Do you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city? Imagine waking up to magnificent scenery with your loved ones, having a simple meal with a great view, or just savoring the scenic drive.
Camping allows us to explore and get in touch with the beauty of nature. It’s a great way to disconnect and unplug from your screens and enjoy the wondrous scent of the outdoors.
What is dry camping?
Dry camping, also called “boondocking” or “off-grid” camping, is camping remotely or outside traditional campgrounds. Dry camping is not for everyone, so best to start practicing on short trips. It might sound overwhelming and difficult at first, but with a few considerations, some planning, and experience, you might get the hang of it.
Where can you go dry camping?
Public places like national and state parks allow dry camping. Some private properties are an option if you have permission from whoever owns or manages it.
What are the things to bring when dry camping?
Pack light and bring just the necessary and comfortable clothes you might need. Consider the appropriate clothing as there might be changes in weather and temperature. Don’t forget rain gear and extra socks to keep you warm and cozy.
Food and water
Food needs to be light but hearty. Do some meal planning for the entire trip to prevent an empty belly or three straight meals having the same food.
Try to separate dry food from cold food. Bring a cooler to keep food cold—stock up on a few staple breakfast ingredients to keep you awake and focused for the trip.
You might want to consider having a set of essential camping cooking gear and some fire starters. Above all, don’t forget to bring water.
First aid kit and sanitation
Outdoor activities can lead to injuries, so pack a quality first aid kit with aspirin, bandages, and antibiotic ointment. For sanitary purposes, you might want to bring some wipes, basic travel toiletries, plastic bags, and garbage bags for proper waste disposal.
For communication and navigation, bring emergency radios. An old-fashioned compass or a printed map may come in handy as you might not want to depend entirely on smartphones. Some rope or cord can be of use in potential situations, too.
Dry camping may seem complicated, and there might be some challenges with your adventure. However, it is a gratifying experience.
What does dry camping mean?
It means camping in an RV but with no hookups (water or electricity).
Your vehicle is your transportation and shelter at the same time. This will be your temporary home, so make sure to pick the right size for you and your specific needs. In considering the type of RV, it is essential to do thorough research, planning, and preparation.
Take a practice drive and familiarize yourself with the interior by driving it around before going on a trip. Know the size of your rig and plan your fuel-ups wisely.
How long will a battery last while dry camping?
Power is the trickiest utility to manage during dry camping. Most RVs do not work unless they are plugged into a power source at campsites. When the RV is not plugged in, electricity comes from the batteries.
An average of 2 to 3 days under regular use in dry camping is how long the battery will last under normal use conditions based on a 12v standard RV battery. The life of the battery can be extended by conserving energy.
TIP: Never work around batteries with an open flame. You don’t want to put yourself and others at risk.
RV batteries can be charged through a variety of methods. Power sources for charging are generators or solar power. Most campgrounds provide you with an outlet where your RV cord can directly plug into.
Living without electricity can be uncomfortable at times. Let me give you some ideas to maximize how long will the battery last dry camping.
Maximize battery life
It’s great to know your RV voltage or take a voltmeter with you to check if you can plug into the campground outlets. Various appliances and electrical items use varying amounts of power. Research and a little math can give you an idea of how much power you will need while off-grid and learn how to maximize your RV battering while dry camping, especially during the cooler months.
- The life of your RV battery depends on what kind of battery you have, how well you maintain it, and how often you use it. Use the monitor panel to check the condition of your RV batteries. Never let your batteries discharge below 50% of the capacity to avoid the depletion of the overall lifespan.
- Always recharge your batteries promptly after using them. When the RV is off or in storage, it’s best to unplug and remove your batteries from the trailer and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Be selective with what you are using. Shut off lights when not in use. You might want to consider investing in a solar power kit or upgrading your RV battery if you plan to do lots of dry camping in the future.
- Be prepared for weather changes. Check road conditions, constructions, and closures. Be ready for vehicle breakdowns as they might happen. Essential roadside equipment such as a warning triangle, high-visibility vest, tire patch kit, and battery jump starters are essential, too. Remember to check your tire pressure periodically.
- Stay organized and don’t overload your RV as it can cause bent axles, permanent structural damage, or even tire blowouts.
- Be respectful of campground rules. Observe and always be aware of your surroundings. It is important to maintain your distance from wildlife. Do not leave garbage or dirty dishes unattended to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite.
- Look out for poisonous ivy or sumac and avoid touching unknown plants.
- Campfire is a staple of the camping experience. Who enjoys stargazing while having late-night smores over the campfire? However, campfires can be very dangerous. Practice campfire safety and always put out all embers when you are finished.
- Keep your doors locked and do not camp in sketchy areas. Do not leave your valuables unattended. It’s a good idea to sneak a spare key into a well-protected area where it can’t be easily found. It is not a good idea to leave the key in the ignition.
- Before heading out on your trip, the last thing you need to do is to inform someone where you are going and when you will return, especially if you are traveling to remote areas. You’ll never know what can happen, and cellular service may be unavailable, too.
- Be a responsible camper, make sure to follow the rules, and leave no trace when camping off the grid.
Camping is one of the best opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, bond with your loved ones, and meet new people. You will even get to reflect on life and get to know yourself on a different level. The memories you create will add richness to your experience.
So, are you already planning for your next camping trip?