Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

How about a picnic table in a suitcase and other boondocking ideas.

Saturday February 15, 2014
Boondocking Rally In the Cow Field
Fort Ogden, Florida






Those Solo Café girls are at it again for the very last time with eggs, sausage and great hash browns.  YUM!   They even have biscuits cooked to perfection in Gina’s Coleman collapsible camp strove oven.   WOW!   What a great boondocking idea.








Speaking of great boon docking ideas, after breakfast was enjoyed by everyone, there is a “show and tell” RV Rally style.





There are so many good boon docking gadgets that I take pictures of dozens of things.  Here are only a few of my favorites.


What’s in this green suitcase is sitting around in front of Tony’s chair?




When opened up, the seats fold out and when you turn it over the suitcase is the top of a picnic table for those many camp sites out in the middle of no where without a table or anything but nature’s bounty.







Somehow I missed Donna’s big smile over being able to start her day with toast whether she has electricity or not.  She sets this Coleman toaster on her propane stove, inside or out, and she can brown 4 slices of bread without being plugged into electricity in order to use  her toaster or turning on her generator.





Louise demonstrated her gadget before she even got up to tell about it.  It’s called a Wonder Bag and you can cook many things similar to using a crock pot.  She  prepared her dish for the potluck that way and we didn’t even know.  She brought it to the table in the Wonder Bag which kept it nice and warm until we started eating.  No electricity required.




Gina has this portable AGM battery with solar panel to charge her laptop, phone, and hot spot.  She can put the solar panel on the dashboard while she drives and the battery will charge away.  She then uses the battery to charge her electronics.  No electricity required.   And look how little it all is.  Very cool!




There are literally dozens of other ideas from Museum Gel to secure anything and everything to surfaces in your home so they won’t move a muscle as you drive down the road to a flow gauge which will show you how many gallons of water you are putting in your tank to flashlights with tripod legs and swivel heads.


We are on our own for the afternoon today.  Lots of folks start packing up.  Howard and some other folks take a ride over to some Wildlife land to check for alligators.  David changes Winnona’s oil.



I spend part of my afternoon getting Gina’s story.  She was a 21 year veteran Fire and EMT dispatcher in Oregon when circumstances caused her to just feel it was time for something new.  

So she pretty much went out and bought the first motorhome she looked at having never even been in one before.  She says she trusted her gut.  It just felt right and the people who sold it to her had taken great care of it and were completely honest about everything.  Different story from Kris for sure.  

This was in 2012 and she has never looked back.  She says her friends in Oregon keep asking when she’s coming “home”.  Not yet!   And why should she?  She’s already home. 

She’s the heart and soul of the Solo Café.  She loves driving her rig and towing her truck.  She’s become a real expert at boon docking a subject I was just starting to ask her about when Howard came to get her for the alligator hunt.  She’s the one who knows the Wilderness land they are going to.   OF course she does, why am I not surprised.  


After dinner there is a lovely evening sunset glow and then people begin to gather for the last fire of the 2014 RV Dreams Boondocking Rally.







It is a bit chilly out even with the fire so folks are bundled up.  Low of 40 tonight.   I know those of you who haven’t had a high of forty forever aren’t feeling very sorry for us.





The marshmallow roasters get busy once the fixings for s’mores are brought out.





David burns his marshmallow solid black immediately  but he doesn’t seem to mind.
He burned the second one the same way.  :-)







I was getting chilly too so I stand up by the fire and that is taking my smoke allergy a bit too far.  Once I start coughing I have to leave.

The full moon slowly rises over the circle.  
It moves higher in the sky as I walk back to Winnona.
I can still see them all in the glow of the fire light.









We all will be pullin’ up stakes and movin’ on tomorrow.

It’s been a great week, lots of both fun and education.
We’ve made new friends that we hope to see again on the road
so it isn’t good bye, it’s see you later.





  1. A neat trick I learned from a friend is to buy the reflective windshield sun covers - I've seen them at dollar stores. Put one in your chair on a chilly night in front of the fire with the shiny side toward the fire and your backside will stay toasty.

    Do you and David use any of the Lodge cast iron dutch ovens, skillets, or frying pans?

