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What is Dry Camping?

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What is Dry Camping?A lot of people enjoy vacationing in an RV. Camping spots with full hookups are often packed with full-time travelers, thanks to their family-friendly services. For this reason, if you aren't used to camping with no utilities, the idea of dry camping may appear intimidating at first.

Dry camping is a wonderful RV camping alternative. It allows people to go wherever they want exploring areas they wouldn’t otherwise come across on the more touristy routes. Below, you will find top tips that will make your dry camping trip one to remember!

What is Dry Camping

What is Dry Camping?

Dry camping involves spending time in your RV without utilities. That means not having electricity or water connections, let alone connections to free wireless internet. In essence, you are alone with your car on an isolated piece of land, perhaps in the middle of nowhere.

The term is often linked to camping in faraway places. Nonetheless, you can pick any location and go dry camping there. You could essentially do it anywhere—in a parking lot, a campground, or honestly just about anywhere.

What’s the Difference Between Dry Camping and Boondocking?

In general, boondocking refers to camping in undeveloped areas. Conversely, dry camping does not require you to be far from civilization because it does not refer to any specific location. Still, both require you not to be plugged into utilities.

There are, without a doubt, debates out there about the use of the two terms. There are RVers out there who say that you should not call spending a night in a supermarket's parking lot dry camping or boondocking. It doesn't really matter, though, as long as you have a great time!

Pros and Cons of Dry Camping

Dry camping takes you right back to the basics! It forces you to embrace the simple beauty that nature offers and frees you from the constraints associated with modern amenities. That being said, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, which we will talk about below.


  • Freedom

When it comes to the positive things that come with dry camping, freedom will always be the number one on the list. As mentioned earlier, you can forget about finding water and electricity connections, so you can just pick any spot you want, preferably somewhere with a beautiful view, park your RV, and spend a couple of nights there.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Dry camping also provides you with a great vacation alternative, especially when you want to keep your budget as minimal as possible. As you may have known already, spending a weekend in a camping ground will require you to spend a few dollars, which you will not experience with the said camping approach.

  • The Opportunity to Connect Deeper with Nature

Dry camping also frees you from the limits that come with traditional camping sites. There is no designated parking spot involved. You can simply drive your vehicle to somewhere you’ve never been before, look for a good (and safe) area, and park there. This allows you to go into nature as deep as you want, or as your vehicle allows.


  • Limited Resources

Dry camping is definitely the kind of thing every thrill seeker must try. However, just like any outdoor activity out there, it comes with certain drawbacks. To start, you will have very limited resources. Even though you should not be surprised by this, it can kick the level of inconvenience up a notch.

  • More Preparation

The limited resources, however, should not stop you from having your first dry camping experience. What you need to do to address the issue is better prepare yourself. Well, it is needless to say it would require more of your time and energy, but it is always better to make sure that you are well-equipped for the trip.

Is Dry Camping Legal?

Lucky for us, we should not worry too much about the legal aspects because dispersed camping, whether it is boondocking or dry camping, is legal in most national parks. Of course, as with any camping trip, it is mandatory for you to do your homework and figure out the policies of each park so that you won’t get into any trouble with the authorities.

Therefore, you will typically find sections of a national park where camping of any kind—including in a one-person tent—is prohibited. Keep in mind that people come to such a place to enjoy fresh air and a pristine environment. Sure enough, they will not appreciate when your big chunk of steel box obstructs the view.

Basic Preparation for Beginner Dryland Camping

If you have never camped in a vehicle before, you will want to familiarize yourself with the activity first. Go to an RV camping site near your home and spend several days there. Once you feel that you are ready for the dry camping experience, you can follow the tips below.


Ensuring that you have enough water supply should always be your top priority during your trip because that is the one thing that will keep you alive. Whether it is for drinking, cooking, washing, or showering, you should know how much water you need and how you will fulfill it.

One of the most practical ways to manage your water supply is by bringing a collapsible water container. The size of the container will depend on the amount of water you require for your activities. Usually, a 5-gallon one is enough to keep you hydrated for a whole day.


If you have a refrigerating system in your RV, it is a good idea to prepare your meal beforehand so you can save yourself from a lot of mess during your dry camping trip. It is not only time-saving but also minimizes the amount of water you use to wash the pots.

Electricity (backup generator, portable solar generator)

Yes, you should be away from the utilities. However, it does not mean that you should let your devices die and not do anything about it. Instead, you should get yourself a portable solar generator, which, thankfully, has become more affordable and accessible over the years.

portable solar generator for dry camping

Why a portable solar generator? Well, it is because it has enough capacity to keep your electronic devices powered for a few days, from your phone to your camera to your emergency lamp. On top of that, you can easily charge it by placing the solar panels outside.

Emergency Supplies

An emergency kit is an absolute necessity on any trip, especially when you are deep in the woods with limited resources. Note that you will not only need emergency supplies for your well-being but also your vehicle, so don’t forget to bring that extra can of fuel!

camping solar generator

Final Thoughts

So, have you considered trying dry camping? It is understandable that this kind of trip is not for everyone. Some of you will prefer having access to modern amenities all the time. But, if you want to satisfy the adventurous soul in you, it is definitely something you must experience.

Adequate preparation is the key to keeping you safe and entertained during your trip, which is why we provided you with the tips above. Moreover, you will never know what will you face out there, so always keep your survival tools, water filters, and portable power station ready!

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