Alleviate wife's concerns

kcormier19

Member
Sep 12, 2017
95
massachusetts
I have been planning some boondocking trips up and down the east coast national forests but my wife had some concerns about both leaving our pop up camper unattended all day while we are hiking or our safety while alone at night with no one else around. While I have tried to reduce those fears ( thieves don't want to search the forest for our camper, most people are honest) can anyone offer some real world experiences good or bad about pop up camper boondocking?
Thanks, Kyle
 

gladecreekwy

Super Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
1,698
Jackson Wyoming
Been boondocking forever. Took our kids along at three months old. We never knew it had a name. We call it “camping”. Although where we camp is pretty remote we have never had an issue. You do need to be self sufficient. We have no cell service so we are on our own if there’s a problem but it’s well worth it.
Never had anyone mess with our stuff but there’s not much you can do about that. Folks are very hesitant to approach camps out here because you just assume everyone is armed.
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,522
Oakland, California
You are far more at risk in your city/town, from addicts who need a fix and need to rob you to pay for it. Or from simple robbers who want your new iphone and are not afraid of doing assault and battery. Your wife's fear is more of our millenia-old "we are afraid of the dark and what lurks therein".

We have not had any issues, other than noisy neighbors arriving at 1 a.m., in our remote camping, including sleeping under the stars (not in a camper).
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
Here is my take:

At home, an axe wielding psycho can pick a corner, alleyway, or house and has a very strong chance of running into a potential victim.

Boondocking, an axe wielding psycho has a million trees to choose to hide behind. Then he has a million in one chance of having someone camp nearby that tree. The odds of finding a potential victim is far less than winning the lottery.

Unless you are boondocking in an area popular with partyers or idiots or homeless, you are unlikely to have an issue.

You could get a garmin inreach and use the least expensive monthly subscription to provide a sense of connection to the world.

You can also check in with ranger stations along the way.
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
813
Minnesota
I have been planning some boondocking trips up and down the east coast national forests but my wife had some concerns about both leaving our pop up camper unattended all day while we are hiking or our safety while alone at night with no one else around. While I have tried to reduce those fears ( thieves don't want to search the forest for our camper, most people are honest) can anyone offer some real world experiences good or bad about pop up camper boondocking?
Thanks, Kyle
I can hardly wait to get out and be "all by ourselves " really enjoy places where we dont see another human being. Quiet too.
 

generok

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 7, 2013
3,391
Anchorage, AK
I also dig the "out there" experience. There was only one time when I was out there that I was on a ridge looking out and thought "Man, I am OUT HERE and nobody is going to come to help if I need it". But, honestly, I've never had an issue boondocking. Oh sure, I've had trucks pull in to an area I'm in... usually that's a "Dang Vern, they took our secret spot! Now what?". But those come and go. In the Northeast, there aren't too many places you're out of cell phone coverage either, but there are blind spots here and there.

Good Luck
 

tombiasi

Super Active Member
Sep 1, 2012
6,701
Northwestern New Jersey
I have been planning some boondocking trips up and down the east coast national forests but my wife had some concerns about both leaving our pop up camper unattended all day while we are hiking or our safety while alone at night with no one else around. While I have tried to reduce those fears ( thieves don't want to search the forest for our camper, most people are honest) can anyone offer some real world experiences good or bad about pop up camper boondocking?
Thanks, Kyle
You are in greater danger in a place full of people.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,393
Northern Virginia
I agree, my biggest fear is not of people, but rather the lack of people if I have a problem or accident. Lack of cell phone service is also a concern of mine again if there was an accident. As far as leaving a camper all day...I stay at regular campgrounds with people all around. My camper is essentially home base so at times I’ve left the camper overnight a time or two. Never had any major issues and that’s with people/kids around. Animals sniffing around will be your biggest issue. Don’t keep valuables in the camper and bring coolers and food locked in your car. Don’t leave them in the camper. I would love to boondock if I had a partner to go with and friends with trucks to pull me out if I get stuck.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
May 21, 2015
2,432
You should also check in with ranger stations along the way.
They can provide maps and guidance about where you can and can't legally and safely camp. Different NF areas have different rules. They can tell you about any ongoing issues in the area, animal or otherwise. You should let them know where you plan to camp and how long you plan to be there.
 

Jimbow

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
1,974
Is she more worried about 2 legged or 4 legged problems?

Her fears won't be solved by facts or statistics. Thefts are rare in campgrounds and boondocking. Personal crimes are even more rare. Why would a criminal go through all the effort to travel to a victim when there are plenty that are close by? Also, it's easier to blend in at a crowded campground.

You may try areas without hookups that aren't as remote. Stay near a road.
 