  2. Marti is somewhat like David, she likes to burn her marshmallow to a charcoal briquette before she'll eat it. :cO

    We had one of those portable picnic tables we used in our first RV back in 1993. It lasted quite a few years and was pretty handy. If we had one last inch of space and weight capacity left in our Journey, I think I'd get another one.

    How come none of those experience boondockers didn't extoll the virtues of using cow chips for campfire fuel?

  3. We really considered going to the rally, but the timing just wasn't right...especially with a Dr. Apt for Marcia right smack in the middle of the week. Appreciated your posting of the Rally....perhaps next year we can make it. --Dave

  4. It has been an interesting commentary. I don't know that I would ever go back to fulltiming, but it's an interesting concept.

  5. Looks like you had a good time at the rally! As future boondockers we are hoping to make it next year.

  6. Alls well that ends well...so glad the whole group was able to stay put. Sure were some cleaver gadgets!! Perhaps we'll catch you two in a couple weeks out on the Pan Handle!! Safe Travels.........

  7. We have one of those picnic tables ... have used it quite a bit for impromptu picnics ... some of our favorite moments in the Smokey's were at that table.

  8. So many gadgets...so little space. We love boondocking, but since we are quite small without all that class A storage space, the gadgets stay to a minimum. Our tanks are small as well, keeps our weight down and our length small enough to use forest service dry camps that are sometimes 2 bucks a night with our golden age pass. So our choice is to dry camp a bit, boondock a bit, and stay in all sorts of different places with hookups. Since we are not fulltimers, and since our trips are like planned long vacations...boondocking is a choice for fun and wilderness rather than a need to conserve resources. I am so impressed with all that everyone does to make it work for them...especially the great solar setups, but that expense for us is too much considering how much time we actually spend boondocking. So glad you had fun at the rally. I enjoyed it too, more than I thought I would...The group was a bit more diverse than the boondocking crowd at Quartzite and Yuma. Thanks for all the great posts!

  9. So glad that you enjoyed your rally. There is so much to learn about boondocking. AND to boot, you met new people, hey.... a win, win situation topped with roasted marshmallows and all that good cooking. Love the table in a suitcase. I think we need one.

    We much prefer boondocking to RV "Resorts" and campgrounds. Now is a perfect example. Our location is Palmetto Island State Park in Louisiana. We hear voices, radios, trucks driving down the road, etc. Where if we were boondocking, we would hear more birds, see more wildlife and have many more paths to hike. There are times when boondocking is not an option, like now, but give us the boonies any day. AND it is not less expensive when one considers the expense of solar panels, batteries etc.

  10. Good stuff, Sherry… I've been looking at solar chargers … makes so much sense. Well? I guess it is a smoke allergy because that's exactly how I react around campfires. I love them but my eyes start to itch and water and I start coughing… I used to not be … SIGH

    LOVe that moon! you took that shot? gorgeous!

  11. I enjoyed your Boondocking Rally ...someday I hope to get in on a few rallies...
    I also recognized Louise..I just spent a week with her and other WomenRV girls
    at Hillsborough St Park at a GTG...thanks for taking me along to the rally....

  12. Hi Sherry,

    I have so much to catch up on your blog, but I saw this today and thought you might like to check it out :)


  13. That rally sounds like it was a lot of fun, perfectly low-key. George likes his marshmallows burnt to a crisp too, but I like mine more medium rare :-)

  14. How terrific that all sounds! Yummy food. Love the gadgets everyone has. Dad's marshmallow. Hmmm...that would not be my choice ;) Beautiful moon and fire!

  15. Ok so with boon docking you have no hook ups so are there batteries that store power for your refrigerator? And lights? I guess you could get along with only power to the refrigerator so that your food wouldn't spoil. Interested in learning how everything works. Glad you had fun!

  16. I too prefer the perfectly browned marshmallow however when the fire is that big, I don't have the patience to stand in there and get toasted too. If it catches on fire, then it's done. On the show & tell of gadgetry I was amazed at all the cool things people have found out there. I must not be spending enough time in the gadget shops and hardware stores.


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