Are You Ready to Live the ‘Nomadic’ Life?
Once Gesara goes through many will be looking at living ‘Nomadically.’ Everyone does this Nomadic life differently. Some will choose to buy a Class A, Travel Trailer, 5th Wheel, Van, or just come out in their vehicles. No way is the wrong way. Again, it just depends on how you want to embrace this lifestyle.
Therefore, ‘boondocking’ (dry camping or free camping) on BLM and National Forest land out west has worked for me over the past 4 years. Waking up in nature breathing in fresh air and being able to live in peace is what has got my creative juices flowing.
At 67, I am a ‘girly girl’, a very feminine female, but I still don’t like the ‘Glamping’ lifestyle as a Solo Female Traveler, #VanLife. I can camp out in these luxurious spots for special occasions, but not on a daily basis.
I am currently having a #LoveAffair with nature, which means there is nothing like waking up and rolling out of bed on a trail with very few people around and being one with nature.
-Flood Zones: It is quite easy to get stuck when boondocking on BLM or National Forest Land even in vans or cars. Be careful parking in the washes or gullies or too close to beaches because you can wake up and be surrounded by water.
Many times you might have to wait 2 or 3 days for it to dry out before you can leave certain areas so look for Flood Zone signs and watch the weather closely. Also, invest in some of the weather apps and alert services.
You also might want to inform others where you are going especially if you are going out for weekends and holidays in case you don’t show back up as planned.
-Class A’s: Class A’s are like driving around a small apartment. I do see many Nomads in the older Class A’s out on BLM land, but just remember if you are driving the newer Class A’s there are a lot of places or roads you won’t be able to go because of your size.
Many of the mountainous roads will say turn around if your vehicle is over 30 feet. Pulling a vehicle will make it even more unsafe for those driving Class A’s on mountainous roads.
The reason Travel Trailers are the NUMBER ONE vehicle to turn over on highways and freeways is because the cars or trucks pulling them don’t have enough horsepower and many drivers are sometimes just driving too fast.
Keep in mind that dealerships will sell you anything. They won’t work with you to make sure you have enough horsepower to pull a Travel Trailer. They are just trying to sell you a vehicle.
–Parking in Bear Country: Many women especially choose to drive vehicles (Class C’s, Vans, etc.) that allows them to jump in their front seats and leave in case they encounter bears, mountain lions, or feel unsafe around man.
-Tent Camping in Bear Country: I do look forward to finding spots where I will feel safe tent camping, but not in Bear Country. You certainly want to be careful tent camping in Bear Country.
Many who have cars or vans will say they are tent camping but at the end of the night, many are back in their vehicles unless they really feel safe when camping.
I do end up engaging in city living from time to time especially when I go south (Texas, Atlanta, Florida, Carolinas, etc.) where BLM and National Forest Land aren’t available or when I am working on a project and need good internet in the city.
Others, especially those with city jobs, prefer living in cities and parking in driveways, on streets, at 24-hour gyms, 24-hour emergency cares, hospitals, Cracker Barrels, Walmarts, truck stops, rest stops, etc. It all depends on how you want to embrace this lifestyle.
If you are getting over ‘heavy metal’ poisoning or some type of other illness where you need to breathe in fresh air, just know there are more toxins (gas fumes, etc.) in cities. The fresh air is out on BLM.gov or National Forest land.
-You can use RV dumps.
-You can plug in and get power.
-You can throw out your trash.
-You can fill up with water.
-You can take a shower.
-You can wash clothes.
-You can buy bags of ice.
In my 4 years on the road, I have only stayed in two RV Parks, and quite frankly, I felt I was too close to others. Not only can you see in the windows of other travelers but the sites are just too close together so you lack privacy in RV parks.
There are very few RV Parks in certain parts of the country so RV Parks cater to certain Nomads, especially on weekends and holidays.
RV Parks don’t allow RVs over 10 years old to park there and they don’t allow Vanners either. Some might allow the obvious built-out Class B vans, but they discriminate on the vans that don’t look built out.
Many of the campground sites can be far apart and again, this could potentially put you in unsafe conditions when it comes to animals or man as a Solo female traveler.
Thousand Trails Memberships
To use a www.ThousandTrails.com membership pass, you need to be driving a “Self-Contained” vehicle, which means you must have a way to use the restroom in your vehicle so having a bucket in a van is okay. Just know that many in RVs still use the bucket method, especially women, who don’t want to deal with the black tank.
Many purchase a Thousand Trails membership and stay in their system of RV resorts and campgrounds. For instance, there are 1017 sites with Thousand Trails memberships in Orlando, FL. You pay ongoing, annual dues of $499–$670, depending on the membership contract. And you can make monthly payments.
You don’t have to be a member to stay at Thousand Trails campgrounds. Your Thousand Trails Camping Pass entitles you to day use and overnight camping in your recreational vehicle or tent, subject to length of stay restrictions. During your stay, you enjoy all the same amenities provided to those campers who book at the daily rate.
The current www.HarvestHosts.com memberships are $99 a year. At these Harvest Hosts venues, they want you to buy the wine and cheese and park by corn fields or at museums.
This style of traveling just doesn’t appeal to me mostly because I don’t drink wine or eat cheese and parking by corn fields (#ChildrenOfTheCorn) or museums (relics, artifacts, etc.) can carry ‘negative energy’ and again, it is just not appealing to me as a Solo Female traveler.
I am allergic to wine or am I allergic to the poison in it? Over 100% of wine (and beer) especially the wine from California has glyphosate, roundup-ready weed killer, in it and after realizing how they make processed cheese, I am not a fan of either.
Also, the locals in cities know where HarvestHosts.com parking is located so many women on YouTube said the spots can be quite intimidating and isolated.
Many Solo Female Travelers said they are harassed by local men when they left their campsites to buy groceries, wash clothes, or just to explore the city.
BoondockersWelcome.com memberships are $79 a year. These are homes where you can park overnight or for a few days as you travel back and forth around the country.
You have to make reservations and many of these homes are families that were former ‘Nomadic’ campers themselves. However, as a Solo Female Traveler, I just would not feel comfortable staying on the property of people I do not know unless it was some type of Nomadic event.
Other traveling terms:
-Boondocking: Boondocking is of course what many Nomads do on BLM or National Forest Land for free. But they also do this in other places such as boondocking in Walmart or Cracker Barrels’ parking lot.
-Couch Surfing – www.CouchSurfing.com, is where you literally stay on someone’s couch when you are traveling. Many even offer up their driveways for Nomads to park. Many times it is free but sometimes they want you to pay.
-Moochdocking – Moochdocking means you are camping for free on your friends or family’s property. But there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
My website is www.CathyHarrisInternational.com and you can email me anytime at AskCathy@DearCathy.com
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