The Boondocking Experience: To Boldly Camp Where No One Has Camped Before!

Someone chilling outside their camper in the woods

In these unusual times, many of us have found ourselves spending time doing different activities. Some of us have enjoyed baking bread and cooking new recipes. Others have tried new fitness experiences or meditation. With fewer opportunities to meet friends and hang out, it’s been a perfect time to try something new. And for many people, camping has been one of those experiences. But then again, not all types of camping adventures are quite the same.

From the novice to the expert, the chance to escape the confines of your home has been welcomed in the last few months. It’s therefore not surprising that many campgrounds that are typically available have been packed with vacationers. Particularly for those wanting to play it safe in their travels, a crowded campsite may not be ideal. Fortunately, there is an alternative, and it’s called boondocking. And if you’re up for a camping adventure, boondocking might be just the thing for you.

What Exactly Is Boondocking Anyway?

Boondocking is an interesting term that combines a couple of more familiar camping terms. Docking generally refers to the place where you park your recreational vehicle (RV). Most campers in an RV usually dock at various campsites that have a number of amenities and services. However, the term “boonies” tends to describe a place so isolated that the chances of seeing someone else is scant. Thus, boondocking can be best defined as parking your RV in the middle of nowhere overnight. And it’s a camping adventure that has both some advantages and disadvantages.

A family way out in the middle of nowhere with their camper.
Taking the family “boondocking” might be the ideal COVID age experience.

Naturally, boondocking means you’re not going to enjoy connection services from your campsite. That means no water, no electricity, and no sewage hookups for your RV. Essentially, it means getting off the grid. Without question, that can be a camping adventure all by itself! But the benefits are totally worth it for many active campers. For one, remote boondocking sites allow you to appreciate less frequently traveled destinations. It also provides a more primitive experience that many prefer when outdoors. And of course, you completely avoid any noisy camping neighbors next door. These aspects of boondocking have made it increasingly popular, especially in this time of COVID.

Different Boondocking Adventures

Depending on the situation and your preferences, you can choose different types of boondocking. One type has been referred to as “wallydocking.” This camping adventure refers to campers who decide to camp overnight in a Walmart parking lot. Most wallydockers opt for this experience when inclement weather strikes or when they’re too tired to drive. Similarly, an overnight camping adventure may also occur at a friend’s yard or driveway. Known as “moochdocking,” most campers do not consider this real boondocking in its truest sense.

If you’re truly looking for a great camping adventure boondocking, you generally have 2 safe options. The first option involves campsites that do not have sewage, water and electrical connections. These campsites are designed for tent camping, but boondocking is completely permissible with your RV. Likewise, these destinations are easy to find with fewer campers. Alternatively, you can also choose an undeveloped campsite for boondocking. These sites are usually managed by the U.S. Forestry Service and are completely primitive in nature. However, they also provide some of the best camping adventures to enjoy.

RVs Designed for a Boondocking Experience

As you may appreciate, there are a number of different styles of RVs available. The traditional RV is perfectly fine for most types of boondocking. These can take you to some of the most beautiful places in America. However, the more primitive your destination, the more rugged your RV will need to be. Many newer RV models take this into consideration in their latest designs. In fact, some now offer higher road clearance, knobbier tires, and a more compact size for tight spaces. If your camping adventure takes you off-road or on paths less traveled, these are important RV features to consider.

Fortunately, many RV manufacturers now make vehicles that can accommodate a more unique camping adventure. For example, Polydrops and Opus offer very affordable tow-along trailers designed for more primitive escapades. Longstanding RV manufacturers like Airstream and Winnebago also have styles now that can better accommodate boondocking. However, these tend to be a bit pricier. And if you’re looking for a truly extreme camping adventure, EarthRoamer modifies Ford Super Duty Trucks for off-road boondocking explorations. These are for the super serious boondocker as these can cost over $700,000 in total!

Preparing for a Boondocking Camping Adventure

Because you’re in your RV, boondocking generally will provide you with everything you need for camping. But some planning and preparation is still required to an extent. If you’re choosing a campsite without services, booking these in advance may be needed. The same may apply for some undeveloped primitive sites, but this is less common. The bigger issue for primitive sites is knowing specific landmarks to help you find your destination. In many instances, primitive sites may only have a mile marker to serve as its locator. Therefore, it helps to research this ahead of time to ensure your camping adventure will be a fun one.

At the same time, you’ll need to have enough water, fuel, and other supplies for the duration of your boondocking stay. If you plan on truly roughing it, then you’ll likely need only food and water for a few days of camping. But longer stays may require that you find nearby services for periodic needs. A single night at a campground with amenities can be both refreshing and necessary. By planning this ahead of time, you can make sure you have an RV site reserved for such occasions. Plus, a night every now and then with fellow campers is likely to be welcomed after boondocking for a while.

Ready to Go Boondocking?

Even before COVID, boondocking was already becoming increasingly popular. Greater accessibility of remote areas to cell towers played an important role in these trends. But with COVID, this type of camping adventure has become even more appealing. The unique experience that boondocking offers is one that many campers find attractive. And it’s also a great chance for a bold adventure that you’ll remember for a lifetime.


Experiences is a vital Pillar of a Bold Life. To read more about the Seven Pillars, check out Ed Kopko’s PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success!

About the Author

Through timely and thoughtful articles, the book Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, and other media, we deliver engaging content that educates, motivates and inspires you to live a Bold Life.
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