How to Find Isolated Camping Spots Off the Beaten Track
All across the US, there are thousands of places with RV hookups from the concentrated RV parks to camping spots in local and national parks. You can head out to the beach, riversides, the deep woods, and breathtaking rock climbing locations. Unless you pick a specific spot that has an off-season and go when it’s least popular, you’ll be surrounded by other RVs and campers looking for the exact same experience that you are. Whether you went out for the peace and quiet or the beautiful hiking trails or the adventure opportunities, you’ll be there with dozens if not hundreds of other campers. Their RVs will be in sight, their camps nearby, and the sound and presence of them are inescapable.
This is heaven for social campers. In the normal RV parks and camping spots, there’s always someone to share a cup of cocoa and a story with. There are people with guitars to make music, others with dogs to play with, and there’s usually at least a few kids to entertain with neat tricks and toys that can be made out of common camping items. You can trade RV hacks with fellow indoor-outdoor campers and learn about the best local restaurants from people who go out to the same camping spot every year. These are all wonderful ways to enjoy your camping vacation. However, you’re looking for introspective time alone with the wilderness, these spots probably aren’t for you.
To RV alone, free from the press of other happy, energetic campers, your best bet is to break away from the beaten track. Rather than relying on the go-to camping spots listed on the main page of every online RV camping guide, you’ve got to get creative. RV hookups exist everywhere. Some hotels have them, private properties have them, and many many parks that almost no one has heard of have a few RV hookups allowing you to finally park somewhere far from any other RVs and campsites. The only question is where to start. Here are three tips to help you find isolated camping spots.
State Parks Without ‘Attractions’
There are two major kinds of parks that you can camp in: state parks and private parks. Private parks are open for the purpose of making money off campsites. This means it is in their best interest to put the sites close together and book a lot of campers. Naturally, these parks aren’t generally going to be for you.
State parks, on the other hand, exist to preserve the natural resources of that state. Thus, they prefer to keep campers a little more spread out. However, many state parks have something about them that draws other campers. Beautiful waterfalls, great rock climbing cliffs, swimming holes, boat launches, and rivers to raft down. If you don’t need these things, if your camping experience can be complete without them, try looking for a state park that doesn’t have anything special about it because the trees and nature themselves are special enough. These locations are less likely to be packed because only other people like yourself who just want to spend some time surrounded by quiet natural beauty might go there.
Airbnb a Private Campsite
People who buy themselves residential or investment property out in the wild rural areas want to be alone with nature. Once they have the property, it’s a simple matter to set up some RV hookups for their own recreational vehicle in a beautiful spot. Of course, most people can’t be out in the wilderness 100% of the time, so these peaceful private campsites are often completely unoccupied. How do you access them? The good news: a lot of people who own their own RV campsite have gotten into the sharing economy. This allows them to quickly and easily post these relaxing locations for temporary rent to other loner style RV campers.
Airbnb is a great place to start looking. Many of these independent campsite owners have realized that they can make extra money renting out their campsites. While the hospitality end of the sharing economy started as a hotel alternative, the camping world has exploded with opportunities to bring a tent or recreational vehicle to wilderness properties or beautifully sculpted yards. Of course, like all sharing economy trends, Airbnb is by no means your only option. There’s also Tentrr, Hipcamp, and CampInMyGarden. All primarily feature camping spots rather than other types of vacation rental types.
Stock Up and Hit the Real Wilderness
Most people think of RV camping as driving from hookup to hookup with brief periods on the road. But really, do you need more than a glorified cooler and a gas stove to enjoy the wilderness? If you really want to be alone in the woods, empty your waste tanks, fill up on power and water. Then head out into the camping areas that don’t have RV hookups. There are hundreds of free camping spots in the wilderness just managed enough to have an access road. You don’t need your TV or microwave to commune with nature. You don’t need more than a decent supply of sustainable food and a good shelter. The RV gives you the advantage of storage and modern amenities, both a luxury. But, so is being out there all alone with nothing but the trees and your own thoughts to keep you company.
If you want to, pack a full kit complete with tent, sleeping bag, and a lot of dried food. Park the RV somewhere safe then set out on your own to find a remote dispersed camping spot. For some, being alone in the woods is the definition of bliss. Maybe you travel completely alone or you might take a quiet, introverted partner along with you. Perhaps you travel with a dog who never talks your ear off and is always happy to head out on a peaceful hike.
If you’ve never spent a few days completely isolated in the wilderness, you should try it at least once. Many people go a little crazy with all that alone time. But, if you’ve been craving a quiet place away from others to camp, this might just be the perfect vacation for you. Alone with nature, you may be able to finally completely relax and enjoy the world around you. Listen to the trees and the birds and insects. Know that you have as many hours as you want to just sit quietly and think. If this sounds perfect to you, consider one of our three methods for finding an isolated campsite.