Escaping to nature with your RV, trailer, or fifth wheel in tow, what could be better than a free campsite? One thing that makes any adventure better is the word free. When boondocking all over the country, you can park in a nature-filled spot at absolutely no cost to you. Many people love the idea of boondocking but have no idea how to find boondocking sites.
The best ways to find boondocking sites are through BLM land, National Forests, Campendium, Google Maps, Big Box Stores, and iOverlander. Free campsites can be found all over the country through these resources. Typically, there is a limit to the number of stays, so they are not permanent solutions.
As RVing becomes more and more popular, the options for places to boondock seem to be neverending. While there are many places to boondock all over the country, you must also remember that more people are RVing now, so some may be more crowded than usual.
How to Find Boondocking Sites?
No matter the reasoning for wanting to boondock, there are different options for you to choose from. For example, some campers simply need a stopover after a long drive and decide to find a boondocking spot in a Walmart parking lot, while others find BLM land surrounded by nature.
That is the beauty of boondocking; no matter your reason, you are sure to find a site that suits you. Often boondocking is also referred to as dry camping, wild camping, or dispersed camping.
Campendium is a straightforward website to navigate and provides you with a ton of boondocking options. Another fantastic benefit of Campendium is that many people leave reviews and photos, allowing you to narrow down the best spot.
Campendium has filters where you can adjust the price you want to pay to free, and you will likely have several options pop up. In addition, the reviews people leave are insanely helpful because they often mention cell service at the site.
Campendium allows you to search by location and gives you the option to only show BLM land, forests, or whatever you choose. You can also download and utilize an app while you are driving from one place to another.
National Forests all over the country offer free boondocking sites for you and your family to use. These spaces are often in beautiful locations, giving you a great spot to set up camp.
On the U.S Forest website, you will search the area that is labeled find a forest. From there, you will be able to search for the specific state you want to visit. As with many other sites, you will need to specifically search for dispersed campgrounds.
Similar to BLM land mentioned below, boondocking on land within a national forest also comes with a limit on how long you can stay. You can often stay up to fourteen days in one spot before you are required to move.
Another more adventurous way to find a boondocking campsite is to utilize Google Satellite Maps. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can find a site solely by using Google Satellite.
What you will be looking for is an area on your map that is light green. The light green color displays US forest service land where you can camp for free unless noted with a sign.
Once you get closer to the forested area, pull up your map again and find a brown area. The brown area will often show cleanings that will likely lead you to a campsite.
While Google Satellite can be used to go on a spontaneous adventure, you can also simply use it in addition to the other apps. For example, by finding a site on any of the websites listed, you can then pull it up on Google Satellite to view the surrounding area to make sure it looks safe and secure.
iOverlander is another excellent app and website that will come in incredibly useful for booking boondocking sites. When you enter the iOverlander website, make sure you adjust your location and change your filters to show wild camping.
Besides wild camping, iOverlander is used to find hostels worldwide, so if you solely want to boondock, make sure you change the settings.
Similar to Campendium, iOverlander has a spot for user reviews. You may not think reviews are critical, but when you try to find a spacious place to camp your home on wheels, they are crucial.
Reviews on iOverlander and other sites give you an honest opinion and help you feel more confident in your boondocking area.
When searching on iOverlander, you will be greeted by a ton of green pins in your desired location; from there, you can choose a campsite to learn more. If you find a space you want to camp, you will also have the option to view the official campground or land website to learn more.
If you have ever met someone that boondocks, they have likely stayed on BLM land at one time or another.
Many people resort to camping on BLM lands because of the vast availability and variety. BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management and includes public land all over the country.
BLMs are so popular because they are often in incredibly scenic areas, providing you views in exchange for amenities. Often these campsites are far away, and secluded so make sure you have all of the groceries and supplies you need.
One thing to note about these campsites is there are often restrictions on how long you can stay in one area. Checking beforehand will ensure you obey the rules and enjoy your entire boondocking adventure.
What is a Boondocking Site?
A boondocking site is a site, typically out on land that has no hookups. That means there are no electrical hookups, including 15, 30, or 50 amp.
Also, when you boondock, you will typically not have access to a water spigot for your hose. Boondocking sites are different than traditional campgrounds because they are often secluded and down roads that are not necessarily paved.
There are various boondocking sites from Walmart parking lots to BLM land, providing you with plenty of options for your next adventure.
Is Boondocking Free?
Yes, boondocking is essentially free camping. You trade amenities like water and readily available electricity for views that are hard to beat.
While many spaces where you can boondock are free, it is essential to do your research thoroughly beforehand.
The majority of boondocking is free; very few places require you to simply pay for a spot to park without hookups. Thus, paying for a boondocking site is rare but sometimes happens in more popular locations.
What Do I Need to Know to Boondock?
Boondocking is a fantastic adventure that provides you a free place to camp surrounded by nature and views. However, before taking off on your boondocking experience, there are always a few things you need to add to your checklist.
Do Your Research
Many boondocking spaces are secluded or located on unmarked roads, so looking up your site on Google Maps or reading reviews can help you decide what your rig can handle.
Many of the sites listed above are full of reviews as well as photos that can help you make a well-rounded decision. Also, the RV community is vast; finding an RV group on Facebook or accounts on Instagram can be an invaluable resource for boondocking.
Boondocking may seem like a walk in the park, but trying to boondock without preparing first could result in a less than a satisfying trip.
There are no hookups at boondocking sites, so you will need to plan. Filling your freshwater tank and figuring out how you will get power are crucial for a successful first boondocking trip.
Those that boondock have self-contained RVs that have everything they need without needing water hookups or electricity hookups. This is often accomplished by utilizing solar panels, generators and filling up their freshwater tank beforehand. Also, there are other campgrounds or companies where you can pay to dump your tank after you boondock.
Lastly, If you are ever wondering about various boondocking sites near your location, you can always stop at a ranger station within a national or state park. Rangers are incredibly knowledgeable and can point you in the right direction.
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