By Russ and Tiña De Maris
While plenty of folks were out hitting the highways over the long weekend, it seems our readers took their electronic devices along to keep up with the newsletter. Here’s a bit of the feedback we’ve received in the last couple of weeks.
Our man Bob Difley posed the question, “Why so few boondockers?” There were plenty of comments from those that don’t boondock – and from those that do. Here’s a sample.
Pete D. spoke for many when he wrote, “We love to boondock but don’t many times because we are afraid of getting into places we can’t easily get out of. I would dread having to back my trailer two mikes down the road if I can’t find a turn around. I guess that is my biggest deterrent. Heading off down a dirt road you are not familiar with can lead to some dangerous situations.”
Shannon P echoed similarly, but also provided a potential solution: “Love to boondock but driving a trailer down an unknown forest road can be scary. We always fear that we’ll drive somewhere and then be unable to turn around. We’re learning to use boondock-friendly resources to plan our adventures and are getting braver each time we head out.”
What are those “friendly resources”? Chris Hemstead suggests some: “Today, with Google maps and the Escapees’ ‘Day’s End’ publication, I have a good idea of boondocking spots before I get there. I will not drive down an unknown dirt road with a large 5er in tow.”
If you’re an Escapees Club member, you can purchase the “Days End” CD, which lists tried-and-true boondocking sites all over the U.S. And we second the suggestion of using Google maps. We’ve found that by setting the map for an aerial view, we can often “see” in advance the terrain and available turnarounds (or lack thereof) before we go down an unknown road with our truck and trailer combination.
But that’s not the only fear readers mentioned. Here’s a representative one from Glen J.: “When I was a young man, I and my family lived in Western Canada and camped deep in the wilderness. Now that I live in the USA, and am in my seventies, I am truly afraid of camping in remote spots. There are lots of bad guys around, and I am simply unable to look after me and mine if confronted. Also, I can no longer walk a few miles to civilization if something happens. This is not a reflection on the USA, but the realities of the times we live in and the age I have become.”
Glen isn’t the only one concerned about bad guys. Others mentioned their apprehensions about bad hombres lurking in the woods. However, Robbie brings up a point that many boondockers make: “We feel more secure boondocking than being in any RV park. We see very few people where we boondock, and the chances of the ‘bad guy’ being in these remote places is less than him being at the RV park or in a Walmart parking lot.”
We have to concur. From our own experience, there have been plenty of times we’ve felt uncomfortable in more urban settings than when in the “outback.” Crime is often bred by opportunity and, face it, it’s a lot easier to find an RV to burgle close to home than to drive out in the sticks looking for an RV or two. We often advise, if you pull into a site, trust your instincts. If it feels hinky, fire up the engine and move along.
Finally, long-time boondocking booster Greg Illes sums up other reasons why some just don’t boondock. “[Boondocking is] just too much of a dark mystery. Unknowns are challenging and exciting to some people, and off-putting to others. Like other walks of life, there’s a LOT of diversity amongst us road-travelers. Viva la difference, eh?”
Generator thefts generate thoughts
Readers added their own thoughts about securing generators after reading, “Prevent thieves from stealing your generator.“
Dennis Lylyk has issues with some theft-proof cables. “Those so-called uncuttable are nothing but a scam, they’re easily cut with a 24″ bolt cutter. The university I worked at used very expensive cable to secure computers in student area common areas. We opened a new area that was very poorly designed and easy escape route to the outside, and were puzzled when [computers] were stolen. How did they cut the cables? When we reviewed the security footage we were shocked. It appeared the guys cut them with what looked like ordinary cable cutters! I took a piece of cable home with me and to my surprise I could cut it like a matchstick with cheap 24″ bolt cutters. It appeared that the coating on the wire held the stands together and prevented it from flattening out. These were not cheap cables. I believe they cost us over a $100 a kit. So the moral of the story is: Do not trust the sales claims, try cutting it before you use it while you still have the receipt in your hand.”
Give up on cables? Ralph Cox has a suggestion: “If you use case hardened chain, even a diamond blade will have a hard time getting through it. Bolt cutters are absolutely useless with case hardened chain. You can get it at McMaster-Carr. mcmaster.com”
Thanks for all your feedback! We look forward to hearing your raves — and rants.