How to find a perfect dispersed camping spot
It’s almost summer time - and after spending 2 months sheltering in place, many of us are VERY ready to get out, but with some changes to the way we travel. With air travel off limits, at least for the foreseeable future,Visit California expects a boom in road trips. We partnered with Visit California back in February to bring a focus to microadventures and dispersed camping speficially and put together road trip ideas to explore pockets of beauty close to where we live: California.
Not only are road trips and dispersed camping more sustainable and cost effective than full-on vacations that include expensive overseas hotels and flights; the idea is that you can still do epic things close to home.
Our criteria for a perfect dispersed camping spot:
1) It’s close to where you want to be - if you want to kayak, it’s close to a lake etc
2) It’s secluded and away from crowds
3) The spot is mostly flat and levelled - necessary for getting a good night’s sleep
4) Use expedition GPS tools like Gaia GPS to check elevation, terrain etc
5) Cell service (or not) - you may want to avoid cell signal if you need to unplug; but if you need to do some work - cell signal is a must. Typically spots with higher elevation will catch signals from nearby cell towers
6) Apps like iOverlander are your best friend!
Dispersed camping and micro adventures go together like peanut butter and jelly! We love micro adventures because they are shorter, perspective-changing bursts of travel and you can have multiple per year instead of going on one “big” vacation. Whether it’s heading to a National Park close to you or exploring a local state park and spending your time exploring the area, quick 3-4 day getaways will rejuvenate you and give a boost of energy to your regular weekday routine. Basically, you don't have to fly to the other side of our beautiful planet to find solitude, beautiful nature and wilderness.
Why we love microadventures:
4-5 day perspective-changing burst of travel
more sustainable and cost-effective than full-blown 2 week vacations
supporting local economies
sleeping outdoors and under the stars vs in your own bed
cure for the urban blues
One of our favourite perk of microadventures is how incredibly rested and refreshed we feel after sleeping outdoors, in the rooftop tent. We promise that the breeze circulating in your lungs will feel a lot different in the rooftop tent than it feels in your own bed at home.
Health benefits of sleeping outdoors:
Change in melatonin levels: when we are indoors, we don’t often notice the sunrise or the sunset and our bodies can struggle adjusting melatonin levels because of artificial lighting and TV’s or laptop’s blue light, or even worse: watching Netflix on our phone in bed (we've all been there). Spend a couple of days away from home and in nature and your body adjusts to Sun's schedule - you will find waking ups at 5:30 am quite easily and similarly, will start feeling sleepy just after sunset.
Fresh air is good for the brain and your whole body: your brain needs oxygen and the better the quality of the air, the better your brain is functioning. Ever wondered why you might be feeling alert and creative after a hike? A few nights spent sleeping outdoors in the rooftop tent and you will come home feeling more alert and sharp.
Bye bye stress! Studies show that humans feel less stressed just by looking at the picture of the trees - imagine waking up in a beautiful forest and breathing that fresh forest air.
Reconnect with yourself: it’s so easy to get consumed by our busy everyday lives. Sometimes there is no time to stop, pause and think about our dreams. Nature always extends a quiet invitation to reflect and meditate - so next time you need to wind down, micro adventure is the perfect escape.