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Resources

23 Jan

Are you …

  • Planning a camping trip?
  • Driving an RV around the country (or “tenting” it like me)?
  • Traveling with a trusty, four-legged navigator?
  • Looking for camping gear?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then take a look at some of the following links. You may just find something to help make your planning a little easier.

I plan on updating the list as I get further along in my own journey (adding more state park lists, for example) and will let you know when that happens.

National Parks, Forests, and other Federally-owned land

Recreation.gov
Enter a location, select your interest (camping, hiking, rafting, etc.), enter your dates and the website provides a number of options. Once you’ve decided, you can make online reservations. Sort of like hotels.com, except its for Federal land. It includes information from the National Park Service, BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service … a dozen Federal agencies in all.

National Parks Service interactive map
Make a selection on this interactive map and see what comes up. Choose a state and it will list all of the national parks, historic sites, seashores, recreation areas, etc.

The “America the Beautiful Annual Pass
Purchase this pass and gain free access to any Federal land. They offer additional discounts to seniors (like me), the disabled and active military, including discounts on camping fees. There are a few states that also offer discounts if you have one of these passes. If you’re planning on visiting a number of parks in one year, it’s a really good deal!

State Parks

The following websites are state-specific. They let you search for specific activities offered by each park and typically allow you to make online reservations (I’ll be adding states as I make plans to visit them)

Alabama State Parks
Arkansas State Parks
Colorado State Parks
Florida State Parks
Louisiana State Parks
Mississippi State Parks
New Mexico State Parks
Tennessee State Parks
Texas State Parks
Virginia State Parks

Pet-friendly travel

BringFido.com
This is a good … albeit limited … resource when it comes to searching for a dog-friendly overnight stay. Enter your destination and travel dates and it will generate a list of hotels / motels with avaialability. HOWEVER, I’ve found that the rates aren’t all that great. I typically use this to identify places I can stay with Frank, but then head over to AARP.org to make my reservation.

What it IS great for is finding restaurants that allow you to bring your dog along. Very cool!

Campsite reviews

Camping.com
This is a great site for weeding out substandard campsites based on the experiences of your fellow campers! You can either search by state, or by a selectable radius around a particular location. You can specify the amenities, activities and atmosphere you’re looking for. (Or you can enter the name of a specific campsite and see what comes up). From there, you can choose from whatever campsites fit your requirements and see what other campers have experienced.

For example: When I used this site, I would enter the area I was looking at and specify that I wanted sites that: allowed tent camping; were pet-friendly; offered electrical hookups and wifi; and were on a lake.

RV Park Reviews
This is another good site, but I found it was more geared towards RV’ers than tenters like me. I found Camping.com to be more user-friendly, but I’ll let you make your own choice.

Supplies

Amazon.com
There’s very little that I DIDN’T buy off amazon. I don’t know how they do it, but they offer stuff at prices that are lower than what you can find by going direct to the source! I’d go to source sites (like those listed below) to find information, then check out the price over here … 99 times out of 100, I’d buy at Amazon.

Coleman
Need anything that’s outdoor-related? Odds are that Coleman’s made it!

Camping World
Here’s another site you can use for price comparisons. They offer a variety of brands (whereas Coleman only offers their own brand … obviously).

Rack Attack
Need your car fitted for a roof rack? Check this site out – you can enter your car’s make, model and year and it will search for products that fit your specific requirements.

Organizations

AARP
If you’re over 50, this group HAS to be at the top of your list! They’re a fantastic resource for anything travel-related! Lots of other good stuff for us old farts, too.

AAA
If you’re on the road, these are a great group to have riding along! There’s a variety of road-protection services they offer. If you have another auto service, great! But I wouldn’t go on a long distance road trip without SOMEBODY looking out for me. I’m crazy, not stupid!

Escapees
This is a club geared towards RVers, but they offer some nice services for anyone considering a nomadic life. I’ve joined to take advantage of their mail forwarding service. But they have other benefits as well, including discounts on overnight camping.


 

That’s a start. Like I said, I’ll add more as I find them and post the addition in the main blog.  I’ll also add information about specific products I’ve bought once I’ve had a chance to try them out (I don’t want to endorse anything until I’ve actually used it, right?)  :o)

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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Resources

 

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