Boondocking Part 1
WHAT IT IS AND SOME OF IT’S FORMS
Boondocking comes in many forms, so it’s not likely that we will be able to cover them all in this brief writing. So, let’s talk about the most common types of boondocking that comes to mind.
So, just what is boondocking ? It is camping without hooking up to water, sewer or electricity, and there are many ways that folks like to do it.
ASPHALT/CONCRETE BOONDOCKING is just as the name implies but the location can be widely varied. This is usually in an urban type of environment. There are many names for this type of boondocking. Some that come to mind are WALLYDOCKING or overnighting at Wal-Mart. A hint for here, park out of the way, near the security cameras and away from the receiving dock area where noisy deliveries are often times made in the wee hours. Many retailers do not discourage this type of camping and some encourage it. One of our favorites is Cracker Barrel because of their roaring fireplace and great breakfast.
This type of boondocking can have some hidden Dangers so reading the local vibe can be important. For example if you see gang graffiti, vandalism, street people with all of their worldly goods in a shopping cart, it might be better to move on. Broken safety glass scattered around a parking lot can well indicate that smash and grab thefts are happening there, and leaving someone in your camper, even when shopping could be a wise move. Again, parking in full view of security cameras is always a good idea.
STEALTH camping is somewhat the art of blending in or hiding in plain sight. Being anonymous by virtue of, “out of sight, out of mind”, can provide not only security, but also a good night’s rest. One of our old standby’s is a RV sales lot or dealership, they always have easy in and easy out access and we look like we belong there.
DRIVEWAY Boondocking can be great, either at kinfolks or someone that you know along the way. Great visit’s and wonderful local flavor from this type of boondocking, and there is no check in or out time !
REST AREA’S, TRUCK STOPS and other high traffic, noisy type, of area’s can be convenient but hard to get some rest in, because of the noise. Even with the stereo on, if a truck sets it’s air brakes next to you, it will likely wake you up. Should you find a lower traffic part of it, there will always be the bull hauler Cowboy with a Jake brake racking off. We tend to use them, but sparingly when pushing hard to get somewhere.
REMOTE BONDOCKING, commonly referred to by the USFS ( United States Forest Service ) and BLM ( Bureau of Land Management ) as DISPERSED CAMPING, can vary widely depending on which part of the USA you are in. For example, in the West, sunshine and solar panels can really keep you out there in pristine wilderness for long periods of time. In Heavily timbered areas the sunshine can’t get to solar panels and other alternatives such as small generators can be used. Water is the usual limitation to remote boondocking, fresh water, grey water and black water capacities will be critical in determining on site stay time.
BOONDOCKING WITH SUPPORT can be as simple as using vault toilets and carrying water in containers to extend your stay, or, to having a utility trailer to haul fresh water and waste water. This is one of our favorite ways to boondock and as I write this we are in our third week of boondocking with more to come, in a primitive campground that has a lake on three sides and a magnificent view in all directions. Later in this BOONDOCKING SERIES, we will talk about supported boondocking in depth.