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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Use common sense and a few tricks to become a happy boondocker

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.

What 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.


  1. I have all my video equipment, sat dish, sat dish receiver, blue ray player and TV plugged into a power strip. I turn everything off individually then turn the power strip off, no parasitic load that way.

  2. It sure sounds like a challenge. Last Summer, right after Hurricane Arthur whipped through here, Pat, Monica & I went 'rustic cabin' camping at New River Beach, south of here. We arrived to no power, no water and no flushes in the bathrooms. We'd brought some of our own water with us in jugs and used that very sparingly. All in all, we did have a great time.