Shortly before summers start I attended a ladies campout at Riverside State Park in Eastern Washington State. It is a lovely Park but I was shocked to discover with recent price increases, the daily rate was nearly $40 per night and showers were an additional cost. Nearly all campsites within the state system now require reservations making it impossible to travel casually without a set agenda.
I wondered how I could possibly travel for the summer within the state and pay that kind of price tag. As I faced making reservations I discovered that weekends have been booked far in advance leaving fewer options for those without a home to return to after the weekend. I wonder how families can possibly introduce their children to the joys of camping and the wonder of our outdoor world in addition the the high cost of living they are face raising children in today's high priced world.
Many of the BLM campgrounds in the state have also been turned over to the State Campground system to manage and their fate is also reverting to higher camping costs and reservations further reducing the options available for low cost camping. I understand our state is facing cutbacks and huge budget shortfalls raising questions on how to fund the wonderful campgrounds.
Would we be priced out of the life I dreamed of ?
Somewhere deep in the crevices of my mind, a plan was developing......Would it be possible to avoid camping at State Campgrounds and still find options that would allow me to circle our state and enjoy the wonders of our state? Would we find suitable camping alternatives in the areas we wanted to camp? Can we camp the entire summer without staying in a state campground?
Could we do it?
Would we have to go home early?
What would our camping costs add up to?
So I have been at the calculator adding up the cost of our eight week trip and came up with the numbers.
Total miles traveled 3797 miles Cost of gas $1183.82
$ 591.91 per month of travel
Number of total nights 58 camping nights
Number of free nights 18 x 0 = 0 40 nights camping = $ 307
Average cost per night for 58 nights camping.............$5.29