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Traditional Camping vs Boondocking – Which is Right for You?

So you’ve decided that this is going to be the year you head out and explore some of the great landscapes that our country has to offer.  You’re looking for freedom and the taste of a more adventurous lifestyle.  Should you go for traditional family camping, or opt for an RV which will enable you to go boondocking (also known as free camping or wild camping)? Here you have it, Traditional Camping vs Boondocking

With traditional camping, you’ll reach your campsite, which will either be developed with plenty of amenities available or undeveloped (typically, with none).  You’ll live outdoors, under canvas.

With boondocking, your RV may be large enough for the whole family to sleep and live inside. Whatever is the case, you should have a camping checklist of the things you will be taking with you!

Which choice will be right for you? Let’s look at some key factors to consider.

Traditional Camping vs Boondocking - Which is Right for You?

Camping vs Boondocking?

Initial investment

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to have a great break from everyday modern living, it’s hard to beat traditional camping. Minimum investment in some good quality equipment will last you for years. If you have an SUV, off-road camping is accessible, if you don’t – there are plenty of developed campsites accessible by road.

An RV is going to require more investment. Consider the cost of taking a family of 4 on long-haul flights for a resort vacation, over 5 years. Boondocking can actually work out cheaper.

Length of your trips

Traditional camping is a perfect, low-cost choice for shorter trips.  However, living under canvas for extended periods can become wearing. To deal with the practicalities, such as washing clothes and showering, it’s more convenient to stay at a developed campsite – which may defeat your aim of getting back to the wilderness.

With boondocking, you have a well-equipped mobile home. Providing you connect to utilities occasionally, you can live in it indefinitely. Check out sites such as for more details.

Level of comfort

Although sleeping in a tent can be comfortable, after a while, people start to yearn for the comfort of their own bed. Traditional camping furniture such as chairs are serviceable, but not in the same way as your living room sofa.

In a fully equipped RV, beds, furnishings, and accessories will resemble those found in a typical home more closely – creating a home from home.

Freedom to explore

If you’re using an SUV for your traditional camping trip, perhaps there’s not much difference – there’s the freedom to explore and plan the adventures you’re looking for.

One advantage of an RV is that you can boondock in urban areas, so they offer a low-cost way to explore a city. There’s even something known as ‘Wallydocking’ in which RVs camp overnight in various Walmart car parks along their route!

Weather protection

The best-planned camping trips can fall foul of the weather. Few of us enjoy being under canvas in heavy rain, snow, or howling gales.  An RV provides far more protection from the elements, so can be used in any climatic conditions.

To summarize, whether you go for a traditional camping or boondocking experience, you’ll enjoy the same fantastic sense of freedom and adventure.  Why not try out both before choosing!

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