How boondocking can save your sanity

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April 24, 2010

By Bob Difley

chiricahuasTea Partiers on the right, Socialists on the left. Wall Street bankers’ grubby paws plumbing the depths of our pockets while politicians squander our meager shillings before they even get into our pockets. Guns continue to show up blatantly on the hips of middle-aged gun rights activists, while Mexican drug cartels turn border cities into battle zones. And we RVers, mobile and ubiquitious as we are, often seem to find ourselves barely skirting the thick of it. What to do?

Go boondocking! That’s right, boondocking is the solution–thankfully not part of the problem. I’m not talking here about simple dry-camping, I mean getting out into the boonies, down bumpy old logging roads and sandy desert trails. Off the asphalt. Out of sight and sound of any Starbucks, roaring motorways, and bright city lights.

Head down that rough road–don’t worry, your RV is built on a truck chassis and can take it–as far from the interstate as you can safely drive. Then find yourself a level spot, drop your awning, and kick back. What do you hear? Ah ha, you exclaim as it hits you. It’s not only what you hear–birds chriping happily to lure a hot female, warm afternoon breezes shushing thouugh pine trees and rustling aspen leaves, and a brook babbling in tongues over hidden rocks and submerged branches.

It is also about what you do not hear–angry protestors shouting epithets at startled bureaucrats, the roar of cars and trucks rumbling down our nation’s highways, wailing sirens of police vehicles and medical response teams racing to the latest random act of violence, or cable channel talking heads extoling the virtues of their philosophy and denegrating the (pick one – nut-cases, socialists, old white male republicans, wimpy bleeding-heart liberals) of the other side.

No, none of that–if you keep your radio and TV in the off position, or if you’ve gone off far enough where you don’t get recepion anyway. What bliss (there’s a great old word). The joys of Nature full on in the sensory zones.

So if you are ready, start boning up on your boondocking skills. Get off those tethers, activate your adventure gene and head off to where the buffalo roam, the coyotes howl, and neither Rush Limbaugh nor Keith Olberman will have your ear. And you might want to download a copy of my eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands for some boondocking tips before you head out.

Leave a Reply


  1. Gary

    Hey Bob,
    Keep up the good work. You certainly do begin the conversation and I think that you should continue. What I don’t like about the conversation is the fact that some of these guys think we should only think what they think and for me – that is wrong. The conversation and exchange of ideas is the point not whether River is right or Bob is right. WE pretty much have our own way of thinking and a lot of times it depends on when we were born how strongly we feel about some of the issues. No matter what-we all have the right to state the facts as we see them and actually. I enjoy the conversation and exchange of ideas but the judgement, calling of names and pointed anger is not that much fun to read. Bob is really good at lighting the conversation fire but some certainly miss the point.
    Thanks Bob.

  2. Ron Butler

    Whew, some interesting reactions. Just reenforces Bob’s main point that we can/should go boondocking to get away from the very noise that some of the objectors were screeching about!

    If you don’t like Bob’s “hooks” don’t read his postings or hit the delete button.

    What a bunch of wailing over nothing! Good job Bob, at least you have their attention!

  3. Carson

    I don’t know how you will rile people up next week but I am sure you will find a way. is no place for politics however, I must say you are very good at sneaking them into your article…that is what is wrong with the government they know how to be sneaky and people just did not see it coming…although I have read some good articles you have written but when you get to slipping your liberal political views I personally do not care to read them I just go to someone else’s blog instead of arguing it doesn’t do any good as you have already proven you can’t help yourself.

  4. To TallGuy and the rest of the commenters. I read every comment on all my blog posts, think about what is said, consider the points made, but I don’t always reply. I open the conversation/debate and it’s great to read all the comments, analysis, and thoughts of commenters across the spectrum. What you may notice is that I try to write the headline and opening paragraph is such a way as to interest readers enough to continue reading–in writing it’s called a “hook”–and contribute to the discussion. You will also notice that no matter how vehement the comments may be, or how personal they are, I do not delete these comments, but allow them to remain un-edited for the benefit of the conversation. I might add that if some of you are offended by my style, you are not required to read my blogs, which are always easily identifiable by my name at the beginning of the blog and on the RSS feeds. Now, how can I rile things up next week . . .

