boondocking in a skoolie at an RV park
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Smart Skoolie Camping Rules

Skoolie camping rules. We have witnessed it too many times, individuals and couples finding a spot to spend a few nights in the wilderness, and having no idea of what to do. Some people have no idea what skoolie camping rules are all about.

Don’t get us wrong, we don’t have all of the answers to skoolie camping rules or many other aspects of skoolie life.  We learn something new every time we park and camp, whether it is on some remote land or in a campground with other campers.  

We do benefit from spending time in the bush over the last 30 to 40 years though.  Fortunately, we both grew up with families that taught us how to behave, live and survive in a natural wild setting. 

Today, we are going to talk about some basic camping rules whether you are in some remote BLM land in Montana or a KOA RV park in Des Moines, Iowa.  

How to Poop, Pee, and Period in the Wild?

Let’s address the big ol' fat white elephant first.  It’s a point of discussion everyone wants to know, but no one wants to talk about it.

So, we will be that one kid in class and raise our hand to the awkward question.

How do one poop, pee, and period in the wild?

Peeing – Skoolie Camping Rules

Peeing the wild is really nothing more than finding a tree or bush at least 200 feet from your camp.  You can pee right next to your camp, but it may begin to smell a little if you camp in one spot for a while.

We do not recommend peeing close to your camp.  The 200 feet minimum should always be observed. 

If you are in an area where bears, mountain lions, or wolves inhabit, these wild animals are all very curious animals.  For any foreign smell, they will want to investigate.

Wild animal attacks are rare, but they do happen.  Doing anything to increase your crossing paths with these beautiful but potentially dangerous animals is foolish.

If you aren’t sure about how far 200 feet is without getting a tape measure out, walk-off 70 steps.  The average person’s step is about 3 feet.

Soft ground is better to absorb your pee.  This will avoid splashing back onto your boots, feet, or legs.  No one wants to smell your pee on you when you return to camp!

Pooping – Skoolie Camping Rules

Pooping is a whole other situation here.  There is no walking off 200 feet and dropping a deuce.

skoolie camping rules

No, there is a little bit more involvement here.  If you want and chose to do the Two 💩, properly, then pay attention to the following skoolie camping rules and guidelines on how to take a proper 💩 in the wild.

  1. You do want to walk at least 200 feet from your camp and any water source.  This is for obvious reasons, but also, it is good to poop 💩 away from camp due to wildlife as well.
    Bears, Mountain Lions, and other wild animals are curious and attracted to both human urine and poop. 
  2. Dig a hole at least 4 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep.  Do your business and cover it up like a cat.  Pack it down so the ground is firm and then cover the loose dirt with other natural debris.
  3. Do not bury your toilet paper.  Most toilet paper is packed with chemicals and dyes.  This is not good for the environment. Bag your tp in a plastic bag and take it with you. You can dispose of it later with the rest of your trash.


It’s just a natural function people. If you are camping in the backcountry and it is that time of the month for you, no worries.  You are not going to be attached by a wild predator just because you are on your period.

That being said, the skoolie camping rules on how to bag your pads or tampons just as you would your 💩 paper.  

Just take it with you and dispose of it later.  

How to Cook and Keep Food in the Wild

When you are preparing, cooking, and storing food in the bush, there are some simple skoolie camping rules to follow to keep you and your wild animal friends safe and happy.

Preparing and Cooking Food

When you are cleaning and preparing food for your meals, it is advised not to do so right next to your camp.  We know, we know, it is much more convenient and funner to make yummy food right next to your camp.

If there are no wild predators in the area, then just remember there may be raccoons in the area.  If they smell it, they will come. 

So, if you choose to prepare and cook right next to your camp, be sure to follow the skoolie camping rules and clean up very well!

Storing Your Food

When storing your uncooked or leftover cooked foods, be sure to do so in an airtight cooler that is not outside.  If you must leave any food outside, it is advisable to rig a rope and hoist it no less than 15 feet above the ground.

How to Stay Safe In The Wilderness

There are too many situations that could turn sideways fast in the wilderness.  Too many to list here. 

There are, however, some general skoolie camping rules to keep you safe.

Situational Awareness

Having a little common sense goes a long way in the wild.  Knowing what is happening around you and who is around you is a life hack you do not want to be wanting.

If you get a “gut” feeling, listen to it and obey it!  Never second-guess your instincts.  Who cares if it is 3:00 in the morning?  If your sixth sense is saying leave, get up and leave!

Do Not Wander Off

Probably one of the most important skoolie camping rules when boondocking out in the bush. It’s natural and expected to want to explore and discover things around you.  If you decide to head out and explore the land around you, be sure to keep a sense of heading and point of reference for camp. 

Don’t Hike or Swim Alone  

It’s something we are taught when were wee little ones.  Never swim alone or hike alone.  That includes if it is just you and your dog.

It is very common to get a cramp while swimming and then you are underwater gasping for air.  It’s one thing to cool off in knee or even waist-deep water, but to go swimming is not smart alone.

The same goes for hiking.  Venturing off too far alone, you never plan on falling down a cliff, rolling your ankle, or getting bit by a venomous snake, but it happens.

If it does happen, you definitely don’t want to be alone when it does.  Now you are in a potentially fatal situation with no one nearby to help you.  At the very least, no one to call for help.

