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Dispersed Primitive Camping in a US National Forest

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    • Dispersed Primitive Camping in a US National Forest

      (UPDATE) I am a huge fan of Kenneth's videos, and recently I got a tweet that he is going to take a break from this as he lost one of his life long best hiking friend. I hope you subscribe to his videos and check out the huge gallery of thoughtful video's on backpacking and Camping.





      When I was a kid this is what we called camping...KennethKramm discusses the legal parts of stealth or wild camping on BLM lands. Keep in mind he is using very inexspensive camping gear and I find it interesting to watch his comfort level...


      From the BLM website


      Dispersed Camping
      It is the general policy of the BLM that undeveloped Federal lands under it's administration are available to the public for camping and general recreation, with the following provisions:
      • Camping is limited to 14 days within a 30-mile radius in a 28 day period
      • Pack out what you pack in
      • Avoid camping within 200 ft. of any water source
      • Do not leave campfires unattended.
      On public lands managed by the St. George Field Office, there are several areas where resources are managed more intensively and camping is restricted.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl: Update ().

    • When I was younger this is the type of hiking/camping/fishing/exploring I did around old mine workings, hardly ever hiked established hiking trails. The mineral act of 1872 allows for exploration on BLM lands...my homework was done in the library's long before the innerwebs and correspondence through snail mail...fun stuff.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Socks ().

    • My most recent campoing trip was the first time I have ever had to pay, or get permission.

      Of course, the Boy Scout trips the Scoutmaster got permission. In Texas, he knew several farmers who let us camp on their land. I was looking over Google Earth last month and some of those farm lands are now housing developments. One area we camped at is now under about 50 feet of water as a flood control dam was put in on that river.
      --
      "What do you mean its sunrise already ?!", me.
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      ...and I've disbursed camped closer than 200'. I know it's not LNT but in a little-used area, what's the rationale for being further away? (Of course I don't go to the bathroom near water.)
      It's all about Leave no Trace. "Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams" - BLM and Environmentalists. All about those watersheds that you might crap or pee so close that E-coli will end up in a already soupy mess of water filled with parasites. Clearly wildlife and cows still don't have a clue they are not allowed to defecate or die in the stream. Here in Pa they are doing massive planting of trees right in the flood plains - one was completed recently on the North side of Downingtown. Replacing what farmers removed 100's of years ago for farming. If you knew this already I apologise.









      See more at: lnt.org/learn/7-principles#sthash.HYimv7Vu.dpuf
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • i think most people who piously proclaim not to camp within 200 or 300 feet don'r realize what they are saying. how far is 200 or 300 feet? i put in the context of a football field. 300 feet is 100 yards -- an entire football field. 200 feet is 66 yards. are they really camping that far away? i doubt it. i sure don't.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      i think most people who piously proclaim not to camp within 200 or 300 feet don'r realize what they are saying. how far is 200 or 300 feet? i put in the context of a football field. 300 feet is 100 yards -- an entire football field. 200 feet is 66 yards. are they really camping that far away? i doubt it. i sure don't.
      Nothing pious about it... We as backpackers and hikers are required or someone hiking a back trail will fine you & me. There is a law don't you know. Environmentalists are behind every tree. They refuse to plant one.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • camp anywhere you want, so long as you dont leave a trace, you dont pollute the water supply and you're legal.in dispersed camping the idea is just that-to disperse the impact on any given area. if you've left the site the way it was when you arrived, i really dont think it matters if you're 10ft or 100 yards from a trail.
      what does it matter if you're 200 ft away from a source or the trail if you leave your trash behind, along with unburied waste,makeshift fire rings and smoldering embers?because you cant see it it doesnt exist?
      just be conscious and respectful of the environment you're traveling through
      its all good
    • hikerboy wrote:

      camp anywhere you want, so long as you dont leave a trace, you dont pollute the water supply and you're legal.in dispersed camping the idea is just that-to disperse the impact on any given area. if you've left the site the way it was when you arrived, i really dont think it matters if you're 10ft or 100 yards from a trail.
      what does it matter if you're 200 ft away from a source or the trail if you leave your trash behind, along with unburied waste,makeshift fire rings and smoldering embers?because you cant see it it doesnt exist?
      just be conscious and respectful of the environment you're traveling through
      It's not JUST about being out of sight, it's also that getting further from the trail makes a bigger area in which to distribute the impact. A site 10 feet from the trail, if it's lawful, will become a concentrated-impact sacrificial zone very quickly. (And part of the trick is to stay out of sight of those who don't know what they're doing, so they won't all reuse your site.)

      Camping away from water is partly so that you don't camp right in the route that the local wildlife use to access the water source.

      And you're entirely right that leaving trash, failing to comply with Deuteronomy 23:13, and unsafe fire practices are all far greater sins than camping too close to trail or water. But I think everyone here knows that; we're the ones who should be trying to take it to the next level.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • Most backpacking in the Western US is dispersed camping.

