Boondockers alert: New primitive campsites in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin

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February 18, 2014

By Bob Difley

To boondockers it seems that every year that passes we lose legal places to boondock (and where motor vehicles can legally drive).

Evidence of this is in the Forest Service’s newly initiated Travel Management Plans that designates exactly where you can boondock on land administered by the National Forest Service.

These areas of legal boondocking are designated as “dispersed camping” areas and shown on new Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) specific to each forest. These free maps can be obtained at forest service offices and online in each individual forest service website.

Now the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources is possibly starting to reverse this trend by initiating a program to encourage campers and RVers to become more familiar with the Atchafalaya Basin. To prove it, they’ve opened up a project that provides free primitive camping sites ( on state-owned property along the Basin.

This seems to be a smart move by the LDNR to initiate new visitors to the Basin, bringing revenue to the area. RVers do spend money – even if they boondock – visiting area attractions, shopping at area stores, buying groceries, using RV repair services, and taking tours. And it is likely they will become returning visitors as well. The cost to the LDNR after site preparation, which could be minimal to extensive, would be negligible but the benefits great.

Now let’s hope that other public agencies, and maybe even some municipalities and other local government agencies, recognize the benefits to be gained by such a program and establish their own “primitive” camping areas to attract even more visitors.

For more RVing articles and tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks: BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (PDF or Kindle), 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle), and Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (PDF or Kindle), and my newest, The RV Lifestyle: Reflections of Life on the Road (Kindle reader version). NOTE: Use the Kindle version to read on iPad and iPhone or any device that has the free Kindle reader app.


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