Boondocking 101: How to Camp in the Wilderness Without Amenities

It allows you to get closer to nature and experience the great outdoors in a more secluded and peaceful setting. 

However, it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. 

In this blog post, we will go over the basics of boondocking and provide tips on how to make the most of your experience.


What is boondocking? Boondocking is camping in a remote location, typically on public land, without access to electricity, water, or other amenities. 

It is often done in national forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, and other public lands that allow dispersed camping.


Why boondock? Boondocking is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the beauty of nature in a more raw and natural way. 

It also allows you to save money on camping fees and explore areas of the country that may not be accessible through traditional campgrounds.


How to find boondocking spots Finding boondocking spots can be a bit of a challenge, as they are not always well-marked or easily accessible. 

A good starting point is to check with the local ranger district office or BLM office for information on dispersed camping in the area. 

You can also search online for boondocking sites and reviews, or ask other campers for recommendations.


Once you have a general idea of where you would like to boondock, it’s important to plan your route and check for road closures or other potential hazards. 

It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case your first choice spot is already taken.


What to bring Boondocking requires a bit more preparation than traditional camping, as you will not have access to amenities like electricity and running water. 

It’s important to bring all the necessary gear and supplies to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.


Some essential items to bring include:

  • Water: You will need to bring your own water or have a way to purify it.
  • Food: Bring non-perishable food items that don’t require refrigeration.
  • Camping stove: For cooking and boiling water.
  • Solar panels or generator: For powering lights and other electrical devices.
  • Trash bags: to pack out your trash and leave no trace.
  • First aid kit: in case of emergencies
  • Maps and a compass: in case you lose your phone signal

Tips for boondocking:

  • Respect the land: Leave no trace and follow Leave No Trace principles.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: Keep an eye out for wildlife and be aware of any potential hazards.
  • Be prepared for any weather: Check the forecast and bring appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Keep a low profile: Avoid making loud noise or disturbing other campers.
  • Practice fire safety: Only use established fire rings and never leave a fire unattended.

Tips on how to conserve resources while boondocking:

  1. Use a solar-powered or battery-operated lantern instead of a propane or gas lantern.
  2. Pack a portable solar panel or generator to power your devices.
  3. Use a portable camping stove or campfire for cooking instead of a propane stove.
  4. Bring a water filter or purification tablets to purify water instead of bringing bottled water.
  5. Bring non-perishable food items that don’t require refrigeration.
  6. Use a low-flow shower head to conserve water while showering.
  7. Use a composting toilet or bury human waste in a cathole at least 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet from any water source.
  8. Use a small trash bag and pack out all your trash.
  9. Use a small propane or battery-operated heater instead of a larger one.
  10. Use a small solar-powered or battery-operated fan instead of a larger one.

Boondocking can be a truly rewarding experience, allowing you to connect with nature and escape the distractions of everyday life. 

With proper planning and preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip. 

Remember to respect the land and leave no trace, be mindful of your surroundings, and have fun!


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