FREE DISPERSED CAMPING RV 101: How to Find Free Camping on Public Land

FREE DISPERSED CAMPING RV 101: How to Find Free Camping on Public Land

FREE CAMPING 101 – How to Find Free Camping on Public Land

Camping is one of the most popular pastimes in America. But campsites are expensive. And, with the high demand for limited campsites, it can be difficult to get a reservation. Luckily for us, there are thousands of campsites on public lands where you can park for free!

Free camping is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It offers an escape from day-to-day life, as well as a chance to explore nature and learn more about it. Luckily for us, there are many public land campsites in the United States that are free for use by anyone.

The best part about these sites is that many of them are located in beautiful locations and provide a wide variety of activities to enjoy, such as swimming, hiking, fishing, boating, and more.

Dispersed camping is the term for a type of camping where you’re not limited to designated campgrounds. For those who love the outdoors, this may be the perfect opportunity to set up camp wherever you can find a spot. There are many benefits to free dispersed camping, so read on to find out more.

For Information on how to boondock: RV Boondocking Tips: What You Need to Know When RV Camping Off-Grid

Free Camping-Is This a Thing?

It’s definitely a thing! This type of camping is not as common as traditional RV campgrounds, but it’s a great way to get closer to nature and experience all that the wilderness offers.

  • Dispersed free camping can be found primarily in National Forests and in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. The best part is that you can (usually) stay for up to 14 days in one spot. Just make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations for the area before you set up camp.
  • There are some things to keep in mind when dispersed camping: first and foremost, there are no water, sewer or electrical hookups at dispersed campsites. Second, access to showers and toilets may be limited, but more than likely, no facilities are available at all.

Despite these few drawbacks, dispersed camping remains a popular choice for RVers looking for a more rustic experience. With its many pros-including privacy and independence, dispersed camping is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for free RV camping on public land.

Note: Be sure to check ahead of time to see where camping is allowed before you go – most public lands have its own set of regulations.

Boondocking with Starlink in Wyoming
Boondocking with Starlink in Wyoming (Photo: D. Saparow)

The Benefits of Free Camping

For people who travel and camp for extended periods of time, free camping is one of the best options.

  • Obviously, the big draw with free camping is the cost: you don’t have to pay any money to do it.
  • Dispersed camping can be a good option if you’re planning on exploring or passing through an area with a lot of dispersed campsites.
  • Dispersed camping offers true seclusion and peace. You usually won’t find many (if any) other people at these campsites, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get away from it all. So, next time you’re out exploring new places, keep your eyes peeled for suitable sites–you might be pleasantly surprised.
  • There are many ways to find free dispersed camping sites on public land. The easiest way is to contact your local or state authorities and ask them where the best dispersed camping locations are. They will be able to help you with maps and directions, as well as any permits you may need.

Where Is It Legal to Camp for Free?

On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land*

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a one type of public land that allows you to camp with no fee. BLM lands are found primarily in the western United States. The important thing to remember is that BLM lands can be found on all kinds of land, from mountains to desert topography, and it may also cover a wide range of private land activities, such as cattle grazing rights and mining operations. If you’re looking to camp for free, be sure to call or visit a nearby BLM office to check out the specific regulations for the area you’re interested in visiting before heading out.

It’s also important to note that the BLM land is not marked on Google Maps, so it might be helpful to print out a map from the BLM website ahead of time. When setting up your campsite, always practice Leave No Trace camping principles by keeping your site clean and minimizing your impact on the environment.

Note: *Be sure to check ahead of time to see where free camping is allowed before you go – most public lands have its own set of regulations.

BLM Links:

FREEROAM WEBSITE: Home Page (Recommended)

BLM: Find a BLM Camp Site

BLM Office: Find a BLM Field Office

BLM Website: Home Page

On National Forest Land*

National Forests offer plenty of free camping opportunities to be found, but it’s important to check ahead of time to see where dispersed camping is allowed before you go.

Camping outside of established recreation areas and developed campgrounds is generally legal in National Forests, but it will be completely self-sufficient (off-grid) without amenities like trash or toilets.

You can use a search engine like Campendium or FreeRoam to find free camping in US National Forests and Grasslands. Another great resource is the National Forest Service website. Here, you can locate detailed information about specific National Forests and Grasslands, including maps of vehicle use roads and campgrounds. You can also find out about any restrictions that may apply-such as fire bans-before heading out on your trip.

Note: *Be sure to check ahead of time to see where free camping is allowed before you go – most public lands has its own set of regulations.

National Forest Links:

FREEROAM WEBSITE: Home Page (Recommended)

NATIONAL FOREST WEBSITE: Home Page

NATIONAL FOREST: Find a National Forest

NATIONAL FOREST: Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)

On National Grasslands Land (Limited)*

National Grasslands are public land managed by the US Forest Service and free camping is allowed with certain restrictions. National grasslands are typically smaller than National Forests and have fewer amenities (if any), but they offer a great opportunity to get away from it all.

