With todays constantly raising camping fees many people ask – “where can I camp for free”?
The good news is that, for those who are willing to do without some of the luxuries present at paid campgrounds such as, running water or flush toilets, there are many free camping options and below I’d like to shed some light on some of these free camping sites located throughout the province of Alberta, Canada.
Camping is an awesome way to experience the outdoors and free camping is permitted on Public (crown) lands is permitted in Alberta. The Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) department of Alberta recommends following some basic rules and guidelines while camping and using public lands. They encourage the practice of “no trace camping”
Plan ahead and be prepared.
- Contact lease holder prior to travelling on leased land.
- Know what the terrain and ground conditions are like and your planned route.
Respect the right of other users by limiting your stay to a maximum 14 consecutive days
Lave what you find and don’t disturb.
This includes to rocks, plants, crops, lifestock or archeological artifacts you might encounter.
Manage food and waste.
- Dispose human waste in outhouse or at sewage disposal site and if not available dispose all human waste in “cat holes” dug 6-8 inches into soil, at least 100 metres (300 feet) from water, camp, trails and drainages.
- Don’t litter and pack out everything using sealed bags.
Minimize your impact by sticking to established camping areas and camping surfaces.
Be careful with Campfires. Keep the fire small and don’t leave it unattended. Put out your fire with water before leaving.
Camp at least 30 metres (100 feet) away from any watercourse.
For a summary of all of the guidelines that should be followed while recreating on public lands check out this guide: (click image below to read pdf file)
Did you know camping is permitted in Forest Land Use Zones (FLUZ)?
“A Forest Land Use Zone (FLUZ) is an area of public land to which legislative controls apply under authority of the Forests Act, Forest Recreation Regulation (343/1979) to assist in the management of industrial, commercial, and recreational land uses and resources”. At the time of writing, there are 19 FLUZ zones covering approximately 11,200 square km’s (4,324.34 square miles) of public land in Alberta.
One of my favorite FLUZ zones is found in the Kananaski’s Contry area located about 45 minute drive west of Calgary in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.
Check out the forestland use zone you would like to visit at http://www.srd.alberta.ca/RecreationPublicUse/RecreationOnPublicLand/ForestLandUseZones/Default.aspx
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