VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: Learning dispersed camping
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
We spent our first night in a dispersed camping location.  Meaning it had basically a rough very large area of land and other people had long ago set up fire rings to light a fire in.  We spent all day yesterday looking for a place to camp and late last night we came to the Pike National Forest at an area called Kenosha Pass south.  There was an alternate area to park larger vehicles for $16 a night, but dispersed camping was free.... so we went back down a bad road... not as bad as some have been.  It was getting dark, but setup is easy by now.  Coals were still banked by the previous campers, which is not good in a high fire area,  but we took advantage and got a new fire going.  For me it was the best night sleep yet.  Pat and Chris said the sounds on the highway bothered them though.  These pics are next morning... and that last one is a burning or something on the side of a tree... I plan to turn him into something in photoshop when i have a moment. Still a hell of a view to wake up to.

     A question though.... many of these roads on blm land and national forest land seem to surrounded by a lot of roadside fences that make it impossible to park a car and use the land, yet I've been told we can camp "Anywhere" yet even with dispersed so far we still seem to be being designated where we can and cannot camp.  I'm just a little confused though i'm sure it'll become crystal clear sooner or later.  We are headed now for yellowstone!  in Denver right now.
Matt
It looks like you found a beautiful spot! 

 BLM areas are often a checkerboard of public and private land. To be absolutely sure that you're on public land you need good maps. Bob recommends Benchmark and DeLorme maps. There's also a phone app - US Public Lands.

 National forests may also have pockets of private land. I think this is more common in the eastern states.

 If you see a gate in the fence there may be a sign requesting that the gate be closed or left in the position that you found it. BLM land that is used by ranchers is often fenced but you can still camp on the land if it's public.

 We haven't bought any detailed maps because we don't spend enough time in one area to make them worthwhile but I often use this site to check the land ownership - http://publiclands.org/Get-Books-and-Map...icstate=WY
Once you get a map up check the Land Status box in the bottom right corner then zoom into the area that you're interested in.
If it's National Forest and you're not near a population center, chances are the fence is just to control cattle.

I look for campsites with gates because most people are afraid of gates. Right now I am camped on NF land outside of Flagstaff AZ with a gate at both ends of the road I'm on. I get very little traffic here!
Bob
Since you are headed to Yellowstone, you've got it made for boondocking locations!

Over the past few weeks, Bob has reviewed places he found to camp for free near each of the Yellowstone entrances. So just start clicking back through the blog posts and find all sorts of valuable info.
Kenosha pass is a stones throw from where we camp. In fact we use their weather station to see our forecast. I hope you enjoyed our beautiful State.