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Tips to CampScanner: Your backstage pass to sold-out campsites

Jessica Johnson-profile-image
Jessica Johnson
July 12, 2023

TL;DR - 🔑 To up your camping game, consider these tips:

  1. Plan selection: Basecamp & Trailhead work well for low-key camping, while Summit's 5-minute scan frequency and more concurrent scans tackle peak times and last-minute reservations. Join CampScanner
  2. Cover more ground: Specify less, gain more. Choose up to 5 campgrounds in a National Park/Forest and maximize your campsite options.
  3. Timing flexibility: Switch on the flexible dates option and opt for any length of stay to broaden your horizons.
  4. Update scans: Modify your CampScanner scans as per your needs, and ensure the scan dates are active.
  5. Keep your phone close: Enable text notifications and grab the reservation link as soon as it pops up. 📱
  6. Pre-create accounts: Save time by having your account ready on your preferred National Parks or National Forests' reservation system. ⌛

These strategies exponentially increase your chances of booking your dream campsite. Ready to craft your perfect scan? Go here. ⛺

Boost Your Campsite Booking Odds with CampScanner: Expert Tips Revealed

CampScanner is a tool that scans for reservation openings at National Parks, National Forests, and more and notifies you when a reservation opens that matches your search. To increase your odds of booking a campsite through CampScanner, there are some best practices to follow:

Select Your CampScanner Plan Wisely

When choosing between Basecamp, Trailhead, and Summit plans, think about how you want to camp and how you want to use the platform. If you're planning on going on one or two camping trips this year and you have a lot of flexibility, then a Basecamp or Trailhead might be right for you. But, if you're planning a lot of camping trips and you are expecting to try and find reservations last minute, or during peak travel times, consider the Summit plan.

The Summit plan gives you the best odds of booking. It scans the booking sites every 5 minutes, meaning you can get notifications before those on the Basecamp and Trailhead. You'll also get more scans as part of your plan, so you can use these extra concurrent scans to cover all the campgrounds at a large national park, for instance.

Sign Up For CampScanner here.

Cover More Ground

In a CampScanner scan, you'll select your ideal campgrounds, dates, vehicle length, campsite type, and the number of nights you want. The less specific you are, the higher the chances you get a notification.

Although CampScanner allows you to select only one National Park or National Forest, you can select up to 5 of the campgrounds within it. Do your research ahead of time to figure out which campgrounds are larger and have more campsites in them.

By going this route, you increase your odds of booking by scanning far more campsites than if you had limited yourself to one campground.

Be Flexible on Timing

There are two different time-related settings in a CampScanner scan: the arrival date and the number of nights. With the arrival date, be sure to turn on the flexible dates option. This will give you reservations that start two days before or two days after the date you've selected.

With the number of nights setting, you'll be able to select 1+ through 8+ nights. Select 1+ nights in order to get notified for reservations of any length.

Keep Your Scans Up-to-Date

CampScanner scans are editable! Go back and adjust settings as needed. And once the date you selected has passed, you will get a scan back to start looking for campsites again. Stay on top of this to ensure your dates are always active.

Manage your scans in the "My Scans" tab of your account.

Make Sure Your Phone Is Close By

Now that you've set up your scans for success, you have to make sure you are watching out for the results. Make sure your text notifications are on and you click the booking link as soon as you get the notification. The last thing you want is to finally get a booking link, but someone else takes it before you can.

Create Accounts Ahead of Time

One way to prevent reservations from being taken while your booking is in progress is to shorten the time it takes to complete the booking. Know what reservation system your National Parks or National Forests use and make sure you have accounts already created to speed up the booking process. Write down your passwords somewhere safe, and booking your campsite will go much more quickly.

We hope that these tips help you get a campsite at the National Park of your dreams! By covering more ground, being flexible on timing, updating your scans, creating accounts ahead of time, and being on the summit plan, your odds of snagging a reservation will increase exponentially.

Create your perfect scan here.

About CampScanner
CampScanner is a platform, by the team at Harvest Hosts, that helps you snag reservations at sold-out campgrounds. Search CampScanner's database of campgrounds at National Parks, National Forests, and more! Select where and when you'd like to camp, and CampScanner will create a "scan" that searches the booking sites for you and notifies you if a reservation opens up at your perfect campground.
Jessica Johnson-profile-image
Jessica Johnson
Traveling with her husband, three children, and their dog, Chili, Jessica explores America via road trips. Jessica's unique perspective focuses on genuine experiences rather than typical tourist routes. She uses resources like CampersCard, CampScanner, and Harvest Hosts to ensure every journey is memorable. Despite a busy schedule, she captures and shares serene moments amid the chaos of family life and travel. Her work offers a unique journey through less-traveled Family Friendly roads.
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