What are the rules exactly? I can't find a set of specific rules for camping in national forests, and what I do find seems vague. This is what I could come up with: • LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND Plants, animals, and cultural sites and artifacts should all be left for the next person to enjoy. • MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS Use a lightweight backpacking stove. In some places campfires are prohibited, but stoves help minimize the impact everywhere. • RESPECT WILDLIFE Don’t feed, chase, or harass wildlife and be sure to hang your food well out of reach of bears. • BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS Think about how your actions affect other people. Loud noises, out of control pets, cell phones, and radios are a few examples of what might bother other hikers. • PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE Find out about the area you will be visiting, including any regulations or restrictions. Be sure to have maps, proper clothing, equipment, food, and water. Keep your group size to 10 or less (this is required in Wilderness and recommended everywhere). • TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES Stay on the trail while hiking. Camp at sites that have already been heavily impacted (but be sure it’s a legal site), or 200 feet from trails and water sources. Avoid moderately impacted sites where your visit could create more damage. • DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY Carry out what you carry in; bury human waste in a hole 4-8 inches deep, away from water, trails, and campsites. The above is common sense stuff to me. So my question is: How can you be sure where you're camping is a legal site? A couple of weeks ago I was camped out in the Uncompahgre National Forest and was razzed by a ranger (I even talked to him on the way in about where to camp). Right after we set up camp, he came up and told us we had to be within 100 yds. of the main road. To me, I was. I could throw a rock and hit the road from my camp site. I really doubt I could throw a rock and clear an entire football field. Anyway, after he ran our ids and told me he wasn't going to give me a ticket (probably because I talked to him on the way in). He left us alone for the night and told us to move it the next day. The campsite we chose was clearly one that had been heavily used in the past. There was a two track road up to it, a really nice fire pit (didn't have a fire going), etc...and within 100 yds. from the main road (yeah, I know the rock throwing method is not an accurate way to measure distance but how does the ranger measure it?). Anyway, if there's a thread on this...please point me to it. Or even better, show me the forest service rules and regs on this. Everything I've found, even for specific locations, is VERY vague. I always try to locate rangers and talk to them to make sure I'm legit...and that's what I did last time and was still hassled. Might have been due to the Bluegrass festival going on at the same time but I would like to know for future reference.