- 1. Call of the Open Road: Embracing Boondocking Solo
- 2. Choosing Your Boondocking Beast: A Guide to Picking the Perfect RV
- 3. Free Boondocking Near Me: Tips for Scouting Locations
- 4. Road-Ready: Preparing Your Rig for Boondocking
- 5. Safety First: Boondocking Basics Safety Tips
- 6. Embracing Solitude: Enjoying Your Boondocking Solo Adventure
- 7. Leave No Trace: Eco-Friendly Boondocking Practices
- 8. Conclusion: Road Warrior Woman: Your Boondocking Adventure Awaits
1. Call of the Open Road: Embracing Boondocking Solo
Freedom, adventure, and tranquility – these are just a few of the many attractions of boondocking, or free camping without hookups. Some other names for it are dry camping, dispersed camping, and camping off-grid. The notion of setting up camp in an undisturbed location, with nature as your backdrop and the stars as your ceiling, holds an undeniable appeal. But what if I told you that more and more women are choosing to embark on this unique adventure alone? Yes, women boondocking solo is on the rise, and for good reason.
Dry Camping offers an incredible opportunity to connect with the wilderness, to truly immerse yourself in the natural world. It’s a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, to experience the serene joy of solitude. But don’t be mistaken – this isn’t about isolation, but rather about finding empowerment and self-reliance in one’s own company.
This guide is here to help you navigate boondocking basics, from preparing your camper and scouting the perfect boondocking spot to embracing the unique joys and challenges of solo travel. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or just contemplating your first solo journey, we’ve got you covered.
So, to all the brave women out there, curious about the open road, the whispering trees, the untouched landscapes – this one’s for you. Let’s dive into the ultimate guide to boondocking!
2. Choosing Your Boondocking Beast: A Guide to Picking the Perfect RV
If you’re on the brink of embarking on your boondocking journey, one of the first and most critical steps is choosing the right RV. This will be your home away from home, your road warrior, and your shelter amidst the wilderness. Picking the right one will dictate the comfort, convenience, and overall success of your boondocking adventure. Let’s explore some essential considerations to help you find the perfect RV for your boondocking basics.
Size and Comfort
When choosing an RV for boondocking, size matters. However, bigger isn’t always better. While a larger RV may provide more living space and storage, it could also limit your ability to reach remote and off-grid locations due to its size and weight. On the other hand, a smaller RV or van could be easier to maneuver and allow for greater accessibility, but you’ll have to compromise on living and storage space. It’s crucial to find a balance between comfort and practicality based on your specific needs.
One key aspect of boondocking is self-sustainability. You’re going to spend time off-grid, which means you’ll need an RV capable of sustaining itself without hookups. Look for an RV equipped with large freshwater tanks, grey and blackwater tanks, a good battery system, solar panels, and a generator. These will allow you to manage your power, water, and waste efficiently, making your boondocking solo experience more comfortable and environmentally friendly.
Insulation and Ventilation
Depending on the time of year and your chosen location, you may face sweltering heat or freezing temperatures while boondocking. Your RV must have good insulation to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. Double paned windows are a must for anyone full timing in any hot or cold weather.
Additionally, ensure your RV has a well-designed ventilation system to prevent condensation build-up, which can lead to dampness and mould. Look for an RV with a few ‘fantastic fans’, one in each major area is desirable. Many of these fans have the ability to suck air out or bring air in. Night time set in to bring the cool air in, day time set it to take the hot air out. These are a must have for anyone off grid living with pets. You could park in the shade, have a reflectix on all your windows and have the fans help move the air and survive pretty hot days. Never leave pets unattended in hot weather.
Ground Clearance and 4WD
If you’re venturing into rugged and less-developed areas, an RV with high ground clearance is a great asset. This will protect the underside of your vehicle from rocks and uneven ground. Furthermore, having an RV or towing vehicle with 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) can help navigate challenging terrains.
Storage and Living Space
An ideal off grid RV should have ample storage for food, water, and essentials as you’ll be away from convenience stores and supermarkets. Additionally, consider the living space. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time inside, you’ll want to ensure the interior layout suits your lifestyle and provides enough room for comfortable living.
Choosing the right RV is an essential step in your boondocking journey. I have had 5 different RV’s since embarking on this lifestyle, read about them here in this blog post. Remember, the best RV is not the most expensive or luxurious one, but rather the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
3. Free Boondocking Near Me: Tips for Scouting Locations
Choosing the right spot for your adventure can make all the difference. A great location isn’t just about stunning views and solitude, it also needs to be safe and legal. Thankfully, there are several resources available to help you scout out the perfect site for your solo journey.
To begin with, always make sure boondocking is allowed in your desired location. Public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and certain areas of National Forests often permit free camping for up to 14 days. However, rules can vary, so it’s crucial to check the specifics for the region you’re interested in.
Safety should be a top priority, especially for solo women travellers. Try to find spots that is not completely isolated, but still offers a degree of privacy and quiet. A balance between the two can provide a secure yet serene camping experience.
