Years ago I asked in my boondocking classes what was the most important factor that discouraged them from boondocking. One woman responded that she could just not give up her electric blanket. The answer to my question can vary widely between people, and how perceptions can differ from one person to another on what is necessary and important to their comfort – and her required level of comfort was an item I didn’t even own.
Over the years I’ve concluded that a technological item or mechanical expertise was not the determining factor required to enjoy boondocking. Rather, it would more likely be a convenience item, like the electric blanket, designed to keep you warm but needs continuous 120-volt electrical current over an eight-hour period, something that a non-energy-requiring extra blanket or quilt would accomplish just as well.
So when you begin setting up your rig for boondocking, it may be just as important to consider exactly what will make you comfortable and enhance your boondocking experience rather than think you have to fill up your cart with boondocking “must have” items at Camping World. Spend just as much time on how to achieve those comfort levels like personal warmth, cleanliness, preparing healthy meals, and enjoyment of the great outdoors as you do on a shopping cart filled with goodies. Look for solutions like just throwing on another blanket.
The boondocking trips my wife and I took were based on our personal “comfort” requirements. Fresh water was a big factor. We are physically active – walking, running, hiking, kayaking, bicycling – enough to raise a good sweat every day. Having the capacity to shower every day was far more important than an electric blanket or an ice maker or air-conditioning or power to run a big screen TV.
So we learned how to take Navy showers and conserve water use in other areas. We carried extra Jerry jugs of water to dump in our tank and kept the empties in our dinghy so we could fill them when we went to town for supplies. This was a much easier solution than either cutting back on our physical activity or feeling uncomfortable and smelly in our own dried sweat.
Everybody is different and has different needs and wants. So when you are considering boondocking – or lengthening your boondocking trips – consider the little things that are important to your RV lifestyle just as seriously as what kind of gadgets and equipment you “need.” The end result will likely be that the most important decisions you make will be those that accomplish the level of comfort and enjoyment they bring to your boondocking experience.