Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
I dream of getting my coach ready to boondock on BLM lands. My goal is to try long-term boondocking out West next winter. My question is: When I disconnect my toad and go into town or for a sightseeing trip, I am concerned that I will forget where I parked the coach! With limited signage and uncharted roads, moving every couple of weeks to similar terrain, and thousands of other campers’ rigs to overlook, how are you confident that you can remember landmarks accurately and get back to where you camped? Have you ever “lost” your rig? —Ken Q
Yes, I’ve “mislocated” my motorhome when returning from a day of exploring, but it was never permanent. The good old-fashioned way to find your rig – used by hikers also – is to tie a colorful ribbon to a tree limb or build a pile of rocks at every turn to guide you back. You can also take a picture of every turn on your smartphone and title it with “turn right” or “go straight.”
If you are staying at a location that Google Maps has mapped, you can find the exact GPS latitude and longitude coordinates of a point on Google Maps along with the altitude/elevation above sea level, and simply drag the marker in the map to the point you require. Alternatively, enter the location name in the search bar then drag the resulting marker to the precise position.
To view the GPS coordinates of any location, tap and hold your finger on the screen in Google Maps to add a marker at the desired location, swipe up on the information panel and you will be presented with the latitude and longitude of the location, among other information.
You will find it is not as difficult in most instances to find your way since out in boondocking land there are just not that many alternative forks and major branches that could steer you wrong. Just remember to take a photo of the turnoff from the main highway or record the distance from a major landmark. Providing you don’t miss that turn, you should be OK for the rest of the return trip.
In places like Quartzsite with dozens of RVs, add a tall flagpole and a fancy flag to your rig so you can spot it among many.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .