OCT 26 2023    
Time to Unplug
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Time to Unplug

Disclosure: Opinions, camping practices, and experiences expressed with articles posted here or otherwise via user-generated content posted elsewhere on this site are solely the authors’ and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, camping practices, or experiences of this website or Camping Tools, Inc.

Time to Unplug

In today's digital age, the need to unplug and engage in digital withdrawal has become more crucial than ever. Our constant connection to screens, be it through smartphones, computers, or other devices, can lead to information overload, increased stress, and a sense of being always "on." A digital reprieve allows us to reclaim our time and mental space, promoting better focus, improved productivity, and enhanced well-being. It also boosts more meaningful face-to-face interactions and allows us to be present in the moment. By disconnecting from the digital world, even briefly, we can recharge, gain perspective, and strike a balance between the virtual and real worlds, ultimately leading to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Real Digital Trauma

The frustration of not knowing who is telling the truth amidst global conflicts is a feeling many individuals can relate to. In a time of instant communication, deciphering who is trustworthy amidst a sea of conflicting reports is a formidable challenge. This uncertainty can give rise to helplessness and anxiety.  Forming an informed opinion or taking a stand on critical global issues becomes increasingly difficult. Everyone says you must stand up and take a stand against this…this…that…oh, and don't forget this..that…and of course not this.

At the same time, politicians are now interested in alien beings flying above us? The news explores celebrities' worth, talent, and affair scandals. Joe makes the news because he tipped his waitress $100. What will the waitress do with the money? And let's turn our attention to the best dressed on the red carpet and what the  family is doing today.  Stop the madness. How? Try boondocking.


Boondocking, a term derived from "boondocks," represents a unique and adventurous form of outdoor living. It is a type of camping that embraces the spirit of self-sufficiency and a connection with nature. Unlike traditional campgrounds with hookups and amenities, boondocking involves venturing into remote and often remote natural environments, far from the conveniences of modern life.

 It's a practice that allows individuals to disconnect from the grid, bringing them closer to the rugged beauty of the great outdoors. Boondockers rely on their self-contained RVs, campers, or tents to provide the essentials like water, power, and shelter, all the while immersing themselves in the serene solitude and tranquility of wilderness areas. Boondocking offers a unique opportunity to embrace the wild, discover hidden gems, and make a profound connection with nature, making it a sought-after adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Pros

Boondocking, or dry camping, offers several advantages that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a more independent and off-grid camping experience. Here are some of the pros of boondocking:

  • Cost Savings: Boondocking is typically free or low-cost, saving you money on camping fees compared to traditional campgrounds.

  • Remote and Scenic Locations: Boondocking sites are often in remote and beautiful natural settings, allowing you to enjoy pristine wilderness, stunning views, and peaceful surroundings.

  • Closer to Nature: Boondocking allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level, as you often camp in unspoiled wilderness areas with minimal modern conveniences.

  • Starry Nights: Boondocking sites provide excellent stargazing opportunities away from city lights. The night sky can be breathtaking in remote areas.

  • Adventure: Boondocking can feel like an adventure as you explore new and off-the-beaten-path locations and enjoy the thrill of discovery.

  • No Reservation Hassles: Since boondocking sites do not require reservations, you don't have to worry about booking campsites in advance.

Boondocking skills can come in very handy when a disaster hits.

The Cons

While boondocking offers many advantages, it also comes with certain challenges and disadvantages that you should be aware of before venturing into this type of camping. Here are some of the cons of boondocking:

  • Lack of Amenities: Boondocking sites typically lack amenities like electricity, water hookups, restrooms, and showers. You must be self-contained and prepared to meet your basic needs.

  •  Limited Access for Larger RVs: Some boondocking locations may be inaccessible to larger RVs or trailers due to rough terrain or size restrictions.

  • Safety Concerns: Remote areas can sometimes present safety concerns, including the potential for encountering wildlife or being far from help in case of an emergency.

