2021 Camping Crisis: They’re shutting down boondocking
Across the country, officials are shutting down boondocking areas in many areas because of growing problems with vandalism, litter, and even human waste. Blame it on a combination of homeless encampments in some areas and inconsiderate campers who fail to clean up after themselves and keep clean campsites. But the result is the same, frustrated state, federal, and local officials in charge of public lands once open to dispersed camping, are closing them down rather than fight what they see as a losing battle. But the people who lose the most are those who like to boondock in wilderness areas, campers who do follow the rules but now find themselves with fewer and fewer places to enjoy off the grid camping on public land. For RV Podcast Episode 349, we talk with an expert in free camping spots, Kyle Brady, publisher of the Drivin and Vibin Website. Kyle has been closely tracking the growing list of closed boondocking locations and has lots to share. You can listen to the entire RV Podcast episode in the player below. Or keep scrolling down for an edited transcript of our interview. Why are authorities shutting down boondocking? This is a reason why authorities are shutting down boondocking For starters, consider these recent stories about the shutting down of boondocking areas: In Oregon, Trash, Human Waste, Forces Authorities on Oregon to Shut Down Dispersed Camping In Utah overnight camping has been banned in Middle Fork because of trash, vandalism and rowdyism Popular Colorado area closed to dispersed camping Those are just three examples. There are many more, from all over the US. We talk about the trend in-depth with Kyle Brady. Here is an edited transcript of our interview: Mike Wendland: Kyle Brady joins us right now. Hey, Kyle. How are you doing? Kyle Brady: Very good, Mike. Thank you so much for having me on today. Mike Wendland: Kyle, you are the guy when it comes to finding free camping spots and all these dispersed spots. You've been a specialist in that. And I know you are disturbed and have been keeping track. They're shutting down boondocking. What's going on. They are shutting down boondocking indefinitely Kyle Brady: We have seen so many reports over the last six months, and even the more specifically, in the last three months of these sites getting shut down indefinitely. And it's just becoming a problem because so many more people are out there on the road. And I guess these sites are seeing more usage than they've ever seen before. Mike Wendland: I get email, and I bet you do too, from people saying, quit telling everybody where to go boondocking. Is that part of the problem? I don't know. Kyle Brady: Well, yeah. You know what? I get those same emails and nothing that we share isn't available on camping websites. So there are huge resources out there. And that is part of the problem, that everyone now knows about free camping. But to me, it is all of our land. They are shutting down boondocking on public land in many areas It's government land that's paid with tax dollars. And it's there for us to recreate on. So I don't, by no means, think we should keep it a secret to people because people should be encouraged to go out there and camp and connect with nature. But I feel like there are a few points that are being missed seriously, and that's teaching people proper etiquette, whether that's the manufacturers or the dealers teaching them what it is, what boondocking etiquette is. But then also we see this huge homelessness problem across America. That's a totally different issue when it comes to the sites being closed down, but that affected equally. Mike Wendland: Where are the sites being shut down, and what are they shutting them down for? I've read all sorts of horror stories about what they find when some of these people leave.