10 Top Reasons You Should Consider Boondocking, Dry Camping, and Dispersed Camping


Imagine setting off to an area of a popular campsite that’s a little off-the-grid, unplugging, and simply being. There’s a reason why boondocking, dry camping, and dispersed camping have become so sought-after lately. What are some reasons to give this form of RVing a try?

Here are some reasons to consider boondocking, dry camping, and dispersed camping:

  • We’re all too attached to our phones
  • You need the social media break
  • You can finally stop working
  • You’ll have real conversations
  • The stars are gorgeous
  • It’s usually free
  • You’ll get to cook again
  • You can truly commune with nature
  • The views are terrific
  • You’ll reprioritize

Are you still not totally convinced? That’s okay. By the time you’re done reading, you should hopefully be inspired to give dry camping a try!

10 Reasons to Go Boondocking, Dry Camping, and Dispersed Camping

We’re All Too Attached To Our Phones Anyway

Did you know that, according to tech resource KommandoTech, the average person in the United States spends 5.4 hours on their phones per day?

Younger millennials spend 5.7 hours a day scrolling while it’s five hours for boomers.

That might not sound like much time, but the average person is awake for about 16 hours a day. 

When you consider that most people work for eight or nine hours each day, that’s already seven hours left of the day.

If you take another hour or two away for a commute to and from work, you’re left with five hours. All that spare time would be spent on screentime.

Sure, we wish we could be doing more in our day-to-day lives, but our phones take up so much darn time.

When you go dispersed camping, you won’t have Internet connectivity, so that makes using your phone far less appealing.

Even if you could connect to the nearby campsite’s Internet, your phone only has so many hours of battery. Once the battery is dead, you can’t exactly recharge it. You’re dry camping without any electrical hookups, remember?

You’ll have to set your phone aside.

It will feel strange of course, as we’re so all attached to our phones anymore. Once you get over the hump of discomfort though, you’ll be better off for your phone-less experience.

You Need the Social Media Break

Photo of marshmallows roasting on a fire.
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McLean, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, states that “using social media can cause anxiety, depression, and other health challenges.”

Those health challenges can include eating disorders.

Now, none of this is to say that social media doesn’t have its benefits. It’s a great platform for finding people who like the same hobbies or interests, seamlessly connecting with friends, and staying in touch with out-of-state family.

That said, it’s pretty clear how social media is a double-edged sword.

A social media break will do you good. According to a 2022 report from WebMD, breaking for just seven days can lessen depression and anxiety tied to using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It can be hard for people to fully disconnect from social media, especially when you have your phone right in your pocket and your Internet is otherwise working. So you end up not taking a true social media break.

Well, once you’re boondocking, you’ll have no choice but to give up social media and all Internet. You might want to post ahead of your trip letting your friends and followers know that you’ll truly be off the grid for a couple of days.

You Can Finally Stop Working

Are you overworked?

Most people can answer yes to that question without a doubt. It seems like work hours are only getting longer but the paychecks are getting smaller.

Part of that is how smartphones have made it so convenient to stay in touch. It used to be that when you left the office, you were done for the day. Your boss or coworkers wouldn’t call you at home unless in an absolute emergency.

These days, you can ping-pong emails with coworkers and managers at all hours because it’s easy to tap, tap, tap a reply from your phone.

Overworking is dangerous though. A 2021 report from NPR cites a stat from WHO that found that over 745,000 people die from overworking per year.

You can’t work if you can’t get on your email. You won’t feel tempted to sit in your home office and get a bit of work done when you’re hundreds of miles from your office and laptop.

You’ll truly disconnect and take a real break from work.

When you come back, that overwhelming feeling of being overworked and burnt out will truly be behind you.

You’ll Have Real Conversations

When was the last time you’ve sat down with your family members or friends and had a heartfelt face-to-face conversation?

Someone is always on their phone or watching the TV or otherwise distracted by the latest thing. 

It’s hard to just talk anymore with the constant pace that life forces us along. We’ve all gotten so used to getting someone’s half-attention that it’s become acceptable.

Once it’s just you and your family or friends when dispersed camping, you’ll have no choice but to find things to talk about to pass the time. You won’t have a computer to use, a smartphone to scroll through, video games to play, or TV to watch.

In other words, you won’t have any distractions. You’ll talk about things that maybe have never come up or have come up but not in a very long time.

You two will both be in a great position to listen thoughtfully and talk thoughtfully in kind. You’ll have memorable conversations.

Plus, you might think more. After all, if someone is wondering what the name of that movie starring Brad Pitt is, you can’t just Google it anymore. You have to talk it out and jog your memory.

The Stars Are Gorgeous

When was the last time you’ve seen an unfettered view of the stars?

For some people, the answer might be when they were kids. Maybe others will say never.

There’s too much smog anymore, and the skylines are getting higher and higher as industrialization extends to seemingly every corner of the earth.

It’s too hard to witness the sights in most places. Well, not when dry camping!

At night, you’ll be under a gorgeous canopy of stars. You might not have ever seen as many stars as you will in a moment like this.

Be sure to enjoy the breathtaking beauty, as these views certainly do not come around all that often!

It’s Usually Free

Doesn’t it seem like everything you want to do nowadays costs money? Plus, with the exponentially climbing costs of living, it feels hard to go through your day-to-day life without shelling out money here, there, and everywhere.

Sometimes you just want to leave the house without spending a ton of money. Well, have you tried boondocking?

Sure, you’re giving up all the creature comforts of home like the Internet and electricity (but not necessarily water despite what you might have heard), but you typically don’t have to pay a cent to go boondocking.

Of course, just to be sure, you might want to contact the campground you want to stay at and confirm their rules before your stay. After all, sometimes boondocking requires a permit, and that might not come free.

You’ll Get to Cook Again

Modern life is incredibly, incredibly busy, and even that feels like an understatement. With everyone working longer hours and spending so much time on social media or smartphones in general, sustenance can sometimes fall by the wayside.

Maybe you’re guilty of ordering takeout a few too many times per week or making frozen or microwave meals because hey, they’re fast and convenient.

You might even eat things that you’re not supposed to for dinner like cereal or chips, again, because of the speed and convenience.

Cooking is fun though, and there’s something that’s always so satisfying about cooking for yourself or your friends and loved ones.

Sure, you won’t have access to a full-range kitchen when dispersed camping, but you will have the power of fire.

If all you’ve ever cooked over a roaring fire is s’mores, you’re missing out. You can cook lots of staple foods like hot dogs, stew, or kabobs.

Plus, if you’re willing to get creative, you can try all sorts of new recipes, everything from pizza cones to grilled shrimp, chicken or fish in a foil packet, nachos, sliders, eggs, bacon, small sandwiches, and even fruit.

If you like the taste of grilled pineapple or peaches, then you’ll love cooking these same fruits over a fire.

You Can Truly Commune with Nature

Most of us may say we go outside daily but walking to and from your car at home and then in your work parking lot hardly counts.

People aren’t meant to be cooped up indoors all day every day.

UK mental health resource Mind states that nature can be hugely helpful for your mental health in the following ways:

  • Can lessen loneliness as you have more opportunities to meet new people
  • Improves your physical activity
  • Can boost self-esteem and confidence
  • Increases relaxation
  • Lessens anger and stress

The University of Minnesota say that your physical health improves through time spent outside as well in these ways:

  • Fewer stress hormones produced
  • Alleviates muscle tension
  • Relaxes heart rate
  • Controls blood pressure

There’s even the belief that time spent in the great outdoors can slash your mortality risks.

When you go dry camping, you’ll get to experience these physical and mental health benefits firsthand. You should feel rejuvenated by nature.

The Views Are Terrific

You don’t have to wait for dark to see some truly stunning vistas when boondocking. From the expansive tree line to the blueness of the sky, the fluffiness of the clouds, the beauty of rushing water, and the breathtaking colors of a sunrise or sunset, nature has so many gifts in store!

You’ll Reprioritize

Finally, after a couple of days of dry camping, you might find that your mindset changes.

At first, living without the Internet and your smartphone was excruciating. Humans are surprisingly adaptable though, so you learned to adjust to life without all the latest tech.

After a while, you might not have even missed your cozy bedroom or electricity all that much. You began to grow enamored with the simple life.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and that includes your camping trip as well. Worry not though, as the lessons you learned on this trip will stay with you.

You might not put quite as much stock in social media anymore, or perhaps you actively try to reduce the amount of time you’re on your phone each day. You might prioritize spending more time outside as well.

Even if you enjoyed dry camping but found that foregoing electricity wasn’t your thing, you’ll appreciate your everyday life so much more once it’s back to normal!

Conclusion

There you have it, 10 reasons to go boondocking if you’ve never done it before. Dry camping is not like camping in an RV on shore power.  You have to give up a lot, like electricity, Internet, and many other creature comforts.

It’s a tough adjustment at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll realize that maybe your priorities should be more about spending time outside and meaningfully connecting with your friends and family instead of being buried in your phone.

Nicole Malczan

Nicole Malczan is a full-time professional freelancer for 10 years and counting. Some of her favorite topics to write about are camping and RV life. She quite loves spending time outdoors and dreams of owning an RV of her very own someday!

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