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Busted For Dispersed Camping On Church Roof

Busted For Dispersed Camping On Church Roof

Nomads often pride themselves on finding unique places to camp, but camping on the roof of a church?

We’ve heard of some pretty unique camping locations during our travels. But that’s a new one for us. It’s also highly illegal. Keep reading to learn more about this crazy encounter police recently had.

Let’s jump in!

Who Camped on a Church Roof?

Two campers recently set up a temporary campsite atop a house of worship in Moab, Utah. The nomads had a tent and utilized an extension cord connected to one of the church’s electrical outlets. Police confronted the campers and gave them “props” for creativity and ingenuity but forced them to break camp.

The unnamed nomads lucked out. In fact, they weren’t issued a citation, nor are they facing any charges because of their adventure. The Moab Police Department is using the situation as a humorous reminder about legal dispersed camping practices. 

Photo from Moab City Police Department Facebook Page

Why You Can’t Just Camp Wherever You Want

Knowing when and where you can legally camp is essential. You may not end up as lucky as the people camping on the church roof. Let’s look at a few of the many reasons why you shouldn’t just set up camp wherever you want.

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Whether you appreciate it or not, authorities put restrictions in place to help keep campers safe. Some public use lands will even enforce seasonal closures to prevent campers from finding themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Closures could be a result of icy road conditions, muddy conditions, or potential fire dangers. When campers require rescue, it puts park rangers and other rescuers in unnecessary danger.

Private Property

Another reason you can’t camp wherever you want is that some land is private property. Whether it’s your neighbor’s front lawn or a remote ranch in the middle of Utah, you must have permission to camp on private property. Police asked the campers in the news story to leave because they were camping without permission on private property – the church’s roof.

While the church was very generous for not pressing charges, not all landowners will be as forgiving. Camping on private property is trespassing, which can quickly create a dicey situation. Many landowners surrounding public use lands are increasingly dealing with trespassers. So make sure you’re not unknowingly setting up camp on private property.

Property Abuse

It’s becoming increasingly popular for cities, counties, and other legal authorities to restrict overnight camping. This is often due to individuals abusing the land by leaving trash or destroying vegetation. You might find law enforcement asking you to pack up and move along, whether you’re camping in a parking lot or on a church roof.

We continue to see governments creating laws across the country limiting spots for camping. It’s becoming common to see free public land turning towards reservation systems to help protect land and campers. The more we continue to see lands experiencing abuse, the more we’ll continue to see restrictions growing as well.

Did Anyone Get Arrested For Camping On the Roof?

The individuals in the news story are fortunate that the church and law enforcement did not pursue charges. They were forced to pack up camp and move on their way. The situation could have turned out incredibly different for them.

Hopefully, the situation will serve as a lesson for the campers, and they’ll practice better camping practices in the future.

Camping on a Church Roof May Seem Amusing

It’s easy to see how law enforcement and readers could find the situation slightly amusing. It’s not every day you see a tent set up for camping on the roof of a church. However, it’s certainly a lesson learned for them and others.

Be sure you know if it’s legal and permissible to camp at the spot you’re checking out! What’s a unique place you’ve set up camp?

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