British Columbia has more than 1300 MOF campgrounds—tucked into immense forests, in the shadows of noble mountains, beside dancing rivers, snuggled up to lakes grand and petite. Because MOF stands for Ministry of Forests, 89% of these campgrounds are free of charge.
Camp Free in B.C. offers precise directions to the best 430 MOF campgrounds in southern and central British Columbia. A few are big, organized, groomed, much like provincial parks and nearly as popular. Others are tiny, rough hewn, seldom visited, almost certain to offer solitude. Many are hidden just a short distance off paved roads. Some are deep in the woods. All are accessible by two-wheel-drive. You can reach them easily and safely in your low-clearance car or big RV. En route, you'll savour a fresh perspective on the stunning geography of this glorious province. You'll be astonished at where B.C.'s seemingly endless network of backroads can take you. Even with our detailed directions, you'll feel the excitement of discovery.
Nearly all the campgrounds in this book are away from towns and highways, so you’ll likely glimpse one of the locals: perhaps an owl or a coyote, maybe a bear or a moose. Even the common sight of a deer or a salmon can thrill and comfort, reminding you that despite the damage done, wilderness still exists and nature is alive and well. That’s the joy of free-camping. Not just what you keep in your wallet, but what you take away in your heart.
Camping is CPR for your senses. It opens your eyes to the night sky, with stars so thick they look like clouds. It opens your ears to the music of wind in the trees, water rushing over rocks, or maybe absolute silence. It reacquaints you with the simple, sweet pleasure of not feeling cement under foot, not being confined by fences or walls, not complying with rules, and sometimes not having to look at another human being. It’s the antidote to civilization.
And free camping is real camping. It’s an adventure—something sadly missing from most people’s lives and impossible to find at commercial campgrounds. Neon signs? Receptions offices? Pop machines? Hook-ups? TV antennas? Where’s the adventure in that? It’s hard to tell many campgrounds from RV dealerships these days. They’re just parking lots. Even provincial-park campgrounds are often within earshot of a roaring highway.
You’ll forgo conveniences at the campgrounds described in Camp Free. None have showers, flush toilets, or even running water. But what most people consider necessities are actually luxuries. Doing without can make you feel more complete. And camping, by definition, means contending with the elements—bugs, wind, rain, cold, heat. But if you’re prepared and can shrug off minor discomfort, the elements can make you feel more alive.
If you go with an open mind and soft heart, Camp Free will guide you to a rousing experience. You’ll be revitalized, able to calmly slip back into the shackles of civilization with renewed vigor. Your memory, your mental gallery, will be filled with vivid images—sustenance for the soul until your next outing. At the very least, you’ll have a story to tell neighbours and co-workers who’ve never sought adventure beyond the nearest video store.