  5. Judy

    If you don’t like Bob’s articles, don’t bother reading them. I personally enjoy his articles and thank him for reminding us that there is an alternative to the “noise” that life sometimes brings to us.

  6. Mike Stockard

    P.S. You forgot to give your take on the GLOBAL WARMING issue.

  7. Mike Stockard

    Thomas Jefferson said: “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny of government.” Emphasis on “LAST RESORT”.

    I agree with most of the Tea Party’ers, but I have always considered myself a middle-of-the-roader. The problem I have is that in my 67 years the middle of the road has taken a left turn.

    After paragraph one I agree. Just wish it was that easy for us Easterners to get away from it all. Although, we still need to keep an eye on the political ball to keep the situation from becoming “LAST RESORT”.

  8. TallGuy

    You’re welcome. So, did you bother to read my words as carefully and thoroughly as I read yours? Did you at the very least return that courtesy to one (or more) of your audience and spend time thinking about it?

  9. TallGuy – Thanks for the compliments.

  10. TallGuy

    and youR sentence structure is mechanically compliant.)

  11. TallGuy

    Bob D wrote in his very first paragraph: “Tea Partiers on the right, Socialists on the left. Wall Street bankers’ grubby paws plumbing the depths of our pockets while politicians squander our meager shillings before they even get into our pockets. Guns continue to show up blatantly on the hips of middle-aged gun rights activists, while Mexican drug cartels turn border cities into battle zones”

    Son, this is really unskillfully written as an introduction to a boondocking subject. Why would you EVER want to start off an otherwise decent article with such an oblique introduction? Beginning with this collection of words as you did, makes your slant heavily political not to mention truly inaccurate. I doubt that your claim that these sentences were EVER a headline of anything other than a political blog somewhere. Maybe you think this is a cute hook to draw the audience in. It does no such thing, partner.

    What makes you think that all members of the Tea Party are on the Right? What makes you think that all Wall Street bankers have grubby paws or that they are all squandering shillings or that our shillings are meager? And on and on with your idiotic assumptions. Your intolerant use of our language is beyond annoying and your use of this RV blog site for your political views is abusive. Have you ever actually earned credentials in writing or political science? Or are you just bouncing around out there without much of a formal education in any of it? (I’ll admit that your spelling is accurate, and you sentence structure is mechanically compliant.)

    Will you PLEASE choose one of these: (1) Write only about RV lifestyle ideas from your personal experience, leaving politics out of it; OR (2) Don’t write on this blog.


  12. Geoffrey Pruett

    Must agree with your cure for politics overload made much worse by the shortage of actual reporters working for our “News” sources. Much less stress to parrot preprinted hand outs provided in air conditioned hotel meeting rooms that digging in dark, and sometimes dangerous, corners for actual problems.
    One thing will not change,Democracy in action is seldom pretty, a lot of shouting and banner waving, way too many headlines skirting the truth, the only thing this is better than is any other system that has ever been tried. Messy yes, if it really bothers you sit in the back row in a high school civics classroom and see why! Our (not) politically correct education system is at the mercy of every loud group with a chip on the shoulder who will attend enough boring meetings to be heard.
    The real story of how we got this far with only one civil war is seldom discussed in the classroom for fear of disrespecting someone. But then one thing has not changed over the years Common Sense is not very common and seems to be diluluted by “proffessional” managers. The old idea of public service now seems to be public clout.

  13. Jim wrote: “Gee, I sorta took Bob’s post to suggest that we get away from all the noise of every stripe that we are bombarded with everyday. Just so happens he referred to what is in the news a good bit these days.”
    Dave wrote: “Wow, I thought this was a rather nice article about boondocking way out in the woods away from everything. Then I read the comments! Then I read the article again, and counted the left/right offerings. It looks like the author tried very hard to pick on both equally.”
    Vickie writes: “Most everyone else seems to get the idea of what Bob’s articles are about. ”
    You guys got it. I thought it was obvious what I was writing about, picking up the loudest and most often repeated news headlines, on both left and right of the political spectrum, and suggesting how boondocking out away from it all could help clear our heads.
    Thanks for all the comments.

  14. hoppe

    BD; Thought you did a good job of picking on Everybody except the ‘illegals’, and both parties seem to have reasons to want them here.