Apps and websites are incredibly useful tools for finding amazing locations. Platforms such as Campendium, iOverlander, and Free Campsites provide comprehensive databases of potential sites, complete with reviews from fellow travellers. These reviews often include information on accessibility, cell service, nearby amenities, and overall safety—giving you a real-world view of what to expect.
Online forums and social media groups can also be beneficial. They not only offer site suggestions but also allow you to connect with a community of fellow RVers who can share their experiences and insights. This can be particularly helpful for solo female travellers looking for advice and reassurance from those who’ve been in their shoes.
Remember, scouting out your perfect site is more than just finding a place to park for RV camping—it’s about finding a place that allows you to safely and comfortably enjoy the splendors of the wilderness. With these tips and resources at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to discovering your own piece of off-grid paradise.
4. Road-Ready: Preparing Your Rig for Boondocking
Before embarking on your adventure, it’s essential to prepare your RV or van accordingly. Being off-grid means you’ll be reliant on your RV for all your boondocking basic necessities. From power and water, to comfort and safety, here’s how to get yourself road-ready for boondocking solo or with friends.
1. Power: To meet your energy needs while off grid camping, consider investing in a solar panel system or a quality generator. Solar panels are a sustainable, quiet option, especially beneficial for long-term boondocking. Alternatively, an onboard generator can provide a reliable power source, but remember to consider noise levels and fuel requirements.
2. Water: Freshwater storage and conservation is crucial while boondocking. Ensure your freshwater tank is clean and in good condition before filling with fresh water. It’s also worth carrying additional water jugs for backup. Invest in water-saving devices like low-flow shower heads and faucets to extend your water supply. Having access to clean water for drinking can be challenging. I wrote a blog post about water filtration systems, check it out here.
3. Waste Management: Depending on your camper, you may have built-in waste tanks for grey and black sewer water. If you’ll be dry camping for an extended period, consider a portable waste tank to increase capacity. For toilet needs, you might use an RV toilet with a holding tank or opt for a composting toilet to reduce water usage. It’s important to keep track of local dump stations so you know where you can empty and clean your tanks when needed. For an indepth look at the different types of toilets available read my blog post here.
4. Safety and Security: Equip your rig with basic safety equipment including fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, and first-aid kits. To secure your rig, consider additional locks for doors and storage compartments and a steering wheel lock for added security.
5. Comfort: Last but not least, your RV should be a comfortable living space. Organize your interior to make the best use of space. Consider factors like bedding, cooking amenities, and storage solutions. Remember, this will be your home away from home.
5. Cooking on the Road: It’s important to figure out your food preparation and storage needs. Will you be bringing a propane camp stove? Does your RV already have a fridge and stove? If not you will want to determine how you will cook and keep your food cold.
It’s important to keep track of your RV batteries. Most AGM style deep cycle batteries don’t like being depleted below 50%. If you deplete them this low you will be replacing them every few years. If you’re dry camping a lot you might want to switch to Lithium. I did and I don’t regret it! By ensuring your unit is ready for the off-grid life, you’ll be setting yourself up for a more enjoyable, stress-free boondocking adventure. After all, good preparation is the first step to a great journey!
5. Safety First: Boondocking Basics Safety Tips
While the idea of being solo can seem daunting, with the right precautions and awareness, it can be a safe and rewarding experience. If you are brand new to RVing, you might want your first adventure to be in an RV park. This way you aren’t out in the middle of nowhere while you are learning all about your RV. As a solo female boondocker, there are several safety considerations to bear in mind:
1. Choose a Safe Spot: As mentioned earlier, your choice of location is crucial. Look for an area that’s not completely isolated but still offers some privacy. Always trust your gut feeling – if a spot doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to move on.
2. Check-In System: Establish a regular check-in system with a trusted friend or family member. Let them know your itinerary ahead of time, and regularly update them on your location and status. Apps and devices like GPS trackers or personal locator beacons can help share your location in real-time. There are a few different check in apps as well. Apps like Noonlight or Strava.
3. Protect Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing your travel plans or current location with strangers, both in person and on social media. It’s fine to share your experiences, but consider waiting until you’ve left a location before posting about it online.
4. Self-Defense Knowledge: It can be empowering to have some self-defense skills up your sleeve. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical combat skills – it could be as simple as understanding body language, being aware of your surroundings, or carrying a personal safety alarm.
5. Vehicle Maintenance: Regular checks and maintenance of your vehicle can prevent breakdowns in remote areas. Make sure your vehicle is in top shape before setting off, and carry some basic tools and know-how to address minor issues on the road. I also have a road side assistance program I’m a member of. I used it to have my Class A pulled out of the mud once, that alone was worth all the fees I paid. Peace of mind goes a long way as well.
6. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit and know the basics of first aid. Have emergency numbers saved in your phone and keep a list of the nearest hospitals to your location.
6. The Buddy System: Plan your first adventure with a friend. There are so many of us out there now and so many amazing groups on Facebook find a friend who wants to join you, or even better has their own camper for boon docking, and hit the road together. Plan a few days together and then take the next leg of your journey solo.
