Whats the appeal?

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by Family Travels, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Family Travels

    Family Travels Active Member

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    I use a Berkey water filter for drinking, I could filter stagnant pond water with that. But I figure being out for 5-6 days I will probably want to shower a couple of times and so will my family so I'll need to be able to refill the 20 gallon water tank on board.
     
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  2. Zephyr

    Zephyr Active Member

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    This bag filter will do that for you. We've stayed out up to 14 days and showered multiple people by refilling the tank in the pop up every day. This filter is probably overkill for the water sources we typically use, but the big bag is nice. Both DH and I had bad water experiences on wildfire crews, so we are over cautious.
     
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  3. Kyle R Thorson

    Kyle R Thorson Active Member

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    Sounds perfect!
     
  4. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    About 50 miles. Are you familiar with the area around Lake Isabella and Red Rock Canyon?
     
  5. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I travel and camp alone. Some of the boondocking sites I stay at do not have water. But now and then I will find one that does have a small stream nearby. If I'm planning on staying out just a couple of days I don't take much water. My camper tank holds about 17 gallons. I only use that for my porti-potty and rinsing off dishes. It's from my tap at home, but I don't trust my plumbing system in the camper to be all that clean. I also take along one of those 24 bottle purified water cases that you buy at local stores. I will normally only use about 10 of those bottles and maybe 1/3 of the water in my tank. If I am planning on staying out for a week, I will also bring a 5 gallon container of purified water. Since I am always alone, or maybe with my adult son, I don't bother to shower on those trips. Maybe a little sponge bath in certain parts of the body that require attention. I carry a small portable shower in the camper but have never used it. I also carry a small hiking water purifier that will clean and purify water from a stream is necessary. I made a little battery operated water transfer pump to refilling my camping should the need arise. The only time I needed that was when I went camping with my youngest son. He had a travel trailer and two kids. He ran out of water in three days. Fortunately we were right next to a stream and I was able to fill his tank with the pump and a 50 foot garden hose.
     
  6. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    That area sure looks familiar. I live only 17 miles from Mojave and I travel those roads all the time.
     
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  7. Arruba

    Arruba Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ll take a stab at it:

    Why? In addition to all offered thus far a biggie for me is ready access to what I came for. Things like fishing, foraging; (Berry and mushroom hunting is popular here), rafting, UTV riding and so on occur where they occur, and often there isn’t a campground of any kind nearby.

    Power? Battery capacity, solar, and generators can help make off grid camping comfortable. Lots discussed already about it. The one thing I’d add is before you jump waist deep into outfitting for boondocking is develop an estimate of what your power requirements are and maybe try an outing or two with what you have. It may save you some cash and give you a better idea what route you want to go. If just sampling the lifestyle so to speak, maybe rent a portable generator to cover your needs while trying boondocking out.

    Water? Much like the power question, developing a water estimate estimate may lead to discovering your onboard capacity, or that and a 5gal can will work, or not. I’ll add that I live in a both desert and forested environment and finding potable water isn’t a Herculean task. It does take a little creativity. As mentioned, a system to capture it, a jug, hose or both is paramount.

    Where? I see you are in Illinois. There is the Wayne National Forest in Illinois and 7 others including National Recreation Areas in the states surrounding it, 10 If you count Michigan. I’ll bet they all allow dispersed camping, a.k.a. Boondocking. I don’t know how many State Forests or Wildlife Areas there are. I’ll bet a lot. A little research on what they offer that interests you and a call to their office to confirm their respective camping regulations will lead you to success. I’ll guess Army Corps of Engineers land is available too. A lot of it here in Oregon is.

    I close with it’s by far the main way I camp, and suggest you at least give it a try or three.

