5 Top Boondocking vs Dispersed Camping Choices in 2024

Usually, most individuals don’t understand the difference between boondocking and dispersed camping. Despite the fact that they tend to be like one thing, boondocking and dispersed camping are two different camping techniques. Understanding the two is vital, particularly for individuals who are new to the RVs world.

Boondocking is the act of camping in an RV for free within an established campground without any hookups and access to amenities. These conditions have to be available for it to be recognized as boondocking. This means that you will not be boondocking while in a tent or paying for the campsite.

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On the other hand, dispersed camping is camping in a tent, RV, or without having any form of shelter for free within an established campground, on public land without any hookups and access to amenities. In most cases, you will find dispersed camping mentioned in literature as well as websites of public land such as state and national parks as well as states and national forests, BLM, and wilderness areas.

As a newbie, you might be wondering which one to choose between boondocking and dispersed camping. As a result, in this article, we shall be taking you through five perfect to choose boondocking over dispersed camping.

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Five Thoughts On Boondocking vs Dispersed Camping Choices

Despite the fact that boondocking and dispersed camping are two different types of camping, you can be boondocking and dispersed camping at the same time while using an RV. Dispersed camping is sometimes referred to as primitive camping, and it is often challenging for newbies. In addition to that, dispersed camping can as well be used to refer to boondocking in a national forest or BLM land. So you might be wondering why you should choose boondocking over dispersed camping. Here are the reasons.


One of the main reasons why you should choose boondocking over dispersed camping is comfort. RV boondocking tends to be more comfortable compared to dispersed camping. In addition to that, you will be able to enjoy peace and quiet, which is often the primary reason for boondocking among most individuals.

While boondocking, you will be able to enjoy your personal time and maintain a significant distance from your neighbors. Even better is that you might not have any neighbors. Unlike boondocking, dispersed camping in a national park or commercial campsites tends to be relatively close. This close proximity often makes privacy a challenge.

Moreover, individuals practicing dispersed camping within this area are forced to tolerate their neighbor’s loud music, pets, kids, along with other distractions. Boondocking involves seeking sites that offer quiet getaways. This allows you to enjoy the quietness of nature while being alone all the time; this is what most individuals are looking for.

When boondocking, most individuals often aren’t looking for any social interaction; they are continually searching for solitude. Furthermore, you will also have a sense of accomplishment by finding a perfect boondocking spot with incredible views and no neighbors. Most people often enjoy spending peaceful moments with their spouses and loved ones while boondocking. Usually, being alone often doesn’t mean being out there by themselves; instead, it is sharing the moment and making memories with your friends and family.

Enjoying the Beauty of Nature

It is with no surprise that the reason why most individuals purchase an RV is spending most of their time enjoying the beauty of nature. Therefore, while boondocking, you will be able to enjoy and experience the beauty of nature on a whole new level.

Despite the fact that both boondocking and dispersed camping offers incredible views of nature’s beauty, choosing boondocking over dispersed camping will guarantee you a vast and better RVing experience. Usually, individuals who choose boondocking often have their vision of the perfect spot to call home during their camping trip, and it is often easy to imagine camping next to a lake or ocean as a great spot.

Some individuals would prefer mountain views, while others would love spots that offer amazing sunsets. Whatever you find appealing and best for your perfect campsite, you are guaranteed to find it while boondocking. Usually, the primary goal is to maximize your experience of staying in a beautiful area and a memorable spot as you are isolated from others. While boondocking, you will be able to stargaze, which is often considered suitable for the soul.


While boondocking, you are guaranteed a vast backyard and playground. There is nothing enjoyable like coming off your RV and be greeted with mountains and a fantastic morning hike or taking a stroll while admiring the sunset in the evening. These are several reasons why you should choose boondocking over dispersed camping.

Dispersed camping might offer freedom as well; however, it is restricted within BLM lands and national forests, while boondocking provides a vast area for camping. Furthermore, boondocking off the grid is way better way better when compared to resorts and RV parks that are often crowded. While boondocking out in the wild, there is rarely light pollution, which offers some stunning views of the Milky Way and spotting constellations with the utmost ease.

Individuals who find themselves boondocking in the wilderness often have the sense of escaping the madness in which the cities offer. While out there, you will be able to find ways of experiencing solitude, peace, and tranquility and leave behind the crazy life of the outside world. However, while there, you should always leave it cleaner than you found it.

You are guaranteed a true sense of freedom, self-reliance, and liberty while boondocking. In addition to that, you will have the opportunity to walk around nude outside without any worry. Most individuals have found this act as one of their favorite thing to do while boondocking.

