How do you prepare for Boondocking?
One of the most important checklist items is food when boondocking! Many people don’t know what camping essentials food or camp kitchen essentials are. The important thing to keep in mind is the keep date on the food items you bring along. Taking the driest, longest keep items that don’t require refrigeration is vital. We have put together a list of some common boondocking food items that you should think about bringing on your next trip:
- Dried Meat – this type of items stays good for a long time especially when sealed properly.
- Nuts – another great source of protein and calories for make those mountain treks!
- Dried Hummus – This is a great item for filling the belly when all else fails. You can buy dried hummus that comes in a bag and all you have to do is add water!
- Pita Bread – because of the density of the bread it stays a little longer and doesn’t get as stale.
- Canned items – Now these can get rather heavy! But canned vegetables and some fruits can stay from a substantial time period and they can provide you with essential vitamins and minerals.
Food is essential to camping and boondocking and the right food can make the experience that much more enjoyable!
What do I need if I am in a Pop-Up or Tent Camper?
Not many people boondock with the 30+ foot camper! Not to say that you can’t, because we have plenty of solar options to make the boondocking life possible with any size RV or camper. But most people are in something smaller. If you find yourself boondocking with a pop up or tent camper, there may be a few other items you want to bring along. Those important pop-up camper essentials are listed below:
- A GOOD FAN! – many smaller units (especially pop ups) are without an a/c unit. When it gets to be hot outside having a fan to move the power around can significantly help with comfort.
- Portable A/C Unit – There are several options for small a/c units that are available to simply plug into a wall in your camper. Now keep in mind that this will draw quite a bit of power, so be prepared.
- On-the-job battery/charger – This is a boondocking necessity! You can find these at every hardware store and even Walmart. They are just large portable battery packs. They can usually be charged by regular household outlet but also 12v car outlets. They will have multiple outlet areas to plug in all of your devices that need a charge as well as run small electric items!
- Dark window shades/ Velcro window covers – These are pop up camper essentials for sure. Having large panels that you can put on any part of the canvas to help block the heat from coming in is vital to keeping cool while out in the wild.
- Expert site picking – OK, so this isn’t an actual item, but picking the right when boondocking can help an enormous amount. Find somewhere that is heavily shaded so you don’t have to work so hard on keeping your camper or RV cool.
- Awning or Canvas tape – How terrible would it be to have your canvas rip in the middle of a rain storm and nothing to fix it? Very terrible is the answer and that is why having some “just in case” awning/canvas tape is never a bad idea.
How do you run the AC when boondocking?
If you are one of the lucky ones with an A/C unit built in, we always suggest a few upkeep items while using it boondocking.
- Having a soft-start system installed on the unit can be a life changer for the amount of energy used when the A/C unit kicks on and off. Usually, the energy it takes to start the A/C unit is significantly higher than the energy required to keep it running. This can blow fuses and breakers as well as overuse your generators output amps.
- Start cooling early in the morning rather than once you have already had your coffee and breakfast. It is much easier on and for you’re A/C unit to keep your rv or camper cold rather than trying to cool it once it has gotten hot.
- Keep doors and windows closed and shaded shut! This is a must do when trying to keep your camper cool.
- Frequently check for obstructions to the vents and intake. Always make sure that there is nothing blocking air from getting in or out of your camper. It is important that you also check to ensure your filter is not too dirty or clogging the system.
What to I need while I’m pulling my RV long distance?
There are a number of camping road trip essentials that could really help you while you are on that long trip out west (or any other direction). Just make sure that you are always prepared in advance and not struggling to get things done the day of. Early preparation makes your trip start on time and hopefully without forgetting too many items!
- Tools – Having the right tools is key to a stress-free drive. There are a number of things that may happen during a trip, especially a long trip. Having a tire iron, additional ratchet straps, basic socket and driving set, and a jump-starting pack can really help if something goes sideways!
- Roadside assistance – You my have coverage through your insurance provider or a 3rd party, but no matter where you have it, this is an important coverage for any traveling with a camper or RV. Here @ Greeneway RV, we have options available to cover your for less than 40 cents a day.
- Spare tire(s) – Depending on the length of your trip, having a spare tire or even two will help get you back on the road quickly and without stressing too much.
- Sway & Weight Distribution – Have you ever towed a camper and felt like it was pushing you rather than you pulling it? Well, if you haven’t, it is a very uneasy feeling, and one that can be significantly mitigated with the proper hitch set-up. With a simple setup that we are able to install, you can command the road even while towing your trailer.
