Best Tents For Your DIY Glamping Trip

Best Tents For Your DIY Glamping Trip

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Are you looking for the perfect Glamping tent to make your next camping trip comfortable and memorable? Are you trying to figure out what the best tents out there are that are also affordable to create this memorable experience? 

If so, you’re probably looking for something that has great space and gives you the ability to stand up inside. After all, no one wants to feel cramped in a tent with barely any room to maneuver around or stand up. That to me, doesn’t sound like a glamping experience.

The point of Glamping is to bring the modern comforts of home and civilization to the great outdoors.

If you have read my previous post on “how to DIY your own Glamping trip” then you know this is the first tip to create that glamping experience you desire. Having a larger tent, even if it’s only two people “glamping”, is important.

Let’s discuss our top best tents that are affordable so you can begin creating your Perfect DIY Glamping Experience.

CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars (697 Reviews)

This tent is perfect for the Glamping experience because of the space it provides. It is 14 feet by 9 feet with a standing height of 78 inches. Large enough to fit two queen air mattresses comfortably. This option has Electrical Cord access that can be fully closed when not in use. The CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin takes about 60 seconds to set up, features room dividers, and wall storage pockets.

Where to buy: Amazon

CORE 10 Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent

Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars (97 reviews)

The CORE 10 Person tent is another great option like the CORE 9 person tent. This tent is a little bigger by having space for 1 more person as well as a taller standing center height of 86″. It comes complete with room dividers, front and back door access, as well as, storage pockets and electrical cord access. The CORE 10 person tent comes available in two colors, orange, and maroon.

Where to buy: Amazon 

GigaTent 8 Person Family Tent

Reviews: 5 Stars (3 reviews)

This option is fantastic! It fits 8 people comfortably which is great because if there’s only two of you going “Glamping” there will be plenty of room to create that DIY Glamping experience. The walls are almost completely vertical with access points and 6 windows to allow a nice cool breeze through space. It is created with heavy-duty waterproof material to keep the rain out if you ever get caught camping during a storm. This company also carries a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” policy!

Where to Buy: Amazon

Coleman Tent Weathermaster 10

Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars (1,582 reviews)

The Coleman Weathermaster gives you 2 options. You can choose the 6 person tent or a 10 person tent. Either one, they are great options to give you space so you can DIY your own Glamping Trip. Coleman is a huge name in camping products, so you can’t go wrong with this brand. This ten is easily set up in 20 minutes with a standing height of 6 feet and 8 inches! The Coleman Weathermaster is equipped with Colemans WeatherTec Patented welded floors for you dry throughout your whole Glamping experience.

Where to Buy: Amazon

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Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL 12 Person Teepee Cone Shape Camping Tent

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars (20 reviews)

If you’re looking for that Teepee style for your DIY Glamping experience than this tent is a great option. It is 18x18 and can fit up to 12 people comfortably. Due to the cone shape design, it can handle up to 35 mph winds, is completely waterproof and allows the water during a rainstorm to roll right off the tent and no accumulate on top of the tent. The Tahoe Gear Bighorn has 4-floor vents that can be adjusted and fully closed as well as a ventilated to help eliminate humidity inside the tent.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Winterial Teepee Tent

Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars (36 reviews)

Here is another great option that gives you the Teepee Glamping experience you desire. This tent is durable, only weights 15lbs, and can be set up in less than 5 minutes. You fit 6 to 7 people comfortably so it is great for friends and family. Of course, this tent is waterproof made with 210T polyester. The tallest point of the tent is 10 feet so it allows a lot of standing room.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Happybuy Bell Tent

If you really want the Glamping experience, you can’t go wrong with this Canvas Yurt Tent. It is great for Camping, Hunting, or any other outdoor events, plus it is 4 season tent that you can add a stove into if you happen to be camping in the winter. It is also waterproof, firm, and stable with strong steel center poles, galvanized frame tunes. and nylon rope for tie-downs. This option can fit up to 12 people comfortably.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Creating your first DIY Glamping experience should always start with the best tents and open spaces. These tent options are fantastic to get you started and enjoying camping. Having space to stand up, sleep, add in your gear is essential.

