While our RV travels currently take place primarily across the western United States, I am constantly adding places to my database that allow boondocking (aka dispersed camping) for that day when my wife and I can expand our horizons. I recently came across the following on the “RV the South” blog.
Respect the Baby Alligators When Using One of Louisiana’s New, Free, Primitive Campsites
Question: What’s the name of the largest wetland in the U.S.? Answer: The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. If ‘you’all is not from around heah,” then a few intriguing terms might be new to you. Bayous, bald cypress swamps, and of course, one everyone knows, “alligator.”
Now the good folks of Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources would like folks to become more familiar with the basin. To prove it, they’ve opened up a project that provides free primitive camping sites on state-owned property along the Atchafalaya Basin.
Each of the 30 camp sites is designated with a four-foot metal post and marked “PC” (Primitive Camp) along with a corresponding number. You’ll find the sites in Iberville, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes. Campers are encouraged “enjoy nature at its best” in one of these remote and primitive areas of the basin that are neither developed nor privately owned.
The Atchafalaya Basin, America’s Largest River Swamp, spans eight parishes and covers some 800,000 acres with over 250 different bird species including the bald eagle. Citizens and tourists enjoy hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, birding, and boating in this region of south Louisiana.
Yes, all kinds of different species of critters are found in the basin. To help out us newbies, the state provides some handy tips to put to use when visiting one of those primitive sites. One of our favorites was this one:
“Baby alligators are cute, but their moms are not cute or nice. Leave baby alligators alone! If you disturb one, they WILL call for their momma to come rescue them. And she will heed her maternal instinct and eat whatever might be disturbing her baby.”
A quick internet search revealed the area has 30 primitive campsites just waiting for adventurous RVers like you and I. In fact to lure campers to the area the Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources is offering souvenir caps to first time visitors. I suspect it says, “I Survived The Gators”. Surviving camping with the gators – just another adventure in RVing. I can’t wait!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.