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national forest camping

Rules for camping

I want a T-shirt with this on the back — Camping Rules: Nap Often Watch the sunset Wake up smiling Sit by the fire Relax and unwind Eat s’mores Make memories Drink a cold one Visit with friends Be grateful for this day

Don’t be a headline this winter

Headline from last winter: Family in their recreational vehicle rescued from Oregon’s snow-covered wilderness There are lessons to be learned. Lesson 1 – Check the weather forecast. Storms can surprise even the most experienced. A weather radio is essential to any traveler. I remember enjoying a delightful stay at Gooseberry Lake Campground in Fishlake National   Read More >>

Noteworthy Bonito Campground, Coconino NF (AZ)

One of the best things about our U.S. National Forest Campground Guide effort is discovering special little places like Bonito campground in the Coconino National Forest (AZ). Located in the shadows of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and the San Francisco Mountain range, 12 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, Bonito is both a great overnight   Read More >>

Holly Springs National Forest

The Holly Springs National Forest, in Mississippi, is only 154,654 acre but has 33 lakes ranging in size from 260 to 2 surface acres. Fourteen of these lakes have “improved” fish habitat.  Chewalla and Puskus lakes are two of the larger lakes and most developed with boat ramps and campgrounds by the same names.

Best Places to Canoe and Kayak on National Forests

In the past years, Fred and I have been focused on visiting and surveying developed campgrounds to post on  But now that we have completed our initial visits we are going to take time to take advantage of more our national forests offer, such as canoeing waterways.  I think the above mentioned Best Places   Read More >>

Affordable Family Vacation – Alternative to National Parks

Original published by the New York Times and updated May 2013 Every January, I start planning for the upcoming camping season. In the beginning, camping was a break from my life of a 9-to-5 job, bills, and the same-old, same-old. Then came a husband and children. So, camping became an affordable family vacation. Today, it   Read More >>

Noteworthy Big Therriault Lake campground, Kootenai NF (MT)

During our research, we often hear, “This is the best campground in the system” or “Here is the best campground in the system.” After visiting some 2,000 developed campgrounds from the Forest Service inventory, we have learned what is one person’s treasure could be another’s dump. So, we smile politely and think “we’ll see.” Frankly,   Read More >>

Noteworthy Clark Lake campground, Ottawa NF (MI)

Any time a lumberman decides that a forest he owns is too beautiful to log, you can be sure something very special has happened. This story began in the year 1895 when A. D. Johnston went to assess the 80 acres of wooded land he had recently purchased in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. What he found   Read More >>

Ways to beat the bugs

Our 2010 season of research may have been the worst season for bugs, but there is always next year. Here are some things we have learned over the years and help us beat the bugs. Look for the least buggy environment. Avoid campsites with weedy undergrowth; bugs like to hide in there. Avoid areas with   Read More >>

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Fred and Suzi Dow