Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
Hi Bob — I like to fish and I like to boondock. But I don’t know how to find quiet places where I can do both. If I do find a spot I have no idea whether I am permitted to camp there or whether I’ll be thrown in the hoosegow, and usually there is no one around (I like that part) to ask. Any suggestions? —Fisherman Bill
Hey Bill — Good question, and these locations are not always easy to find — unless you’re a local (there’s an idea for a book.)
One of the best places to begin your quest is to contact the state Fish and Game (or Fish and Wildlife, or something similar) in the state you plan to visit. Many — maybe most — states provide “fishing access” along waterways or lakes under their control. These are not fancy campsites, as you might expect — they are simply waterside spots where anglers can fish and stay overnight. The agency can likely provide you a list of rules as well as how to obtain a fishing license, if it is required, as well as locations around the state.
Many hunting locations allow camping (at duck ponds and wildlife preserves for instance) when out of hunting season. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also allows camping at some of their lakes, but often these are campgrounds with designated campsites, sometimes with full or partial hookups, but that also have some general parking areas where they allow boondocking.
Also, check the local BLM offices for the area. You might be surprised at how many BLM camping locations are on or near waterways and lakes. Be sure that when you talk to them that you specify that you would like boondocking or “dispersed camping” campsites or they will only direct you to established campgrounds. Do the same with the U.S. Forest Service, state forest services, and Federal Bureau of Reclamation. You should be able to find websites and locations of local offices for all these agencies with a simple Google search.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .