Boondocking the Last Great Frontier: Day 2

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 23, 2017

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Day 2 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier has arrived, and after waking up at the fairly late hour for Boondocking of 9AM in the Walmart parking lot and doing some personal hygiene cleanup in the for Cripples toilet stall in the Men's bathroom, I buy an Egg McMuffin at the Mickey D's inside the Walmart for breakfast for $3.  I am almost able to consume 3/4s of this disgusting but calorie laden food sitting in the driver's seat of SaVANnah, with my Mobile Desk attached to the Steering Wheel to place the McMuffin on and surf the web for Doom Newz while I eat breakfast.  Then I fire up SaVANnah and drive over to the Alaska Club to do some swimming rehab and take a Sauna and Steam Bath again.

My early day tasks now complete, I prep up for today's overnight parking, which will be another FREE spot, this time one of the Public Use camping spots you can find around almost any state, although there are more of them in Alaska then any other state I am pretty sure.  The amount of time you can stay parked in such a spot has some legal limits, around 7-14 days in most of the spots around here. One of the Diners, Azozeo says you can stay up to 90 days in BLM managed land (Goobermint Bureau of Land Management) in the Mojave Desert in AZ. I however would never stay so long in such a location, 1-3 days tops for such a parking spot for me.  This particular stay will only be for the rest of the day and overnight.  The drive to this site is not that far from "civilization", around 10 miles. I will need food for this day, as well as water to drink and BEER & Cancerettes to smoke while camped out!  So I stop first at a Subway to buy a Foot Long Spicy Italian hero, and have it cut into 3 parts. Cost for this food, $7.50.  This is generally will last me 2-3 days, with a couple of eggs thrown in for breakfast and a can of soup for dinner, and the Vitamin pills.  Then I head to Fred Meyer (Kroger chain store in Alaska) and buy a 30 pack case of cheap beer ($15) and a pack of cancerettes in the liquor dept for another $10.  This will last me most of the rest of the week, although I will need to buy another pack of smokes I am pretty sure.  I try to keep the smoking down to 4 cancerettes a day, but not always successful with this.  I load up on potable water for FREE in the Kroger bathroom, filling up two one quart old juice containers with the aqua from the Palmer City water system, which is very nice water and not overloaded with chlorine.  I buy a block of ice for $3 which will last about 4 days in my cooler/refrigerator to keep leftover sandwich parts, my eggs and my drinking water and beers cold.  I buy a dozen of the cheap non-organic eggs for $2.50, about 20 cents an egg.  The Free Range chicken eggs go for $7/dozen, around 60 cents an egg.  I'll deal with the hormones and antibiotics injected into the cheap chickens laying the cheap eggs at this price differential.  I buy 3 cans of Chunky Soup for $6, a half pound of Red Potatoes for $0.60, a white onion for $0.70 and a package of breakfast sausages for $3.50.

Now loaded up with my preps for a few days, I point SaVANnah in the direction of the FREE Public Access point on the Matanuska River which has NO CAMPING FEE associated with it and where I could set up camp and park for a couple of weeks FREE & LEGAL if I wanted to, but I am only going to stay for the night on this trip.  I have a lot of other places to hit during this week of the Great Alaska Boondocking Adventure in order to give a broad overview of your possibilities for Boondocking in your rig.  Also, this site has no FREE Wi-Fi available so I will have to use 4G while parked in this spot.  I have to watch my bandwidth when I do this, although since I usually scarf up FREE Wi-Fi during the day somewhere, it's generally not an issue. On the way to the river, I make a stop to check mail in my 24/7 Mailbox at the UPS office, where they also will collect packages of Preps I order online from Amazon or Ebay.  Nothing there, because I don't actually use this box currently, I get my mail in the box where I normally live at my digs.  I just have this box as a backup arrangement if I have to actually move out and live full time OTR in SaVANnah.  It's one of my Plan B backups for SHTF Day.  Another Insurance Policy, and at less than $1/day, not too expensive.  I made the stop anyhow even though I knew the mailbox would be empty just to demonstrate how you collect snail mail and package deliveries while homeless.

Leaving the UPS office, I make the 10 mile or so drive to the FREE public access site on the banks of the Matanuska River to set up camp for the night.  This spot is REALLY bare bones, besides no toilets, water, sewer or electricity there are no Fire Rings and no Picnic Tables either.  This is actually Good Newz, because few in the RV crowd will use the spot. It's very quiet, no motor boats or 4-wheelers tooling about. It's a rather lumpy gravel lot I drive slow over while I decide where I will park SaVANnah for the night, and finally back myself in to a fairly shady spot.

With no Picnic Table on the site, to set up my outdoor Diner Control Center I need to pull out two of my Aluminum folding tables to set up as a desk, and my cooler and stadium chair as my seating while at the keyboard.  My Beer is conveniently located right under my ass.  It's a clear day but the SUN☼ is getting low on the horizon and setting up the Big Brolly for shade really isn't necessary.  It's not going to rain tonight either.  Then I take my emergency shit bucket out and put it behind the Van, basically out of site of the other folks camping at the site.  I won't need the piss jar here, when I need to take a leak I'll just fertilize the trees.

