What Is Dry Camping?

what is dry camping

Are you tired of crowded campgrounds and noisy neighbors on your camping trips? Dry camping is a great way to enjoy the peace of the outdoors. This post will show you how to get ready for an adventure off the grid, where you won’t need utility hook-ups like water or electricity.

Keep reading to discover a new way of camping!

Key Takeaways

  • Dry camping means camping without hookups for water, power, or sewage. You can do it in many places like national forests and BLM lands.
  • Dry camping is different from boondocking because boondocking happens in more remote areas. Both need you to plan more and be ready to live without usual comforts.
  • When dry camping, you save money by not paying for campground fees and use things like solar panels or generators for power.
  • You must bring your own water and find ways to manage waste since there are no bathrooms or electricity. Essential gear includes water containers and portable power sources.
  • Popular spots for dry camping include national forests where you can enjoy nature up close and BLM lands that offer vast spaces for setting up camp away from crowded sites.

Defining What Is Dry Camping

Dry camping refers to camping in a location without any hookups for water, electricity, or sewage. It involves staying in areas that do not have amenities typically found at established campgrounds.

Differences between Dry Camping and Boondocking

Dry camping and boondocking are two popular ways to enjoy the great outdoors with your RV. You might think they’re the same, but there are key differences between them. Here’s a simple table to help you understand these differences better:

Dry CampingBoondocking
Camping in an RV without any hookupsA type of dry camping outside of designated campgrounds
Can be done in any legally permitted locationTypically involves remote or primitive locations
No access to water or dumping facilitiesAlso has no access to water or dumping facilities
Generators, solar panels, or batteries might be usedSame, but often more reliant on solar power due to remote locations

In essence, all boondocking is dry camping, but not all dry camping is boondocking. Dry camping gives you the freedom to camp without the need for amenities. Boondocking takes this a step further by placing you in more secluded, often more scenic and untouched, parts of the wild. Both offer unique ways to connect with nature, but boondocking requires a bit more planning and self-sufficiency due to its remote nature.

The Benefits of Dry Camping

Experience the tranquility of nature and save on costs while camping off-grid. Explore more about the advantages of dry camping.

The Benefits of Dry Camping

Connection with nature

This camping puts you right in nature’s gentle hug. You’ll wake up to the sound of birds and fall asleep under a blanket of stars. This way, you’re not just visiting nature; you live in it for a while.

Dry camping lets you see wildlife up closebreathe clean air, and find peace away from city noise.

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. In public lands like national forests or BLM lands, dry camping means setting up your tent or parking your RV where there are no hookups or concrete pads – just raw earth and open sky. Here, every morning brings a new adventure: hiking unmarked trails, watching sunrises paint the skyline without any buildings blocking the view, or sitting quietly by a campfire as night falls. All these moments knit together an unforgettable bond with the outdoor world around you.


Dry camping can save you a lot of money on campground fees. This type of camping means you won’t pay for hookups like electricity, water, or sewer. Since your RV or camper van stays off the grid, you spend less cash.

Free camping spots are often in beautiful public lands like national forests and BLM areas.

You might think staying in an RV park gives more comforts but check the cost first. Dry campers use solar panels or generators for power, and carry water with them. They also use propane tanks for cooking and heating.

This way, they cut down expenses significantly compared to RV camping where you’re always plugged into shore power.

Next up, let’s look at some challenges that come with choosing dry camping.

Challenges of Dry Camping

Dry camping presents challenges such as limited amenities and the need for self-sufficiency. To learn more about overcoming these obstacles, continue reading below.

Challenges of Dry Camping

Lack of amenities

When dry camping, you won’t have access to facilities like bathrooms, running water or electricity. This means you’ll need to rely on your own resources for water, power and waste management during your outdoor adventure.

Without these amenities, the experience can be more challenging but also rewarding as you learn to be self-sufficient in a natural setting. For example, solar power and portable water storage solutions are vital gear for dry camping trips, allowing you to generate electricity and store water without relying on traditional campground amenities.

Dry camping pushes you out of your comfort zone by taking away the usual conveniences – it’s all about embracing self-sufficiency in nature.

Need for self-sufficiency

Dry camping demands self-sufficiency, requiring you to bring your own water, food, and supplies. You must rely on generators, solar panels, or batteries for power to tackle this challenge effectively.

Essential Gear for Dry Camping

When dry camping, essential gear includes water storage solutions and solar power or generators. To learn more about these vital items for a successful dry camping experience, read on!

Water storage solutions

When dry camping, having efficient water storage is crucial. Consider using collapsible 2 1/2 gallon jugs or MSR Dromedary bags to ensure you have enough fresh water. These options are popular among campers and provide convenient and portable solutions for your water needs during off-grid adventures.

Solar power and generators

When dry camping, portable solar generators are a must-have for reliable off-grid power. These generators provide clean energy and can easily recharge your devices while you’re on the go.

Pairing them with solar panels ensures a sustainable power source for your camping needs, making them essential gear for any off-grid adventure. Whether it’s charging your phone or powering your camping stove, these tools are designed to enhance your outdoor experience.

Moving forward, let’s delve into the challenges and solutions of dry camping.

Popular Dry Camping Locations

Discover prime dry camping hotspots like national forests and BLM lands, offering tranquility and natural beauty. Find more about these locations in our blog.

National forests

Explore national forests for pristine natural beauty and a chance to truly disconnect. Engage in dispersed camping, also known as boondocking, where you can set up camp in designated areas within the forest.

Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings and enjoy an off-grid experience while being mindful of leaving no trace behind.

Discover untouched wilderness at these expansive settings that provide opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and star-gazing. Be prepared to practice self-sufficiency as amenities are limited.

With careful planning and essential gear such as water purification tablets and solar power chargers from our guide, make the most out of your dry camping escapade amidst stunning national forest landscapes.

BLM lands

BLM lands provide ample opportunities for dispersed camping, also known as dry camping or boondocking. Locations such as Fivemile Pass, Horseshoe Springs Knolls, Lookout Pass/Little Valley, Lone Rock, Soldier’s Pass, and Twelvemile Pass are popular choices for this type of camping.

Dispersed camping means setting up camp outside designated campgrounds primarily on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.


Dry camping, also known as boondocking or dispersed camping, is an opportunity to camp in your RV without traditional hookups. As you seek out unique experiences and connections with the great outdoors, dry camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.

While challenges like limited amenities exist, being self-reliant and prepared enhances the adventure. Equip yourself for success with water storage solutions and power sources such as solar or generators.

Explore national forests and BLM lands as they offer incredible opportunities for this type of camping experience.


1. What is dry camping?

Dry camping means you park your RV or motorhome in a place without hookups like water, electricity, and sewer. You rely on what you bring with you.

2. Where can you dry camp?

You can dry camp in many places like national parks, lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), or even off-the-grid spots known as wild camping areas.

3. How do you get power while dry camping?

Use solar panels to catch sunlight for energy. Store this power in batteries to run things like lights and charge phones.

4. What should be in my emergency kit for dry camping?

Pack an emergency kit with items like a water filtration pump, extra food, a wall charger that works with your solar setup, and tools for minor repairs.

5. Can I conserve water while out there?

Yes! Use less water by taking short showers and reusing gray water from dishes for flushing if possible. Always have a plan for saving water.

6. How do I deal with trash when dry camping?

Keep all your trash until you find a proper place to dispose of it. Leaving no trace keeps the outdoors beautiful for everyone.

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