De Soto National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  1. Dispersed camping is allowed in DSNF.
  2. Time limit: 30 days, after which you must leave for 24 hours. No specified distance, but try to move to another campsite.
  3. Some areas restrict camping outside of designated campsites, especially during big game hunting season. Deer season is Oct 1 – Jan something.
  4. The office suggests you call for details and current closures. 601-528-6160, ask for Marilyn.
  5. Don’t open gates or drive around them; you might get shot.

Continue reading “De Soto National Forest”

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules

  • Designated Dispersed Campsites are shown on some trail maps; there don’t seem to be any designated roadside areas.
  • Time limit: 21 days in any 30 day period, after which you must move one mile.
  • Distance from road: Up to 150 feet. Office says it’s pretty easy to find a roadside spot.


Campgrounds up north tend to close for the winter. Check the link before you head out!

Some of these campgrounds offer Interagency Pass discounts. Continue reading “Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest”

Conecuh National Forest

Unfortunately, Alabama groups its National Forests into one sub-website. It seems they treat the forests as districts, which messes up the hierarchical relationship that we preconceive. This makes things harder to categorize and look up.

Dispersed Camping Rules

  • Dispersed camping is allowed and encouraged in all Alabama National Forests.
  • Primitive camping “is available“.
  • Time limit: During gun/hunting season, camping is only allowed on certain days and with a permit. Gun/hunting season is Nov 9 – Feb 10. Outside of gun season, it’s allowed without a permit. Time limit is 21 days. Then you have to leave the forest for 10 days.
  • “Permanent” residence is not allowed, but is not well-defined.
  • At least one person must occupy a camping area during the first night after camping equipment has been set up. Do not leave the equipment unattended for more than 24 contiguous hours.
  • No “boisterous” behavior. So it’s illegal to be noisy, energetic, cheerful, or rowdy in the forest. I suspect enforcement would be lenient in most cases.
  • Motor vehicles are not allowed in Wilderness areas.



Dispersed Camping areas are not shown on the MVUMs.

Verizon Beyond Unlimited hotspot plan

I chatted with a salesperson from Verizon Wireless and got a number of concerns addressed and questions answered. Thought some of it might be helpful here. I looked into Verizon specifically because they’re known for having the best coverage in rural areas, and I plan to spend a lot of time in the middle of nowhere.

  1. 4G/LTE speeds are somewhere from 5Mbps to 50Mbps, but usually between 5 and 12. She couldn’t answer this with a number so I had to go look it up.
  2. The Beyond Unlimited plan is truly unlimited. However, once you use > 22 GB / month, you will be deprioritized if you’re on a congested tower. When you get deprioritized, you will be stuck at 3G speeds (600Kbps). You will never be charged or disabled for extra usage, no matter how much. The 22GB limit is reduced to 15GB if you get the regular Go Unlimited plan instead of Beyond Unlimited.
  3. If the tower you’re on is not congested, you will still get the full 4G LTE speeds (or whatever your signal will carry), no matter how much you use. It is unclear how they define “congested”.
  4. If you get just the hotspot, it’s $85/mo if you enable paperless billing and auto pay. There are discounts beyond that if you also have phone(s). She quoted me $20/mo if I’m also paying for two phones.
  5. 4G/LTE hotspots are able to connect to 3G-only towers, if that’s all they can find.
  6. Hotspots support plenty of devices connected at the same time; 10 to 20 of them depending on the device types.
  7. Once you reach your 15GB or 22GB limit, only the hotspot is deprioritized; phones are not.
  8. Verizon allows signal boosters, but you are required by law to register them. Which gets tricky since you’re supposed to tell them where you’ll be using it.
  9. You can buy a “Data Boost” once a month. It will increase your limit by 5GB for $35.
  10. If you travel to Mexico or Canada, the plan is 512MB/day instead of 15-22 GB/mo. However, if more than 50% of your talk, text, or data usage in a 60-day period occurs in Canada or Mexico, they may limit or remove your service in those countries.

