Live Rent Free on Government Land! (Seriously)

16 05 2010

As I wrote the title to this post I was thinking about how many hits it would probably get from people looking for a Matthew Lesko (“that question mark guy”) style free ride. My next thought was, “Well, if they find this they actually won’t end up disappointed.”

That’s because you – or anyone, really – can live rent free on hundreds of millions of acres of government land. And you don’t have to pay me (or anyone) to tell you how. I won’t go in to specific rules (they really aren’t ‘fine print’ in the traditional sense and have been covered in great depth on other blogs, such as here), but in a nutshell certain government agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service allow camping on nearly all of their land. The technical term for this is “dispersed camping” and it’s AWESOME!

BLM and NFS properties are some of the most gorgeous areas in the Unites States, and they are ours. Enjoy them!

*As you may have guessed, dispersed camping rarely offers any amenities. A camper needs to bring everything they may need, pack it all out, and leave no trace.

posted by jayhorowitz

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14 responses

25 05 2010
Early Retirement Extreme

One pertinent rule is that you have to move within 14 days, so no permanent camping. This could end up costing in gas what you save on rent.

26 05 2010

Right, but the move only has to be >25 miles. A few gallons of gas (~$10) every two weeks doesn’t come close to rent or campground fees, and as a bonus you get new scenery!

29 12 2010

Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment. I wonder how much of this land is close, within five miles, of a town center with grocery stores, laundramats, a dumping station, resturants?

3 03 2011
INT Wife

Nice to know, “dispersed camping”.

3 02 2012

hi mine name is robert i am a american but i have ben living in germany for along time my englich is no more good i want to comee home and am lookigg fore free land for my wife and me i come frome out of CA but its ben along time iwas in the army and ifound my place here but i want to come HOME can you help me a nice place in the woods fore me and my family sit down and come HOME with all my hart and care robert doermann

25 02 2012
Marianne Edwards

I hope you realize that you must provide your own “home” in the forest. All that comes with this free rent offer is the land (and scenery). And like a previous reader commented, in most locations it’s for a maximum of 14 days only. As for helping you find a place… the amount of public land varies but, as a general rule, the western states have more than the eastern. National Forest and Bureau of Land Management offices in each region can help you with detailed maps and which road are accessible for your mode of transportation.

25 02 2012

Very true! There are many locations, however, with limits that are much higher or even nonexistent. (I think that parts of Clearwater NF have no limit.)

Glass Creek comes to mind as a wonderful campground with a 42-day limit.

25 12 2012

Do a google search, there is free land in Kansas and other places, like Michigan.

11 01 2013
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Your means of explaining the whole thing in this post is actually
good, every one be able to without difficulty understand
it, Thanks a lot.

14 11 2013
Jesse Long

I prefer to live in East Texas for the rest of my life.If I can’t, then there ain’t no bargain worth anything to me. What about east texas land?

28 02 2014
Woodbury Realtor agents representing Buyers

Thank you for the good writeup. It iin fact was a amjusement account it.

Loook advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, howw could
we communicate?

19 03 2014
Sony playstation

I’m not sure why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my
end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

24 03 2014
mitchell bouyer sr.

interested in what I saw online this am.
It came from spam mail.
Interesting, and I’m curious as to where are your expositions, or place to discover this idea. Is this something that will grow and expose how to live and where is the locations to live on a gold claim or where is (free land by the government ?.
Is this also in the mountains between los angles and palm springs.?
Will someone call me and explain the training schedule..
my cell is 415 425 6830, and my email is
Mitch Bpouyer sr.

18 04 2014

It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people for this topic, but you
sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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