In this guide to 캠핑 free camping, we will talk about different types of free camping sites, tools you can use to locate them, and ways you can help to keep these sites free and open to others. Start by finding out what really qualifies as free camping, and learning some essential guidelines, and then take a look at the most scenic campgrounds near you.
National forests and BLM lands are two popular places for finding free camping in the U.S. out in nature, but there are plenty of less-glamorous options, including campgrounds. While National Forests and BLM lands are the most common places to find free camping, other types of public land across the U.S. and Canada provide pockets of campsites across states and regions. Similar to national forests, the BLM also offers a mix of paid and free camping, with dispersed, free camping allowed in many areas far away from developed recreational sites. Many of the 175 national forests and grasslands do have developed campgrounds, but also have plenty of areas with undeveloped campgrounds for RVers to enjoy at no charge.
Each national forest has slightly different rules, so check before going, but you are generally allowed to camp wherever you like outside the established recreation areas and developed campgrounds. Other areas, such as the Chequamegon-Nicolette National Forest in northern Wisconsin, specifically state where you cannot camp, and they require that campers stay 200 feet away from water and 150 feet away from any trails or service roads. With respect to BLM land, you may camp on most national forest land without charge for up to 14 days, provided that you are outside of developed recreation areas (campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads) or areas that are explicitly restricted for camping, and you are 100 feet away from any streams. You can camp for free at parking lots, rest stops, state land, Forest Service lands, and many other places.
While many national and state parks and forest areas actually designate areas to be available for free camping, many also require hikers to pay a nominal fee, which helps to support area upkeep. Free camping areas typically do not have amenities, except perhaps pit toilets, and may either be one large, open plot of land where you are allowed to pitch your tent, smaller, more private areas with individual sites, or have a more traditional campground-like feel with designated sites. Reading reviews on Campendium, as well as getting in touch with the agencies running some campgrounds, can help you decide whether these are the right place for you. The restrictions on stays, access, amenities, permit requirements, and types of camping allowed on these sites all differ widely.
Free-roaming regulations may differ place-to-place, so check with your Ranger Station about the rules for staying, wildfire restrictions, and where better spots may lurk. When you are looking for dispersed free camping, you will almost always be able to find a place.
You can make the BLMs website show you only the primitive camping spots, and those are almost always free. Some states have fairly user-friendly guides, such as Idaho, and you can also check with your local BLM office to find out more about places to camp for free.
The tools we discuss in the next section also will help you determine where BLMs free campgrounds are. You can find a BLM campground fast at their official website, then use the other tools listed to get further details. On the U.S. Forest Services site, an interactive map displays hiking trails, camping sites, areas that are ADA-accessible, and more, making it easier for users to locate an overall area where they can park a campervan or set up a tent overnight.
We have given you an easy, map-based search engine for finding free and inexpensive campgrounds. In the video below, you will see how you can find free campsites along your road trip using RV Trip Wizard, FreeCampsites.net, and Google Maps. RV Trip Wizard will show you the majority of free overnight camping spots listed above, as well as a few locations for free, public land camping.
Whether you are looking for a remote location off the beaten path where you can pitch a tent far away from crowds, or trying to stay within budget, this free camping tips blog post can help you find some awesome campgrounds during your road trip. Here are my top 11 favorite places for free, spread out, campgrounds in Arizona, which can help you find the perfect spot to camp for your next trip. You can just use the GPS on your smart phone to locate the nearest campground, or you can also use our Trip Planner to plot out a coast-to-coast itinerary.
It is not free, but it is well worth the price if you are a tent camper to stay in beautiful, scenic Smith Rock State Park. Skull Hollow campground is not free, but is less expensive and more of an ideal spot if you are looking to explore Smith Rock State Park. Nearby Tortilla Campground is not free ($20/night) but is a quiet, picturesque camping spot.
Free campgrounds attract some RVers just because they are free, but others might find extra benefits in a free campground, including the satisfaction of camping without amenities, the opportunity to camp further from other people than you would at a campground, and the remote nature of many free campsites. Free camping should not be confused with wilder forms of camping, such as wilderness and solitary camping, which revolves around being in wilderness areas that are not connected to services and amenities found at more developed campgrounds and RV parks. National forests are found throughout the United States, with most located in the West, and they contain various hiking trails, ranger stations and other facilities, developed campgrounds, as well as lands designated as free camping (national forests generally refer to free camping dispersed camping).
Many campgrounds inside parks are booked months in advance (and can get pricey), but ask a park ranger if they have recommendations for National Forests or BLM lands immediately outside of a park. Two good resources for finding free RV parks and campgrounds are The Ultimate Public Campgrounds App and Campendium, which allows searching for locations and prices.