youtubeAre you tired of waiting for your states “Shelter in Place” orders to be relaxed / lifted?

Would you rather be residing in your RV along a rushing mountain stream rather than residing in your sticks and bricks home wasting away in your easy chair staring at sports re-runs on TV?

You could load up the RV and head to a private RV park, as many (especially those that also offer lodging) have remained open during the pandemic. Here is a website that is doing a good job at keeping up with what parks are open, closed or operating under restrictions. While an RV park will offer a different view out your window, it still involves being around other people (check in, dealing with neighbors close by, etc) and being restricted by the boundaries of the park itself.

Remember Developed Recreation Sites are Closed

If you are ready for a real escape in your RV, here are some items to ponder:

 ° Most dispersed areas (aka boondocking) and trails on federal lands such as the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are still open for public use and enjoyment.

 ° An RV qualifies as a residence (home) in most states

 ° Living in an RV on public property does not violate pandemic mandates

 ° An RV is fully self-contained allowing you to meet all your personal needs without relying on local services

 ° Residing in your RV on huge tracts of public land allows you to easily social distance yourself from others

 ° There is no cell or internet service in many remote dispersed areas across the Northwest where you are likely to find a place to park your RV, thus giving you a break from the evening news and the “latest” Covid 19 updates

 ° Dispersed areas rarely have other people occupying them allowing you to get out and exercise which has been deemed as essential by many Governors during the pandemic

Dispersed Area

If you choose to move into your RV and escape to a dispersed area, please check with the appropriate agencies in your area before departing. Following are the current guidelines issued by the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest:

We still recommend that people stay close to home to comply with state and local guidance about not traveling for recreation.  If you can’t delay travel, please consider the following:

 ° Visitors should check with local authorities to see if any local ordinances have been enacted.

 ° Check with local officials to see if your visit will add an unnecessary stress on local resources.

 ° We still have wet, muddy and snowy conditions on trails and roads—these should be considered closed until conditions improve. Waiting for these trail and road systems to dry out and open up will mean that our road crews, trail crews and partner organizations don’t have to spend additional time on reparative maintenance.

 ° Users must abide by all Federal, local, and state laws. Blocking, or impeding, vehicle traffic or damaging natural resources may result in citation and/or towing.

 ° What risks are associated with the activity you have chosen to do?  Law enforcement, search and rescue, and hospitals have limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you get lost or injured, it may take longer than usual for someone to assist. Calling up Search and Rescue teams puts a large stress on county resources, volunteers and their families and can strain an already strained health care system.

 ° If the site you have chosen is full, have some back up options in mind that will allow you to maintain @CDC social distancing guidelines.

 ° How will you help minimize pressure on smaller communities adjacent to the forest that have limited resources?  Restaurants, rest stops and bathrooms are likely to be closed.   Do you have the food, water and fuel you need for the day?  All Forest Service restrooms are closed and there is no garbage service.  Do you have the supplies you need to hygienically pack out your waste?

 ° If a campfire is legal in your site and you choose to have one, never leave it unattended and make sure it is cold to the touch when you leave.

CE CreekCropped2WEBHopefully this provides you with enough information to make an informed decision about breaking free of your sticks and bricks residence you have been confined to for the past several weeks and enjoying what is likely your first RV experience of the spring.

By the way, if you do head out to a dispersed area in the woods and find yourself being lulled to sleep by a rushing mountain stream, don’t be surprised if you wake up hours later than normal as escaping the stress of the pandemic for the freedom of open public space and fresh air can have that effect on people.  Enjoy and stay safe!

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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