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Post Info TOPIC: Boondocking in USA


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Boondocking in USA


Have always been interested in "boondocking" in Australia. This is the term used in US for dispersed camping in the back country.

This is quite popular in the western USA with many of the western states being up to 85% public lands (Texas is 98% private). If it is not illegal to camp, then one may. There are regulations which one must obey that are reasonable. The National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies also have excellent campgrounds that are inexpensive and which are half price for US citizens over 65 (white/bald nomads) with full price being $10 to $15/night. These usually have a water point and sometimes dump stations. The National Parks have camp grounds that are really crowded and some are booked months in advance. There is dispersed camping at Big Bend on the Mexican border but not at any other National Parks we have visited. We could not get into Glacier NP a month ago since it was crowded and we have a 34' (10.2 m) 5th wheel so we spent a week at a campground on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Had a Grizzly wander within 50 metres of our rig while we were talking to a guy known as the "unrivaled boondocker in the US). He had seen a post of ours and he was camped only about 5 km from us. He came over on his BMW bike.

Much of the west is Bureau of Land Management and ranchers have leases to raise cattle but they cannot keep folks from camping provided one maintains protocol: close cattle gates, don't park within 200 metres of water troughs, do not block roads, and maintain a clean campsite. We spent three weeks in western New Mexico with friends and saw two vehicles in that time frame; one of which was the rancher and he was glad to see us. We were about 5 km from the Gila River and saw a pack of 5 Coatamundis (raccoon relatives) and friends saw a pack of 30 two days before. First photo is at that site. There were excellent walks down deep ravines with wildlife and Indian ruins.

A year ago we were dispersed camping at Vedauwoo, Wyoming and were awakened to two Bull Moose fighting for 45 minutes with 25 metres of the rig. Well, I slept through most of it whilst wife, son, daughter-in-law and year old grandson were enthralled. Photo of Moose and campsite. Vedauwoo has several good dry camping Forest Service CGs as well. Vedauwoo is one of the primary rock climbing spots in the US with 100 to 150 metre tall rock formations found over a 10 km area. The rock formation in the background is about 120 m tall.

We are basically "Goldielockers", "Not to hot and not to cold, just right!" So we go north or up in elevation when it gets hot and reverse when it gets cold. Two years ago we were "mootchdocking" (camped in younger son's backyard) when it go to 103 F (40 C) so we moved up to  a place called Long Draw at 10400' (3240 metres) and it go down to 38 F at night (4 C). We had Moose within 100 m, Deer and Coyote wandering through campsite and Hummingbirds draining the feeders. Attached is photo of why we headed south last year.

There are a number of outfits that rent RV/caravans in mainland US, Alaska, and Canada. A guy I know from 173rd Airborne (he was with 1/RAR and made career with the Army and then Federal Police) has traveled about the US in this manner. There is an excellent book called "Free" which has thousands of "Free" and inexpensive government camp sites with description and GPS coordinates. If anyone has interest in US travel, will try to answer

Our favorite site to camp is Xpu-Ha, about 20 km north of Tulum in the Yucatan, Mexico (about 100 km south of Cancun). The second largest barrier reef in the world starts here (nothing compared to yours). The coral heads start 10 m off the shore and the snorkling is great - but not as good as you have down there.

Reed and Elaine Cundiff



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Guru

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I spent most of my time in the USofA Boondocking...

Was far cheaper than paying for any park's..

Juergen

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SnowT

The western US has spots everywhere to boondock.

The first photo is near Conchas Lake, New Mexico where we had the entire family down to the lake for a weekend (younger son and family down from Fort Collins, CO; older son and family down from Las Vegas, NM, and daughter with boyfriend from Las Cruces, NM)

The second photo is is the desert of SW New Mexico about 80 km north of Silver City, NM. This is about 7 km from the Gila Box (Gila River) most of which is Wilderness Area. We saw half a dozen Coatimundis (raccoon relatives) along the river and our friends saw 20 in a pack the day before (all female with babies - males are tossed out in adolescence). Saw two other vehicles in a week. One was the rancher who was quite friendly. The land is federal Bureau of Land Management and is considered multi-use. A rancher signs a lease for up to 10 years and he pays $1.50 US per cow/calf per month. You have every right to travel and camp tho'a lot of ranchers think it is theirs. One must close ranch gates and not camp within 200 meters of a water tank plus other sensible protocols

Reed and Elaine



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