TripTrist Travel Planners has encouraging news if you want to go on a camping adventure for the long 4th of July weekend.
There are three ways go camping without reservations.
Start by checking ReserveAmerica.com to see if any campsites are available due to cancellations. Users may set up an alert to be notified if a specific park has availability.
Next, look for campsites that don’t take reservations and get there early, preferable a day or two before the weekend.
If there is nothing available, do not disrepair. There are millions of acres of publicly owned land across the United States that allow dispersed camping.
What is Dispersed Camping?
Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers.
Dispersed camping is the term used for camping OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping is allowed anywhere in the National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. These are public lands that the federal government oversees.
As long as the general rules are followed, camp can be set up as close or as far from civilization as desired.
Dispersed camping means no services such as trash removal, and little or no facilities such as tables and fire pits, are provided. Some popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets.
There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It is your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience.
Camping rules and regulations apply to make your experience safe, and to keep the natural resources scenic and unspoiled for other campers.
The following rules apply when camping in the wilderness:
Dispersed camping is allowed in a one-mile perimeter away from campgrounds and 100 feet from any stream. To prevent resource damage please keep your campsite within 150 feet from a roadway.
Bring your own water.
Be Bear Aware. There are bears on the National Forest, so camp accordingly.
Leave the area as you found it. Back out all trash and waste. Follow Leave No Trace guidelines.
When on camping on BLM land, don’t stay longer than 14 days
When camping in the National Forest, Don’t stay longer than 16 days.
Do not leave campfires unattended. Put fires dead out before leaving the campsite or don’t have a fire at, to eliminate the risk of starting a forest fire.
For a detailed description of the rules visit the Forest Service website or the Bureau of Land Management website.
When deciding where to go, start by looking at a map of the destination. For example, Californians might want to drive up to the Sierra Mountains to enjoy the cool air, a clear view of the stars, and refreshing mountain streams and lakes.
Open up Google Maps, look at map of the eastern California. All of the light green areas indicate National Forest or BLM land. Zoom in further and pick a target area. Keep in mind that vehicles must stay on existing roads and it is best to camp in previously used areas to reduce damage to the environment.
If you follow these tips you can save a safe, low impact, dispersed camping experience.
TripTrist Travel Planners
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US Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.