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Camping The Camping forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness camping (commonly referred to as car camping).

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:17 PM
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djmamayek djmamayek is offline
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Backpack: Gossamer Gear Murmer/Mariposa Plus
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Location: Wisconsin
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Northern Wisconsin is a car camper's dream. There are dozens of state park campgrounds with no power, and just an honor system pay box. These campgrounds are often completely empty, because people with big RV's prefer electric sites. My wife and I have a small A-Liner camper that we like to take to these spots.

In S.E. Wisconsin, I like Mauthe Lake. There is immediate access to the Ice-Age Trail, a small lake, and good times to be had.

I don't mind doing the kind of camping that the OP referred to as Wal-Mart parking lot camping, but there are definitely places for it, and places where it is inappropriate.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:41 AM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Trees, secluded site, trails, lakes, open fields, paddling, and something unique and interesting to see.

For example, Bon Echo in Ontario.

Also very good in Ontario: Sandbanks, Algonquin, Pinery, Presqu'ile, Elora Gorge.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:52 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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A River Runs Through It

A few years back I did a road trip with my two youngest kids to Philmont Scout Ranch for some training.
After our week at Philmont we did a few days of touring and car camping on our way to peek at the Grand Canyon.
Here's a little gem I ran across in the Land of Enchantment on the road to Taos...Cimarron Canyon State Park, NM.
Situated in the north east corner of the state, on the front range of the Rockies, this Park is an unexpected desert wonder.
Between the narrow slot of the towering red tinged canyon walls runs the rippling blue waters of the Cimarron river.
It's shady cotton wood studded banks are an inviting spot to try your luck at catching your camp dinner of trout.
My only regret was all the camp sites were taken so we had to move on.
If I ever return to NM, I'll most definitely reserve my spot in this slot.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:16 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
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if you can manage to get a spot, big sur is freaking AMAZING. can't believe i never mentioned it.

some of the car camping in the vicinity of mt rainier is breathtaking. if you get the right area you can even find gold in the streams.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:19 AM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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Location: Texas
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Living in the fourth largest metro area in the country, quick options are limited since it takes so long to fight the traffic getting out of town. There are some Corps of Engineers parks on the lakes in the Dallas area, and a relatively nice new state park north of us. When we get a few days free, I like to go to Wichita Mountains in south central Oklahoma or to the Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma and SW Arkansas. In the Ouachita National Forest there are many car camping opportunities among the bluffs, ridges, streams, and lakes. Dinosaur Valley, SW of us is a nice place and has some rugged hiking trails across the Paluxy River. The Hill Country of central Texas is loaded with state parks but is a few hours away. LBJ National Grassland, about an hour NW has the most public land in our area. It's not all grass, there are plenty of trees, lakes and rolling, rocky hills.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:42 AM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
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Just returned from our annual trip to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton, California. Located in the Santa Cruz mountain and surrounded by Giant Redwoods, it's a beautiful campsite that remains cool in the summer due to the coast fog that rolls in at night through mid morning. Lot's of trails to hike, very kid friendly and close to the beach, San Lorenzo River, giant redwood forests and Roaring Camp (complete with a steam engine narrow gauge railroad).
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:56 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Discovered: The Best Car Camping In Nc

About 15 years back I had a goal to camp at every state park in NC with the family. We had 4 youngsters at that time and managed to camp at about 1/3 of the parks in the state. The kids are all grown now, but, a few months ago I decided to do the state park goal a second time on my own.

The plan was to take one camping road trip a month and since September I've kept to that plan. So far I've camped at all six of the parks with camp sites in the northeast corner of the state. The very best of the six so far was Goose Creek state park located on the Pamlico River about 11 miles east of the town of Washington. I've been involved with the Boy Scouts for over 30 years and I've camped all over NC and VA with the BSA for the past 20 years with three different troops. I'd say this park is one of the very best state parks I've ever camped in anywhere hands down.

The Goose Creek campground was constructed only a few months ago and everything is new and not overused or run down. There are 14 wooded drive in sites that are strung out along a sandy unpaved access road that ends at a turn around near the water. It is a short walk from the turn around to a small dock for boat access on Goose Creek. Each site has a graveled tent pad, lamp post for hanging a lantern, fire ring with grill, and a picnic table. The campground is not RV friendly and access to the campsites are not able to take large RV behemoths or large trailers. Also, there are trees that stand quite close to the access road which would be difficult for a large vehicle to negotiate. A small camper or trailer might be able to make it in. There is no electric or water hook ups at the sites, or a bathhouse with running water, toilets, and showers. But, there are several hand pumps for potable water and two fine clean moldering privies. So, sites go for $13/night rather than $20 which is the standard fee for parks in NC with plumbing. Only sites 12, 13, and 14 are situated near the creek with water views through the trees, but, the other sites aren't bad either. I stayed in site #14 near the dock on Goose Creek. The sunsets over the wide open water of the Pamlico where spectacular.

The Pamlico River is a wide expanse of open water flowing west to east and is more like a large bay than a river. The narrower Goose Creek flows southwest into it. Like I stated, there is easy access onto Goose Creek for small boats or canoes from the campground. While I was there quite a few larger motor pleasure craft slowly passed, but, most of the water craft seemed to be small fishing boats with outboards. There are also several miles of hiking trails to enjoy.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:13 PM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Way too many good places to list them all in California. But we certainly love Lassen Volcanic National Park (Yeah, I know, a National Park--but it's facilities are smaller than many state parks)

Lots of great places in the Sierra--Gold Lakes Basin is wonderful, as are many of the USFS sites on the east side...Blue Lakes off Carson Pass. Ebbetts Pass area has some great spots too...
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:29 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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Location: WI
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My favorite place that I consider car camping is Newport State Park in WI. You do have to hike anywhere from 1/2-3mi to get to your site(depending on which one you pick), but I still consider it car camping. There's a well groomed trail that you could easily pull a trailer up to take gear to the site(which we've done for hauling water). The sites are all well separated from each other, the surrounding forest is great, and the sites are along the Lake Michigan shore. Friends and I have gone there several times for a relaxing week vacation. The sites are also accessible by canoe, which you can launch from the beach at the parking lot. Just be warned that since you'll be canoeing on a great lake, it's gonna be a little choppier in a couple spots than your local pond. The sites themselves have pit toilets, but there is a bathroom and running water at the trail-head/parking lot. Of course the lake is right there too since you're camping on the shore of it, if you wish to filter water there.
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