Baja is a boondocking heaven. With thousands of miles of largely unpopulated beaches, Baja offers a myriad of boondocking options for all types of vehicles. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “boondocking” is slang for camping off the grid, for free, often in a remote location.
We’ve done a lot of boondocking here in Baja, and have created a list of must-have items to make sure your Baja boondocking goes smoothly.
Baja is a sunny paradise, which makes solar power an excellent option for powering your electronics. For our Toyota Dolphin we use a 100 watt suitcase style solar panel that can be folded and stored easily when not in use. This panel is more than enough to power our phones, camera, and lights.
Propane is not always easy to find in Baja, and our refrigerator and stove both run off of propane! Rather than risk running out of propane we travel with two 20 pound propane tanks, and get them refilled anytime we see propane for sale.
Tools to get out of soft sand if we get stuck
Most of the boon docking spots in Baja are on the beach, and though we’re careful to avoid soft sand there’s always a possibility that we may get stuck in a sneaky sand drift. In case we do get stuck we carry a shovel, sturdy wooden boards, and a bucket.
If we do get stuck in soft sand we can dig out around the tires, dump sea water around the tires to hard pack the sand, and then place the boards in front of the tires to drive up and out of the sand. We haven’t gotten stuck yet, but we did use these items to help some neighboring campers get un-stuck just last week!
Our Toyota Dolphin has a shower with a water heater that runs off propane, but we prefer to save our propane and harness the sun to heat up water for showering. We use a solar camping shower bag to shower with when we’re boondocking.
Large water totes
We try to carry at least 10 gallons of drinking water with us at all times, and the easiest way to do that is with large plastic water totes. We like the 7 gallon totes with a push-button nozzle to dispense the water. Purified water is easy to come by in Baja, and it’s very cheap to fill large water totes, usually around 30 pesos ($1.50 USD) for 15 gallons.
A lightweight tarp and parachute cord
We always carry parachute cord and a lightweight tarp with us, as these two items have so many different uses! We’ve used the tarp to protect our bikes from sand, as a wind break, and as a ground cover. To keep the tarp in place you will need cord to tie it, and the parachute cord doubles as a tie-out/leash for our dog Indy as well!
Boondocking in Baja gives us access to stunning scenery, and we often find ourselves in such a beautiful camping spot that we prefer to set up our tent and sleep under the stars rather than inside our motorhome. We highly recommend keeping a tent and sleeping bags in your vehicle for those occasions when you want to sleep a bit closer to nature.
We love boon docking in Baja! Hopefully this list will help you prepare for your own Baja boondocking trip!
Unsure about boondocking in Mexico due to safety concerns? See our post Safety in Baja, Mexico for our experiences.