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Boondocking With Children? Is It Practical?

Boondocking With Children? Is It Practical?


There are many families who go RV boondocking with children for long periods. Is it practical? Well, that depends on your parenting skills and dedication. However, many boondocking parents we’ve met tell us that it’s an educational experience that enriches their children in ways that no school can offer.

boondocking with children
Boondocking in the Forests of Southern California

Boondocking With Children

Boondocking is actually a great educational experience for children. With so many children growing up spending much of their time indoors, it’s so difficult for young Americans to develop a sense of freedom and self-reliance.

Many parents choose to home-school their children while living as full time RV boondockers. They choose to expose their children to the concept of location-independence, the appreciation of nature, and family-cohesion.

RV Parks and Campgrounds Have More Rules

It’s actually more impractical to bring kids to an RV park or developed campground. This is because many other RVers see them as a nuisance. As a result, RV parks have more rules on child supervision and quiet hours. RVers often complain about other RVers with kids.

Boondocking Offers Fewer Opportunities to Get Into Trouble

Because there are fewer people around, fewer girls and boys to flirt with, fewer neighbors to anger, boondocking kids tend to stay close to their parents. Many boondocking sites don’t even have cellphone signal. Instead, boondocking forces parents and children to interact more, just like the old days.

Boondocking Promotes Family Cohesion

Boondocking with children means parents spend more time with their kids…

  • They tend to dine as a family more often
  • They spend more time hiking and exploring the area
  • Parents spend more time teaching their kids about plants, mountains, stars, animals, weather, and geography
  • Children talk to their parents more.

Boondocking Gets Kids Away From Video Games

Time spent hiking, climbing a hill, pitching a tent, building a campfire, roasting marshmallows, star gazing, etc., exposes kids to the many wonders of the outdoors.

While there are many boondocking locations with cellphone signal, there are many more without. Spending a weekend, or an entire week, without data connectivity, can work wonders in changing a child’s perspective of the world.

Boondocking Dispels Myths About Nature

Children exposed to excessive video games and TV shows are gaining a false sense of the outdoors. Mass media makes it seem like bears and wolves are constantly invading camps and chasing hikers. Movies often portray city-dwellers crying and screaming over frogs, squirrels, and bats. Kids grow up believing that the forest is filled with poison ivy, quick sand, and demonic spirits.

There’s also a myth about open, public lands being filled with crazy, violent people invading campsites, stealing valuables and raping women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Violent criminals don’t spend their time out in the wilderness; they stay in urban areas where they have more opportunity.

The media has also created a myth that being out in the wild is fraught with disaster due to a myriad of “survivalist shows” that overly dramatize nature as deadly place to be in.

Boondocking Teaches Children How to be More Self-Sufficient

Being away from the public utilities gives children the opportunity to learn about self-reliance. Doing your own repairs, conserving water, generating your own electricity, managing your own sewage, cooking food on an open flame… are all examples of how much of society is unable to take care of itself.

Meanwhile, spending time in an RV park with hookups for power, water, sewage, and television, only reinforces the belief that a child needs public utilities to survive.

Activities You Should Do With Children While Boondocking

  • Teach them to identify various edible plants (buy a book on Amazon)
  • Teach them how to start a fire without a lighter (buy a book on Amazon)
  • Teach them how to operate and shoot a gun
  • Teach them how to tie various knots
  • Teach them how to use the various components of a first aid kit

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