This is what most think when you say Boondocking. Some people say what??? Haha!
Boondocking: Those people who are staying overnight in parking lots for free are boondocking. You can also boondock by lakes and anywhere that you can park overnight.
I am one of those people! Hahaha! Woohoo! I boondock mos of the time. There is the odd weekend I will go to a campground but most of the time I boondock somewhere.
First rule of Boondocking is Leave no trace! If you are staying on public land… lake sides, picnic areas, in the winter time some conservation area parking lots, crown land or BLM land they call it in the US, or private property such as Walmarts or Camping Worlds Leave no trace! There is nothing that bothers me more than to find a beautiful spot and its littered with garbage. I have to get my gloves out and clean it up! People are slobs! One great way to get a no overnight parking sign put up is by leaving your trash behind! Take it with you. I will put garbage in my basement (the storage on the outside flares) and drop at the next garbage can I see! It’s just that easy!
I will be into my 4th year of living this marvelous lifestyle in February! I work full time but work in different cities for the most part. Even if I am working in the same city I do not spend too many nights in the same place. I usually do not arrive if it is a public place or a private property until after dark I am gone for early for work.
Where do I stay? There are lots of places. Walmart is one of my favorites! It has the stuff I need close by and for the most part is a safe place to stay. Some are putting up no overnight parking signs. And some I can not blame. I can not believe what I see out there. This is private land and they have been gracious enough to allow us to stay overnight. Not moving in! Not getting lawn chairs out and setting up a barbecue. It’s a Parking Lot! Oh my stars. You want to bbq go to a park! You are on 4 wheels. Do not abuse the privilege and we all have a safe place to stay!
I also like carpool parking lots. They are well lit and handy on and off the highways. I will also stay at parks and picnic areas off the subsidiary highways. Truck stops and rest stops are also a good place to park. I my Roadtrek because it really does fit anywhere. I just pull into a spot and park it. When I have my curtains closed you can not really tell if someone is in here. Some urban vandwellers will park on sides streets and industrial areas. I have never been comfortable with doing that. Although John and I moved around the common when we went to Salem. That was awesome. We opened the doors to a park every morning and just moved on each side every night! Hahaha! Different view every morning! Salem is an awesome town. Can not wait to go back!
When I am at my home office I do have the options of staying in friends and families driveways. Let me tell ya I am not real comfortable with that. Unless I am drinking or they block me in so I can not leave, hahaha, Yup my friends are like that, I will usually sleep somewhere else.
Deciding where to park in the different seasons is also a challenge sometimes.
Summer is easier in some ways. Parking on pavement is something I try to avoid in the summer months. Heat radiates. No air if I am not plugged in. I am a hot woman to begin with. I will look for grass or gravel areas to park. Position is not really an issue in the summer. In the winter and colder months it’s good to find a place to block the wind. Whether in a parkette surrounded by trees or a parking lot you can park beside a cart shelter or a wall it all helps to keep the van and me warm. Fall and Spring its watch for mud. She is a heavy beast and will sink! Hahaha! So when looking for places to park, down backroads, riverbanks, lake shores you need to be wary of the softness of the ground. My rule is if in doubt get out and walk it. If it’s a maybe make it a no! Lol! Winter is a challenge not only because if those cold north winds but also snow. I have been snowed in a couple of times. I carry a shovel for just those moments! Haha!
Just a note a little off topic but a winter hint. The first year I spent vandwelling in the winter I went to open my drivers door and there was a large chunk of ice build up. I could not open the door! Passenger or drivers. I mostly use the side door. It was the result of the cab being warm and melting the ice and snow off the roof and dripping in the cracks in the door. Or a warm (less cold, there are no warm winter days Lol!) winter day and the roof gets warm. Now I keep a watch for that. I had to go plug in and use a hair dryer to get the ice out.
Boondocking is a great way stay for free while your travelling or making it your way of life. Please be respectful of the property your on and keep it available for the next of us who come along!
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See you next time!