Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waterfront Boondocks

Waterfront Boondocks

So if you are looking for waterfront boondocking locations where do you look?  Well, the answer to that one is easy.  Check out fishing guidebooks.

My rule of thumb is the more local the guidebook the better the information.  So look for guides to specific areas or state fishing guides.  Pick up the guide and start paying attention to camping information.  You can ignore the fishing information for now.

This copy of Washington Fishing by Terry Rudnick has good fishing information and great information on boondocking and camping opportunities.   For example, here is what it says for Blue Lake:  "Although not an official campgrounds, lots of people camp at primitive sites around the lake.  The nearest campground and other amenities are in and around Conconully, 10.5 miles to the south".

The guide also covers boat ramps, but neglects to mention that many boat ramps in eastern Washington are open for boondocking.  By using a guidebook like this you can find out of the way spots with waterfront camping.  Also, if you are into fishing, it is a a great way to find good fishing spots!

Don't worry about finding the latest guidebook.  Most of the fishing and camping information does not go out of style!  It has been years since new campgrounds have been built on most public lands, so even books 10 to 20 years old still provide good, relatively accurate advice.

For those of you with large rigs, central Oregon is the place to go.  You will find lots of flat ground on the Deschutes National Forest, with a network of paved roads that allows access to plenty of boondocking locations.  This book on Central Oregon fishing has color photos showing the scenery of different location.  If you are from out of the area, books like this with good photos will have you steering your rig towards these spectacular high mountain lakes.

I always recommend you cross-reference this information with the Forest Service and BLM personnel to get the most accurate up-to-date information.  Remember, when boondocking you can spend 21 days on most Forest Service lands and 14 days on BLM lands.  Find your perfect boondock location and stay a while.  While in the area, explore and find your next boondocking locations.   It is unusual to find the perfect boondock the first time, and generally you will find that the more time you spend in an area, the better your experiences.

If you are traveling in Canada, be sure to pick up one of these Backroad Mapbook.  These are primarily fishing information guides expanded to included camping, trails, paddling routes and other outdoor recreation information.

The books include detailed maps that are very good.  Pay attention as you travel and orient yourself with these maps and you should be able to easily find your destination and not get lost!

Pick one of the Mapbooks  and find a campsite smack in the middle of the area.  You will have enough land to explore until the snow flies, and your thinking about Quartzsite.

Most Canadian provinces have outstanding tourist information centers, so be sure to stop at one of these.  Sometimes, you get lucky and find good boondocking information in some of the brochures and and handouts.

Another information source is local fishing and hunting magazines.  Northwest Fly Fishing magazine has great local information, including camping locations in their issues.  They also have editions for the Southwest and Eastern United States.

I stop and pick up local information whenever traveling.  I have found some great spots this way.  If your looking for waterfront boondocking, check the local fishing guides!


Matt said...

Great post with some really useful suggestions! I never thought of looking at fishing guides for boondocking ideas, but that's a natural. Really enjoy your blog with all the useful map and navigating techniques. If you haven't done so yet, I'd love to see a post on how to safely find boondocking spots in an RV. I'm familiar with reading contour maps, but not really sure how to tell if my RV will FIT in those contours, if you know what I mean! And none of us want to get our rigs trapped or stuck traveling on a forest road.

Matt said...

Great post! I never thought about using fishing guides to find boondocking spots, but that's a natural. I've been enjoying your blog and all the practical advice. If you haven't done so yet, I'd love to see a post on safely finding boondocking spots in an RV. I know how to read contour maps, but don't know how to tell if my RV will FIT in those contours, if you know what I mean! And none of us want to get trapped or stuck navigating forest roads that we failed to interpret properly before setting out.