Forest Camping Guide


This Website

About the Authors

During their courtship, Fred told Suzi, "I don't do windows and I don't camp." But that was before they discovered the beauty of the National Forests and the wide variety of camping experiences and other recreational opportunities to be found there. Frustrated in the early 1990s by the lack of specific, dependable information about camping in the 157 National Forests, Fred and Suzi Dow decided to do something about it. In May 1996, they closed the front door on their Virginia home and with Tory, their Golden Retriever, headed out in their 23-foot travel trailer to fill that information void.

Fred, who retired from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Suzi, a former instructor at George Mason University, weren't simply changing lifestyles. No, they had taken on a mission: to create a consolidated information resource that could be used by the public to increase its awareness and knowledge of the National Forests and the camping opportunities found there.

The Dows have enjoyed many adventures since undertaking their project. In their travels, they have met and interviewed hundreds of interesting people, driven on some of the worst roads in the country, and seen the most amazingly spectacular sights. They've had some scary moments too, but those are more than overshadowed by all the great times they've had.

Occasionally, Fred and Suzi look at each other and wonder at what they've accomplished during 17 years (and counting) of researching 155 national forests/17 national grasslands; over 2,400 campgrounds surveyed; a popular website created with up to 700,000 hits a day; 11 Ebooks published; and, over 250,000 miles traveled.

Little did they realize when Fred made his declaration about windows and camping that their shared love and respect for the outdoors would become such a major part of their lives. Nor would they have predicted that they would be spending 3 to 5 months a year visiting many parts of America collecting information on national forest and grassland campgrounds and loving every minute of it.