Boondocking tips off the grid

I have found travelling to see new interesting places in a camper to be very inspiring. Because of the current pandemic, travelling has been virtually impossible but now that vaccinations are available restrictions are being lifted. I am ready to go out there again. Our trip West is upcoming. Many challenges are awaiting us as the trend to go camping has really exploded and the campsites are getting more crowded. We usually stay in State or National parks anyway but even some of those places are filling. Lately, we have enjoyed “boondocking” it is a term that refers to staying free somewhere. Also called dispersed camping on public land. The National Forest Service, Bureau of Land management (BLM) and Department of Fish and Wildlife are examples of allow dispersed camping . The time frame is usally limited to 14 days.

The site is a great resource for places to stay. Also the site Campendium Drivin’ & Vibin’ is also a great resource Drivin’ & Vibin’

It also means no connections to water, electric and sewer. No bathrooms, showers or picnic tables. It is easier to find boondocking places out West rather than on the East Coast. So there is definitely a tradeoff for conveniences but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. I mainly love this type of camping because of the open sense of beauty. You are not in a designated spot just a few feet from another camper and the landscapes are gorgeous.

At any rate, I wanted to tackle the subject of electricity while boondocking. What do you do besides using a generator which definitely puts a damper on the peace and solitude of a place. Solar energy is the way to go and it is very easy. We purchased a set of four inexpensive solar panels from Harbor Freight for around $150. They work just fine but are a tad cumbersome so if you don’t have the space it is advisable to get a smaller unit. There are many to choose from now.

You also need a portable solar generator which is really a high capacity battery usually lithium. They generate electricity from the sun using the solar panels and store in the battery until needed. Great huh? We have a Jastek 300W Solar Generator. You can charge directly from the solar panels that plug into them or charge from the car when driving or from a regular power outlet. I use this little device to power up a tv, lamp, small fan or charge your phone. It’s really great. You can buy it for around $200ish. We usually charge up the “jazzy” before ever leaving for a trip so that we are ready. It is small and very easy to use. Even I can set it up and manage it very easily and my tech skills are very limited.

One other little device that is a no brainer is the Luci light, a solar inflatable light. Ours only cost $14.99 I just hang it from my window during the day to get charged and at night it is a great source of light. No electricity, no batteries needed.

“The Jazzy” Jastek 300W Solar Generator.
“The Luci Light” Solar Inflatable Light

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