|Car tent camping|
The instant I hit “Go!” time became nonexistent. Living life outside my Day Planner, I soon had no idea what day of the week it was let alone the date. I was living completely and spontaneously in the moment, rambling Zen, untethered.
For those of us who are not verifiable seniors, disabled or veterans the Pass doesn’t cover camping fees at developed sites. It does, however, entitle holders to “park” for free on federal and participating state (California, Pacific Northwest, Texas) recreational or open land. Many (but not all) parks prohibit car camping and require vans and RV’s to be self contained, meaning they’ve got to have water and sewage tanks. The Bureau of Land Management’s (BML) Long Term Visitor Special Use Areas (of which there are eight in SoCal and Arizona) and the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) become our new best friends (BFs). It’s worth noting that the National Wildlife Refuge Areas often don’t allow pets, particularly canines, due to the waterfowl nesting habitats they aim to protect. Freewheelers also migrate to states that issue annual nonresident camping permits for developed sites.
Sure, why not? Houseboats, being self contained mobile living units, rock, though live-aboards aren’t the only way to live on water. Row and paddle enthusiasts preferring the lull of the waves rig Kelty tarps or hoop/tripod bivy bags to the tops of their vessels or simply slip beneath their spray decks. When paddling inflatables, this isn’t as uncomfortable as it may sound and with the array of rollable solar recharging adventure kits now available, staying linked to civilization is a synch.
The blue trail locator is the best place to begin planning free floating excursions. The National Park Service’s Water Trails System designates miles upon miles of blue heritage trails on lakes and rivers across the country, some of which have shore access camping along the way. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System administered by the National Park Service permits free seasonal camping/floating passes along America’s river ways. The BLM issues permits for some of the more popular rivers under their management. Non motorized marine craft are exempt from permit requirements.