What Is Boondocking?

Boondocking is merely camping without hookups and is commonly referred as ‘dry camping’ and means living in an underdeveloped area or secluded areas away from campgrounds that are guarded by rules.

This camping experience is ideal for those people who prefer being outdoors enjoying the peace and quietness of the place. Boondocking areas are those places you can come across rock fire rings and enough space to park your RV, camper, trailer, van or truck.

The Concept of Boondocking

Boondocking is typically allowed on any public land that is close to the road. You can drive your RV or trailer and pull up at any suitable location and spend a couple of nights there.

The most popular places for boondocking include the famous WalMart and shopping car parks. However, you may consider looking for those places that permit overnight RV parking. Avoiding those rough and bumpy areas is ideal. For the best boondocking experience, opt for a quiet, secluded and beautiful area. Choose to enjoy your boondocking expertise in national forests.

Some popular places for boondocking includes:

  • Quartzsite, AZ (14 day permit at a nominal cost)
  • BLM land in Joshua Tree National Park, CA
  • Mineral Creek, San Juan National Forest, CA


boondocking RV

The History of Boondocking

The word boondocking is derived from a Tagalog word “bundog” which means mountain. It was used by soldiers in the World War II stationed in the Philippines to mean a rural bushy area. It was later converted to the American slang as “the boonies.”

Unlike the campgrounds that were constructed in the 1950s by the Park service in America, boondocking areas were not established in the parks. These camping grounds were built alongside rules and regulations to safeguard the parks and people paid for each visit.

However, the National Forest implemented the concept of boondocking. It was primarily founded to offer sustainable economic development for those small rural communities. Most of these communities performed activities like grazing, mining and timber harvest. Visitors did hunting and fishing with little or no supervision from the Forest Service.

The concept of boondocking has evolved over the last seventy years. Unlike the traditional boondocking, the current boondocking offers various luxurious things that were not available many years ago. Now, you can purchase generators to charge your RV batteries and offer 120 VAC for your coffee pot and microwave. In addition to that, you can still charge other electronic devices like phones and computers. In short, the modern way of boondocking incorporates luxury and adventure.

Apart from that, you can cook your favorite meals with propane and also heat some warm water for your shower. Besides, your boondocking experience will not be fulfilled without the availability of various holding tanks for fresh water which can be used for different purposes.