California offers more than scorching heat and the occasional delicious plate of tacos.
It also provides some of the most jaw-dropping sights and views at any one of it’s hundreds of stunning campsites. And with 110 state parks, 9 national forests, 8 national parks and more in the sunny state, there’s a perfect location for campers of all creeds!
While camping is definitely marked for its departure from electronics in favor of connecting with good ol’ Mother Nature, the need for proper equipment can hardly be ignored.
Whether you are camping in a tent, a camper, or underneath the stars, here is a quick rundown of our favorite California camping spots. We’ve included a few tech recommendations that’ll cut down on some of the more taxing parts of braving those great outdoors!
When you think camping, odds are the image that floods your mind is one of campfires, s’mores, and, of course, a comfortable and humble tent. And you can hardly be blamed for thinking as such!
Tent camping can provide the perfect mix of comfort and exposure to nature and California delivers on sites both extravagant and reserved for campers of all levels of experience.
Where Would We Go?
If you plan on bringing the kids along on their first prolonged excursion outdoors, you’re going to want a more beginner-friendly space. The last thing you want is to take an hour long drive to your site just to have a crying child finally take you up on that long standing offer to “turn this car around”.
With that in mind, Mendocino Grove delivers on their philosophy of a “turn key and hassle free” camping experience that caters to “newbies and veterans alike”.
With multiple tent size options and amenities like hot showers, bathrooms, and rentals for items like dining sets and ice chests, the focus for you and your company can be entirely focused on having a good time away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world!
Mendocino Grove definitely falls more into “glamping” territory so take this recommendation with a grain of salt if you’re looking for a more remote “by the books” experience.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cold Springs Campground provides a much more traditional execution of tent camping.
The much more isolated spot is an hour and a half drive away from the entrance of the Sequoia National Park and rests right by the Kaweah River whose pleasantly rushing waters you’ll have the pleasures of hearing your entire stay.
Hikers can also rejoice knowing a 25 mile road right by the river makes for an incredibly scenic and mind-cleansing romp away from the camp. Some amenities are offered like vault toilets and portable water, but the Cold Springs Campground will surely scratch that itch for a remote trek away from home that doesn’t hold your hand the way Mendocino does.
What Tech Would We Bring?
Lighted Bocce Ball Set by Playaboule
If you’re camping with your children, the Lighted Bocce Ball Set by Playaboule makes for a cheap and very entertaining inclusion to your list of tech.
With multiple light modes and an easy-to-grip texture, these light up balls are ideal for keeping the kids entertained and active while you either join in on the fun or breathe in the surrounding scenery. They’re also designed to be incredibly durable and waterproof, making them perfect for, quite literally, brightening up your nights over the campfire!
Quad Pro 800l LED Lantern by Coleman
Moving into the more practical pieces of tech, Coleman’s LED Lantern offers an incredibly versatile lighting solution, not just for camping, but for housework and emergency power outages alike.
The product comes with four detachable light panels that can either magnetically be attached to surfaces or stand upright on their own, allowing for light to reach even the most inconvenient of spaces. Each light also recharges when it’s placed back on the base, making for a must-have, long-lasting source of energy for your next remote camping trip.
Tent camping may be the more traditional approach, but a multi-day vacay on the sands of your favorite beach comes with an entirely different energy and laid back feel! Luckily, California is suffering from no shortage of beautiful beaches, nor are you limited in choices of beach camping sites!
Where Would We Go?
Who could say no to 17 miles of beach? And as if that wasn’t enough of a draw, Sonoma Coast State Park also delivers on hiking trails a-plenty, all of which sit oceanside and open you up to some views of sandy coasts and crystalline waters.
The Bodega Harbor also makes for a perfect crabbing and whale watching spot for those more interested in marveling at sea life. And with Goat Rock also standing alone as a reason to visit for its beautiful views and the opportunity to see families of harbor seals, there’s more than a few days of activities to look forward to at this particular coast.
One of the oldest units in the California State Park System, Hearst San Simeon delivers more than just shores.