I love these options because they are affordable, durable, and waterproof! You can’t go wrong with anyone of them!

I hope you enjoy your DIY Glamping trip and get the most out of the outdoors without sacrificing some comforts of modern life. If you haven’t already head over to our previous post “How to DIY your own Glamping Trip” for more ideas.

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Best DEET-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures

Best DEET-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures

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Looking for a Bug Repellent that is also DEET-Free? You’ve come to the right place!

Have you ever been so excited to spend a nice day outside with your family or wanted to enjoy sitting by the campfire roasting s’ mores, but ended up getting bit by bugs every second? It’s not fun!

Outdoor adventures should be fun and enjoyable, however, they can be instantly ruined by bugs. It’s only right to want the best bug repellent on the market to protect your family and friends.

Whether those bugs are buzzing mosquitos and flies or the pesky fleas and ticks. These little things are a nuisance to everybody, and some can carry nasty diseases.

So, If you’re going on a great outdoor camping adventure, backpacking, enjoying a backyard party, or going to the ball game, having bug protection is going to help make sure you have a great time.

Over the years, there are have been many different studies and products thrown out on the market that say they repel bugs. But, are they safe? Are they effective?

First, let’s discuss this main ingredient that has been used to deter bugs for decades called DEET! This chemical is a popular one, however, although it is proven to deter bugs, it also has some health concerns.

DEET - Best DEET-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures

DEET is a pesticide that is a member of the toluene chemical family. This solvent can be absorbed into the skin, passed through the bloodstream and organs. Studies by Medical Sciences Bulletin and Duke University have shown that DEET can even have a negative effect on the Central nervous system. They say the best way to use DEET is to spray on your clothes, not your skin.

Now that you have a small overview of DEET and the reason why so many have developed products that are DEET-Free, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 DEET-Free products that deter those pesky bugs. Many of these are natural options utilize ingredients like Lemon oil and Eucalyptus oil. Below you will also find a recipe to make your very own Natural Bug Repellent.

Let’s get started! I placed them In order by ranking according to their star reviews. 

7. Coleman Botanicals Insect Repellent

Naturally based, DEET- Free option that uses plant extracts that deter bugs. Stated to last up to 6 hours with 30% Oil of Lemon and Eucalyptus. This product can be used on your gear of any kind as well as your clothes and skin. It has a refreshing scent of lemon/eucalyptus and is non-greasy. Proven to deter mosquitoes that contain deadly viruses such as Zika and West Nile. The Coleman Botanical Insect Repellent comes in a spray or an aerosol option and is great for the whole family.

Where to buy: Amazon

Review: 4 out of 5 Stars

6. California Baby Bug Repellent Spray

The California Baby spray is the best bug repellant for children. It is a great alternative to the toxicity of DEET. It is formulated with Citronella, lemongrass and Cedar pure essential oils. These oils have been proven to deter mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other biting flies. Beside deterring those pesky bugs, the ingredients are great for soothing already existing bites. California’s Baby Bug Repellent is allergy tested, gluten-free, soy-free, oat-free, and dairy-free. You can use this product day or night and can be used generously for the scent to repel the bugs.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars

5. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent (Deet-Free)

If you can’t tell by the name itself, this repellent uses Lemon Eucalyptus oil as the main ingredient to deter bugs. Repel has formulated this repellent to last up to 6 hours and is safe for the whole family to use. It has a great refreshing scent and is none greasy to sticky.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars out of 5,183 reviews

4. Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent

Murphy’s Natural Repellent is made with simple ingredients including 30% Lemon Eucalyptus oil and 70% Ethanol and Deionized water. This product is effective for up to 6 hours and smells great which is why it has made our best bug repellent list. It won’t leave any type of oily resident and won’t harm your gear or clothing. A great option for outdoor adventures.

Where to buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars

3. Bug Soother Spray – Natural Mosquito, Gnat, and Insect Deterrent & Repellent with Essential Oils

Bug Soother is a super effective all-natural bug repellent that repels gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas, black flies and most mosquitos. It is blended with vanilla with fresh citrus scents that the bugs hate. It is non-greasy and leaves no oily residue. This product has also been used on animals to help deter flies and other insects from biting your precious pets. 100% DEET-free and made with skin-loving ingredients including castor oil and vitamin E.

Where to purchase: Amazon

Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars

2. BUGGINS Natural Insect Repellent 0% DEET

This is a great Plant-Based option with active ingredients such as geraniol, peppermint, lemongrass, and clove. It is a great option for anyone wanting to stay natural ingredients and away from all chemical ingredients like DEET. This option lasts for about 2 hours before needing to re-apply. It is the best bug repellent to deter black flies, deer flite, stable flies, biting gnats, and mosquitos.

Where you can purchase: Amazon

Review: 4.5 stars out of 5

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1. Mosquito Repellent Bracelets and Stickers

These are one of my favorite options, especially when you have children. This prevents having to coat the little ones with any kind of spray. The bracelets and stickers are the best bug repellent for all ages. Plus, they are colorful and kids love them. You can wear the coiled bracelets that are coated with natural repellent oils such as Citronella and Lemongrass on your ankles and wrists. They each have up to 320 hours of protection and are waterproof.

The Stickers are an extra added bonus to add you’re your shirts, pants, or any gear you want to keep safe from bugs.

Where to buy: Amazon

Reviews: 5 stars

Homemade Essential Oil Bug Repellent

Now that we have discussed 7 of the best bug repellents you can purchase that are DEET-free for the whole family, here is a nice homemade DEET free, all Natural, recipe that you can make at home.

If you have access to the amazing essential oils from great companies like Young Living or Doterra, then making your own bug repellent maybe your greatest option. The best oils that repel bugs naturally are Citronella, Lavender, Geranium, lemon/eucalyptus, and rosemary oil.

By mixing these oils with some white vinegar, witch hazel, and some rubbing alcohol this will create the best homemade natural bug repellent. Here is a simple recipe you can try yourself.

Also, It is best when you mix these ingredients into a glass spray bottle and then use as desired. Glass is better because it prevents the plastic from deteriorating into the oil mixture.

  • 30 drop of Citronella
  • 30 drops of Geranium
  • 20 drops of Lavender
  • 20 drops of Lemon/eucalyptus
  • 10 drops of rosemary
  • 1 TBSP of Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1/2 cup of Witch Hazel
  • 1/2 cup of Vinegar (or water)
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Whichever option you choose, any one of these is great!

After all, staying safe and away from chemicals that can potentially harm you and your children is just as important as deterring the bugs that can potentially carry diseases.

Have a friend or family member who spends a lot of time outside or enjoys their outdoor adventures, please share the awesome DEET-free bug repellents with them!

Thanks for stopping by! If you’ve tried any one of these options, I would love to hear your experience! Comment below!


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How to DIY Your Own Glamping Trip on a Budget

How to DIY Your Own Glamping Trip on a Budget

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Glamping, in a nutshell, is where beautiful nature meets modern comforts. It is a new and exciting way to travel and experience the world around you. Glamping goes above and beyond just a nice tent, although that is definitely where it begins. It is about adding those glamorous and luxurious touches to the traditional camping experiences.

Surprisingly, the industry of Glamping has become a worldwide phenomenon over the last decade. More people are enjoying the great outdoors and experiencing a whole new way to vacation.

Although glamping can become expensive with all the luxurious accommodations and amazing destinations. This should not stop you from creating your very own DIY glamping experience on your next camping vacation. You can even do this by staying on a budget. To get you started, I have put together a great “how-to” list to glam up your next camping vacation.

Tip No. 1 – Get a Larger tent

Even if there are only two of you, having a larger tent is going to give you the open space and comfort that comes with Glamping. You will be able to stand up fully, have extra space to have a little side table and a place for your clothes and shoes. Space is important when it comes to DIY glamping.

