Announcer’s voice: While we await the return of the Sacred Laptop with the Sacred Photos of naked men and Sacred Videos from Kernut’s trip, she’ll share a few tips on boondocking. Regular posts with photos will resume shortly. No posts about naked men will be missed. Ever.
Ten Lessons in Boondocking, or Ten Things I Learned Camping in Slab City
What is this? A “Ten Things Tuesday” post?
Yeah, yeah. I know. I haven’t done one of these in a while.
It’s probably not even Tuesday.
Boondocking: To stay in a recreational vehicle in a remote, often rural, location, without connections to water, power, or sewer services.
This Glamper (Glamper: a person, often female, who likes “glamorous camping”) learned a few things over the three weeks she spent boondocking at The Slabs, aka Slab City. (The place where the guy died when I was there.)
Mainly, that I like electrical power.
Lesson One: Power. Power is important. Don’t play that DVD when the clouds are coming in at night or you’ll drain your house batteries before your solar panel (as in singular, uno, one) is able to recharge them. Waiting for the sun to recharge your batteries takes a lot longer than you think. This means no power all morning, too.
It sucks to be totally out of power on a cold night and morning. Mittens and a beanie are my new best friends. Yeah, I look hot in the morning.
Two: If you ignore Lesson One, you won’t have enough power to run your propane-fueled, but electric-ignition and electric-fan propelled heater at night, and you will be freezing cold come morning. Nor will you have enough power to turn on the generator which could solve the lack of electricity. This would be the same generator that could recharge the batteries, which could also solve the problem. If this sounds to you like a “Catch 22” situation, you’re right.
Three: Do not try to start the generator as soon as you see the solar panel recharging the batteries. You still have not accumulated enough juice to start the generator and trying to start it will only deplete what precious little progress the solar panel (singular, uno) has made in recharging the batteries.
And you’ll still be cold.
But for longer.
Four: Try not to look too blond while your teeth are chattering from lack of heat.
Five: While you’re standing outside in the early morning because it’s warmer than inside your rig, do go talk to your more experienced neighbor who will tell you that starting the rig’s engine will help recharge the batteries.
So much for not looking too blond.
Six: Water. Much like a good date, clean water can be hard to find in the desert. If it takes a few hours to pack up your rig in order to move it to go refill the water tank, it’s a good idea not to be frivolous with your supply. Take water-conserving “navy showers,” aka “military showers.”
This does not mean showering with a soldier. Unfortunately.
Seven: Wind. AKA: The maker of sand storms. When the wind is kicking up in the desert you’ll want to consider rolling in your slides. It may make your rig a bit crowded, but it will be a lot less dusty. Glampers don’t care for dust.
Eight: And if it’s that windy, roll your awning up fast. If you don’t, it could blow right up and over your rig. Thank goodness this hasn’t happened to me, but I know several folks to whom it did. The other night I was talking to a neighbor when his flipped right up to the top of his rig. He almost lost the thing.
Nine: Rain. It rains in the desert. Sometimes a lot, believe it or not. If your awning was wet when you rolled it up, or if it rained on it at all, make sure to unroll it when the sun comes out again. Unless you like mold.
Ten: Be careful where you camp or park in the desert. When it rains all of the low areas pool with water. The desert may be dry, but she’s not that thirsty. The water won’t sink into the ground the minute it hits. It will, however, make olympic-sized swimming pool puddles. Best not to be parked in one when you wake up.
Eleven: Become really good at killing flies, a ubiquitous desert resident that likes to hang out inside your rig. Probably because of the water-conserving navy showers you’ve been taking.
The upside to all of this? I’m now smarter than I was a few weeks ago.
Yeah, there’s that.