5 Important Things to Consider Before Choosing a Dispersed Campsite

5 Important Things to Consider Before Choosing a Dispersed Campsite

5 Important Things to Consider Before Choosing a Dispersed Campsite

  • Fire Regulations: Are there fire restrictions? Will I need a fire permit? Dispersed free campsites rarely have a fire pit so it is important you come prepared with basic backcountry fire safety skills. Don’t forget Principle #5 of Leave No Trace principles is to minimize campfire impacts.
  • Road Conditions: Are there any road closures? What are the road conditions? Do I need 4-wheel drive?
  • Water Availability: Will there be any water sources nearby? What is the current water status for these sources?  Generally if you are dispersed camping on protected land you’ll need to be 200 feet away from any stream or water source, so make sure to check rules and regulations before heading out.  Always carry plenty of water in your vehicle and/or a way to filter water if there are any water sources at the site.
  • Campsite Amenities: Generally there are no amenities such as picnic tables, trash receptacles or restrooms. Bring a trash bag, and be prepared to pack out your trash.
  • Cell Service: A lot of dispersed free campsites are in remote areas where you may not have cell service to access maps on your phone. We highly recommend carrying paper maps with you in your car which are also helpful for identifying nearby hiking trails and other recreation opportunities.