First of all, what does it mean to boondock? Basically, boondocking is camping free with no amenities of any kind. No marked sites, no water, no electrical hookup, no restrooms, no playground, no…anything but wide open spaces to use as you please. Well, there are a few rules:
That’s it. Pretty simple with one very simple summary, Love It or Lose It. Pack it in and pack it out. If we all don’t respect and care for these areas, we will all eventually lose the privilege.
A boondocker’s day varies from person to person, as you might expect. I’ll give you an idea of my typical day so you have an inkling of what it’s all about. I’m an early riser, usually around 5:00 a.m. when I’m home. Since I usually boondock in the winter months when daylight is limited, I normally sleep a bit later since daylight in Arizona in January doesn’t begin until 7:30 or so. Besides…what’s the hurry? Jumping out of a warm sleeping bag and into the morning chill—-it can drop into the 30s even in southwest Arizona—-has a way of getting you moving! I either crack a window or two before lighting the Little Buddy heater or cheat a bit and just start the van to get some heat (there are no close neighbors to disturb!).
My first priority, well perhaps second actually 😉, is getting the coffee brewed. I use a “pour over” system which simply means pouring hot water (courtesy of our Coleman 2-burner stove) over coffee grounds in filter atop a carafe. While that’s working, I get Abby’s water and food dishes placed outside our van. Now I can enjoy sips of hot coffee while preparing breakfast of eggs and sausage, or a protein bar, a Mexican breakfast burrito, or an apple.
After cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I might prepare another cup of coffee to help decide what the day will bring. It could be some sightseeing, or simply hanging around camp. Of course, a walk for Abby must be sandwiched in there ASAP!
Speaking of walks, both Abby and I really enjoy walking through the desert landscape. I may take my walking stick, my little metal detector or simply bask in the warming sun as we walk.
It does rain occasionally in the winter months in the Sonoran Desert, so I always have a novel at the ready and Abby is always ready to enjoy a nap. I don’t mind a bit of rain since it helps to hold down the dust always flying around via the desert winds.
Occasional errands in town (Quartzsite is just 6 miles away) include refilling the water jug at 25 cents per gallon, utilizing the free Wi-Fi at McDonalds, grabbing needed groceries, or picking up another 10-lb cube of ice for the cooler. The RV Pit Stop on the north end of town offers water at 25 cents per gallon in your own container, RV dump service, and propane tank refills.
I have a few solar-powered items, including a string of LED lights that surround the back living area of the van, a weather band/AM-FM radio (also battery- and crank-powered), a sidewalk border-style light (placed under the engine compartment at night to, hopefully, discourage mice from chewing on wire insulation), four motion-activated lights, one for each side of the van, and two small lanterns to help light up the oh-so-black desert nights. It’s important to get these items recharged by Ol’ Sol daily or be disappointed and in the dark as night falls.
Usually, rather than lunch and supper, I prepare one or the other then have a simple snack in place of the other. Three full meals is just not necessary, in my opinion. Of course—-true confession here—-I do occasionally treat myself with a run into town to pick up a meal at one of the three available open air “food truck” style eateries. I’m just not comfortable going into one of the many sit-down restaurants with the damn you-know-what still raging here. 😩 That reminds me, tomorrow is “Taco Tuesday” at Barbi’s take-out stand…at least that’s what I’ve heard! 😎🌮😁🌶😜
Since it is pitch dark by 7:00, Abby and I are in the van by then, she napping and me reading, playing a game, or writing a portion of my next blog post. By 9:00 or so, I’m ready to crawl into my sleeping bag and let a lonesome coyote howl me to sleep. 😴