Off-Grid Camping: Tips, Trailer Recommendations, & More
By TAXA Habitat Specialists \
The advent of the off-grid camping trailer is allowing more people to simplify their lifestyles and take exciting, off-grid adventures. Depending on your objectives, different factors can come into play in determining which camping trailer is right for you. Before you make a decision and go shopping, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what it looks like to live off the grid, and what’s involved in these expeditions.
What is Off-Grid Camping?
Off-grid camping, also called boondocking, is defined as camping without hookups for electricity, plumbing, etc. It’s also typically done in non-traditional campsites rather than established spots. This means that you will have to be self-sufficient and bring your own power, water, and other resources. A slightly different variation of boondocking is called dry camping, where no hookups are used but you are on a traditional campground.
Boondocking vs. Overlanding
Off-grid camping and boondocking can also be confused with overlanding, but overlanding usually is thought of more as a “lifestyle” than an activity and involves much more offroading. On top of that, overlanding is more focused on the journey, while boondocking is more focused on the actual overnight camping. They can be done with the same trip, but overlanding would be the means to get to a campsite further down the dirt road or more off the beaten path.
Tips for an Off-Grid Lifestyle
Whether you’re looking to live off the grid for a long period of time or just a weekend excursion, it’s good to have a handle on the challenges and opportunities you might run into. It’s helpful to reference blogs and websites posted by real people documenting their adventures and tips for off-grid living. To get you started, we’ve also compiled a list of what we think are the most helpful tips and tricks:
- Consider the needs of your potential destinations — will it be cold? Hot? Stormy? Plan accordingly for these conditions and how it impacts your plans and what you pack.
- Invest in a camping trailer with a layout and features that accommodate these needs (also taking into account towing vehicle capabilities).
- Plan a safe storage solution for your vehicle for when it’s not in use.
- Find equipment for your rig that gets a good bang for its buck (not just in dollar price, but also weight and space).
- Provision for a good night’s sleep with a quality bed and other gear and supplies to keep you comfortable without hookups.
- Understand the water, shower, toilet, and septic solutions you’ll need for your time camping.
- Know your power/electricity needs and solutions.
- Prepare for necessary temperature comforts like fans, A/C, and heat (this goes both for the location’s average temperature, as well as temperature swings from day to night).
- Optimize cooking tools, dishware, and food storage for the space provided by your vehicle.
- Make your space your own and decorate in a way that feels like home.
One of the great things about the off-grid lifestyle is the supportive community of people with similar interests. As you adventure, you’ll likely make friends that can share helpful hacks and tips for your journey. There are also various gatherings and conventions for those exploring this different approach to life and travel. At these events, you can make new friends, share stories from your adventures, and gain new insights for the adventures ahead!
Choosing an Off-Grid Camping Trailer
Earlier, we mentioned that it’s important to find a trailer that suits your interests and camping needs, but how do you do this? Even beyond TAXA’s family of mobile habitats, there are more options than ever for off-grid camping. Numerous lists of the best camping trailers available have been posted for you to find one that fits your needs. In determining which trailer makes the most sense, consider the different needs for size, layout, towability, amenities, construction materials, off-season storage, and passengers.
For more information on understanding the different trailer options available, feel free to refer to a few of these helpful guides:
- U.S. News’ “Best Off-Road Camper Trailers”
- Van Clan’s “10 Best Small Travel Trailers for Your Next Off-Grid Trip Away”
- The Wayward Home’s “12 Rugged Off-Road Campers You Have to See in 2022”
- HiConsumption’s “10 Best Off-Road Camper Trailers of 2022”
- Gear Patrol’s “The Best Off-Road Camping Trailers You Can Buy”
- Go Travel Trailers’ “Top 7 Best Off-Road Campers 2022 Edition”
While not exactly the same as off-grid camping, we have a full guide on what to look for in a trailer for overlanding, which you might find useful to inform your decision here. You can also find more articles about off-grid living and traveling on our press page.
Off-Grid Camping Checklist
Now that you have a trailer, what do you need to remember to pack for your next adventure? Below, we’ve compiled a checklist of everything you need for a standard off-grid camping excursion:
- Durable tent and sleeping bag (if you aren’t planning/able to sleep in your trailer)
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Blankets (if needed)
- Storage boxes
- Camping backpack (preferably waterproof)
- Proper clothes for the environment
- Boots or shoes for the terrain
- First aid kit
- Fire starting kit
- Hatchet (for firewood, clearing an area, etc.)
- Gear repair kit (tape, patches, sealer, etc.)
- Animal protection (this will depend on where you’re going but might include bear spray, metal noisemakers, etc.)
- Bug spray and sunscreen
- Water jug
- Water purifier
- Cook pots and pot holder
- Non-perishable foods
- Cooker and cooler
- Fuel for stove/cooker
- Foldable table and chairs
- Solar charger and extra batteries
If you’re looking for great food to try while you’re out camping, check out our easy recipes for families here!
Go Off-Grid Camping With a TAXA Habitat
All of our mobile habitats can be used as off-grid camping trailers, made with NASA-grade materials and engineering. The range of sizes and configurations make TAXA habitats a good solution for a solo adventurer, a small family, and everyone in between, as well as almost any terrain or journey. Take our quiz to find out which TAXA habitat best fits your needs today!