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  • Writer's pictureWoody

BOONDOCKING – Enjoying the Outdoors on the Cuff

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Boondocking is the opportunity to camp off-the-grid, far from the services and amenities that can be found at RV parks or developed campgrounds.

It’s a quieter way of camping, one that often lands us in beautiful destinations for days or weeks at a time.

One of the activities that has picked up in volume during Covid is boondock camping. Boondocking is going off the grid-disbursed camping. There are a lot of groups popping up on social media to share experiences and tips. Some people are doing full builds in the back of SUVS or vans, and some are doing it the simple way with tents or sleeping in vehicles. I am camping out of an SUV, a Ford Expedition. I also believe that gear does not have to cost a fortune. I purchase mine online as well as at the dollar store.

One of the most important aspects to camping is your sleeping arrangements. You have to make sure you have a flat, comfortable area to sleep on. I have an air mattress which I purchased from Wal-Mart. It’s a 12” tall mattress with a built in air pump. This makes inflation and deflation a breeze. I top that with a 4” memory foam topper. I have an electric blanket that plugs into a power port that keeps me warm.

I also have a Mr. Heater Little Buddy propane heater in case it gets really cold. People have come up with a lot of ways to block windows. Curtains that are hung using Reflectix. I went to the dollar store and bought some car window shades that are like Reflectix. These can be cut to fit and attached various ways. I used rigid cardboard cut to fit and then glued the window shades to them. The window coverings can help with insulation as well as privacy.

I stow all of my camping gear in plastic totes. When I get to where I am going I can easily take them out and I keep the gear organized that way. Another one of the purchases

I have made was a Gigatent pop up pod changing room. They come in 1 room and 2 room models. I actually have both. I started with the 1 room but soon after bought the 2 room. These pop ups and stow away in a round flat circle about the size of a Hula Hoop. They are about 3” thick. When popped open they are 69” tall by about 3’ wide. (Times two on the two room,) The two rooms are great because one side is my shower room and the other is the potty room. And while we are on the subject of potties, I have tried a few different products from; folding little contraptions, to buckets. I have the folding one but most of the trips I just use a bucket with disposable toilet waste bags held on the rim with pool noodles from the dollar store.

Water Heater

For showers I have tried the solar shower bags but I find them to be a hassle to try to hang. I am extremely happy with my portable hot water heater I purchased online for about $150. One end plugs into a power port and it uses a standard propane can for heating. The pump end goes into a 5 gal bucket of water. Yea buddy, instant hot shower without having to find a way to hang a shower bag or waiting for it to get warm.

There’s a lot of people that use units like the Jackery for power. At this point I am using a 5000w power inverter connected directly to my battery. I have a solar trickle charger on the battery to keep it charged. For cooking I have a table top propane grill from Wal-Mart. It is compact and get the job done. As far as camp furniture I purchased a picnic table that folds into a flat briefcase. I have a camp cooking station table for extended trips. It folds flat as well. Finish off with a couple of small chairs and that’s it.

Since space is a factor for me I don’t have an “Easy up”. I have 2 six feet tall poles that I attach a tarp to that either can be attached to my suv or in between 2 trees for shade or rain protection. The poles are staked into the ground. This set up has worked well in the rain and takes up very little space. It’s easy to get up and easy to store.

These are the basic items that I have been using for two years. Setting up my camp and tear down are fairly quick and I still have everything to make my trip more enjoyable. I like to get totally away from people and yet still be comfortable.

Contributing: Kimijo

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