Camping is a prominent summer activity by several Wisconsin residents. Camping comes in a variety of types, ranging from sheds to RVs and yurts. There is a ton of public space in Wisconsin where you can go backpacking. With 500,000 acres of state forest, around 2 million acres of county forest, and more, Wisconsin has ample space for people to camp, especially dispersed camping.Each forest has its own set of laws, policies, and regulations for campers, so you would need to do some homework on the campsite before you decide on making any reservations.Whether you wish to go off the grid with primitive camping or spend some quality time with your family out at the campsite, there are some rules to follow. Make sure you abide by these camping laws in Wisconsin to ensure your camping trip goes without a hitch.


Setting out to camp without making a reservation is kind of idiotic. You might end up driving around aimlessly without a vacant camping spot. So make the reservations well ahead.

– Reservations can be made from 11 months before to the date of arrival

– All campers have to make a reservation before arriving at a campsite

– Campers are allowed to stay for 14 days on a campsite within 21 days

– For family camping, reservations have to be made for at least 2 nights

– Sites designated for backpacking or group camping can be reserved for a single night stay

– As for the weekends on holidays, reservations must be made for at least 3 nights

Camping Duration and Cancellation

Campers have to be present at their specified campsite within the check-in time of the day after the reservation was made. If they miss the window, they would lose the campsite and it would be open for other occupants.

If any camper wishes to extend their stay, they can do so but only after checking in at their arrival date. Some extra charges may apply for an extended stay. The maximum staying limit is still 14 days. So you can come back later if you feel reluctant to part from the campground.

Campers can also leave prior to their scheduled departure date. They would receive a refund for shortening their stay, but the refund only applies if you shorten your stay before the checkout time.

You can get a full refund for considering you cancel before the checkout, but you would still be charged the reservation fees. A small cancellation fee would apply as well.You won’t get any refund for the night if you wish to cancel your stay after the checkout time.

Accommodation and Vehicles at Campsite

Campers can bring their RV or camping trailers to campsites, but they need a vehicle admission sticker to get any cars or van inside camping grounds. State park system properties have the laws of issuing admission stickers to vehicles before allowing them in the area. The sticker(s) can be easily found online, or you can get them at electronic kiosks you come upon.

If you wish to go hiking or explore some trails, you would need to get a state trail pass. You can get them at the same place you would get vehicle admission stickers. Some trails are free to roam around, but a lot of need require trail pass. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Campers must keep their vehicles on the specified parking spot in their campsite. Only two vehicles (or 6 motorbikes) are allowed for each campsite.

As for tents, it would depend on the campsite. Make sure you clarify the size and number of tents as the reservation is made. If you need more than one tent, you need to inform the campground office beforehand.

Campers are also allowed one camping trailer or motor home for their campsite.

All the traffic laws of Wisconsin apply on the campsite highways. Skateboards, scooters, big wheelers are not allowed on the camp parking lots or the roads.

You can have bikes or motorized scooters on a campsite. As for motorized scooters, you need to bring a license and registration to use them on camping grounds.


Whether it’s listening to spooky stories, or just roasting marshmallows, campfires can always make the camping experience better. But you need to be cautious of the fire and everything around it. You can start a fire only in grills or rings. Do not put any recyclable things into the fire. Campsites have local firewood that you can purchase.

Painted or composite woods are not allowed at campgrounds. Never leave the fire unchecked. Make sure you keep an eye on the wind direction and the flames as long as the fire is lit. Before leaving the spot, make sure the fire is completely out.


Almost all campsites allow pets. There are just a few regulations you need to follow. You cannot leave your pet unattended or without a leash. Pets are only allowed on the campsite. Campsite buildings, beaches, playgrounds, etc. are prohibited for pets. Try engaging in fun activities with your pet within the camping ground.

Also Read :Camping Laws in Virginia

Other General Camping Laws

– Fireworks are not allowed on campsites. Sparklers or similar items can be played around with. But do not light up anything without asking the counselors or rangers

– Avoid making unnecessary noises in the camping area that might disrupt someone else’s work

– Follow proper sanitation measures for disposing of wastewater. Do not dump the water on the ground after washing your dishes

– Make sure there are no garbage or food leftovers lying around after you’re done with the meals

– Avoid feeding the wild animals since it can encourage them to visit you at unexpected times and that can lead to issues

– Campers can be evicted from the grounds at any time during their stay if they violate any of the state laws. They can even have their permit revoked and be forced to leave the campsite without any refund.


Final Thoughts

Don’t be discouraged after seeing the laws and regulations one has to follow when on camping. It is necessary to ensure the safety of both the environment and the campers. Camping is fun, refreshing, and enlightening; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

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