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Lonely Planet Writer

The websites and apps that can help plan your next camping trip

Taking a camping trip is a great way to unplug from technology and spend some time surrounded by nature. But there are plenty of reasons to wait until you’ve arrived at your campsite to put your phone down. With multiple websites and apps to connect campers and spots around the US, finding the perfect place to pitch your tent is easier than ever.

A dog sits in front of a tent at sunrise.
Find a piece of land to spend your camping holiday © Hipcamp

Hipcamp

Hipcamp is one platform that allows private landowners to rent out their land to campers, allowing travellers to set up on everything from vineyards to ranches. With the launch of a new mobile app, travellers are able to book camping, glamping and RV sites straight from their phone. It’s also become the first platform that shows campsite availability from Recreation.gov - the government website that allows users to book federal campsites. While you can’t book those spots directly on the app – yet – it will help you know whether an empty spot is waiting for you in some of the most popular areas like Yosemite, the Great Smoky Mountains or the Grand Canyon. If there’s nothing left, you can always start looking for that perfect vineyard.

Two people stand by a campfire in front of their motorhome on a camping trip.
Spend a night in incredible places around the US © Woods Wheatcroft / Aurora Photos / Getty Images

Harvest Hosts

Harvests Hosts is designed for travellers with RVs and camper vans. Users can pay an annual membership fee that allows guests to access any of the hundreds of locations around the US for one night at each spot. Those spots can be in amazing places like lavender farms, cider mills, vineyards, golf courses and more. Since users are encouraged to support business they stay at, you can always pick up a bottle of wine to drink by the fire.

A canvas tent sits in the forest for camping.
Tentrr helps users find camping sites online © Tentrr

Tentrr

If you don’t have a camper or RV, you could always try Tentrr, a website and app that allows users to rent fully set-up camping and glamping sites on private land. The company’s ‘signature sites’ are set up around the country, offering canvas-style safari tent, a queen-size bed, sun shower, a camp toilet and other amenities. But, if you prefer a more rustic experience, the company has introduced a ‘backcountry’ option, which allows users to rent sites with no infrastructure, so they can bring their own tent and equipment.

A man reads in a hammock in the woods while camping.
More websites and apps are available for finding the perfect place to camp © happyphotons / Shutterstock

The Dyrt

Whether you want to spend the night in a tent, cabin, RV, or even a yurt, The Dyrt has a website and app that can help users find and book a spot from more than 35,000 campgrounds. Users can pick the most popular or best reviewed campgrounds, or filter based on accommodation type or special features, like pet-friendliness.

Now, with so many options available, finding a campsite in the US is as easy as pulling out your phone.

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