Boondocking Vs. Dispersed Tenting Vs. Dry Tenting

Generally these phrases are used interchangeably. Nevertheless, there’s a distinction between boondocking vs. dispersed tenting vs. dry tenting. Learn on to be taught extra…

Do you dream of discovering the right campsite away from all different civilizations? A spot the place you may take pleasure in nature and wild animals and really be alone within the quiet wilderness?

In that case, you aren’t alone. Jennifer and I like to go “off the grid” to recharge each time we will.

In case you are comparatively new to one of these tenting, you’ll have heard of boondocking, dispersed tenting, and dry tenting. However are you aware what all of them imply?

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Boondocking vs. Dispersed Tenting vs. Dry Tenting: What’s the Distinction?

Let’s put first issues first. Boondocking, dispersed tenting, and dry tenting are very related phrases. They’re typically used interchangeably however not all the time accurately.

To grasp the variations between boondocking vs. dispersed tenting vs. dry tenting, we have to outline every kind.

photo of a dispersed camping boondocking and rv dry camping spot
Our boondocking spot within the Pigeon River Nation State Forest in northern Michigan


The time period boondocking means tenting in a distant location with out utilizing utilities or different hookups. Boondocking will be carried out in many various areas, like public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Administration (BLM). Along with BLM land, you’ll find some boondocking spots in nationwide and state parks and different wilderness areas.

The attraction of tenting in distant locations is to flee the hustle and bustle of crowded metropolis life really. You will be alone within the quiet, pure world and keep away from dangerous tenting neighbors. Nevertheless, you’ll not obtain the advantages of a developed campground.

When boondocking, you’ll not have entry to a dump station, trash amenities, conventional fireplace pits, picnic areas, or utilities. You’ll have to deliver your individual water as there is no such thing as a entry to potable water.

In the event you’re concerned with boondocking, I extremely suggest studying The Newbie’s Information to Boondocking.

Boondocking vs. Dispersed Tenting

Dispersed tenting, which I element within the subsequent part, happens in nationwide forests. If you end up doing dispersed tenting, you might be boondocking. Nevertheless, you aren’t all the time collaborating in dispersed tenting when boondocking.

Boondocking vs. Dispersed Camping vs. Dry Camping 1
Mike’s favourite hoodie and beanie in navy – excellent for these crisp RV Life-style days!

Dispersed Tenting

Dispersed tenting happens within the nationwide forests, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, outdoors the U.S. Forest Service, outdoors of a chosen campground or leisure space. Whilst you can’t merely pull up and park wherever you’d like, there are areas the place you may keep that aren’t in a chosen spot. These areas are sometimes marked with some fireplace ring or worn land that has a historical past of being parked on.

Dispersed tenting won’t have campsites with electrical hookups, potable water, picnic tables, or trash bins. It might have a fireplace ring positioned by the nationwide park or created from a easy circle of rocks. You’ll have to pack in and pack out every thing it’s essential camp. As well as, these areas are often so distant that you’re genuinely “off the grid” with none cell service.

Whereas dispersed tenting is often free tenting, there are nonetheless laws you will need to observe. It’s important to observe the nationwide park’s guidelines, like not disturbing wildlife. It’s greatest to remain on trails and couldn’t take away crops or different pure components. You’ll want to take out all trash and every other objects you deliver.

The great thing about tenting off the grid is you can take away your self from day by day life’s stress and stress. One draw back, nonetheless, is that you just put your self in a susceptible place since you may not have entry to emergency providers or data. In the event you should not have cellular phone service, you additionally lose your skill to name for assist.

Boondocking Sites Outside Yellowstone

These causes are why it’s a good suggestion to make use of an intensive RV security guidelines to make sure that you’re leaving in a automobile that’s secure as potential. It’s additionally a good suggestion to take an emergency radio since it’s one of the best ways to supply you a lifeline to climate and different occurrences occurring round you.

Many different nice survival devices may help save your life in an emergency, particularly when doing dispersed tenting.

Lastly, one other good concept is to deliver photo voltaic panels to supply your vitality. That method, you’ll not drain your batteries.

Dry Tenting

Dry tenting is a time period that refers to tenting with none hookups. Which means you don’t use electrical energy or water sources. Boondocking and dispersed tenting are distant types of dry tenting.

You possibly can go dry tenting in a longtime campground or a primitive tenting website. Some established campgrounds should not have hookups and solely supply dry tenting.

moochdocking with family

What About Moochdocking?

Moochdocking is typically additionally known as driveway tenting. Usually, moochdocking is staying within the driveway or the property of a good friend or relative. It will get its identify from the time period “mooch,” or getting one thing with out paying for it, and “docking.” the second half of the now acquainted time period boondocking.

Boondocking means tenting within the “boondocks,” a slang time period which the dictionary defines as “tough, distant, or remoted nation.”

Moochdocking, may loosely be construed as RV dry tenting (if there are not any hookups),  but it surely positively is NOT boondocking.

How Do I Discover Dispersed Tenting Spots?

It might really feel overwhelming to seek out dispersed or different distant tenting spots. However there are completely different sources you should utilize! The next are methods to seek out distant tenting spots.

1. Campendium

Campendium is a well-liked web site that may allow you to find distant tenting spots. You should utilize this web site to seek out common campgrounds, BLM campgrounds, in addition to state forests or nationwide forest land areas that you should utilize.

One other web site that has dispersed tenting spots is, though it’s not as “good” as Campendium, for my part.

2. Google Maps

Google maps is an effective way to seek out free dispersed camp spots.

First, discover the nationwide forest or one other particular space you need to go to. Then zoom in as shut as you may utilizing the satellite tv for pc view. Search for promising United States Forest Service roads with pullouts sufficiently big for a campsite.

One good start line is to find a developed campground or trailhead, then search for roads which may work nicely for you.

3. Ranger Station

One other good option to discover distant campsites is to go to a ranger station.

Many rural tenting areas are positioned down secluded grime roads. Whereas this anonymity is interesting in some ways, it will also be difficult to find. One of the best ways to entry a few of these areas is to cease and test in on the ranger station.

The rangers have a wealth of knowledge as a result of they work and keep in these areas day by day. Additionally it is not a foul concept for a ranger to know that you’re on the market in case of an emergency.

Rangers may also assist direct you to remain off non-public land that will border these wild tenting spots.

You may also need to pop right into a customer middle in case you are close to one. The employees there could know of some nice, free campsites.

Boondocking & Dry Tenting Suggestions

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Come on together with us as we go boondocking within the 100,000-acre Pigeon River State Forest in Northern Michigan, a gorgeous wilderness space dubbed “The Huge Wild.” We hike, view the elk that make this space residence, and supply up a number of dry tenting and boondocking suggestions. I’ve written a companion article with hyperlinks to the varied sources we discuss within the video.

I hope the above data serves as rationalization of the variations between boondocking vs. dispersed tenting vs. dry tenting. In the event you’d prefer to be taught extra, I extremely suggest the next…

Boondocking vs. Dispersed Camping vs. Dry Camping 2

Newcomers Information to Boondocking (one among our hottest ebooks) and one among our latest ebooks, The Final Information to Free and Low cost RV Tenting!

e-book #1: Newcomers Information to Boondocking

We created a 65+-page downloadable digital information that can assist you perceive the nuances that include boondocking, the commonest boondocking issues, and what it’s essential do to get your rig “boondocking-ready.”

e-book #2: The Final Information to Free and Low cost RV Tenting

Buckle up as a result of right here is every thing it’s essential know on the best way to discover low cost or free RV tenting websites within the 33-page EBOOK.


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