As much as we all want the fancy larger white tents, they can get expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can simply pick up a regular pop up tent-like this Ozark 8 Person Yurt and turn your camping experience into a glamping one! For more great tent options, check out our post “Best Tents for your DIY Glamping Trip”.
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Tip No. 2 – Cozy bedding

Along with having a great tent with a lot of space, your bedding is essential for the ultimate glamping experience. You really want to try and make it feel like a hotel bed or your bed at home.

The first thing to start with is your mattress. The Coleman Air mattress with the double cot is perfect to glam up your camping trip. Getting your bed off the tent floor is a nice step in creating that luxury feel.

Also, you will want comfortable linens, pillows, a throw blanket, and even a decorative pillow or two to add some pizzazz!

Rummage through your linen closets and see what you may already have. Then if you want to spend some extra on a new throw blanket or a pillow or two, go for it! The more comfortable your sleeping space is, the better your glamping trip will be.

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Tip No. 3 – Spa-like sensations

There is nothing more luxurious than a spa. Many glamping experiences have gorgeous spa-like qualities like candles, flowers, lotions, towels, freshwater, and juices.

So, bring your favorite candles, fresh flowers, lotions, and more so you can have those spa-like amenities to your liking. I personally like to go with the citronella candles that ward off the pesky bugs and mosquitos.

Another DIY Glamping tip is to add a small cooler with water and juices inside your tent. This will help you from having to get up and in the middle of the night to grab a drink. 

Tip No. 4 – Homey décor

Homey decor can spread throughout the campsite and not just inside the tent area. Items like that can make the entire camping space home-like include the following;

– Area Rugs: these are great in the tent as well as right outside the tent so you can have a nice outdoor area right outside the tent doors.

-Blankets: Blankets can be used for outdoor seating areas on hay bales or larger logs if they are available. They can be used for any style of camping chair for comfort. 

-Throw pillows: just like adding some flair to the bedding, they can be great additions to all outdoor seating for comfort and style. 

-Floor Pillows: If you have a nice large area rug or blankets set up inside or outside the tent areas, floor pillows are great to add some comfort and glam. 

-Decorative Baskets or chests: Who doesn’t love a gorgeous wicker basket? These are fantastic to bring along so you can have a designated area for shoes or miscellaneous camping items. 


Tip No. 5 – Decorative lighting

I love extra lighting! I love the string lights, the extra lamps, candles, and the tiki torches because it just gives the camping area a great ambiance. The Decorative lighting really adds that extra touch in the evenings to your DIY Glamping experience.

This is also usually when everyone gathers around the fire, has a few drinks and smores while telling great stories for hours. Having the extra lighting hung from the trees and around the tents just adds that extra Glamping touch.

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Tip No. 6 – Designation areas

This is a great plus when wanting DIYing your own Glamping experience. Creating designated areas for cooking, relaxing, and sleeping is exactly what Glamping is all about. 

Many love to do this by having a living area tent where everyone can gather to eat and hang out. You can also have a specific area for great outdoor activities. (We will go into that on Tip No. 8)

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Tip No. 7 – Fancy Delicious Meals w/fun menu

Along with the designated areas, one of those areas can be for cooking/grabbing food. Setting up a little chalkboard with the menu items for the day is super simple and it keeps everyone from wondering when it’s time to eat. 

This is also a great thing to do to keep from over-packing unnecessary food items that take up space and do not get eaten. By having a meal plan for the whole family, plus snacks is a great way to have the Glamping vacation experience while camping. 

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Tip No. 8 – Fun Activities

What is a Vacation without some good fun and games? There are so many outdoor games you can bring along that will keep people playing and having fun for hours. Two of my family’s favorites are Corn Hole and Horseshoes. They are pretty simple to pack up and set up. 

Other cool outdoor games include a DIY glow in the dark bowling made out of liter coke bottles, glow sticks or glow in the dark paint, and a small plastic ball. This one is fantastic for the kiddos. 