Never break these two skoolie camping rules.

Keep Your Campsite Clean

Keeping your campsite clean eliminated the potential for campsite accidents.  Tripping over something and falling into your firepit or onto something that could injure you.

Keeping your campsite clean and tidy is less interesting to wild animals who may wander into your camp by chance or by smells.

Besides, this is one of those skoolie camping rules that is good for you, the wildlife, and your camping neighbors.

Keep Your Animals Close

When camping with your dog or even your cat, it is our best advice for the safety of your pet and yours as well to keep them close!

There are lots of wild animals, domesticated ones too, that may see your little furry friend as a meal or snack.

Fox, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, and birds of prey are all potentially fatal encounters for your pet. The smaller your pet is, the more likely it could become a victim.

Don’t discard reptiles either.  Especially if you are in the southern states.  Alligators and crocodiles (south Florida) are a real and constant threat to both people and animals when walking or camping near the water's edge.  

Just be vigilant and mind your pets as you would a toddler. Neglecting to disregard these animals is one of the skoolie camping rules you will regret you ignored.

Setting Up and Breaking Down Camp

Setting up and breaking down camp should not be an all-day affair.  There are some simple skoolie camping rules that will make life easier for you and for those who may be camping near you as well.

Keep It Simple

There is no need to unload every piece of outdoor equipment and furniture you own.  We have seen some very cluttered and busy campsites.  

Why would you unload your portable washing machine if you are not planning on washing some clothes for another few days?

The reason we mention this skoolie camping rule is when you have a lot of stuff spread around your campsite, it takes away the ambiance and natural beauty of camping.  

Other campers don’t want to see everything you own spread all around your campsite.  Be courteous to other campers who may be near you and keep these skoolie camping rules in mind.

Be Respectful of the Time

This should be one of the most important skoolie camping rules for everyone to remember and practice.

Sometimes, it has happened to us on more than one occasion, you get to your campsite pretty late.  

There is an urge and motivation to set up your camp so you will not have to when you wake up.  That way, you can enjoy a cup of coffee early and not worry about the chore of unpacking.  

The same goes for packing up your camp late at night so you won’t have to do it early in the morning before you leave.

If there is no one camping near you, then more power to you, Pack up and unpack at whatever hour you want. 

Just remember to be respectful and courteous of other people around.  They are just as excited about being there as you are.  Give them the gift and grace of kindness and respect.

Never Leave Anything Valuable Unattended

There are some skoolie camping rules that really should not need to be announced. However, we hear about people getting their stuff “jacked” all of the time.

You may think your portable shower tent, camping chairs, or kayaks will be fine where they sit while you run into town real quick for a few supplies.

Only, when you return, and all or some of your belongings have been stolen.

Never assume other campers are good people like you.  There are some real assholes out in this world, and when opportunity knocks, they will open and go right through the door.

Don't allow yourself to be a victim and neglect these skoolie camping rules.

Being Courteous to Nearby Campers

It is very hard for some people to understand that there are other people in this world besides themselves.  Some people only care about themselves while others are just so stupid and total rimjobs that they don’t care about other people.

While that may seem a little harsh and graphic, our point is this. 

Don’t be that person that no one wants to camp near.  Sooner or later, people like that run up against someone who will not stand for that garbage, and they will be put in their place.  

This is one of the unwritten skoolie camping rules when it comes to late hours.  Anything past 10:00 PM and anything earlier than 8:00 AM is reserved as Quiet Hours.  

You never know what the person’s or family’s story is or who you are camping near.  Use the manners your momma tried to teach you growing up and learn how to play with others in the sandbox.  

Stay In Your Lane – Unsolicited Advice to Other Campers

Oh man, we have all met this person once or twice in our lifetime. You know the guy or gal.  They have all of the answers and every single one of them is better than your own.  

Don’t be that guy or girl who offers unsolicited advice to another camper about anything they are doing or have done.  

Sure, it’s okay to be neighborly and offer a helping hand, but unless someone is clearly struggling with something, there is no need to tell them how they can do it better.

It’s actually good for campers to make their own mistakes.  People won’t learn anything unless they have failed at it at least once.

Just stay in your lane and offer advice or help only when asked.

Wrap-Up to Smart Skoolie Camping Rules

Skoolie camping rules are always evolving and changing depending on the crowd, the location, and the circumstances of your camping scenario.

Camping in an RV, state, or National park, all of the above applies.  Camping on some friends' private land where the norm is late nights around the fire passing to the left and beating on some drums, it’s all good. 

Skoolie camping rules are basically common sense at their core.  You aren’t going to find a list of skoolie camping rules that have been commissioned by the National Insitute of Skoolies.  

We chose this life because we wanted and seek something different than what our society has dictated we should do, be and follow.   We all have that in common with one another.

Let’s be smart about this lifestyle where ever we choose to camp.  Every single one is an ambassador for skoolie life to all of the people who are just discovering it and thinking about doing it.

If you are new to the skoolie lifestyle and are looking for places to camp that are inexpensive or free, give this post we wrote on Free Skoolie Camping. We hope this helps!

What are some of your personal skoolie camping rules?  We’d love to hear from you and connect.  Leave us a comment below!

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