By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Many U.S. boondockers are familiar enough with some of the alternative sources of finding boondocking sites in the Lower 48. Forest Service maps and BLM-provided information can yield a wealth of spots to check out. But if you’re traveling north of the border and into Canada, things can get a little sketchy.
If your travel planning includes a visit to Canada’s western-most province, British Columbia, here’s a great site to help you find “alternatives” to costly and over-populated provincial campgrounds. The Ministry of Forests is roughly analogous to the U.S. Forest Service, and is broken down by provinces. So, along comes a website from B.C.’s Ministry of Forests that helps you “drill down” and find a camping site on the lands they manage throughout the province. Called Recreation Sites and Trails BC, you’ll find it a valuable resource.
Using a selectable menu, we asked to see available camping in the province on these forest lands and immediately got back a list of more than 200 campgrounds. We did a random sample of over 20 sites and found that more than three-quarters of them were free, and the most expensive per night charge was $18. Keep in mind, that was a sample. If you find some higher, please don’t send us pitchforks in the mail!
Most of the sites we looked at offered information as to suitability for various types of rigs. Mind you, some of these places are “off the beaten path” – some accessible by 4×4 only, others good for a wide range of RVs. Another good feature about the site is the ability to pick and choose features you’d like to have where you go. A drop-down menu allows for searching sites by location, name or activity. The latter would be useful for, say, if you’re into kayaking. Click the option for that feature and narrow your search down to those 200 and some odd sites that are suitable for paddling your own canoe.