If you’re new to dry camping, the thought of packing all the necessary gear can be a little overwhelming. But don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of boondocking essentials that will make your trip a breeze! This list has everything you need to hit the open road from camping basics to must-have electronics. So read on and start packing!
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Don’t Leave Home Without These Boondocking Essentials
Planning a trip where you will stay in national forests, public lands, or even private land in remote areas?
Maybe you’re going on a long trip and need to stay in a Walmart parking lot a time or two on your trip.
No matter how you plan on free camping, staying in wide-open spaces can be an amazing camping experience, but if this is your first time (or if it’s been a while since you’ve enjoyed RV boondocking and you are looking for a quick list so you don’t forget an important item), then check out this list of best boondocking gear and essentials!
Extra Water Storage
When boondocking, having clean water is essential!
Free campsites may not have water hookups at your site. In fact, there may be no water supply available at all so it’s important to have extra water jugs in addition to your RV’s fresh water tank, especially if you plan to stay out for longer periods of time.
Make your boondocking experience easier and ensure that you have a water source for your entire camping trip, including emergency situations by bringing extra storage (along with a water filter and a water pump, if needed) before you hit the open road so that you won’t be caught off guard.
And don’t forget to practice water conservation techniques- using those tips really is one of the best ways to make your water supply go even further!
Eco Friendly (Biodegradable) Toiletries
When camping off-grid, it’s important to be mindful of your environmental impact.
That’s why it’s a good idea to pack eco-friendly (biodegradable) toiletries such as dry soap, shampoo, and wet wipes.
This way, you can reduce your environmental footprint while staying fresh and smelling nice.
A composting toilet is an eco-friendly way to get rid of human waste and is essential when boondocking since emptying your black tank at dump stations may not be an available option.
The important thing is to choose the model that is right for your RV or travel trailer and fits your budget.
By using a composting toilet, you can reduce your environmental impact while boondocking and keep your campsite clean and fresh.
Don’t forget the toilet paper!
Berkey Water Filter
If you’re looking for an RV water filter that can handle anything, the Berkey water filter is one of the best options.
It’s great for filtering water from natural sources, making sure your water is fit for human consumption.
With its high-quality Filtration system and durable design, the Berkey can handle high levels of filtration right down to bacteria and viral particles. And the good news- these water filters require no electricity!
So if you’re heading out to the wilderness and boondocking in some remote location, be sure to pack a Berkey water filter!
Leveling Blocks And Jacks
Another important thing to consider adding to your list for boondocking is
When boondocking, it’s important to have a reliable and quiet generator.
This is because you may not always have access to a power source, or there may be rules about the amount of noise you can make.
That’s why it’s important to invest in a quality generator, by doing so, you’ll ensure that you have as much power as you need while boondocking without disturbing your surroundings.
A lot of people think boondocking is a great way to spend time outdoors, and it certainly is.
But what they may not realize is that the sun can be brutal on your skin if you’re not careful!
That’s why it’s essential to bring a good, natural sunscreen to protect your skin on those hot summer days when you’re boondocking and enjoying the great outdoors.
Insect repellent is a must-have while boondocking.
You’ll be surrounded by nature which inevitably means there will be tons of bugs and mosquitos.
So, the best thing to do is be prepared and bring good quality, nontoxic bug spray to keep the bugs away and your sanity intact.
Strong RV Battery
When boondocking, having the best RV battery is important so that you can have a reliable light source and power necessary appliances.
A weak battery won’t provide as much energy, have a shorter battery life, and eventually die, leaving you without power in the middle of nowhere.
That’s why it’s important to invest in a good quality RV battery for boondocking that will give you plenty of power for extended stays away from civilization.
If you want to boondock or camp without hookups, you’ll need a power inverter to convert the 12-volt DC power from your batteries into 120-volt AC household power.
An inverter is a must-have piece of boondocking gear for anyone who wants to be able to run appliances and electronics while camping off the grid.
Battery Jump Starter
It’s essential to have a battery jump starter that can also charge a phone.
This is because you never know when you might need to jump-start your car or phone, and it’s always helpful to have one device that can do both
It could be pretty dangerous if you’re out in the sticks without the ability to get your car or phone going to get to safety or call someone.
Solar panels and a good solar setup can be an important part of the boondocking gear.
They allow you to live in off-grid camping areas and are a great way to provide extra power.
Solar panel systems come in different sizes, outputs and you can choose from roof-mounted and portable panels.
If you are not interested in a small roof-mounted setup, you can always opt for a solar power setup that portable solar panels, but whichever system you choose, make sure to do your research before investing.
While this isn’t an absolute necessity, having 12v appliances can be quite helpful if you plan to dry camp often.
These appliances will use less power than their 120 v counterparts and will help you conserve energy while RV boondocking.
Your regular appliances will also not work when run off your 12 v charger. So consider replacing available appliances if you plan to stay off-grid a lot.
Outdoor Solar Lights
When you’re boondocking, it’s important to have some form of light.
You don’t want to be stuck in the dark, especially if you’re in a remote area. While there are many options for lighting, outdoor solar lights and lanterns are a great choice because they are easy to use and affordable.
They also don’t require any batteries or electricity, so they are perfect for boondocking.
Propane Space Heater
When boondocking, you need to take into account the colder temperatures at night and decide if a propane space heater is something you might add to your list of camping gear.
A propane heater for your RV could help keep you warm and comfortable on chilly nights when you’re dry camping.