Note: Be sure to check ahead of time to see where free camping is allowed before you go – most public lands have its own set of regulations.

National Grasslands Links:

FREEROAM WEBSITE: Home Page (Recommended)

National Grasslands (Home Page)

On National Conservation Areas Land (Limited)*

The National Conservation Areas (NCA) are a system of public lands in the United States managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These areas offer opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.

Dispersed camping is permitted on these lands. This means that you are allowed to camp anywhere within the boundaries of the NCA except in developed areas, such as campgrounds and trailheads.

These lands are managed almost exactly the same as open land, with the exception of National Monuments which can be found in some states but not others. For example, while there is no fee for camping at most National Conservation Areas, fees may be charged at certain times of year or for certain activities at some locations.

NOTE: *Only a few National Conservation Area allow primitive dispersed free camping. Check with your local BLM office before you go to make sure you understand all the rules and regulations governing camping on these lands.

National Conservation Links:

National Conservation: Home Page

On National Wildlife Refuges Land (Limited)*

Free camping is allowed on National Wildlife Refuges with a permit.* To camp legally, you must obtain a permit from the refuge manager. The only exception to this rule is during the off-season, when camping is legal almost everywhere without a permit. However, during peak seasons (generally May through September), camping requires a permit, which can be obtained from State and National Park Systems.

NOTE: * Only a few National Wildlife Refuges allow free dispersed camping. Check with your local BLM office before you go to make sure you understand all the rules and regulations governing camping on these lands.

BLM Links:

FREEROAM WEBSITE: Home Page (Recommended)

National Wildlife Refuges: Home Page

How Can I Find These Campsites?

There are many apps, and websites out there that can help you find the best free camping spots. For example, if you have a particular location in mind, then Google Maps will show you camping sites near your current location (type: ‘Campsites near me’).

If you want to find parks and free camping, then we recommend using the website FreeRoam.

FreeRoam

FreeRoam is an app that has just about everything you could ask for in a travel app. On this app/website, you can filter results from public land and campgrounds, to truck stops, dumps, and Walmarts. It will even show nearby hazards such as wildfires and smoke. Once you have settled on a destination, you can get directions and or save it for offline use when you know you won’t have a cell signal. Highly recommended!

FreeRoam Links: | iPhone | Android | Website |

IOverlander

The iOverlander app is very popular for finding free camping spots near you. iOverlander is full of user-submitted campsites and other traveler friendly information like dump sites and water fills. The app relies on users to add and update content, so it’s not 100% accurate. However, it can be a great starting point for finding free campsites in your area.

IOverlander Links: | iPhone | Android | Website |

Campendium

Campendium is a great resource for finding free camping across the US. This website has reviews, photos, and cell coverage information for campgrounds in every state.

Campendium Links: | iPhone | Android | Website |

The Dyrt

Another option is The Dyrt PRO website has a number of helpful features for finding camping, including a map of National Forest land that shows which areas are suitable for boondocking (camping without hookups). You can also see if an area has cell coverage before deciding to stay there.

The Dyrt Links: | iPhone | Android | Website |

US Public Lands

The US Public Lands phone app is great for easily finding where Public lands are in the US.

US Public Lands Links: | liPhone | Android | Website |

What Activities Are Allowed on Public Use Land?

Rules and Regulations for Public Use Land

When visiting public land, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations in order to minimize the impact on the environment. For example:

  • Check with your local authorities and the ranger station before heading into the forest to search for a suitable dispersed camping site.
  • Individuals may camp on BLM land for no more than 14 days, but must move their campsite 25 miles to avoid exceeding this limit. In other words, you can’t stay in one spot for too long!
  • Camping has a shelf life, as prolonged use can damage the natural habitat and resources. So if you’re planning on spending an extended period of time in nature, find another place to do so.
  • It is illegal to leave any garbage or pollution on public land. This includes cigarette butts, food packaging, and anything else you might not think about. (As a side note, we pick up trash whenever we find it).

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations for public use land in your state before heading to the beach or forest.

boondocking
Stock Photo

Leave No Trace

Leaving no trace is important when camping, hiking, and enjoying other outdoor activities. The leave no trace principles are in place for a reason-to protect the environment and keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy. Camp only where legal and safe, and don’t create new paths with vehicles. Your goal should be to leave the place without any evidence of your visit.

  • Free camping responsibly means following Leave No Trace principles: minimizing impact on plants and animals; staying 200 yards from lakeshores, streams and other water sources; and camp at least 200 feet from trails or campsites; packing out trash without damaging the natural landscape or wildlife habitat.
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has many resources to help campers be responsible and leave the area better than they found it. Before camping, scout the area you’re planning to camp in and make sure it’s a place you can enjoy responsibly. You may detach your trailer before committing to a campsite or checking out an area on foot. Make sure the terrain is acceptable for your vehicle and consider the weather when looking for free camping in National Forests. Paper maps are still a good idea-they highlight public areas and wildlife, as well as smaller state roads.

