By Dave Helgeson
My wife and I are in the age bracket that places us at increased risk for severe illness if we were to contract the coronavirus. Many of you reading this probably are too. Maybe you have read this report at npr.org (See item 13) that conveys camping in an isolated area in the outdoors, away from crowded campgrounds, shared restrooms, communal picnic areas, etc., is a low-risk scenario for contracting / spreading the virus.
This fact alone should send us scurrying for the safety of the boondocks (dispersed camping on public land) where other RVers are few, if any, and there are no hard surfaces to harbor lingering virus – yet campgrounds and RV parks are still packed with RVs and people of all ages.
This begs the question: Why aren’t more RVers fleeing to the boondocks?
One thing I have discovered through the years of talking with other RVers and presenting boondocking seminars is that many of you are interested in boondocking but are held back by the fear of the unknown, such as: Where can I camp? Is it legal to camp there? What are the rules? How can I find these places? Doesn’t my RV require hookups each night? Isn’t my rig too big? Is it safe in the boondocks? Where can I dump my tanks?
I have even presented my boondocking seminar at an FMCA convention where ownership and demographics are very similar to the readers of this newsletter. Hundreds attend, wanting to know more. I also learned that many started out “camping” in a truck camper, weekend travel trailer or tent trailer, and now that they have a “big rig” they feel they can’t go back to rustic camping as they once experienced and long to return to those times.
Hundreds of millions of acres of public land are available for dispersed camping. Along with the technology to determine the location, solar technology is improving daily, generators are getting quieter and less expensive, the availability of obtaining the internet remotely is getting better, potable water tanks and holding tanks are becoming larger, devices have become available allowing air conditioners to work easier with less power. And there’s the peace and quiet, the fresh air, availability of outdoor activities and, of course, the most important in this current crisis – social distancing! Yes, even the proverbial lonely campsite by the gurgling stream is still possible for those that seek such a spot, as this half-minute video will demonstrate.
How about you? What’s keeping you from taking advantage of the boondocks during the pandemic? Please share using the comment box located below.
Stay safe, and I look forward to reading your comments.