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- Offgrid Boondocking
with the @Mali.Mish Family
Like many of us who love the outdoors, a fun weekend involves a beautiful place out in nature with your camper.
Some people like campgrounds with plenty of amenities, some prefer state or national parks with more options to be surrounded by nature, while many think it is best to be immersed as deeply in nature as possible by finding that perfect offgrid boondocking spot.
What is boondocking, you ask?
In the simplest term, it means you are camping somewhere in nature without any services. Most of the time these types of spots are free and are on plots of land dedicated to outdoor recreation. The abundance and access to these remote camping spots vary from country to country and even regionally within countries, depending on the terrain and amount of private or public land. In the United States, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are a couple of federal agencies that offer these types of dispersed camping options, and they are often more easily found in the Western states, but are in nearly every state in America (all but 10 states).
Dometic ambassadors, the Mali Mish family, are well-versed in the boondocking lifestyle. A family of five people and two cats who have been full-time exploring the world in a variety of campers over the last 14 years, they have driven their vehicle overland across 41 countries and four continents.
Having a plethora of Dometic products onboard has made the boondocking lifestyle much easier and sustainable throughout their journeys. Their idea of a perfect campsite is someplace wild, secluded and beautiful – which makes boondocking or wild camping ideally suited for them.
But how to boondock?
There are several differences in how you would prepare for a great weekend of boondocking compared to staying at a traditional campground. The most important of all is that you need to be self-contained in every possible way. That means supplying your own water and power as well as having the ability to haul liquid and solid wastes out with you so you can leave the spot better than you found it for others to enjoy. This is important because how we treat these special places will mean whether these lands stay open for generations of people to enjoy long after us.
Here are a few simple steps on how the Mali Mish family prepares for a fun and comfortable weekend out in the wild.
- First they fill up water containers and empty waste containers. They use a couple of the new Dometic Go Hydration Jugs to easily fill from any water source.
- They stock up on supplies like food, drinks, and camping gear before heading out to find that perfect spot. They use a Dometic CFX3 75DZ power cooler to keep their foods fresh. Having the ability to choose either side of the dual-zone to become a freezer means they can freeze some foods, like meat and veggies, and don't have to go without ice for drinks or delicious ice cream.
- Research the area where you will be visiting for appropriate boondocking sites. They use several mobile apps on their phones to research places and read reviews that others have left about them.
The Mali Mish family then heads out and makes sure to stay on marked trails on their way to their camping destination. When they arrive at camp, it is important that they follow boondocking etiquettes to not only make their stay comfortable but also make others in the area feel welcome.
Here are some of the steps to follow after finding that perfect spot.
- Find a level area to set up camp. Look around and clean up any debris that others may have left behind.
- Once a site has been located, note which direction the sun rises and sets so the vehicle can be positioned to receive the most solar output to keep batteries charged and enjoy the best view of the surrounding areas.
- Deploy the awning (Dometic Perfectwall) and set up ground coverings to minimize dust and debris from entering the camper when people go in and out.
- Mali Mish loves to cook outside so they usually set up an outdoor kitchen area using the Dometic Go Hydration Jug as a washing station for dishes and hands so everyone can stay clean and hydrated.
- Finally, they prepare the inside of their van. Cold drinks for the adults and hot chocolate with whipped cream for the kids cap off a perfect start to a great boondocking adventure.
With these great tips from the Mali Mish family, we hope you too are ready for your next journey on our beautiful public lands. Don't forget to tread lightly and pack everything out with you when you leave!