Fish N Farm

Active Member
Aug 4, 2020
586
Pearland Tx
The closest place to boon dock to Houston is the Sam Houston National Forest. There is a big presents of meth cooking in that area. That being said check with the authorities in the area you want to go and see what they say. Of coarse I-45 from Houston to Dallas is dang near like the I-95 corridor. Wall to wall people on both side of the highway for 30 miles or so. A friend of mine was a police officer in a rather rough part of Houston and had busted a woman carrying a 38 in her purse. At that time she just got a ticket and lost her gun. Several months later he stopped her again for something and she had another gun. He said I told you that if you got caught with a gun again it would be big trouble why did you do this again? She answered Mr. Frank, I had rather be caught with it than without it.
 

Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
781
Central Oregon
I head a mysterious sound one night, It was a deer, licking the hull of our beached canoe.

Yup, the evil mysterious sound at night; actually mine was early in the morning. Once upon a time, when I didn’t have a steady job, house or many adult responsibilities, I had an old Dodge pickup and Caveman Camper, (that’s a brand not lifestyle statement). While camped along the Grande Ronde River in NE Ore. one hot night, I awoke at daylight to a scratching and tapping sound. I startled a magpie or maybe raven sitting on the edge of the sink picking at the egg shells left over from making dinner. I left the main door was open and sometime later the screen door came open. The bird, once it quit screeching and flapping took a bit of persuasion to leave.
 
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Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
781
Central Oregon
While I have tried to reduce those fears ( thieves don't want to search the forest for our camper, most people are honest) can anyone offer some real world experiences good or bad about pop up camper boondocking?
Thanks, Kyle

Like Gladecreekwy said, I’ve camped this way the vast majority of times since I was a kid and didn’t know it was boondocking till I started reading Internet forums. A very few very minor animal issues aside, I’ve never had a problem with theft, harassment or wild animals camped in the brush. Around here those issues with camping are exceedingly rare. Probably the biggest reoccurring issue are car prowls at trailheads. I did post a reply in another thread on here about a pup in the brush stolen over the hill from us awhile back. A little inquiry after my reply led me to think it was left long term in the woods and being used as a weekend retreat. Law Enforcement deals with meth labs, or the remnants of, and people with warrants in the woods occasionally, but again casual campers and hikers aren’t encountering them. Fish n Farm is right, some places have a lot more problems than others. I don’t often camp for camping itself, I camp to facilitate some activity like fishing, hunting, beach combing or something that takes me away from camp for most if not all day. I don’t hesitate to leave my camp pitched while gone. It’s also rare I encounter anyone else up close and personal while boondocking, and those I do are most usually like minded and there for the same reason or nearly the same reason as I. As Generok wrote, I occasionally get the “Dang Vern” stop by, sometimes I’m Vern.

All that written, don’t just throw caution to the wind. If a person or place does not look right, feel right or seem right then move on, leave or don’t stop. The other thing is by and large my experience is out west. Hopefully some people with solid back east experiences will post up if they have not already.

Good luck with your persuading.
 
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bdr129

Member
Mar 16, 2017
53
Arizona
As others have said, I never ran into any particular problem with thieves, other than some thieving ravens that helped themselves to our baked potatoes while we weren't looking. As for thieves stealing a camper, it happens occasionally, but I am talking rare, I think I only heard of one instance of that happening in years. If you are concerned, if you have a PUP, take the crank with you in your vehicle...doubt any thieves by happenstance would have a crank laying around, and unlikely to get far towing a PUP with the roof up. You can also get hitch locks, etc. And while they won't stop a determined thief, if it buys piece of mind for the wife, it could be money well spent. We have camped backcountry, places that were about half an hour to the nearest cell signal and I never felt unsafe. Oddly the wife is always concerned with bears or mountain lions, I would be likely more concerned with two legged predators, but that's why I got an insurance policy from Sturm Ruger & Company... :)
 

kcormier19

Member
Sep 12, 2017
95
massachusetts
Thanks everyone for all of the replies. I agree the further away you are from people the better, quieter, and safer you probably are unless there is a need for cell service. I think her greatest concern was just the lack of experience being out of a campground, she does love to camp. But we are going to give it a try together in the spring.
 

Sherronlee

Member
Apr 10, 2020
65
Northern BC
We have been camping for about 28 years. Started out tenting with our daughter and switched to a pop-up (we call them tent trailers) about 22 years ago. In the good old days, you never had to worry about any of your stuff while camping. But in the last ten years or so, I have heard of too many people getting stuff stolen ~ mostly coolers but sometimes bigger items too. Our #1 rule, is out of site, out of mind. We don't leave anything visible. If we have bikes, they are chained to the back bumper, as well hidden as much as possible under the bunk. We do set up a kitchen cooking area and we put up at least 2 walls on it, so we can block the view of anyone passing by as much as possible. But, let's face it, if anyone wants into a pop-up, a jack knife will easily get them into it. I am not sure I could camp without a dog with me. I always have a fairly large dog, so naturally I bring him with me. But if you are going to camp with a dog, you have to be a good neighbor and ensure your dog(s) is/are well behaved. You can't have a dog that barks lots & disturbs everyone else. If you are in a campground, they have to be kept on a leash. Boondocking could be different ~ depending if there are others camping there or not.
 




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