Grab a Gig and go…. Camping!
Guest post by Last Minute Gear
So your Gig is all packed for a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You've snagged a great campsite, and you're ready for some rest and relaxation, peace and quiet, and sounds of nature.
You pull up into your designated campsite ... right next to a huge RV on one side blocking your view of the lake, and on the other side, a group of people playing loud music. At night you're kept awake by the sounds of late-night revelers and the bright lights that have been strung up. What happened to the tranquil camping weekend you were looking forward to?
The good news is that more people than ever are finding ways to get outdoors and reap the benefits of being in nature. However, this does mean that campgrounds are busier than ever.
So, if you're looking for a car camping experience that's more serene, we'll show you some things to look out for!
Look at a campground map
Luckily, most campgrounds now offer online reservations so you can see and select your specific campsite. But with locations where you still need to make a phone booking or just show up, it's a good idea to find a map (or call the ranger station or on-site service station). The size of the campground and number of campsites obviously will have a huge impact on the crowd and the kinds of conditions you're likely to encounter at camp.
Types of camping permitted
RV, or trailer camping, is very popular. However, if you're looking for something back-to-nature, you may want to find a campsite that doesn't permit these types of vehicles, because they inevitably bring electricity and everything that comes with it. If the words RV or trailer are not specifically mentioned, look for language that says "tents only."
Staffing, facilities, and amenities
The more developed a campground is, the more likely it is to be a large, crowded type of experience. This doesn't mean you have to find a campsite where you don’t have bathroom facilities, but there's a huge gap in amenities between having a toilet (which is fairly common) and having picnic tables, fire pits, BBQs, and showers right at camp. When you're booking, be sure to look at the campground description. Keywords aren't really standardized, but some examples to look for could include primitive campsite, outhouse toilets, and no water (or bring your own water). Remember, just because amenities aren't provided that doesn't mean you can't bring in your own! The great news is, like with car rentals, there are many local and national services for renting camping equipment, from essentials like tents and sleeping bags to everything you need to replicate all the amenities of a fully-developed campsite – such as portable tables, chairs, stoves, water containers, and more.
Last Minute Gear offers gear to buy, rent, and borrow – and borrowing is free! (They are based in San Francisco and can ship nationwide.)
Campgrounds that are more "off the beaten path" are, of course, likely to be less trafficked. There's a whole spectrum of options here. You can find campgrounds that are actually fairly developed but require access by a well-maintained yet not-quite-paved dirt road. And of course at the other end, you can go dispersed camping on public lands (where you basically pull over off the road and make your own campsite).
Just remember to check the rules! For example, Gig, like most rental car companies, requires cars to be used on paved roads. Different territories may also have different rules of dispersed camping (for example: how far you can be off the main road, off-limits areas due to sensitive flora or fauna, and fire restrictions). And we always encourage following “Leave No Trace” principles so that the outdoors stay wild for everyone to enjoy.