    To the critical among the responders: Yes I did raise my right hand, so I feel that I have a right to speak my piece as well. I’m probably too far to the right and too far to the left for some of you to understand. I carry, And I voted for Obama. I support more personal rights than the Pro-lifers, don’t support the last 2 wars that we are in, didn’t/don’t like the ‘Patriot Act’ because it was neither. And last but certainly not least, for those of you with Republican affiliations. If you were/are not anti gunners, Why was it Pres Obama and the Dem controlled Congress that made it possible to ‘Carry’ in the National Parks? Where were Bush and Cheney? It should have already been done. Or is that just another instance of NO deciding what our Rights should be?

    Support my personal rights, and I’ll support yours! Awwww, never mind, I’ll support my own.

  15. Art Stebes

    The right and the left in this country increasingly seem incapable of talking to each other in a civil tone so taking a poke at each of them was pretty well guaranteed to stir up a hornet’s nest, and looking at the comments it did. I’d say a lot of your readers angry responses go a long way in explaining why folks find it so hard to put aside their differences and work for the good of the country. Maybe it would do us all good to get away into the backcountry and take a deep breath.

  16. Tall

    Actually, “facts of life” sounds a little corny, doesn’t it?

  17. Thanks for the article Bob, keep up the good work.

  18. Harry Brandt

    Nice to stick your head in the sand and think that the whole world is just one big rosy garden of Eden. If you think that the Tea Party people are on the right, you do not understand the concept of a well run and moral government. The people in the Tea Parties across the nation are coming out of their cocoons and are making an effort to get involved in their government for the first time since the Civil War. It is people like you who support deficit spending, monopoly power, restrictions on free speech, limited military power, expansion of federal government jobs, and a reduced American presence in the world. You are the problem, not the Tea Pary people!

  19. Don

    Take me with you Bob before the wingnuts come for me!

  20. Amy

    I agree completely and wish I could be there – it’s crazy in the “real” world.

  21. Ron Plumlee, Sr.

    Be thankful there are still those willing to stand up and fight for our 2nd amendant rights re: firearms. Without them the left and the “why can’t we all just get along” idealogs would have nullified our rights to do so long ago. And, you and millions of other Americans legally qualified to do so would not be able to carry firearms for protection when out “boondocking” or doing whatever. Actual and accurate facts show that when good citizens are legally armed in states that carry concealed or worn in the open, crime does go down. Countries where firearms have been banned, Australia, England, and many others, crimes went thru the roof and violence against innocent citizens and law enforcement officers increased dramaticly. It is a fact there is simply not enough law enforcement officers to protect you. They respond AFTER the crime has been committed, due to no fault of their own. I agree with the boondocking whenever you can and getting away from it all. I would just suggest when you write an article you stay on subject and do your best to stay totally neural and try to hide your slighty liberal tone, as in openly attacking our 2nd amendant, and the totally unproven statement , “angry protestors shouting epithets at startled bureaucrats”. Tell us you did not really mean the Tea Partiers and the totally false trumped up charges against them. No video or audio can be produced to prove any of those charges. All of their rallies, especially in D.C. were heavily video by the liberals and the main stream news media. The liberals are the ones who will eat away at our RV rights one nibble at a time. Whether it be additional taxes or restraints on where and how we can camp. The VAT (value added tax) is a real threat from Obama and his people. Try affording any RV when they get that made into law. I strayed a bit from your article but it all ties in when you look at the big picture.

    Semper Fi
    “Top” R. Plumlee, Sr.

  22. Richard Johnson

    I don’t know about you but I carried a weapon (gun) for 20+ years in the military. It’s thanks to our armed forces that you have the freedom you do. Even though I’ve been retired for 20+ years I still carry a gun. WHY you ask?Because I’m still too young to die and too old for an a** whipping. And once while boon docking I DID need it. But that’s another story completely.

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.

  23. John

    Us gun carrying people are what keeps some semblance of peace from interrupting your boon-docking……But you go ahead and just ignore the problems this county has……some turd will show up at your site one night and do as they will with you and you won’t have a choice as you have chosen not to defend yourself and your family……GOOD LUCK!!

  24. harriet

    not sure that tea partiers are all on the right and socialists are all on the left,
    but i do agree with what you’re saying. of course turning off the nightly news
    and watching the food network helps too!