Camping in California During the COVID-19 Mediademic

One great thing about California is the federal management of public lands. While our state government continues to wheeze and struggle under mismanagement, crazy half-baked “rules” made up by Gavin Newsom who claims to be using science (but his random decisions seem to indicate he’s not even using a dart board and a blindfold, much less an so-called actual “science”), the federal government continues to roll back lockdowns and re-open our lands as soon as it is feasible to do so.

One such entity is the Bureau of Land Management. These guys have been working with the state as well as county officials to open the BLM managed lands within the state in a phased approach that is flexible, reasonable, and well organized. They continue to work on opening lands on a case-by-case basis, speeding up the process where they are able to, and managing continued closures to make sure the health and safety – the “science” part – is taken into account for visitors and employees of the BLM.

While many developed campgrounds are still closed, as are visitor centers and public rooms at BLM offices, I’m THRILLED to announce that dispersed camping is available and open on most of BLM managed lands.

Dispersed camping is also known as ‘primitive’ camping – as in “no facilities.” No bathrooms, no tables, no nothin’ … but plenty of what I look for in a campground: solitude. If you enjoy a night out under the stars – away from other campers, crazy people who think “BLM” stands for something else, and the noise of the city – then pack up your tent, sleeping bag, table, cooking gear, and trash bags and head on out!

The BLM has a listing on their website of places that are still closed, so check that list to make sure the place you end up is open when you get there. You can see the list HERE.

If you want to find out more about recreation opportunities throughout the state – including camping, biking, hunting, OHV, etc, you can find it HERE.

Some things to remember:

no open fires unless you’ve got a fire permit and you’re going to use an existing designated fire pit or fire ring.

Take your trash back out with you.

Have a backup plan. If the recreation area is full, there is no designated parking left (those tickets can be expensive, and it gets even more expensive if they tow your car), or the destination is closed, make sure you have an alternative destination.

Be safe, be sane, and follow the Leave No Trace guidelines found HERE.

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