RVing

How to Boondock with Kids

Off-grid RV camping can be a really fun adventure. Boondocking with kids can be even more rewarding if you do it right. Find out how you can prepare your kids for your dry camping trip, how to help them conserve resources, ways to have fun, and some of the best boondocking locations out there and where to find them.

Preparing the Kids for an Off-Grid Adventure

Before anything else, the kids need to be prepared for boondocking. The last thing you want is to get to your destination and have kids that are disappointed with the lack of a pool or rec center. Make sure they know what to expect. For the most part, your off-grid adventure will take place in a remote setting with only nature around. Show them photos, read the descriptions, and let them know where you will be RV camping.

If possible, let your kids help in the planning. They will be a lot more excited about your trip, knowing they played an essential role in the planning of it all.

Conserving Resources

The easiest way to help prepare your kids for dry camping is to let them know that you will be RV camping without hookups. Help them understand that there will not be unlimited water, unlimited, electricity, or the ability to dump tanks. This means using good conservation skills to make your onboard fresh water, battery level, and waste tanks last as long as your trip:

    • Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth
    • When doing dishes, use as little water as possible. Consider doing the dishes outside to keep that grey tank from filling up.
    • Remember to use those paper plates and cups.
    • Take short showers and turn the water off (use the on/off switch on the shower head) while soaping up. Or, skip the shower and use wipes
    • Turn off the lights when not in use
    • Use as little water as possible when flushing

How to Have Fun

As a parent and RV lover, this is one is easy for you. Your kids, however, may be dreading a week in the woods without amenities and YouTube. Boondocking, of course, can be a blast for everyone. Here are some things to do with the kids that will be big hits:

    • Go on a hike that includes a scavenger hunt or geocaching
    • Have an epic campfire with all the smores you can handle. Get creative with it with different marshmallow flavors and sizes and different kinds of chocolate (dark, milk, white, etc.).
    • Wood splitting contest – This one may be for older ones, but we have done it with our kids. We literally have grabbed firewood and competed to see who could split the most wood and then we, of course, tossed it into the campfire. It’s a lot of fun.
    • If you are in the woods or shrubby desert (large shrubs and occasional trees), play hide-and-seek.
    • Go on a bike ride!
    • Boondock with another family!
    • Arts & Crafts with items from your campsite – rock painting, pine cone decorating, leaf stamping, etc.
    • Rock Balancing/Stacking – Make a cairn! This is so much fun for all ages
    • Have a race in the wilderness!! Make it a bike, skipping, running, walking race, whatever is fun for your family!
    • Games! Board games, Cornhole, Flashlight Tag, I Spy, etc.
    • Dance Party/Competition – This gives everyone an opportunity to share their favorite tunes. And if you have some non-participatory teens, encourage them to dance with cash prizes and other things to make it fun for all ages.
    • Go for a swim, kayak, fish, or paddleboard if you are boondocking by the water.

Finding Locations to Boondock

There are a lot of places where you can boondock with kids, but not all of them will be winners. We have had our fair share of off-grid winners and losers. Here are the best places to dry camp with kids and how to find them.

Boondocking on the Water

Nothing beats dry camping near the water. Not only is it beautiful, but it allows for a lot of family-friendly recreation: fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc. Like so many other things, not all waterside RV camping is created equally. So read those reviews and study those photos.

Find by searching the following sites:

Boondocking on a Farm

Yep, you can RV camp on a farm!! What a fun experience. Stay on a dairy farm, alpaca farm, horse farm, etc. Family bonding and learning all in one trip. What can be better?

Find by searching the following sites:

Boondocking at a Winery

Photo Credit: harvesthosts.com

Ok, this may not initially seem family friendly, but many wineries are family friendly. Not only can everyone learn about winemaking, but there are plenty of open spaces to walk and explore as a family. Oh, and the wine will help parents have a relaxing evening. Most of these locations are only for an overnight experience, so it can be a nice stop while making your way to your boondocking site.

Find by searching the following sites:

Boondocking near National Parks and State Parks

There are opportunities throughout the USA to find dry camping locations around National Parks and States Parks. It’s a great way to enjoy some of the countries finest parks with fewer crowds, more nature, and cheaper (or free) RV camping fees.

Find by searching the following sites:


Boondocking with kids can be a fun and memorable experience. There is nothing quite like disconnecting from the world and experiencing nature and family bonding to its fullest. Where are your favorite spots to boondock with family?

How to boondock with kids

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