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Introduction to Boondocking


First, let’s understand the difference between dry camping and boondocking.

Dry Camping – Is considered not being hooked up to water, but one could have electricity and sewer or electricity only or none. This type of camping could be in a Federal, State, County or even City park or even in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Boondocking – Is considered camping without benefit of any amenities at all. No sewer, No water, No power and definitely not around any facilities, parks or stores of any kind. What you got, is what you brought! In other words it’s out in the boonies where it takes over $1.00 to just send a post card.

Boondocking differs from other forms of RVing in that one has to be much better prepared for the duration of the boondocking period. One has to be concerned about having enough water, and conserving that which you have. Then there is the sewage issue.

What to do with the grey water? Can I use my generator if I have one? Will I have enough propane? Weather becomes more of a concern. Sufficient food and clothing need to also be considered. What will you do, during periods of foul weather? These are all items that need to be addressed prior to boondocking.

My oldest daughter and her family prefer to boondock to all other kinds of RVing or camping. They usually spend every week-end between May and October boondocking in various locations in Wyoming as well as three weeks a year. They have endured days with pouring rain, multiple unexpected snow and ice storms which also means navigating on ice, snowy, or muddy roads to reach home. In fact in 2005, we were with them boondocking and the day we left them at their campsite after 7 days, they intended on leaving the next morning, however during the night, they got snowed in for 4 days before they could dig their way out. Thankfully they had their cell phones and could communicate not only their location, but inform their places of work as well as us their predicament. Some boondockers in the same general area had to leave their rigs stuck for a week before returning to get them. These are all things to consider and make these types of trips interesting and memorable. My kids love it.

Why does one usually enjoy boondocking? There are probably more reasons that anyone can possibly list. But I will attempt to mention just a few. Get away from the everyday pressures and stresses of life. Enjoy nature’s beauty and mingle with the native habitat. Minor expenses compared with long trips, parking fees, fuel, etc. Some folks just simply enjoy being by themselves, sitting around a campfire and chillin.

If you have never had this experience, try it, you may find you like it. Boondocking is a long way from having full hook-ups and a pool with a club house and a Wal-mart across the street, next to Applebee or Wendys.


Submitted by Mike Sundberg - 2/06/06

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