How do you stay clean while Boondocking?
You may think that there is no way to converse precious energy & electricity as well as stay clean and smelling fresh. Think again! In today’s camping world there are a number of ways to use little to no electricity and still stay squeaky clean.
- One great way is by using the resources around you. Back when I was a kid, my when we camped it was only in tents, there were hardly ever decent shower houses and if there were they were not close to the site. My parents’ solution? Get all four kids in the river and toss them a bar of soap! Now, you don’t have to go to this extreme, but using the resources that are readily available to you is key to staying clean while boondocking. You may not want to collect water from the river or stream to drink or cook with, but collect it in a jug that is made for retaining heat from the sun, then use that nice warm water as your body cleanser! This way you aren’t wasting your precious potable water on showering and bathing.
- As I mentioned just a second ago, an important tool to have with you while boondocking is a self-heating gravity operated shower. These are very inexpensive devices but serve the great purpose of keeping you clean. They require very little maintenance and some can be collapsed down to take up virtually no space in your storage areas. Definitely worth the google search.
- Another very important rule of the boondocking world is, if you are going to use that bar of soap and bath in the stream, make sure it is the right bar of soap. The one you love and use at home may not be the right one to use while you are out in the wilderness. There is soap on the market that is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. We go outside for the nature. For the scenery. For the wind in our face and that nice clean water over our feet. It is important to protect the things that we love and this is a very simple way of doing just that.
What about dog essentials for camping and boondocking?
If you are anything like we are here at Greeneway RV, you love your furry friends. We get it! And camping with your lovable creatures can be a treat not only to you but also to them as long as you do it right!
- Travel food and water dishes – Many of us have nice “luxury” dog bowls for at home. But normally those are a pain to bring along. Investing in an extra set of lightweight dog bowls as well as a little storage tote for dog food is a key dog essential for camping.
- Retractable leash – Now, I know that they are more than the ordinary leash, but these are excellent for when you are on the go. Not only do they help by being small and easily packable, but they change lengths! Imagine this, you are on a trip with your cuddly companion and at your first site you have all the space you could ask for and your regular leash is great! It allows them to walk throughout most of your campsite freely. Then your move on to your next site which is much smaller. Now you are tying knots and trying to make adjustments to your leash because it is just too long. The retractable way is the only way.
- Mess Bags – These, of course, are a must have when taking your playful pet along. One of our jobs as campers is to try to leave our camp site better than we arrived. You definitely cannot do that with numerous piles of doggy doodoo all over the place. The bags are very inexpensive and really help keep your site clean. Many can attach to your belt or backpack like a keychain so you can easily take them with you on your morning walks to see the sunrise.
- Stowable Dog Bed – If you are like me, you probably have a giant dog bed with curved sides and a plush, thick area to lay on. These are great at home, but when you are on the road and you are trying to converse space, these may not be the best fit. What we have found very useful when on the road are sleeping bags! You know, they don’t have to be the top of the line sleeping bag for the coldest weather environment. They can just be the $10 on that you can find at any retail store. A sleeping bag can be folded, compressed and maneuvered in a variety of ways to fit the space that it needs to, but they also don’t collect dirt and fur very easy as they normally have a polyester exterior. And when you are done and you need to store it, your can just put it back in the bag and it fits conveniently wherever you need it to.
Obviously taking your loveable little friend takes a little more work than just throwing them in the car, but not only will they be happy to be in the wilderness, so will you.
The Camping essentials for any boondocking trip can be a very broad and overwhelming task when you first sit down and think about it, but as you can see there are many ways to make your next boondocking trip more enjoyable and much more comfortable. The Grand Design product line has really embraced the idea of luxury boondocking! With most of their units coming pre-installed with solar panels and easy integration for upgrades, they are the ideal campers for the long-trips to nowhere! Another great options for our campers that need less space are the wonderfully designed Flagstaff E-Pros These are little units that pack a punch. And if you don’t have one our quality brand you can always feel free in upgrading yours to a brilliant boondocking masterpiece with our Solar upgrade Packages. We are one of the top dealers in the country for aftermarket solar installation and can work closely with you to design a system fit to your needs. From the single panel, minimal use solar system to the giant fifth wheel that can run everything with the power of the sun, we have done it all.