy Trails!

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1 comment:

  1. I think I'll get one of these. Today we went through the High Uintas in Utah for some day hiking and exploring, we did notice most of the camping was $12 a night, and it was $6 per car to go into the park. It does all add up.


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