everything counts


Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

here comes the heat

Travel, camp, hike, bike, kayak and fish as much as you want. This is California, the land of outdoor recreation, with stunning scenery, granite domes and mountain peaks (of all sorts and sizes). Melting snows, raging rivers, wildflower canyons and mellow, fishing reservoirs. Wine Country to the remote Wild West ghost towns, we have all of it listed on Total Escape.

This summer learn to live without technology in your hand! Learn to read a paper topo map, get to know your physical limitations or find new outdoor skills. Go for a week-long camping trip, cook a big breakfast outdoors, hike everyday, catch a fish, bring the mountain bike, and see terrain that you never knew existed - right in your very own back yard.

Yep, we can help you break free from the imaginary bondage and excessive city lifestyle. False eyelashes need not apply. Total Escape can show you how to find places to camp out for free, on the dirt back roads, and you will not even need a 4x4 (nor a cell signal) to reach it. Hard copy MAPS: topographic maps are still readily available. No batteries required.

With warmer weather, snow is rapidly melting and summer is almost here. Wildflowers are still happening, under 6000' elevation. Expect major mud on dirt back roads and NFS gates could be closed at some locations. Massive snow melt means super full reservoirs, landslides, rock slides, damaged back roads, deep mud, flooded creeks and overflowing (dangerous) rivers.

If you are indeed traveling the back roads, then you want to be prepared for delays. Tree work, heavy equipment operators clearing rocks, guard rail or bridge repairs. Check your driving route / road conditions and always have a plan B. Get outside soon and find a non-muddy patch of earth, and make sure to bring a picnic!


SHTF: the crisis economy is underway. Surviving this coming year is more important than planning some silly road trip. From local flooding to landslides on the burn scars areas, to trees crashing on to roadways, flooding problems; now economy collapsing, inflation, increased grocery bills and gas prices, power outages to a potential world war - we have more to be concerned about than ever before. Denial, is no longer an option.

Here at Total Escape, we are used to promoting local vacations, maps and gear - but now that business model seems almost irrelevant. Helping you evaluate the current situation, future mishaps and plan for the rest. PREPPERS at heart, we left our city-life behind (over 2 decades ago) and encourage others to become more self-sufficient. Rural California Directory Learn to grow food (indoors and out), heat with firewood, filter water, fill sandbags, make repairs, and survive days without electric power. Sharing our most watched You Tube channels, we also have pages planned for food production, soil building, composting, firewood, tools, chainsaws, fencing, keeping chickens and much more. As we have learned of recent, the system is frail and nothing is guaranteed.

Seed Starters

California Escapes

California Maps

all local: updated monthly

ancient: 27 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 boulder garden, a big 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 more than the past 2 decades!

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. kayak.

Site Founder

camp diva DanaMite

Who is DanaMite?

archives, online history

Local Road Trips

guided camping tours

Guided Trips
California A-Z

small towns, rural calif

Small Towns

Explore the Site

California Hotels


historic inns, lodges, indie motels

California Camping


outdoor activities, leisure, tours

California Scenic Drives


travel tips, scenic drives, weather, roads

Rural California


back roads, small towns, wilderness

California Gear

Gear Shop

outdoor equipment, tools, survival

Outdoor Maps California

Map Store

state atlas, camping maps topographic

Social Media Pages

Social Links

find us on social media, on occasion

California Wilderness


blog articles, outdoors in california

Camping Tents

shop for tents

Downtown Virginia City, NV

city deserts mountains city country National Parks National Forests California State Parks camp hiking back roads stargazing California Lakes boat rentals snow areas horseback rides RV motorhomes ski resorts bike rentals California Camping

California RSS California Road Trips Instagram Total Escape Total Escape Blog Pinterest Total Escape Twitter DanaMite California Facebook