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Free camping in the US: the rules and where to do it

It’s a Vanlife moment and life on the road, if not a lifestyle at least in vacation time. And if you’re thinking of going wild camping in the US, or renting a camper, van, or car with a tent or backpack, there’s at least some information you need. The first is that It is not forbidden in our country where it is always forbidden (With some special exceptions). The second is so with that There are rules that must be known and respected strictly.

Why go wild camping in the US

It wouldn’t take many words to make you want to go camping in the States. From Life in the Woods of Henry Thoreau to Into the Wild, On the Road to All The world of survival and off the gridAnd the The United States of America is the core of the dispersed camps. Solitude, peace, connection to nature, wilderness, the freedom to make a last-minute decision about where to spend those hours of life, and self-sufficiency are all foundational aspects of something particular. American way of life. It is no coincidence that the phenomenon of dispersed camping has experienced a real boom as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns that have sharpened the desire for direct contact with non-human nature.

Free camping in the US: the rules

Americans with laws and rules are more linear and simple than us. So in the USA you can go camping for free on everything”public landI managed before Land Administration Office (BLM) as well as in some of the areas it managesUS Forest Service (FS.USDA). There is more in the West than there is in the East, if you really have to choose which side of the states you want to go to, but there are still those everywhere.

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You only need to know how to find it (and avoid stopping at night where it is not allowed).

Camping Dispersal in the United States: Where to Go

“Public lands” truly belong to everyone, and Americans are very strict about the concept of public land. Either in their protection or easy access to them. This is why websites and apps like CampindiumAnd the DirtAnd the FreeCampsites And the iOverlander or GPS (This application is in the ecosystem of the publisher Outside, The Outdoor Bible USA) where you can find a file Detailed maps of scattered camping areas in the United States of America.

Likewise, you should know that freedom is a form of discipline, especially when it comes to protecting nature, and Americans are very strict about this. So you know very well that you will not find camping facilities and services (no toilets, no showers, no litter boxes, etc) and that the first commandment is always Leave no trace.

Free camping in the US: the rules and where to do it

this idea Leave nature just as we found it It is very deep when it comes to public lands in the United States. It doesn’t just mean not leaving trash, it’s about whether or not to make a fire for cooking or heating, it’s about human and dog excrement, it can also relate to the grooves left with the MTB or with the cart, the collection of plants, flowers or berries (we all remember How did Chris McCandless die? Right?) and many other aspects that should not be underestimated when you decide to stop and spend the night in public land.

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Earl Warner

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