Florida reservation system
By now everyone who camps in Florida knows the drill; get reservations 11 months ahead or itís go fish. I got a spot at Fever Dykes near St Augustine about a week ago. It was Fri-Monday and cost me $28 with fees. I looked again a few days later and the same spot was available Thursday so I grabbed it. It cost me $23! Almost as much as the other 3 days. When I registered for Thursday I told the ranger I also had the spot for 3 more days on a separate reservation and should I come back for a new tag. He said donít bother no one will bug you. I said I was concerned if I did not re register for the next 3 days they might think I was a no-show and try to give the site to someone else. He said they never give away no-shows who donít cancel.
Favor Dykes is a nice place, but it wasnít too long ago it was always available because it is not a super popular place like Anastasia or Gamble Rogers. The completion for campsites is so tight these days itís pretty much eliminated spur of the moment reservations. Plus, there is virtually no incentive to cancel a reservation, especially for a weekend because with the fees you hardly get any money back. There are a bunch of unused sites here as a result.
I donít know what a better system would look like, but Iíd like to see motivation to cancel your reservations so other people can get a chance.