Free camping will change the way you travel

Free camping
Free camping

We travel to feel free

Free camping is hard to come by. The grim reality of the modern world is that someone usually owns the land under your feet, and it’s probably not you.

There’s nothing like the open road and a full tank of gas, a bicycle packed with all the supplies you need or a boat ready to set sail on the open sea.


Finding free camping on the road can be tough


The feeling you get when you know you have no limitations except those you set for yourself is pure freedom. The rush of needing do nothing except that which you desire most is something everyone in this modern world craves. Yet so few get to experience.


Our world puts so many limitations on freedom. Maybe you are lucky enough to be able to get away from work to travel the states. Maybe you’ve cut ties to old fashioned employment altogether. If so, you’re well on your way.


The open road feels like freedom


All that’s holding you back is money. After all, travel isn’t cheap and money doesn’t grow on trees. So allow me to show you how to never pay another dime for accommodation while you explore the US. Read on for free campsites all over the country.

If you can camp, it’s usually not free

The 90’s are long gone, and free camping is rarer than free parking in Monopoly. Often google searches only turn up developed campgrounds with fees.

After all those fees are why that campground shows up on google. That spot probably also has flush toilets and a park ranger with a cute hat.


most campgrounds cost money these days


But if you’re anything like me, you don’t care to pay for those sorts of things.

If it’s free, you usually can’t camp

I’ve been woken up by a flashlight tapping on my window more times than I care to recount. It’s not a pleasant experience, being woken by the authorities and having to explain yourself. Sometimes you are still dreaming and sometimes you only wish you were. It’s a mystery to me how I have managed to get away with it so many times.


Camping wherever you park sounds fun but is not allowed


Inevitably being kicked out of an illegal campsite means packing the car at god knows what hour of the night and driving around in the middle of nowhere until I find another illegal campsite or the sun comes up.

But not any more. brings crowd-sourcing to the world of budget travel

I learned about this website, from a British couple. They had been van traveling through Canada and the US for the last year and a half. And man did they have some stories by the time I met them in Guatemala.

The website overlays google maps with a crowd-source style app that allows everyone to post reviews and experiences at each campsite listed. The site displays paid, and free sites and rates each one based on user’s reviews.

There are literally thousands of campsites listed.


Free camping can be popular and crowded


Not only does this make it easy to find free camping all over the US, it also lets you know just what you’re getting yourself into. Before you commit to a twenty mile drive down a gravel road in the dark, it’s nice to have a little reassurance.

Some of these campsites are epic!

These aren’t just rest stops and gravel lots on the side of the highway. Some of these campsites are real hidden gems.


Some free camp sites are incredible


You’ll find yourself pitching your tent on the banks of a crystal clear lake with not a soul in sight except the evening birds. The next night you might be high up on a ridge line off the edge of a logging road overlooking the valley below as the sun sets.

I have opened my hatch to some beautiful views found on and every time it makes me smile like a little kid.

Some are just convenient roadside stops

On my most recent climbing trip, I was visiting a town I had never been to. We drove all through the night over a mountain pass and were arriving on the edge of town by ten o’clock.


Sometimes all a camp site needs to offer is sleep


We weren’t looking for an amazing view, we just wanted a legal place to park the car and crawl into the back until the sun came up. Sometimes that can be an incredibly hard thing to find in a town you’ve never visited before.

The nearest site was right in the middle of town, which seemed strange to me, as though it had to be a mistake. What kind of town has a free campsite on the side of the main road, right across from the shopping center?

A previous user described this campsite as ‘a gravel lot on the left’. A sign reads ‘free overnight parking for one day out of every seven.’ Well… that was exactly what we were looking for.


Free camping is sometimes basic


Lo and behold, as we rolled into the lot, we saw the signs that read exactly as described. We pulled into the back corner away from the street lights and crawled into bed.

There’s nothing quite like finding exactly what you need and not paying a dime for it.

You will never pay to stay again

Believe me, even if you weren’t much for camping before, there’s something addictive about Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m collecting memories or ticking off an experience at each new spot I stay. Maybe I’m just a junky for hacking the system.


Free camping on the beach


But once you plan your next road trip with you’ll be hooked too. There is literally no catch, just free camping.

This is an incredible example of dirtbags, outdoorsmen, and freedom finders all working together to create a truly invaluable resource to share. All free to use.

Check out here.

The internet is a wonderful tool. And our world is a magical place. Enjoy.


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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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ian-carroll is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival