Handbook: Free Camping

a van and an airstream camp amongst the Joshua Trees


The world is full of free places to stay.

From parking spaces in the squares of European villages to empty deserts, Walmart parking lots to Mexican restaurants happy to allow you camp the night away in exchange for purchasing a meal, free camping can be found almost anywhere you choose to roam, and it’s often the most beautiful and even desirable of locations.

In the United States, most free camping is found in the Western states, such as Colorado, Arizona and California, in national forests and on BLM land. This is by no means the only free camping you can find in this country, though. Cracker Barrel and Cabela’s often offer respite from the road to those traveling by RV, as do many a casino. It all comes down to what your idea of “camping,” and a worthy spot comprise.

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