Across the country, we’ve seen many states take “social distancing” policies to a draconian level. The worst of those states is, of course, California.
Their latest absurd move was to ban camping in the middle of the desert, in the name of social distancing. One group for who this ban is especially difficult is vanlifers – a group of people who live in there souped up camper vans.
One vanlifer in particular documented his experience dealing with the enforcement of said policies. His video gives us a good perspective of the pure insanity of these policies and how they’re being enforced.
In the video he begins looking for a place to camp for the night. He says,
…anything that’s an established camp ground – meaning they have tables, fire pits, toilets is now closed. So, I need to find something just dispersed. They say that is fair game, right now.
After finding some public land with no one in sight, in the middle of what looked like a California desert (in the Fossil Falls area), he said,
I think I found an area up the road. I was doing a little research using Google Maps on satellite view. I found some public land that according to websites (offical government websites) is still open. And I should be able to…kind of isolate, camp out there.
The area turned out to be for day use only. He informed his viewers, “they want you to camp at the campsite which is currently closed.
Since he couldn’t camp there, he headed back out. He continued documenting his thought process, while looking for a new spot:
Well, I’m having a very tough time making a decision on where to head geographically. I’m gonna try a spot 20 miles north of here….
I’ve camped in this area before. I know there are some spots that are completely dispersed, non-recreation areas…. It’s just public BLM, and you can disperse camp there.
If that doenst work out, I don’t know. I may have to make the trek across death valley [to Nevada]….
He arrived at the new spot on BLM land, but a county sheriff showed up shortly therafter. The sheriff told him he had to go and recommended that he stay at a town rest area park.
This obviously confused the vanlifer. Being in the middle of the desert with no one in sight is not considered proper social distancing, but going to a (likely crowded) rest area is social distancing.
Eventually, Ryan did have to drive to Nevada, where they were being less restrictive about camping in the desert.
These insane policies that are causing some to have to drive out of state just to sleep are a failure at every level. From creation to implementaion to enforcement, there are multiple things that could be done to stop the insanity.
The fact that almost no one along the chain seems to be making an attempt to stop this shows this is less about safety, and more about seizing power.