6 comments

  1. GMAs

    Ahhhh… good advise… on 3, 5, 6 and 7. But, what about the Weather forcast? Fire watch? (I wish the ranger ricks would have a radio frequency on the broadcast band to let campers know the status of the forest and conditions… maybe someone might suggest that to the office in charge)

    ya always something more to add to the list… however, its important to check and make sure that hurricane or pending ice age is not going to strand you in their the next day. Another good thing to check when their is electrical stroms abound, and your in the forrest, is the fire facts and possibly a escape route if the smoke is blowing your way… things might get just a little hot in a while… to which then it might be a good idea to let Ranger Rick know that your back their… we also leave a note saying which radio frequencies we can monitor in case of emergency… (mainly aircraft or CB ) Used to be that you could get the frequency of the fire watch tower.. but today they are all closed… and rented out to campers too…

    Plan B option should also be discussed .. just in case you have to make the trip… or leave the RV (trailer, MH) behind and head away on the smaller vehicle

    Just a few of the experiances we have had… to deal with…

    Nice article their Bob… keep up the good work.. carry on…

    G.>

  2. Barry Zander

    We like it! We have often considered stopping in an undesignated National Forest spot but are afraid that with a 28′ trailer and 22′ truck, we’ll end up (again) in a point of no-return situation. Your advice sounds like an excellent way to find the right roads and camping spot. As for the previous responder, he makes good points, also, but that’s the kind of thing we consider everyday no matter where we are We are now spending a couple of days in a private campground at Knife River, MN, where posted on the board are the 10 Commandments, one of which is something along the lines of, “No refunds for inclement weather. It’s part of camping.”

  3. Fred

    On the way to Alaska in 2005, I wanted to get lost in the woods. I was camped in my fifth wheel at Pacific Beach Resort and Conference Center (Navy FAMCAMP) near Washington State coastal highway 109.

    On my trip map I saw that Highway 109 continued north of Taholah through the Quinault Indian Reservation and joined up with U.S. Highway 101 near Queets.

    Since I was going to Olympic National Park and NF anyway, I would dry camp on an isolated high bluff just off the beach for a few days and then continue north to ONP.

    I took a short day trip in the truck up Highway 109 just to make sure the road was good. I failed to inquire at any official BIA office.

    As a guide, at a nine mile distance my landmark (47.461703, -124.333989) was where the road crossed a bridge over a river that emptied into the Pacific Ocean at Tunnel Island. Check it out on Google Earth.

    About 8 miles into the 14 mile drive to Queets, the vegetation on either side of the road began closing in, swatting at the mirrors and then the windshield. At one spot I nearly got stuck in a muddy spot.

    When it was obvious this road wasn’t a road anymore and I couldn’t turn around, I backed out a few hundred feet to a spot where I turned around.

    Heading back south I did find a gorgeous spot that would have been easy to pull the camper into. I goofed around a while, had a late lunch and threw the ball to my border collie up and down the totally isolated beach. I had found my heaven.

    On the way back to Pacific Beach Resort, a BIA ranger in an officially marked truck stopped to chat. When I asked about Highway 109 disappearing, he told me that the highway bridge I needed to cross had washed out in 2003 and had not been repaired.

    The lesson here is: no map is completely accurate; and as we all know, always check with the local ranger.

  4. GMAs, Barry, and Fred – Thanks for the anecdotes. Proves that boondocking is more than just a place to camp, but an adventure also. You never know how it will turn out. And local information is a wonderful tool to have. Thanks.

  5. GMAs

    You have a lot of ground to cover STILL on the getting lost segment… and I think a lot of people are interested in knowing what they need to have, do and know…(post your questions here folks…don’t be shy) … to go enjoy the back country…camping.. While a lot of people (oldies) probably won’t ever take off and go into the rough… due to age, health and fear…. one can only imagine that they read the posting and dream about doing it… and for all the negative stuff… that has been said… it really is not that bad… I mean the indians have all gone back to the reservation and don’t attack in the open… I think if you outline some of the cautions and procedures of camping in the back country… they might find out that its lots more fun… especially if they have a small group that gives ’em safety in numbers .. .kinda feeling…

    So what I would do is break it down into …. RV town camping, going dry camping away from the town camping life, and the really really out back camping where no man has gone before kinda thing.. That way you cover all the bases for the oldies and women who want to know what they can expect, and what they are getting into… and by giving some real time examples of the three kinds of camping… I think you might get the interest up .. also..

    I know when I was at the slabs over in niland most of the oldies were concerned about … if something happened… but the locals … use CB radio to check in on ’em… and they too can get services by calling up on the radio… now probably cell phones… so they are not alone if they need help… and security…

    As to the comments about heading out a old road… well dang its just like the old wagon trains that came from the east… without any maps… they used scouts on horses… to ride ahead and find the trail that they will be traveling on… same today…(might want to make that relationship too) as one can head out on a motorbike or Jeep and scout out the road ahead… returning to camp … and discussing the route… but, just as in days of old… scouts need to know the abilities of the RV/campers… so they don’t get into a situation of being stuck…

  6. GMAs

    For those who want to join all of us on a nice camp out… here is where we will be

    Remember to pre check out all of the services the campsite has… (note BEARS IN AREA) so use food boxes and not store the bacon in the RV… kinda thing or you WILL get visited at nigh by something grumpy… no not refering to… Bob Either… grin

    So those that are not into wilderness camping just yet… this spot is a good one to have memories made in… SORT OF A FIRST STEP… semi away from the rest campground that you can take your RV too…

    The Ranger Rick service post this kind of stuff so you will know what you have and what you won’t… (aviable on the internet now)

    Services & Amenities:
    Within Facility

    * Bear Boxes (this is important place to keep your food safe)
    * Camp store
    * Campground Host (may not be after the Gov cut the parks and rec people back due to state budget)
    * Comfort Station
    * Convenience Store
    * Fire Rings
    * Firewood sold on site
    * Flush Toilets (for those that are not self contained)

    * Hiking Trails
    * Host
    * Officer/Ranger station (good place to get tips and advise about wilderness camping from)
    * Picnic Tables
    * Shower
    * Telephone
    * Vault Restrooms
    * Water Drinking

    Greater Than 10 Miles

    * Beach
    * Casino
    * Gas And Propane
    * Gondola Rides
    * Grocery
    * Interpretive Programs

    * Laundry
    * Mountain Bike Trails
    * Public Marina
    * Rent Bicycles
    * Restaurants
    * Water Access/Park Lake

    Alerts and Important Information
    # Reservations must be booked at least 1 day in advance
    # No walk in sites available
    # Check in time after 2PM
    # 3 night minimum on holidays
    # All campers must register at Kiosk at campground entrance
    # Six people allowed per site
    # Quite hours 10pm to 6am
    # $5.00 fee for extra vehicles collected at campground
    # No discharge of firearms or fireworks
    # No ATV or OHV use in campground
    # Bears frequent the area. All food must be kept in approved containers
    # Pet rules strictly enforced. Max 2 pets per site
    # No pets on beaches
    # No hunting or chain saw use
    # No refunds for bad weather

    Getting There:
    Fallen Leaf Campground (CA)
    PO BOX 14000
    CA 96151

    From South Lake Tahoe: Highway 89 North from junction of State Highway 50 and 89, 3 miles to Fallen Leaf Road, West 1/2 mile of Fallen Leaf Road to the campground.

    Good fishing too….

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