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WonderMonkey

Let's Talk Camping

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One of the reasons I bought my atv is to go dispersed camping.  I want to drive somewhere, take my atv off the trailer, and go down forestry, logging, etc. roads and find a place to camp.  If it's by water, all the better!  I'm looking in the states around me and finding their opportunities to do this.  It's all over in Canada, and I'll go there in time, but I also want to do this on long weekends.

 

I also know some places that already go (backpacking) that have multi vehicle use roads that are overgrown.  I've found them on the map and contacted the local ranger station.  I'm free to go there.  For those places, if I feel it is very low use, I'll go there repeatedly and use downed trees to build a small shelter.  I used to do that before I raised a family and I want to do it again.  Imagine having a little shelter, a chair you made yourself, a table, and a fire while relaxing near a creek, river, or lake?

 

Riding a distance is away from people is, of course, different than camping at an atv park and riding the trails.  What you take for a trail kit is different.  Fuel, maps, etc. are all now of more importance.  I'm looking at rear rack containers to be able to handle the base camp type outings where I'll build a shelter as well as just a simple drive down a trail and camp adventure.  I know I could start with some duffel bags with a waterproof liner, so it's not critical I get something like a Plano trunk or the like.

 

I'm a backpacker, so I'll be able to translate what I do there to the atv.  I already am conscious of weight, though I know I'll bring extra since I have the atv.

 

Any of you camp off your atv?  Got any setups you would like to share?  Any spots you want to tell us about?

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I never knew what dispersed camping was , even thought now I realize I have done it many times---when I looked it up I found this 

 

 

Dispersed Camping Guidelines

What is Dispersed Camping?

Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers. Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no services; such as trash removal, and little or no facilities; such as tables and fire pits, are provided. Some popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets.

There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It is your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience. Camping rules and regulations apply to make your experience safe, and to keep the natural resources scenic and unspoiled for other campers.

Rules for Dispersed Camping

  • Groups of over 75 people who wish to use the forest, need to obtain a special use permit. There is no fee and permits can be obtained at the nearest District Office.
  • You need to be self-contained. No amenities are provided; such as water, restrooms or trash cans.
  • You may camp in a dispersed area for up to 16 days. After 16 days, you must move at least 5 road miles for camping in another dispersed area. Campers may not spend more than 16 days of any 30 day period at the same dispersed area.
  • Please place your campsite at least 100 feet from any stream or other water source.
  • Keep a Pack-In Pack-Out camp. Follow Leave No Trace guidelines.
  • Contact the local Forest Service office to see if any restrictions, especially fire restrictions are in place.
  • Be Bear Aware. There are bears on the National Forest, so camp accordingly.

Where Can I Disperse Camp?

The best way to find out what areas are open to dispersed camping is to contact the nearest Forest Service office to the area you wish to visit. Typically, dispersed camping is NOT allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, or trailheads. Many people drive out on Forest Service roads into the woods and find a clearing or a spot near a stream or with a view of the mountains. Do not drive on meadows to access your camping site. Drive on existing roads to prevent resource damage. Dispersed camping is allowed in a one-mile perimeter away from campgrounds and 100 feet from any stream. To prevent resource damage please keep your campsite within 150 feet from a roadway.

How to Pick a Campsite

If you are going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that has been used before. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites so using existing ones will minimize your impact in the forest. If there is no existing campsite, then follow these Leave No Trace guidelines.

  • Camp on bare soil if possible, to avoid damage or killing plants and grass.
  • Do NOT camp within 100 feet of any water source, plants near water are especially fragile.
  • Do not camp in the middle of a clearing or meadow; try to make your campsite less visible so that other visitors will see a "wild" setting
  • Do not try to level or dig trenches in the ground at your campsite. Pick a tent site that is already level with good drainage.

Can I have a campfire?

Please use existing sites and fire rings. Wood permits are not needed for usage on the forest. If wood is transported home for personal use, pick up a permit at the nearest District Office.

The National Forest has wildfires each year. Many of these are caused by human activity, typically escaped campfires from dispersed campers. Campfires are allowed when you are dispersed camping unless there are fire restrictions in effect due to high fire danger conditions. It is your responsibility to know if fire restrictions are in effect before you go camping. You can learn about any fire restrictions by contacting the nearest Forest Service office.

Tips for Safe, Low Impact Campfires

Use existing fire rings if they exist. Minimize the scarring of new rocks, soil, and plants by using existing fire rings.

Select a site that is not in a meadow or clearing, that is not next to a tree with low overhanging branches, that is at least 100 feet from any water source to protect fragile vegetation.

Clean an area and make a ring of rocks about two feet in diameter.

If you don't bring your own firewood collect only dead wood that is on the ground. You should not cut branches off of live trees. If a popular camping area does not have dead wood on the ground, please bring your own firewood. The animals, insects, and micro-organisms in the soil need rotting wood on the ground to survive.

Before you leave your campfire make sure is it completely out. You should be able to put your whole hand into the ashes without being burned, it should be cool to the touch. Stir the ashes to make sure all embers have cooled. This is very important! Many forest fires are caused by abandoned campfires that were not completely out.

Water and Toiletting

Water gets contaminated by visitors who do not take care of their human waste or their garbage and food properly.

Going to the Bathroom in the Woods

Dispersed camping means no bathrooms and no outhouses. That means extra care has to be taken in disposing of human waste. To dispose of feces, dig a hole six (6) inches deep at least 100 feet away from any water source. When you are done, fill the hole with the dirt you dug up and take your toilet paper with you to dispose of in a proper waste container. Never defecate or leave toilet paper on top of the ground. It could easily get into the local water source and contaminate it.

Treating Your Water

We used to be able to take a cup and drink directly out of the sparkling creek, a rushing waterfall, or a clear, deep lake. There is NO safe water source anymore. With an increasing population and visitation to our National Forest, water sources have been contaminated with invisible micro-organisms that can make people very ill and even kill them in some cases. Giardia is a common contamination that has been spread through improper toileting and wild animals to many water sources. It will cause diarrhea, cramping, and other physical problems.

The only way to ensure that water from any undeveloped source is safe is to treat it. That means heating it until it comes to a rolling boil, using water purification tablets or a water purification filter. Water from faucets in developed recreation areas has been tested and treated and is safe to use without treating.

Have Fun!

If you follow these tips you can save a safe, low impact, primitive camping experience. Thank you for helping care for YOUR National Forest.

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@Fishfiles exactly!  And rules are different depending on where you go, but what you posted is generally it.  When I backpack into the area I will regularly atv into, I call the Ranger station and get the up to date info.  It has, at times, changed what I did.

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We use to primitive camp and hunt a lot , via 4 wheel drive trucks deep in the woods , but we always went as a group , too many bad things can happen when you are by yourself ----

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6 minutes ago, Fishfiles said:

We use to primitive camp and hunt a lot , via 4 wheel drive trucks deep in the woods , but we always went as a group , too many bad things can happen when you are by yourself ----

 

That is true, it's a risk.  I have two stories that involved people who intended to do harm.  I'll save those for a campfire and some beverages.

 

I've also went solo into Canada (canoe).  That's a risk as well.  I do prepare properly (in my mind) to minimize the risk, but it's still there regardless.

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Posted (edited)

Bush camping is all the wife & I do! Back woods, crown land, do what we want, when we want, how we want! We go to the the foothills in Alberta. However I drag my new camper in.. some spots we could be there for a week & not sera person or vehicle!! 

Edited by Wheeler
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Fishfiles said:

We use to primitive camp and hunt a lot , via 4 wheel drive trucks deep in the woods , but we always went as a group , too many bad things can happen when you are by yourself ----

 

thats  the rule when i let people go camping on my place, never alone. dont trash the land, no cutting of standing trees, no camp fires left un attended ,and no atv riding in the creeks, or in edge of fishing ponds. just glad i don't have to go to a public area to go camping... been there. 

