Charge Controllers and more…

If you’re like me the whole solar thing can be very mind boggling. I am NOT an expert. Let me hopefully help you understand what the solar setup and the charge controller does and why by adding an analogy:

Let’s imagine you have a 5 gallon water container with a spigot on it and you use that water for giving your pet water or other small things. When it gets low you fill it back up with a water hose that has a spray gun on the end and is connected to a limited supply water system that turns off at night and supplies water on a sliding scale during the day with noon being the peak time. You go over, turn on the water spigot and then you press on the spray gun to fill the water jug. It’s almost empty so you open ‘er up and let water surge into it and as it gets full you let off until the water level is where you want it. Then you turn off the water spigot until the next time. Weather will affect if your water supply system has water available or not.

So, in this analogy the water container is your battery (batteries), the spray gun and your hand controlling it is the controller, and the main water spigot at the source is the sun. The small water spigot on the water container is whatever you have connected to the battery(ies) that you need to use them for (as well as your inverter if you need to use 110 power). Please keep in mind that the larger your inverter is, the more power it takes to just run it alone so keep that in perspective to your needs.

When you use your batteries, they (of course) run down and you have a charge controller hooked up to them and to the charge controller the solar panel(s) are also hooked up. When the sun comes up in the morning and the solar panels kick in, the controller looks to see what shape your batteries are in (how depleted they are) and then it opens the “nozzle” all the way so it can fill them back up (charge them). The only problem is that the sun is not all the way up so it can only use what it has available. As the sun rises and the panels have more access to more solar energy the more of that energy can be passed on to the controller and the batteries. The controller will flood the batteries with as much power as it can and just like our analogy above, it’s pushing it in so fast that the battery meter will read much higher than it actually is (just like filling a bucket as fast as you can, you really don’t know how much you have until you slow down the flow and look). Mine will normally read 14.4 during the flooding process and then as it gets fully charged and the controller slows the flow of power to them they will read 13.4 (which is my benchmark – or full water container indicator).

My charge controller will then pass through power little by little as I use it but if I use more than it’s passing through then when it hits 12.8 or lower it will start pushing more power to get it back up to 13.4.

I don’t normally use more than my panels can keep up with except when the sun goes down and there’s no more power to get. So, the biggest key to solar power is battery management.

What if, in the above analogy, you were trying to water a garden? That 5 gallon container would never work. That’s what you have to figure out, are you watering a garden or a dog? How big is your dog? How big is your garden? You have to have some sort of an idea what you will be using your batteries for and how often before you can decide what size system you need. Only YOU can figure that out.

Are you watering a horse trough all at one time? (aka: a microwave) or are you on a drip system (aka: a 12v refrigerator)? Is the 5 gallon water container going to be enough to give you the water you need during the time when there is no water available? Batteries are not water containers which are endlessly refillable – if you continually deplete your batteries and then use them before they have had a chance to recharge, your batteries will not last a year – no matter what type you have. Get the right number of batteries you need for what you need them for (do you need a 5 gallon container, a 2 gallon or a 100 gallon?)

I hope this helps in some small way. If you find this helpful, please consider contributing to our efforts: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=H96NJ87QSD3YG

Posted by / January 30, 2021 / Posted in Blog

Solar – K.I.S.S. Method

When I first started using Solar in February 2015 I didn’t know one thing about it. I was so pleased with myself when I impulsively ran out to Harbor Freight and bought a Solar Panel kit. The picture on the front depicted this big Class C with the same panel sitting outside of it. It sure looked big enough for me to charge my Laptop and telephone and probably a few other things as well.

I said I did it impulsively because I had spent days researching online and all the information made my eyes cross. I didn’t understand any of it.

So this panel was only 45 watts and it was 3 large15 watt panels that I had to put together each time I needed to use it. I bought 2 deep cell marine batteries and a 750 watt inverter as well. Of course it was nowhere near what I needed – too little wattage in the panels and more than I needed in an inverter and batteries for those panels to charge.

