While boondocking generally means camping far enough away from town to be free of urban influence, most boondocking is still within 30 minutes of a town large enough to supply most of your needs.
Our list of, “Best Boondocking Sites for Beginners” are all boondocking places that are easy to get into, popular with many RVers, and still within 30 minutes of groceries, dining, propane, mail, and gasoline.
Perhaps the most remote boondocking is found on BLM lands, particularly on open lands where dispersed camping is allowed. But even though most BLM dispersed camping can be considered remote, there are still smaller towns within 30 minutes away, usually with a convenience store or other amenities. Boondocking on U.S. Forest Service lands tend to be closer to small to medium sized towns. Meanwhile, boondocking on Bureau of Reclamation lands and Army Corps of Engineer lands are even more closer to town because they’re mostly associated with rivers, lakes, bridges and dams.
The idea that RV boondocking is done deep within the wilderness, an hour or more away from mankind, is largely a myth. In order to get that deep into the woods, deserts or mountains, one has to travel by foot or some kind of off-road, overland vehicle. Otherwise, most RV boondocking is found along dirt roads that branch off of paved roads, and usually go no further than a few miles in.
Perhaps 80 to 90% of RV boondocking is located within 30 minutes from a town large enough to provide all the amenities you need. Most of the time, it’s located even closer than that. RV boondockers still want to be within a cellphone signal, and still want to be close enough to attractions like hiking, fishing, or off-roading. Often times, boondockers want visit the more popular national parks, but want to camp where it’s free. Hence, they’re not looking to go that far away from the tourist spots.
Boondocking is more about enjoying your RV in a place with plenty of distance from neighbors, away from noise and light pollution, and some place that doesn’t cost anything to stay. It’s not about going so deep into the wild that you lose all sense of humanity and civilization.