Public lands are a shared resource, so it’s important that we all do our part to minimize our impact when visiting. The environment is impacted by camping, but only when it is done poorly and carelessly.

Final Thoughts

Yes, there is plenty of free camping across the US. In fact, many campers choose to forgo designated campgrounds altogether and do free dispersed camping instead. Dispersed camping can be a great option when you are looking to avoid crowds or want more privacy.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1

HOW TO FIND AMAZING CAMPSITES: Campgrounds vs Dispersed Camping (free camping!)

Designated Dispersed Camping: The How, What, Where, When, and Why

Designated Dispersed Camping: The How, What, Where, When, and Why

Designated Dispersed Camping – The How, What, Where, When, and Why

New designated dispersed camping policies are slowly being implemented on federal lands that greatly limit the spots and times campers can boondock.

What is Dispersed Camping?

Dispersed camping is a type of camping where campers can camp in either designated areas or in non-designated areas. When camping in designated areas, campers are required to follow the rules and regulations set by the land management agency. When camping in non-designated areas, the general rule is to be 100 feet from any road, trail or water source. Some areas in National Forests are closed to dispersed camping, so check postings carefully and check with the local Ranger District office before you head out into the backcountry.

What is Designated Dispersed Camping?

Designated dispersed camping policies on federal lands are slowly being implemented that greatly limit the spots and times campers can boondock. The word to note is “designated” in dispersed camping. This means that there are specific areas where you are allowed to camp. These designated areas are usually far from developed campgrounds and have no amenities.

Designated dispersed camping seriously affects Boondocking choices. When you are looking for a place to boondock, you will now need to consider whether or not the area is a designated dispersed camping site. This can seriously limit your choices, especially if you are looking for a longer-term boondocking spot.

For now, designated dispersed camping is the exception to the rule. However, as more and more people become aware of dispersed camping, this may change. It is important to be aware of the rules and regulations before you head out to camp.

Implementation of New Dispersed Camping Policies

Designated dispersed camping rules are growing. As more people are aware of dispersed camping, the demand for these sites has increased. This has led to more rules and regulations being put in place in order to protect the land.


Summer Recreation Opportunities: Regional Dispersed Camping Program

Follow these general guidelines to help ensure that your Dispersed Camping experience in your national forest or grassland will be a safe and memorable one:

  1. Dispersed Camping weblinks: Click to go directly to links
  2. Make a realistic plan and stick to it. Always tell someone of your recreation plans.
  3. Please respect private landowners and don’t trespass on private property
  4. Typical Designated Dispersed Camping areas might be car-camping spots or areas where campers have already stayed
  5. Typical Non-Designated Dispersed Camping areas might be areas near trails in the backcountry, such as spots with rock campfire rings already created by prior campers
  6. Generally, overnight camping is NOT allowed at trailheads, picnic areas, day-use parking areas or any other areas that don’t allow overnight parking
  7. When using a dispersed camping area, the general rule is to be a minimum of at least 100-200 feet away from any road, trail or water source
  8. Dispersed campers are only allowed to stay a maximum of 14 days in any 30-day period. After 14 days, you must move your campsite to a new location, usually at least 3 miles away from your original campsite, and you can stay for another 14 days in a new 30-day period. After the second 14 day period is up, you must leave your second campsite and the national forest or grassland. This means that you can camp within one national forest or grassland for a total of 28 days within any 60-day period. Check with the local Ranger District office for further information.
  9. Carry a compass or a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and know how to use it
  10. Obtain a map of the area you will be camping in and, if possible, obtain trail sheets from the local Ranger District office to help with land navigation. Also, be sure to ask about any seasonal regulations or restrictions that may apply to the area you want to camp in.
  11. Travel responsibly on land by staying on designated trails or areas
  12. Check the weather forecast for your destination. Plan clothing, equipment and supplies accordingly.
  13. All dispersed campers should follow the ideals of Leave No Trace and practice the concept of Pack It In – Pack It Out.

For more detailed guidelines regarding responsible summer recreation on US Forest Service lands, please check out the Tread Lightly! information below:

  1. Responsible Camping Tread Lightly!’s Responsible Recreation Tips brochure:
  2. Tread Lightly! website
  3. PDF file 560 KB
  4. Responsible Recreation – Tread Lightly!’s Responsible Recreation Tips brochure:
  5. Tread Principles website
  6. PDF file 563 KB
  7. Sharing Our Trails – Tread Lightly!’s Responsible Recreation Tips brochure:
  8. Tread Lightly! website
  9. PDF file 938 KB

SOURCE: US Forest Service


Designated Dispersed Camping Rules Are Growing

Some people see this as a bad thing, but it is actually necessary to protect these locations from being overwhelmed and damaged by too many visitors. The key is to balance the need for public access with the need to protect these natural areas.

While it may seem like there are a lot of rules, they are in place to help protect the land. By following the rules, we can help to ensure that these areas remain beautiful for years to come.