So this campsite is real EZ and fast to set up, and also to pack up and leave.  You can setup on dirt in a spot like this, or on asphalt in a Rest Area or parking lot.  No stakes need to be driven into the ground for tents and tarps, and if it looks like it might rain, it only takes another 5 minutes to set up the Big Brolly.  Well, more like 10-15 minutes for me, but for an uncrippled Van Dweller it would only be 5 minutes.

I do have larger setups for places I might park my butt for a week or two at a stretch like say the Grand Canyon including a Big Ass 20'X10' 3 Room Tent and tarps to make awnings with but at the moment I have no plans to make such long stays anywhere.  This week, everything is a one night stand.  When I head down to Kenai for the Dipnetting Adventure, probably only 3 nights and I probably won't do them all in the same spot.  For me alone, it's really hard to justify setting up the tent.  If I was at a convocation of other Van Dwellers and might share my site with others who don't have such a good setup, then it would be worthwhile.

Come to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous.and you can take classes and learn plus make many great friends.

If I was living this way with a wife and kids I would need to set up the tent every night.  However, in that case I wouldn't do it with just SaVANnah, I would pull a trailer of some type.  If you are living the Gypsy life Over the Road, you do need to scale up your rig to accomodate more people, you can't do it in just the Van.  The van is only good for up to 2 people, and only if they can stand to be in such close quarters with each other all the time.  I know of few married couples who could do that. lol.  Here's a nice rig setup you probably could pull it off in:

Brand spanking new as this rig setup is, it would be pretty expensive to get into.  That van probably goes for $40-50K and the trailer for another $20-30K.  That is of course still a LOT cheaper than any McMansion you could buy, but by no means is it necessary to spend so much and have this type of arrangement.  SaVANnah cost me $5000, and I can buy a used Camper trailer of this size for around $10K.  I can get cheaper than that if I go with a Cargo trailer and modify it, for that it costs me maybe $3K for the trailer and another $1K in modifications.  Total cost for that rig setup would be $9K.  Instead of a Van, you could drop a camper back onto a pickup truck if you had one of those, then pull a modified cargo trailer with it.  You can get camper backs for pickups on the used market for around $2K.  I prefer Vans to Camper backs on Pickups because I like being able to go straight from the bunk to the driver's seat without going outside, but you have the same size space to work with for living in general.  However, other Van Dwellers prefer Camper backs because you can drop them off at a campsite and then use your pickup truck  for plowing snow or some other means of making some money while you live the life.

With my one-man site all set up and cozy now, I pull out 1/3rd of my Subway Spicy Italian hoagie and a bottle of water from the cooler and fire up the Laptop to surf some Doom by tethering the laptop to my cell phone.  I'm just working off the internal batt of the laptop at this point, it's fully charged and brand spanking new and the batt lasts a good 6 hours.  After I finish my lunch, I'll set up my electrics so I can plug it in and not discharge the batt while doing my daily tasks on the Diner and writing.  For tonight, I expect to use 1 of my 10AH 12V Deep Cycle Batts, maybe have to go into the second one depending how late I work.  Doubt I will need to wire in to my REALLY Big Ass 120AH 12V Deep Cycle Marine Batt, in fact I doubt I will have to do that all week, which is why Solar Panels on the roof of SaVANnah really just aren't necessary, at least until after TSHTF in my neighborhood and I can't get gas or can't afford it.

It probably will get pretty chilly tonight since the sky is so clear, so I'll probably want a little heat inside SaVANnah.  I have a few choices on fuels and methods for heating your rig and staying warm, which I am going over in my Video Series I Spy Doom concurrent with these articles.  They appear in the middle of the week, while these articles appear for Sunday Brunch here at the Doomstead Diner.  For tonight, I think a kerosene lantern should be enough to keep the interior of SaVANnah pleasant inside when I am working at my Inside Office prior to packing it in for the night and crawling into my kick ass sleeping bag good to 40F below 0.  I'll have to leave it unzipped, otherwise at these temps it would be too warm.  So overnight, I won't need to keep the kero lantern burning.

There are the usual lively debates ongoing Inside the Diner on our Forum, and I chip in a few comments, pissing off some Diners as my comments often do.  My opinions are not all that popular all the time on the Diner Forum. lol.  Then I do some surfing of other Doom websites and look for an article from one of our cross posting Bloggers to publish tomorrow.  I find that Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves is back to blogging after his hand injury, so I will publish one of them in his current Alphabet Series.  I'll put off formatting it for the Diner until tonight though prior to going to sleep.

As I finish the hoagie, I get the Call of Nature as often occurs soon after finishing a meal.  I make a quick trip behind SaVANnah to my shit bucket and relieve myself of my internal waste.  It goes into a bag lining the bucket, and the bag will be disposed of in some dumpster tomorrow along with the doggie-doo-doo the walkers pick up with their pooper-scoopers.

