Campground Camping vs Dispersed Camping: Brutally Honest Pros and Cons

Campground Camping vs Dispersed Camping: Brutally Honest Pros and Cons

Whether you’re motorcycle camping, car camping, or hauling an RV around the country, you have an essential choice to make: campground camping vs dispersed camping. Will you set up in an established campground that costs money or find a dispersed or wild camping spot for free? There are pros and cons to each type of camping, and in this dispersed vs campground video, I’ll break down the brutally honest advantages and disadvantages of both.

Campgrounds have a ton of amenities and make camping easy especially for newer campers. Camping in a campground does not require you to find a site, but there are campground camping disadvantages like having to pay money or lots and lots of people nearby.

Dispersed camping is free, but finding a dispersed campsite can be difficult, you are on your own while wild camping, and you have no choice but to find and process your own firewood.

Dispersed camping vs campground camping can be a tough choice to make, but fortunately you can always do both! What are your thoughts on dispersed vs campground camping? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Sword of Thor on July 22, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Something that has helped me getting into solo dispersed camping. Striking my camp near the trailhead or not too far. That way its a short hike out. Helps to build confidence.

  2. Dabaydestrian on July 22, 2023 at 5:43 pm

    if I have my family, I go to the campground, or else I’d go dispersed camping, but with lots of guns.

  3. SWolf on July 22, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    My biggest issue with dispersed camping is people trashing the spots

  4. Hedon Epicurea on July 22, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks. Learned a lot.

  5. Zernos on July 22, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    dispersed camping is alot funner, gives options to bodies of water that are fished WAY less… the camping might not be as convienient but. worth it.

  6. BuddyLeo on July 22, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    Been wanting to go camping for a long time to see amazing spots tbh some of the campground cons you mention is why I have been hesitant cuz I want to go camping to see wildlife and be away from people not to see people again LOL but I def will think about it as someone who would be a beginner wanting to go.

  7. Kenny Don on July 22, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    Excellent video and vibes Dork.

  8. Dork in the Road on July 22, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    Want to support the channel when you buy your dual sport or ADV gear and mods? Please consider using these affiliate links:

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  9. Moose on July 22, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    I hate that dispersed camping is illegal in my state.

  10. Garry Breland on July 22, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Good analysis. I grew up dispersed camping, before anyone knew that’s what it would be called. I just found a place and camped. Only later, when I had a wife and kids did I do much campground camping. To me there’s nothing like being miles away from anyone in a wilderness area, sleeping under the stars.

  11. JessZ900 on July 22, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Awesome and informative video. Thanks a lot for that.
    I live in the Seattle area and am just planning my first motorcycle camping adventure. It won’t be more than a couple hours of riding and at a pretty popular campsite but I’m very excited to get into dispersed camping in the future! Over time I’ve gathered just about all the gear I think that I’ll need for either situation!

  12. David Hall on July 22, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    I have been bike camping for years but due to the size of my bike, no dirt roads, which means finding a spot in the woods is very difficult. So usually in end up paying the fees. Once I rode ro this place and they gave me a spot at the end away from everything else. It was great!

  13. Foster on July 22, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    Hey, you mentioned bringing firewood. Im assuming you mean buying it locally because it’s not good to travel with firewood, it can introduce pests like ash borer and elm beetle.

  14. Fodder For Freedom on July 22, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    It would cost you over $900 to stay at that campsite for a month.
    When you like camping, but it’s more expensive than a mortgage.

  15. Chris F on July 22, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    if you aren’t making a huge bonfire, it shouldn’t take 2 hours to gather firewood. like 15 minutes tops for a modest fire high enough to cook your beans.

  16. Douglas Hilton on July 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    wanting a shower is glamping??

  17. Dennis Kirschbaum on July 22, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    We have a converted minivan (Toyota Sienna) and we mostly stay in campgrounds because — showers. But we have also stayed on public land and been completely self-contained. One thing that offers some of the best of both, is camping in state park campgrounds in winter! Usually the water is on meaning toilets and showers and often there are very few other people there especially in the nonelectric sites. Downside is you might end up next to a generator but often the place is empty. Usually you still. have to pay but sometimes there is no one in the kiosk and no way to pay. There is never anyone with loud music or parties. I am speaking of places where it is cold in winter, of course. Not Southern California or Arizona.

