On outdoor trips with long drives, a quick campsite is often needed. Here’s a great resource for finding free sites.
On trips to far away places, I often like to leave on a Friday night and camp somewhere along the way.
Unless it is winter, I really don’t gain anything from sleeping in a motel room.
Watching some bad television, sleeping in a strange bed and paying $50, $60 or more just so I have a place to sleep at night is not the best use of my money.
I often try to pick a place a few hours or so in and make the rest of the drive the following day.
Usually I pore over a backcountry road atlas, try to find a USFS/BLM road not far off the pavement and hope there is a good spot for a quick camp.
Esp at night when I am tired and just looking for a spot, this method is not always optimal. Sometimes what looked like a great spot on the map is already occupied, has private houses near-by or just does not work for various reasons.
My usual method of Googling for sites ahead of time has mixed results as well.
But because of this Googling, I did stumble upon a great resource: FreeCampsites.net .
Type in the town or area, and some free camp sites will pop-up. Simple, easy and straight forward.
The campsites listed will have directions, reviews and other pertinent information.
The sites are typically, but not always, aimed at the RVing crowd (in terms of space, not amenities), but work well for truck bivys or tent camping too.
FreeCampsites.net does not list every well-known site by any means, but it does list many sites just off the road and easily accessible for the most part. Perfect for quick camping on the way to other places.
You can also add your own sites and information if so inclined.
All in all, FreeCampsites.net is a great planning tool. I’ll still look over the road atlases as a resource, but this website makes a great first initial step for any trip planning.