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Backpacking Rules/Regulations per State

12:02 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
22 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

Hello all,

First time posting here. Great site and have read a lot of posts. I am pretty much new to the backpacking world but plan on doing some beggining trips this summer. I'm having trouble finding information as to the rules of backpacking in the backcountry per state. For example, I believe you can't have an open fire in California but in other states you can. I live in Colorado and was hoping some of you could point me in the right direction for rules/regulations.

Thanks in advance.

12:28 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
3,925 forum posts

Actually it breaks down to more than just by state, each area is different, parks, monuments, public, city, national forests, counties, etc. I say that because say in Yosemite NP for example in California you can have an open fire in the public campgrounds (tho you have to have them in either supplied campfire grilles or steel fire pits) as well as the backcountry where its best to use existing old fire rings. Some areas like the valley of Yosemite NP you have to buy the wood at the stores and cannot collect it from the surrounding wilderness. But in the backcounrty you can. Of course in the spring and early summer a lot of the wood will be collected early by those who hike first and by mid to late summer wood will become harder to find.

So just the regulations for having a campfire changes from place to place. Many open fires are not allowed in areas where lighning struck wildfires and camp fires alike have contributed to the ravenging fires that have burnt many a milliuon dollar house down over the last few years.

As far as National Parks and Monuments and National Forest areas surrounding them you can find the regulations online by typing the park name you are interested in and going to the sites about them. All the National Parks have a site with all the rules to be seen by anyone interested and lists of other websites and phone numbers for more info.

1:04 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
22 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

Great thanks for the info!

7:09 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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Also, look on the US Forest Service website http://www.fs.fed.us/ and the State of Colorado site http://parks.state.co.us/ (click on the map for your favorite park or just use the list). In each case, when you narrow down to the particular park, forest, or wilderness area you want, you will see a link with a title something like "regulations".

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