You’re down to the wire. It’s already July and you really want to go camping with the family but your neighbors just told you you should have booked your site six months ago. The question is: what do you do?
The answer: relax. We’ve got you! You see, while your neighbor isn’t wrong (most campsites get booked six months ahead of time and those spots typically go within a couple of minutes of them going live) there are workarounds. And we’re here to tell you there very likely IS a camping trip in your near future.
Read on to see some tips and tricks for finding a place to camp even when summer is in full swing.
FIND A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED SITE
While you might find that every site is sold out on the aforementioned book-in-advance sites, there are plenty of first come, first served sites in the US that do not take reservations. Obviously this carries some risk (what if you’re not the first come, for instance,) but it’s a great option if you have a back up plan. Check out this post that lists the top 50 best no-reservation sites in the US.
BE ON THE CANCELLATION LIST
Yes, people snag campsites months in advance “just in case” and let them go when they decide they don’t need them. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for cancellations. However, sitting at your desk hitting refresh on your computer at 8am every day isn’t fun, so why not let Campnab do the work for you? For a small fee you can sign up to this website, let them know the camping grounds you are interested in staying at, and they will notify you by text as soon as a cancellation pops up. Boom!
When you can’t find a campspot, go to Hipcamp. This site is an incredible resource for finding off-the-grid campsites on both government and private land, and you’ll also find unique outdoor stays such as cabins, treehouses, and all kinds of glamping set ups. It’s kind of like the Airbnb of outdoor adventures, with hosts with anything from 2+ acres of land offering up experiences for the adventure-minded.
Did you know that you can legally camp on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management as long as you follow the 7 principles of “Leave no trace”? These spots are either free or require a small land use fee, and you can find a list of them here.
If you are yearning for the great outdoors but could do without the busy and noisy campground scene, then Tentrr might be for you. This website provides over 1000 campsites across the US offering private, comfortable camping in beautiful locations. Tentrr Signature lets you camp in style with no equipment required, while Tentrr Backcountry offers a classic camping experience if you prefer to pitch your own tent. Either way, you stand a better chance of fulfilling your camping dreams last minute than you do hitting refresh a hundred times a minute on Reserve America.
No matter which option you go for, we hope you find some luck and get to explore this beautiful country of ours this summer. And don’t forget — one of the best, lightweight and easy-to-pack snacks for evenings around the campfire is a trusted cup of LonoLife bone broth. Cheers!