How to Find Dispersed Camping Spots

There are a few ways that you can find dispersed camping spots. One way is to use the internet to locate dispersed camping in your area. Another way is to contact the agency who manages the area you are interested in and ask them about campsites. You can also go out on your own and try to discover “unknown” wild campsites. Google Earth and satellite maps are a tremendous help when locating dispersed camping spots.

Leave No Trace When Dispersed Camping

When dispersed camping, it is important to always follow the Leave No Trace principles. This means that we should take care of our trash, dispose of human waste properly, and not damage the natural resources in the area. By following these principles, we can help keep dispersed camping areas clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Designated dispersed camping allows for public access to vast areas that would otherwise be closed off. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing your impact on the environment.

Designated dispersed camping sites have been set aside specifically for this purpose by the government or other land management agencies. This means that you can camp there without worrying about disturbing sensitive ecosystems or damaging fragile archaeological sites.

By following these simple guidelines, we can all help keep dispersed camping areas clean and enjoyable for everyone.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1

Dispersed Camping on Public Lands Explained!

Starlink Launches New Starlink for RV Option:  30,000+ Orders and Counting

Starlink Launches New Starlink for RV Option: 30,000+ Orders and Counting

Starlink Launches New Starlink for RV Option – 30,000+ Orders and Counting

Good news for RVers! The Starlink for RV option is now available to the public and the demand for the new “Starlink for RVs” option has been high with over 30,000 orders placed since it launched a couple of days ago. The new Starlink for RV is a mobile internet service designed specifically for those traveling in RVs and boats. It offers excellent coverage, even in rural areas where other providers may not reach. In addition, the team at Starlink is constantly working on new ways to improve their services, so you can be sure that your needs will be met.

The Details

Starlink for RVs is available at the same price as Starlink’s regular residential with mobility internet service. The device costs $599 and has a $135 monthly subscription. But unlike before, the new RV plan gives you the ability to pause and un-pause your subscription during the months you are not traveling.

However, note that you can experience de-prioritized service in congested locations during peak hours, which may mean slow service speeds.

That said, on our recent boondocking outing to Wyoming, our signal was around 80Mbps, which was more than enough speed to stream movies, make Wi-Fi calls, and take part in Zoom conferences.

Plans are in place to improve speeds and bandwidth by launching more satellites.

What are the benefits of using Starlink with my RV?

Better Latency

Starlink’s low earth orbit (LEO) satellites are much faster than traditional satellite internet.

  • It takes 550 to 650 milliseconds for these waves of light to travel 90,000 miles, which is about 15% the distance from Earth to the moon.
  • For general web browsing, 550 milliseconds is fast enough.
  • When it comes to games, latency over 100 milliseconds can be a problem.

Starlink internet satellites are not just close, they are now equipped with lasers which allows them to “talk” with one another. This means that lower latency can be achieved with the use of Starlink satellites than with other internet services. Elon Musk said that latency would drop to 20ms later this year-making it an ideal option for gamers looking for low-latency service.

No Data Caps

RV Nomads need data plans with no data caps. This is because they often move around and need to have access to the internet wherever they are.

More Reliable Connection

With Starlink, you can have a more reliable internet connection. That’s because Starlink is delivered by SpaceX, who has thousands of satellites in orbit to ensure good signal strength. In addition, LEO satellites have low latency, meaning that there is little to no delay in transmission speeds. This makes for a smoother online experience when streaming or gaming.

No Service Outages

One of the benefits of using Starlink is that there are no service outages. This means that you can stay connected to the internet no matter where you are in the world. However, please note that this only applies to areas where Starlink has a signal. Also, if you are in an area with tall buildings or trees or other obstructions, your signal may be blocked and you will not be able to connect to the internet.

How Do I Set up My RV for Use with Starlink?

Check if your RV is in a good location for using the Starlink for RV plan

One of the first steps in using Starlink is to check if your RV is located in an area that has good service. You can do this by going to the Starlink website and checking out your “cell” location status.

Starlink for RV

AVAILABILITY STATUS

  1. AVAILABLE = Excellent chance of good signal.
  2. WAITLIST = You internet signal may be de-prioritized.
  3. COMING SOON = No intenet signal.

How to connect your hardware

The Android/IOS phone app walks you through how to set up your RV for use with Starlink.

To connect your Starlink hardware:

  1. Place your satellite dishy in an area that has a clear northern sky free from tall trees or buildings.
  2. Plug the power cord into the your Starlink ‘s router.
  3. Plug in the dishy satellite antenna cord into your Starlink’s router.
  4. If this is your first time on the Starlink internet please allow extra time for the router to install updates (if needed). Otherwise, you should connect with the satellite’s internet signal within 15 minutes or so.

What are some of the best ways to use Starlink while RVing?

Starlink is fast and has low latency

If you’re looking for a satellite internet service that provides high data rates and low latency, look no further than Starlink. The term “latency” refers to the time it takes for a response. With Starlink’s new satellites, this wait time is significantly reduced thanks to the use of lasers to send information between satellites.

httpsoutranking.s3.amazonaws.com123199 Dora20Kay20Saparow154559992022 06 17T183A313A21.916926 Starlink Performance Chart

How do I troubleshoot any problems I may have with my Starlink service while RVing?

