Free Campgrounds on your GPS

Over 1100 Free Campgrounds on your GPS

In this post we will share how to easily import over 1100 great free campgrounds, free campsites, and free dispersed camping area onto your cars GPS. There are several great tools out in the wilderness of the internet that help you plan your next camping trip. There are even a few websites featuring information on free campsites, but they all require internet to access, or leave you manually entering coordinates into your GPS. The files and methods presented in this article will have you easily browsing over 1100 free campsites in the Western United States and Florida from your GPS anytime regardless of internet availability.

Map and Keys used  for navigation
Map and Keys

GPS Device Selection

Many of the GPS devices on the market will allow you to import several different file types. The steps may be different for your device check your manufactures owners guide or forums for assistance. No matter which device you choose extra storage space is a huge plus. If you have not purchased a GPS yet, or are upgrading look for a device that supports micro SD cards. For your reference the file size of our 1100 plus free campsites files is 892 KB. The Garmin Drive 5 was my top choice for several reasons. First I have had excellent user experiences in the past with their products. The ability to import file containing custom points of interest. Extra storage capabilities, easily adjustable routes and a very reasonable price all helped narrow down the options. Garmin’s free tool Base Camp has also been extremely helpful so a compatible device was a must. Note that I am in no way associated with Garmin, and I am not being paid to promote their products.

Car GPS Device used for navigation
GPS Device

Preinstall Checklist

  • Sufficient Storage Space. (892 KB)
  • Computer running Windows 10 (Other operating systems will work, but the steps may be slightly different.)
  • Format Micro SD Card if additional space is needed.
  • Download Free Camping files in the format that works best on your device.
  • Install POI Loader from Garmin to your computer.


Check the storage space on your GPS device

  1. Plug your device into your computer with the provided cable.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Navigate to “This PC” in the left panel on Windows 10.
  4. Select your GPS and view free space available.

Format Micro SD Card for use in Garmin Drive 5 LM

  1. Insert the micro SD card into the larger SD card, or a compatible reader
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Select your Micro SD card
  4. Right Click | Format
  5. On the format screen name the volume so it is easy to identify later
  6. Ensure that FAT32 is selected
  7. Change allocation unit size to “Default allocation size”
  8. Leave all other fields at the default setting and click start.
  9. Use windows to safely remove the device when formating is complete
  10. Install the SD card in your device.

Download Free Camping Files

  1. Go to Free Camping Files
  2. Download the file type you will be importing to your device to your computer. (We will be using the files in the Sub 50 GPX Alpha)

Importing .GPX files into a Garmin Drive

  1. Attach your garmin device to your computer.
  2. Open the POI loader tool
  3. Select Garmin Device | Click Next
  4. The POI loader should find your device | Click Next
  5. Select install new custom POI’s on your device. | Click Next
  6. Browse to the location on your computer where you saved the Free Camping Files.
  7. Name the newly Created Custom POI file. (This is not required.) | Click Next
  8. The POI files will install. | Click Finish.

There are several different file types available in the download folder for the POI’s as different devices will support different file types and sizes. You are free to use, alter and share these files for non commercial use. The best program for making changes is Base Camp by Garmin.

Purchase of the guides on this website are a great way to help support the creation of more adventure oriented content. I hope you have a great time enjoying nature.

Thank you!

Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

2019 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

Each January since 2010 caravans of like minded individuals has gathered together for the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous or RTR. While the primary goal of the event is to enjoy the company of others with similar interests. Bob Wells has put forth copious amount of effort promoting nomadic lifestyles, and fostering inclusion. Consequently there is a large variety of people at the RTR. As a result you can expect to see RV’s, Van Dwellers, Tent campers, and everything in between. Making the event open and inviting to all that wish to join. There is more to this gathering than just hanging out with friends in the desert sharing tales of adventure. The event has grown over the years in both size and scope. Below is a list (not all encompassing) of what the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) has to offer.

  • You can learn about how to find great free camping.
  • Where to find work while you are living as a nomad.
  • Information on solar power
  • Shop in Quartrzsite Arizona at the tents
  • Hike
  • Mountain bike
  • Attend seminars by members of this nomadic tribe (I highly recommend these as they are generally very informative).
  • Meet Youtube celebrities of the vandwelling movement.
  • Get involved with HOWA (Homes On Wheels Alliance)
  • Share experiences and knowledge with new friends.
  • Build lasting friendships

You can gather more information on upcoming RTR on Bobs Wells website CheapRVLiving.com

Bob Wells The Man, The Legend

Photo of Michael Horn (Onesunchaser) and Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving
Meeting Bob Wells at 2019 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

Before we carry on I would like to introduce the individual responsible for coordinating this event. I feel the quote below personifies his most notable qualities.

Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.

Jean Paul Sartre

I first came to know of Bob while watching a documentary called Without Bounds. Bob Wells is not the primary subject of the documentary, but he certainly is a charismatic figure within the story. He exhibits a confidence of someone who knows unequivocally, that they have made the best choice given their circumstances.

The overarching concepts of the documentary being, nothing in life is guaranteed. We have little time on this earth, and we all want to be happy, healthy and enjoy some freedoms. Bob Wells and others point out the creative solution they employed to solve the monetary problem a majority of society have in fulfilling these essentials of life. Furthermore the documentary outlines the framework for a new idea of community. A way of life that can be largely free from the drudgery often found in daily life. Bob Wells has since created a large following on YouTube where he freely shows how anyone can have a better life with their available resources. All that is needed is a willingness to embrace creative solutions to common problems. Bobs ceaseless work around bettering the lives of others has lead to the RTR a unique way of engaging and learning from each other.

