If you are in love with traveling, you often come to find places to stay and that is where you meet dry camping. It is not easy to plan ahead with dry camping and involves several considerations from finding a suitable place, conserving water to every piece you should pack along with. However, you can be a pro in no time just with some considerations. Go ahead with a dry camping guide and mend your experience.
We here cover,
- What is dry camping?
- Why dry camp?
- Finding the best dry camping locations
- Dry camping essentials
- Best dry camping tips
We want you to have the best time when you are outdoors, and by writing a dry camping guide we want to make it to the best.
What is dry camping?
Traveling across the country in an RV or trailer is full of fun and visiting campgrounds that come with full hookups let you rest comfortably. But if you have no option for a campground you have to stay in places where no electricity, freshwater hookups, or sewer systems during the stay. And this is what we call “dry camping”. While some call it boondocking, some call it wild camping, and for many, it is dry camping.
The concept opens up chances for travelers to camp on public lands which is not only fun and safe but also saves some dollars. Dry camping is hit in the RV and campervan world and it will be a great experience only if you come carefully prepared.
Why dry camp?
Do you wonder why would anyone go dry camping when you can find camping near water and with amenities? Compared with regular camping, there are a few considerations on dry camping that going to benefit you in several ways.
Affordability: Choosing a dry campsite is more affordable and going save some dollars you are going to spend on campgrounds
Flexibility in campsite choice: If you decide to go dry camping, you are free to find a dry camping site near you without worrying about water nearby and hookups. So it takes you to desert-like campsites to adventure more
The solitude and better nature experience: Tent camping near a water source will bring ease at camping but camping off the path will be of more solitude and nature type
Easy access to the campsite: Camping in popular campsites like Death Valley National Park is kind of a hassle and definitely should have better luck. But if you are a type of a last-minute camp planner, choosing to dry camping will be so much of relief with hassle-free reservations
For the wellbeing of the wildlife: Local area managers and Leave No Trace Principles to camp at least 200 feet (60m) away from water as a way to protect wildlife. There, dry camping is better for wildlife where we do not camp near water sources
Finding the best dry camping locations
The best thing about dry camping is it is possible on any public land where you find campgrounds without water or where you are allowed dispersed camping. And those include national parks, state parks, national monuments, national forests, national wildlife shelters, BLM land, and more alike.
You definitely have to check with local area regulations before you decide on your campsite and remember that they are most concerned when people camping too closer to water than people on dry camping. But that does not say you can just pull over on roadside and dry camp where on earth you.
In fact, be sure that you are camping on public land that is no harm of dispersed camping distant from a campground and that comes with no restrictions. And if you are thinking about dry camping in a popular area like national parks, consider obtaining the right permit. There are some ideal dry camping locations in national parks like Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, etc.
In most of the national parks, you are allowed to stay at campgrounds with no water or can get permission to camp in the backcountry far from water sources. And as dry camping is not much popular in national parks, you can enjoy a great experience with high respect to the privacy you expect.
And when picking a dry camping site, consider,
- The probable comfort level
- Know from where you can get water
- Check on national forest service websites for further when choosing an established site
- BLM (Bureau of Land Management) for maps of public lands the USA
- You can use some alternative websites and camping apps to know available public lands to dry camping and look further on reviews, maps, etc.
Dry camping essentials
You should not mistake with dry camping essentials as that is all about how far you are prepared. So, what should you bring for dry camping?
When you are going dry camping, you should be prepared with all the gear and here we cover some essentials you should have in general.
Water bottles: Water is of utmost importance when dry camping and you should have a proper way to carry your water to the dry camping sites. For short camping trips, water bottles are considered a fine option to carry a sufficient amount of water properly. But for extended trips, think about adding storage containers like jerry cans
Camping coolers: Water is very much important when dry camping and you definitely should cut down on non-essential water consumption. There, a camping cooler is a smart way to store regular food that does not need a lot of water to prepare instead of dehydrated and freeze-dried food
Stove and cookware: You have no amenities when dry camping and you have to serve all essentials by yourself. A stove a key piece should include in dry camping essentials to prepare meals and as well as purify water. With the stove, pack all needed cookware too
Ice packs: With reusable ice packs you can keep your food fresh for longer. So bring some ice packs along with the cooler even to stay comfortably on extended camping trips
Together with these few dry camping essentials, pack all the gear that you feel necessary throughout the journey. Here are some.
- Solar panel
- Lanterns or outdoor lights
- Camping table
- Portable solar shower
- Flashlights/ headlamps
- First-aid kit
Best dry camping tips
Dry camping allows you to spend some quality time outdoors. But the difference comes when you are required of some more preplanning to make it great. Especially it is about having water to use every time when you need it. So here we bring some dry camping tips to help you out for better planning and practice.
- Bring more amount of water than your actual requirement
- Collect water from sources when you hike
- Be care enough when in extremely hot environments
- Consider packing some hydration supplements, like electrolyte tablets, etc.
- Invest in quality and durable water containers
- Use minimal water to shower and use camping body wipes to stay clean
With the limitations of power, conserving energy
- Turn off the appliances and lights that are not in use
- Switch regular bulbs to LED
- Only light up one at a time
- Bring a battery-operated book light when reading like small things
- Have solar power to increase electricity capacity
- Consider using portable USB fans
Fuel and propane conservation
- Consider packing food with an extended shelf life
- Pack pre-made meals
- Heat only one area of the RV for warm-ups (if going to cold weather camping) and save fuel
- Start your dry camping trip with completely empty black water tank in order to maximize the usage
- Check wastewater tanks regularly to know their capacity
- Properly dump your wastewater (you can find recreational vehicle dumpsites or at RV parks sometimes for a small fee)
- In remote dry camping areas, you will find weak cell phone coverage and you should bring a signal booster to stay connected
- Start practicing through shorter trips and learn to extend progressively
- Identify the limitations of personal practices and also the RV. Consider expected battery life, water, and fuel, etc.
- Should accept Leave No Trace principles
- Stock up on food and make your stay easier
- Consider cleaning up any untidiness, clean-up the campsite, and not damaging the property at any hand
- Be part of the community of dry campers and look for better tips and tricks
If you have never tried dry camping before, you will find a bit of learning here and quite difficult at the start. Maybe it seems overwhelming! But here, through practice, you can make your attempts to dry camping perfect. It will save you money giving you great outdoor memories if you make it works for you. And I hope the dry camping guide here covers everything essential to make your journey sooner than later.
Things change when fantasy meets reality! Hope you find this helpful to make your type of camping successful.