Legal Regulations in Southern California

Discussion in 'California' started by Elliott Sauerwald, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hello folks,

    I live in LA and I've been trying to find some good places to do a day trip and eventually over nighters in Southern California. I've discovered that there are a lot of regulations in place that would prevent one from doing a lot of bushcraft activities. I've heard you can pretty much do anything on BLM land, but I'm not sure. Honestly I'm fairly new to this and most of the outdoors stuff I've done has been in Idaho when visiting my dad, where laws are a lot different. I just don't understand why you aren't allowed to collect dead sticks to put in a fire or stuff like that. I totally see the need for fire limitations during certain seasons, but some things just don't make sense. I've been searching pretty hard for more info, but it continues to allude me. Any advice? I've heard the Angeles National Forest is great, but I don't know where to start. I love Joshua Tree, but they have similar regulations. I want to get away from established campsites and set up my own.

    Thanks!

    Basically I'm wondering if anyone knows of some places were I can do some basic bushcraft stuff in Southern California.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  2. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    4,447
    Likes Received:
    5,880
    Location:
    Idaho/South OR coast
    Fellow Californians should answer this. Most out-of-staters with tongue in cheek will simply say..."Move...".
    BLM land used to be pretty lax, regs -wise but that was in the early 80's. From friends that still live near you, that is no longer the case. Recently, while camping between Phelan and Victorville , off a dirt road and in the middle of nowhere, they had a campfire going and were shooting pistols against a natural berm. No houses anywhere nearby. A dark helicopter flew up, hovered, and over a PA system, came the order to put out the campfire, put the guns away, and leave or face arrest.
    They did as told and left. The chopper circled the entire time...

    Be careful,

    ezra
     
  3. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ha I'd love to move one day! That may be my best option, but for now I'm stuck. I definitely would shy away from using firearms just because I know how it is in California (fully for them personally). But in terms of campfires, maybe making a lean to or something, I'm hoping to find some spots. So many great things about this place, and so many more things that frustrate one.

    Thanks Ezra
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
    rsnurkle and ezra45 like this.
  4. HunterX9

    HunterX9 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    1,499
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    A lot of California doesn’t allow campfires due to drought and wildfire hazards but some camp grounds do allow it you just have to make sure about the regulations.

    Best option if you want to do the traditional camping and not typical california glamping is to find a rancher or someone with a good amount of property out in the sticks, make friends, and camp out on their property.
     
  5. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah the fire regulations make sense a lot of times because of the hazards. I support those completely. I'm talking about making lean-to's, collecting fire wood in places that allow fire, trapping, etc.
     
    rsnurkle and HunterX9 like this.
  6. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,035
    Likes Received:
    7,895
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I spent some of my life near San Diego (Miramar Naval Air Station), many years ago, and it was hard finding places to go and camp out and make a fire and shoot a gun even then. Now it's 100x worse. The problem is that you have 40 million people in CA, most of whom live in the western half of the lower half of the state. And what back country there is has all kinds of weird stuff going on, which attracts the attention of the cops. See @ezra45 post above. So you're basically screwed, unless you can take the time and drive to AZ or NV, or way up to far Northern CA. AZ and NV have much lower population density, and have lots of public land with pretty good access to it via roads and trails. And people doing fun stuff out in the desert is not frowned on like it is in CA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
    ezra45, rsnurkle and HunterX9 like this.
  7. HunterX9

    HunterX9 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    1,499
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Elliott Sauerwald likes this.
  8. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    HunterX9 likes this.
  9. Roamer

    Roamer Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,133
    Likes Received:
    2,683
    Location:
    Ely, Nev.
    Head east to the desert. Lots of BLM land without many rules once you get north & east of Joshua Tree. Mojave Nat'l Preserve may be an option, too, and possibly Anza Borrego State Park. Both are huge with lots of remote areas where you can enjoy "dispersed camping" most anywhere you can get to. Another option is the Southern Sierra outside Bakersfield -- lotsa wild country up there. Any of these places is a good 2-3+ hr. drive from LA.
     
  10. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Cool, I do love the desert. Thanks!
     
  11. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    8,006
    Location:
    Ohio
    "80s"

    There were strict fire regulations in Socal - often total bans on open flames - in the 60s. One monster fire that destroyed 1000's of acres and many homes (and killed lots of pets and livestock) started when a pack of idiots walked away from a fire when the weekend was over. (Also left lots of bottles and other rubbish scattered around per the TV coverage of the smoldering campsite.) Then the wind came up. Lots of loss and $$millions later, the rules got even tighter. The rule is "Idiots ruin things for everyone."

    One fire was 310,000 acres in Orange County way back.

    Many have died in these fires. One fire in late 2017 killed over forty.

    Civilians in the wild in the 60s were real militant about reacting to foolery with fire. Battery didn't begin to describe what happened to some jerks who got careless with fire. No fatalities - that I can recall. But some ambulance runs.
     
    badgerthehobo and GrowlingBear like this.
  12. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yes, and I have acknowledged and voiced my support for fire regulations multiple times in this thread. I was paying attention to the 2017 fires as well, especially when my friends were in danger and I was getting a sore throat from the ash in the air.
     
  13. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    8,006
    Location:
    Ohio
    Didn't think otherwise.
     
    Elliott Sauerwald likes this.
  14. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I agree that a few idiots ruin it for us all :(

    My apologies Tahawk, if my response sounded defensive. I believe I misread the tone of your post at first.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  15. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    3,843
    Location:
    Southern California
    Did you say California and "some things just don't make sense" in the same paragraph with any surprise on your part?
    All the serious outdoors people I know in So. California would just love to get out of town!

    In any case, try and hook up with one of these guys during one of their classes in the Angeles Forest.
    http://www.christophernyerges.com (Christopher also wrote a great book called "Enter the forest")
    or
    https://sites.google.com/aboriginalskills.com/home/home (Jim is a fantastic Primitive Skills instructor - We just made a tule canoe this past weekend.

    A class with either of these guys will get you headed in the right direction.
     
    Elliott Sauerwald likes this.
  16. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Haha true that! Thanks, I will. This place drives me nuts.
     
  17. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    8,006
    Location:
    Ohio
    Note that I pulled out in 1965. :)
     
    Elliott Sauerwald likes this.
  18. lilblade25

    lilblade25 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    148
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    I am also in Southern California and have similar issues in researching places where I can do bushcraft activities legally. I look forward to hearing more about this. I also am curious about what desert bushcraft looks like...?
     
    DBIZEGO and Elliott Sauerwald like this.
  19. PERRO

    PERRO Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    3,680
    Location:
    CALIF
  20. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Was thinking something similar. That and slab city.
     
    Elliott Sauerwald likes this.
  21. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    1,991
    Location:
    California
    Elliot, I just came across this post. I did 5 years hard time in L.A. while pursuing my M.A. in archaeology. I found a number of good spots down there for bushcrafting, but it did take time. In general BLM is fair game. I will send you a PM of a close location now.
     

Share This Page