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I’ve been doing some research to see what dispersed camping areas are open in the SJ/SB areas. It seems that the yellow post sites in the SJ area are closed for now (doesn’t make sense to me, but…). There is legally available dispersed camping in the San Bernardinos and the San Gorgonio area. Got my Cal Fire permit online to use stove (or fire) in about five minutes.
Shawn, you’ll get a variety of responses regarding the wisdom of taking young kids camping. I consider myself a reasonably cautious person, but you can’t raise kids in bubble wrap to protect them. My daughter and son first went backpacking with me at age five. Any dispersed camping site in SoCal isn’t likely to take much longer to get to medical aid than if you’re in a campground. I wouldn’t be waiting on an ambulance, but I would want to know in advance where the nearest medical help is located and how to get there.