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Dispersed (Dry) camping...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:07 am
by mikeschn
I started this section because there is so little information available on dispersed camping. In addition I think teardrops are perfect for dispersed camping. If anyone has any information on dispersed or dry camping, hot tos or where tos... please post it here...

Here's a starting point: some information on dispersed camping in the National Forests...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:31 am
by Guest
Interesting... I've never heard the terms Dry or Dispersed Camping. I've heard it refered to as Primitive Camping...
The kids and I did some Primitive Camping last summer and they seemed to like getting away from the crowded campgrounds.
It was my way of slowly working them up backpacking... :twisted:

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:41 am
by mikeschn
Another reason dispersed camping sounds so attractive is that it's free!

and there's lots of National Forests to choose from...

Hey Frank, what do you know about the ones in SC?


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:09 am
by Arne
The problem I've run into is if you live out west it is great. The closer you get to the eastern seaboard, the less national camping (ie, free) is available.... Now, living in CT would be great if only the pilgrims had landed in Los Angeles....... and the migration had spread east.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:10 am
by Ross Wade
There are quite a few "campgrounds" that way here in the mountains of NC and TN. Around here they refer to it as Pack it in and Pack it out.
Growing up, my brother and I and some friends use to do that all the time. It is just another way to enjoy what nature has to offer.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:12 am
by mikeschn
Don't forget to look at State Forests also. Here in MI they are also free...

I just took a look... CT has 3 state forests!!! :shock: and the price is not THAT bad... $11 or $13.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:33 am
by SteveH
We've done dispersed camping a couple of times out west inadvertantly. We ended up out in the middle of nowhere in a national forest, tired, and it was late. Just pulled off the road in a clearing, got in the camper locking all the doors and went to sleep. We had a small self contained camper then, and the one thing that I distinctly remember about it, was that it was spooky! There was NO one around, and it was absolutely quiet, except for all THOSE sounds, and totally dark. Don't think I'd want to do it in a teardrop. :oops:

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:57 am
by Arne
I have purchased a book with a title something like "Free Camping East of the Mississippi" (I don't have it in front of me right now)..... but, we were camping in some chilly weather so usually went commercial).... plus the free campgrounds (free meaning under $12.00) were usually out of the way from our route.

Mike, we have tried some of the state campgrounds... ok if you want no overseeing by rangers and a lot of loud music and beer parties that go till 2 a.m.

Our state campgrounds are not like national forests where solitude usually reigns.... here, it is usally teenager and young people looking for beer parties with no parental control..... We have way to many people here.... want some?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:14 am
by mikeschn
No you can keep those people. I remember driving thru NYC coming back from CT. Now THAT was a lot of people. It didn't thin out till I got a ways into PA on I-80.

I have that book too, "Free Camping East of the MS". I haven't had a chance to check out any of those sites yet. Maybe this summer. My first priority is to check out some State forests and see how I like them. Who knows, I might get spooked like Steve H did.

I only did dispersed camping once, it was on a hike along the shores of Lake Superior, which btw is bear country. There was no one, or nothing for miles around, or so we thought. In the middle of the night something was making a huge racket, and we were spooked! The next morning we found that a porcupine had made off with all of our food. We took the short hike out of there and headed for the closest resturant!!!


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:49 am
by Arne
We canoe camped in Northern New Hampshire, Lake Umbagog. A boy scout camp nearby had a brown bear attack, dozens of eggs and pounds of butter were taken....

We had one enter our camp (about 20 people, 10 tents). Guide said to get out in the lake in canoes.... a few hours later, came back. One cooler dragged away, still contained tomato juice, beer was gone. Gas bottle punctured.

We lost one quart of milk...... I still have insulated water bottle with bear teeth marks (holes) in outer shell, looks like someone shot it with a .22 rifle.

People who didn't listen and kept food (candy bars) in their tents had tents ransacked........ ah, the memories...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:53 am
by Rob
I used to work for Mendocino National Forest in northern California. There were wide spots in the road, dirt road that is, that were called YUM Yards. The loggers would place their Yarded Unutilizeable Material (YUM) in these spots. It was the stuff they cut down that wasn't worth hauling to the mill. I imagine these spots would be great for dry camping. Ask your local Forest Station where one of these is. Remember, leave only footprints and take only pictures.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:36 pm
by Q
I spend most of the summer every year dry camping in my teardrop. There are thousands of square miles of forest service and BLM land here in Oregon where you can camp as you please. The only restriction is that you must move camp every 14 days in most places. It's a lot quieter than camping in a developed campground also.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:46 pm
by mikeschn

I've been meaning to ask you... with your solar panel mounted on your teardrop you have to pick a sunny site to get your battery recharged, right? Isn't your teardrop get too hot in the evening when you go to bed?

Or do you go for the shady spots? Then how does your battery get recharged?

What am I missing here?


PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:56 pm
by Boodro
I did a lot of dry camping up around Houghton lake area. We used to deer hunt on some state land just north of Houghton about 20 miles. I camped in tents & popups for almost 20 years up there & we never had a bear problem or any other kanid of animal for that matter. Of course it was in the fall usually the middle of Oct. but it was the most peacful camping you could ask for. Sure there are nite sounds , but once you learn & know what makes those noises its rarely what you think it was! :lol: Also the nite skys are fabulous to gaze at, crystal clear & some times you can see the Northern Lights, they are the most mezmerizing site to see! :shock: Taking a nite stroll is very cool too, all you need is a very small flash lite just in case, your nite vision develops very quickly when your away from all light! :o Just walk down the roads you drove in on & you can always make your way back to camp. Just be like Motel 6 , leave a light on ! :lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:16 am
by Bigwoods
We do this type a camping from our canoe a lot. We portage all of our gear , food and canoe. Water is fiitered or straight from the lake. Most of the pristine lakes we go too are potable, but my wife always filters or boils her water. Our goal is to minimize weight we have to carry especially food. I'm looking forward to this kind of camping in the tear also as it becomes a habit we enjoy. BTW we try to leave no trace and leave any site better than we found it.