Frustrated with campground directories, Tom Hillegass, a retired engineer living in Alexandria, Virginia, decided to build his own online campground directory. According to Tom, most directories poorly cover public campgrounds, or only cover only certain types (eg; National Forest, but not National Park).
With 12,000 listings, USCampgrounds.info is the most comprehensive guide that we've seen to public campgrounds in Canada and the United States. With the data he's complied for the online campground directory, he also developed the Camp Where iPhone app, and he recently created these two graphs, which visually display the number and location of different types of campgrounds.
"The main surprises I had from the data were how many city/county/regional (CP) campgrounds there are, and how few National Park campgrounds there are" Tom said. "Also, it appears that State Parks dominate in the east, National Forests in the west and CPs in between."
Images: © USCampgrounds.info | Tom Hillegass
This week we featured the best outdoors and camping apps for the iPhone, but we want to hear from the readers about their favorite camping apps for Android operating systems! Share your favorites in the Android Camping Apps forum.
Photo: the Camp Finder App is one of the highest rated camping Android apps. | © Campfinder CampingRoadTrip.com
As the summer season gets closer and camping season is upon us, we are bringing you camping gear reviews of products that we've tested thoroughly. These may not be the latest or greatest on the market, but we've used them and will continue to.
It's tough to test camping gear over a short period of time, so we've committed to only reviewing our favorite products that have had survived a camping season because most campers want to know how durable equipment is and how the equipment performs under a variety of tests. Out latest camping gear reviews are from our personal stash of equipment--no freebies and no fads. These are two products that we don't leave for the campground without.
Camping Gear Reviews:
Finding a campground has never been easier. There are iPhone apps for just about everything and campgrounds and RV parks are no exception. We've compiled a list of our favorite apps for campers and outdoors enthusiasts, including campground finders, how to tie a knot and the best campfire songs.
Do you have a favorite app for camping and the outdoors? Share your favorites in the comments below.
Take Action: Protect Your Clean Water
The Colorado River tops the list of America's Most Endangered Rivers®, an annual report by American Rivers, which shines a national spotlight on excessive groundwater withdrawals by irrigation, municipalities, and industrial wells that threaten river health, wildlife, and fishing. The Colorado supplies drinking water to more than 36-million Americans in the West, although the river is so over-tapped, that it no longer reaches the ocean. But the Colorado isn't the only river that needs legislation and protection.
Read the full list of endangered rivers here.
Photo: The Colorado River topped the 2013 list of America's Most Endangered Rivers | © Getty Images David McNew
Campers around the country are California dreaming. With its moderate climate, sunshine, and variety of landscapes, Southern California is a top camping destination. Check out the best spots to pitch a tent at the beach in So. Cal. including Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.
We have a photo gallery of top spots for California camping getaway, new campground reviews and features on a few top destinations in California to help you get started planning a a summer camping trip in the golden state.
New California Camping Guides:
New Campground Reviews:
- Bothe Napa State Park Campground, Napa Valley, California
- Benton Hot Springs Campground, Benton, California
California Camping Photo Gallery:
Photo: Leo Carillo State Park, north of Malibu, California. | © Monica Prelle
Photo: A tent camper at Leo Carillo State Park. The beach is just steps away from the campground. | © Monica Prelle
The Napa Valley isn't just for oenophiles. A camping trip to America's most famous wine producing region can produce opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, cycling, or hang gliding; fishing, bird watching and nature loving!
After a day of cold weather and rain, the sun peaked out for a few hours before sunset, inviting me on an outdoors adventure. I headed out for a walk along the Ritchey Canyon Trail in Bothe Napa Valley State Park. The creek was flowing higher with fresh rain water and the scent of wet soil lingered in the forest. Dead leaves dropped from the over hanging trees carpeting the trail and moss hung from branches. The late afternoon proved to be quiet, with no other hikers on the trail. Birds chirped from perches overhead, singing a song in the afternoon sunshine.
Photo: The Ritchey Canyon Trail in Bothe Napa Valley State Park. | © Monica Prelle
Have a favorite wine region for camping? Share the best spots for camping and wine in the comments below.
Campers love the great outdoors, roasting marshmellows by a campfire, and sleeping under the stars. But what else do you love to do when camping? Are you a relax-at-camp camper, or a wilderness explorer? Do you love to cast a line and hook a trout, or ride your bike on nearby trails and roads? Tell us your favorite camping activity in the latest camping poll, and if your favorite pastime isn't listed, share your activity in the comments section below.
Let's face it-- not all of us are campground chefs. Not all campers love cooking outdoors, and that's okay because there are RV Parks located near culinary hotspots.
At California's Coyote Valley RV Resort in San Jose, campground staff members help guests arrange expeditions in the surrounding area, known for its fine wine and restaurants. "We have a concierge service, which does everything from breakfast delivery to wine tastings," says Elaine Hamilton, who owns the campground with husband Mike.
Some campers venture out to sample cuisine served up at local food festivals, farmer's markets or compelling restaurants. A recent survey by RVAdvice.com reported that 86% of RVers try the regional dishes when they travel, 56 % of RVers say they're willing to travel up to 25 miles for a good meal, and even 32% said they'd trek up to 50 miles to satisfy their taste buds.
The editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory have compiled a list of the Top RV Parks for Food Lovers for 2013. Featuring RV parks from across North America, the list is tailored for RV travelers who make great eating a key part of their travels.
There's nothing better than getting outdoors, but going camping on a dime is even better. This week we take a look at free events celebrating the outdoors, how to find discount camping gear and how to go camping for free. Check these resources and let us know if you have any tips for free camping in the comments below!
- Entrance Free Days in the National Parks
- License Free Fishing Days
- Discount Camping Retailers Online
- Dispersed Forest Camping
- And, don't forget about our Free Camping eNewsletter!