  18. Melanie S. on July 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Generators, I hate generators. Oh and most humans😊 dispersed for me.

  19. Kathleen Hudson on July 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    I usually avoid private campgrounds. Generally, the forest service campgrounds have a lot more room for each site, and often you can find sites somewhat separated by the slope of the land or by trees. Also, they are often cheaper.

  20. Veronica Kattan on July 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Awesome video. Very helpful for beginners

  21. daniel deviers on July 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    One advantage of campgrounds is that there are plenty of people around? We are on two totally different wave lengths.

  22. E-mail Skoczy. on July 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    It doesn’t suck to process firewood. It’s fun!

  23. Brian Heise on July 22, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    A wide cot with a self inflatable pad or fouton is a must. They sell a 30" cot. Inflatable mattreses leak n pads r VERY uncomfortable. If ur big like me 220 lb 6ft, u need a long 30 inch cot w a self inflating mattress or fouton topper. Its a must.

    15 gal h20 is a must. You can shower or bathe with 1.5 gallons " WHO." U can get a privacy shower curtain contraption to hang from a tree. A MUST.

    campfires r a hassle. Bring a propane burner pan n pot. Meals that require little or no cooking OR REFRIGERATION R A MUST.

    If you have a car bring 14 days clean clothes n go to a laundry as needed.

    Its 78F at 8500 feet in august and above freezing in southern AZ in winter. Adjust location based on the season.

    The only thing you get besides a table n fire pit is a nastey pit toilet in pay sites. They gave signs everywhere saying " dont bathe or wash dishes at water spicket. I agree par sites r crowded n not worth apartment prices ie 20 to 35.00. Rip off.

    I camped 8 months CO, CA OR WA AZ etc. These r things i wont deviate from next time.

  24. Wes Best. on July 22, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    Common sense. Use it.

  25. fixedG on July 22, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    As a lifelong east coast dweller, I’m jealous of the mere option of vast public land and dispersed camping. The closest we have is squatters on private property who run meth labs.

  26. Jose Brunet on July 22, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Hey are we allowed to bring like firearms for protection?

  27. G7 on July 22, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    I live in a tourist trap so I go wild camping. Campgrounds have hundreds of people and cost hundreds for a couple nights

    I also love processing firewood

  28. MrKingsley on July 22, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    I have friends who have a large large lot, about 400 acres. One of the ideas for some passive income was to setup a camp site that was fake dispersed camping. Just some trails, and maybe 1 campsite per 1 or 2 acres. Lots of trees, lots of privacy and accessible via ATV trails. I think it would make a killing.

  29. Plants4TheWin on July 22, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    I cant stand campgrounds. I only use them when I have a race/event. Outside of that disperse camping is the way to go.

  30. jcork on July 22, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    Great video. Biggest source of confusion among newbies is how different the different camping styles are. In the US I’d divide it into 3 categories based on amenities:

    Dispersed camping: hike or drive in carrying all your gear, pick your own spot to set up camp, zero amenities guaranteed but may be a pit toilet nearby. Usually free, usually on federal land, especially BLM-managed areas.

    “Backcountry” car camping: camp at an established site in a campground with limited amenities. May be free or ~$20/night. Amenities usually include a pit toilet, fire ring and picnic table, and might also include trash service or a potable water source. Big advantage over dispersed is the ability to make reservations.

    Commercialized car camping/RV camping: usually in a privately owned campground or state park. Indoor plumbing/showers and full RV hookups are the *bare minimum* of amenities, and they also likely have a general store and possibly even a limited-service restaurant on site. Nightly fees are similar to a cheap hotel, ranging from $40 at small independently owned parks up to $80 or more at e.g. a KOA in a premium locale. In some parts of the US (particularly the eastern half) this might be the only type of camping available.

  31. matthew lewis on July 22, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    I like you, because you don’t take yourself too seriously…

  32. CreamCobblerFiend on July 22, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    sometimes a pit latrine is even grosser than going in a hole in the woods, depending on how well its maintained and the amount of bugs.

