Dispersed Camping Versus Established Camping with Your Escapod
One of the great things about an Escapod is that you're truly free to roam. Escapods are rugged enough to venture deep into the wilderness for dispersed camping and they're also perfectly suitable for established campgrounds.
So, what do you need to know about these different types of camping? We'll break it down for you below:
What is dispersed camping?
Dispersed camping, also known as primitive or wilderness camping, is simply camping outside of a designated campground. It's preferred by those who are seeking solitude, distance from other campers, and wide-open spaces. While there are many perks to this type of camping, it does require advanced planning and the ability to be self-sufficient (one major way that an Escapod comes in handy).
How do you prepare for dispersed camping?
While no reservations are required for dispersed camping, there are also no amenities provided. That means you should be prepared with the following:
- Have enough water & fuel to sustain your trip
- Be ready to pack out waste (human & otherwise)
- Know how to go to the bathroom without facilities
- Understand how to minimize campfire impacts
- Be respectful of wildlife and other campers
Leave No Trace sums up these components well. The seven principles and are important to follow any time you're in the outdoors, but particularly important when seeking to camp outside of established campgrounds. Please take time to learn about Leave No Trace in-depth through the Center for Outdoor Ethics website before your head out on the road.
Lastly, if you're relying on electronics for navigation, ensure that you'll have enough service & power to last your trip. Apps like Avenza Maps can help with navigation and geo-locating without reliance on cellular data.
How do you find dispersed campsites?
One quick tip for finding dispersed camping is to look for National Forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas. BLM is US public land that is available for recreational use. You should always try to camp where it appears others have camped before in an effort to minimize your footprint. As long as you're a mile from established campgrounds and 100 feet from any stream you may camp anywhere you like.
In addition, some members of our team were also kind enough to share their favorite dispersed camping locations in Utah.
Some favorite BLM camping spots in Utah:
- Smithsonian Butte near Zion, UT (access to Wire Mesa trail, which is a fun 8-mile mountain bike loop)
- Gooseberry Mesa near Zion, UT (lots of mountain biking right from camp and offers amazing views at the edge of the mesa)
- Long Canyon Road down in Moab, UT (very close to Dead Horse Point State Park)
- Dalton Wash Road neat Zion, UT (visiting the National Park is highly recommended)
- San Rafael Swell outside of Price, UT (tons of dispersed camping, great views, hiking & mountain biking aplenty)
Other than relying on word-of-mouth recommendations or a pure adventurous spirit. Apps and websites like iOverlander and The Dyrt use crowd-sourced data to help you to locate camping areas. They also incorporate photos and reviews from other campers. You can search by general location or along a pre-planned route to find campsites that suit your needs.
If you're not up for dispersed camping, an established campsite is also a great way to camp with your Escapod. Furthermore, if you're looking to camp close to water, you’ll need to be in an established campground to minimize polution. Established campsites vary in the type of amenities they provide. Some will just have set areas for pitching a tent with a fire ring. Others will have charcoal grills, picnic tables, access to fresh drinking water, toilets, showers, and even shore power. All 2021 Escapods have a NOCO Genius 10 onboard battery charger that comes standard on every 2021 build).
Most established camping areas require a fee, which can vary in price from $10/night - $40+/night. Not all campgrounds require a reservation, but it is a good idea to make reservations in advance. Especially during peak camping season. In Utah, June - September will see a lot of campers on the weekends, so you'll want to book at least 6-8 weeks in advance. Many campgrounds have a set number of first-come-first-served sites to accommodate last-minute arrivals, but availability is not guaranteed.
Utah is blessed with a ton of incredible State and National Parks that offer amazing camping experiences at established sites. Within an hour of Escapod, you'll find Wasatch State Park, Rockport Reservoir, Echo Reservoir, and the Uinta National Forest. If you're looking to venture a little further away, try Red Fleet State Park and Goblin Valley. These are lesser-known to the major tourist attractions in Utah, but also offer some great sights.
For even more ideas from fellow teardrop owners and campers of all varieties, you may want to check out the following resources:
The best part of owing any teardrop trailer is that home is where you park it! With Escapod, we're always striving to support your adventurous side, wherever that may lead you.