Public lands on the big island of Hawaii offer some very nice camping areas. The county parks offer some of the most accessible and affordable camping spots. In most of the county parks, camping permits can purchased online, at the county office or onsite. Camp sites can get full quickly in the best parks so reserving a spot in advance is best if you know which days you want to camp.
The west side of the island is more popular for camping due to the better weather and nice beaches. Some spots on the east side are rainier and also have a higher crime rate. Hawaii County is one of the poorest counties in the U.S. Between drug use and poverty some of the east side spots can be rather dodgy for tourists to camp at. Some of the camping areas on the west side have an on-site camp host to keep an eye on the place and keep would-be thieves from bothering visitors and travelers. If you are concerned with security it can be a good idea to get a spot that has a host and check up to date local information on the various camping spots that are more secluded and further from developed areas.
The more developed county parks have drinking water, restrooms, shelters and occasionally, showers. Most of them are several miles from stores making it advisable to bring provisions and food with you. Camping in Hawaii is a great way to really experience island life.