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Old 04-16-2013, 05:27 PM   #41
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For the past few winters I meet up with friends in Quartzsite AZ. We park on BLM land, and it is almost cost-free. The group we meet up with move from one place another, always boondocking. We're not camped on top of one another, but close enough to enjoy the company. Cowboy coffee is cooked on a fire almost every morning (just toss some change into the jar to replenish either the coffee or the wood). We've got a chalk board set up, so if someone has an idea of an event, others can join in as well. The group are generally members of the Escapees, and many are Airstreamers. A newsletter gives us a heads up for places to meet. For example:

Schedule 2013 - 2014 Western Group
Mar 15th Safford, AZ/Haekel Road *see directions for
craft locations. N32 48.289 W109 34.787 (turn off Hwy
70) (N32.8048 W109.57978)
March 23 – April 5 Joshua Tree, CA
N33 40.443 W115 48.129 (N33.67405 W115.80215)
Washington – In honor or the Washington State Parks’
100th birthday all Washington State Parks will have free
admission! No discover Pass required!
August 19 - 25 – Goldie Ward Long Beach, WA
Dates above are the International Kite Festival exact
dates and directions will be in August issue.
Aug ?? &Sept ? Pembroke Fiddling& dancing, Labor Day
week end. Ontario, Canada
info
Pembroke Fiddling and Step Dancing Page
*Dates have not been updated on this site yet for 2013.
Oct 5th Englewood, KS
N37’ 2’9” W99’ 59’18” (N37.0483 W99.9863)
See special note in directions about groceries supplies
Nov 1 or later (there is no cell phone signal at this
location) –Death Valley Pre Rendezvous
N36 20.3857 W116 35.9717 apx (N36.33875 W116.59977)
Nov 6 – 10 Death Valley Encampment Sunset CG
overflow N36 27.562 W116 51.895 (N36.45936
W116.8649)
Check
for
road
info
Highway Information
800-427-7623 or 916-445-7623
Nov 20 (or before) – ??? Anza-Borrego, CA - MM 27 –
S22 N33 17.795 W116 16.838 (turn)
(N33.29658 W116.28063)
Dec 20th Mabel’s rendezvous, Sidewinder Rd, I-8 to
Ogilby Road (S34) to Blythe, CA-near Yuma. Drive
north on Ogilby Road to just past the railroad tracks
and turn right onto Sidewinder Road at GPS
Coordinates N32 49.000 W114 50.259 (N32.8166
W114.83765), a dirt road go 1.1 miles turn left or north (at
turn off) N32 49.031 W114 49.075 This area is very firm
but we have longer to travel on dusty roads so be prepared
to drive slowly. Suggested fire ring which might change:
N32 49.185 W114 49.029 (N32.81975 W114.81715).
Jan 2nd Ehrenberg, AZ – approximate GPS
N33 34.99 W114 29.25 (N33.58316 W114.4875)
Only a couple of people showed up-this may be canceled
Jan 15th Quartzsite, AZ – Freddie’s Rendezvous
BE FLEXIBLE WITH GPS – FOLLOW PRINTED
DIRECTIONS NOT THE ROAD GPS INDICATES
N33 45.246 W114 11.432 (N33.7541 W114.1905)
Feb 1 - ?? Ajo, AZ –Location is Roping arena Fee $3
daily or $20 wkly W&D. Fiddler’s contest Feb, 2014 &
other activities for early Arrivals. See Directions. Approx
GPS N32 26.27 W112 50.36 (N32.43783 W112.8393)

The group is very warm and welcoming.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:54 PM   #42
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I am still tethered to a job that allows for short bits of time off so my experiences are limited but I will chime in on this one. Recently, I stayed at a show where the only choice was to boondock. Also, I just learned that the parks in the Smokies do not have hook ups. Those are just a few of the situations that I have learned about already that require "fully capable" camping even if they are not, way out and alone.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:02 PM   #43
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MStephens said: I'll have to do more looking. I am a bit cautious though about plowing down some miles long dirt road with a 25' trailer and then discovering no way to turn around!
Ha! you sound like Ricky Ricardo on the Long Long Trailer. Remember the scene on the road in the rain and the leveling jack?
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:52 PM   #44
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Boondocking

We like our AS, but the truth is it just won't fit into some of the places we would like to go. The design of most travel trailers and nearly all motor homes is such that you just can't go to the boondocks with them.
Just for info:
pl n the boondocks ⇒ US Canadian slang
wild, desolate, or uninhabitable country
a remote rural or provincial area
Etymology: 20th Century: from Tagalog bundok mountain
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:59 PM   #45
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Since I am still T-18 months on the trailer plan, perhaps I can offer insight into why I do extended backpacking or blue water sailing; both in my view the equivalent of boondocking.

As a college kid in Tucson, we would nearly always take the full nine days of spring break in the lesser traveled trails of the Grand Canyon; or upwards of two weeks in the Wilderness of Rock off of Mt Lemmon. As an adult, when I lived in Boston, I thrived on extended blue water sailing trips with friends. In both scenarios, I would embark on each trip hyped up on technology; my psyche filled to the brim with my daily dosages of TV, music, email, online activities, etc.

And each time, about four days in, something amazing would occur. After four days of no email; no Internet sites, no music, no news of the world, I finally unplug and for the first time since the last trip, I begin to become aware of the world around me. I begin to think for and about myself, rather than for or because of a pop fad being spoon fed to me at home. I relax -- in full; mind, body and spirit.

It's amazing when you're several hundred miles off the coast, in a thirty-four foot sailboat, just how much life you begin to notice in the ocean. The phosporesence at night; the dolphins, whales, fish, sharks about the boat at day. Just as amazing to sit on a rock overlooking multiple valleys of wilderness and listen to the sound of the wind passing through hundreds of thousands of trees; the eagles and hawks lazily soaring overhead hunting for prey.

When I lived in Boston, I would head up to the Jesuit Retreat House in Gloucester twice a year for long weekends. There is a reason why the Jesuits at all their retreat houses run 7 and 21 day spiritual programs. They recognize, even before this mechanical and electronic world we live in, it would often take this long for individuals to truly find themselves spiritually.

Mid to late next year, when I take the plunge into the airstream world, I plan to order or purchase purely for boondocking. I hope to find an airstream that becomes my base station for longer trips in the Shenandoah Valley, the Smokeys, up to family or friends in Massachusetts or Maine (and yes... the antithesis of this diatribe, I will also visit Fort Wilderness -- but I'll make it to St George peninsula, Fl to counter balance that trip.) My desire at this stage of my life is to still disappear with a pack on my back for several days into the wilderness; but to have a place of warmth and comfort that is my own to return to.

Why do I intend to boondock? To find myself anew every time I do so.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #46
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I boondock May to October, long weekends, every weekend. I love it, i too do Irish Festivals, I stay on venue, live real simple, my favorite time is early am, get my cup of tea, quiet surroundings, time for me. Then off to work til late at night and when done, back to my cozy cottage on wheels, my own bed, bathroom, food and quiet. To me there is nothing better, I Bring my sewing machine, sew quilts, read, run my business from the computer.

My season starts soon, it is really hard work, but .i can't wait. This is my first year with an AS, little excited to see how warm it will be at the Irish Heitage Center, Chicago, I stay in a parking lot there and heat is tough. No need for hot water heater! Very rare I get a plug in and I have no generater.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #47
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We travel with our cat, so in hot weather we always go to places with electricity.

We've camped without hookups a little bit in NPS campgrounds and the like. When the weather is good, it's great!

I wouldn't know where to go around the DC area for true out-in-the-wild boondocking opportunities.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #48
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I'm curious too, how does one "find" places to boondock?
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valorama View Post
I'm curious too, how does one "find" places to boondock?
Ask...

I travel extensively for a living, usually staying in motels due to time constraints. If I find an area that I like and want to go back and visit with the Airstream (or other camper) I ask around where is a good place to camp off the beaten path. I have been invited to stay in a variety of places over the years, ranging from small town parks, behind churches, beside mom and pop stores, fire stations, farms, lake front lots, river lots, etc. This is the same way I camp with I am bicycle touring.

I also have boondocked in the occasional WM parking lot, truck stops, Cracker Barrel lots as well as rest areas in some states. I choose my places with a bit of caution and let my intuition be my guide. If I don't feel right about a place I move on.

Probably one of the more unusual spots was on an industrial site near Mobile, AL. After Katrina, we got pitched out of the hotels and campgrounds we were using. Asked at the plant we were working at about staying on their grounds, they found us a nice tree shaded area off to one side of the plant. No power but water was available and we had a ground holding tank that the porta-let company would pump out once a week.

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Old 04-19-2013, 08:45 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by valorama View Post
I'm curious too, how does one "find" places to boondock?
Some options: If you're interested in boondocking on Forest Service land, go to this website, choose the area you want, then search for dispersed camping. You might have to be creative in your searches. It could be under recreation.
USDA Forest Service - Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness

The BLM is a little tougher as every state seems to be different. Go to this website, choose the state you want from the map at the bottom of the page. Once you get to the state office website, drill down from there. The key is the term "dispersed camping"
BLM - The Bureau of Land Management

You can also contact any of the regional offices directly. Most offices have a recreation management specialist on hand. Part of their job is to help the public.

Good luck, it just takes a little persistence
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #51
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I like that Globie64! And utee94!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:59 AM   #52
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That knock usually comes at 3 in the morning

To us boondocking is to travel without reservations, they are like wearing a watch when retired, hate deadlines and forced driving because we have reservations. Campgrounds serve a purpose and boondocking is not using utilities from CG, and being parked within arms length of 25 other campers.
2X! I hate reservations. When people ask us where we are going, I give them a cardinal direction. Seems like any time you call ahead you get the same story. "We have 1 site left and 10 people in line for it. We need a credit card number to hold it." You get there and the place is a half empty dump. We really like to wing it. We'll usually check out places on Google maps satellite view while we have a data signal. I like to do 3 or 4 days of "camping" followed by a day of full service RV parking to reprovision, clean, do laundry...
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #53
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Boondocking is the ultimate experience! But finding a location involves doing some homework...making sure you are not encroaching on someone's private property and that you are in a safe area. I'm in Central Florida and concerned about boondocking here because of all the weirdos that are out in the woods.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:37 AM   #54
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My question was about Boondocking

For me...Boondocking means out in the Boondocks. The middle of nowhere.
For me...Dry Camping means no hook ups.

I was thinking people in highly populated areas would enjoy getting away from people more than country folk. Just trying to understand why people want to be alone unless you want to be alone with someone.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:05 PM   #55
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Silence and solitude! To be alone with your thoughts or loved ones with no "rules", "restrictions" or unruly behavior from other campers. We love state parks but nothing compares to out of the way places...
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #56
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Some options: If you're interested in boondocking on Forest Service land, go to this website, choose the area you want, then search for dispersed camping. You might have to be creative in your searches. It could be under recreation.
USDA Forest Service - Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness

The BLM is a little tougher as every state seems to be different. Go to this website, choose the state you want from the map at the bottom of the page. Once you get to the state office website, drill down from there. The key is the term "dispersed camping"
BLM - The Bureau of Land Management

You can also contact any of the regional offices directly. Most offices have a recreation management specialist on hand. Part of their job is to help the public.

Good luck, it just takes a little persistence
Thanks for the tips. It looks like there just isn't a lot in this area, so that's why the pure boondocking seems so foreign to me. To give you an idea: on the BLM page, it took me a moment to figure out what you meant by "select your state" - here in the east, there's just one office for most or all of the east coast, while I see some states out west have their own offices. The nearest Forest Service sites I found are all pretty good drives from here.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
Some options: If you're interested in boondocking on Forest Service land, go to this website, choose the area you want, then search for dispersed camping. You might have to be creative in your searches. It could be under recreation.
USDA Forest Service - Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness

The BLM is a little tougher as every state seems to be different. Go to this website, choose the state you want from the map at the bottom of the page. Once you get to the state office website, drill down from there. The key is the term "dispersed camping"
BLM - The Bureau of Land Management

You can also contact any of the regional offices directly. Most offices have a recreation management specialist on hand. Part of their job is to help the public.

Good luck, it just takes a little persistence
Thanks Thalweg. I see it does take a little work and have had to bookmark both sites. I actually tried looking at this while traveling to purchase my Caravel yesterday; hoping to boondock with it the first night. Needless to say it requires good planning; at least until I get the hang of it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #58
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Thanks Thalweg. I see it does take a little work and have had to bookmark both sites. I actually tried looking at this while traveling to purchase my Caravel yesterday; hoping to boondock with it the first night. Needless to say it requires good planning; at least until I get the hang of it.
Honestly, if you can identify what office manages the area you want to go, it's probably easiest if you call the recreation specialist at that office and ask for advice. I actually work for one of these agencies, but I'm not the rec specialist, but we've got a good one who loves to help folks out.

Oh, and Skater is right. There is very little (I'm not aware of any off the top of my head) BLM land back east
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #59
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:20 AM   #60
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Extreme boondocking -- Just curious, has anyone been boondocking on this road?



Note: Check other related links for more boondocking roads (looks like these are in Australia & New Zealand.

Still not sure about WD and anti-sway hitch; but looks like 4WD might be a good idea, at least if you ever want to go home. (Some friends with a winch might help, too.)
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