>Do you need a permit to go camping in America?
Short answer: "It depends."
Long answer: If you want to go actual backwoods camping (no vehicle access, possibly no trail or waterway access) in state parks or private properties, generally you need the local camping permit as well as a separate parking permit and campfire permit depending on the state. In some cases this permit is as simple as filling out a form when you show up to the campsite and slipping said form/cash into a box at the entrance to the campgrounds that a park ranger will check around closing time to make sure no one is violating local laws, and in some cases you need to actually talk to someone online/over the phone/at the property site to acquire it since different areas have different rules regarding camping. If you are camping in national forests, national grasslands, or land owned by the BLM that is not previously dedicated to pseudo-private ownership
(cattle grazing most of the time), you do not need a permit unless otherwise stated on local signs. As a general rule of thumb, the further south or east you go, the more likely you will need a permit to go camping, since the less nature there is that is owned as national (federal) land. I suggest referring to >>10287