Be cautious when shopping for a portable heater though, propane can be dangerous if used incorrectly indoors and some models and brands are safer than others.
On a boondocking trip, you need to conserve as much water as possible.
One way to do this is by using a water-saving shower head.
This will help you save water while still being able to stay clean and enjoy a hot shower.
Internet/Cell Signal Booster
It’s always great to get away, but if you work remotely or need to be connected to the internet, having extended internet capability or an internet booster can help you stay connected if you need to be.
You can get devices with special internet capabilities that will pretty much always keep you connected even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
When boondocking, having delicious food is just as essential as water or communication (ok, maybe not quite as essential…).
But having the ability to cook food without using precious electricity is a must if you’re going to stay off the beaten path.
A good portable grill for your RV will allow you to cook food easily and efficiently so you can enjoy every meal!
Outdoor Kitchen Set Up
Being in the middle of nowhere doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience.
You can make it relaxing and enjoyable with the right gear.
One thing that can make the boondocking experience 100 % more relaxing is an RV outdoor kitchen set up (a good camping cabinet is really helpful for extra kitchen or storage space too!).
Get the right kind that has everything you need, and create a great off-grid cooking experience.
While solar lights and lanterns are a great option for boondocking, they can’t always be relied on.
What happens if there’s a storm and the solar lights and lanterns stop working? You’ll be left in the dark.
This is why it’s important to have rechargeable flashlights as a backup plan. Flashlights are reliable and can provide light in times of need.
They’re also lightweight and portable, which means you can carry them with you if you choose to leave base camp to explore.
Outdoor Portable Solar Shower
An outdoor portable solar shower is a good piece of camping gear to have while boondocking.
This is because it allows you to take hot showers while using the natural energy source of the sun.
It’s a great way to conserve energy as it doesn’t use any electricity or gas.
All you need is the sun, and you’ll be able to enjoy a hot shower in no time.
One thing that really helps when boondocking is a 12v fan.
They can help make the hot days bearable and also reduce noise levels in your RV so you can sleep cool and comfy.
A Good Quality Cooler
One of the most important things to have is a good quality cooler that can keep food cold for days.
You’ll need a way to store food and a cooler that keeps cold for extended periods of time will help ensure that you always have access to edible food if you need more space than your refrigerator allows, need to conserve energy or have problems with your electrical systems.
An often overlooked necessity to have while boondocking is sun shades.
These keep your RV cooler on hot days and warmer on cold days. They also provide privacy when you’re in your RV.
Having sun shades is a must-have for any boondocker.
While boondocking, you’ll need both thin and thick camping blankets.
You can often be surprised by the weather, so it’s important to have a thick camping blanket to keep you warm on those cold nights (and they get very cold in some places!).
Thin camping blankets are also important for those hotter days and nights when you just need a light covering to stay comfortable.
Another important, yet often overlooked necessity of dry camping is a gas can.
Not all gas stations have cans for sale (we learned this lesson the hard way) and if you find that you need extra fuel for any reason, you will have to have an approved container to transport it in.
Even a small gas can would be helpful, so learn from our experience and be sure to put one on your list!
An anti-theft cable is a great way to protect your gear while boondocking.
It helps to secure and protect your expensive and important boondocking gear like generators, bikes, or anything else of value.
By having an anti-theft cable and implementing other important boondocking safety tips, you can rest easy, knowing that your gear is safe and secure while you’re away from camp.
Camp chairs are important while boondocking because they provide a comfortable place to sit and relax.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your RV and by having camp chairs, you’ll be able to relax in comfort and enjoy your time outdoors.
Games & Entertainment
Having games and entertainment is a good idea while boondocking because it helps pass the time.
You’ll possibly be spending a lot of time disconnected from the internet, work, and all of the things that normally keep you busy, so you’ll have to make your own fun.
One way to do that is by bringing along some fun and engaging camping games that are sure to add fun memories.
First Aid Kit
One of the most important things to have while boondocking is a first aid kit. Seriously, it’s so super important!
You never know what might happen while you’re out in the middle of nowhere, and by having a first aid kit, you’ll be prepared for any emergency that might occur.
You may also be a long way from a hospital and a good first aid kit (along with the knowledge of how to use it) can literally be a life-saver.
Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable Dinnerware
One of the best things about eco-friendly, biodegradable dinnerware is that it’s not harmful to the environment.
This is important while boondocking because you’ll be in a remote area with limited resources.
By using eco-friendly, biodegradable dinnerware, you can help reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste that you produce while making your life a bit easier – reducing water waste through washing dishes as well as wasted time.
Satellite Radio/Emergency Communication
Satellite radio/emergency communication is essential and important when dry camping.
It provides access to emergency services and gives you a way to communicate with the outside world in case of an emergency.
By having satellite radio/emergency communication, you’ll be able to stay safe and connected while boondocking, even if you lose cell phone connectivity.
Boondocking Essential Wrap-Up….
If you’re going boondocking and want to add comfort and a little peace of mind, make sure you have these essential items for your trip.
If you’re unsure about whether all these things are absolutely necessary for your next off-grid experience, consider where you will be staying and for how long since that will determine more specifically what you need. And keep in mind, that each trip could mean packing different necessities.
But… it’s better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it.
So we’ve come to the end of the list! From anti-theft cables to satellite radios and emergency communication, the things we’ve mentioned are sure to help you remain comfortable and stay safe while you enjoy time in nature and off the beaten path.
Good luck and happy camping!
Looking for more RV-related info? Check out the RV Basics page as well as the related articles below!