Aspiring Nomad? Here’s Why Public Lands Matter & Why the West Scores Higher for Van Dwellers & RVers

Nomads need land. Whether we’re living and exploring in an SUV or Van or other RV as a home, we need places to camp, park, and essentially live. Specifically, those living on the road in our tiny homes as off grid dwellings really need land to roam. Those of us who live off grid typically choose to do so for reasons of wanting to be more self-sustainable yet still mobile, hence the Nomad part, as well as the desire to disconnect and be secluded. And many of us need to do this on a rather small budget. Besides, if we could afford to buy all that land, wouldn’t we just buy it and live on it? Whatever your reasoning for Nomad living, you’ll probably have a vested stake in public lands. And accordingly you’ll probably want to pay attention to two important public land trends: 1. the western US has much more public land available, and 2. Public lands may be dwindling or changing in recent years.

Why does it matter?

1. It’s our only real expression of physical freedom. How can we claim we’re free if there’s nowhere left to roam? Hiking, watching a sunset without a building in the way, having a river to swim in, wildlife viewing, exploration?

2. It means nature – well, what we have left of it. Wildlife don’t do well on private land. There only remaining tracks of “wild” are within our public lands. Keeping these in tact, connected and vast enough to sustain our wild life is crucial to our own well-being. Plus we need nature anyway and so do our children.

3. It’s declining. It’s been under radar since established, but it is continuously mapped, tracked, sold & exploited, and with that degraded or possibly worse: gone indefinitely.

Yes, I have my issues with how these lands are used, partitioned and treated!

But that aside for now …

Here are some of the references I refer to in this video. If you’re interested in this topic you’ll find these to be some helpful readings and data tables showing public lands by state area and trends over the years. If you find anything interesting let me know!

Public lands in the west:

2018 breakdown:

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42346.pdf

1991 breakdown:

https://www.summitpost.org/public-and-private-land-percentages-by-us-states/186111#chapter_2

Changes to US Public Lands & Public Land Trends to Watch:

History of Public Lands:

https://publicland.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/150359_Public_Lands_Document_web.pdf

Changes to Public Lands

https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2019/07/23/millions-of-acres-of-public-lands-could-lose-protections%3famp=1