Hooniverse Asks: Where do you want to go camping?

I just got back from a weekend spent off the grid. There’s no cell service down in the La Jolla Indian Campground set back in Californian’s Pauma Valley. Well the weather wasn’t perfect, it was still great to be set amongst the trees and some fresh water. Parents and kids were laughing and playing. Fires snapped and crackled as the light began to fade. The stars presented a show brighter than what we normally see as the sky over our home competes with far too much light from other sources. It was great to get away.

But then you come back and realize you need to find time to do it all again. Sunday is a lazy day. You clean up your site, pack up your things, and point the nose of your vehicle (or face, if you’ve hiked in) back towards home. And Sunday goes by in a flash. Monday is knocking at your door before you know it.

So where to next? Where do you want to go camping? It’s certainly not the getaway that’s for everyone. It’s dirty. There are bugs. You’ll be cooking for yourself. But it’s also a lovely way to spend a few days with family, friends, or both.

While I also love the sort of vacation that has me with a fruit-based drink on a hard-to-pronounce Island, there’s something special about setting off for a weekend under the stars. Even if you can’t see those stars when you’re sleeping, because I borrowed a nice rig for the occasion. You’ll hear more about the Lance Camper in-bed setup very soon.

For now though, I want to hear from the campers… where to next?


    1. One of the great things about camping in the middle of the Black Rock Desert for rocket launches: No insects. Plenty of bugs in the electronics, but no insects.

      1. If I’m camping, I’m trying to get away from the electronics, too, so that sounds perfect. Unfortunately, I’m in the midwest. However, I’ve heard southeastern Minnesota is relatively mosquito-free because the limestone landscape and underground cave systems drain the surface water quickly.

        1. Fair warning about getting away from electronics: Thanks to some sort of annual festival they hold there, the Black Rock Desert now has fairly comprehensive cellular coverage and a good set of amateur radio repeaters. We don’t even bother bringing satellite phones for activating our FAA waivers any more.

  1. We headed to Utah this summer. I’ve never camped out there so we’ll what we can find. Any recommendations near Salt Lake City?

    1. Anywhere outside the city… so many national parks that you can’t go wrong. Zion is pretty damn amazing.

      1. True, although I’m more of a fan of Arches and Canyonlands, particularly as they are near each other. Closer to Salt Lake City, too.

    2. East Canyon Resort is very nice and the State Park may have vacancy as well. Also, Jordanelle State Park has great views and ORV access as do many other parks in SLC metro. I would look sooner rather than later. There are plenty of state and NPS parks if you can camp dry.

    3. East Canyon Resort is very nice and the State Park may have vacancy as well. Also, Jordanelle State Park has great views and ORV access as do many other parks in SLC metro. I would look sooner rather than later. There are plenty of state and NPS parks if you can camp dry.

  2. Having spent several days last summer camping locked in the woods at an event with 5 DJ stations going until 2am, and more lights than an airport, with 2000 teenagers underfoot, there is definitely something to be said about unplugging.

  3. I spent a night last year at a small campground at the base of Aoraki/Mt Cook in New Zealand – waking up to the following view is still one of my most memorable experiences, even if it meant braving freezing temperatures at night (bright side of that though, no mosquitoes to deal with). I’d love to go camping somewhere similar again, although for my purposes, somewhere in the Rockies should suffice.


  4. I’m happy to see that some of the OHV trails in the Mendocino National Forest are open. Might get the DRZ out there in the van this summer. I almost made it to the Six Rivers National Forest (also a good OHV area) on the Africa Twin last weekend, but I missed one turn.

    I’m lucky that I can go camping (and off-road riding) in some spectacular places just 3 or 4 hours away. Nothing kills my vacation buzz like having to drive all day to get back to base, then having to unload the truck. That’s why I stopped going down to Baja for a week every year.

    1. I only recently made it as far north as Humboldt, after 11 years (this time around) of living in San Francisco (and 5 years in the ’90s.) Stupidly, I did not take the Avenue of the Giants on the way back. Guess I gotta do-over!

      1. Going north, Hwy 1 from the coast to Leggett on a bike is very nice and twisty. Go a bit further north and ride Fortuna to Red Bluff – it’s a 200 mile roller coaster

  5. I’m not a big fan of sleeping in vehicles when it is relatively easy to get away from civilisation and enjoy a silent, good nights sleep on a decent mat in a light tent. Overlanding is mostly lazy consumerism in my eyes.

    So this summer I hope to finally get started on building a tiny, open log cabin in the woods behind my house. I guess we’ll camp there. We also have plans to pack our camping equipment on our bikes and cycle over a bridge to the island across our fjord. The kids know it well, but they’re finally big enough to move on their own power.

    Otherwise, I have a huge preference for going above and beyond the tree line. Big fan of a dramatic horizon here, but the landscape changes affect my mind’s perspectives in all the good ways. After decades of mountaineering, my map reading is also reliable enough to secure firewood even above the tree line.

    1. All you are lacking then is a dog, and you can apply for citizenship: House, EV, children, now a cabin, and I assume you already have a roof box. Congratulations!

      1. Ha, I see the pattern. But I got my citizenship in time for the Progress Party’s first national win six years ago. You never know what these fools might come up with.

        /rare political comment

  6. After reading Paul Niedermeyer’s trip reports I want to explore Eastern Oregon, just a few hours from home.

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