Friday, April 27, 2007

Camping Thanks To Underhanded Political Trickery

In some of my previous blog entries, I've bashed the USDA Forest Service some, so I started the day thinking that I would write about Gifford Pinchot. Gifford Pinchot was the first director of our National Forests. Now this is a bit misleading as there were other men in charge of the nations forests prior to Gifford, but he has the distinction of being in charge when the name was changed from "Forest Reserves" to "National Forests".

But during my research about Gifford Pinchot, I got sidetracked as often happens. It seems that just over 100 years ago, our president Teddy Roosevelt and old Gifford pulled a fast one on Congress by establishing what became known as the "Midnight Forests".

The short story is that Congress renamed Forest Reserves "National Forests," and outlaws their further creation or enlargement in six Western states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, or Wyoming). The exception is by act of Congress. When the bill passes Congress on February 25, 1907, Pinchot and Roosevelt identify sixteen million acres of forest in these six states which are designated as national forests before the bill is signed into law on March 4, 1907.

March 2, 1907 was a very active day for National Forest creation and expansion. According to, more than 20 forests were created, expanded, renamed, and combined.

So if you are camping in USDA National Forests in the West, remember that there is a fair chance the place you are standing is protected thanks in part to some underhanded political trickery.

RV Camping Home

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Find Free RV Camping Locations - Internet

How do you go about researching places to camp on the Internet? The type of camping you do certainly makes a difference. Do you need pavement or are you willing to go down a gravel road? Do you want RV hookups (yep...some places have hookups for free!) or is an isolated lake more your style?

Using the Internet is a great way to find places to camp tailored to your personal preferences. Internet web sites such as the popular and have state by state listings of free and low cost campsites for example.

There is a lot of camping information available most people are not aware of. County parks, city parks, even state parks offer free camping. We feel that there is so much information available that it's impossible for any one web site to document it all. What we needed was a web site that waded through the search engine results and grouped camping resources in a state by state manner.

We developed RV Camping to be our primary source for finding places to camp. We designed the site to quickly search public lands for camping locations, and provide official links that will always have the most up to date information. Listed by state, you will find links to federal and state campgrounds, wildlife refuges, and every official public camping website we've found. We hope to provide a wide range of camping options for all types of recreational vehicles and their owners.

We hope you bookmark for use as a research tool for finding RV camping places everywhere.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why We Camp

We live in our RV full time, but we seldom camp in public developed campgrounds, and even less frequently stay in private RV parks. We much prefer nature to neighbors.

We camp to get away from it all. After a week of working, we always looked forward to our weekend camping trips. Heading into the mountains with our pop-up camper and Jeep was our recreational foundation from high stress jobs.

Now retired from the corporate world, we still camp to get away from it all. We've upgraded our equipment somewhat, and we've spent more hours researching camping locations than we want to admit. We seldom have a schedule or fixed destination, so the journey is more important than the destination.

Most of our friends and family thought we took a walk off the map when we sold everything and hit the road in our motor home. Our response is we traded space for time. While we don't have a stick built house to live in, we also don't have that house to take care of. We travel when and where we want, and try and find America's best campsites along the way.

Doesn't sound so bad now does it?

RV Camping Home

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

RV Camping Map Volunteers Wanted

Do you like challenge? Love the Internet and finding camping information? Do you like maps? Want to be famous?

We've been working on our Nebraska RV Camping page, and integrating Google Maps. This has been a fun and educational experience, and we want to expand the maps to the entire country. The problem is that this is a slow and time consuming project. Researching a states public lands camping locations and not private property locations such as Wal-Mart, with varying levels of amenities takes a week or more. The goal is to provide a travelers map with links to official information about camping locations.

If you look at the Nebraska Camping Location Map, you will notice different colored markers. Green is free, yellow is $9 and less, and red is $10 and above. All locations are public land camping sites that provide a link to more official Internet information. You can zoom in, zoom out, and pan. Clicking on the markers displayed will provide more information.

We want volunteers willing to create Google Maps similar to what we have developed for Nebraska. (We claim "dibs" on South Dakota) We want to link to state maps from, allowing easy and free access for anyone from a central location. A quick online resource for any state, with graphic representation of locations and links to official information. Only 50 map markers are available per map, so finding locations is limited, and we understand some eastern states have limited opportunities.

Do you have what it takes? Help your fellow RVers develop a useful Internet RV camping resource map ideal for travelers. With enough help, all states could be mapped before the summer travel season, otherwise we'll continue to plod along.

Drop us an email at