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Where to Go

Great American Backyard Campout makes spending a night under the stars simple and most of all FUN! All you have to do, is open your back door or head to your local campground with friends and family. But, for those who are looking for another destination, perhaps a little farther away from home, here are some pointers for camping on public and/or private grounds.

Those with a high threshold for uncertainty might not mind spontaneous trips, simply throwing everything in the car, hitting the road, and trusting they’ll find a spot to camp. Most of us like to know where we’ll be resting our heads, so some planning is required and usually a campground reservation. First, decide how long you want to be in the car. Are you looking forward to a real adventure, going someplace you’ve never been before? Then you might not mind driving a day or two to reach one of our nation’s treasures.Where to Go

Or is an hour quite long enough for the little ones who’ll be accompanying you? There may be a perfectly good state park with a swimming lake near your home city. The U.S. has many millions of acres of public land, most of it open to recreation. Public campgrounds—national, state, or county—are typically clean, well run, and consistent.

 Private campgrounds, like any type of establishment, vary greatly in quality, price, and management. Go to their websites, read online reviews, call to ask questions, and gauge their friendliness. You just may find a well-run mom-and-pop or chain franchise campground that you’ll return to year after year.

Event camping, at music festivals, car races, or motorcycle races, can be a blast. Just be sure you know the atmosphere before you go.


From the book Knack Car Camping for Everyone, by Bill and Mary Burnham; photographs by Stephen Gorman. Copyright © 2009 by Morris Book Publishing, LLC. Used by permission of FalconGuides, a division of Globe Pequot Press. Visit

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