There is still plenty of daylight left, so I shut down the laptop and stow it inside SaVANnah along with the aluminum tables and cooler, and roll out my Ewz to do some cruising around.  I lock up the gear, although around here it's unlikely it would be stolen even if I left it outside SaVANnah.  I cruise along the river rather slowly because it's pretty bumpy.  The scenery is very nice and I get some nice pictures.  I could go on the road and cruise faster but there is nothing nearby here worth cruising to on the road.  You could do the same type of cruising around on a bicycle of course.  Or if you had good legs you could go do some hiking or running, or even climb one of the mountains overlooking the river.  If you had a kayak on your roof rack, you could paddle out onto the river and do some fishing.  There are a lot of nice ways to spend your day when you park your Van in a spot like this, and it is both FREE & LEGAL.


Returning to SaVANnah, it's time for dinner, which is EZ to prepare.  For this one I'm just going to use my propane camping burner and heat up a can of Chunky Clam Chowder.  It takes me most of the rest of the night before I go to sleep to almost finish it, a spoonful every 10 minutes or so.  I dump the remaining chowder in the woods to be eaten by the various bugs inhabiting the forest floor, or perhaps scavenger birds who come to pick off the remaining bits of clam in there.

After heating up the soup, I set up the laptop inside SaVANnah and get to work formatting up Hepp's article and then writing up most of this day's log of the Great Boondocking Adventure on the Last Great Frontier, then I shut it down and headed into the bunk for a night of comfortable shut-eye in a very quiet location.  I did wake up in the middle of the night with the Call of Nature, but this time it was only to piss so I went outside and quickly relieved myself on the base of a nice size Cottonwood tree I am sure was greatful for the nice meal of nitrogen.  Then back inside and back to bed. In the morning upon wakening, I (slowly) got myself dressed and then mozied over to the river to splash some water on my face and wake myself up more.  I could have done a full sponge bath, but I really didn't need one since I just hit the Alaska Club yesterday, and plan to again today after I break camp.  Then back to SaVANnah to cook breakfast.  First I boil one of the red potatoes until it is tender enough to push my fork into but not so soft it will fall apart when I cut it into chunks for Home Fries.  While it is boiling, I cut up about 1/4 of the onion to add to the home fries.  Then I take the potatoes off the burner and sautee up 2 of the breakfast sausages until nice and brown, take them out leaving the residual fat in the pan and add some peanut oil to it from the larder I have in SaVANnah of basics and stir fry up the home fries.  Those go on the plate with the sausages, then I scramble two of the eggs in the remaining oil and add them to the plate.  This takes me an hour to eat after cooking it, during which time I get back on the laptop to surf the latest in Doom.

Cleanup is EZ for this meal, the pot I boiled the potato in needs no cleaning, I just dump the water out.  The pan is a Non-Stick porcelain coated one, and cleans with a fast wipe off in the river, and I ate off a paper plate which will go in the dumpster after I leave.  I clean off my Hobo Knife which has fork, knife and spoon with a quick dunk in the river and another wipe down.

I then load everything back into SaVANnah, saving the shit bucket for last.  I tie off and seal the bag inside, and close the lid over the seat.  Very little smell is coming out, and I will dump the waste a couple of miles up the road at the first dumpster I run into.  It only stays with me inside SaVANnah for around 10 minutes, and then is disposed of, leaving the cabin still smelling fresh and nice.

My total costs for today were fairly expensive, because I bought supplies to last just about the whole week, including the beer and cancerettes.  However, you don't HAVE to have those habits, and I would have them living in a McMansion also.  So besides the Daily Fixed Expense of Rent of $8.50, my only other expense was the food I bought, and that will last a few days.  Total Food cost was $25.  If you add in the Beer and Smokes, another $25.

To finish this episode of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, I then drive over to the Alaska Club for another nice Sauna and Shower, and plan my Boondocking Day and where I will spend the night.  For tonight, I will buy a For Pay campsite for $15 which has Fire Ring and Picnic Table, but no electricity, water or sewer hookup, although they have a dump station and also a bathroom and showers onsite.  Join me again next week here on the Doomstead Diner for part 3 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier.  In the mean time…


2 Responses to Boondocking the Last Great Frontier: Day 2

  • Karl Brantz says:


    Good job on the free camp spot and preps. A lot of folks should be reading as they might just need to flee the McMansion and get set up to survive what is coming. Of course we don't know how or how much, but something this way yonder comes for sure. BTW, if you get the urge and the time, I'd love to see another chapter of "How I Survived the Crash." The "K" crowd was really getting like family.

    down here in NorCal, the bubble is still puffing up and nobody seems to notice that it's too big to last very long before somebody sticks a pin in it. They might read the sports section of the paper, but not much more. Which doesn't really matter as the "newz" is all BS anyway. 

    Enjoy the great outdoors up there!

    • RE says:

      I’ll get back to the HISC novel.  I put it on Ice while I worked on the Boondocking IRL stuff.  You can only write so much in a week.


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