Boondocking, a love letter

I think we’re falling in love with boondocking.

There is just something so nice about being out in the middle of nowhere yet being completely self-sufficient and having everything we need to get work done and enjoy the space around us.

And we’re getting a much better understanding of what our solar power set-up is capable of and how to be efficient with our power and water use. The goal is to be able to handle at least 14 days in a row off-grid and I think we’re pretty much there. Our previous boondocking stays have been in the 6-7 day range but we’re just about done with a 9-day trip (between two different locations) and so far we’ve ended each trip with plenty of fresh water left over and no issues with running out of power or propane.

We don’t quite bring in enough solar power to completely recharge our batteries every day but part of that is because we choose to keep our fridge (our most power-hungry appliance) on electric power (instead of switching to propane full-time) for 8-10 hours a day, as long as we’re getting good sun.

So far, each day we’re boondocking we deplete about 6-7% of our battery storage and about 8-10% of a 30lb tank of propane (and we have three of those 30lb tanks). Based on that usage, we should be able to go two or three weeks off-grid without much issue. And if our batteries ever got close to empty (either due to cloudy days or heavy usage) we could keep the fridge running on propane for longer or break out our generator (which we haven’t had to use once yet).

The plan is to keep testing our capabilities, step by step. Out of the first 167 days on the road, only 20 were spent boondocking. But over the next 51 days, 29 will be spent off-grid with the longest being a 13-day trip at the end of November.

As for our current trip, we had an amazing week staying in the Valley of the Gods, bookended by the annular eclipse last weekend and a Thursday afternoon visit to Monument Valley.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Utah and moved down into Arizona where we found a boondocking spot just outside Petrified Forest National Park. We’ll spend most of today exploring the park, have one more night off-grid, and then on Sunday we make the drive down to Tucson for a couple weeks back on-grid. We’ll spend that time getting lots of laundry done and taking lots of long, hot showers before our next journey into the wild.

4 thoughts on “Boondocking, a love letter

  1. Judi

    Where were the cowboys or Indians?
    I’ve only seen Monument Valley from the air but even that was impressive. Couldn’t quite find the cowboys and Indians then, either.

    I imagine you are much more comfortable now, boondocking, having a better idea of your resources. Hopefully most of your challenges are behind you and the future will be more relaxed.

    1. The Duck Post author

      We’re definitely feeling much more comfortable with being off-grid and we’re looking forward to pushing our boundaries bit by bit. The 13-day trip coming up in New Mexico will be the next big test, but with what we’ve learned (and our generator as back up) we should be just fine!

  2. Alicia

    Beautiful photos! That’s great that you’ll be able to stay out two weeks, I bet there’s a spreadsheet for that. 😀


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