How Can I Support The Nationalparks Without A Campground Reservation
All campsite availability checkers use Recreation.gov to find campground openings at the U.S. national parks, forest service areas, and other National Park Service locations. Remember, there are over 44,000 campgrounds in the United States. Whether its a national, state, or county campground, every public park usually has a private counterpart nearby.
The Great American Outdoors Act will update and expand the majority of national park campgrounds, but youll see modernized pricing increases to maintain it all. The chain, corporate, and family-owned RV campgrounds have excellent amenities that are family-friendly. Also, these RV parks are close enough so you can still visit the national park, explore the best America has to offer, and return to a comfortable setting.
Those behind the campsite availability checkers are working hard to evolve into the private campground arena. Recreation.gov and Reserve America work with public campgrounds. Gaining permission to connect to names like KOA, Jellystone Parks, and others takes a lot of work. But, once the spring RV camping season begins around the end of March, we may see these websites and apps keep the impromptu last-minute campground reservation dream alive.
Allstays Camp And Rv Military
Since its only free for active military, military veterans and government employees, we put Allstays at the bottom of the list.
This app shows every military campground and includes commercial campgrounds that are a part of the Tents for Troops program together on one map. Its one of the best camping apps for military personnel who enjoy camping.
We like military campgrounds as they are relatively inexpensive, usually have good amenities, and due to the nature of them being on a military installation, are secure and usually have additional amenities such as commissaries, base exchanges, gas stations and nearby restaurants.
The Tents for Troops program is only for active military members and their immediate family members and allows them to enjoy a campsite for a minimum of 2 nights for free. Reservations are required and must be coordinated directly with the campground.
NOTE: Allstays also has a few paid apps for free camping that are worth the fee if you are on the road a few times a year searching for free campsites.
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The Best Boondocking Apps And Websites
Boondocking has surged in popularity in recent years, as more and more people hit the road in search of adventure.
Whether youre looking for a remote spot to spend a few days or just need an easy and convenient place to spend the night, youll be sure to find the information you need with one of these boondocking apps or websites.
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Where To Find Overnight Free Camping In Canada
The following free camping options are those we only use for brief, overnight stays. Think of this as convenience camping, often used when travelling from point A to point B.
We wouldnt purposely go on a camping trip to stay at any of these places. These free camping options are only for adapted cars, vans and RVs, not tent users.
All Trails: Hike Bike & Run
Free, offers in-app purchases
AllTrails takes the stress out of adventuring into the unknown. With access to more than 200,000 trail maps, this app allows you to find the perfect hiking spot. You can search trails by length, rating, and difficulty level to find a path that best fits your needs. You can also filter the trails in the app if youre looking for picturesque views or paths that will accommodate kids and pets.
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Best Overall Dispersed Camping App: Gaia Gps
Although not a camping specific app, we think the suite of features that Gaia GPS offers makes this the best overall app for dispersed camping. A robust set of map layers including several that help you find dispersed campsites along with an easy to navigate interface makes this our top pick.
Best Overall Dispersed Camping App
Our favorite dispersed camping friendly features in Gaia GPS include:
- Public Land map layer: This map layer shows an overlay of publicly owned land so youll never have doubts about if youre setting up camp on public property.
- Offline map download: Download the area you plan to be camping for easy navigation, even without cell phone service.
- Multiple map layers: This is one area that really sets Gaia GPS apart. The public land layer, USFS road layer, and excellent Gaia GPS topo map all make it easy to find campsites.
- Great for other activities: Beyond simply finding a dispersed campsite, Gaia GPS is great for planning activities on your trip. This includes finding hiking or biking trails, finding services, and even locating water sources.
When planning a dispersed camping trip, our first step is typically to open up Gaia GPS and navigate to the general area we are interested in camping in. Then, we overlay the public land map layer to ensure we are camping on public lands. Finally, we typically add the USFS MVUM layer to identify forest service roads, which almost always allow dispersed camping.
Rv Parks & Campgrounds App
Much like the Recreation.gov app, the RV Parks & Campgrounds app gives you access to information on over 40,000 RV parks, campgrounds, rest areas, gas stations, and stores. If youre looking for commercial RV parks, you can search by rating in this app and even view the results in list mode.
The nice thing about this app is that it uses local databases, so if youre out in the middle of nowhere you can still search through the app. Even if you dont have an internet signal . Plus, this database includes information on truck stops, big box stores, and a ton of other resources outside of campgrounds, making it a useful tool for planning out stops you need to make.
