Wild camping in North America

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Is wild camping allowed in North America?

You have a few days off and would like to escape your everyday life, as a nature lover, camping is, of course, the only option for you. But you don't want to stand in line with countless other campers who have all set up their satellite systems and rolled out the Marquise. You want to go boondocking, aka wild camping, or dispersed camping, stand in the wild with your motor home, be one with nature. We have prepared an overview for each country, which answers the most important questions: Where is it allowed, and which regulations exist.

What are the rules for wild camping?

What are the rules when I am traveling in a motor vehicle?

What are the penalties if I get caught?

Are there ways I can still go wild camping?

What else should I consider in the country I'm visiting?

How do I find places that suit my expectations?

The answers to these questions vary depending on the country you are traveling in. But in general, there are three options for wild camping, it is forbidden, tolerated or allowed. And as always, there are of course a few peculiarities and exceptions that you should be aware of. Just choose your destination country and you will find the answers to the most important questions.

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Tips and tricks for wild camping

The exact rules for wild camping and free standing and possible grey areas on this topic can be found on the respective country page. Regardless of the country, however, there are always two rules:

1. Be considerate of other campers and nature.
2. You can easily find out for yourself whether a pitch is suitable for you.

As an exemplary camper, you naturally take care of the environment, which is why we do not want to go into this further at this point. Instead, we will give you a few tips on how you can determine whether your pitch is suitable for wild camping.

A clean place is a good place! This is the basic rule par excellence when it comes to finding a pitch. Take a good look at your pitch, if you find lots of rubbish, plugs and glass bottles, it is a popular place where locals meet. In this case, you better move on and find another pitch. However, if it is clean and hidden, you can set up camp here for a night. Always remember to leave the place as clean as you left it.

Garbage cans
Garbage cans or trash cans at your pitch are always a sign that people pass by here more often, that's why they are standing there. Here it depends on the contents. If it is mostly empty alcohol bottles, cans or fast food packaging, the place is probably visited at night and is not necessarily suitable as a place for the night. If it's more hygienic articles such as handkerchiefs or nappies, it suggests that the place is usually used during the day by drivers to rest.

Tire tracks
You have parked your car on an asphalt area and you see circular tire tracks everywhere? This is a sign that often younger drivers meet here to practice their driving skills. The same applies to parking spaces near wooded areas. If you see a lot of tire tracks (especially from motorcycles), motorcyclists will likely welcome you the next morning. Also here you should look for a new place if possible.

After a long journey, you should first get out of the car and stretch your legs. You can take a short walk near your seat to have a closer look at the surroundings. Because everything that applies to your place also applies to the immediate surroundings. Even if everything is clean and the place looks untouched, there might be a meeting point for party people just behind the next hedge. And a distance of 10 meters is usually not enough to hide yourself and your vehicle well.

Our tip: Pay attention to the season when planning your trip through North America. Especially in the USA and the Caribbean, you should pay special attention to the weather forecast during the hurricane season so that you are not surprised by one of these dangerous storms.

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10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about North America

Most of us immediately associate the USA and Canada with North America, but did you know that a total of 23 countries belong to the North American continent? The largest country on the continent, by area, is Canada, but which is the smallest? The largest lake? The largest city? We have compiled the answers to these questions and other interesting facts for you.

Fact #1 - The smallest country
Canada is the largest country in North America by area, the smallest country is Saint Kitts and Nevis with an area of 269 km².

Fact #2 - Name origin
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian navigator and explorer after the Americas were named. He is, therefore, the eponym of North America.

Fact #3 - The largest lake
Lake Superior is not only the largest lake in North America, but it is also the largest freshwater lake on earth. It lies on the border between Canada and the USA.

Fact #4 - Borders
While we are on the subject, the border between Canada and the USA is the longest national border in the world.

Fact #5 - The largest city (by population)
New York is the largest city in the USA with 20.2 million inhabitants, but the largest city in North America is Mexico City with 21.3 million inhabitants.

Fact #6 - Corn
Corn plays an important role, especially among the Native Americans. Today, about 50% of the corn produced worldwide comes from North America.

Fact #7 - The Caribbean
There are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, of which only about 2% are inhabited. So there are many untouched islands to discover.

Fact #8 - Mount Thor
Mount Thor is a mountain in Auyuittuq National Park, Canada. What is special about this mountain? It has the highest face in the world, 1,250 m.

Fact #9 - Climate zones
In North America, you can experience every major climate zone. In northern Canada, you can experience the polar climate and in Florida tropical climate.

Fact #10 - Population
Contrary to the idea that the continent was not populated until after the discovery by Columbus in 1492, it has been inhabited for about 15,000 years.


Written by

As a native of Thuringia, he feels most at home in the forest and at the barbecue and is rarely to be found without his headphones. Responsible for everything to do with marketing at Caravanya.

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