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Boondocking Tips

By Lorry Patton

A list of boondocking sites is not simply a listing of addresses. As boondocking implies, you are parking away from specific locations unless you are parking in rest areas or parking lots of department stores, both of which are temporary stops. (Rest areas post the length of stays (but don't put out your lawn chairs and bar-b-cues) and check with other rv'ers parked at WalMart parking lots to get the guidelines on parking your rig there or speak to management.)

Most government land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), run by the US Department of Interior under the National Park Service. This land is there for our use and enjoyment and they have excellent websites explaining how we can do this with the least impact on the enviroment so we can insure that it will still be there for our grandchildren's grandchildren to enjoy.

When I know exactly where I'm going I use the BLM website to plot my course. For example, here's the route I take when I want to go to Tuscon, Arizona:

Editors Note Jan 1 2002: The BLM website is down because of
"litigation against the Department of the Interior (DOI) regarding accessto Indian trust data or assets."
More information can be found in an article at the LA Times

From the BLM home page directory http://www.blm.gov/nhp/directory/index.html I click on the Arizona link which takes me to the Arizona page http://azwww.az.blm.gov/. I then click on Outdoor Recreation and it brings me to http://azwww.az.blm.gov/fr_outrec.htm. I choose Tuscon and then click on Camping. Here's what I find on camping on BLM land in Tuscon:

" Most of the lands managed by the Tucson Field Office contain diverse landscapes without developed campsites, signs or facilities. Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as "dispersed camping." Most of the remainder of public lands in Arizona are open to dispersed camping, as long as such use does not conflict with other authorized uses or occurs in areas posted "closed to camping," or in some way adversely affects wildlife species or natural resources.

Dispersed camping is allowed on Public Lands in Arizona for no more than a period of 14 days within any period of 28 consecutive days. The 28-day period begins when a camper initially occupies a specific location on public lands. The 14 day limit may be reached either through a number of separate visits or through 14 days of continuous overnight occupation during the 28 day period. After the 14th day of occupation, the camper must move outside of a 25 mile radius of the previous location until the 29th day since the initial occupation. The purpose of this special rule is to prevent damage to sensitive resources caused by continual use of any particular areas. In addition, campers must not leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days. To further protect your public lands, water, in any manner pollute the surrounding area. PACK IT OUT. "

This route will work with other cities and other states and I recommend this website highly.

Here are more government websites with information on use of public land.

There are several websites on the internet where boondockers share information with one another on where they stayed, how long they stayed, how to get there and if there are any fees. Some of this stuff has been online for several years so be sure when you do your research that you are reading current information. Two sites I found with the most current information are:

Happy Boondocking!