When we showed-up in California a few years ago, the only thing we knew about campgrounds in California was, well…nothing! One of the first things I did was go onto Amazon.com and look for a California camping guide, and luckily, I stumbled across this book by Tom Stienstra. Now, I know most of you don’t live in California, but there are camping guides that cover other areas of the country – here are a few that I found on Amazon:
- Washington Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping, by Tom Stienstra
- Oregon Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping, by Tom Stienstra
- Colorado Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping, by Sarah Ryan
- Florida Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping, by Marilyn Moore
- Pennsylvania Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping, by Jason Miller
Being new to the area, I had no idea who this Tom Stienstra character was, but I needed a camping guide and this one looked like it would fit the bill. Of course, after I got the book and read his biography, I found out Tom is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, has TV and radio shows, and his California Camping and Pacific Northwest Camping books are number one bestsellers on Amazon.com, for their category. You can read more about Tom on his website. I wonder if Tom wants an understudy?
California Camping has been our guide for several years, now. The cover is dog-eared, worn and faded, in part because we never head out on a family camping excursion without it. The book has led us to many tiny, obscure campgrounds that we never would have found, otherwise.
California Camping is organized geographically, so if we want to go camping in the Sierra Mountains we can consult the Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes section to find campgrounds specific to that particular area. Each campground section includes a brief description of the activities in and around that campground, the campground facilities, and directions from the nearest major town or highway.
These guides are a great resource for the family camper, both for discovering new places to camp and for knowing what to expect once you get there.
Thanks John – I didn’t realize how many books he had authored until I checked-out his website. The kids are starting to take an interest in fishing, so I think I’m going to pick-up his California Fishing book.
Tom Stienstra also has an excellent hiking guide called California Hiking. It’s an indirect competitor to my 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California, but the books are quite different. I cover a hundred hikes in Northern California in detail with trail maps and in color, with lots of photos. He covers a thousand or so hikes across the entire state, but in black and white without the individual trail maps and with few photos. The great advantage of his book is that it indicates all the hiking possibilities in an area, which is great for campers.
California Hiking is a must have. It has a treasured place on my bookshelf.
John Soares’s last blog post..Pacific Southwest Region California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee Nominations