Challenges of Boondocking

These are real concerns that will put a crimp in your adventures…

When you read about boondocking you’ll frequently hear how wonderful life is living free on the road.  Well, I am here to tell you not every day is peaches-n-cream.  There are plenty of obstacles you’ll face and many changes you will make.  This post is about a few of those challenges we have faced along our 2600 mile journey.

Over the course of two months on the road I’ve watched many You Tube videos, read many posts and blogs concerning the RV lifestyle.  The majority of information that I have found lead me to believe that the RV life is an all carefree style with limited stress.  I’m here to tell you life in general is stressful.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or on the road, problems will arise and have to be dealt with.

The first big issue we faced while being on the road was high-speed internet access.

4G-internet-phone-serviceNow if you are working from your laptop as your main source of income you will be hard pressed to find a steady fast connection.  Yes, you can give it your best shot at the local McDonald’s or Starbucks, but driving your rig to find these locations will get tire-some.  Depending how big your rig is you may not be able to find parking close enough to connect for long.  There also will be days when you wont be able to connect at all. We use Verizon with a Jetpack and still have trouble with a steady signal.  Verizon has dead spots too.  This is just food for thought for those planning on an on-line income.  You may want to rethink your plan.

energy-139366_960_720

Power usage is another biggie to think about.  Are you the kind of person who can’t live without your t.v. shows or video games?  I can tell you even if you have batteries and solar panels the power generated will be limited.  The power that has been stored would be better used to power a refrigerator, an air conditioner, fans or keeping your cell phone charged.  There will be a lot of quite time.  Can you handle the quite? “Silence is golden” as the saying goes only to those who enjoy it.

Storm+warning

Weather conditions are a must to keep track of, rain storms, high winds and hot temperatures.  These conditions can all be a day breaker for the boondocker.  Keep a daily check on your local weather channel to make sure you are not in arms way.  Hot temperatures are the most of my worries living in a RV.  See this post on how we deal with the heat. Spending for a full hookup campsite for power can take a toll on your finances if you are on a limited income.

bathing with a bucket (500x629)

Lastly, get use to limiting your bathing time.  There will be days when you will not bathe.  I know you have probably heard of full-timers that purchase time at a gym to use their showers facilities.  Once again, driving around in a big RV in a heavily populated area to find your shower access will get old.  It’s also expensive, remember you have to pay per person.  You would be better off locating a truck stop and share the shower stall if you’re traveling as a couple.  We’ve used a bucket with water or baby wipes to wash down if a shower wasn’t available.  Change your clothes regularly and don’t forget the deodorant. This will stretch the bathing considerably.

These four issues are not often discussed or are sugar-coated in the camping, boondocking world.  They are real concerns that will put a crimp in your adventures if you’re not prepared to deal with them.  Think it through, be realistic, prepare and enjoy the ride.

The Heat is On – Tips for staying cool.

Not all of us have access to the comforts of an air conditioner.

There is nothing that can ruin your summer fun quicker then becoming sick from high temperatures.  Not all of us have access to the comforts of an air conditioner. There are steps you can take to ease the heat of the summer months. Here are my tips for staying cool this summer.

My first and favorite tip is to drink plenty of water.  To remain hydrated is the most important advise I can give anyone this summer.  I don’t mean drinks with water in them, I mean pure H2O.  Soft drinks and alcohol do nothing to hydrate you.  I have found that these products make me thirstier. To much corn sweetener can also make you sick to your stomach in the heat and alcohol will dehydrate you fast.  So, stick with good old water for your drink of choice.

Ice

What you eat this summer is almost as important as what you drink.  Eat light, heavy meals have a tendency to bloat your stomach, make you sluggish and slow you down.  Cold foods like, sandwiches, salads, pasta salads, ice cream (in moderation), fruits and veggies.  I would go easy on the fruits, they have a tendency to give you the diarrhea in the heat. Another good choice is cheese and crackers.  These light food options will give you the energy you’ll need though out the day.

Wear minimal clothing, starting with the feet.  Your feet sweat, wear flip flops or sandals.  Closed toe shoes don’t breath and they are even worse when worn with socks.  Let your feet breath.  Choose *cotton fabric* for your clothing. This article explaind why. This also stands true in the South.  It is one of the best, natural, breathable fabrics besides linen you can wear.  I know there are other man-made fibers that claim superior breath-ability, but I have found cotton works the best for comfort in high humidity situations.

My baby

If you are trying to protect your head, stick with cotton coverage as well.  Your scalp also needs to breath.  A cotton bandanna or ‘do rag’ works well.  If you want to forgo the head coverage, use a sun screen or sun block to protect your scalp from sun burns.  This also goes without saying, use sun screen or sun block on your face, shoulders, neck and the tops of your feet.  A sunburn will make you feel miserable and potentially damage your skin.  Please see information on sun poisoning.

Another good tip is don’t stay in a hot house or vehicle.  Get outside and find some shade. Click here to find out why?  The temperature is considerably cooler under a big shade tree.

Barrington Cnty Park

If you have access to power, AC or batteries, use portable fans.  They draw very little power and keep the air circulating.  You can purchase 12 volt traveling fans that will do the job. Get a couple if need be.

12 volt fan

One last tip, soak a couple of pieces of paper towel or a hand towel in cool water and place it around your neck.  This will instantly cool your body temperature down. Re-soak as needed.

These are things that I do on a daily basis when the temperature starts climbing.  By no means am I a doctor or have had any medical training.  However, I have lived in the deep south (Georgia) for 30 years and have experience and seen what heat exhaustion/heat stroke can do to the human body.  It is not pretty and take a long time to recover.  Don’t take the heat lightly and you’ll be able to manage through the next heat wave that comes your way.

*If you feel you are in danger of heat related sickness please see the nearest emergency room.*

For heat related symptoms *Click Here* at the Mayo Clinic for medical advise.

Never Forget the Ice

via Daily Prompt: Opaque

Pondering this daily prompt, what could I possibly say about the word, opaque?  Cluelessly staring at my computer screen then looking to my left, oh there is it… One of my favorite luxuries in the world, Ice.  Oh, how I love ice.  I love the way it slightly freezes my favorite drinks.  Just barely melted, it starts to break down… exposing the tiniest of air pockets.  I savior every  big gulp of cold liquid as it rushes down my throat cooling my belly on a hot summers day.  Nothing could be finer and more satisfying than that beautiful chunk of frozen, opaque, water chunks waiting to nourish my whole being.  Yes, I chew on the little buggers, it’s my fat-free snack.  It keeps me from snacking on more sinful treats.  I’ve gotta watch my weight, ya know.  Will I ever give up the chunkie goodness?  Probably not.  I always have a beverage at my side and I “never forget the ice”.