You may have noticed, our wonderful National Forests really like to charge you for primitive camping. But did you know, usually just a mile or two away from the "developed" campground, you can find a secluded spot in your National Forest that's perfectly legal to camp? Many times, in these National Forest campgrounds, campsites often have nothing more than a pit toilet and a fire pit with a grill. The way I've set up my travel rig, I only need a flat spot to park. The great outdoors (used responsibly of course) serves as my toilet, and my stove serves as my cookery. Why pay for camping for nothing more than a stinky pit toilet, when just a few miles away, you can legally camp in a secluded spot?
Back in September 1998, I took a year off from work and started traveling around the USA. Being a computer geek, I brought my laptop and started one of the web's first travelogues. I had plenty of adventures in technology, finding a phone line for internet access, playing with cellular modems, trying to use mapping programs, GPS's, etc... It was great fun, but it couldn't last for ever. I returned to society in September 1999, taking a job, and eventually got married.
While dreaming about an upcoming year off (2006), I also started to dream about ways of making my free camping experience easier. During a few jaunts out west (using what little vacation time I had), I realized how difficult it is to find free camping, especially when you are constrained by time. I also realized that I had lost track of some of my GPS coordinates that I had recorded for free camping.
So here you go. This little web application will allow you to enter GPS coordinates for your favorite camping spots, and find spots near your current location. Combining a mapping program and a GPS, now you should always be able to find free camping on your favorite public or private lands. Happy boondocking!