Camping doesn’t always have to be rough and tough, it can be enjoyable and relaxing for the whole family. So the next time you’re planning your trip, don’t forget the comfortable bedding, pillows, and games. DIY Glamping can be done on a budget so you can still enjoy modern comforts while roughing it in the forest or on the beach. 

I hope this inspires you to get outdoors and glam up your next camping trip to make it an unforgettable experience. 

Do you have any tips you love to DIY your own Glamping?  Please leave a comment, I would love to hear! Also, sharing is caring! Thank you for stopping by! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new material. 

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Best Ways to Make Great Coffee While Camping

Best Ways to Make Great Coffee While Camping

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Nothing is greater than waking up, crawling out of your tent or RV to hear those birds chirping and breathing the crisp morning air while the sun begins to peak through the trees, except one thing, COFFEE!!

I love coffee and having a hot cup of joe while sitting by the campfire in the morning is one of my favorite things to do. It’s that moment in the morning time where you can relax, take in the scenery, and begin to plan your day before the heat and bugs come out to play.

Coffee has been a staple in households around the world for many generations, so it’s only obvious that one must take coffee camping. But how do you make coffee without electricity? We are so used to our Kuregs and Coffee pot brewers that knowing how to make coffee any other way is a little foreign. I get it!

Well, I am here to tell you that there are plenty of ways to get that perfect cup while enjoying the great outdoors without the luxury of electricity.

1. French Press

This is our favorite way to make coffee! I remember when I had no idea what a French press was or even how to use it.

When camping it’s as simple as warming up some water on the propane stove (if you have one) or the campfire in a kettle pot. Then pour your favorite coffee grains in, pouring in the hot water and letting it sit. The amount of time you let it sit depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. Once your hot water has set in the coffee grounds for the desired time, simply press the top with the strainer and screens in slowly. Once pressed all the way in, it’s time to pour that perfect cup or two of coffee.

The French press is a classic way of making great coffee and perfect for any camping trip!

How much Coffee does it make: Usually 2 cups
Ease of use?: Yes. It’s very easy to use and quick way to make a great cup of coffee.
Where to purchase?: Amazon or your local store. They usually have some decent French Presses in stock depending on the quality you prefer.

2. Instant Coffee

Before we discovered the French press, and when we moved into the RV fulltime, instant coffee packs from Starbucks was our go-to for coffee. They are fantastic and a great way to get a quick cup of coffee when you’re running out of time. I still use instant coffee for those situations when I just want a quick cup and don’t care about the kind of bean or precision in making the perfect cup.

I definitely do recommend this when camping because of how easy it is! All you need is a hot cup of water, and you pour in the pack of instant coffee. That’s it! You have a great cup of coffee in an instant.

How much Coffee does it make: 1 packet makes 1 cup
Ease of use?: Super easy and the quickest way to have a cup of coffee.
Where to Buy?: You can purchase from Amazon or Starbucks sells the packets of 7 in the coffee aisle at most grocery stores.

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3. Classic Percolator Coffee Pot

Percolator Coffee pots are the most common way many make coffee while camping. They come in different sizes and styles. The Enamelware percolator coffee pot is a staple when it comes to camping. The classic blue speckled enamel makes me want to pack up the truck and go tent camping right now!

If you’re not into the enamel look, they have great stainless steel options as well that work wonders. The great thing about the percolators is they can make multiple cups of coffee depending on the size of the pot. Usually, it is about 8 cups total. So if you’re camping with a larger group, the percolators are fantastic!

How much coffee does it make: usually about 8 cups
Ease of Use: Pretty easy, just takes some time to brew.
Where to Buy: Amazon

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4. Single Serve Collapsible Coffee Dripper

I first saw these on Amazon and thought how cool! They are single serve and collapsible so you can take it anywhere with you. These are nice so you can still have the fresh brewed tasting coffee as the hot water runs through the grounds, but not have to have a pot of any sort to carry or bring along. Plus they are BPA free silicone and super lightweight.

These are great for camping trips if you’re the only one who drinks coffee or you’re not going with a big group of people.

How much does it make: 1 cup per use
Ease of Use: Easy to use, but must have the paper filter along with it.
Where to Buy: Amazon

5. Coleman Propane Coffee Maker

Coleman, of course, is a huge name when it comes to camping gear. Of course, they would make a propane coffee maker. I honestly think this device is really cool and has the potential last many, many years! Coleman products are great products.

The propane Coffee Maker works just like your pot coffee maker back at home. It has an Instastart push-button ignition that will light your propane and start the brewing process. Great for camping, hunting, or anywhere that you will be outdoors without electricity. Also, it’s the best for larger groups because it can make up to 10 cups of coffee and one propane tank can keep the coffee hot for up to 4.5 hours.

How much does it make: 10 cups of coffee
Ease of Use: As easy as your Coffee Pot Maker at home
Where to Buy: Amazon

6. Portable Car Charging Single Serve Coffee Maker

If you’re camping, chances are you have a car of some sort. Cars have your 12v power outlets in them that you can plug in a phone charger or other adaptable items. Now, they have come up with the idea of a Portable Car Charging Single Serve Coffee Maker.

Since it is a single server it can use either a k-cup or ground coffee. When it comes to the hot water, you have a choice to either place the hot water in the cup or you can pour non-hot water in and it will warm up the water in about 10 minutes. Once you have hot water and the coffee is in, then all you do is press the button and it begins to brew a cup of coffee for you. It’s great for traveling and camping trips.

How much does it make: 1 cup 150 ML
Ease of use: Seems easy, according to instructions.
Where to Buy: Amazon

7. Manual Coffee Brewer for K-Cups

These are pretty cool for those individuals who love their K-cups. Now you can take your k-cups camping! These manual brewers are fantastic for camping or pretty much anywhere because the cleanup is so easy!

All you need is hot water, a coffee mug, and a k-cup. It’s also great for the whole family so they can pick their favorite coffee or hot beverage like tea or hot chocolate k-cups.

How much does it make: 1 cup
Ease of use: Easy and cleanup is a breeze
Where to Buy: Amazon

Every single one of these options is fantastic for getting that great cup of coffee while enjoying the outdoors with your friends and family. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong!

As I mentioned, my favorite is the French press but if I’m going to be camping with a lot of people who love coffee the Propane coffee maker or the Percolators coffee pots are great options. If you love the ease but hate the clean up then the instant coffee packets or the manual coffee k-cup option is perfect.

I hope you enjoy your camping trip and most importantly enjoy that amazing cup of coffee however you choose to brew!

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How to Find Free Camping in the USA

How to Find Free Camping in the USA

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Free Camping! Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Well, if you’re here you either love to camp or maybe you actually live full-time in an RV like us. I am sure you have come to notice that camping in many places can either cost you $10 a night for a tent camping site or the upper cost of $110 for a full hook-up RV site.

When you’re on a budget, like we always are, finding anything for ‘free’ is a huge win!

Now, can you imagine being out on the road and spending on average $20 to  $35 for a full hook up for your RV? That’s about $1000 a month and for us, that was a month’s rent on a 1 bedroom apartment. We moved into an RV to eliminate those costs. We were tired of spending over $1000 a month to live in a 700 sqft apartment. It made us feel stuck and we were working to just pay the basic rent and food. I don’t know about you, but for us, that just wasn’t worth it.

Therefore finding camping spots for free was a no brainer for us. But how is that possible? Is it possible?

It totally is possible!!

You just have to research it out. Luckily we have put together our knowledge from our research right here for you! Whether you are looking to boondock in your RV, van, car,  or bus aka dry camp or enjoy the week or weekend tent camping.

You can camp for FREE!

Option 1: National Parks

 As of 2019, America has a total of 61 National Parks. The newest national park added to the list is the Indiana Dunes National Park along Lake Michigan. If you’re objective or goal is to see them all, just know you only have to go to 29 states and two U.S. territories.

Within these National Parks, you will find the beauty of this Great Nation, amazing Wildlife, Mountains, and Beaches. In order to camp for free, be prepared to boondock or dry camp. National parks do not have the same amenities as RV parks such as your full hookups. That means no running water and no power.

Also, if you are in an RV and plan on finding a spot in a national park to stay it is advised that you plan out your route. Many places in the parks can be tight fits, winding and/or narrow roads. Also, keep in mind the size of your RV, this will help determine where you can go in the park with your rig.

Although camping is ‘free’, many National Parks may not allow Dispersed Camping, meaning camping outside of a designated campground area. To determine designated campsites there will be fire pit rings and/or picnic tables. Check the website for the park you are going to be visiting to see what that specific park allows and ensure yourself that you know the rules.

 

What kind of camping is allowed: RV, Tent, Van, Car, or Converted Bus
How long can you camp: The length of dry camping in one site on National Park land is 14 days.
How you can find National Parks and get more details just visit: https://nps.gov

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Option 2: Bureau of Land Management or BLM

What is it? BLM or Bureau of Land Management is defined as undeveloped public land. They are great camping spots for your campers who love solitude and enjoys the great outdoors. The majority of camp spots found on BLM is dispersed camping sites.

However, if you’re lucky you could find a spot someone has camped before by simple markers like a fire pit ring. Every free campsite on BLM grounds is first come, first serve. This is your true 100% boondocking on remote sites. This allows you to find some hidden gems and explore areas many people don’t even think about.

If you don’t like the first come, first serve option you can reserve a campsite on the BLM land for a price at recreation.gov.

 

What kind of camping is approved? RV, Tent, Van, Car, or Converted Bus
How long can you stay? The maximum time one can stay on BLM land is 14 days.
How you can find BLM camp areas: BLM areas include National Wild and Scenic Rivers, Historic Trails, Landmarks, Recreation Trails, and National Wilderness Areas. You can find BLM campsites at recreation.gov

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Option 3: Parking Lots & Small Town Venues

There are many different options you can stay at if you are in a Car, Van, or an RV. These are free short-term overnight options and we highly suggest always asking management before spending the night. Another great tip to find free overnight rest areas when traveling in an RV, Car, or Van is to stop by the local Sheriff office.

Also, keep in mind these are free one night stays, so don’t set up camp, and leave your slides in (if possible). If you have a fifth wheel, bumper pull, or towing anything keep everything hooked up. Also, always park in the far back away from general parking or traffic.

Here is a list of potential parking lots you could stay overnight at:

  • Truck Stops
  • Casinos
  • Walmart
  • Nightclubs
  • Cemetery
  • Fairgrounds
  • Parks
  • Churches
  • Hotel Parking Lots
  • RV Dealerships
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Movie Theaters
  • Highway Rest Stops
  • Big Box Retailers: Sams Club, Costco, ect.
  • Roadside Parks and Picnic Areas


What kind of camping is approved?:
RV, Car, Van,  or Converted Bus …. Sorry no tent pitching
How long can you stay?: 1 night (Depending on Management)
How can you find these spots?: Google Maps or stop by the local Sheriffs office.

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Option 4: Google “Free Camp Spots Near Me”

I know it may seem obvious but I’m serious, sometimes just googling something can bring up places that you never even thought of. For example, I just googled “Free Campsites in Texas” because that is where we live and actually found a free RV site with hookups. Those are completely unheard of, but it has great reviews and can exist anywhere.


Here are some Online Resources to find great camping spots for free:

There you have it! If you enjoy camping, are on a strict budget, and don’t mind “roughing” it, then Boondocking aka dry camping is right up your ally. If you have an RV, investing in solar panels is a great idea if you still want electricity and don’t want to burn up a loud generator and gas.

To sum this all up, if you don’t want to spend over $1000 a month just to stay at the campsite every night, you don’t’ have too. You can travel the nation and visit all the amazing scenery and not pay a single dime on a site. It does take some planning and adjusting to the Boondocking lifestyle, but the amount of money you will save is amazing.


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Tips on Staying Cool During a Summer Camping Trip

Tips on Staying Cool During a Summer Camping Trip

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Camping and Summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. For many families, it’s a super fun activity when the weather warms up. For my family, this was definitely the case.

We absolutely loved and still love going tent camping in the summer. My first camping trip was when I was barely a year old. I can still see the picture of my dad laying on the camping chair and holding me up in my little bathing suit making me laugh. Oh, the memories!

Then, my family and I would always camp on the water at Lake Texoma in Oklahoma. It was about a 4-hour drive from where we lived in North Texas. While camping we enjoyed swimming, playing, skipping rocks, setting up the camp, building fires, and making smores and hot dogs. Camping with my brother and sisters was a highlight of my childhood.

Along with camping, I also remember it being extremely hot at times. So, staying cool was essential and of course, we got creative.

Tip 1: Water, Water, and more Water!

Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do when camping in the summer heat to stay cool. Your body is 60% water therefore if you become dehydrated, not only will it make you hotter but there can be extreme risks that could end you up in the hospital. So drink a lot of water.

Another reason water is so important to stay cool is it can be used in other ways. We would pour water over our heads, wet our hats, and even take a cold bottle of water and hold it on our neck for a few minutes. These worked wonders to get cool quick when you just can’t take the heat. So always have water in your cooler.

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Tip 2: Portable Fan w/mister

I remember when this option came out! Each one of us had our own personal handheld mister that ran on batteries. It was the talk and must have for years. I honestly still think they are amazing and work wonders for camping in the summer heat. Plus they come in multiple sizes and colors for the whole family.

Also, If you’re camping near a plugin for the electricity they even have larger stand up misting fans you can bring along. Just another great way to stay cool in the summer heat.
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Tip 3: Stay in the Shade and Relax

I know how tempting it is to get that nice sun-kissed tan while on a camping trip. Just the thought of laying out and soaking up the sun is intriguing. However, the sun is not only extremely hot but it can dehydrate you as well as de-plenish your energy levels. When camping I always try to listen to my body and when I need to cool off I find a nice shaded area, grab a bottle of water, and relax.

Staying in the shade protects you from direct UV rays, it keeps you cooler than being in the scorching sunlight and allows your body to recharge. So stay safe and cool by staying in the shade. You can even bring along a shade tent like this Portable Shade Canopy.

Tip 4: Swimming pools/Lake swimming/Kayaking/Paddle Boarding

Depending on where you choose to camp at, this one is either a great idea or doesn’t apply. As a kid, we would always go camping in Oklahoma right on Lake Texoma. Therefore swimming was a given when we camped.

We all had our individual floats to go swimming and cool down during the hottest time of day. I say “all” because there were 6 kids and 2 adults and camping was a cheap and fun vacation. It truly was the best time! The water always felt so amazing and kept us cool, especially when the temperatures reached above 90 degrees.

So if you have floats, a Kayak or two, or paddleboard, these are great to take camping. They keep you cool, active and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Tip 5: Take a quick trip to town

This one is kind of a splurge. I mean we all “forget” something we need whether it’s marsh-mellows for the smores or batteries for the misting fan. Finding an excuse to go into town was something us girls mastered while camping. It gave us the greatest opportunity to get some nice cold air conditioning. (We didn’t have an RV).

After spending all day in 90 plus degree weather, there is nothing better than walking down the freezer section in the grocery store. Talk about a way to cool down!

Tip  6: Wet Towel or Bandana

This one I learned not only from camping trips but also all the softball games I played as a kid. Having a wet towel or bandana wrapped around your neck is amazing. They actually make special cooling neck towels now with the ability to put ice cubes in, and they are made out of a special kind of material that stays cooler longer.

On top of the neck towels, they even have cooling full body towels that can be used for camping or any activity outdoors. I love how things can develop over the years!

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Stay cool and enjoy your camping trip! I hope all or some of these tips will help you when planning and going on your next camping adventure. They are essential techniques for me to make sure I stay cool, safe, and hydrated. Like I mentioned these are tips I grew up learning and implementing while camping in the summer heat.

I truly believe they are great options for everyone in the family and I especially love the personal misting fans!

Enjoy your next camping trip with your spouse, family, or friends and take these cooling tips along with you!

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