Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Perfect Campsite in Kansas

Sept. 2, 2010 — The sun just went down in central Kansas, so it's time to pull off I-70 and find a safe harbor for the night.

Last night, in Wyoming, I stayed in the lap of luxury: Motel 6, Laramie. It was cold (40s) and very windy (sub-freezing chill factor), so it seemed worth the 40 bucks. In Kansas, though, the weather is a lot more mild, and every night I can spend outdoors is money saved (and more time I can spend in Europe, where hostels about $20/night). The car I am in is packed with luggage, so there is no space to achieve the critical element: bringing my legs to the same level as my head. (I can sleep sitting up, but it isn't comfortable.)

Tonight, I didn't have to look very far. Kansas has big, spacious rest areas where you can usually get away with camping under cover of night. (Camping on the ground wouldn't work at most rest areas in other states, where space is at a premium.) This rest area near Russell has a vast area of mowed grass behind the restrooms, big as a football field. There are about six 18-wheelers parked at this rest area for the night, but I'm the only car, so I've made myself at home. I have set up camp behind a big bush in the middle of the field, so it's impossible for anyone to detect me. (The car is obvious, but it's normal for it to be parked here.)

My "camp" consists of a sleeping bag, a camping mattress and a 6x8 tarp for a ground cover. The low temp tonight is expected to be in the 50s. Very little wind and a clear sky full of stars. Since it is only 9pm, I'll easily wake and break camp before down.

Here's my exact location if you care to join me.


  1. Awesome, Glenn! I admire your resourcefulness. I spent the same night in a minivan in a lovely campground in Ellis, KS, which is just west of Russell off of I70. I paid $5 for electricity and a shower in the public restroom facilities there. I left the side door of the van open all night and enjoyed the fresh air. The Ellis Lakeside Campground is right next to a small lake with huge shade trees.

    Unfortunately, a different person collected campground fees the next time I stayed there, on Sep 6, and he told me the fee was $10. I didn't argue, because he was a policeman.

  2. Although I've done it before too, albeit in the summertime, do you find it any more comfortable in a tent off the road rather than in your car, especially when the temperature drops below the 50s?

    Maybe it's just my own laziness or ability to sleep anywhere, but for me, a car automatically doubles as a hotel room, even when the temperature drops below freezing. Any thoughts?

  3. Glad to see a couple new posts on here glen. I would love to hear about your summer travels! Do you still get your free flights?

  4. I notice that you have not posted in a while. Are there any updates. I love this blog. This is how I live too. I don't rent hotels, buy tonnes of groceries, live a "high life" or let opportunity pass me by. I dont care if it is not status que. There is freedom and adventure to it. My newest vehicle is a Smart car and I made a post on my clubs forum on how to sleep in this two seater comfortably. I am planning on camping right out of it all summer. I would be doing it now if Canadian winters were not so harsh. Here is
    The article. Enjoy!

  5. This blogspot account has been abandoned, and is in the process of transferring ownership of it to me.

    Look for an awesome new site in the near future!!!

  6. you ever going to post on this site again?