Check your signal strength

When you’re RVing, it’s important to make sure you have a strong signal for your Starlink service. You can do this by checking the signal speed in the Starlink app.

Check for trees or other obstructions

If you’re having trouble with your Starlink service, it’s important to check for trees or other obstructions that might be blocking the signal. You can do this by locating in an open area with a clear view of the sky.

Final Thoughts

Starlink offers a fast and reliable internet connection for RVers and boondocking enthusiasts. They offer an easy setup and fast speeds.

I love the convenience of being able to stay in one place without worrying about having to move because I can’t find a signal or the speed is too slow. We won’t leave home without Starlink.

Bottom Line: Mike and I absolutely love our Starlink system!

Camping With Wildfires: How To Stay Safe When Boondocking During Wildfire Season

Camping With Wildfires: How To Stay Safe When Boondocking During Wildfire Season

What Are Wildfires?

  • Wildfires are a natural disaster that can cause extensive damage to both lives and property.
  • They occur when the environment provides the right combination of heat, wind, and fuel.

Camping With Wildfires: The most common cause of wildfires is humans. Campfires account for a large portion of these fires, and in fact, 60 percent of all wildfires in the United States are caused by people.

Campfires spread much more quickly than lightning-caused fires. In fact, they have twice as much speed as a fire caused by lightning.

Depositphotos Wildfire3
Depositphotos Wildfire3

What should you do if you encounter a wildfire?

If you are caught in a wildfire, do not panic. Try to stay calm and think clearly. Here is what you should do:

  • Follow the instructions of firefighters and other emergency personnel.
  • Keep an eye on your surroundings and be prepared to take action if necessary.
  • If you are asked to evacuated from your campground, leave immediately. Do not try to pack up or take anything with you.
  • If you are boondocking, leave the area immediately. Do not try to pack up or take anything with you.

Air quality

Follow the instructions of local authorities. Local authorities issue daily updates on air quality.

  1. Air quality can be good or hazardous during wildfire season. Although wildfires can be devastating, people who are sensitive to smoke should avoid areas where there is a wildfire. The elderly and pregnant women may have more breathing problems from the pollution of wildfires. People with asthma or respiratory infection may also be impacted by poor air quality from fire smoke.
  2. If you have a lung disease, consult your doctor about how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.
  3. If you are prescribed medication for a lung condition such as asthma or COPD, you may need to adjust your medication dosage or schedule.
  4. If you have a lung disease, avoid strenuous exercise in smoky areas and do not exert yourself if you are experiencing chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.
  5. If you have a lung disease and are near smoke from wildfires, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration . Drink at least two quarts of water per day.
  6. If you have a lung disease and are near smoke from wildfires, avoid exposure to irritants such as secondhand tobacco smoke or exhaust fumes from cars

What Causes Wildfires?

There are three components necessary for a fire to start: fuel, air and heat. The fuel can be anything from discarded cigarettes to campfires. Heat is created by the sun or lightning strikes that ignite a fire, and air is needed for fire ignition and sustained burning.

Fuel, weather and topography are all factors which can cause a wildfire to spread quickly or die down. Sometimes a wildfire will start with low moisture content and may burn quickly. The composition of fuel can influence how quickly a fire spreads, at what temperature and in what area it burns. The size and amount of fuel are both factors in the fire. Fire behavior always follows the same pattern, but depends on fuel type and size: small fuels burn quickly, large fuels generate more heat and burn slowly.

How Do Wildfires Start?

Wildfires can start in a number of ways. The most common way is from a spark, which might come from a vehicle breaking down while in motion. Other causes include campfires that are not properly put out, cigarettes thrown out of car windows, and sparks from ATVs or dirt bikes.

Spark arrestors help prevent wildfires caused by cars and dirt bikes, which have exhaust systems that create sparks and embers by accident. You should check your ATV, dirt bike, or other vehicles for spark arrestors to reduce the risk of starting a fire.

How to Prevent Wildfires

Wildfires can be devastating and destructive. However, there are things you can do to help prevent them.

One way to prevent wildfires is by managing your campfire properly. Make sure that you have a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish the fire when you’re finished using it. Remember to never leave a campfire unattended – not even for a minute!

Another way to prevent wildfires is by learning about the status of trails near where you’re camping, and avoiding them if they are closed or on fire related restrictions. Rangers are great resources for information about wildfire activity in an area, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions if you’re unsure about anything.

Hiking trails may also be closed if a fire threatens them – it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to any signage that might be present.

Recreational activities like boating, paddling, hunting and fishing can also spread wildfires – please remember these activities come with inherent risks when visiting areas affected by drought conditions. Be sure to know and follow all applicable regulations related to fires when engaging in these activities.

Depositphotos Wildfire4
Depositphotos – Wildfire

What Are the Dangers of Camping Near a Wildfire?

Check for fire restrictions before camping

Before you go camping, it’s important to check for fire restrictions in the area. Fires can easily get out of control, and if there are restrictions in place, it’s important to follow them. You don’t want to risk starting a fire that could endanger people, property, or wildlife.

You can find out about fire restrictions by contacting your local governing entity (such as the park service or forestry department). They will be able to tell you what is and isn’t allowed from a fire hazard standpoint.

In addition, active fire maps are available online. These maps can help travelers plan their trip more accurately and safely, given that some of the restrictions on wildfires change often.

It’s also important to know where fires are burning so you can choose a safer area to camp in. You can do this by checking the Air Quality Index before you leave home. The Air Quality Index will tell you how bad the air quality is in your area and whether it’s safe to be outdoors.

Be prepared for evacuation orders if camping near fires (even if you’re not close to any flames). Make sure you have all of your essential belongings with you so that you can leave quickly if necessary.

Camping outside during the high fire danger season can lead to serious health risks. Make sure you’re aware of the risks before you go, and research early so you can plan your trip accordingly.

Fire Apps I Use to Check on Wildfires

Website: Fire, Weather, and Avalanche Center

iOS and Android apps

iOS – Fire Finder — Wildfire Info ($.99)

Android: Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center

Follow Leave No Trace principles

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to do so responsibly. Leave No Trace principles can help make your camping trip more enjoyable for everyone involved. Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead and prepare for the area you are going to camp in. Know what is allowed and what is not.
  • Be sure your fire is extinguished before leaving the area – use water, not dirt, to put out your fire.
  • Don’t use a campfire during periods of high fire danger, even if there are no restrictions from government agencies or local communities. Campfires are common and should be done in designated areas, away from grasses and other items that may catch fire.
  • Pack out all trash and food waste. Don’t leave anything behind!
  • Respect wildlife and their habitats by keeping a safe distance away – remember they’re wild animals!
  • Follow these simple guidelines to have an enjoyable camping trip while preserving the natural beauty of our forests and parks for future generations

Know your surroundings

Before you go camping near a wildfire, be sure to check with the governing entity. They will have all the most up-to-date information on road closures and cautions in the area. Remember, your safety is always our top priority.

Camping near a wildfire poses the risk of not being able to get out in time. So it’s important to always know your surroundings and heed all warnings from authorities.

Another danger of camping near a wildfire is that winds can change quickly and unexpectedly, which could cause the fire to spread rapidly.

And finally, campers should always have an emergency plan before going camping – so they are prepared for any situation that might arise while exploring the great outdoors.

Tips for Keeping Your Campsite Safe from Wildfire

Campfires are the number one cause of wildfires in the United States, so it’s important to take some precautions when camping during wildfire season. Here are a few tips for keeping your campsite safe:

  • Turn the campfire out completely before leaving your campsite
  • Stay with your fire, and avoid it when windy or restricted
  • Check weather and drought conditions before lighting a fire to avoid a wildfire in your back yard
  • Wildfires are unpredictable and can be deadly. Be sure to heed any warnings or evacuation orders from authorities, and be prepared to leave your campsite at a moment’s notice.
Depositphotos Wildfire2
Depositphotos – Wildfire

Most wildfires start as human-caused fires, so always use caution when building or tending to a fire. Avoid leaving ashes unattended, and make sure all embers are extinguished before leaving camp

Firefighters use a PITA acronym to make sure that you keep yourself and your family safe from wildfires: P – Prepare, I – Inform, T – Tell Others, A – Avoid Poor Habitat and Animals

Use a proper fire extinguisher or monitor the area around your campsite for fires. Keep your campfire small and surrounded by dirt in order to reduce risks of wildfire.

Staying Safe

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stay safe when camping with wildfires. The first is to be aware of the fire hazard in your area. You can find this information out by looking online or contacting your local fire department. Additionally, it’s important to have all of the necessary tools and apps to help you prepare for a wildfire. These include a weather app, a map app, and an emergency contact app.

In addition, there are some general safety tips that you should keep in mind when camping in a forested area during wildfire season. Make sure that you always know where the nearest exit is and keep track of the wind speed and direction at all times. And finally, remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Happy (and safe)Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1

Garmin InReach Mini Review: A Powerful GPS Device For Your Pocket

Garmin InReach Mini Review: A Powerful GPS Device For Your Pocket

What is the Garmin InReach Mini?

Garmin InReach Mini
Garmin InReach Mini

Garmin InReach Mini is a small, lightweight satellite communicator that you can take with you anywhere. It allows you to send and receive messages via satellite, so you’re always connected even when out of cell phone range. Plus, it has a built-in GPS that lets you track your location and navigate with ease.

There are three subscription plans available for the Garmin InReach Mini: Safety, Recreation, and Expedition. The Recreation Plan has a pre-set messaging limit of 40 messages per month; while there is no messaging limit on the Expedition plan (you would only send one message every day or so to keep your phone charged), in theory you would only need it for short trips.

