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Old 05-20-2003, 09:25 AM   #1
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Dry camping spots

I've never done dry camping before, so I am curious about how you go about finding dry camping spots. I'm not interested in free spots such as Flying J so much as remote spots that are still accessible with 6 wheels. I have been city bound for a very long time and I am interested in finding some places where I can see ALL the stars, not just a handful. I know there are BLM (Bureau of Land Management) maps and Corps of Engineers sites in the US, but I am not even sure where to start my search. More than once I have driven to what seemed like a good place on the map only to find that it was not worth the drive.

I am still developing a plan for where I'll be between August and November, so I could be anywhere between Florida and the Al-Can. Free is good too though, since I am trying to stretch a modest amount of money as long as possible.

I am also curious about what type of wildlife you all encounter in remote spots. I am a keen observer of nature, but I also don't want to witness my dog losing out to a cougar or bear (nor do I).

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Old 05-20-2003, 10:05 AM   #2
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Go to a Corp of Engineers office and pick up a set of free maps showing all their sites in the US.

You can go To Reserve America site and check out the sites that they handle.

Most state sites have info on their state parks.

Forest service maps are good once you have picked an area but you have to buy them..

Most people will not post their favorite hidden sites for obvious reasons.

Wal-Mart has book of state maps that contains a list of all their stores for 4.95

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Old 05-20-2003, 04:11 PM   #3
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its not hidden

Its primative no water no electricity but it is free . Moose river rec area outside indian lake ny . you cart it in you cart it out . enterance is about 1o miles some of it paved most of it washboard dirt. at the wakley side there is a dam with a nice small lake . there is a ranger station and a lot of open camp sites . like you would find in any SP except outhouse instead of bath room. water is from a clean spring dip your what ever in and fill up . Climb the dirt road up the mountain sites are clustered farther apart . Stop and listen you can here rushing streams beyond the trees nice places to camp . then you come on to a plains area lots of critters at night .
then back in to the hills and a misty water falls area must be nice because this spot is always full. take a fork in the road and yo end up at Limekil SP i think the raod is 30 miles . zllions of trails canoeable water , fogged in firetower lean too for the really adventuresome. down side you may cross paths with a moose.
or bear ill take the bear any day , you never know whats going to trigger the moose. bear for the most part ill go this way you go that way and everyone happy . good part its free

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Old 05-20-2003, 04:58 PM   #4
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JR ... in addition to Army Corps of Engineers (most of which have atleast electricity to the site) ... there are literally thousands and thousands of National Forest campgrounds (most of which have no services, not even a dump station).

There are also hundreds of campsites developed by the Bureau of Reclamation, an agency in the Department of US Interior campsites ... most of which have no services and some of which are free.

Three "must have" books are:

2003 Trailer Life Campground Directory

Camping with the Corps

Bureau of Reclamation Lakes guide (hard to find)

A website where you can make reservations or research many National Forest or Corp of Engineer campgrounds, by states:


Once you "pick" an area, like Nick said, you can contact the respective National Forest office ... and for the price of a phone call, pick the forest service folks brain about remote campgrounds ... even occasionally specific campsite recommendations.

We're soon headed to three hand-picked-over-years-of-camping National Forest campgrounds, with reservations for specific drop-dead-beautiful campsites ... but if I told you which ones, I'd have to kill you.

Like Nick says ... like a prospector finding gold. I'll give you generalities, but I've already staked my claim.

Now, for Canada ... I subscribe to Camping Canada ... which publishes an annual campground guide ... which includes many off-other-books campgrounds. To me, it's worth twice the price. We found a remote campground on Prince Edward Island and have returned there many many times.

You can also contact the various Provincial Park areas management. They are always willing to give the specifics about out-of-the way parks.

And of course, in both the US and Canada, you have a vast network of National Parks, running from coast to coast. It's our goal to visit all of them before we die!

Have the fun ... no, 75 percent of the fun ... is doing your homework, checking out new areas, driving campgrounds in the area, writing down campsite numbers for return visits.

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Old 05-23-2003, 09:38 AM   #5
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I now know how to get started! After 17 years in the Rockies I will finally be doing some hard-core camping there!

Don't worry, I never expected anyone to publicly list their favorite spots. You gave me exactly what I was looking for. This sort of info is not exactly common knowledge in my current East Coast office-bound world. Right now I am the ONLY person I know in this area who owns an RV! (And they all think I am the crazy one!)

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Old 05-23-2003, 10:58 AM   #6
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dry camping

Most of the National park sites and many of the N. Forest and the smaller Corp sites are dry and although not always free they are usually fairly inexpensive. In many of the National forests they also have free dispersed camping, where you can generally camp just about anywhere in the forest. I have (and recommend) the Coleman National Forest guide, The "Camping with the Corp" book, and a good National Park guide book. The Coleman book on NF lists what animals you'll be likely to encounter in the area around the campground, the maps are poor but with a Rand Mcnally you'll be fairly set. In addition there are a couple books out there called Free Camping (East and West versions) and Camping on a shoestring (A lot of the free and inexpensive sites have nature as their main draw) all by the same author. My last dry camps were the three NP campgrounds on the Natchez Trace Parkway, very nice heavily wooded sites in all three campgrounds........I can't believe they are free! Get off the grid and have some fun with nature.


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Old 05-23-2003, 11:10 AM   #7
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Backroad Mapbooks

For anyone interested in the back roads and forestry type sites in British Columbia, I highly recommend these books by Mussio Ventures. They also cover Alberta and Ontario.

We own 2 of the volumes - so far. Southwestern BC and Vancouver Island. Topics covered in each area include detailed (and very accurate) maps of Wilderness Camping, Provincial Parks, Hiking Trails, Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing, Paddling Routes, Winter Recreation, Natural Hotsprings, Mountain Biking, and more.

Make sure you have the latest edition of any volume you are interested in.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ece566267f49vol1.jpg/>


P.S. Check on their LINKS tab for other interesting ideas.

Happy Camping! :)

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