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Everest Maher
Feb 25, 2021
In Places to Camp
We live for moments like these :)
Beautiful Sunset on Free Campsite content media
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Everest Maher
Feb 20, 2021
In Travel Tips
Our National Forests provide some of the best free camping land left in the United States. This is your guide to avoid ending up in an outrageously overpriced National Forest "developed" campground. Step 1 Locate the National Forest boundary nearest to you (or where you'd like to camp). To do this, the National Forest has a very good online interactive map which displays every National Forest in the country as well as all the facilities within them. It's often a good idea to cross-reference free campsites you've found online with the National Forest interactive map to avoid accidentally winding up in someone's backyard. Some "free campsites" listed online have not been confirmed or are no longer on free public land. Step 2 Visit freecampsites.net to see if other campers have previously listed any free dispersed campsites near you. Freecampsites.net has a review system where recent campers can leave their reviews on the quality or accessibility of a campsite. This helps to verify that the sites are still available and accessible in your season, if there are recent reviews. Also, if cell service is a concern of yours, freecampsites.net lets users display their level of connectivity from the campsite, usually for most carriers. If you find a good-looking campsite that is definitely within the National Forest boundary, you're good to go. However, if none are listed, keep reading... Step 3 Zoom into the National Forest interactive map and find the National Forest access roads that usually branch off a highway or town. If you're in a mountainous or cold area, be sure to note the altitude of the roads to make sure that they aren't covered in snow. For National Forest roads in the Pacific Northwest or Rockies, most of these become snowmobile routes in winter/spring, making them impossible to access. Once you've found a good network of forest roads that are accessible, continue to step 4. Step 4 Move over to Google Maps and find your forest road. If it's also an official road on Google Maps, that's a good sign. Any pullouts, unless marked otherwise, along these roads are fair game. There are often dead ends, parking areas, and even abandoned dispersed campsites. Any of these areas, unless marked otherwise, can be parked in usually for 14 days at a time. On Google Maps satellite view, you may even be able to see these areas, especially parking lots. You may be surprised or overwhelmed by the sheer number of forest roads in each forest district. The partnership between logging companies and the National Forest Service has resulted in thousands of public access dirt roads throughout our National Forests. Always be wary of specific signs marking closures or logging operations, which can happen during any season. The general rule of National Forests is: if undeveloped, all areas can be camped in unless marked otherwise. Step 5 Explore your road in person and find yourself a campsite! Under most circumstances, you'll not only find dozens of campsites/pullouts, but you'll also come across many fellow campers. Most campers have their favorites that they return to frequently. While camping, make sure to follow any fire safety procedures (current rules/restrictions can be found on the NFS website) and of course, leave no trace! Tips If you've never been there, do your searching during the day. Of course, this seems like common sense, but as any car camper will tell you, it doesn't always work out this way. Forest roads can be in awful condition, under ten feet of snow, closed, collapsed, or even non-existent. Going during the day can help you figure out any contingencies before it's too late. Also, finding pullouts or dispersed sites at night is infinitely more difficult. It's more worth it to drive out of your way to somewhere you're familiar with if it's dark and you don't know where to camp. During camping trips, you'll probably come across flipped-over vehicles, horror stories of lost campers, missing person posters, and abandoned destroyed cars. You can avoid this by never going anywhere that makes you feel uncomfortable. If the road is sketchy, turn around. There's nothing wrong with sleeping at Walmart. If you don't know where to go, crashing at a Walmart, Pilot Gas Station, rest stop, or Park and Ride is better than getting a flat tire on a mountain. Use your common sense when camping and plan as best you can. Help other campers with your tips and tricks for National Forest camping! Comment below and add to the thread.
How to park in National Forests (overnight camping) content media
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Everest Maher
Feb 14, 2021
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Everest Maher
Feb 14, 2021
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Everest Maher

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