Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Boondocking site selection
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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > Boondocking site selection

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agesilaus

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Posted: 02/15/21 04:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't mean the skill set used to find spots from maps.

Tristan (don't know his last name) on the SUV Rving YT channel ran thru a list that he considers when picking a boondocking site. This guy boondocks 100+ days a year and sleeps in his car, a RAV4 at that time. He did not put up a written list but it started me thinking and this is my version:

Boondocking Site selection

1) Is it legal to camp there. Mainly BLM or USFS land or other public land w/o camping restrictions
2) Is is an attractive spot? Aesthetics.
3) Is the road in to the location good for your rig? Sandy, muddy, rutted, high centered, washboarded, too far from a paved road etc. Scout it out first, do not get trapped where you cannot turn around.
4) Is it secluded? I like at least semi-secluded you may be more gregarious. Scout it out first.
5) Is it safe? Lots of dead trees that could fall on your rig, suspicious looking neighbors, a fire hazard, could the road into the spot be closed by weather or disaster, too close to an urban area, are there reports of crime, other signs of trouble like broken glass or trash and so on.
6) Sheltered? Somewhere to park to block the wind? Has trees, hills or cliffs?
7) Is it big enough? Turn around space is very important for towables. If it is too big you may get close neighbors.
8 Cell phone signal, you may want it or not want it.
9) Near water? May be good or bad--mud and bugs
10) Close to where you want to be? Near a national park, hiking trails, swimming areas, fishing and so on.
11) Sun or shade. You may want sun for warmth or solar or not want it to avoid heat.
12) Is it level enough?
13) Will it become impassable with a weather change, turn into a lake of mud etc
14) BLM land is often open range, if you are a Bovine Hater that might be a problem.

15) Some places you need an annual permit, western state school lands for example
16) Close enough to shopping, fuel, propane, medical etc.
17) Is it an existing boondocking spot, is there a fire ring? You want to reuse camp spots not make a new one.
18) If all else fails have a plan B

Comments and suggestions welcomed, maybe we can come up with a sticky


?

* This post was last edited 02/16/21 07:28am by agesilaus *   View edit history


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 02/15/21 04:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An excellent list IMO. I would think number thirteen (becomes impassible) needs to be very carefully considered.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 02/15/21 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent list!

Another one to add:

Is it an existing boondocking site? This is important because you never want to break new ground if at all possible for the sake of conservation. That's a rule of thumb here and may be everywhere.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 02/15/21 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good point I'll add that

profdant139

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Posted: 02/15/21 09:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great list! I'll add one more idea -- make sure that the site is not TOO big. If it is very spacious, it sometimes happens that rude folks will simply decide to share your site, and you end up 50 yards from someone with a noisy generator.

This has happened to us a couple of times, especially on busy weekends.

So we look for "tight" spaces, in which our rig occupies essentially all of the available real estate.


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corvettekent

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Posted: 02/15/21 10:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is one more.

Always have a plan B and maybe a plan C.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 02/16/21 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Great list! I'll add one more idea -- make sure that the site is not TOO big. If it is very spacious, it sometimes happens that rude folks will simply decide to share your site, and you end up 50 yards from someone with a noisy generator.

This has happened to us a couple of times, especially on busy weekends.

So we look for "tight" spaces, in which our rig occupies essentially all of the available real estate.


This is so true as it has happened to us. Not a pleasant experience, especially having someone run their generator by your door all night and not wanting to say anything because they have kids which is why they were running the generator.

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