By Bob Difley
Last week’s post (of the same name) triggered the unlikely discussions of electric blankets and the CPAP (sleep apnea) problem for boondockers. But it was more than that, it was a discussion of what is important for our personal enjoyment. So let’s dig some more into how to cope with our individual quirks and idiosyncrasies (Qs & Is) when boondocking and exploring those destinations way off the beaten path.
I’ll start with my wife’s Qs & Is (since I don’t have any). As a health and fitness nut enthusiast, a most important requirement for her is access to fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV). Let me emphasize fresh here. It was never a question of whether we would orr would not continue to eat FFV when boondocking, but how would we accomplish it off in the depths of the primeval forest way out in the desert where we liked to camp–miles from the nearest organic food or farmers market.
Supermarkets were few and far between in most of the places we explored and they usually left her dissatisfied and the local stores were usually deficient in the FFV category–especially the fresh part–if they had any fruits and veggies at all. The longest we could eke out the FFV supply before they withered into the inedible class was five days. As a result we had to build into our schedule and finances long trips to the nearest urban center for restocking.
So off we would go, driving sometimes as far as 50 miles one way, and taking the better part of a day to re-supply. Canned goods, frozen food, dried goods would have lasted us for a month, two months, even more, but that was not an option. You couldn’t make a green salad out of a can (she wouldn’t even eat iceberg lettuce, preferring those greens with more nutrients).
But I knew that this regimen was also good for me (that’s why I stayed so young looking) and put up little resistance. Over time, we worked out an even better solution. She tired of my grousing about how much organic produce cost, and why we had to shop at the more expensive (read that, better and fresher FFV) than the discount grocers.
So it worked out that every fifth day she would take the dingy for the day, drive to the nearest city where she would scout out the best markets (also having researched on what day the farmers market was), spend a wonderful time feeling, smelling, chatting with the farmers, selecting, and tasting the offerings (without me there to try to rush the process), then making her selections.
This was followed by finding the most interesting local coffee house where she would indulge in a double non-fat latte, and relax for a half hour or more reading a book, take a walk in a local park or visit a museum, then return to our campsite where she would prepare a delicious dinner of the freshest and healthiest food she could find.
And you know what? She was happy–the drive was inconsequential–and looked forward to “her” days. That made me happy (and healthy, too), and she even enjoyed boondocking more because she satisfied a deep desire that was important to her. And we got along much better after we worked it all out and, as they say in the story books, we lived happily ever after (so far).
Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands, Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts, and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar.