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Got another question.
Nomadic lifestyles rely heavily on campgrounds. But in July and August while the kids are out of school, every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants to take the family camping. I know the campgrounds within a three hour radius of Seattle turn into human zoos in the summer.

How do you compete with that? I've pretty much given up on seeing the Oregon coast during high summer. Those reservations were made ages ago. Where do you go in summer, if you've been driving awhile, want to stop? Seems like that's the time to stealth it. "Sorry officer, campground's are full." Don't know how good that would go over.
I think most of us stay away from campgrounds and forests near large cities and also places like Yellowstone in the summer. Boondocking on forest or BLM is much more common than staying in an established campground so the fact that everything has been reserved has no bearing on our camping.

If you do want to camp at a popular place look for campgrounds that are lacking hookups and have length limits. You're much more likely to find a site but you may have to listen to noisy generators.
I hardly ever stay at an improved campground and the few I do stay at are not very popular so never crowded even during tourist season. if you are not tied to your area get out and explore your world. highdesertranger
I think many of us here agree with HDR and T&K. I don't even plan to visit the National Parks because of their "No Dogs" rule. There are a lot of unimproved (or NO Services) campgrounds that won't as popular with the mainstream vacationer, so you can probably get some luck there. You may have already found this, but this site helped me find my camping location in Shasta for next week. Just click on the area of the map you'd like to visit, and go from there. It's pretty self-explanatory. http://freecampsites.net/
Get there before Friday afternoon. You'll have more company than you want, but you will get the good spot for the next 14 days...
Most public campgrounds that take reservations have a number of campsites that are always on a first come first serve basis. The best time to get a good choice of these is mid week. Obviously Friday night at 7 PM on a long weekend is not the time to be looking for a campsite.

I have noticed in some of our local public campgrounds though that they've set aside the least desirable of the campsites as non-reservable - closest to the pit toilet comes to mind.... Dodgy
If you take hwy 12 east from I-5, there is a lot of camping and lakes.

It takes off from I-5 South of Chehalis a few miles. One of my favorite spots is behind Rimrock Lake, and even though there are small fee's for sites, and I think mostly boondocking except many have toilets available, there are so many campgrounds and so many sites, that I have ALWAYS been able to find many sites.

The Rimrock Ramblers fulltimers group holds their rallies there. I usually try to make that one, it's one of several that are my favorites.
Good tips. I guess July and August is the time for some boondocking miles away from civilization. Or else get to the campground on Wednesday morning. Excellent!
One thing I didn't think of, volunteer for the National Park Service. They can allow some season-long volunteers to camp for free in the park. Especially a camphost position.
Travel during the week and get to the CG before 3 pm. Avoid tourist spots on the weekend. On Friday, we get there as others are leaving and stay the weekend. Sometimes we luck out, like at Denali, when there were cancellations. We pretty much use state parks, national forests, or boondocking. Occasionally a commercialCG, if there are no other choices. Walmart's, etc are generally available near major routes.
I spent a night in the parking lot at Denali, so we could wake up and be first in line. so that night me and my buddy drank a little to much permafrost. boy waiting in line at 5:30 the next morning was hell on earth. but we survived and got our tickets. highdesertranger
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