  33. Aaron Davidson on July 22, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    Tim might wan to pick up a portable jumper pack for all those times his bike won’t start in the morning and he needs a jump. It’ll save you the long push up the hill to bump it. After suffering a similar fate on a solo trip a hand full of years ago I bought one and never travel without it. It’s saved my butt a few times since then.

  34. Sue Deutscher on July 22, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    thanks for getting right to the point, good info

  35. marguerite mitchell on July 22, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Back for a second look😂❤

  36. snart on July 22, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    The other thing I hate about campsites is having to book months in advance, and some will have a 10-day notice requirement for cancellation, which I’m sure is by design before you can know how the weather is going to be.

  37. Paddle Da Fam on July 22, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    You eating/putting food directly on the picnic table without a cover over it 🤢🤮
    Research leptospirosis and who is a high risk to contract it and you’ll start putting something of a barrier on your next camp picnic table. If not…check out raccoon round worm next… Good hygiene makes for great times (not a weekend “camping” in a vault toilet😂)

  38. Mackenzie Clancy on July 22, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    The sound of the wind in the trees is psithurism (sith-err-iz-um)

  39. michael alan on July 22, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    dispersed campers have ruined so many great sites with human waste and garbage. They just closed the Alabama Hills for that reason.

  40. Rev Wolf on July 22, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    You’ll probably cover this, but when my wife and I went camping in a campground one year, the firewood they sold us at the campground was super dry so it went up like flash paper. I quickly learned not to get it that dry.

  41. noControl on July 22, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    Other issue with dispersed is other people as well, you are kind of an easy target out in the middle of nowhere by yourself. While you should always be prepaired to defend yourself, avoiding such situations is the best. Have to kind of find a balance between camping close enough to main trails / roads that someone would be worried about getting caught while messing with you, or being far enough away that people wouldn’t come out that far to mess with you.

  42. Jeffrey Simoneit on July 22, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    I misheard "riding pants" as "writing pants", and now I’m wondering if designating a pair of pants as writing pants would help me finally crank out this novel I’ve been sitting on lol.

  43. 32bit Conspiracy on July 22, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    As a kid I was always at camp grounds. Now, much older, I will go stealth camping if I am alone. I hated the noise of other people drunk at night, shooting guns off randomly while drunk, the sirens that would ensue, people walking through my camp or even peeing right next to my tent because they didn’t even bother to look. Basically people suck and unless I need a place I can reserve for a group, I am off somewhere in the woods. I also do the camp triangle (aka Bear Triangle), if you don’t know what that is google it as it WILL save your life and gear. At camp sites, people do not do this as its pretty hard to due to space restrictions. This leads to a ton of pests coming into camp due to the camp next to you being negligent. As soon as I was old enough, I did solo/wild camping. The cons are there but the pros are way better if you don’t have to have a rally point with a decently large/inexperienced group where a reservation and amenities really help. Be safe, ride safe, and leave no trace.

  44. Casper Labuschagne on July 22, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The most valuable commodity when camping is any flat space for cooking, eating etc. Where I live in Africa you camp in secure campgrounds for safety and convenience unless it is a really remote wilderness area where you still camp in a designated camping spot.

  45. Brian Heise on July 22, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    Campendium is a good app for free campsites

  46. Clarke Vennerbeck on July 22, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    "When nobody’s with you, every little noise is really loud, and they all sound like bears," You read my mind. 😆

  47. Alan Johnson on July 22, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Have always done this so called dispersed camping, if there is another tent within 100 yards that is too close.

  48. MrMilkman on July 22, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    This man looks like a irl wild thorn berry character. That’s a compliment by the way. Smashing job m8

  49. Kev Roy on July 22, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Dude!! Peoples crappy music is the worst when camping in a campsite. That and the domestic violence

  50. Desert Walker on July 22, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    I only wild camp if I’m going to camp at all, I would never camp next to somebody or hell 100 yards away. I don’t wanna be near 😮anybody the object is to get away from people not camp with them.😮 I go in the desert to get away from people 😊

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