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Just find a really small campground or explore a dirt road to find a secluded spot. There are several free campgrounds just look around or
ask the local rangers, and also find out about if you need a permit (some
area's require one and like here in the Angeles forest you need a permit
if you plan on staying in the area)
The average trip can run about $50 per person for the whole weekend. Groceries, gas, firewood & maybe even a park entrance fee. All else is FREE.
After buying your gear (tent, sleeping bag & stove, etc.) once, it can last an entire decade easily.
Eeeew, Yuk Bugs
If insects are your biggest concern. Follow some of these tips:
Do not camp near any still stagnant water
Do not camp next to swampy wet meadows. Build a small fire, smoke will keep most buggies way.
Zip up tent door always. Even if you're just in for a minute
Turn off flashlight before entering the tent. Moths may follow the light in with you
Camp in the cooler months, spring & Fall
Citronella fuel- Dangerous use extra care and caution!
Tiki torches with fuel
New Citrus scents are best but look for the percentage of DEET on the label.
You don't need the Heavyweight stuff, just around 20% will do. Spray often.
Try and run out just before you leave the camp site.
Combo sunscreen type with a small amount of DEET and a sunscreen level of around 8.
Avon's Skin So Soft Lotion works on no-see-ums. This is basically scented mineral oil.
Where to Camp?
National Parks - Most National Parks are so crowded you can't even enjoy the experience in the summer time. Try the off-season times for your best stay.
National Forests - protected wilderness areas throughout states & surrounded National Parks.
Tons of small campgrounds & Primitive spots
for real seclusion.
State Parks - less visited smaller parks with a lot to offer the interested camper. From warm dry deserts to foggy coastal redwoods these parks encompass a large section of California terrain.
Coastal - beach camping is not too crowded & a great way to start. campgrounds offer many more choices in this category.
Mountains - Pine forest, mixed oaks. Water sources such as lakes, stream & waterfalls make this choice the perfect camping spots. Granite peaks, high elevations wilderness areas throughout states & surrounding National Parks. Plenty backpacking options & dirt road primitive spots for the ultimate in privacy.
Country - coastal hills or mountain foothills. These rolling hillsides offer small creeks, oak trees & plenty of wide open spaces. Lakes & Reservoirs are located within these regions.
campgrounds are fairly close driving distance to towns or cities.
State Parks and Historic Sites, offer as much diversity.
The Angeles has over 110 developed campgrounds
and picnic areas. Choose from cool, secluded sites in the high country, to sunny
streamside locations at the lower elevations.
PICNIC AREAS are found throughout the Forest. Picnic sites are for day-use only, and are available on a first come, first served basis. Choose from sites offering only one or two picnic tables, to large areas such as Charlton Flats, Stonyvale or Chantry Flat which offer dozens of picnic sites. A Forest Adventure Pass is required for vehicles parked in these areas.
Campsites are first come, first served with a maximum 14-day stay at a site, and a total of 30 days stay per year in this Forest.
A campsite may be used by a maximum of 8 people and a maximum of 2 vehicles.
Where fees are required, checkout time is 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise specified.
A National Forest Adventure Pass is needed for vehicles parked in non-fee campgrounds on the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests.
CAMPGROUNDS on the Angeles National Forest
Group Campgrounds are
available on a "reservation basis" only.
GROUP CAMPGROUNDS on the Angeles National Forest.
Any type of campfire (open wood fire, charcoal fire, liquid or gas fuel portable stove) at all trail camps and at any area outside developed Forest Service recreation sites.
During high fire danger, fire restrictions may be imposed and only liquid or gas fuel portable stoves may be used outside developed Forest Service sites at that time. A Campfire Permit is required for their use.
Free Campfire Permits and current fire restriction information may be obtained at any Forest Service office.
Campfire Permits are not required at developed Forest Service campgrounds or picnic areas accessible to the public by motor vehicle. Visitors may use the stoves, fire pits and campfire circles which are provided by the Forest Service, or their own barbecues, liquid or gas fuel portable stoves as long as proper clearance is maintained. Visitor may not build their own fire rings.
Pets are welcome in the Angeles National Forest, but in consideration of other visitors and for your pet's safety and the protection of wildlife, all pets must be kept on a leash (no longer than 6 feet) at all times.