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News

Van Camping in Hawaii

Stay Wild

With Local Fun-Tographer John Hook

Obviously the biggest perk is the year-round good weather. In Hawaii, you never have to line the inside of your Westy camper with foil to keep warm in the middle of a January night.

Even on Oahu, the most populated of the islands, there are still miles of coastline where you can find a spot to park your bed. There is a law in Hawaii that loosely states: If you are fishing at the beach (a pole in the sand, with fishing line cast into the ocean), you are legally allowed to stay at any public beach overnight any day of the week. So pull up in your van, cast a line, and hang out until the sun comes up.

There are a few city and county beach parks that sell weekend permits for beach park camping. Usually those official parks are in nice areas, and they provide bathrooms and public showers. I recommend doing this if you plan on camping in a big group.

In the summer, beach camping provides radical views of stars and the Milky Way, as long as you are far, far away from the city lights of Honolulu.

In the winter, if you are on Oahu, you can park near the beach and wake up to goliath surf right outside your sliding door. If you don’t already own a Vanagon or some type of imaginative Astrovan, no worries—most times, you can find a rental on Craigslist throughout the islands.