When campers hear the term boondocking for the first time they are often confused. It sounds very exotic and out of the ordinary. Although it can be, the actual term refers to camping off-grid with your camper, van, or RV. It means that you are not camping in a spot that has electrical and water connections.
When out on the road in a camper or RV, it can be a challenge making it to campsites. There are times when you have to pull off the road and sleep there. Some people do this exclusively to take advantage of free camping. In this article, we will go over several tips to go boondocking yourself.
So what is boondocking? Boondocking is a form of off-grid camping. It can mean roughing it, but with modern technology, you can still enjoy many conveniences.
Solar panels and batteries allow you to stay connected with your devices and appliances to remain comfortable. There are many small systems that are ideal for camping. You can see a lineup of many models including Bluetti on the company website.
Water tanks need to be considered. When you are not hooked up to a supply of water then you will need to ration what you have. Calculate how much water you use per day before heading off-road. Then make sure to head somewhere to refill before you run out.
Find free campsites
There are many campsites that accommodate boondockers. They offer a flat pitch to park and are usually very comfortable. They don’t have hookups for electrical or water, however.
Very often they are part of the national park system. They are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Services or the National Forest Service. Due to their location on public lands, they are often close to tourist sites or natural areas.
Prepare the essentials
Being prepared will make for a more enjoyable experience. It seems fun to be spontaneous but it often leads to issues that are not fun.
Think ahead to what you need to be able to get through the amount of time you plan to spend boondocking. Take enough food, water, and even medicine to be independent.
You also need to download maps to be able to navigate in areas without cell phone reception. Many areas where people choose to boondock are away from urban centers. Getting from Point A to Point B is important.
Where to park for a night
A parking lot is an ideal place to pull off and sleep at night. As long as you don’t plan to spend a vacation there, many stores allow it. Stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Home Depot will allow campers and RVs to park overnight in their lots.
Rest areas are also a good idea. They can be loud and busy which makes for a night of restless sleep. Lock your doors as rest areas can be targets for thieves. Truck stops are a good spot for the night and often have excellent facilities like 24-hour restaurants and showers.