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Places to pull off road and set up camp
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Mish
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject: Places to pull off road and set up camp Reply with quote

I often see terrific pictures of Vanagons set up in these idyllic locations-mountains in the backround, a stream flowing by, your dog playing catch, a couple reading...Question: How does one go about finding a spot and then just what? pull over? Do you ask permission of the land owner? My girlfriend and I plan on taking our Vanagon ("Vantasia") out west this summer and are totally bummed by the public (i.e. KOA) campgrounds. They are Wal Martian magnets....
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MacFhearguis
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would buy an atlas by a company named Benchmark, and go from there.

These arent typical road maps, but more focused on back roads and such.

You can check road types, scenic spots and camping areas too, and get a good idea of the topography of the area.

That is what we did when we took our kids through UT this fall and it worked fine.

Gavin
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a lot more public land out here than there is in the eastern states. Any national forest is fair game. That's a huge chunk of the west right there. Aything owned by a logging company isn't technically legal w/o permission, but nobody will care.
A little snooping on google earth will give you some places to explore and then I just drive around and look for fire pits. I often find them. Where one has camped before, I generally assume it ok to camp again.
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

make a search on Primitive Campground or Back Country Campground ...

they are usually free, with restroom, no running water...
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google "dispersed camping" & it's all spelled out...
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westfailed
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to mix it up and enjoy a hot shower I recommend the state park system, a good site is ReserveAmerica.com- lists every campground and makes it easy to plan your day
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trailnewt
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west. Many of us do what is called "dispersed camping." This is a land manager's way of saying camping outside of campgrounds. Both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service (National Forest) allow dispersed camping on most of their lands. Typically you have to park in a place that shows evidence that others have traditionally parked there or you have to park within a vehicle length of an established road. Since the practice of dispersed camping is an old one and quite popular here in the west these areas are quite common. They are especially prevalent near lakes and streams. You must camp at least 100 feet from a water source on National Forest land and, I believe 200' on BLM land.

Please pick up your trash, don't cut down the trees for firewood, don't let your soap get into the waterways, properly bury your waste and toilet paper, and only build fires where there is already a fire ring. That way our kids and grandkids will be able to continue to enjoy these places long after we are gone.

Some of the desert National Parks such as Death Valley and Mojave National Preserve also allow dispersed camping. Their regulations are slightly different but readily-available on their websites.

There are also many very nice campgrounds here run by the abovementioned agencies as well as the various state park systems. Some have running water, showers, garbage service, and flush toilets. Others have only one or two of these amenities.

When you get ready to take your trip let us know where you are planning to travel and I'm sure the SAMBA folks here will provide you with some suggestions for nice places to camp. But somehow the best places are the ones you find yourself by wandering up a dirt road that looks on the map like it goes to an interesting area!

Brent
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SCM
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trailnewt wrote:
As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west.


This is your answer^^

It's also a big reason I fell in love with the west and moved from northeastern PA when I was in my mid-20s. I loved the Adirondaks and the Whites but there really is something to be said for having 1,000s of square miles of public land and free camping in all directions within a 20 to 60 minute drive.

Enjoy your trip!
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCM wrote:
trailnewt wrote:
As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west.


This is your answer^^

It's also a big reason I fell in love with the west and moved from northeastern PA when I was in my mid-20s. I loved the Adirondaks and the Whites but there really is something to be said for having 1,000s of square miles of public land and free camping in all directions within a 20 to 60 minute drive.

Enjoy your trip!
Yup
http://www.boondocking.org/

http://www.boondocking.org/poi/POISearch.shtml

http://www.boondocking.org/poi/POIDBSearch.jsp?Latitude=0&Longitude=0&SearchRadius=99999999

in fact, heres one in upstate NY Wink
http://www.boondocking.org/poi/POIDBEdit.jsp?POIID=188
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Bubusse
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's not the west, but as I see you're from upstate NY, so if you happen to want to go north one of these days, I live by the Gaspe peninsula, QC, drive around it and you can really stop almost anywhere and camp on the beach and it's beautiful (beware of the tide, of course). You can also find roads to go inland, there's noone and you can camp anywhere as well, you'll find all the streams and rivers you want !
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joseph928
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: out west Reply with quote

SCM wrote:
trailnewt wrote:
As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west.