Start your camping trip with a 3.3 mile hike that runs through the natural preserve and the Washburn Campground, an area that includes both forest and coastal wetlands, giving you the best of both worlds as well as the opportunity to spot the endangered Tidewater Goby!
Not enough wildlife for your tastes? Not a problem! Bird and whale watching opportunities abound in addition to a chance to observe elephant seals in their natural habitat at the Elephant Seal Boardwalk.
What Tech Would We Bring?
Helio Pressure Shower by Nemo Equipment
Gravity showers are all well and good, but lack of a place to hang the water bag shouldn’t leave you high and dry (and rank to boot). That’s where Nemo Equipment’s innovative design makes all of the difference.
Using the equipped foot pump allows you to pressurize the water within the 2.9 gallon container, leaving you with a reliable spray for your shower that can last 5-7 minutes. Whether you’re fresh off the sand or heading back up after a hitting some waves, this shower on the go will ensure you don’t leave smelling of ocean.
Hero 7 by GoPro
Capturing quality surfing shots can be a hassle on its own without having to worry about shaky footage. Fortunately, GoPro continues to be an ally to the outdoor warrior, continuing that trend with the Hero 7, a mounted camera that offers waterproof durability and supreme quality.
The mainstay feature of this new camera, however, is its Hypersmooth video stabilization. Be as rough and rowdy as you want on the waves and rest assured knowing smooth and perfect footage for your blog or instagram awaits.
Free camping may just sound like a budget-friendly way to explore the outdoors, but, in reality, it’s so much more. A true, unabridged camping experience doesn’t provide luxury tents, complimentary water and food, and definitely no dining sets.
If you’re looking for a real camping tour with nothing but the equipment you bring from home to your name, we feel you can’t overlook these prime spots.
Where Would We Go?
DIY campers can rest easy knowing their promised land exists in the form of the Volcanic Tablelands. Located in Bishop, CA, the location is devoid of any kind of real trail markers, making it the perfect spot for those looking to blaze their own paths and set up shop wherever their heart sees fit.
The real draw to the tablelands comes in the form of petroglyphs, wall art left by the Paiute-Shoshone Indians who resided in the valley years prior.
Since the area is largely unmarked and wild, visitors can look forward to scoping out the miles upon miles of mountains and perfect spots for rock climbing while the possibility exists for them to chance upon a never-before-discovered petroglyph!
Placed 1,000 feet above sea level, the Green Cabin Flat Campground blends gorgeous hikes aside the Kings River with whitewater rafting down the Pine Flat Reservoir. The location itself is also pretty isolated and perfect for those looking to enjoy a campsite to themselves before heading back to work when the new week starts.
The campground is located in black bear country, however, so pack sparingly when it comes to grub and stay safe.
What Tech Would We Bring?
Portable Power Station by Chargetech
Camping off the grid comes with a wonderful sense of detachment and serenity, but depending on the equipment you bring, you’re going to need a reliable source of power to keep it all running.
Tent users with chargeable devices as well as RV and camper users with more heavy-duty appliances can rest assured knowing our new Portable Power Station can power it all reliably with its pure sine wave output.
Furthermore, the built in LED light can make packing up at night a much simpler task while the built in speaker can entertain you and your guests for hours!
Portable Induction Cooktop by Isiler
One of the most endearing parts of undeveloped camping is the rustic meals and off-the-grid recipes that come with limited ingredients and cooking utensils. And if you aren’t one to Macgyver your own campfire, Isiler has got you covered with their Portable Induction Cooktop.
The cooktop comes with multiple power and wattage settings, making it ideal for portable power sources that can deliver a quick recharge to products with certain levels of wattage.
It’s also constructed out of a compact but lightweight premium glass surface, making it extra durable and fit for rugged terrains. Save yourself the smoke and enjoy a meal with stress-free setup!
A lack of camping spots is never going to be an issue when you’re based in California. If anything, your main hurdle is going to be picking only one of these amazing spots to visit for your next trip!
That being said, knowing where you plan on going and what kind of tech you’ll need will help invariably in setting up a trip tailored to you and your company!