Camping in BLM Land: Free. Silence, Isolation and Spectacular Sunsets: Priceless

We’ve mentioned before how much we love dispersed camping, also known as roadside camping, random camping, and free camping.  The reasons are many:

  • It’s free!
  • It’s quiet
  • We are isolated and alone
  • We can run the generator whenever we want
  • The dogs can run free off the leash
  • The views are usually spectacular
  • Did we mention it’s quiet?

Timm cooking out with Shadow and Darby hoping to test the ribs

Currently we are dispersed camping on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land north of Snow Canyon State Park in Utah.  We could’ve camped in the park’s campground, but the campsites there are so close together that you could literally reach out your RV window and touch the RV next to you.  Plus it’s $20 per night.

Instead, we are paying nothing to camp in the middle of nowhere with a fantastic view of Signal Mountain in Dixie National Forest.  It’s incredibly quiet here, as the only sounds we hear are the howling coyotes at night.  It’s also very isolated, with the nearest humans about a mile away in some houses on a ridge.

Interestingly we are not completely alone as we often are.  At 7 a.m. each morning we’ve been here, a group of hunters park nearby, start up their ATVs, then head off into the national forest to hunt deer.  Turns out this is the last deer hunting weekend of the year.  They wake us up, but their noise lasts for only 5 minutes before they ride off on their ATVs.  We actually don’t mind this because it makes us feel more secure in our RV. 

Security is our top concern when dispersed camping.  Other than a minor confrontation with a local rancher in Montana, fortunately we haven’t had any trouble while camping on public lands.  But in the back of our mind we always worry about our RV getting broken into or getting hassled by some troublemakers.  That’s why we are always well-armed, but of course we cannot defend our RV when we are not here.  But when there are many hunters in the area, we feel more secure because hunters tend to look out for each other, and people naturally assume that we are well-armed hunters and are less likely to mess with us.  Or so we hope.

Theresa admiring the sunset

This is one of our last opportunities to dispersed camp, and we are making the best of it.  We cooked out, started a fire, and roasted some marshmallows.  Later I will take the dogs for a walk under the full moon. 

Sometimes we camp in campgrounds because we need electricity and hookups, because there is no public land nearby, or because we are visiting a park so big that it pays to camp within it.  But given the opportunity, we’d prefer to dispersed camp every time.

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