Now, today, in 2021 I have learned a great deal and I hope my experience can help you in some small way. This is not a “How to” conversation. Everyone’s needs are different and there are MANY MANY variables in order for you to figure out YOUR needs.

My needs were simple. I wanted to charge my phone, my tablet and my laptop. A guy who I met along the way told me that the best rule of thumb for my simple needs was to figure that I would need 100 watts of solar power for each `12v deep cycle lead acid battery I had. I realized that I really only needed 1 suitcase 100watt solar panel with a charge controller included and 1 12v deep cycle battery and a 400 watt inverter or less.

This is the setup I have been using when tent camping. I have a different setup in my converted school bus, but this handles my needs.

I hope this helps some of you. Please consider contributing to our efforts: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=H96NJ87QSD3YG

Posted by / January 29, 2021 / Posted in Blog

Bureau of Land Management Federal land policy

The Bureau of Land Management (aka: BLM) is governed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 and it’s subsequent amendments. You can read more on their website here: https://www.blm.gov/about/laws-and-regulations

The first paragraph of the 2016 presentation of the amended FLPMA reads: ” The Federal Land Policy and Management Act is central to everything we do at the Bureau of Land Management. All of the actions we take rely on the authorities that were built into this law by Congress and the President. We use FLPMA every day to guide our management of over 10 percent of the land in the United States and one-third of the nation’s minerals .”

The next paragraph says: ” FLPMA defines our mission as one of multiple use and sustained yield. This means thoughtful development in the right places to drive economic opportunities for local communities. It also means protecting natural, cultural, and historical resources that are simply too special to develop. And above all, it means working with a changing nation to make decisions that are balanced and forward looking.

After reading many parts and sub-parts of the Act, it’s a little confusing to try and quote certain areas because of the legalese used and other references shown. I would encourage you to go to the BLM website for more information.

Federal regulations

We think it is important that people know what the Rules and Regulations are for the National Forest on a Federal level. A link to the entire document is provided at the end of this blog. These R&R’s are nationwide, but as the following paragraph states, it may be different in the national forest you are curious about:

  • The Chief, each Regional Forester, each Forest Supervisor, and each District Ranger or equivalent officer may issue special-use authorizations, award contracts, or approve operating plans authorizing the occupancy or use of a road, trail, area, river, lake, or other part of the National Forest System in accordance with authority which is delegated elsewhere in this chapter or in the Forest Service Manual. These Forest Officers may permit in the authorizing document or approved plan an act or omission that would otherwise be a violation of a subpart A or subpart C regulation or a subpart B order. In authorizing such uses, the Forest Officer may place such conditions on the authorization as that officer considers necessary for the protection or administration of the National Forest System, or for the promotion of public health, safety, or welfare.

Another worthy paragraph under 261.1 Penalty:

  • Any violation of the prohibitions of this part (261) shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both pursuant to title 16 U.S.C., section 551, unless otherwise provided.

Under 261.2 Definitions, we find this clarification as well:

  • Person means natural person, corporation, company, partnership, trust, firm, or association of persons.
  • Permission means oral authorization by a forest officer.”
  • Permit means authorization in writing by a forest officer.”

Here are the prohibitions listed under 261.3 – Interfering with a Forest officer, volunteer, or human resource program enrollee or giving false report to a Forest officer:

  • (a) Threatening, resisting, intimidating, or interfering with any forest officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties in the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System is prohibited.
  • (b) Giving any false, fictitious or fraudulent report or other information to any Forest Officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties knowing that such report or other information contains false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry.
  • (c) Threatening, intimidating, or intentionally interfering with any Forest officer, volunteer, or human resource program enrollee while engaged in, or on account of, the performance of duties for the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System or other duties assigned by the Forest Service.