A Leader amongst his peers

In my opinion Bob is the type of inspirational leader today’s world needs. He is thoughtful of the future, and passionate about making a positive difference in western society. He is laying the foundation for change, while bringing a new awareness to alternative living arrangements. Both of these efforts have the ability to free up precious time and resources for anyone. All the while making positive impacts in the lives of those looking for a better tomorrow. His dedication to supporting others transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle have prompted scores of blogs, vlogs and Youtube channels. His website CheapRVLiving.com together with his Youtube Channel CheapRVLiving are packed full of ideas and information. For these reasons I would recommend booking marking his page and following him on Youtube.

The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Tribe 

Bob regularly refers to his followers as a tribe, although this tribe consists of individuals from all walks of life, they all tend to share some common bonds. Many adhere to a shared philosophy of minimalism, mutual tolerance, and appreciation for nature. With these common ideas they meet each January in this popular winter destination. Each will have traversed the countryside, making their way through space and time gathering allies and plotting for the future. This event is a melting pot of ideas around mobile independence. The best part is Bob has extended an offer for all to join his tribe, so collectively we can craft the future into something better. The tribe gathers to share new ideas on achieving goals, becoming more self reliant, and overcoming obstacles. Thus we share in an experience which holds all the necessary ingredients for something truly spectacular.

What to expect at an RTR

The warm desert atmosphere in addition to the openness of those in attendance will likely result in you chatting with people from all walks of life. As a result you may find yourself taking tours of various rigs, and sharing stories of travel and adventure. The land around Quartzsite, Arizona is generally rugged desert steeped in natural beauty. The Arroyos carving their way down from mountain peaks create islands and peninsulas throughout the land.

Because of the packed dirt and rock you can usually find a great places to park your rig that is relatively flat and enjoy the fiery sunsets.

Although there is little in the way of shade, the temperatures in winter are very pleasant and will invite you to enjoy your natural surroundings. Lastly Bob has graciously provided portable restrooms for the 2019 RTR and that may be the case for future events. I will certainly look back fondly of my time at the 2019 RTR albeit short and look forward to future rendezvous.

Scouting Report – (CO-6) Spring Creek

Free Camping Near Green Mountain Reservoir

Free camping and fishing go hand in hand. Lake Heeney is home to some huge fish. Lake trout in the range of 35 + inches and in excess of 15 lbs have been harvested from this location. There is a large variety of spices in the lake and there are some generous bag limits in place at the writing of this article to help balance fish populations. You can get more information on that Here. While there are scores of rivers and streams that offer both fishing and free camping, finding free camping near large lakes can be more difficult, because they are prime camping locations. Consequently all of the sites that surround the lake are pay sites managed by the forest service. Unfortunately the Spring Creek campsite is not on the lake however it is reasonable close.

Spring Creek Area:

Spring Creek Information

Phone Number: (970) 945-2521

Elevation: 9,400

Lat/Long: 39.897711, -106.408402

Nearby Town: Kremmling, Co. @ 17 miles

Details:

  • No fees
  • No potable water
  • No trash
  • No restroom
  • Dispersed camping is allowed in this area refer to the appropriate map

Date of Report:

07/2018

Road Conditions:

Fair

The spring creek area is located at the end of a well maintained county dirt road. When you come to the sign for the BLM land, the road becomes a little rougher with a fair amount of washboard and some good size pot holes. For this reason, from the county road on it is in your best interest to take it easy and go slow paying attention to the road conditions.

The road leading to the first main set of sites is passable by passenger car, although low clearance vehicles should exercise caution on with dips and ruts. If you plan to explore the area more I would advise a higher clearance vehicle as the terrain becomes a little more rugged.  

General Site Information:

The first set of sites just after the Spring Creek sign are in two main clearings and are surrounded by large pines. The fairly level sites have stone fire rings, but are lacking in picnic tables or restrooms. Further down the road there are more campsites, however, the road gets a little rougher and a higher clearance vehicle will have less problems navigating the narrow dirt road. The sites farther off are set in the thick pine forest with a great deal of privacy. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the forest in relative solitude at this location, even though there is a fair amount of traffic in and out of the area. 

If you are looking to get onto the water during your mountain retreat, you will likely want to visit Heeney Lake about 12 miles away. Green Mountain reservoir is an amazingly beautiful place to drop your boat in the water and enjoy the surrounding beauty of the mountains. There are a few day use area operated by the forest service off of the lake to launch non-motorized non trailed boats, but if you are looking to launch a motorized boat you will need to go to the Heeney marina site in town.

Note: that there is no fee to launch your boat here, but there will be a parking fee. The other forest service sites on the lake either do not have boat ramps, or in a few cases do not allow you to launch a craft from their site. Finally if you are looking to launch a canoe or Kayak there are several other access points around the lake where you can launch with relative ease. Please make sure that you are following all applicable regulations for

mandatory boat inspection.

McDonald Flats Campground

Willows Campground

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • 30 minutes from Heeney lake (Green Mountain Reservoir).
  • Heeney lake has pay campsites on the reservoir and places to launch a boat. Power boats need to launch at the marina in Heeney.

This site is one of the many listed in Colorado Free Camping. Please consider purchasing a copy as all proceeds help fund future content creation.