This is your answer^^

It's also a big reason I fell in love with the west and moved from northeastern PA when I was in my mid-20s. I loved the Adirondaks and the Whites but there really is something to be said for having 1,000s of square miles of public land and free camping in all directions within a 20 to 60 minute drive.

Enjoy your trip!
Blue Bay Bus X2 out west love Arizona, I camp at 10,000 feet down to 1,000 feet all within an hour of home! Ski in the morning mountain bike in the afternoon in Sedona . 100 of forest service roads free camp grounds. How do you not love it! Very Happy
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

while the Empire VW Camping club generally camps in State parks, we have found many good camping spots over the past 4yrs. feel free to join us at any of the camps. for a dayvisit or a night(s)

but for more remote (though not alone/isolation) you can explore the Moose River plains just past Old forge & inlet.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For camping in the West I have found this book to be invaluable:

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-National-Campground-Recreation-Directory/dp/0762726954

Details of all USFS campgrounds as well as BLM & Army Corps of Engineers.

Out of print now and used copies can be a bit pricey but really worth its weight in gold.

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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a couple other threads you may find interesting
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5396769
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5334709
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCM wrote:
trailnewt wrote:
As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west.


This is your answer^^


Yep, BLM land is fair game as well, Idaho has more public land per capita than any other state in the lower 48 I'm told, even if that isn't true, we have a LOT, as do any of the inter mountain states Cool


I was going to dig up the google maps thread I started, but Jon already did it for me, thanks!

Jon_slider wrote:
a couple other threads you may find interesting
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5396769

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JPrato
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mish, have you checked out the DEC campgrounds in NYS. They are separate from NYS campgrounds and appear to be only in the Catskill and Adirondack mountains.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7825.html

They might be good for those weekend camp trips between the big trips out west.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Please pick up your trash, don't cut down the trees for firewood, don't let your soap get into the waterways, properly bury your waste and toilet paper, and only build fires where there is already a fire ring. That way our kids and grandkids will be able to continue to enjoy these places long after we are gone.

x2
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campism
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
For camping in the West I have found this book to be invaluable:

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-National-Campground-Recreation-Directory/dp/0762726954

Details of all USFS campgrounds as well as BLM & Army Corps of Engineers.

Out of print now and used copies can be a bit pricey but really worth its weight in gold.

We have this book and use it nearly every trip. In addition, when camping in the Pennsylvania Wilds a couple of years ago we stayed at an Army Corps of Engineers campground near a dam and found a terrific map they produce listing and plotting all their campgrounds. Great resource and fits into the Coleman book. Check at an ACE facility near you, or it might be available online. I'll try to post a pic.
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childofthewind
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: out west Reply with quote

joseph928 wrote:
SCM wrote:
trailnewt wrote:
As Buildyourown points out there is a lot of public land here in the west.


This is your answer^^

It's also a big reason I fell in love with the west and moved from northeastern PA when I was in my mid-20s. I loved the Adirondaks and the Whites but there really is something to be said for having 1,000s of square miles of public land and free camping in all directions within a 20 to 60 minute drive.

Enjoy your trip!
Blue Bay Bus X2 out west love Arizona, I camp at 10,000 feet down to 1,000 feet all within an hour of home! Ski in the morning mountain bike in the afternoon in Sedona . 100 of forest service roads free camp grounds. How do you not love it! Very Happy


x3... Here from Vermont which has its own amazing beauty but living in the southwest in my early 20's (Flagstaff) has converted me to west coast inhabitance. To me nothing beats the wide-open sky and terrain out here. I'm hooked for life.
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seanjenn
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, once you get out here, you can just ask any local. They'll know where the good spots are for camping, local breweries, the best shops, trails, etc. All the stuff that books miss out on.

Where are ya'll headed anyway?
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