Crazed for Kansas Camping?
by Bob Carter

You can find nearly 15,000 campsites at state, federal, city, and county parks and privately-owned facilities in Kansas. Many of the more popular sites are around large reservoirs, where both the state of Kansas and the U.S. Army Corps of engineers operate campsites.

Whether you're in a pup tent or RV, there's a spot for you thanks to an innovative program started six years ago by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Called "Rent-A-Camp," is was developed with assistance from the Coleman Company, based in Wichita. Designed primarily for inexperienced campers, or those without camping gear, the program offers for $10 a night enough basic camping gear for four, including a 10'x11' tent, propane stove, propane lantern, fuel, cooler, cots or foam pads, picnic table, fire ring, and broom. The following locations participate in the program: Cheney, Clinton, El Dorado, Pomona, Prairie Dog, Tuttle Creek, and Wilson State Parks.

Cedar Bluff State Park converted two shelters to cabins, complete with sidewalk, porch, cooking counter, tables, chairs, and bunk beds to sleep four. The cabins are fully insulated and include a deck with an outdoor grill and picnic table. No electricity or running water is available, but a full-service restroom is nearby. Those without basic camping gear can check out a lantern, stove, and water jug. Wood-burning stoves are available for the winter. This package is $25 a night.

Most state parks require park permits, vehicle permits, and campsite permits, usually for about $3 a day. Contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Route 2, Box 54A, Pratt, KS 67124, 316-672-5911 or check www.kansascommerce.com.

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