Use common sense to become a happy boondocker

12

By Bob Difley
Boondocking is not brain surgery. Anyone can camp overnight without hookups. Two or three days takes a little effort — no, not effort but common sense in the use of your resources.

boondocking1-746What resources? Electricity and how fast you deplete it from your batteries, drinking water and how much you waste, and that resultant waste water filling up your gray water tank. Filling the black tank is usually not a restricting factor.

Where boondocking requires a bit more effort, more creative thinking, more conservation, and more planning — the art and skill of boondocking — is in extending your boondocking days. Getting as many days “our there” as you can squeeze in between having to pack up camp and drive off to replenish electricity (charging your batteries), fill your water tank, and dump your waste tanks. Staying out longer, and doing it comfortable, is what makes a boondocker happy.

It also takes experience. Every time you boondock, you learn a new trick or two to extend your stay. Simple, common sense acts — that with experience become second nature — like not letting your faucets run, taking Navy showers, re-using the water you run when waiting for hot water to come, reducing the amount of waste water you let flow into your gray tank, turning off lights and TV when not being used — this bag of tricks — are what makes boondocking a successful and fun way to camp.

Look at it this way. If you were just as comfortable without hookups as you were with them, where would you rather camp. With neighbors within 15 or feet on either side of you, or would you choose campsites where your nearest neighbors were 50 or 100 feet away. Or you had no neighbors at all.

That’s the beauty of boondocking. Once you learn the tips and tricks, your options are endless — from a crowded LTVA at Quartzsite to a solitary campsite with sweeping vistas and no sign of civilization in sight.

Check out Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

##RVT890

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Bob
2 years ago

Years ago Key West did not police parking meters from Christmas to New Years Day. We would go down, take two spaces next to the beach, stay all week! Bath house on beach had facilities, so no water or tank concerns. Those were the days!

www.livingboondockingmexico.blogspot.com
2 years ago

I couldn’t imagine not being able to boondock. Paying for a parking pad just doesn’t make sense although sometimes it cannot be avoided due to meeting up with other friends who are tied to the grid. As the article says, 15 feet apart or basically all the wilderness you could want.

Learning to conserve water makes all the difference. Every drop counts and you may not think it is worth the nuisance. The more you conserve the longer you can stay away from the crowds and enjoy Mother Nature.

We will be heading out again in two weeks, this time traveling in the U.S. which we haven’t done for some time enjoying West Texas.

Scott Ellis
2 years ago

We only camp in developed campgrounds when we’re with friends who feel they need to do so or when we’re traveling in relatively developed areas we’re not familiar with. Otherwise, we’re as far from anybody as we can get (and since we have a slide-in camper on a four-wheel-drive pickup, that’s often pretty darned far). From the ideal spot, we see a million acres of scenery during the day and not a single light at night. When you can get *that* experience, the inconveniences of saving water and power become a small concern, indeed.

Bruce
2 years ago

I liked your March 29 article about using common sense when boondocking. A major frustration for me is all the water that is wasted waiting for hot water at the kitchen sink. Someone suggested an under sink instant hot water faucet. Do you know of one that ties into the existing plumbing? I would like a system where the hot water flows directly through the faucet with the cold water rather than a stand alone faucet?

Thank you for any information you might be able to provide.

Regards,
Bruce

Roy Ellithorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce

That instant hot water is heated with ?????

Robbie
2 years ago

Hey Bob,
Don’t give away all the secrets!

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

We haven’t tried the LTVA areas near Quartzsite. We HAVE used the two week areas, which are free. They generally aren’t crowded (except during the Big Tent affair) and neighbors can be blocks away. Since there are several of them, we can move to another once the two week limit is reached. Love it down there!

Bill T
4 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

How do you occupy your time for multiple weeks in the same desert location?

littleleftie
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

That has always been my question, as well.

Tommy Molnar
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

We generally take our 2011 Polaris RZR with us (wife tows it with her car) so we have to take two vehicles. It’s a price we’re willing to pay so we have it with us. So, we go exploring, Geocaching, and meeting ‘miles-away’ neighbors. We go hiking and explore all that is within walking distance. We have our Dish box with us for the music. We enjoy sitting outside and reading. I enjoy an occasional stogie (and no one complains about the aromatic plume – ha). Other folks with their side-by-sides and ATV’s come by sometimes to chit chat, kinda like we do. At night, if we can stay awake, we sit outside and look up at the stars, trying to spot satellites (or UFO’s!), airplanes, etc. I have a drone and generally try to get aerial pics of our campsites everywhere we go. Sometimes this attracts other drone pilots and that leads to great ‘stories’. We join the metal detecting club in Quartzsite and head out to their gold claims to see if we can get rich – ahem.

DAVE TELENKO
4 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Hi Tommy, I like the way you think & especially the way you camp. We all do things a different way, but doing it the way you want, is the way to do it!! Thanks for sharing your success in “booning” it.
Snoopy

Bill T
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Hi Tommy. Thanks for the info. Cheers and safe travels.