Boondocking For Beginners: From Newbie to Pro in 1 Trip

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What is Boondocking?

Boondocking – simply put –  is camping out in the wilderness. Not in a campground, not in a friends backyard, and certainly not in some type of crowded area.

Where did the term come from?

The boondocks is an American expression that stems from bundók (“mountain”) – Wiki

So camping out in the “Boondocks” was originally referring to going camping out in the mountains. And the mountains are out in rural areas in the middle of no where. So we Americans went ahead and started using the word as a verb like we like to do, and now we have Boondocking It.

Now that we are on the same page about what it is (also called dry camping in some areas), let’s get into how to do it and the subtle and important differences in required resources for the doing of it.

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The first big piece of advice is to use paper products when ever possible. This cuts down on your water consumption to clean these types of 3 meal a day necessities. You can burn them every night to get the campfire going, and mom will be a lot happier with less dishes to do.

So why don’t you always use paper products? When you are in a campground and have a bunch of neighbors nearby, this just gives them something to complain about. The smell of a little burning food waste is the most desirable of odors, and most weekend warriors don’t appreciate it. Kind of like the smell of a Cigar while we are on the subject.

But when you are free of those party-pooping neighbors, you can go ahead smoke it up and the smell will quickly dissipate once the fire gets a going.

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Washing your hands can be another big water consuming task when out in the woods and waters of the Great Outdoors. You’ll be fishing, hiking, and getting all kinds of sticky junk and goop on your hands without even trying. You’re going to want to wash them a lot. (At least we do)

So make up a quick outside handwash (and big cooking dishes) station and keep all that from adding to your grey tank.

Pro Tip – Outdoor Shower Stations will really cut back the amount of water heading into your tanks.

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Like water conservation, Power Conservation is high on the Boondocker’s list of utilities to keep an eye on. Luckily we live in such a time of rapidily evolving technology that Solar Setups really have improved a lot. 10 years ago this wouldn’t be much of an option, but today you can almost run everything on a good RV solar system.

But when you need to use that generator – make sure you get yourself a quite running one. These will put out enough power to run your little must-have’s like Mr. Coffee and Mrs. Microwave Oven.

No need to run that big commercial-sized built-in power hog just to light up the Palm Tree at night.

Let the stars have some glory.

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If you are starting to notice a trend with this conservation of things, then you are onto me. The name of this game is to NOT run out of the necessities or space. Space in your Grey or Black Tanks that is.

Have an idea of how many days and how many people that your sewage (Black) tank can support before venturing out into the world of Boondocking. Just get an idea, and then try and use the outdoor facilities about half of the time that you need to. Us guys have a much easier time doing this for obvious reasons, so go ahead and take advantage of it – your helping for once!

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Let’s go over a few simple etiquette tips too while we are covering ground on this whole Boon-Docking adventure.

You prepped and planned and got all excited about heading out on a trip that doesn’t come with a reservation number of a nightly rate to get away from it all. So if there is someone else out there doing the same thing – go ahead and give them some space too.

They might be in the perfect spot or have that perfect view, but there is no need to park any closer to them as you would want someone parking close to you. Double this distance if you are bringing your dogs along.

There is plenty of space and room for everyone 🙂 Adjust, adapt, and find an even better spot you might not have found if you don’t veer off the plan every once and awhile.

Boondocking For Beginners: What We Wish We Had Known before our new RV Nomad Life