Boondocking, also known as dry camping, is a popular and adventurous way to experience the great outdoors and to see and stay near some of this country’s amazing natural wonders. It also provides the opportunity to take the road less traveled, whether you’re in a camper van or luxury RV.
However, RV boondocking for beginners can be intimidating for those who have never gone off-grid before. Boondocking involves camping in remote and undeveloped areas without access to water, electricity, or other amenities typically available at campgrounds.
Boondocking can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it does require some preparation and planning. If you are interested in trying boondocking for the first time, here are some tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
RV Boondocking Tips:
- Research your destination: Before heading out to a remote location, it’s essential to do some research on the area. Check out the weather forecast, local regulations, and any potential hazards. You can also read up on other camper’s experiences on blogs or social media groups.
- Plan ahead: It’s crucial to have a solid plan in place before you go boondocking. Decide on your route, the length of your stay, and what you’ll need to bring. Make sure to have plenty of water and food with you and consider bringing a portable solar panel to charge your electronics.
- Choose the right vehicle: Boondocking requires a vehicle that can handle rough terrain and is equipped with the necessary camping gear. If you don’t have one, consider renting or borrowing one from a friend or family member.
- Practice leave-no-trace principles: When camping in remote areas, it’s essential to leave the site in the same condition you found it. This means packing out all trash, avoiding building campfires, and avoiding disturbing the natural environment.
- Be prepared for emergencies: Boondocking can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to be prepared for emergencies. Bring a first-aid kit, a satellite phone, and a GPS device to help navigate in case of getting lost.
- Respect wildlife: Remember, you are a visitor in the animals’ homes. It is crucial to respect their habitat and avoid disturbing them. Keep a safe distance and never approach or feed them.
- Enjoy the experience: Boondocking travel can be an incredible experience, providing you with a unique opportunity to connect with nature. Take the time to appreciate the beauty around you and embrace the solitude.
Wondering where to go for your first boondocking excursion? A test run is usually a good idea, but once you’re ready for the real thing, there are several boondocking apps, such as Campendium, iOverlander, and FreeRoam, that can help you find free and low-cost camping options. Experienced boondockers have their favorite destinations. Here are ten most frequently visited RV boondocking sites that are recommended:
Best RV Boondocking Sites To Remember:
1. Mojave National Preserve, California –
On our list of the best 10 RV Boondocking Sites, Mojave National Preserve comes in at number one. With over 1.6 million acres of desert wilderness, this park offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking travel, stargazing, and exploring.
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2. BLM Land in Arizona –
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages millions of acres of public land in Arizona, offering endless possibilities for boondocking in stunning natural settings.
3. Organ Mountains–
Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico – This relatively new national monument boasts dramatic desert landscapes and excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
4. Olympic National Forest, Washington –
With over 600,000 acres of wilderness, this forest offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking, hiking, and fishing.
5. Death Valley National Park, California –
This park offers some of the most extreme desert landscapes in the United States, as well as incredible stargazing opportunities.
6. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah –
This sprawling national monument offers a range of landscapes, from desert to canyons to mountains, and is a popular destination for hikers and adventurers.
7. Great Basin National Park, Nevada –
This park offers a unique high-desert landscape, as well as opportunities for stargazing, hiking, and exploring limestone caverns.
8. White River National Forest, Colorado –
With over 2 million acres of wilderness, this forest offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking, hiking, and fishing in the Rockies.
9. Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota –
This boondocking spot offers a mix of dense forests, rolling hills, and granite peaks, as well as plenty of opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
10. Joshua Tree National Park, California –
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Our list of RV boondocking sites in California concludes with Joshua Tree National Park. This park offers unique desert landscapes, world-class rock climbing, and plenty of opportunities for stargazing.