When first using the device, it’s important to tell your friends and family not to reply to every single message multiple times—doing so will quickly use up your monthly message allotment. The Garmin InReach Mini has a battery life of up to three days when fully charged, so you can stay connected even when far off the grid.

Why you need a Garmin InReach Mini?

The Garmin InReach Mini is the perfect tool for tracking, messaging with your contacts in remote areas. The Garmin InReach Mini is perfect for single adventures or seasonal use. Monthly service plans are available, with a 30-day commitment. There are two pricing options for the annual plan, with a lower monthly cost and always ready for your adventures.

Features of the Garmin InReach Mini

The Garmin InReach Mini is a small yet powerful GPS device. It has many features that make it perfect for your pocket. For starters, it has a digital compass to help you find your way. Additionally, the mini can share your location with loved ones in case of an emergency. An active satellite subscription is required for use.

The Garmin InReach Mini is compatible with the Explore app and website. This means you can plan trips, track your progress, and send and receive messages from the convenience of your phone or computer. Plus, if something happens when you’re out on the trail and you need help, the mini connects to GPS smartwatches for messaging and SOS capabilities. So don’t worry—you’ll be able to stay connected no matter where your adventures take you.

How to use the Garmin Inreach Mini

The Garmin Inreach Mini is a great device for hikers and adventurers who want to stay in touch with friends and family. The Mini has better battery life than the original Mini, so it’s a more reliable option for those who are planning on spending time in remote locations.

To use the Mini, you’ll need to download the Garmin app on your smartphone. You can then create an account with the company and register your device. Once you have done that, you will be able to send and receive messages from the Mini. However, keep in mind that you cannot route-find as easily with the device as you can with other models like the Inreach Explorer+.

Pros and Cons of the Garmin Inreach Mini

The Garmin Inreach Mini is a small and lightweight GPS device that can be carried in your pocket or backpack. It offers many features, such as the ability to send and receive text messages, track your location, and access (optional) weather forecasts. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider before making a purchase.

One downside is the expensive upfront cost. Additionally, text messages beyond your 10 free per month (on the Safety plan,) the fees can add up quickly. Another downside is that the Mini’s battery only lasts for three to four days when not in use; so if you plan on using it for an extended period of time, you will need to charge it often. The Earthmate app is also required in order to connect a phone to the Mini—separate apps on a phone cannot connect to the Mini. At 3.5 ounces, you won’t even know it’s there once you start carrying it around with you.

On the plus side, the Inreach Mini can send text messages from both the device and your phone. Additionally, its tiny size (3x2x1 inches) makes it easy to transport and its price point makes it worth buying. Its SOS capabilities, when connected with the app on your phone or tablet device, make it a valuable tool to have in case of an emergency.

  • NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

Starlink for RV: Internet in Your RV While Boondocking in Remote Locations

Starlink for RV: Internet in Your RV While Boondocking in Remote Locations

Whether you need to check in with work, post photos of your latest adventure or just catch up on some emails, a good internet connection is key. And if you’re an RV enthusiast, then you know that having reliable internet access in a remote area can be a real game-changer.

Starlink for RV: What is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite-based internet service that will provide low-latency, high bandwidth internet access to boondockers. This will be made possible through the deployment of thousands of Starlink satellites.

It’s always exciting when a new technology comes out that can potentially change the way we live our lives. That’s exactly what Starlink is doing for digital nomads everywhere—offering us a chance to have fast, reliable internet anywhere they go without worrying about data caps or cell reception no matter how remote we’re boondocking.

For those who have bought their dream RV and are boondocking with no central cell provider nearby, you might be stuck without options when it comes to internet accessibility. If you are a digital nomad, Starlink is the solution you are looking for.

Why Is Mobile Internet so Important for RVers?

RVers need mobile internet for a variety of reasons. For many, it’s essential for working remotely. If you’re not a digital nomad, and don’t rely on the internet for income, then an unreliable connection might be okay. But for the majority of RVers who work on the road, having a solid mobile internet connection is key to running a successful business.

For example, back in the day, an extended road trip to the Arctic Ocean with no internet connection would have been unthinkable. But now, with Starlink internet you can connect your RV to the internet while boondocking in remote areas. This will let you stay connected to the world and also keep your loved ones updated on your adventures.

Starlink Is Very Scalable, so Bandwidth Should Not Be an Issue as They Grow

Starlink Kit 2nd Generation
Starlink Kit (2nd Generation)

One of the benefits of using a satellite system like Starlink is that it is very scalable. SpaceX has already deployed 1,469 Starlink satellites into orbit and is targeting a grand total of 30,000. This means that as the company grows, they will not have to worry about running out of bandwidth. Because their satellites are in low earth orbit, they will provide high-bandwidth service to any location on Earth. In addition, they do not have data caps, so you can use as much bandwidth as you need without having to worry about going over your limit.

What are the benefits of using Starlink?