  • Limited Resources: Running out of essential resources, such as water, propane, or food, can be a concern if you're not adequately prepared.

  • Unpredictable Weather: Camping in remote areas exposes you to the elements, and weather conditions can change rapidly. You must be prepared for various weather scenarios.

  • Finding Suitable Sites: Locating ideal boondocking sites can be time-consuming and may require extensive research or asking locals for recommendations.

Before beginning a boondocking trip, thoroughly research your chosen destination. Prepare your RV or camping setup for self-sufficiency, and consider your comfort level with the challenges mentioned above. 

Where to Boondock

Choosing the right boondocking location is critical to a successful and enjoyable off-grid camping experience. Start by researching potential sites online, through apps, or by connecting with fellow campers who share their experiences. Look for reviews and recommendations that match your preferences, whether you seek solitude, stunning scenery, or specific activities like hiking or fishing. Camping.Tools is an amazing wealth of knowledge. Always check here first. Check the accessibility of the location, ensuring your RV or camper can navigate the roads and terrain. Check for any local regulations and restrictions that may apply, such as permit requirements or maximum stay limits. 

Boondocking Safely

Now it is very important for you to Begin with thoroughly researching your chosen boondocking site and understanding its unique challenges and any potential risks. But you must also consider other safety measures.

  • Share your travel itinerary with a trusted individual, ensuring someone knows your whereabouts and expected return date. 
  • Check local regulations and abide by them, including any permit requirements. Upon arrival, choose a safe and level campsite that avoids low-lying areas that may flood and minimizes exposure to wildlife. 

  • Keep a watchful eye on weather conditions, as nature's whims can affect your safety; be prepared for sudden weather changes, carry appropriate clothing and gear, and seek shelter during storms.

  • Stay vigilant, securing your food and trash to avoid attracting unwanted animal visitors. 

  • Ensure your vehicle or camper is in good working order, with well-maintained water, propane, and electricity systems. 
  • Carry essential safety gear, including first aid kits, tools, a fire extinguisher, and communication devices, like a cell phone or two-way radio. 

  • Be cautious with fire, using established fire rings or stoves and extinguishing flames completely. 

  • Embrace Leave No Trace principles to preserve the environment and ensure future generations can enjoy the same natural beauty. 

  • By prioritizing safety through preparedness, knowledge, and respect for the wild, you can confidently embark on your boondocking adventures, creating memorable experiences in the heart of nature while minimizing risks.

Boondocking Recipes

My favorite part. Food cooked on a fire is my favorite. Cooking with limited resources and space can be tricky. You will need simple and delicious recipes that can be prepared in your RV or while camping off the grid. Here are some boondocking recipes that are easy to make and require minimal equipment:

1. Campfire Quesadillas:

   - Ingredients: Flour tortillas, shredded cheese, cooked chicken or canned beans, salsa.

   - Directions: Place tortilla on a hot skillet or griddle, add cheese and your choice of protein, then top with another tortilla. Cook until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden brown. Serve with salsa.

2. One-Pot Pasta:

   - Ingredients: Pasta, canned diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, and water.

   - Directions: In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

3. Foil Packet Meals: (personal fave)

   - Ingredients: Protein (e.g., chicken, fish, sausage), vegetables, seasonings, and a drizzle of olive oil.

   - Directions: Place your protein and vegetables on aluminum foil, season, and fold them into a packet. Cook the packet over a campfire or on a grill until the contents are cooked through.

4. Campfire Chili:

   - Ingredients: Ground beef or turkey, canned beans, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, onions, and bell peppers.

   - Directions: Brown the meat in a pot, then add the vegetables, beans, and seasoning. Simmer until all ingredients are cooked and flavors meld.

5. Camping Skewers:

   - Ingredients: Cubed meat (e.g., chicken, beef, or shrimp), bell peppers, onions, and your choice of marinade.

