Tuesday, December 6, 2022


How to minimize and manage waste when boondocking



Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking, and Part 2 of the answer. 

Hi Bob,
In the past you have probably reflected on various boondocking techniques. If so, some reruns would be appreciated. For a neophyte boondocker interested in staying in the woods like maybe for 2–3 weeks: How to maximize energy usage? Routine for use of generator and inverter? How to minimize and manage waste? —Dan

Hi again Dan,
This week I will answer the second part of your question: How to minimize and manage waste.

The obvious answer is, don’t bathe and don’t eat. However, the practical way to minimize waste is by changing some habits that formed when water was unlimited and waste went down a sewer that you never saw or had to deal with. But when living in a home-on-wheels the best way to minimize waste is by conserving water use.

One of the limiters to boondocking is filling your gray water tank, so concentrate on using less water by turning off the shower after you wet down, then soap up, and turn it back on to rinse – and use a low flow shower head. Collect the water you run when heating up the shower water in a clean container to use for drinking, cooking, and washing hands.

Wash dishes with a soapy rag or brush – not under running water – and rinse in a dishpan of clean water. Discard the dishpan of water on a thirsty plant instead of dumping it in your gray tank. Or use disposable plates and utensils that do not need washing.

If you are out in the woods in a campsite all to yourself, use a sun shower (filled from a stream or other water source) for bathing and washing hands.

Use your imagination to come up with more ways to save water and limit the amount going into the waste tank. After awhile it will become second nature. And always carry extra water in Jerry jugs or collapsible containers. When your black tank requires dumping first and your gray water tank is not yet full, you’ll know you’re doing a good job of water conservation. 

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .



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Marilyn R.
5 years ago

We like to use an “almost” empty (1.75 G) detergent container to wash our hands outside. We fill it up with stream water and if you use it up just refill it and add a few drops of dish detergent. It’s kept on the edge of the picnic table, out of the way so that the water doesn’t get trekked into the RV. Just make sure to use one with a handle versus the push-button as the latter is a bit difficult to use by yourself.
And if you yourself never buy detergent in that size just ask a friend with lots of children – they MUST use it.

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