Sunday, October 28, 2012

Is it boon docking or dry camping?

note the hiker in the red shirt for a scale perspective
I’ve always been confused over the terms boon docking and dry camping.  So, here’s my definition…which may vary from yours.

Boon docking is parking somewhere remote, generally for free, with no sort of hookups.  And I don’t mean the kind of “hook ups” that the younger generation might be thinking…I’m referring to living without water, electric or sewer hookups.

Dry camping is when you also don’t have these facilities, but are only doing it as a last resort to stop for the night…such as at a Wal-Mart.  You generally don’t put out the slides, crank out the awning, drop the jacks…you’re just parked someplace safe for the night.  Although I’ve heard horror stories of RV’ers setting up camp at Wal-Marts with grills going and music blaring and settling in.  I fear that this small group of bad apples will ruin it for those who are respectful.

While at Big Bend National Park I considered us to be a hybrid version of the two.  We have no facilities but still pay $7 a night (it would be $14 without our Senior Pass). But is a picturesque area to be in and we enjoyed it there a lot.  So is it boon docking or dry camping?

Curious campers want to know.

Long Live the Queen of the Dry-Dock-Boon-Camping


  1. Here are my definitions (after 15 yrs of full timing):

    Boondocking is when you are not in a campground of any sort. You are "out in the boonies," and it is always free! This may include what is called Dispersed Camping by the Forest Service or may be on BLM land. You also may do this in places like sno-parks (winter recreation pkg areas that are not used much during the warm seasons). There is no access to water, toilets, garbage cans, dump stations, etc. You can do this for 14 days on Forest Service or BLM land in general. We boondock for most of the winter in various places in AZ and may not be in a campground of any type for 2 months at a time. (So it's more than just WalMart overnights.)

    Dry camping means being in a campground or organized camping area of some sort with no hookups of any kind at your site. Many state parks and natl forest campgrounds are like this. (Dry means without hook-ups). There is usually some sort of fee associated with these areas. There may or may not be a toilet or water spigot available somewhere in the campground vicinity. There may or may not be a dump station available.

    What you've been doing in Big Bend is dry camping.

    I hope this helps clear it up for you!

  2. The Google dictionary calls "boonies" -- out in the middle of nowhere, not near civilization, usually out in the country. I am tempted to say that there are many "dry camping" areas set up throughout the "boonies". Have I confused you? lol. You have a wonderful night. Hugs, Edna B.