By Bob Difley
I asked in one of my boondocking classes what was the biggest reason that kept them from not boondocking more. A woman responded that she could just not give up her electric blanket. How perceptions can differ from one person to another on what is necessary–her deterrent was something I didn’t even own.
In reality, it is most likely not a technical item that is required to enjoy boondocking, but a perceived convenience item–the electric blanket–designed to keep one warm but required continuous 120-volt electrical current over an eight-hour period, something that a non-energy-requiring extra blanket or quilt would accomplish just as well.
So when you begin setting up your rig for boondocking, it may be just as important to consider exactly what will make you comfortable and enhance your boondocking experience rather than just filling up your cart with boondocking “must have” items at Camping World. Spend just as much time on how to achieve personal warmth, comfort, cleanliness, healthy meals, and enjoyment of the great outdoors as you do on whether the inverters, solar panels, generators, tank capacities, battery capacities, and amps + volts + watts will accomplish those desires, and whether all that stuff is really worth the expense compared to, well, just throwing on another blanket.
With my wife and I, our boondocking trips are based on fresh water more than any other factor. We are physically active, exercising–running, hiking, kayaking, bicycling–enough to raise a good sweat everyday. Having the capacity to shower every day was far more important than an electric blanket or an ice maker or air-conditioning or power to run a big screen TV.
So we learned how to take Navy showers and conserve water use in other areas. We carried extra Jerry jugs of water to dump in our tank and kept the empties in our dinghy so we could fill them when we went to town for supplies. This was a much easier solution than either cutting back on our physical activity or feeling uncomfortable and smelly in our own dried sweat.
Everybody is different and has different needs and wants. So when you are considering boondocking–or expanding the extent of your boondocking trips–take the little things that are important to your RV lifestyle just as seriously as what kind of gadgets and equipment you “need.” The end result will likely be that the most important equipment will be those that accomplish the level of comfort and enjoyment they bring.
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.