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Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

Tain, United Kingdom
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Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

Hello,

I'm planning a campervan trip in Utah for 2 weeks end of Sep/October and hoping to spend quite a few nights dispersed camping on BLM/National Forest land to keep costs down and maybe find some quieter spots.

Given that i'll be taking the camper off during the day to see stuff and there are no reservations, Is it possible to save a dispersed camping spot for 2 or 3 nights or will I just have to find a new spot again every time I come back in the evening? Are there any unwritten rules or etiquette for this? In general do these dispersed areas ever fill up or will I pretty much always be able to find somewhere?

Thanks

Duncan

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6 replies to this topic
Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

Welcome to the forum. You need to become familiar with the rules for each individual unit, be it BLM or National Forest. Not that those are two completely different entities. Plus, every unit of each will have slightly different rules. For your short term stays, there is no problem in keeping a site. Yes, there are limits, but measured in weeks not days.

You will find more dispersed camping on BLM and more pay for site in National Forest, as a general rule. There is also a third category in Utah with state-owned 'SITLA' land. With BLM in particular, especially in high impact areas such as around Moab, you are required to have an operating portable toilet set up and functional.

Just look carefully at land owners in each of the areas you plan to hit and know the rules. In Moab, for example, generally the SITLA land is easier to deal with for dispersed camping. But BLM also has some wonderful improved pay sites. There is far less land available for disperse camping around Bryce and Zion.

Have fun.

Torrey, Utah
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for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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2. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

I generally leave my table and chair in the area where I want to camp in such a way as to make it obvious that the place is occupied, no thefts yet. In general (NFS & BLM) you are allowed to stay 14 nights in any one area and have to move 25 miles after that, but I don't think that is what you are asking?

Steamboat Springs...
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3. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

I'm with Bob on how to preserve a spot you might want back again, especially since you won't have a tent in place. Leave a chair or two to make it appear you will be returning to your spot. I so far... have never yet had anyone take any of my gear or camp right in on top of me. Over 45 years of this type of camping.Good luck!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

People in the back country are usually seeking solitude, so if they see someone else's campsite, they will flee and find another more secluded area. Here is one article about dispersed camping. https:/…

Tain, United Kingdom
4 posts
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5. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

Thank you for the advice. From reading other posts it seemed like there was a helpful group of people replying on these utah pages and I wasn't wrong!

In the end we've decided to just rent an suv and a good sized tent. Since we'll be staying in each site for 2-4 days I think it might be easier, it's working out quite a lot cheaper and the suv will be nicer to drive around. I'll follow my camper van dreams another time!

Duncan

Kanab, Utah
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6. Re: Campervan Dispersed Camping - Save spot for multiple nights

If you are camping in "free spots" then you risk having to find a new spot but probably will still be there when you get back if you leave some chairs. Southern Utah has been "found on the map" so to say so it's getting more busy. Hipcamp.com has a lot of good prices for campers looking to overnight in some great places.

Edited: 18 May 2018, 06:29
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