Originally Posted by ducnek
+1 on the dispersed camping tip. I camped this way at Big Bend last spring a couple miles down the 1st dirt road into the park. You have to get a permit to do it legally, and they charge about $5. It was a pain in the ass to get the ranger to issue the permit, and I was treated like he was doing me a favor.
I camp here in the SE in national forests regularly in the back country, and have never got a permit, or been hassled. I do make sure to tread lightly, and leave no trace.
I've done that in LBL National Forest. I got the $5 yearly permit, and all three times that I camped in one of the backcountry spots I was asked (usually around 9:30pm) to show this to a ranger. The couple of times I've camped off in the woods (overnight backpack trips), I left a note on my car with my permit number.