   - Directions: Marinate the meat and vegetables, then thread them onto skewers. Grill or cook over a campfire until the meat is cooked through.

6. Campfire Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: (kid favorite)

   - Ingredients: Bread, butter, sliced cheese.

   - Directions: Butter one side of each slice of bread, place cheese between slices, and cook in a skillet or over a campfire using a grill grate or grill basket until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

7. Easy Breakfast Burritos:

   - Ingredients: Scrambled eggs, cooked bacon or sausage, shredded cheese, and salsa, all wrapped in a tortilla.

   - Directions: Mix the ingredients, fill a tortilla, and wrap it up. Heat it on a skillet or over a campfire for a warm breakfast.

8. Canned Soup and Stew:

   - Ingredients: Canned soups, stews, or chilis, which can be easily heated on a camp stove.

9. Campfire Popcorn: ( takes a bit of skill)

   - Ingredients: Popcorn kernels, vegetable oil, and salt.

   - Directions: Place popcorn kernels and oil in a heavy-duty aluminum foil packet. Seal it tightly and place it on a campfire grate or grill until the popping stops. Season with salt.

10. Canned Tuna Salad:

    - Ingredients: Canned tuna, mayo, diced celery, and seasonings. Serve on crackers or bread.

These recipes are designed to be simple, requiring minimal ingredients and equipment. Be sure to practice safe food handling and cooking techniques while boondocking, and always follow Leave No Trace principles when disposing of waste.

Bare Necessities

When boondocking or dry camping, it's crucial to be self-sufficient and well-prepared, as you won't have access to amenities typically available in established campgrounds. Here are the bare necessities for boondocking:

1. Water: Access to a clean water source is essential for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Carry a sufficient supply of fresh water in your RV's tank or in separate containers.

2. Waste Management: You need a way to manage waste, including a portable toilet for human waste and appropriate containers for graywater. Be prepared to dispose of waste at designated locations.

3. Energy: Boondocking often means limited or no access to electrical hookups. Ensure your RV or camper has an adequate power source, such as batteries, solar panels, or a generator. Manage your energy consumption wisely.

4. Propane: Propane is used for cooking, heating, and sometimes for powering refrigerators and water heaters. Carry enough propane to meet your needs, and consider having a backup tank.

5. Food and Cooking Supplies: Stock up on non-perishable foods, canned goods, and snacks. Don't forget cooking utensils, a camp stove or grill, and a way to light it (e.g., matches or a portable lighter).

6. Basic Tools and Repair Kit: Have a toolkit with essential tools and equipment for basic repairs or maintenance. This can include screwdrivers, pliers, duct tape, and spare fuses.

7. First Aid Kit: Be prepared for minor injuries or medical emergencies with a well-equipped first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.

8. Navigation Tools: Ensure you have reliable maps, a GPS device, and a compass to help you find your way and stay on course.

9. Communication: Carry a cell phone with good reception, a two-way radio, or a satellite phone for emergency communication. Tell someone where you will be and specifics about your destination and return.

10. Emergency Supplies: Be ready for unexpected situations with emergency supplies like a flashlight, extra batteries, a multi-tool, a whistle, and a fire extinguisher.

11. Camping Gear: Camping essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and a portable water filter can be handy if you need to set up a temporary camp away from your RV.

12. Clothing: Pack clothing suitable for various weather conditions and layering. Don't forget rain gear, warm clothing for cold nights, and light clothing for hot days.

13. Personal Hygiene Items: Bring toiletries, soap, a portable shower, and toilet paper. Many boondocking locations won't have restroom facilities.

14. Entertainment and Recreation: Include items like books, board games, hiking gear, or other forms of entertainment to pass the time when you're not exploring the outdoors.

15. Safety and Security Measures: Secure your RV with locks, and consider personal safety items like a whistle or personal alarm.

16. Leave No Trace Knowledge: Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment and maintain the natural beauty of your surroundings.

