Is boondocking safe? (9+ tips)

In this article, we will discuss: Is boondocking safe? We will give you some essential tips and rules to apply before, during and after your wild camping trip. 

Is boondocking safe?

Boondocking is a safe practice if you follow basic rules and take some safety precautions. If you plan on boondocking for a few days, try not to cut off all forms of communication with the outside world; let your loved ones know where you plan to camp so that help can be directed to you if something goes wrong.

Boondocking it’s about camping in total autonomy. Some people do it out of necessity; for example on a long trip, they will make overnight stops (called a “transit stop”) at Walmart or rest areas because the purpose of their trip is the destination. Others, on the other hand, do it out of a taste for adventure; they then settle where they stop, as they wish.

In fact, more and more caravanners are turning to boondock for the experience. whether it is for freedom, for necessity on a long journey, for a taste for adventure by choosing places that offer more privacy or to save money.

Let’s now discuss some basic rules for safe boondocking!

Safe boondocking: What to do before the trip

Here are some tips when preparing your boondocking trip to keep your peace of mind at all times:

  1. Choose an authorised place:  Wild camping or boondocking is a rather easy leisure activity but they are not allowed everywhere, especially on the seaside, near tourist sites and on private property. Thus, if you do not go to a place dedicated to this kind of activity, do not hesitate to do some research beforehand so as not to risk receiving a fine or being confronted with a muscular evacuation.
  1. Let someone know where you’ll be: Informing those around you about the exact location of your getaway is not an unnecessary precaution. With this valuable information, they will be able to notify the emergency services if your absence is too long. For risky hikes on rough terrain, you can also equip yourself with a GPS beacon so that your route is tracked in real-time.
  1. It’s good to know first aid measures: For a simple camping trip, you do not of course have to learn all the basic medical techniques by heart or obtain your first-aid certificate. However, taking the time to check out videos on this as well as guides for beginners will make you the perfect travel partner.

Safe boondocking: What to do once there

After preparing yourself properly, you will need to maintain this high degree of vigilance throughout your journey. Here is the appropriate behaviour to adopt while boondocking:

  1. Beware of the camping space: You should never set up your camp less than 80 meters from a lake or a river. In case of heavy rains, the waters can be brought up to submerge you completely. To counter this danger, you also have the option of digging a trench all around your tent to slow down the progress of the flood.
  1. Learn how to store your food:  When you have finished your meal, always remember to place the various foods in closed containers. Food left in the open attracts insects as well as all kinds of more or less friendly animals.
  1. Find shade: The sun is a favourite companion for campers the world over, but it often plays nasty tricks on them. Apart from the severe burns, it can cause if you do not use the right cream, it can also cause you to pass out. In order to protect yourself as well as possible, do not expose yourself for too long, especially during the hottest hours of the day, and drink regularly.
  1. Know how to act in the case of a thunderstorm: When you engage in an outdoor activity, you are particularly vulnerable to the danger of lightning. If a thunderstorm breaks out, the ideal is to take refuge in a solid building or in a car. If no such feature exists in the vicinity of your bivouac, stay away from trees, poles and metal fences that attract lightning and stay safe until normalcy returns.
  1. Have a list of numbers to call in the case of an emergency: The battery of your cell phone is not inexhaustible, especially when you are in an outdoor place where electrical outlets are scarce. One solution to this problem is to take a solar battery with you. However, having a piece of paper with the contact details of people in your immediate circle can be of great service to you.

Safe boondocking: What to do once home

Few people are aware of it, but certain preventive or curative measures must be taken upon returning home. Here are two that should interest you.

  1. Take care of your equipment: As we mentioned in a previous article, camping equipment must be taken care of seriously to prevent it from deteriorating too quickly. To be able to benefit from equipment in good condition during a future outing, you must therefore clean your tent and sleeping bag if their condition requires it, dry them properly and then store them in the open air in a room outside. away from humidity.
  1. Have any injuries checked: Small ailments contracted during an outdoor activity are not always well taken care of. It is not easy to properly disinfect a wound in a non-sterile environment. Do you notice a cut that is changing badly or an abnormally swollen area? See a doctor to make sure everything is okay.

Practical info for boondocking

To practice boondocking, you still need to have a minimum of preparation.

  1. Check the level of the freshwater, grey water and black water tanks, to be able to stand without a dump station for a few days.
  1. Beforehand, get an idea of ​​where it is possible to spend the night by looking at the interactive maps on the applications.
  1. Get a feel for the energy you are using so you don’t run out. For our part, we have 200 watts of solar panels as well as an energy converter of 1500 watts in pure current. 
  1. Use LEDs, as these lights require very little energy to operate.
  1. As far as water is concerned, you will be able to be self-sufficient in 3-4 days if you are careful with the use. So we take quick showers and wash the dishes completely once a day if possible. For more autonomy, you can always add additional tanks.
  1. Always keep canned foods, dry foods like rice, nuts, and frozen vegetables. This way if the fresh food is finished we will always have something to cook for a few days.
  1. It’s always better to know ahead of time which roads you will be taking because if you’re riding off the beaten track, it’s better to know what is around the next bend. Informing the locals (the inhabitants of the place) can also enlighten you on the best places to camp independently. 

And sometimes, a night at a campsite can be a good home base for combing an area before setting off on an adventure.

  1. We can do without electricity, but no water! When you go camping on your own, make sure you have the necessary amount of water that you expect to need. You can bring a few extra bottles of water just in case, use wipes to clean yourself up, and eat from paper plates to avoid washing dishes. 

You can also install an outdoor shower where you will collect water to flush the toilet afterwards … In short, a little forethought will make your life more pleasant … and save your water.

  1. Just because you feel free from all obstacles, doesn’t mean you can encroach on your neighbour’s peace of mind. If you are camping near other stand-alone campers, be careful not to listen to your music until the wee hours of the morning or run your generator at full capacity. 

And when you exit, leave the location as you found it. Now is not the time to dump grey (or worse, black!) Water and leave your trash lying around. In short, it is a matter of common sense.

FAQ on Is boondocking safe?

What does Boondocking mean?

Simply explained, boondocking it’s about caravanning in total autonomy. Some people do it out of necessity; for example on a long trip, they will make overnight stops (called a “transit stop”) at Walmart or rest areas because the purpose of their trip is the destination. Others, on the other hand, do it out of a taste for adventure; they then settle where they stop, as they wish.

How long can you Boondock in an RV?

You can boondock in an RV as long as you still have water, food and until you have to dump your RV tanks. 

What is the best RV for Boondocking?

The best RV for boondocking is Class B RVs and vans, as they are smaller vehicles and better to manoeuvre off-road.

References

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