historic pueblo ruins in New Mexico. Sound of other
noisy campers echoes incredibly well.
Camping with or without a TV Remote
on a recent camping trip, I was outside my tent looking up at
the brilliant stars in the night sky. The sound of hummingbirds
had faded with the last light of the sun and was replaced with
crickets cheering wind blown pine needles racing across the dirt
to a final resting place. In the past, my evening's entertainment
in the wild included a gathering of rabbits, a deer or two, maybe
even a coyote howling in the distance, but now I had additional
choices of entertainment. I could watch TVs glowing from RV windows.
I could listen to a hard rock band blaring from someone's stereo.
Or even try to play name that tune with the rhythm and hum of
a generator behind me in spot number seventy-two.
we be heading towards map icons and directories that separate
"developed" properties versus ones that bring you back
to nature in a "primitive" way?" asks Jonathan
Stocker, of alternative lodging at AllStays.com.
"We hear from many people who would like to plan a trip around
quiet tent camping and avoid the more crowded, neighborhood-like
atmospheres of some parks out there. And that's difficult to do
using most of the websites, books and maps today. You really need
to call ahead and check the current status of the park. We provide
direct website links and phone numbers but sometimes it has to
be to a service field office and they may not know the exact location
of a remote campground."
did camping change for so many of us over the years? It has become
a different world in the wild and getting harder to determine
what type of campground you are headed to until you have your
stakes in the ground. RV's are popular, and are changing the landscape
of the wilderness. Whether you are a snowbird, a retiree or just
a wanderer, they are great. They provide a home away from home
and are still cheaper than motels. You may pay more in gas, but
less in lodging and you are in the great outdoors along with your
television, stereo, shower and other accessories.
NV is a wonderful forest service campground.
ago, campgrounds had more tent sites and a minority number of
RV sites here and there. The scale is shifting and it's becoming
more common to have a locale with 80 RV sites and 10 tent-only
sites. More and more places don't allow tents at all. On a recent
trip, Stocker found tent sites that were overgrown with weeds
while the RV sites were getting ruts from all the wheels rolling
heavy loads over their spaces.
One beautiful newly built state
campground had closed down in less than a year because the water
at the boat launch was too low. Brand new bathrooms, solar panels
and picnic tables sat unused except by spiders. They were gated
and blocked off in a paradise to the solace seeker instead of
charging less money for a different kind of camper? One without
a boat or Jet Ski.
researching online for campgrounds, the lines of distinction are
blurred if not lost. You may find RV Parks and hope they have
a couple of tent sites. You may find a cheap or even free campground
at the end of a washboard road and hope that it can accommodate
your wheelbase. But many times you are in for a surprise as the
sun goes down and you are a road coffee shy of alternatives. No
matter the extent of research, things are different when you get
in the wild. Forest and Park services suffer from budget cuts
and their condition knowledge and maintenance is not always up
to date. You may find varying classes of fees whether you have
an RV, use hookups or just pound stakes. Many parks charge full
price whether or not you need hookups and water.
state and national parks are cramming more spaces into smaller
areas and charging more for them, some near $30 in 2004. You may
pay a fee closer to a cheap motel and get less space to yourself.
It may not be all wide-open spaces. In an RV, you can close the
windows. Out in your sleeping bag, you may feel like the person
snoring in the space next door has rolled into your tent.
you love camping, you need to keep getting out there in whatever
way you may choose. It's just getting harder to get away from
based in Arizona (US), lists all kinds of lodging, from primitive
campgrounds and RV Parks to luxury hotels and spa resorts. AllStays
also links directly to official websites to make sure you have
the real scoop on the latest and most accurate information. Research,
Browse, and book online to stay anywhere on Earth www.allstays.com
Photos by Adam Longfellow