A man wearing a hiking backpack looks on to a crowded campsite in the woods.

Will There Be Too Many RVs on BLM Land This Summer?

If you’ve tried to make a camping reservation recently, you may have discovered that you were too late. The RV industry has seen an unprecedented rise in sales in recent years. New RV owners will be looking for places to use them, including BLM lands.

So will there be too many RVs on BLM land this summer? Let’s find out what to expect!

A man wearing a hiking backpack looks on to a crowded campsite in the woods.

What Is BLM Land?

BLM land is public land that the Bureau of Land Management manages. BLM’s mission is “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Many of the 245 million acres the BLM manages are for recreational purposes. This includes mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hang-gliding, off-highway vehicle driving, and camping. There are thousands of miles of trails on these lands, so there’s never an excuse for boredom.

How Does BLM Land Work for Camping? 

There are two standard camping styles on BLM lands; developed campgrounds and dispersed camping. Developed campgrounds will typically have various amenities like restrooms, potable water, and electrical hookups.

Dispersed camping requires campers to be more self-sufficient. You won’t find standard campsites or amenities at these locations.

Camping in the developed campgrounds may require making a reservation or acquiring a permit. However, most sites are first-come, first-served. Stay limits for developed campgrounds vary by location but are usually no more than two weeks.

A travel trailer makes its way down a remote paved road to a camp site near the mountains.

Dispersed camping is nearly always first-come, first-served. Stay limits are generally no more than 14 consecutive days.

When selecting a dispersed camping site, campers should use existing sites to avoid damaging the land. Dispersed campers must take their trash, including sewage, with them when they leave.

Will There Be Too Many RVs on BLM Land This Summer?

We expect this to be one of the busiest summers for BLM land in history. BLM lands have faced massive amounts of campers in the past few summers, and we’re not seeing any signs of this slowing down.

Many RVers invest in larger battery banks and solar power to charge their RVs. This allows them to take advantage of BLM land by not worrying about running a noisy generator.

f you were hoping this would be the summer that you could enjoy your favorite BLM boondocking site in peace, you’re likely to experience some disappointment.

Why Is Boondocking on BLM Land Likely to Increase? 

We’ve seen some of the highest gas prices in history. Americans must spend more money to tow their rigs to campsites.

Cars and RVs parked in the desert, camping in undesignated spots in the wildernesss.

To offset the rising fuel costs, many campers hope to use free BLM campsites. With no end in sight regarding high gas prices, we can’t see a decline in boondocking on BLM land.

Help to Keep BLM Land Camping Open

If you’re one of the many RVers heading out to camp on BLM land, there are some things you should do. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that BLM land remains available for you and others in the future.

Leave No Trace

One of the most crucial rules you must follow is leaving no trace. Pick up after yourself while camping, and always look around the campsite before going to ensure you do not forget any trash or camping gear. One of the biggest reasons that BLM lands shut down for camping is people trashing the campsites.

It is your responsibility as an RVer to leave the site cleaner than you found it. Avoid destroying vegetation or damaging the land unnecessarily. If everyone does their part, we can help keep the grounds open for many years.

Respect Your Neighbors

Camping on BLM lands can be peaceful and provide ample space for campers. However, no matter how far away your neighbors are, you must respect them. Your voice may carry further than you realize, especially when there are no structures or trees to absorb the sound.

A woman exasperated by her noisy neighbors while trying to enjoy nature.

It would be best if you also were mindful of your neighbors when running a generator or playing music. Many people camp on BLM land to enjoy the sounds of nature and silence. The last thing they want to hear is rock music and the droning noise of a generator.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

All good things must end, including your time on BLM land. Even if there aren’t rangers or individuals enforcing the stay limit, fight the temptation to overstay your welcome. Because stay limits vary by location, you must be aware of the limitations of where you are camping.

Just because you don’t see rangers checking for violators of stay limits doesn’t mean they aren’t. Some rangers may be more lenient than others and offer a bit of grace.

However, if you overstay your welcome, don’t get upset if they issue you a citation. Save yourself the trouble by following the rules.

Where have all the park rangers gone?

Which State Has the Most BLM Land?

You can find BLM land country-wide, but the state with the most BLM land is Alaska. It has nearly 70 million acres of tundra, wetlands, and mountains full of adventures. Most BLM land is in western states like Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

How Do I Find BLM Land Camping?

One of our favorite ways to find BLM land for camping is Campendium and iOverlander. These are useful apps for planning adventures, allowing you to read reviews from other users.

They make it easy to find not only BLM land for camping but also many other resources commonly RVers use while boondocking. If you’re planning to do BLM land camping soon, we suggest you get familiar with them now.  

Two motorhome camp in a field near a pine forest.

Should You Avoid BLM Land This Summer? 

Camping on BLM land is one of our favorite ways to camp. However, one of the best things has been getting away from the crowds and enjoying a quiet sunset. This summer may look much different than previous summers. You’ll still enjoy an evening from many of the best BLM camping spots, but you’re likely to have neighbors.

As long as everyone is respectful, a good time can be had by all. So don’t let the crowds scare you away from trying BLM camping this summer.

Where will you camp on your next adventure?

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