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laptop camping California's vast beauty graces us daily. This is a glorious state that has been attracting people worldwide for centuries. And now we are all starting to see the changes. Big time! The hords of people, the traffic nightmares, the shopping centers everywhere & the overdevelopment of suburbia. This crowdedness doesn't stop at the city limits either. Visit any National Park on the wrong weekend & you will be totally turned off to the whole 'camping experience'.

This is where Total Escape comes in! We can show you how to enjoy the hidden California, learn to respect the lands, find the amazingly beautiful not-so-popular spots & discover a new kinda peace.

Wildlife is best viewed when you are slow, quiet, aware & sitting still, and preferrably not when tossing over snack foods.

wild fattyThe first place to start is with yourself! Learn to slow down, plan to relax (for days, not minutes) & give yourself all the time you need to enjoy nature & your thoughts. Discover the earth again: peaceful lakes, lush wildflower fields and deep canyons. It's all out there - for you to cherish. And yes, you can go alone.

There are plenty places to explore on the weekends, but finding your own private waterfall or secluded picnic meadow will be easier with the proper maps. Turn off the television & get back to 'yourself'. Your real self. You, without all the advertisements bombarding your brain. You, without the need to watch the nightly news. You, without the daily worry of all the negative crap. Go outside! Take a drive, do a hike, pack a picnic, enjoy life...more.

your 'life journey' begins today. start exploring

enjoying lifeAhhhhh.....
A day well spent in the Sierra National Forest. National Forest Corral Camps California
"For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you're not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness." - Andy Rooney


Springtime San Luis Obispo

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Winter Outdoors California, Hiking Weekend, Historic Towns

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Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

After a horrific year of global pandemic, economic uncertainty, hazardous air quality and record breaking regional wildfires, California is now bracing for hard winter ahead. Turn off the news, grab your warmest jacket and gloves, and head outside for a much needed break. Pack a picnic and a thermos full of hot beverage. Sit still and watch wildlife, breathe deep, fresh air. Hike around the lake or mountain bike in the local park. Snow is falling and the sledding is free. Bring chains for winter driving in the mountains. Social distancing is easy outdoors, as long as you know where to go. Total Escape will help you find more local destinations, away from the masses.

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Rural California Directory: Now that you've found this independent California resource, you can discover more local destinations online. Find your own rural place, a homestead way up in the hills. Or discover that perfect spot for summer vacation, a hidden Sequoia grove, the best waterfall ever, the secret alpine fishing lake or maybe, just a bike rental shop in the forest. We list it here, all outdoors, all local. Travel the back roads of the west, on the cheap. Camp year round, without the fees, from Baja to Shasta. Find secluded spots. Historic, independent inns to remote yurt resorts, yoga weekends to primitive hot springs, RV resorts, or dispersed camp sites. Hiking trails, kayaking lakes, fishing streams, gold mines and ghost towns, and all the topographic maps to go with.



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all local: updated monthly

ancient: 24 years online!

We're still here, thousands of pages and decades later. Way outside the city limits, beyond the county line. No wifi, no smart meters, no gaming addictions, no traffic lights, no city noise. Rural living in California still exist. Hike on the weekends, bike to work, boating mid-week, we have you covered for destinations. Find a new creekside camp spot, a waterfall, trailhead or an ancient lava cave. Total Escape - Two whole decades online. Not quite obsolete.

Craving the Wild? Before the tweets, the constant memes and paralysis of our current culture, DanaMite started this travel web site way back in 1996. Catchy phrases like, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did not yet exist.


Total Escape features abundant real photos of real places. Secluded destinations, camping and lodging, examining the best back roads, side routes, the topo maps (to get you out there). Locals-only travel tips, gear reviews, festivals and events. This unique travel site is updated every month, for the past 24 years!

Juicy content specific only to California. Focusing on outdoor destinations, small towns and budget-minded travel since 1996, we've recreated the weekend getaway - without the crowds. Escape the matrix, the city life, the traffic jams and learn how to avoid the tourist traps. Drive on past the factory outlet malls and the water slides, we've got much more to show you. Way out there, on the back roads, and in the backcountry.

Wilderness in California - more nature, less people.

hike. bike. camp. sled.


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