Collect a database of boondocking campsites

Here’s a comment from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking. 

Hi Bob,
I’ve been boondocking for 15 years, and I’ve found it’s not the camping itself that’s hard, it’s finding places to do it. I use Google Maps to locate new places, but that’s not very reliable because you cannot see details like road elevations and conditions. My best resource has been Escapees and their publication “Day’s End”. Also, there are plenty of no-hookups campgrounds (at least out West) where you’ll find sparse attendance during the week. These places are usually beautiful, quiet, and have plenty of room between sites. Yes, you’ll pay rent, but it’s well worth it to not be in a crowded campground. As long as lots of RVers remain lazy and rich, I think boondocking will be available for quite some time. —Michael S. 

Hi Michael,
Granted, boondock camping opportunities are not as abundant in Connecticut as in the West, but there are still places to boondock and there are primitive (no-hookup) campsites available that cost less than private RV parks (and in Connecticut State Parks you, as a resident, get a discount) and whose campsites are spaced farther apart. You’ve probably found most of them. But as a general rule, when trying to find primitive and boondock campsites in any new area or state I look at (besides Google Earth) national and state forests, state campgrounds, fish and wildlife refuges, county and public utility parks and campgrounds, and Corps of Engineers properties.  

Though many times if you ask the volunteers who man the visitor centers and answer online questions about camping they will reply “no,” what they mean is that there are no developed campgrounds. When pressed they will reveal that you can actually camp there but “who would want to camp where there was no campground?”

The other suggestion I would make is to become a collector of boondocking campsites. By that I mean, save them to a notebook or in a digital file by location or state. You would be surprised how many good boondocking campsites you pass by and they go forgotten because you weren’t looking for a campsite when you discovered it (I’ve forgotten hundreds of good sites). But record it anyway. Build a database. Then next time you pass that way or are chatting with other boondockers you will have the information handy. It does take some effort, but the payoff is worth it. 

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .

##RVT847

 

 

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4 Thoughts to “Collect a database of boondocking campsites”

  1. C Young

    I have two other sites I use, especially out west. Freecampsites.net – data base of sites that are free or under $12 with reviews by people who actually used the camp sites. Another specifically for out west is publiclands.org – shows land managed by many federal and state agencies. When using these resources, I also check with the agencies themselves, and by phone or online, for any updates or restrictions.

  2. Sherry Dawson

    Here’s another good resource: forestcamping.com Camping in National Forests: This is the number one resource, online or in the printed world, of campgrounds located in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. Every campground has been personally visited by the authors. Many are still free with others $10 or less with a 50% discount for holders of certain National Park passes.

    Also note that the ultimatecampground.com covers Canada also. Plus the site download function has been improved. The site now states, “You can purchase our downloadable POI Lists for United States ($4.95) OR Canada ($2.95). Your purchase is a one-year subscription that allows you 12 downloads of the list. Updates are generally posted at the first of each month.”

  3. Tommy Molnar

    “ultimatecampgrounds.com” is a boondocker’s dream. We have used this site numerous times and have the app in our Android phones. A wealth of information.

  4. Greg Illes

    All very good thoughts and ideas. I’ll add one more, a web site Iv’e found EXTREMELY useful:
    ultimatecampgrounds.com

    In addition to a great user interface, they also provide (for $5) a one-time download of their 34,000-location database. I’ve imported this into off-line applications so that I can do trip planning without an Internet connection.

    Highly recommended,
    G.

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