Boondocking /Dry Camping
Growing up from as early as I can remember my family has camped.
My parents were poor and with four kids camping was cheap entertainment. We camped in tents, cab over campers and later mama and daddy had a 19 foot tow behind trailer (20 foot length is maximum length in Big Sandy).
All of us kids slept in tents or under a tarp in the back of the truck.
Our favorite place to camp was Big Sandy, CA.
It’s a small Campground with 18 sites just outside of Yosemite National Park and at the time it was free to camp.
Every summer we would pack enough food and supplies for a month of camping.
Back then we didn’t call it “Boondocking”, we just knew it as dry camping. Or as my Uncle Rodney would say “Living off the fat of the land”.
At some point the US Forest Service started charging a small fee and today it is still relatively inexpensive at $26 per night. It’s still dry camping with no water, no dump facilities, no electrical and you pack it in – you pack it out.
There is a camp host and a couple of out-houses which the camp host cleans daily.
This part of my childhood was truly a gift from my parents. To experience the great outdoors, to fish, hike, playing outside and getting dirty, then jumping in the creek to get cleaned off.
Daddy had a Toyota Land Cruiser that could go just about anywhere.
Mama would drop Daddy, my sister and I about five miles or so away from the camp with cheese, crackers and a canteen of water (this was a couple of decades before bottled water).
The object was to hike back to camp before dinner but without using any of the roads.
Often times this would entail crawling under, over and through Buck brush and Manzanita.
We would come dragging into camp bloody, scratched and bruised ready for a dip in the creek.
Mama would have a big pot of beans and biscuits waiting for us. The way we ate you would think we hadn’t eaten in a month, but then again mama was an excellent Okie Chef.
Our nights were filled with sitting around the campfire or we would all pile in Mama and Daddy’s trailer and play cards.
I can honestly say the times I spent camping with my family at Big Sandy we’re not only some of the best times of my life but also what helped mold me into who I am today.
Disclaimer: I would have killed to have any of this camping/hiking/fishing gear growing up. No complaints I caught my limit on my hand me down, second hand rod and reel.