      Officially.

      But there are always obvious sites people use with fire rings, packed down dirt and sometimes even make-shift log furniture.

      I try to avoid these very obvious sites as that is where bears and other critters tend to go!

      When car camping, getting a dispersed site is often a very good option, too.
    • PaulMags wrote:

      Most backpacking in the Western US is dispersed camping.

      Officially.

      But there are always obvious sites people use with fire rings, packed down dirt and sometimes even make-shift log furniture.

      I try to avoid these very obvious sites as that is where bears and other critters tend to go!

      When car camping, getting a dispersed site is often a very good option, too.
      Thanks Paul for posting... Colorado is far different from what we are doing in the part of the east coast.... Could you post again with more insight and detail. I think you have a lot more to offer to the group.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • As long as nobody tries to disperse the campers with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas ...

      Seriously though, I dispersed car camped at Blackwell Horse Camp, Charles C. Dean wilderness, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana. I drove a car onto grass and pitched a tent. I've been there more than once. There are picnic tables under a roof, and vault toilets.
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      living the dream!


      What is your dream?
      While I understand the need for transport to the trailhead and certainly appreciate the MT bike concept, the idea of taking one' s shelter on wheels complete with a mobile grid (generator) into the woods escapes me.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • WanderingStovie wrote:

      As long as nobody tries to disperse the campers with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas ...

      Seriously though, I dispersed car camped at Blackwell Horse Camp, Charles C. Dean wilderness, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana. I drove a car onto grass and pitched a tent. I've been there more than once. There are picnic tables under a roof, and vault toilets.
      And yes, I had a power inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter to charge my electronics.
    • Dan76 wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      living the dream!


      What is your dream?
      While I understand the need for transport to the trailhead and certainly appreciate the MT bike concept, the idea of taking one' s shelter on wheels complete with a mobile grid (generator) into the woods escapes me.
      Well it has a lot to do with the way we learned to camp as kids. I was exposed to several different methods, My dad had backpacking tents, a pop up Starcraft and later went to small car tow-able hard campers that could be left in a campground. but now that I'm 55 - I got a little lazy and want more comfort.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • This video is also Dispersed Camping in Quebec. I love the Bush Buddy and how they do their bacon and oatmeal. Notice the shelf and tarp system. This becomes a "super Shelter" thick mylar reflextix and a clear plastic sheet to trap warmed air from the fire.

      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • From their website.
      Rules and Regulations – Specific rules and regulations vary from national forest to another so check with the forest you are going to enjoy. (Contact information is found at www.forestcamping.com.) Examples: backpacking campers in Superior National Forest’s wilderness areas may be required to view a “Leave No Trace” video; and, Angeles National Forest imposes seasonal restrictions on camping areas for migrating salamders.
      Campsites – Choose your campsite carefully. For privacy, select a secluded camp, screened from roads and other human activity. Two hundred feet separation and dense natural screening is considered an ideal. Also establish a campsite’s size appropriate to your needs and, when through, as well as possible, return the area to its natural condition. Protect the environment by avoiding delicate meadows, streams, and river banks. Check with the National Forest for specifics concerning campsite selection. Some forests require campers obtain a no-fee “permit” while others limit locations to protect endangered flora and fauna.
      Fires – FYI – Camp stove, used for cooking, are preferred in most forests. Remember, a small campfire minimizes damage to the ground and conserves firewood. Use only Dead-and-Down wood. Do Not cut trees or branches from standing trees for fuel. They burn poorly and smoke. Leave all plants, shrubs, trees, and standing snags undisturbed to preserve a sense of naturalness. (Remember: Standing snags or down trees are homes for wildlife.) It is also suggested you bring an axe, shovel, and bucket to help manage your campfire.
      Pets – If you bring a pet, keep it restrained out of respect for your camping neighbors and wildlife. Unsupervised pets are not encouraged within any National Forests. Unsupervised pets can have a painful experience with wildlife. Don’t forget to pick up after your pet.
      Waste Disposal – Dispose of all waste water and fish entails at least 100 feet from any water. Burn food waste or pack it out and remember aluminum foil does not burn. If camping in a recreational vehicle, haul your human waste to a sanitation dump – Do Not dump it in the forest. Other campers should dig a “cat hole”, a 6 to 8 inch deep hole, and bury “deposits” in it.
      Trails and Roads – Motorized vehicle should stay on designated roads and trails. Avoid wheel impacts to meadows, streams, and steam banks. Avoid developing new trails or roads. Non-motorized campers should follow the same principles when using trails. Resist the urge to take shortcuts as it destroys vegetation and may cause erosion.
      These are a pretty general guidelines but should give a feel for what you need to think about if your want to try this growing type of camping.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?