The first, best thing about John Soares’ CAMP FOR FREE is that it makes you want to get out there and enjoy the sheer beauty of Wild America.
As the author tells us, the US has over 440 million acres of public lands, and most of it is open to public camping free of charge. These are expansive, wild, breathtaking areas that are accessible to everyone. The best areas require a little work to access, but the reward is worth the effort. John Soares lights the fire in your heart to get out there and enjoy those lands, then tells you how to go about it.
This is a primer on “Dispersed Camping” and “Boondocking”, two terms for venturing into the more remote public lands, those without campgrounds or other amenities. If you really want to experience the wild, you have to drive past the campground and take the paths less traveled. For many, like myself, that sounds like a daunting task. But CAMP FOR FREE tells you how to do it right, so the fear of the unknown is dissipated and the desire to embrace adventure is kindled.
The next, best thing about this book is that it moves deftly through chapters on practical matters, like the right vehicles, terrain, gear and techniques, interwoven with stories of his travels, alone and with his partner Stephanie Hoffman. Soares is a past master of camping and hiking, an outdoorsman with decades of experience who has written many guides to hiking throughout Northern California. In CAMP FOR FREE, we get the distilled essence of his experience and study, all one one tightly-written volume.
No single book can cover everything about this exciting and wide-ranging topic, and the last best thing about this guide is that it doesn’t try to do the impossible. CAMP FOR FREE introduces the reader to each topic, outlines the most important aspects, then points to the large and ever-growing repository of camping information that is http://dispersedcamping.net. Here you will find links to the valuable resources the author discusses in the guide — public lands and camp sites, maps, mobile camping applications and many others. The book is the primer, backed up by this large and ever-updated online resource. You get a whole lot more than a book when you buy CAMP FOR FREE.
Think of it, over 440 million acres of land open to the public to explore and enjoy — at no charge! I’m getting on in years and stuck in my cushy ways, but after reading CAMP FOR FREE, I feel a spark in my chest that says I should bail from my recliner, lace up my boots and get out there.
I’’m sure you will too.