Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free BLM camping

I like to stay on BLM land but not at the campgrounds. You can stay on a BLM site but you generally need something more than a tent to camp there. These are free areas to park your travel trailer or motorhome for boondocking. Rarely will you find anything more than a vault toilet except in some of the Long Term Visitor Areas( LTVA) in the southwest. One of the most well known is near Quartzsite Arizona. It attracts quite a crowd each January.  Check out this LTVA page for more information on the these LTVAs. LTVAs do have rules that require you to have a toilet with a black water tank of 10 gallons but the price to stay is cheap.

I plan my stays for 2 weeks. According to the rules, you have to move every 14 days so 2 weeks worth of supplies is a good place to start. How much water you need to be carrying varies with your personal needs but the bare minimum you need is 1/2 gallon per person. This does not include any water for taking a shower. If you take a navy shower(2 minutes) which is designed to conserve water, it takes an additional  3 gallons( 1.5 gpm)  per shower. So you need a lot more water and even more to take a normal shower.

In order to be frugal, I plan meals for 2 weeks without a including a refrigerator. If you need a refrigerator, include the cost of a 20 lb bottle of propane just to run the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Some of the things I take fresh vegetables that will last, dry beans, assorted canned fruit, canned vegetables, dry rice, 5 lb potatoes, pasta, canned milk, dry milk, peanut butter, eggs, assorted spices, tortillas, chips, canned meat (tuna, chicken, spam, and salmon), margarine, cheese, mayo, mustard, flour, cooking oil, olive oil, nuts, hard candy, crackers, coffee, and tea. I developed my list from cooking recipes at home. I had a cabinet that contains only the items I take in the travel trailer. So, I looked for recipes that I could modify to take only those ingredients. Experiment a little to find those meals you can cook while boondocking.

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