I also found this FAQ which frankly answers more questions than she did. Hope this helps.

Note: I am not a Verizon customer yet, but I plan to be as part of my transition into vanlife. When I do, after I’ve had enough time to evaluate it, I’ll either update this post or add a new post. Hopefully I’ll remember to link it from here.

Bridger-Teton National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • Rules are not posted on their website. I emailed them in October 2017 and finally heard back in January 2018, so don’t expect a speedy reply.
    I have linked to their Rules and Camping Map (PDFs) in the links section below.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed within BTNF.
  • Pull off the road to camp. You may drive up to 300 feet from the road and camp in the vehicle there. You may camp further away if you leave your vehicle.
  • Time limit: 16 Days, after which you must move 5 road miles from your original campsite. You may return after an additional 7 days (23 days from when you set up camp).
    • Except in the Jackson Ranger District, where the time limit is 5 days. After 5 days, you must leave the Jackson Ranger District entirely, and not return for an additional 30 days.
  • No camping in Cache Creek or near ski areas.
  • Try not to camp within 200 feet of any water source.
  • Food Storage Order: Between March 1 and December 1, in most areas, all food and food-like smells must be contained within certified bear canistered, hung properly from a tree or pole, or secured within a hard-sided vehicle or trailer. No open-top vehicles, no pop-up trailers.
  • Catholes must be kept at least 200 feet from any water source. Pack out your TP.

Continue reading “Bridger-Teton National Forest”

Bienville National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • Dispersed camping is allowed “pretty much anywhere”.
  • Time limit: 14 days in a 30 day period. After 14 days you have to move, but there doesn’t seem to be a minimum distance.
  • They were very specific about asking you not to block the gates, roads, etc.
  • BNF is intermixed with a lot of private property, so be sure to check the MVUM.



  • Marathon Lake $20, lakeside, No alcohol
  • Shockaloe Trail – Base Camp 1 $7, No alcohol
    Note there is also a Base Camp 2, but there is no link on the website. I believe Base Camp 2 is free, but I’m not sure.


Deschutes National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • Motor vehicles may be parked within one vehicle length from the edge of an allowed road surface, as long as it’s safe and won’t cause damage to the forest.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed within 300 feet of the edge of an allowed road. The one-vehicle-length rule supersedes this one since we’ll almost universally be camping in vehicles.
  • Time limit: 14 days in a row in one spot, then you have to move 5 miles. You can’t go back to the same spot for 30 days, so you’ll need at least 3 campsites.

Continue reading “Deschutes National Forest”

Bighorn National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • Allowed only within a “300-foot corridor“. I interpret this to mean “within 150 feet of the centerline of the road on each side”.
  • Time limit:
    • Jun 1 – Sep 10: 14 days, after which you must move 5 miles (straight line / radius). I called and Ben is currently looking up the value of X.
    • Sep 1 – May 31: No time limit.
  • No dispersed camping in the West Tensleep Corridor north of Tyrrell Work Center except where designated. No catholes in this area either.

Designated Dispersed Camping Areas:

Continue reading “Bighorn National Forest”

Chugach National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • I couldn’t find any rules on the website, so I called the Forest Supervisor’s office. They sent me to a district office, who sent me to the Public Affairs officer. I left a message.
    • A month or two later I decided to publish this page anyway.
    • Fortunately, it’s Alaska, so it probably won’t come up too often.
  • The closest I could get to their “rules” is someone in the Supervisor’s office said “well, you can do it…”
  • Time limit: ?

Continue reading “Chugach National Forest”

Cibola National Forest

Dispersed Camping Rules:

  • Dispersed Camping is allowed within Cibola NF.
  • Camping is allowed only within 150 feet of the road in the Manzano Division.
  • Camping is allowed only within 300 feet of the road in the Gallinas Division.
  • Time limit: 14 days, after which you must leave the forest entirely.
    The guy I talked to didn’t sound too certain, but apparently you can then come back “two or three days later”.

Designated Dispersed Camping Areas:

Continue reading “Cibola National Forest”