Thursday, May 6, 2010

Using the Internet to find Boondocking locations

Boondock Information: Internet

Last section we talked about getting information from Alice or the receptionist at Forest Service and BLM offices on boondocking.  This segment is on using the internet to find those special locations.

The federal agencies are way behind the curve on providing information on the Internet.  The Bush administration years ago told the federal agencies to provide all their information on the net. Well, we might get there by 2050!!

The best government agency websites are those that  give you the same information they use for decision-making, reporting and agency requirements, without filtering.  Always visit the web site for the agency that manages the lands where you are boondocking.  Visit the lowest organization level (ie. district office) that provides the information.  This is where the good stuff is found.

Internet has become the means for providing information.  The only problem now is that everyone thinks they're an expert and you have to filter through all the stuff out there.  So the internet is the wild, wild west of the 21st century.  But just like the wild west, there are good people with good information out there.  You just need to find them.

When you find a new internet site look at areas that you know well.  Internet information is often entered on a "mass" basis.  Errors tend to get repeated throughout the website.  Your critical look at the website will reveal whether to trust the information or just ignore it.

Inquiring in various forums and newsgroups can get you poor information or very good information.  Again, filter and evaluate the information given out.

Always use Google or other web search engines.  The more specific you make the search, the better your chances of finding good information.  In popular areas, the search engine will return more items than you can read unless the search is specific.  Boondocking is a good word to use in your search string.  It is generally used only by RV'ers and so will return information that you can use.

I know of no guidebooks on dispersed camping; however, but there are lots of guidebooks that include information on boondocking.  Follow your interests.  Fishing guidebooks will sometimes include information on dispersed camping.  It is usually just a comment or two after the description of a stream or lake; but that might be all you need.  Scenic Highways and ByWays include information on boondocking, as well as books on mountain biking, hiking and horseback trails.  Explore your hobbies on the net and see if you can find information on boondocking connected with your area of interests.

Do not forget to look for boondocking around popular recreation areas.  Ask the locals and agency personnel.  Many times there are boondocking areas adjacent to campgrounds and other developed facilities.

Of course, keep on reading and and asking questions to get the best information on boondocking!

1 comment:

HouseOnAngeline said...

Excellent blog and article. I am am starting a project of creating a knowledge and database of boondocking locations here in Washington. Like you said, there is no guidebook on boondocking...