How Safe Is Boondocking

How Safe Is Boondocking?

I have noticed that too many people give up on the amazing experience of Boondocking out of fear for their safety, which is unfortunate. So, I researched the topic and I have decided to write an article with my thoughts about Boondocking Safety for you to read.

First of all, if you are not familiar with what Boondocking is, it is basically camping without any hook-ups outside developed campgrounds. It can also be considered dispersed camping. Nowadays, dry camping is becoming popular because it can offer beautiful views, an opportunity to reconnect with nature and a chance to escape the stress.

But How Safe Is It?

When RVers make up their minds about wanting to boondock, safety is usually their main concern. After all, it is human nature to fear the unknown and to want to protect your personal safety!

However, statistically speaking, it is more likely that you become a victim of theft (or any crime) in your own home than in your RV (Recreational Vehicle). In fact, Boondocking crimes are surprisingly rare and you may even research the statistics online if you want to be sure.

But, if we think about it, it makes sense that this activity is not as dangerous as one may usually think.

First, an RV is less appealing to a thief because it is less likely to have lots of money, jewelry or valuables. Therefore, they prefer to rob permanent houses where they can find expensive items.

Second, criminals are lazy opportunists that normally would not travel miles just to try to find someone to steal from. There are much more opportunities to find a target in cities or campgrounds.

Third, sleeping in an RV makes you no more of a target than those who live in remote areas or homes. And honestly, it is stereotypical to think that just because you are Boondocking, you are more likely to be a victim!

To summarize, RV crimes are uncommon and Boondocking is not only safe, but it is also a quite pleasant experience. But that does not mean there are not any risks. Everything in life (even just eating or sleeping) involves some danger. Then, your safety in this situation comes down to how much you are willing to risk and to how high your danger tolerance is.

Even though this activity is mostly safe, humans are far from perfect and may still feel insecure in an unknown situation. Then, what can you do to stop yourself from being scared? You can always control fear, especially if you are well informed and have ways to protect yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid:

They know what they are talking about and you will feel more at ease! When it comes to quietening our fears, knowledge along with experience is the most effective way. In fact, a Boondocking first-hand experience without any incidents will help you get rid of any anxiety. Sure, there are many places and people that you need to be cautious of. But there are plenty of ways for you to avoid those situations.
Use your common sense as it is your biggest weapon. Be aware of your surroundings and if something does not feel right, do not stay where you are.

How To Stop Feeling Worried Or Fearful?

1) First of all, you should think hard about your fears and what really is behind them. You should also get to know fellow RVers and hear their experiences. Share stories (if you have any) and listen to their recommendations.

2) Make sure to double-check everything beforehand (vehicle, food, etc.) You want to make sure that you have enough food and water clothing and other supplies. You will need these to last for however many days your trip will be.

3) The further from civilization and into rural areas, the safer it feels to be camped. In fact, as I said before, crimes in urban areas are significantly higher than in rural areas. So, try to find a good area, and avoid places near the big cities and relax!                                                                                                 

4) Know your exact location and prepare yourself to give a good description of where you are camped. This little tip might and can save your life

5) Never leave cash in the RV and keep jewelry or any valuables out of sight. You don’t want to leave your valuables lying around in plain sight for everyone to see. Why tempt fate, just keep it out of site for you and your families safety.

Here Are A Few More Tips:

6) Fool the criminals. Place a sticker to indicate that you have an alarm system or guard dog with you (or bring a real dog as they are great bodyguards). When Boondocking alone, put two chairs and an extra pair of large men’s shoes at the door. Those techniques will most likely scare away anyone with bad intentions.

7) Always try to park where there is cell phone service in order to easily ask for help.

8) Carry a Spot Messenger or Garmin inReach as these devices allow you to communicate with others even if you do not have phone coverage.

9) Remember that your RV does not have the same number of valuables than a house and that a good criminal knows that. This means an RV does not have the same appeal to them.

10) You can carry some protection such as mace, bear spray, pepper spray, etc. If you use them, they will confuse intruders but won’t cause permanent damage. I would also recommend carrying some wasp spray as it shoots  farther and it will irritate and burn their eyes.

11) Some RVers carry a firearm with them for protection. It is up to you if you feel comfortable bringing one along. But be careful since it may not be allowed depending on where you live!

