People who are unfamiliar with dispersed camping may be wondering, what is BLM land? First, we need to look at the acronym BLM to find out more about the organization that oversees BLM land.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cares for these lands. This agency is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is tasked with responsibly managing land and resources for the use and enjoyment of the public.
The BLM is accountable for managing public lands for an array of uses such as energy and mineral development, grazing of livestock, recreation, along with timber harvesting, while ensuring cultural, natural, and historic resources are maintained for this and future generations.
Currently, the BLM oversees 245 million surface acres of public lands for the American people. The agency manages 1 in 10 acres in the U.S., or about 12 percent of the landmass of the U.S. That’s a little bit less than the size of Texas. The land is primarily located in the western states, including Alaska, California, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Why RVers Love BLM Land (and You Might Too)
Out of all the federal agencies of the United States government, BLM is the most RV-friendly, relaxed place one can go.
These lands offer endless opportunities for camping under the stars, ranging from very reasonably priced developed campgrounds suitable for most any sized RV to easy-to-reach free dispersed camping sites to literal mountaintop camping experiences for those with the rig to get there. In our opinion, the BLM is the most relaxed and accommodating agency for boondocking enthusiasts of any federal agency.
BLM-managed lands contain remnants of old mining camps, the chance to see wild mustangs, thousands of miles of roads and trails open to off-road vehicles, unique geological formations, scenic overlooks, slot canyons, nearly forgotten Pony Express stops and old forts, dazzling canyons, historical points of interest and much more.
“No matter what type of experience you are looking for, you can find it on BLM-managed public lands.” – BLM
Another plus for RVers is the BLM headquarters is moving from Washington D.C to Grand Junction, Colorado. With BLM managers much closer to the land they oversee (remember it is all out west) they will have a much better grasp on how RVers and other outdoor enthusiasts use the land and adopt policies that support them.
Please Camp on Public Land with Care
The immense tracks of public land in the USA is a huge playground. You’ll find a plethora of things to see and do, plus places to camp for little or no cost! Just remember it is our land to explore and enjoy. Please treat it as your own by cleaning up after yourself and others. Leave it better than you found it for the next RVers and the next generation.
You can learn more about the Bureau of Land Management and find BLM-managed lands on their website BLM.gov. Our comprehensive trip planner RV LIFE Trip Wizard also makes it easy to plan your route. You can even find BLM campgrounds as well as other points of interest. Use it with the RV LIFE App to get RV-safe GPS directions, and read tips and reviews from other RVers on RV LIFE Campgrounds.
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.
I got angry when I saw the title on this post. I was about to delete the message and unsubscribe. I saw the letters BLM and immediately associated with the other people who are using the same letters. Due to all the recent hipe It lead me to think that group was wanting people to camp on some land they had acquired. So, after looking closer; good article.
Daniel Gautschi says
Better get some sunscreen on that neck. It’s looking pretty red.
Thanks for the article. As an avid boondocker of many years, I like your article.
I go deep off-grid and stay 2 weeks. My Jeep, small travel trailer with a flipped axial, and 15” wheels allows me to get far out there.
Lynn Giantonio says
BLM manager publicvlands are amazing and we think 9fvthem as one of the west’s best kept secrets. However, we strongly disagree with your comments on moving the agencies headquarters from Washington DC to Grand Junction, CO. The move to Colorado was a political stunt that very effectively gutted the senior ranks of the agency – those managers whose counterparts in other agencies ( park service, fish & wildlife, forest service, etc) & Congress are all in DC. The BLM has effectively lost their seat at the table for briefings, providing witnesses for Congressional hearing, & access to high level meetings. Perhaps most importantly, is the loss of senior agency staff that left the is agency rather than uproot their lives and families with a move from DC to Grand Junction. .Over 90% of BLM staff & managers were already located and working in the western states but they now have vacancies or totally inexperienced land managers filling the CO jobs – this will not benefit most public land users, including us RVers. We are just hoping that these headquarter changes do not result in less funding & less access to the public lands the BLM manager for all of us.
Phil Katzen says
Lynn Giantonio is correct — moving the BLM headquarters was not “another plus” as the author claims. The move was a disaster for BLM lands and people whose careers were dedicated to public lands.
I have used the dispersed BLM in the western. I have a class C coach and only 25 long. I usually tow a vehicle with me and have not had any problems. When it’s warm or too cold I use my onboard genny. I always check with others who are within 100 yards of me to see if they approve. Being a good neighbor is penultimate. My question is using a generator fairly common?
I imagine a genset is a must for some if not most remote, non hookup sites. Some newer generators are very quiet.
charles klein jr says
Hello, is there any BLM land in MD?
Cathy Salustri says
Not all BLM land is out west. Florida has some wonderful spots – check out Jupiter Inlet (you can’t camp there, but it’s outstanding). There are plenty of places east of the Mississippi that are held by BLM.