The Pros Using Starlink for RV Are:

  • Starlink is a great option for people who like to travel and want to be able to watch their favorite TV shows and movies while on the road.
  • Starlink offers broadband download speeds of 200+ Mbps, which is more than enough bandwidth to support a full-time RV lifestyle.
  • For digital nomads who work online, Starlink gives them the option to boondock without worrying if they will have a reliable internet connection.
  • You can make and receive VOIP calls using the Wi-FI call option in your cell phone’s settings.
  • The biggest pro for digital nomads is that you don’t need any cell towers or hard lines-you can just hook up your Starlink to the satellite. This makes it a great option for those who like to travel off-grid (i.e., boondocking).

The Cons of Using Starlink for RV Are:

  • You must have a clear view to the Northern sky as trees, canyon walls, etc. can keep Starlink from getting a signal. For RVers, this means finding a campsite that has minimal or no trees around them.
  • Hardware requires installation.
  • Software app set-up is required.
  • Requires AC electricity. (It has been reported that a 12 volt DC option is coming).
  • Monthly payments of $110.00 is better suited to the full-time RVer as opposed to the to the RVer who camp 3 or 4 times a year.

Benefits for Full-Time RVers and Boondockers

There are many ways to get internet service in your RV, but not all of them are equal. Some RVers rely on their cell phone plans for internet service, but this can be unreliable, especially in rural or remote areas where there is little or no cell coverage. 5G, 4G, and 3G speeds can often be challenging to receive in these places. (See: Staying Connected to the Internet on the Road in a RV—The RV Digital Nomad Guide for more info).

Starlink’s fast speeds could make long journeys a breeze for full-time RVers and boondockers. However, because of the $109 monthly subscription fee, Starlink Internet will probably benefit full-time RVers and digital nomads more than “weekenders” who camp only a few times every year.

Roaming Is Now Available

The Starlink group on Facebook and Reddit are filled with happy comments on being able to get Starlink internet service at multiple locations.

In early February 2022, a firmware update added a line indicating “Roaming=true” to the Starlink app debug information. This was celebrated by RV boondockers, as roaming with Starlink is now available in remote areas without having to switch their “home base” service address each time they move to a new location. Hundreds of Starlink users have since confirmed that they are able to roam and access the internet through their RV’s Starlink dishy.

Since Starlink is now available in roaming mode, RVers can connect to the internet while boondocking in remote areas. However, it is important to note that as of this publication date that your signal may be degraded as Starlink states it is a “best effort” while roaming outside your service address.

Roaming has been a big deal for a long time because it used to be so much harder to get connected while on the go, since you could only change your service address if you were lucky enough to be one of the select people chosen by Starlink. However, as of April 7th, 2019, everyone now appears to have access to this service. In fact, if you order Starlink now, it has been reported by many new users that Starlink is now being shipped with roaming turned on.

Order Your Starlink Hardware Now, Get in 10 days or less!

One unique aspect to the nomadic lifestyle is that most full-time RVers generally don’t have a fixed address that they specifically need permanent Starlink service at—so technically anywhere in the US can be used as a service address. So, if your plan is to travel with Starlink, then it really doesn’t matter where your service address is when you order it—especially now that Starlink service seems to successfully roam when away from the set service address. You just need to find an empty cell that will accept orders and then enter your shipping address so your order will be shipped right to you. Detailed instructions are available here.

The Starlink Kit Shipped to You Contains:

  • The Satellite Antenna (dish).
  • A tripod-stand for satellite antenna.
  • A router, power supply and connecting wires.

Dishy is delivered pre-assembled to your doorstep and all you have to do is plug it in. The setup process is quick, straightforward and worry-free. The Starlink app can be used to set up the router’s internet name and password, then you can log-in and start browsing on the Internet.

Installing Your Starlink Hardware

The process of setting up Starlink is as simple as it gets. It only takes about 20 minutes to set up the hardware and then you can immediately start surfing the web from anywhere in your RV.

  1. Find a place to set your Starlink dish on top of your RV or on a picnic table or even on the ground.
  2. Make sure you have a clear view of the Northern sky.
  3. Run the cord from the Starlink antenna into your RV. An easy method to do this is to run the cord through the rubber gaskets in your slide out.
  4. Connect the antenna cord to the Starlink router.
  5. Connect the power cord to the router.

Refund Information

You have a 30-day window in which you can return the Starlink equipment if you decide it’s not for you. After that, there is a one-year refund policy in place. If your Starlink kit is stolen, destroyed or otherwise removed from your premises without your authorization, you must provide notice via the Starlink Customer Portal immediately. The service has several restrictions, including no refunds after 30 days and a one-year warranty.

Final Thoughts

Starlink is the first ever satellite network that provides broadband internet service to RV campers and trailers. It’s a game-changing, life-changing service for those who want to cut the bonds to home or office and explore remote areas. With Starlink, there is no need for cell towers or Wi-Fi hotspots; you simply need an unobstructed view of the Northern sky.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1