By Bob Difley
It takes a bit of extra time when in unfamiliar areas to find dispersed camping areas (boondocking) but worth it when you find a nice scenic location with no neighbors crammed up next to you and you have a few days free to enjoy it. Especially when you consider that for every night you spend boondocking you are saving $30 to $60 or more per night.
But when on the road, finding a boondocking campsite just for one night may not warrant the time to find it. However, there are plenty of locations in the forests and deserts where you can find boondocking campsites without long explorations. There are also many places to spend a night while in transit such as at Walmarts, truck stops, highway rest areas, Cabella’s, and others.
But for real boondocking campsites, where you might want to spend a little time rather than just sleep for the night before moving on, the best places to look is on public lands like National Forests and the Bureau of Land Management. While most of these public lands are in the West, there are still several national and state forests in the rest of the country. Forest Camping is a National Forest campground guide that lists all the FS campgrounds (most with no hookups but with access to drinking water) and is also a good clue to where you can find dispersed campsites as well since they are often in the same general area.
Tip: If you often travel the same routes, spend some time finding dispersed camping areas along the route and keep a record or use placemarks on Google Earth so you can find them easily the next time through.