Camping has soared in popularity recently, resulting in crowded campgrounds and more expensive camping reservations. Boon-docking is one way to escape the crowds and avoid costly fees. Though boon-docking can initially feel intimidating, we’re here to help you find some excellent boon-docking spots you'll never want to leave.
Here are our tips for finding the best spots that will help you stay in some incredible locations for your camping adventures.
What is Boon-Docking?
Boon-docking is involves camping without access to hookups like water or electricity. This can also be referred to as camping "off the grid."
Boon-docking often happens on public lands. The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management usually manage these lands. When camping there, you’ll have no access to services or group facilities like bathrooms, because it is not an official campsite.
However, boon-docking is not to be confused with "dry camping." This means staying at a campsite without hookups, however there is usually other resources available.
What Makes a Great Boon-docking Spot?
Defining what makes the best boon-docking spots varies depending on your personality and goal.
There are many choices, some requiring 4 wheel drive to access without a person in sight, or some are just off the road with plenty of room for others to join. Finding the best boon-docking spot for you involves deciding between solitude or socializing, how far your current vehicle and rig will be able to travel, and how long you plan to stay.
How Do You Find Boon-docking Locations?
If you are new to boon-docking, you may feel overwhelmed trying to find spots. It can be intimidating when you start searching for that perfect camping location.
Let’s look at a few resources to help you find your next spot.
Campendium is one of the most familiar campground review sites. It’s also our favorite. It has numerous helpful reviews from other users. Many include pictures and tips for accessing various locations. If you’re looking for free boon-docking spots, it is convenient to filter the results to find accessible sites.
We love that Campendium is available online in Apple’s App Store. Pulling up important information quickly without a computer is incredibly beneficial. The app and website are aesthetically pleasing and incredibly user-friendly.
FreeCampsites.net might be a no-frills site, but it can provide excellent value for campers. You can see free and paid campsites on the map view.
Campers can leave reviews, giving others a look at what they can expect. Additionally, this site offers a trip planner feature. While there are paid campgrounds, it focuses more on free camping and other RVing services.
iOverlander is an ideal site for looking for details on individual campgrounds and camping areas, similar to Campendium. There are general camping descriptions and reviews from fellow campers. You can expect to find amenities and coordinates on an easy-to-navigate site.
Boondockers Welcome gives campers a different boon-docking experience. This subscription-based website offers campers access to the private property of people who open their property to RVers.
No two Boondockers Welcomes sites are alike. Some hosts charge a fee to cover the guest’s water or power usage. However, these fees are typically much less than a standard campground, and we’ve seen several that have no cost.
Most properties have no amenities, while others offer water or electric hookups. You’ll want to do a bit of research and read reviews for each host when selecting a place to stay.
Free Roam is another option for those who want to use a map to narrow their boon-docking search. Users can find their desired location and see possibilities in that area.