This was a big year for us. We decided to buy an RV. The fact that “RV” even comes out of my mouth still surprises me, yet here we are, owning one and enjoying every minute possible taking it out on new adventures.
Last Fall we embarked on a two -week “Boondocking” trip through Colorado. Never heard of “Boondocking” before? Don’t feel bad, it was new to me as well. Simply put, it means camping, however, you find your own spots with the help of GPS coordinates, boondocking apps, and general research. You get to skip the campgrounds and instead find your perfect location – free.
You can find a list of these apps here.
Bypassing the campgrounds means you also bypass the amenities such as electricity and water hook-ups, however the solitude and beauty of your spot more than makes up for the lack of conveniences, and as long as you plan ahead, you have everything you need.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we set out on that early September morning. We were hoping and praying Richard’s old FJ Cruiser could handle the weight of the InTech Sol with all its add-ons, such as gas tanks, batteries, solar panels etc. If excitement was enough to propel and sustain us, we had enough to cover the whole state of Colorado!
In our original plan we had mapped out five different stops throughout Colorado, entering in Colorado Springs and ending up in Rocky Mountain National Park. We quickly realized that unless we wanted to be driving every day, this was an unrealistic plan, and we concentrated instead on the southwest corner of the state. It was a magical two weeks as a result. Without a strict timeline, we were able to relax and take in the beauty of the area and visit the cool, eclectic, towns. We have a trip planned this Fall to head back and move on up into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ll be sure to update you on that trip.
So what did we learn on our first real boondocking trip? Here is a list of our biggest take-aways. If you’re a fellow “Boondocker”, we’d love to hear how your list compares. If you’ve never gone, but have questions, post them in the comments so we can help you get the info you need.
15 Things We Learned While Boondocking in Colorado
1. Free campsites are the way to go
2. Colorado’s skies are magical
3. You can take a full shower with 1-2 gallons of water
4. Pizza on the grill is awesome
5. It can take an hour to drive six miles on a forest service road
6. All laundromats should have micro-breweries in the same parking lot
7. Place all cabinet items in a box on the floor, on bumpy, forest service roads, they will end up there anyway
8. Wind sucks the power out of the car
9. Our fuel consumption varied between 6.8- 8.8 mpg, stopping every 150 miles to fill up
10. Everyone is friendly in Colorado
11. If you’re not acclimated, you don’t sleep well above 10,000 feet
12. Oxygen Bars really are a thing
13. You truly can spend two weeks in close quarters and not get on each other’s nerves
14. Colorado sunsets cannot be matched
15. On our last day in Colorado we were not ready to leave