Disorderly Conduct prohibitions under 261.4:

  • (a) Engaging in fighting.
  • (b) Addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying communication to any other person who is lawfully present when such communication has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person to whom, individually, the remark is addressed.
  • (c) Make statements or other actions directed toward inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action.
  • (d) Causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by making unreasonably loud noise.

The Fire prohibitions are shown in 261.5:

  • (a) Carelessly or negligently throwing or placing any ignited substance or other substance that may cause a fire.
  • (b) Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.
  • (c) Causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit.
  • (d) Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it.
  • (e) Causing and failing to maintain control of a fire that is not a prescribed fire that damages the National Forest System.
  • (f) Building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire without removing all flammable material from around the campfire adequate to prevent its escape.
  • (g) Negligently failing to maintain control of a prescribed fire on Non-National Forest System lands that damages the National Forest System.

Among other things, the following are part of section 261.10 Occupancy and use as prohibited:

  • (a) Constructing, placing, or maintaining any kind of road, trail, structure, fence, enclosure, communication equipment, significant surface disturbance, or other improvement on National Forest System lands or facilities without a special-use authorization, contract, or approved operating plan when such authorization is required.
  • (b) Construction, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, occupying or using a residence on National Forest System lands unless authorized by a special-use authorization or approved operating plan when such authorization is required.
  • (c) Selling or offering for sale any merchandise or conducting any kind of work activity or service unless authorized by Federal law, regulation, or special-use authorization.
  • (e) Abandoning any personal property.
  • (f) Placing a vehicle or other object in such a manner that it is an impediment or hazard to the safety or convenience of any person.
  • (g) Commercial distribution of printed material without a special use authorization.
  • (i) Operating or using in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a permit, any device which produces noise, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, motor or engine in such a manner and at such a time so as to unreasonably disturb any person.
  • (j) Operating or using a public address system, whether fixed, portable or vehicle mounted, in or near a campsite or developed recreation site or over an adjacent body of water without a special-use authorization.
  • (k) Use or occupancy of National Forest System land or facilities without special-use authorization when such authorization is required.

And the next item is Sanitation under 261.11:

  • (a) Depositing in any toilet, toilet vault, or plumbing fixture any substance which could damage or interfere with the operation or maintenance of the fixture.
  • (b) Possessing or leaving refuse, debris, or litter in an exposed or unsanitary condition.
  • (c) Placing in or near a stream, lake, or other water any substance which does or may pollute a stream, lake, or other water.
  • (d) Failing to dispose of all garbage, including any paper, can, bottle, sewage, waste water or material, or rubbish either by removal from the site or area, or by depositing it into receptacles or at places provided for such purposes.
  • (e) Dumping of any refuse, debris, trash or litter brought as such from private property or from land occupied under permit, except, where a container, dump or similar facility has been provided and is identified as such, to receive trash generated from private lands or lands occupied under permit.

There are many more topics and I urge you to check them out by following the link here and also be sure to drop down to the area that is titled: Subpart B – Prohibitions in Areas Designated by Order. Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property of the Code of Federal Regulations can be found here: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=1b5d5cf8ac6152eaa74f3994b92605ca&ty=HTML&h=L&r=PART&n=36y2.0.1.1.20#36:2.0.1.1.19.1.33.13

Boondocking with family and friends

Getting out into the “Boonies” as my father used to say when I was growing up cleanses my soul and recreates my personality more so than a cup of coffee! (Yes coffee has that effect on me – without it I am sad, agitated and have no sense of humor!)

So, Boondocking it is, adventure it is. Getting OUT there, away from it all. What makes it better is when I can do it with friends and/or family. As my next blog post shows, I very much enjoy doing it solo but there are times when others are a necessity also. Nowadays boondocking refers to dispersed camping in out-of-the-way places. No hookups. For me electricity is generated by my solar panels. I bring water with me and I use a compost toilet. When I leave nobody will ever know I was there or it will be cleaner than when I arrived.