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The 8 Best Boondocking Apps For Finding Free Campsites
April 30, 2021 by Nicholas Marshall |
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.
Boondocking is one of the best ways to live van life to the fullest. Nothing beats the feeling of being free and self-sufficient, plus you can get away from the campground crowds and closer to nature.
As long as youre well-prepared, camping off-grid without hookups is easy, and best of all its completely free!
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, finding a boondocking spot is more convenient than ever. Below, youll find our list of the best boondocking apps.
Later in this article well discuss ways to find a good boondocking spot and the equipment you might want to consider before embarking on your off-grid adventures!
Listen to my podcast episode on boondocking:
Wikicamps Uk The Offline Wonder
WikiCamps UK is an award-winning app and the ultimate addition to any campers smartphone. It contains the UKs largest database of campsites, caravan parks and points of interest, with maps that can be used offline , a site list and a host of useful filters you can apply to see if a site has electricity, real toilets, wireless, water, etc. Extra features include a compass, a road trip planner, a checklist, a satellite dish pointer and even a chat forum.
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Love’s Connect By Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Another great rewards app, Loves Connect keeps you in-the-know about all things Loves. You can check the status of your My Love Rewards account, redeem exclusive deals, view your receipts, see fuel prices at all Loves stations and map your route in advance to make sure you can hit Loves and Speedco stations along the way.
Best Campsite Availability Checkers
Weve looked through a number of the best campsite availability checkers to help you discover the right one for you. Some have been around for several years, while others are new to the market.
Each offers different features and advantages that make them worth considering. Youll find them directly on their website, Apple App Store, or Google Play store. Pricing for the campground availability checker can be included within a membership plan and/or pay per transaction.
- Scans per Transaction: One check of multiple campgrounds in the geographic area
- Website: https://www.campersapp.com/index.html
At hotels, when you turn on the TV, the first channel you see is the information guide for that particular location. It lists activities, who to contact for various services, and other helpful information.
CampersAPP does the same thing to the next level. When you stay at a participating campground, you can interact with the front office and other departments to see a location map, an up-to-date schedule of events, order firewood, and interact with the staff directly.
The Site Tonite side of the app keeps you aware of those participating campgrounds near you. Whether youre trying to find a last-minute camping reservation or need to pull over for the night, the Site Tonite campsite availability checker can help you find that open site. As a CampersAPP member, the Site Tonite feature has a fee of $2.30 per transaction with the platform fee.
- Website: www.Campnab.com
- Website: RVSpotDrop
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One Final Word On Dispersed Free Camping
One of the reasons youll enjoy dispersed camping so much is because of its lack of human presence. In reality, dispersed camping is camping at its finest -stunning backdrops and the brilliant night sky without the common distractions of our bustling world. Please use Leave No Trace principles to ensure your favorite rugged locations stay wild for years to come. And make sure you leave your plans with someone. Tell a friend or family member where you plan to camp and when you plan to return. Happy adventures!
Best Rv Apps Recommended By Real Rvers
Living the RV life has its challenges, but with apps, most tasks dont have to be complicated and daunting. The world is at your fingertips when you have a smartphone in hand, loaded with the best apps for RVers.
We recently asked the Lippert Scouts to recommend the smartphone apps they cant live without. They named 79 of their favorite apps for RVing, with 20 of them making their way to the top of the list based on popularity.
These are the best RV mobile apps recommended by our Scouts, AKA real RVers, ranked from least to most used.
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When You Boil It All Down Theyre Simply Hitting The Refresh Button Many Times
Campground reservations have become so valuable that people and bot software will book reservations 6-12 months in advance. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds , National Park Service , and other organizations are doing their best to crack down on this objectionable practice. However, if bot sellers cant resell the campsite, theyll cancel the reservation.
When campsites open up within a week or two before the arrival date, its due to the original reservation holder canceling based on scheduling conflicts. The campground then updates its booking website accordingly. The availability checkers monitor these openings since theyre refreshing the website every few seconds, minutes, or hours, depending on how the system works.
Based on how you set up your profile within a particular campground availability checkers app, youll receive an alert via text or email if the campsite meets your needs. Most of them cant let you book the campsite through their system, so you must make the reservation on the campgrounds website. If youre fast enough, you can reserve that open campsite.
Best Free Camping Apps For The Avid Boondocker
This post may contain affiliate links.
