Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

the heat is on

There is no good reason to camp along the side of the paved highway or in the summit parking lot. Free camping abounds on the back roads! Take any number of dirt roads to discover a better camp site, dispersed, primitive, and less than a mile from the busy state route. 4-wheel drive not required! Printed, hardcopy maps are best to have when cell phone coverage is nill. Campfire permits are required and can be obtained at the nearest ranger station. Seclusion, plus peace and quiet await the adventourous soul. No crowds, no fees and minimal traffic.

Overlanding, primitive style camping, or just sleeping outdoors in the boonies; Total Escape has been the boondocking experts, online - SINCE 1996. We've been camping for free - for decades - in California, Baja and Utah. And we have the pix to prove it.

Sierra Buttes 2017

This Total Escape website is DanaMite's creation for California outdoor travels. An independent guide to the back roads and a massive small town directory. A labor of love, updated monthly, over two dozen years - and it needs your support to stay alive and online.


Snow is still present in the mountains above 7000' elevation, so be prepared for some closed routes at higher altitudes, as they work on clearing the roadways.

Traveling the rural regions? Check your driving route / road conditions and always have a plan B.

Google Maps is not broken: Always be flexible in your itinerary and do not count on cell phone reception in rural regions. Plan your trip and any side routes in advance - and always carry paper maps!!

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.

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camp diva DanaMite

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