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The best part why you should choose boondocking over dispersed camping is that it offers incredible adventure, which often entails dealing with the unknown. While out there, some of the unknowns you might experience involves managing the mechanical limitations of your RV boondock as well as the distress of getting disturbed by wild animals or humans.

The search for the perfect boondocking spot is also part of the boondocking adventure. Most individuals often prefer looking for a site to camp late in the afternoon, just before nightfall. Apart from searching for a beautiful spot to camp, safety, along with privacy, should be your utmost priority. Always be mindful of no camping signs and ensure that you are not parking on private property.

You should also consider maintaining a low profile and keep your noise levels relatively low. Always blend in with your surrounding as best as you can. You can as well enjoy dispersed camping in a national forest where you will be able to enjoy multiple sites to choose from, and the best part is that they are accessible with your RV.

Once you choose your boondocking site, you can settle in and survey your surrounding and try to plot your plan for the following day. If you are an individual who loves hiking or cycling, you should consider camping near a trail. Boondocking adventure is the best way of putting oneself out there in a new location and always being ready for anything that nature has to offer.


When you pay any fee for a campsite you are considered to not be boondocking. This is another reason why you should choose boondocking over dispersed camping. Despite the fact that dispersed camping is free, sometimes you will have to pay a small fee to access a campsite, which isn’t the case with boondocking.

Boondocking off the grid is a cost-effective and perfect way to save money. Since boondocking involves camping in an area without any utilities, it is always free. However, dispersed camping can involve staying in national forest campgrounds with limited faculties and low costs.

Usually, these costs are approximately $5 to $10 a night and $25 to $60 while camping in a commercial campground. Since boondocking is totally cost-free, your money will always stay in the bank account. The only thing you will require is to invest in potable water and generator fuel.

5 Top Boondocking vs Dispersed Camping Choices

What to Know About Boondocking and Dispersed Camping

In most cases, boondocking and dispersed camping can be used interchangeably. The two terms refer to camping in undeveloped public lands without any amenities or hookups. Occasionally, you will find boondocking campsites with fire pits or vault toilets; however, this is often not the norm. You will find out that these are often not officially labeled camps. Therefore, it will always depend on whether you should pull over to spend a night or look for a better spot.

As previously stated, boondocking is free of charge; otherwise, it will no longer be referred to as boondocking. On the other hand, dispersed camping is free as well, but at times you might be forced to pay a small fee while camping in national forests and commercial campsites. However, there are ways in which you can find free dispersing grounds with the utmost ease. One of the ways in which you can find free dispersed campsites is by visiting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) official websites.

BLM lands offer free camps in several locations, and you can always find one near you by visiting their official website. Just like boondocking, dispersed camping on BLM lands has the potential of putting you in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, you should always know your limit and always bring extra supplies with you. Here, rough roads are often common.

In addition to BLM, national forests also offer free dispersed camping. National forests are easily found on maps since forests along with parks are often colored with light green backgrounds. is a website with a database of all National forests allowing you to look at it by state, making it the best resource for locating dispersed campsites along with numbers to call for more information.

On the other hand, state forests tend to vary significantly when it comes to offering free dispersed camping. States such as Pennsylvania have the same regulations as National Forests; this means that there are many available camping sites. In some areas, permits might be required, which can be obtained both for free or at low costs depending on your state. For more information, you can always consider visiting the forest service office.

When it comes to boondocking, there are several ways in which you can find a camping spot that will best suit your needs. One of the best ways of getting the best boondocking site is the use of websites and apps. Some of the best apps and websites for choosing boondocking areas include;

  • The Dyrt
  • US Public Lands
  • iOverlander

Point To Note

Despite the fact that boondocking is free along with dispersed camping, there is a length of stay limit that you will need to abide by. Therefore, if you are planning on boondocking for an extended period, it is best that you look up the restriction for the specific area since they often vary from location and state.

In most cases, the maximum stay limit is 14 days. This means that you will be required to pack up and move your boondocking spot to a different location after the end of two weeks. This rule is often reinforced to help in preventing people from settling there permanently.

In addition to this time limit, you must leave no trace behind after your stay. Meaning, you are required to do proper waste disposal as well as leave what you found, minimize human impact on the environment, and respect the wildlife. It is best that you leave the campsite a little better than you found it.

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Final verdict

As a novice, it is best that you choose boondocking over dispersed camping for a better camping experience. As we conclude, we hope that you found this article beneficial and that the 5 best reasons to choose boondocking discussed here, will help you choose boondocking over dispersed camping.

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