Who doesnt love reliable free camping apps? And by free camping apps were talking about apps to help you find free camping . There are a ton of apps and websites available to help you find RV parks and campgrounds, but finding places to camp for free can be more challenging. Thats why its reassuring to know that you have considerable resources available at your fingertips, not only for folks who are new to camping, but even for nearly exclusive boondockers like us.
So today were talking about the benefits of boondocking and taking a deeper dive into the best free camping apps to help get the most out of your camping experiences.
The Best Camping Apps For Ios And Android
We often think of camping as a great way to unplug from the world, and for many people, it is. That doesnt mean theres no place for technology when youre under canvas, though. Make a few selective choices, and it can even improve your camping experience.
From digital compasses to offline survival guides, campsite finders to tracking the night sky, these are ten of the most useful and interesting camping apps available for iOS and Android.
My Favorite Free Camping Apps To Find Dispersed Campsites
Looking for free campsites for your next trip?
Theres an app for that. Well, in all honesty, theres way too many apps for that.
Seemingly hundreds of dispersed camping apps have popped up over the years. And, while most of them are, frankly, garbage, a select few are super helpful and well worth the download.
To make your life easier, Ive rounded up the best free camping apps thats apps to find free campsites, not necessarily free-of-charge camping apps that I personally use to find free dispersed campsites in 2022.
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Best Free Camping Apps
Campendium is an excellent website and app that lets you search for free campsites. Sometimes they are dispersed, sometimes they are pull-offs perfect for RVs, and sometimes they are true campgrounds. But, you can use their filters to drill down what youre after and read reports from other campers who have camped there. If you choose to become a supporter, you get ad-free searching, cell service filtering, and map layers, but you can use the most essential features for free.
Freecampsites is very similar to Campendium with fewer bells and whistles. It feels a little more clunky to use, but it still lets you choose a location to search, and then you can use the legend to figure out what kind of campsites are available in the area.
If youre looking for more free camping apps, you may also want to check out the apps listed under the best boondocking & dispersed camping apps.
Best Apps For Free Camping In Australia
Australia has some of the best natural diversity and beauty in the world. So, its no doubt campervan travel is so popular when the great outdoors has so much to offer here. If you plan on hiring a campervan for your trip around Australia, you might be wondering how to find campgrounds and places to park up for the night. There are a lot of opportunities to camp for free in Australia, you just have to know where to find the sites. Luckily, we live in the age of technology, so access to information is right at our fingertips. We have put together a list of our top 3 apps to help you camp your way across the country all for free!
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Boondocking Database Specializing In Places You Can Park & Camp For Free
Price: FreeAvailability:iOS onlyRating: 4.4/5, 2.4K Ratings
This free app specializes in collecting data on areas for free camping, most of which are dispersed or without hookups for tent and RV campers. The 500-some listings are available on the app, paired with details from real campers on their experiences there. Boondocking is a popular way to save a few bucks while road tripping or visiting wilderness areas, and this is one of the best camping apps to help you get started. Since the sites are all free, theres no need to make reservations, and booking isnt available in-app.
Compass By Pixelprose Sarl
Having a compass app in your camping apps collection is kind of a no-brainer. This one is pretty good. Its super basic. There is no nonsense to get in your way. Its just you and your compass. Its easy enough to calibrate. Itll also show your direction in degrees as well as visual representation. Its also a small install size. There really isnt much more to it than that. However, thats kind of what you want in a compass app. The app has no ads and thus doesnt connect to the Internet at all. There is a single in-app purchase for $3.49 to unlock the premium features.
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Pocket Ranger National Park Passport Guide
Pocket Ranger National Park Passport Guide is a Free App. This App includes information on over 400 National Parks, recreational areas, monuments, and historic sites. It has everything you need to plan a trip to the National Parks and navigate throughout them once you arrive. This App is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The Dyrt 500000+ Rv And Tent Campsites Reviews & Tips For All Us Campgrounds
The Dyrt is the all-in-one resource for campers to find campsites, read reviews, and book their stay. With the most campground photos, videos, and reviews of any camping resource, The Dyrt offers comprehensive and user-submitted guides to camping across the U.S. Our desktop, iOS, and Android apps feature over 42,000 ranked campgrounds with more being added every day. Users can compete in camping contests, where online reviews can lead to real prizes and discounts with our outdoor brand partners. Bookings are available in-app. See why campers call it the best camping app.
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