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Old 02-18-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Defininig 'Boondocking'

So I'm on the road right now between LA and Phoenix and have stopped for the evening just east of Blythe, California. There's a nice truck stop just east of town where the diesel is cheap and on the south side of I-10 along Tom Wells Road there are many flat spots and developed dirt roads for 'boondocking'.

I'm here with several others, some look to be here a while and others, like myself, probably just overnight.

NO services other than cell service which is very good and the truck stop across the freeway. Other amenities include freeway noise and as many rocks as you can look at. Tonight is very calm, no breeze, high thin clouds and not a bug in sight.

I'll be gone by sun-up.

My question is: is this considered 'boondocking' or is it really just parking for the night and moving on in the morning (which I do a lot of honestly...).

Here's a pic...
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:27 PM   #2
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That meets my definition of "boon docking" as there are no services defined as water hookup, sewer connection or electrical hookup. The trailer is using it's own stash of fresh water and battery power (even if inverting for 120Vac) and the outflow is going into either the gray or black tanks.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:49 PM   #3
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That meets my definition of "boon docking" as there are no services defined as water hookup, sewer connection or electrical hookup.
To me that is just dry camping. One can dry camp in a campground but boondocking happens outside a campground.

I consider boondocking to be camping anywhere not at a campground; not in a parking lot; not at a friends property.. etc. Any kind of dispersed camping.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:14 PM   #4
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Boondocking implies actually being in the boondocks, but then how do you define the boondocks? For me, boondocks are wilderness, or as close as anything comes to wilderness these days, such as national forests, the southwestern deserts, wide-open prairie not cultivated in crops, isolated seacoasts, and the like. If your nearest neighbor for a mile in any direction is a deer, a bear, a raccoon, or maybe a trout, that's the boondocks, and camping there in an RV is boondocking.

Dry camping is just like boondocking in terms of the resources and skill set required, but with the trappings of civilization close at hand.

By that standard, to date I've done no boondocking at all, but I have dry-camped a couple of times.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:48 PM   #5
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Boon docking to me was when we camped on a remote island in Ontario, accessible only by canoe of boat, fished for much of our food for a couple of weeks. Or in the BWCA, or on the elevations of Mt. Whitney late in the year.

In our Airstream I guess it describes living just like at home without external water, sewer and electrical hookups. That could be at Wal-Mart or the middle of the desert.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:16 PM   #6
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It really depends upon whom you ask. For some, a campground on public land with no hookups is boondocking. To others, you have to be out in the, well, boonies.

I would draw the line, personally, at truck stops, Walmarts, and the like. They're too civilized.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:51 AM   #7
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In our Airstream I guess it describes living just like at home without external water, sewer and electrical hookups. That could be at Wal-Mart or the middle of the desert.

Hi, to me, boon docking is living in your trailer without any hookups; This includes spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We are not hard core boon dockers, but randomly do it out of necessity or opportunity.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:43 AM   #8
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If, for anything you may need, you're on your own--that to me is Boondocking.

So you IMHO are doing that right now.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:55 AM   #9
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The word defined "boon dock" is a rural area but the implication, to me, is to be without modern conveniences; in this case without supplied hookups. That is why I say that dry camping is boon docking- also known as wild camping.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:56 AM   #10
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Camped off a dirt road in no campground and no amenities. Yeah, to me that is boondocking. Across the highway at the truck stop.no. Self sufficient, off the grid in a remote area is definitely boondocking.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:27 AM   #11
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Similar question: is staying in a developed RV park "camping"?

Clearly members of this Forum use the words boondocking and camping quite differently. To me an RV park is a place to park, camping is done in parks, and boondocking is being off-grid outside of any developed areas.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:38 AM   #12
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Hi, to me, boon docking is living in your trailer without any hookups; This includes spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We are not hard core boon dockers, but randomly do it out of necessity or opportunity.

Hi, dry camping is the same as the above, but when you ran out of water.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:18 AM   #13
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And if you get it wrong the boondock police will rain on your parade The charge which includes a massive fine and incarceration is usually 'highway mopery with intent to camp'.

Your photo sure looks like boon docking to me. Safe travels. Nice rig.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:25 AM   #14
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I grew up in Arizona and we used the term Boondock as a place and the way to get there was by 4 wheel drive vehicle or hiking. If you spent the night in the boondocks it meant sleeping in a tent or on the ground. For that reason I can’t bring myself to use the term boon docking to describe spending the night in my Airstream. To me, anytime I spend the night in my AS without hook up it is just dry camping and we dry camp most of the time. What it comes down to is that Boon docking can mean whatever you want it to mean.
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