AAQ: A Typical Day Boondocking

Here’s the first of the “Ask A Question” (AAQ) posts! For those who may have missed it, a couple weeks ago when I arrived at Amazon I mentioned how working full-time hours doesn’t give me as much time to get out and explore (and make travelogues about exploring), so I asked if anyone had questions about RVing or deliberate living instead. On work nights I only have three hours of free time during which I also need to eat and shower and prepare tomorrow’s lunch in addition to writing a blog post so these AAQ segments are going to be short-and-sweet answers (and not heavily edited) posted about once a week – don’t worry, there will still be one full length blog post per week too on my “weekend”. The questions that will take longer to explain I’ll hold on to for now and hopefully do a full-length post for someday.

The park near work in Haslet, Texas. Stopped there for poi practice on Sunday.

The park near work in Haslet, Texas. Stopped there for poi practice on Sunday.

* * *

For today’s question, Jan e-mailed in and asked what a typical day is like for me when I’m boondocking. Good question Jan!

I usually set my alarm for 7:30 am no matter what I have planned for the day. I tend to wake up slowly and lounge in bed for a while, longer when the mornings are cold and less so on warmer mornings.

Breakfast is the first order of business – sometimes cereal and sometimes a breakfast bar of some sort. If it’s nice outside I might eat it on my “porch” and enjoy the morning sun.

I’m the kind of person who needs to get work done before anything else, or it might not get done at all. So after breakfast I’m usually at my dinette, typing away on the computer. If I’m writing a blog post they usually take 3-4 hours to do which takes me to lunch time. If I’m writing for a book I tend to do that in 2 hour stints, I lose focus and creativity and need a significant break before coming back.

If I need a break while writing, that may be a quick walk around camp if the weather is nice (with Pokemon Go running on my phone as good stuff happens in that game when you walk), or poi spinning practice, or wandering near the RV taking pictures of the view or plants, or a single chapter in whatever book I’m reading at the time.

When boondocking, lunch is my biggest meal of the day. On cold days, cooking lunch on the stove warms up the trailer nicely. On hot days, it’s cooler at lunch time than at supper time which makes cooking less uncomfortable. Usually I read while eating lunch.

If I’m not done with a blog post, I’ll go back and finish it after eating. Afternoons is usually when I get chores done if I need to clean, or take a trip into town for supplies/laundry, or if I’m going on a half-day trip those usually happen after lunch too. I often read in the afternoon too (reading is my #1 source of entertainment while boondocking as I have a small data plan for my phone/computer and I don’t own a TV).

Responding to blog comments/e-mails, and FB/Twitter/Instagram stuff can happen any time of day, and depends on how many comments I have waiting, whether I need to publish a post that day, and the urgency of the questions being asked. People are usually surprised to discover that the day after I publish a post it usually takes a good hour if not longer to respond to everyone’s comments and e-mails – if your comment, e-mail, or Facebook message has ever gone unanswered I’m sorry, they do get lost in the shuffle every now and then.

Supper is usually a sandwich when I’m boondocking, often with a salad or fruit – I rarely if ever cook for dinner (I don’t enjoy cooking).

My long walk of the day happens after supper in the evenings, I love being outside to watch the sun set (you’ll notice this past year when I was boondocking I took a lot of sunset photos). I’ll usually read in bed (particularly if it’s a cold night) before going to sleep around 11.

* * *

If you’d like to Ask A Question (I’ll try doing one a week while I’m at Amazon, eight more weeks to go!) feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail. I only request that you look over the Useful Stuff page first where I link my informational articles to make sure I haven’t already answered your question in another blog post. Also remember: your question has a better chance of being chosen if it’s something I don’t need a great deal of time to answer, remember I’m working 10+ hour days here.

Have a good week everyone!

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  1. Gary Martin on November 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm


    I’m a long time follower from Kansas. My question is, how long do you see yourself living this lifestyle?

    • Becky on November 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      I’ll add it to the list Gary. 🙂

  2. Rosalea on November 6, 2016 at 3:58 am

    To clarify, it’s not the things themselves that are important so much as their sentimental value.

    • Becky on November 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      My article about downsizing can be found here: https://interstellarorchard.com/2011/11/21/in-pursuit-of-downsizing/ and in it I do mention briefly one way to handle things of sentimental value. Since I wrote that post I’ve learned of another way though: if it’s the memory attached to the item more than the item itself, take a picture of the item to remind you of the memory. I ended up doing this with a couple things before I hit the road. Hope this helps Rosalea!

      • Karen on November 27, 2016 at 10:32 am

        Actually, it was my suggestion in your comment section to take a photo of sentimental items.

