Is boondocking safe? No. Is RVing safe? No. Is life actually safe? Again, no. But it’s all relative. Every day that you wake up and face the world you also face the unexpected and random dangers of just living, such as being hit by a vehicle or struck by lightning. Boondocking is safer than life in more populated areas, or arguably safer than nearly anywhere else. Even if you camped in a very safe and secure RV resort you still wouldn’t lay a $100 bill on your camp chair and expect it to still be there the next morning.
Thieves and muggers just do not hang out in areas that boondockers do. It’s more profitable for them to operate in more populated areas with more choices for their nefarious activities. But even so, boondocking can be made safer – or less safe – by what you do and how you set up your campsite.
You can take steps to improve your safety, not only from acts of nature (don’t park under a dead tree in a wind storm), but also from willful criminal acts by reducing “temptation” from those that may be influenced by easy pickings.
When choosing and setting up your boondocking campsite, observe these common sense practices and you will reduce your vulnerability:
- Be aware of your surroundings. If questionable people are also camped nearby, or there is evidence of partying or appearances of a hangout for local teenagers (trash, large bonfire remains, etc.), choose another location.
- Close blinds and drapes when you’re gone so the curious can’t see whether anybody is inside or if you have anything inside worth stealing.
- If you don’t have an electronic security system, pick up a small red LED light and mount next to your entry door controlled by a switch on the inside. When you go out, turn it on – it’s power requirement is negligible and it looks like a security system is turned on.
- Do not leave anything valuable like a portable generator outside if you are going to be gone long, unless it is secured with a heavy duty chain. Even then hide it from the view of passersby if possible.
- Don’t open your door to anyone that comes knocking at night unless they provide some official identification which you can see through your window.
- Don’t tell strangers in town where you are camped or invite strangers to visit unless you are convinced of their lack of ulterior motives.Keep your valuables out of sight.
- Most thieves are products of opportunity – when it is easy for them to take something, they will.
Follow these few pointers – removing opportunity and temptation – and it will thwart most grab-and-run thieves.
Read more of Bob Difley’s posts on the Good Sam Blog, and on his Gizmos & Gadgets blog on the RV Travel network of blogs, and Ask BoondockBob in the RVTravel Saturday newsletter. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.