We’ve just finished 13 nights camping in Oregon and California; our longest period of continuous camping ever! And it didn’t rain once. 12 nights in State Park campsites – with the 13th in a commercial RV site. We had no option with the last evening as it was Memorial Weekend and all the State Parks were booked.
We chose to camp for two reasons: ability to sleep in beautiful places and when you are spending several weeks in the USA you save a lot of money (approx $30 – $40 a night) over motels.
Here are some tips if this appeals to you:
- The State Parks are much better than private, commercial campsites. They are well managed, people are quiet so you get a good sleep and they are in scenic locations. Whereas private parks pack campers into tiny plots in not very scenic places and charge more.
- At a State Park you get your own plot, picnic table, parking place and BBQ Pit. Also if you are in bear territory you get a metal box for all your food, toothpaste and anything else that smells.
- Because they get so busy, it’s best to book ahead for the State Parks. If you do, you can turn up later in the evening knowing you have a secured site.
- It’s easy to use the State Parks’ online booking sites. But when you pick your site try and stay clear of being too close to the washroom area and any roads.
- Costs are $20-$30 per night (toilets, water and showers are provided), but in California you’ll need quarter dollar coins for hot showers.
- There is always a Park Host (warden) who lives there and sorts things
- You can buy logs at $5 a bundle and have great camp fires; Roger relived his Boy Scout days.
- We bought all our equipment in Walmart for about $260.
- In May it is still very cold at night, often frosty, so use a thick sleeping bag.
This is one of our occasional tips for middle aged gap year travellers. To see the others, click below on the link – Travel Tips