        • Becky on November 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm

          Now that you mention it, yeah, sounds familiar haha.

          Didn’t mean to steal your thunder Karen, when I’m working 50+ hours a week at Amazon and then an additional 15 hours a week on the blog and trying to respond to comments quickly so I can eat and shower (not to mention get to bed in a timely fashion) sometimes the details get lost.

  3. Rosalea on November 6, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Do you have any helpful tips about downsizing pre-setting out?

    My biggest obstacle to making a commitment to leaving my cosy aptmt and OK job is that I’ve worked so hard to establish friendships and a modest lifestyle in a city I first came to 17 years ago knowing no-one and with nowhere to live nor a job to go to, and the few things I own, I care about dearly. But they can’t possibly go with me and I can’t afford to put them in storage.

    Was there any particular thought that you found helped you to “bite the bullet” and part with things?

  4. Lara / InspiredTrekker on October 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Hi, I’m curious how different this is from when you are at a campground… and am now going to check out your dehydrated foods link! I have gotten and even made some myself before and was recently looking into ordering some from Amazon instead. 🙂
    Lara / InspiredTrekker recently posted..Some Thoughts on Travel, Happiness, and Living My Profile

    • Becky on October 31, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Not a whole lot different Lara unless I’m working a job like I am now, then my day isn’t much different than the typical working person’s day. But I’ll see about putting it in an AAQ.

      More about the dehydrated food thing in today’s AAQ.

  5. Kim on October 25, 2016 at 9:39 am

    First I’ve heard of your Poi Spinning hobby. Is this new?
    PS – I had never heard of it so I looked it up on Wikipedia – thanks for the introduction!

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

      You’re welcome Kim, it’s not a very well known activity.

      I was first exposed to Poi at the Xscapers Convergence in Quartzsite last January, Cherie of Technomadia spun fire for us and I instantly knew it was something I wanted to learn: https://interstellarorchard.com/2016/01/26/camping-on-a-gold-mine/. I’ve mentioned it a couple times on the blog since then, Cherie taught me my first couple moves at Q but I didn’t get serious about learning until August when increasing my data plan meant I had data to spare to look up how-to videos online. I enrolled in an online class last month and am progressing much quicker now. I’m hoping I’ll be good enough by January to perform at the next Convergence. 🙂

  6. Pshorten on October 25, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I’m an avid reader and would like to know what sort of books you read as you have a bit of reading time in your day. Maybe a list of your favorites?

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Sure Pshorten, I’ll see what I can do. I read mostly sci-fi and fantasy.

  7. Robin on October 25, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I remember a while back you were ordering some pre-packaged meals. Has that continued? Are they working out, meaning are you really using them and enjoying them? Has it saved any money on groceries? Would you recommend this type of food for travel?

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 9:43 am

      You’re talking about the dehydrated food experiment Robin? (https://interstellarorchard.com/2016/07/26/rving-experiment-dehydrated-food/).

      In the original blog post I answered these questions (yes I do enjoy the taste, yes with the Harmony House brand I save money, yes it’s a great option for travelers who don’t have refrigeration, or are a long distance from a grocery store and like buying in bulk), so I’m guessing what you’re asking for is an update on the experiment with further musings. As a quick answer, the truck troubles last month derailed the experiment temporarily but yes I do intend to order more dehydrated food before I leave Boyd and to continue the experiment when I’m boondocking again – I’ll mention it in an AAQ post at some point.

      • Kate on October 27, 2016 at 11:27 am

        I was actually wondering about this too! I’m sure the truck troubles threw a monkey wrench into things and that being stationary for a while allows you greater flexibility with regard to obtaining regular groceries. Just curious about if you were finding the dehydrated foods tasty and convenient enough to continue eating them in the longer term.

        • Becky on October 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

          The first box I bought was running out just as the truck died, and I didn’t know how long it would take to fix (where to have it mailed) and I didn’t want to try taking a box of food home on my bike so decided to wait to start it up again until I get ready to leave Boyd as I have full hookups (microwave) which is just faster and easier with 10 hour days.

          But yes, I still find them tasty and will buy more when I go back to boondocking.

  8. Ed Stewart on October 25, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Hi Becky, have you ever checked out “Army Corp of Engineer camp sites” on youtube ?, My barber was telling me about it, might be worth checking out, Ed

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Yes I know several people who enjoy camping at ACOE parks. Haven’t done it myself yet, but probably will someday!

  9. Ethan on October 24, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I get the next question. Q: For all these years on the road, what is one of your favorite stories to tell?

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 9:16 am

      That’ll be a tough one because I have so many interesting stories, but it is a good question Ethan. 🙂

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