Edited by _Wilson_™
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Much like I live for ATVs and riding now days , there was a time when I lived for 4 wheel trucks and camping , in fact 5 of my buddies that ride ATVs with me now had trucks back in the day and we all rode together  just about every weekend , we left Friday evening and never went home till Sunday night --- we hung out on the Stennis Test Center buff zone , where they test fire space rockets , which is the Mississippi side of  Honey Island Swamp , between Kiln an Picyuanne , was called catahoula Creek , which is the head waters of the Jordan River ,  it was a little different on the Mississippi side, crystal clear creeks , white sand beaches --- it is all locked up now days , recently  heard that some of the leases will sell you a yearly pass and you can ride the roads during the off season of deer , but you can't legally ride in the creeks no more  

82 Bronco XLT_crop.jpg

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10 hours ago, Wheeler said:

Bush camping is all the wife & I do! Back woods, crown land, do what we want, when we want, how we want! We go to the the foothills in Alberta. However I drag my new camper in.. some spots we could be there for a week & not sera person or vehicle!! 

 

I watch a few youtube channels where people use crown land, and it seems awesome.

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4 hours ago, Fishfiles said:

Much like I live for ATVs and riding now days , there was a time when I lived for 4 wheel trucks and camping ,   

82 Bronco XLT_crop.jpg

 

Where I will spend some regular time used to be off-road vehicles like you have in your photo.  My brother and his buddies, and others, used to be all over that place.  Fast forward 25 years and those trails are overgrown and forgotten.  Bonus!  Since they are legal to ride, I'll slowly clear a path and enjoy the solitude.

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I've spent the last 25 years getting equipment to do it, but with 4 women in the house with me, it ain't happening. 

 

Maybe if I can work a boy up before I get too old I'll have a partner to use all my camping stuff someday.  Most of it  hasn't been used since my college days.

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well, thankfully you have plenty of place you, and your family own to go riding, and camping. i just pic a spot on my place, and go, never have worry about people stealing anything, or it getting too crowded, then fishing is pretty good as well. 

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2 hours ago, jeepwm69 said:

I've spent the last 25 years getting equipment to do it, but with 4 women in the house with me, it ain't happening. 

 

Maybe if I can work a boy up before I get too old I'll have a partner to use all my camping stuff someday.  Most of it  hasn't been used since my college days.

 

When my kids were younger it was difficult to get out on my own as someone always had something going on, so understood.  All my kids are either finishing college or on their own, so I can do the things I want to do.

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2 hours ago, jeepwm69 said:

 

 

Maybe if I can work a boy up before I get too old I'll have a partner to use all my camping stuff someday. 

I am  up  for adoption , like to hunt and fish and can clean game and cook ,  if the allowance is good !!! 

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1 minute ago, Fishfiles said:

I am  up  for adoption , like to hunt and fish and can clean game and cook ,  if the allowance is good !!! 

haha..we all know you can cook ?..but do you do dishes ???!!..rofl.

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My kids didn't like fishing , their nanny taught them to call me the " Fish Killer ", when I would fry them up they would come to get some right out the grease as they loved to eat them and I use to rag them with , "you don't want me to kill them , but you are going to eat them ? "

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25 minutes ago, WonderMonkey said:

 

When my kids were younger it was difficult to get out on my own as someone always had something going on, so understood.  All my kids are either finishing college or on their own, so I can do the things I want to do.

 

Well my girls are 18 months, 15, and 17, so I've kinda strung them out where I'll be old as dirt by the time the youngest moves out.  Maybe the grandkids will go with me!

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38 minutes ago, Fishfiles said:

I am  up  for adoption , like to hunt and fish and can clean game and cook ,  if the allowance is good !!! 

 

I don't think I can afford your beer tab!  Would be nice to have a heavy equipment mechanic around though.  Then I'd have an excuse to get some heavy equipment!

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2 hours ago, jeepwm69 said:

 

I don't think I can afford your beer tab!  Would be nice to have a heavy equipment mechanic around though.  Then I'd have an excuse to get some heavy equipment!

Kids are expensive and don't do much of any , if any cores , beer is cheap !!! 

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You probably wouldn't scowl at me and huff if I asked you to do something either, would you?

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