Since the pandemic began over a year ago, camping has really become a popular way to get out of the house while maintaining distance from others.

RV sales have increased by a lot over the past year. People are discovering that the camping experience is not just a way to get around the pandemic, it's actually a lot of fun.

I discovered the fun of camping when I was a kid, and have owned a travel trailer for the past 20 years. It's my primary recreation for most summer weekends and all my vacations. There are many great campgrounds to spend time at, and they are inexpensive.

There are a few places that are free throughout the country, including here in New York State. Most, if not all are managed by the New York State Department of Conservation, and are all considered 'dry camping' meaning there are no electrical, sewer or water hookups.

Here are five free places to camp at, not far from the Binghamton area. Refer to the New York State Department of Conservation for rules, regulations and whether each are now open.

5 Free PLaces To Camp in New York State

via NYS DEC, Campendium, Long Pond State Forest, Birdseye Hollow State Forest, Hunter-west Kill Wilderness, Sugar Hill State Forest

OUT AND ABOUT: Why We Love To Camp