Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
I’ve just begun boondocking on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and enjoy it very much. But I’m wondering if there are other public or private lands where boondocking is permitted. —Oscar G.
There sure are, though the BLM, with 247.3 million acres – one-eighth of the country’s landmass – under management, and the National Forest Service (NFS), with 188.3 million acres, are by far the largest of the Federal Public Lands – together about the size of Texas. There are other agencies that manage the public’s lands as well.
In fact, though part of the NFS, there are also 20 National Grasslands covering an additional 3.8 million acres. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages 562 refuges and 38 wetlands covering more than 150 million acres. In addition, there are lands managed by State Forests (Google search for “state forests [state]” to find them), state parks and wildlife, state fish and game (states often don’t use the same names for identical services), public utility land (often with primitive and even some partial-hookup campgrounds), some National Parks, and Monuments, Indian Reservations, Corps of Engineers properties – which are often located on waterways and lakes – and Bureau of Reclamation.
There are no simple rules to determine whether boondocking or camping is available on each of these properties, but a few clicks on a Google search in the state you are in should reveal many boondocking possibilities. And remember, check each property for the rules, as they will differ from state to state and property to property, before you set up your boondocking campsite.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .