Boondocking with kids- The key is being prepared!
Boondocking is high on the list of one of the most iconic adventures
you can do as an RV’er. From Instagram worthy photos with amazing
back drops, the ability to be at locations that most others will never
have a chance to visit and thoughts of being on remote land with no
one in sight. It is such an alluring “idea” and something that I feel every
person in the RV world loves to do or they are “dreaming” about doing
Let us not forget one of the most appealing parts, which is boondocking
happens to be free and your typical RV and camp sites can add up fast.
The thought of long range and beautiful views, no one in sight and free
camping are top of mind for most of us in the RV world.
Deciding that boondocking is for you is a step all on its own, however
what about those who are travelling with you? Truly this notion of
disconnecting is enchanting, but we are a society for the most part, of
being connected and around constant technology. Being able to put
down technology as an adult is one hurdle but how does this play out
for travelling with children?
Let us dive into how boondocking with children can truly open some
new ways of life for you and your family. When considering
boondocking with children one of the first questions you will need to
ask yourself is “how much screen time do my children really have?” If
you have children who are not using technology, this transition will be
easier, but perhaps you have children who thrive on technology. In this
case, boondocking may be a bit more difficult.
Preparation is crucial to anything in life and preparing your family–
children and adults–for a shift from a full hook up RV site to
boondocking is key. The major differences will always fall around how
you live your day to day lives in a typical situation. Do you start the
day with RV resort activities and technology or do you start the day in
your RV with perhaps books and family mealtime.
I find in our experience as a family of 5 with 3 children under the age of
8 that boondocking is a gentle reminder to bring things back to basics.
Starting our days with mealtime preparing breakfast together, creating
activities as a family is always the best. Setting up our days for success
and embracing the art of being “bored!” This is always a tricky concept
not just for children, but I see this being hard for most adults as well.
You will want to be prepared for a shift in how your days are planned
especially if this is not already how your days are naturally flowing.
As you prepare for boondocking with children one of the first things I
encourage you to do is create a meal plan. As we all know food, snacks
and mealtime are a huge part of any family. This will not only help you
be organized but it will also allow everyone to feel like they are a part
of the planning process. By being able to allow everyone to join in for
preparation, it will help you assign roles for cooking as well as clean up.
Giving everyone a task will help tremendously.
Day to day activities while boondocking with children- what to do all
As I mentioned earlier boondocking is a perfect time to bring it
back to basics. You can either have your days filled with complaints or
embrace the time of slowness. We are a society that is praised upon
being busy, so you may find this next part challenging and that is ok.
Creating things to do or activities just for boondocking will make them
special, more inviting, and hopefully create a sense of excitement
leading up to your boondocking adventure. This is another great time
to come to the table as a family and plan together. I am a big fan of
including our children in planning, it truly always pays off.
What activities can you do while boondocking with your children? Let
us look at inside activities that are easy, low cost and always a hit. Play
doh and clay are always such a wonderful idea- honestly not just for
young children either. If your children are older grab some modeling
clay and see if they can’t create the landscape around them. Don’t
forget books! This is such an underrated activity, as younger children
read together and older children do the same! Find a book that you can
dive into as a family.
Painting, another activity that is beautiful to do young and old. Even if
you have never held a paintbrush before, dabble your hand in some
painting while enjoying the countries landscape. For little kids, finger
paints can be fun outside and remember if you are boondocking, water
is limited so you want to make sure to bring those baby wipes.
Good old fashioned board games, puzzles, and cards. Monopoly, Sorry,
Uno and putting a puzzle together as a family. Board games have come
so far these days and there are endless opportunities for children and
adults to find hours of fun and play.
You may find that your typical outdoor activities may be limited- for
example if you are on rough terrain biking might not be an option.
Luckily, the option for outdoor fun is limitless! Young or old there are
many types of outdoor activities that will keep you having a good time.
Let’s arm you with some more great ideas old and new: bubble
blowing, scavenger hunts, rock collecting, I spy, jump roping, obstacle
courses, kite flying and one of my family favorites tag!
As nighttime sets in for your boondocking experience, be prepared that
things will be extra dark and extra quiet. Having your children prepared
for this will help with the success for those nights. I highly recommend,
pajamas that glow in dark- these are so fun and help your kids get into
that dark sky mood. Flashlights for your children, the dark sky is very
different than an RV campsite sky.
Lastly, hopefully you are in an area that has a dark sky. This allows for a
tremendous amount of nighttime fun for you and your children. If you
dabble in photography don’t miss out on your own creative time trying
to capture the night sky. For your children this can become a whole
learning moment without them even knowing about it. The best news
is this can be done each night, and each time you will have a different
There is no shortage of adventures while boondocking, make it your
own, create memories and have fun.