    Good luck and I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    A good way to do that is to simply not hookup on your next hookup camping trip. Starting Day 1 - see how long you can go under your normal usage before getting low on battery power and water. When you reach that point, refill your water tank and plug in to recharge your battery. Then unplug and utilize ways to minimize usage. For example, only turn on one overhead light in the evening, use a battery operated lantern or battery operated puck light for reading, use wet wipes, etc, for hand cleaning, use baby wipes instead of showering, use paper plates, and so on. Now see how much more you get with those tricks.

    For me, my house battery is used to run the water pump 24/7. I use one overhead light at a time for maybe a total of two hours per day. I recharge my phone and kindle every one to two days. My fridge and water heater are on propane (neither uses any electrical). Water - I wash dishes 2-3 times per day, use the toilet as needed, wash my hands after every bathroom trip, cook with, and drink. I also provide water for the animals from the tank. It is just me and the animals using my facilities.

    With the clipper, I have a group 31 Optima agm blue top battery. I have gone as long as 14-15 days without dropping below green on the meter. The fresh water tank is 40 gallons and I can go 14 days. That's about 2.5-3 gallons per day. If I did some additional water conservation, I could double that.
     
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  9. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Some people like to get really out in nature. Some like to be alone. I am not one of them. I pack a spare kitchen sink, and probably have the record for the amount of time it takes me to set up camp and tear down. I enjoy the challenge of making camping as comfortable as possible. I am not a fisherman, I don’t have any desire to hike, backpack, climb mountains, canoe or anything else. I prefer getting out of the city to recharge in my own way. Sometimes that may simply be hanging around and cooking some good food. Other times it may be a solid weekend of gaming, or exploring the local town.

    My style of camping doesn’t fit for many, and that is fine. Boondocking isn’t for me, and that is fine too.
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you just go to a hotel?
     
  11. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Because that takes the challenge and fun out of it!
     
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  12. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS Gold Supporting Member

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    I haven't boondocked because I don't want to hear another boondocker's generator after I've invested time, money and effort to get away from noise. I frequently use "primitive" campsites with no utilities provided, however, where rules prevent the use of generators and the lack of electricity keeps almost everybody else away.

    I have solar, but I can't run air conditioning on it, of course. That means I don't camp in the heat of the summer, and we try to do more winter camping.

    Camping is best when it's a solitary experience, in my opinion, but the world is full of people who will drive deep into a forest just to listen to a gasoline engine, as long as it's their own gasoline engine. That's not my jam.
     
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I think that's great! Sometimes having a camper is more about having a private personal home away from home, than it is about traditional camping. A hotel room doesn't give you that little cozy space. Having your own camper gives you that personal space to really relax without the daily reminders of your daily stress (which are usually visible at home - the bills on the counter, the calendar with all the appointments, the full hamper, the oil leak under the car, the fence post that's sagging, and so on).
     
  14. aleym

    aleym New Member

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    I'm single, but was married until 1982 when "David" decided that he wanted my wife more than I did.

    "David" got your wife and you got to keep the popup. Do you still have your lawyer's number?
     
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  15. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    We need to figure out solar. We have an aliner camper, we camp at places that have no electrical hookups, don't want a generator, we tent camped up until this year, we just bought our camper last October. I want it to just look at it like a tent, but now we can move whenever we want. But, I'm thinking we may want to use some of the amenities, so a bit of knowledge in solar will be required. A lot of folks say it's easy, so, we'll see.
     
  16. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any idea how much out of state park passes, or permits, cost? Were in Minnesota. We would like to see more of Wisconsin, we've been in the driftless area, in Minnesota, across from Wisconsin.
     
  17. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    We do have solar and the only reason we need it is to run the furnace. Otherwise our electric needs are scanty and charging with the TV on the road is adequate (unless we're parked for a really long time). Our lighting is all LED although when not cooking we usually turn off the camper lights and use battery or solar powered lanterns because...I dunno. It just feels better.
     
  18. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    It’s a National Forest so no state permit. No entrance fee but the campgrounds usually charge
     
  19. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    We have a national park pass, maybe we could check it out this year...
     
  20. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great, I thought it charged the battery, hah! Thank you.
     

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