17. Documentation: Carry your RV's registration and insurance, as well as identification and any necessary permits for your chosen boondocking location.

Remember that the specific items you need may vary depending on the location, season, and the length of your boondocking trip. Plan ahead and make a checklist to ensure you have all the necessities for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Stay Healthy

Remember that maintaining a healthy mental state is an ongoing process. What works for one person may not work for another, so it's important to find strategies and routines that suit your needs. Don't hesitate to seek professional help if you find it challenging to manage your mental health independently. Prioritizing your well-being is crucial in navigating the chaos of the modern world. We must make self-care a daily habit. This can include activities like exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or spending time on hobbies that bring you joy. While staying informed is important, excessive exposure to negative news can increase stress and anxiety. Set boundaries on your news consumption and choose reliable sources.

The Bible is a Trustworthy Source

In the Bible, there are several stories of individuals who went on journeys or spent time alone in the wilderness to draw closer to God. These journeys were often characterized by moments of solitude, reflection, and spiritual growth. 

Moses spent years in the wilderness of Midian after fleeing Egypt. During this time, he encountered God in the form of a burning bush. That is a little scary, but it set him on a path to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. His time with God in the wilderness was a pivotal moment in his life (Exodus 3:1-10).

After confronting the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah fled to Mount Horeb. There, he experienced a powerful meeting with God through a gentle whisper, renewing his faith and purpose (1 Kings 19:1-18).

John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and led a hermit lifestyle. Some days, that looks really good. He preached repentance and baptized people, preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 3:1-12).

Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus spent 40 days and nights alone in the wilderness, fasting and being tempted by the devil. This period of solitude and testing prepared him for his earthly ministry (Matthew 4:1-11).

While not a voluntary journey into the wilderness, the Apostle Paul had a transformative encounter with God on the road to Damascus. Struck by a blinding light, he spent three days in blindness and prayer, after which he became a devoted follower of Jesus (Acts 9:1-19).

These stories reveal solitude and wilderness experiences as moments of spiritual growth, revelation, and a deeper connection with God. They are seen as times of self-discovery and divine encounter, leading to a stronger faith and a sense of purpose in the lives of these biblical figures.

In times of helplessness and uncertainty, when the world seems overwhelming, and direction is elusive, many find solace in seeking God's purpose and divine guidance. It's in these moments of vulnerability that our hope is rooted in faith. We turn to our faith as a beacon of light, trusting that God has a purpose for our lives and a plan that extends beyond our comprehension. We must seek to align our actions with God's will through prayer, meditation, and reflection, even when we cannot see the bigger picture. Our hope lies in the belief that, despite the chaos and challenges that surround us, there is a greater purpose at play, and God's guiding hand will lead us to a place of peace, understanding, and fulfillment. In our helplessness, we find strength and hope in the certainty that our faith can guide us through the darkest of times, helping us to navigate life's complexities and discover the profound purpose that God has set before us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

In this time of uncertainty and chaos that engulfs our world, we humbly come before you, seeking solace and guidance. We lift our hearts in prayer for all those affected by the turmoil, conflict, and suffering of our global community.

Lord, grant us the strength to find hope in the midst of despair and the courage to stand for peace in the face of discord. May your divine wisdom shine a light upon the leaders of nations, guiding them to seek understanding, cooperation, and compassion over division.

We pray for those who are displaced, hungry, or living in fear. May they find protection and refuge, and may the world extend a helping hand to those in need. We ask for healing and comfort for the sick and afflicted, for strength for the caregivers, and for resilience for the brokenhearted.

Lord, we seek your divine intervention to calm the storms of hatred and intolerance. Teach us to love our neighbors, no matter how different they may be, and to find common ground amidst our differences.

May your peace, which transcends all understanding, settle within our hearts and ripple throughout the world, soothing the chaos and turmoil. In the name of your boundless love, we pray for unity, empathy, and healing.


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