In the preface of this book the author says that the wonderful campgrounds in this book may "inspire you to get outdoors a little more often". Well, reading about the Utah outdoors in this book has me absolutely restless to explore all of the amazing parts of Utah that I haven't seen yet.
I knew I could trust the book's author when he suggested, in the nice section of general camping tips in the introduction, a male-specific nightly bathroom solution. "For guys, a practical (but often scoffed at) solution is to keep a large-mouth Nalgene-type bottle in the tent and use that inside the sleeping bag at night. Be discreet, though, and dispose of the night's work appropriately." Man, when I read that I knew that the author was a frank advisor that I could trust. He would pull out all the stops to give me the best info he could. That's a very important quality in an outdoor advisor/mentor.
It's true that this book is not a good review of all the campgrounds in Utah and that if you are looking to camp in one particular place in the state then you may discover that there is no information on your desired location in this book. However, that isn't a failing of the book. The name of this book is, The Best in Tent Camping: Utah: A Guide for Campers Who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos. The title tells us that this book is going to introduce us to quiet campgrounds that are less on the KOA end of the spectrum: campgrounds where you can still spot that rare and beautiful outdoor creature that used to be so plentiful in the wild country of Utah - a tent. I think the book does an excellent job of fulfilling its intended mission.
Some very nice features of this book are:
A Utah state map with icons representing the campgrounds featured in this book
A handy introduction containing an explanation of how to best use the book and general camping tips
Informative campground descriptions that described the campgrounds very well, had personality, a bit of history and geographical context, and - importantly - the were still very concise
Lots of detailed information about the campgrounds like, location, website addresses with information about the campground (generally run by state parks organizations that manage the campground), campground facilities list, fees, elevation, and much more really helpful info
A rating system with five-star ratings for beauty, privacy, spaciousness, quiet, security, and cleanliness
A map for each campground showing site locations, restrooms, water, and other helpful info
Brief driving instructions to help campers find their campground
GPS coordinates of the campgrounds
The author's website address is included in the book and the website has nice pictures of the campgrounds.
This book is well-written, and I appreciated the author's sense of humor. I think the funniest thing I read in the book was the author's description of the layout of Fish Lake's Bowery Creek Campground. He said, "There's no way to describe the configuration of this campground. There are two access points along the main road, which arc into a diamondlike loop and sprout a triangle zigzag with a baby pyramid at one end and a circle at the other. Ah yes, it's the classic arched-diamond-ziggy-triangosphere." The beauty of this book is that, since a map of each campground is included, I could look at the map to appreciate the layout for myself. Let me just say that this campground's layout is no less weird than described by the author.
This book is great. With all the information it contains in its few pages, it will be a great tool for any Utah camper seeking a great new experience.
Now, Mr. Steadman, let's have another book!