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What Do People Actually Do When Boondocking?

What Do People Actually Do When Boondocking?

There is little that feels better than finding an epic spot to boondock in your RV. Whether it’s in the mountains, the desert, or next to a body of water, boondocking can be an incredible style of camping. However, once you’ve picked your spot and set up camp, the fun is only just beginning. What do people do when boondocking? Let’s look and see!

What Is Boondocking?

Boondocking is a no-frills style of camping that is typically on public-use lands managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) or USFS (United States Forest Service). This type of camping provides a tremendous amount of freedom and privacy compared to a tightly packed campground or RV park.

While you get more privacy and more space while off-grid camping, you need to be self-sufficient. These campsites likely won’t have RV hookups, i.e. electrical connections, sewer hookups, or water connections. Aside from a great location or epic view, you may not get much more than the campsite itself.

New to boondocking? Here are the Important Things To Know Before You Go.

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Is Boondocking Difficult?

If you’re considering boondocking, it’s not nearly as easy as camping in an established campground. Creating power, providing your own water, and managing your tank levels can be challenging. However, it can be a simple way to RV with the proper tools and a little bit of experience.

Having a generator or solar panels to keep your batteries charged can help with any power needs you might have while camping. Conserving water and managing your tank levels are both skills that you’ll continue to grow the more you boondock.

Mortons on the Move RV boondocking near mountains.
From hiking, biking, fishing, and more, boondocking has many fun adventures for you instore.

What Do People Actually Do When Boondocking?

Whether you’re sick of squeezing between RVs at a local campground or looking for space to spread out, off-grid camping is a great option. Boondocking can give you the freedom to enjoy almost any activity you can imagine. Here are a few things RVers typically enjoy doing during their boondocking trips.

Pro Tip: Make your next boondocking adventure a success with these 40 RV Boondocking Tips.

Work 

Believe it or not, some RVers are digital nomads and work from the road. There are some incredible boondocking spots where RVers with remote jobs can get blazing internet speeds from their hotspots and other connections. Digital nomads can manage online businesses and even participate in video conferences while RVing off the grid.

Not everyone you see enjoying the RV lifestyle is independently wealthy or retired. Some are still working everyday jobs while living a unique and adventurous lifestyle.

Hike

Whether it’s a stroll or an intense adventure, many boondockers enjoy hiking. Since many boondocking sites are on public lands, nature is often all around you. While many campsites will have trails, you can also enjoy walking two tracks and along the backroads you took to get there.

Boondocking can allow you to camp closer to a trailhead to get an early start. Some of the longer hikes may require several hours or have limited parking. Getting as much sleep as possible and still beating the crowds is always a bonus! 

Cait from Mortons on the Move hiking with her dogs.
Enjoy the great outdoors while boondocking by hitting the hiking trails.

Off-Road

Many boondocking locations are remote and have minimal road infrastructures. These areas are often ideal for those looking to do some off-roading in their Jeep or other capable vehicles. Exploring the landscapes but avoiding the physical demands of hiking can be a  tremendous benefit.

Boondocking can allow you to spend the entire day off-roading and exploring the surrounding area without a long drive home at the end of the day. You can even pull up to your RV to grab lunch or a snack before heading out for more adventures.

Bike

The perfect combination of hiking and off-roading is biking. You can cover a tremendous amount of land. Many boondocking locations have forest service roads and two tracks that are excellent to explore via bike.

And with an e-bike, you can even have a little assistance on those hills. You can also get into some pretty epic locations that even a competent off-roading vehicle can’t access.

Boondockers love biking because they take up minimal amounts of space. Whether they’re tossing their bike into the back of their vehicle or on a bike rack, all they have to do is strap on a helmet and head out for an adventure.

Mortons on the Move biking in the desert
Explore your boondocking site by bike on your next adventure.

Bird & Wildlife Watching

RV camping off-grid usually provides more privacy, which means quiet. Bird and wildlife watchers love boondocking because they don’t have to worry about noisy neighbors scaring away the animals.

You can photograph the outdoors at your campsite or take your camera with you on a hike. Capturing birds and other wildlife in a picture can be great conversation starters with other RVers and family.

Fish

Fishing is another popular activity among those who enjoy boondocking. There are some excellent boondocking spots near popular fishing communities around the country. Whether they’re camping on the lake or close enough to drive to it, boondockers can bring enough fish back to their RV for dinner.

Cook

Some boondockers can make lavish meals that resemble fine dining while boondocking. Whether they’re trying to practice their skills or impress their fellow boondockers, eating is a necessary part of any camping trip. Cooking delicious meals in a tiny space with minimal supplies can be challenging but is a great way to expand your cooking skills.

Cait and Tom from Mortons on the Move cooking outside while boondocking.
Let your inner chef shine while boondocking.

Practice Your Art

Many boondockers take advantage of nature’s scenery and quietness to develop their creativity. Practicing various art forms without getting distracted or disturbing others is a tremendous benefit of boondocking.

Whether you want to practice a guitar solo, capture an unforgettable sunset in paint, or draw wildlife, boondocking can provide infinite inspiration.

Catch Up on RV Maintenance or Cleaning

There are some RV maintenance and cleaning projects that you can’t do in a campground. Whether it’s because there’s not enough space or there are too many good samaritans wanting to lend a hand, boondocking can be a great place to spread out those tools and catch up on maintenance.

Take Advantage of the Solitude

It’s hard not to love the peace boondocking has to offer. The solitude is unlike anything most campgrounds can provide. Boondockers will often take advantage of the quiet to read, journal, or enjoy being alone. 

Many boondockers will take it a step further and disconnect from technology. Turning off their phones and simply enjoying not receiving notifications for every tweet or email can be tremendously freeing.

Tom from Mortons on the Move relaxing in scenic boondocking site.
Enjoy the tranquil peace and quiet that boondocking offers.

How Do I Find a Boondocking Site?

There are a number of boondocking apps and websites that can help you find amazing boondocking spots. Many have massive databases of campgrounds and various campsites. You can use filters to limit results to only those that apply to what you’re looking for in a camp.

While scrolling through the results, you can look at individual campsites and read reviews to see if the location will fit your RV. It should also have information from previous users that can be helpful.

Pro Tip: Find an amazing boondocking site for your next adventure with these Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping.

Top Tips for Preparing to Go Off-Grid "Boondocking" in an RV - Mondays with the Mortons

Is Boondocking Worth It?

Boondocking is a truly incredible way to experience nature and spend your time while RVing. However, you must go into every boondocking trip adequately prepared. You want to ensure you have the necessary supplies to last for the duration of your trip.

You don’t want to get to your camp and discover you have no water, your tanks are full, or you have no way to create power. The key to an unforgettable boondocking experience is preparation so that when you arrive, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy camping at its best!

What do you enjoy doing while you’re boondocking? Drop a comment below!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Lori

Wednesday 16th of March 2022

Good read. Boondocking is our preferred way to camp. Our favorite thing to do is to just enjoy the surroundings. We read, & take in the area we are at. Our dogs love to go on long walks or to go hiking. They usually talk us into going at some point during the day.

Mortons on the Move

Friday 1st of April 2022

Boondocking is our favorite, too! :)

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