Camping solo as a woman is an incredibly empowering experience, and with these safety tips, you can feel confident to take on the adventure. Remember, safety doesn’t happen by accident – it’s always better to be prepared!
6. Embracing Solitude: Enjoying Your Boondocking Solo Adventure
Embarking on a solo adventure offers you a unique opportunity to not just enjoy the solitude, but also to revel in the self-reliance, confidence, and freedom it brings. Here are some boondocking basics to help you make the most of your solo journey.
1. Enjoy the Solitude: Boondocking often involves being in remote locations away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and conventional campgrounds. Use this time to disconnect, relax, and enjoy your own company. You could use the quiet time to reflect, meditate, read, or simply take in the natural beauty around you.
2. Practice Mindfulness: Being in nature is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. Take time to fully engage with your surroundings, whether it’s watching a sunrise, listening to the sounds of nature, or observing wildlife from a safe distance. What an inspiring time to do some Yoga! Read my article about the best yoga mats for Nomads here.
3. Cultivate New Skills: With ample time on your hands when we boondock it is an excellent opportunity to cultivate new skills or hobbies. This could be anything from learning how to play a musical instrument, to photography, painting, or even writing a journal. Heck you could even write a book about your travels!
4. Stay Active: Physical activity not only keeps you healthy, but it can also enhance your mood and energy levels. Depending on your location, you could hike, swim, cycle, or do more yoga.
5. Connect with Others: Just because you’re boondocking solo doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time. Make an effort to meet other boondockers or locals. You can learn a lot from others, and who knows, you might make some lifelong friends on the road.
5. Read: Fill up your kindle, I wrote a blog post about why eReaders are a must have for nomads. Being off the grid doesn’t need to mean boring. Fill your kindle with books about foraging, hiking, how to write your own book. Hours of unlimited entertainment in a very small package.
Remember, solo dispersed camping is all about embracing the adventure, enjoying the solitude, and making the most of your freedom. It’s your journey, so make it count!
7. Leave No Trace: Eco-Friendly Boondocking Practices
As lovers of nature and the great outdoors, it’s our responsibility to treat our environment with respect. Part of RV boondocking basics is adhering to “Leave No Trace” principles, which encourage conservation and promote responsible outdoor ethics. Here’s how you can incorporate these principles into your camping practices:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Research your camping area to understand regulations and special concerns for wildlife, vegetation, and cultural resources. Understand the capacity of the area to absorb the impact of your stay and avoid times of high use to minimize your footprint.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stick to established roads and boondocking sites to prevent soil erosion and protect vegetation. Aim to leave your camping spot as you found it, if not better.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly: This is one of the most critical aspects of eco-friendly camping. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. For human waste, if there are no toilet facilities, consider using a portable camping toilet or dig a cathole at least 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet away from water sources.
4. Leave What You Find: Respect natural and cultural artifacts and let others enjoy them too. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
5. Minimize Campfire Impact: While campfires can be a huge part of the camping experience, they can cause lasting impacts. Consider using a portable camp stove for cooking. If you do have a campfire, keep it small, burn only small sticks from the ground, and be sure to put out the fire completely before leaving.
6. Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and never feed them. Store food and trash securely to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite. Wear a bear bell, they don’t want a surprise encounter any more than you do!
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Respect other visitors and the quality of their experience. Keep noise to a minimum and avoid playing loud music or disturbing others with bright lights.
By following these “Leave No Trace” principles, you can ensure that you’re doing your part to preserve the beauty and integrity of the natural world for generations of boondockers to come. After all, it’s in our hands to keep these places as untouched and pristine as we found them.
8. Conclusion: Road Warrior Woman: Your Boondocking Adventure Awaits
As you stand on the threshold of your solo camping journey, it’s understandable to feel a mix of excitement and apprehension. Remember, preparation is key. But equally important is the courage to step out of your comfort zone, trust in your own abilities, and embrace the adventure that lies ahead.
Boondocking solo doesn’t have to be scary. It isn’t just about living off-grid and exploring nature’s wonders—it’s about discovering your strength and resilience. It’s about waking up each day knowing that you’re not just surviving in the wilderness, but thriving in it. It’s about forging your own path and writing your own adventure story.
Sure, there will be challenges along the way. You might encounter a flat tire, a lonely night, or a downpour that dampens your spirits. But these are just part of the journey. They are the chapters of your boondocking story that will transform you from a novice to a seasoned road warrior.
And always remember, you’re never truly alone. You’re part of a community of fellow solo female boondockers, a band of road warrior women who’ve embraced the open road and the freedom it brings. Reach out, share your experiences, learn from theirs, and you’ll find that the road less travelled is well worth exploring.
So gear up, trust yourself, and let the adventure begin. The open road is calling, and your adventure awaits. Embrace it with open arms, and let it lead you to places you’ve only dreamed of. You’re a road warrior woman, and the world is your oyster. It’s time to hit the road!
Comment below about your favorite boondocking spot!