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Old 04-26-2016, 04:06 AM   #1
NorthEastSprinter
 
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Default Finding camp

Hi there forum,

Im looking for ideas how to find off the map locations for camping. There are always spectacular sprinter photos posted with mountains and sunsets. I have found a few camp sites that had no other visitors, but that was sheer luck.

Looking forward to your responses.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Finding camp

Get a good atlas/gazetteer (like the DeLorme's series).

They list forest service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campgrounds.
They also show the land ownership in the states... then learn the Forest Service and BLM policies on "distributed camping"

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Old 04-26-2016, 05:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Finding camp

I hate campgrounds, too many people.
If you google "boondocking" you'll find several websites where people share their free campsite locations, like www.freecamping.net . I recently used one to find a spot near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and was surprised that there were several spots within just a few miles of the entrance.
Google Earth is a great way to scout for secluded spots to camp. If you turn on the National Forest, BLM, etc borders you can see where it's public and not private land, and it's free to camp in NFS and BLM for two weeks in one spot unless there are posted restrictions against camping.

Remember to always leave a spot better than you found it so it's nice for the next person. Take out all your trash, including cigarette butts, use a Luggable Loo or other portable toilet so there isn't a pile of poop behind every bush. Extra karma points for removing OTHER people's trash, repairing the fire ring, etc.

And you can always just start a thread here asking about a certain area, and if anyone has any tips or spots they know of. I've got a dozen spots around Moab.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Finding camp

Here is Australia I have found wikicamps a great app. There is an equivalent in the US but I can't vouch for it.

Ian
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Finding camp

Quote:
Originally Posted by surlyoldbill View Post
I hate campgrounds, too many people.
If you google "boondocking" you'll find several websites where people share their free campsite locations, like www.freecamping.net . I recently used one to find a spot near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and was surprised that there were several spots within just a few miles of the entrance.
Google Earth is a great way to scout for secluded spots to camp. If you turn on the National Forest, BLM, etc borders you can see where it's public and not private land, and it's free to camp in NFS and BLM for two weeks in one spot unless there are posted restrictions against camping.

Remember to always leave a spot better than you found it so it's nice for the next person. Take out all your trash, including cigarette butts, use a Luggable Loo or other portable toilet so there isn't a pile of poop behind every bush. Extra karma points for removing OTHER people's trash, repairing the fire ring, etc.

And you can always just start a thread here asking about a certain area, and if anyone has any tips or spots they know of. I've got a dozen spots around Moab.
Thanks Bill (you dont seem surly at all)
The freecamping link is not working for me
I also found places along the south rim,but they were all illegal,and although it was ok in a much smaller VW,I wouldnt expect to be undisturbed in a high-top sprinter.
As for Moab,all my favorite old spots along the river are now pay-for-dirt and crowded to boot,and the free space below castle Rock isnt free anymore.Any tips appreciated
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Finding camp

I struggle with this, too. It's normally late, I'm tired, and trying to find a good spot. Some ideas (in addition to searching 'boondocking' etc.)

- Any sign that says "National Forest" probably has some spots
- Use the "Camp and RV" app - it's about $10 and helps find some (not all) spots
- Ask at bike shops - some have turned me on to great spots
- Community colleges are good stealth camping sites as are small municipal airports, but not for multiple days.
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Finding camp

oops, www.freecampsites.net I left off the S.

One of the last places to boondock near Moab is up Onion Creek road, past Castle Valley turnoff. Not really close to town, but great place to camp with a view of Fisher Towers. On the other side of town, if you keep going on Kane Creek Road, past Hunter Canyon, it opens up in a big valley with lots of spots. On the other side of the river, if you go past the factory on Potash road, once you go up the hill there are a few spots on the river side of the road. On google earth you can see some old cement pads where there were a few buildings; that area.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Finding camp

There are numerous places E and W of 191 south of the airport. Try Mill Canyon Rd, Dalton Well Rd, Klondike Bluffs Rd or Willow Springs Rd.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Finding camp

When we are planning a trip in the van I go onto Google maps and try to divide the trip up roughly into day-long drives and then scout out possible good camping spots within a 100 miles. I look for the same things others have mentioned, BLM and Forest Service lands in the West, but also state parks - across the country. During spring and fall in particular, you are often the only people camping at some of them, maybe the water isn't even turned on, but still many, many nice spots. A quiet state park with river frontage often is the nicest option in a state.

I then have a list of options, a few may require reservations ahead of time so I make those, but most are ones we can select as we see how the trip plays out. Kirk's Creek in Big Sur CA is worth making a reservation months ahead of time, and Yosemite, and if you like the southeast, Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina, but many places are fine same day.

I often spend 10 hours or more researching options along our routes, usually a couple months ahead of time, but then don't have to do it late in the day after a long drive when we are really anxious to get out of the van and take the dog for a walk. Maybe I do more ahead of time also because we have to be certain of dog-friendly places. We often change plans, but having looked into where the good options are helps us figure out whether a change in route is worth it sometimes too.

Now that you can download Google maps of areas you select onto your phone or tablet, you don't even have to have wifi or phone connectivity to use Google maps to get to these places. You can use the downloaded maps. It used to drive me crazy to need a map and have my phone update software and wipe it out or to lose connectivity, but now it is easier. Don't forget to look at places with Google Earth, not just the maps. THis is where you can really evaluate how secluded or private a place is, how close together sites are, etc...

We've had to stop at RV places or private campgrounds a few times and they invariably are no where near as nice as any of the public options, at least in our view. In Canada the provincial parks are just wonderful.

Last edited by bstory; 04-27-2016 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Finding camp

If you like camping on public lands, "Ultimate Campgrounds" is of value:

http://www.ultimatecampgrounds.com/uc3/index.php

Its content is slanted toward rustic campsites on public lands, which is its advantage over its many competitors. The coverage is uneven, though: On the one hand I have used it to discover obscure campsites in national forests that I though I knew thoroughly. On the other, some Ohio State Parks are missing.

You have to pay for the phone/tablet apps (which are handy), but all the information is available for free on the website.
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Last edited by avanti; 04-28-2016 at 01:16 AM.
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