Thursday, July 10, 2014

Save Money Camping

SavingsAngel offers some tips and tricks to save money by camping. Among them:

  1. Camp in state or national parks—or national forests, which are often free, if rustic
  2. Don't join timeshare-like RV camp associations
  3. Do join loyalty programs, like that offered by KOA
  4. Pack your own food
  5. Borrow or rent gear rather than buying it
'Course, if you're going to go camping again, it's better to own your own gear. Regardless, interesting advice!

Unregulated Camping in Alaska

Over the holiday, residents of Talkeetna, Alaska, expressed concern about unregulated camping near Montana Creek. Issues include litter, human waste on the floodplain, and the use of ATVs and firearms.

I recommend that they install those guardrails, or police and fine actively.

Insert Pun About Yurts

Have you ever gone camping in a yurt? I have not.

Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

Of potential interest:
Parks' New Yurts Offer a Camping Experience in the Round

Opening the Adirondacks

Kudos to Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation for opening 22 new campsites in previously inaccessible parts of the Adirondacks. It's part of an effort to open additional land in the region.

"Glamping" in Yellowstone

Regardless of whether you call it fancy camping, dandy camping, or "glamping," some people like all the comforts of home when they go out of doors. Far and Away Adventures offers such outings in Yellowstone.

Of potential interest:
Glamping Offers a Softer Side of Camping in the Great Outdoors

Thursday, July 3, 2014

For the Love of Teardrop Trailers

I fell in love with teardrop trailers the first time I saw one. And I've begun a subtle campaign so that, when my wife and I retire, it won't be a hard sell to buy one. In Yahoo Travel, Lena Katz gives some love to two of my favorite teardrop supports and sellers: Little Guy and So-Cal Teardrops (what's up in Upland?).

If you're unfamiliar with teardrops, be sure to check them out. They're much more interesting than larger, ungainly, more heavily polluting RVs.

Five Reasons to Dislike Camping

Annie Swingen dislikes camping. Here's why:

  • Bad directions
  • Bad weather
  • Body odor
  • Wild animals
  • The cost of camping equipment
Seems to me that each of those objections could be easily addressed—um, wear deoderant and don't buy expensive gear?—but your mileage might vary.

It's OK, Annie. Don't go camping. Not everyone needs to.

But we do.

Wilderness Camping in the Maritime Provinces

Snowshoe Magazine has published a two-part series on camping in the maritime provinces. The first installation addresses solo camping, and the second looks at camping as a couple.

Both reports include excellent photographs and make a solid case for camping in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

New Cabins at Forestville/Mystery Cave in Minnesota

Visitors to Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park in southeast Minnesota should be sure to check out the new camp cabins. They sound wonderful, as do Mystery Cave and the park themselves.

Boy Scout Shot While Camping

A 12-year-old Boy Scout from Las Vegas was shot to death while camping in San Diego. He was found dead in his tent, a handgun nearby. The Scout was attending a weeklong camp at the Fiesta Island Youth Camp with his troop.

It is unclear whether the shooting was a suicide, an accident, or something else. The handgun was unregistered. The camp will be closed until the investigation is complete.

Our sympathies to the people and families involved.

Tips for First-Time Campers

Courtesy of the Irish Caravan and Camping Council, as reported by the Sunday World:

  1. Plan ahead: Plan your route and book early or ring ahead to make sure there’s availability, particularly in the peak season during July and August.
  2. Pack sensibly: Ireland can experience all seasons in one day, even during the summer, so pack accordingly. Ideally, campers should compile a checklist so they’ll only bring what you think they’ll use.
  3. Get a helping hand: When on-site, get to know your camping neighbours and don’t be afraid to ask them for a helping hand.

Mississippi River Flooding Affects Midwest Camping

KCCI-News in Des Moines, Iowa, and the La Crosse Tribune report that the high waters of the Mississippi have affected camping along the river. More than 10 parks in Iowa have closed camp sites or trails because of flood damage and inaccessibility. In Wisconsin, Pettibone Resort might be closed for up to a month because of the water level.

Man Camps in Mall for Veterans

Tupelo, Mississipi, resident Scott Burns is camping inside the Mall at Barnes Crossing for seven days to raise funds for Purple Heart Homes, which invested $30,000 in a local veteran's home last year.

When the fundraiser began, Burns slept on a platform outside the mall, but this year, he's sleeping under a platform in the food court.

Deception Pass

Fans of Mudhoney and The Ring movies might consider a camping trip to Deception Pass State Park near Seattle. The area sounds beautiful and has a rich, colorful history:

Ben Ure Island, just east of the Deception Pass Bridge, became infamous for being an area for smuggling in illegal Chinese immigrants. Ben Ure and his partner, Lawrence “Pirate” Kelly, would tie up the immigrants in burlap bags so that they could toss them overboard if U.S. customs agents came near. The currents would then carry the bodies to San Juan Island, in what is now known as Dead Man’s Bay. Between 1910 and 1924, a prison rock quarry was operated on Fidalgo Island. About 40 prisoners, including convicted murderers, worked at the quarry. The camp was taken apart in 1924, but remains of it can still be found.

Transients Arrested for Sleeping on the Beach

Freedom camping and urban camping aside, in many communities, it is against the law to sleep outside overnight. Case in point: Panama City, Florida. Police officers there recently arrested 11 people for camping on the beach, citing a law prohibiting sleeping in public areas between 1 and 6 a.m.

The 1973 law also prohibits temporary resting along beaches at night and, if a suspect doesn't have lodging or a destination, covers camping within the city limits.

We wish those arrested the best of luck. And we encourage Panama City to consider improving local services for homeless and transients and to reconsider laws limiting nighttime access to the beach.

Urban Camping in Colorado—and Elsewhere

Leaders in Eagle and Eagle County, Colorado, are considering the creation of an urban camp in which visitors could pitch tents within walking distance of area stores and restaurants. Initially proposed in response to a need for short-term camping facilities to accommodate participants in the Colorado State High School Biking Championships and other events at the nearby fairgrounds, the concept has raised some concerns, including worries that migrant workers would try to live there.

Have any Camplifornians gone urban camping? Share your stories in the comments.

Of potential interest:

Camping in Missouri

Kudos to the Springfield News-Leader for recently publishing a story about camping in Missouri. The feature includes several comments from area campers but is relatively devoid of details or resources.

Interested campers should check out the Missouri State Parks and Missouri Department of Conservation sites for trip ideas.

Freedom Camping in New Zealand

Thanks to an article in today's edition of the Gisborne Herald about the costs incurred by the district to maintain its related sites, I learned the phrase "freedom camping." Apparently, in New Zealand, unless it is posted to the contrary, it is legal to camp on public land, including unimproved land without facilities—even if the location isn't formally a campground or site. The concept is similar to Scandinavia and Europe's freedom to roam idea, which embraces the public's right to access wilderness.

In the United States, there's not a strong corollary to freedom camping or freedom to roam, but private individuals aren't always able to stop others from crossing their land to access adjacent wilderness. For example, Malibu landowners being fined for blocking beach access.

I'd love to learn more about the history of freedom camping. If any Camplifornians can recommend resources, I'd appreciate it!