Is It Really Safe To Bring A Firearm With Me?

Usually, yes. It depends on the circumstances and the State and the area where you are. By having a weapon nearby, if you have an intruder, it may help to deter him. But remember that he may use it against you or even take the weapon with him.

In some countries for example, if a criminal kills someone with your gun, you are just as responsible as him. And you can (and probably will) go to jail. Plus, even though some countries let you use guns for your own protection, some do not. Some specific laws can even be used against you in a trial. Therefore, if you want to carry a gun, check the laws. It is advisable that you know the laws and that you are prepared to suffer the consequences.

What should I do if I get injured?

If you get injured somehow, a first aid kit can be extremely useful. Be sure to pack one before going Boondocking. A good first aid kit will make it possible to quickly (and temporarily) treat small problems and to avoid a major injury.

You could also use your phone or Spot Messenger/Garmin inReach to contact someone. Even if your wound is not that bad, you still should ask for help, go to a hospital and get professional treatment.

Can I Bring Someone Along?

I know what you are thinking: it would probably make you feel better if you had a friend with you. Personally, I don’t see why you should not bring someone along.

Friends or family make everything more fun and if you have them with you, you are also safer. First of all, it is less likely that you are attacked if there are two or more people in the vehicle.

Plus, you will have someone who can go and ask for help if something happens to you. If you are a pet person, you can even bring your dog as they are great protectors and friends.

Usual And Related Questions You May Have:

What type of RV is the safest and what should I do to be safe during the trip?
When buying or renting an RV, you should look for safe seating arrangements. Those that will allow you to have a forward-facing seating position and a seat belt available for each person. Do not sit on side-facing seats or any other positions without seat belts. This is not only dangerous but also against the law.

Also, if you’re the one driving, always keep your focus. The driver should not be distracted because RVs are complex vehicles. They have a longer stopping distance, take longer to avoid road obstacles and more. Plus, be especially careful with the RV speed as you can quickly lose control over your RV. This could cause them to roll over or provoke a crash.

Is It Safe To Get Your RV Off The Road?

About the different types of RV’s, the experts often recommend getting one that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. However, personally, I don’t think it really matters the type of RV you choose as long as you follow the basic safet rules.

I would say yes, it usually is as it happens with almost everything, it depends on the situation. As I said before, common sense is your best friend out there and you should always trust it. I would advise you to take it slow and to be careful not to damage the trailer on any bumpy roads. The smaller your RV, the more areas are open to you and the less limiting factors you have.
In fact, when you start traveling off-road, you will gradually gain the confidence to do it a bit more often. Eventualy it will become something natural to you.

Animals, Poisonous plants:

Should I be concerned about critters, poisonous plants or dangerous settings? In my opinion, the fear of critters is exaggerated and overblown. Even though some people do encounter dangerous creatures (such as scorpions, snakes, coyotes, etc.), this is very uncommon. And it is even rarer for boondockers to get attacked by such creatures unless they provoke them. A large portion of those who were attacked by animals admitted to harassing the creatures before it attacked them. However, you should still be attentive and watch your surroundings just in case.

Most of the plants you will find are not poisonous but some of them may be. Some plants that can hurt you are Stinging Nettle, Poison Oak, and Poison Summack. Therefore, you should not touch or ingest any of them unless you are completely sure they are not dangerous. If you can, research a bit about the flora in the area you are thinking of Boondocking.

About the setting, you need to be careful with your choice. Try to find a quiet, isolated and pleasant area where there are no sightings of violent or wild animals. If you feel something is wrong, trust your instinct and leave right away.
As long as you respect nature, it will most likely respect you back!

To Conclude:

Boondocking is a fun and amazing experience for those who love to feel closer to nature and to see beautiful settings. As I have already told you, it is mostly safe and there are plenty of things you can do to avoid difficult situations.

From creating an emergency plan to bringing a firearm with you, you should still take the necessary precautions to avoid trouble. However, danger can and will sometimes find you anywhere.

Even if you are just sitting on a chair or watching TV, it still has some risks. Therefore, that should never stop you from doing what you enjoy.
Since I have now taught you all the safety tips I know about, it is now your turn to go and have fun. Happy Boondocking everyone!

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