During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, traditional vacations seemed to become a thing of the past. Getting on a crowded plane and going to visit a bustling city simply was not an option for a period of time. In addition, many people were tightening the reins on spending money in order to make it through the leaner times that came along with the pandemic. All of these factors led to a little more creativity when it came to getting out of the house for vacation. The top priorities became taking a trip that does not involve interacting with a lot of other people and spending as little money as possible. The result is that many people and families decided to try camping for the first time. You can find beautiful locations throughout Texas to camp for free or very little. There are places that offer a seemingly endless amount of areas to explore. And, there are ways for you to find inexpensive camping gear for your trip.
How to camp for free or with very little money
Camping provides an opportunity for you to reconnect with nature and leave behind the distractions of daily life. If you go camping with others, it is a time to reconnect with those you love as well. A big draw of camping for many people is the fact that it is a trip that you can take for very little money. You can find free or cheap places to set up camp and then go explore the world around you.
A great resource to help you find free spots to camp that have been vetted by others is the Free Campsites website. On this site you can read reviews from people who have camped in various places for free. There is a wide range of ‘campsites’ that are reviewed on this site. You can learn about everything from retail establishments that allow overnight parking to natural areas where you can set up your tent and spend some time away from it all.
Best parks for free camping, hiking, and fishing
Texas is home to a number of state and national parks, grasslands, and animal preserves that you can visit. Many of these parks and preserves have free or inexpensive admission as well as camping. Below are some examples of parks in Texas that have free camping along with excellent hiking trails and places to fish. You can have a number of different adventures while camping in one of the vast parks in Texas.
Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands
Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands are two separate grasslands located just outside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. These areas are opened year round for you to enjoy and camp in. There are some areas of the grasslands where there are facilities available and in those areas there is a small fee for camping and using the facilities. The cost is between two and six dollars per night depending on where you stay. There are more primitive areas of the park where you can camp for free but will not have easy access to facilities.
Caddo National Grasslands has 17,785 acres and three lakes that you can enjoy. Each lake has some developed recreation areas nearby such as picnic units, boat ramps, and camping sites. Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands has 20,250 acres of land and several lakes. In the LBJ Grasslands there is one developed recreation area with picnic units, walk-in camp units, a boat ramp, and a fishing bridge. LBJ Grasslands offers nearly 75 miles of multipurpose trails on which you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Davy Crockett National Forest
Davy Crockett National Forest is a forest located in East Texas. This national forest has over 160,000 acres of woodlands, streams, wildlife habitats, and recreation areas. You can camp in the Davy Crockett National Forest for free and enjoy everything that this vast park has to offer. You can hike the 20-mile long Four C National Recreation Trail or explore over 50 miles of horseback trails on the Piney Creek Horse Trail. Davy Crockett National Forest is located in Kennard, TX which is less than twenty minutes away from the city of Crockett, TX.
Where to purchase inexpensive camping gear or find it for free
Many people start out excited about getting out into nature and taking a trip that does not cost an arm and a leg. The prospect of staying overnight somewhere for free is not something that happens on other types of vacations. Unfortunately, that excitement is often squashed when the new camper heads to the local camping supply store and realizes how expensive new equipment can be. If you want to start camping but do not have thousands of dollars to spend on equipment, start looking for places where you can purchase used equipment. You should be able to find everything you need for a fraction of the price.
Facebook Groups For Camping Gear
There are a number of Facebook Groups dedicated specifically to selling used camping equipment. One example is the Texas camping Buy/Sell group. This group is a place where people can go to post their used equipment and those looking to buy can find what they need. It offers everything from the basics for people who are just starting out to more advanced tools and supplies for avid campers.
Facebook Marketplace Free Camping Gear
Facebook Marketplace has it all. A simple search on the general marketplace for an item you want for camping will provide you with a long list of results. Make sure you search locally so you will be able to get the item without too much traveling. You can also post on your personal profile that you are looking for camping gear. You may have a friend or family member who is looking to offload some equipment that is collecting dust in the garage or attic.
Craigslist ‘for sale’ section
The ‘for sale’ section of your local Craigslist has subsections for rvs+camp, free, general, garage sale, and wanted. All of these are potential places where people can post used camping gear for sale. You can make your own post in the ‘wanted’ section with the specific equipment you are looking to purchase.
Camping can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend some time away from the house and reconnect with nature. There are places in Texas that you can drive to and camp for free or for a nominal fee. You can hike and explore the vast land and wildlife that Texas has to offer. With a little ingenuity, you can find all the camping gear you need for cheap or free from people who are simply ready to get it out of their way. Camping is a type of vacation that will allow you to stay socially distanced and will not drain all of the money you saved for emergencies and other goals.
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