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Full Version: Free Boondocking in Iowa
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Buck Creek Park near Garnavillo Iowa (25 miles n. of Dubuque)

I spend a fair amount of time in cheap county campgrounds ($8 - $10 / night including electricty) or better yet, $0 for primitive camping on government owned land.  There is no need at all for stealth... Talk about less stressful!  And here's why....

1)  No local police to deal with - just county sheriffs - and they know you are camping.  They are probably HOPING your vehicle is there just for camping.  (v.s. the infamous Iowa rolling meth labs)

2)  No inquisitive neighbors.  Mrs. Kravitz (the nosey neighbor from "Bewitched") does not live around here.

3) Rural public hunting and fishing areas most often allow for free camping.  Iowa law is no more than 14 days (out of each 28) in one location.

4)  Clean water.  Ok, it's not exactly drinking water but I would not hesitate to shower using trout stream water.  It's very clean.  (Don't drink it though).  Most fishing areas are great for finding raspberries and blackberries in the spring.

5)  Fish.  The limit for trout is 5 per day.  If you don't mind a lot of the same kind of food, you can easily catch plenty of high quality protein most every day during the April - November months.

6)  The trout streams and WMA areas are very clean and safe. Many also have portapotties or "one holer" outhouses. 

Why does the DNR not mind if you camp for free at these Wildlife Management Areas?  Last weekend one of the guys I spoke with said it is partly because the regular campers and the DNR often help each other and having people around helps cut down on sketchy folks setting up meth labs, etc.


 Thanks for the tip!
Thanks .... that looks so very doable! What are the average temps like in the Summertime there?

During the summer days it can vary from around 85 to 100 degrees (with some humidity).  Most often it is around 87 or so at the evening meal time in late June and July... Even on the days when the temp got to 100 (we did have a HOT summer), I could still get a good night's sleep after dark by running the roof vent and box van although sometimes it wasn't till 2:00 AM...

Iowa can get pretty hot and stuffy during the summer but if you sleep in the camper every night, you acclimate...  From June - September (plus or minues) low temps are usually above 50. 

I used to be the world's biggest air conditioning wuss but this year I learned how easy it is to live without it.