Boondocking is so much more than just camping. When I mention camping to someone I realize that their definition may be very different than mine. For instance as I grew up my parents took us camping at every chance they had. We almost always stayed in campgrounds or state parks where there were designated areas for people who needed hookups (water and electricity) or not. We mostly went in tents. There was generally a picnic table and a firepit and an area just for that space and we paid a nightly price to be there. Others consider camping to be going to RV Parks, hooking up to all of the services, playing in the pool and recreation area and then returning home. I guess that’s as good as a getaway as anything else, it just seems more fun to sit around a camp fire and make smores or cook scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire in the morning or….. ahhhh, the smell of that stake on the grill!!! yummmmm

Boondocking with others is a lot of fun. Of course there is the comradery, the joking, the falling down drunk or just falling down because! LOL. Goofball sort of stuff. I gotta pick my “Others” to camp with based on my frame of mind.

Sometimes I just want to know that someone I know is around – not that I want to spend time with them or anything (lol), it just comforts me knowing they are there.

Then there are the times when I want to turn up the music, make a roaring fire, dance, get drunk and fall out of my chair! I’ve been known to do that and it has it’s own fun (except in the mornings after).

And then the in between of them both where you share your campfire, your stories, your dreams, etc. where you are with others not as a separate person but as a group who care for one another on a personal basis (not a physical – or maybe that too). A group not predefined but perhaps recreated as the adventure rolls along.

When I boondock I do it far away from city life because I don’t want the lights of that city messing with my view of the stars and I don’t want the city noise or smell – or hassles. I camp in either my RV, my truck or my converted school bus.

As a side note: Many of you know that I am raising my granddaughter (I adopted her after my daughter passed away). Of course that means she is very much a part of Boondocking and she loves it as much as I do. I do not mention her for safety sake but she is always a very joyous part of it all. (of course that means that I don’t drink anymore but that’s probably for the best!)… (ok, ok, ok – I have been known to drink twice since she has been with me – since April 2018 – but that was with very dear and trusted friends. oh my)

Everyone worries that changes to laws surrounding our public lands may make dispersed camping impossible or limited. My vision of Boondockers United is to see it grow as big as the ARA and give us a voice where there is none now. Do you know that there is a National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds? (arvc.org) Do you know that they are a massive voice advocating for the use of RV Parks and Campgrounds as the ONLY solution for campers? Did you also know that Hotel and Motel associations are advocating for LESS camping because of the loss of income to their members?

WHO do we have? Dispersed camping needs a voice – BOONDOCKING needs a voice! Let’s do it! Join us now.

Posted by / October 25, 2020 / Posted in Blog

Boondocking….. Ahhhh what a relief!

Many people ask me, “What is Boondocking?” One aspect of it is to ME a relief….. It is that quiet place in nature where I am one with my surroundings. Your surroundings will probably look different than mine, but mine are normally in the forest or desert, in fair weather and few people or none around. Let me paint you a picture of one day in this life:

I arrive at a place of my choosing, walk a short ways and then make myself comfortable. Sometimes that will be a blanket on the ground where I can lay on it and look up at the sky. Other times I may just sit in the lotus position or, if I am feeling my bones, it will be a comfortable lounge chair.

For this picture I have chosen the forest just south of Flagstaff, Arizona in the Coconino National Forest and I am alone. In Arizona the forest is pretty much open where I can see around the trees and into the distance which is pretty nice because if there is an Elk or deer out there I will probably see it as it moves through them. (I have seen them many times, but not today). The pine trees are very tall and majestic with very few dead ones standing. The evidence of a past forest fire shows in the burned bark of many trees.

As I find a comfortable spot to relax I notice that my steps are cushioned by the thick layer of pine needles and a small crunch of fallen pieces of limbs. The pine cones are many and the sizes are varied.

My whole body seems to thrumb to the quietness around me and a feeling of profound happiness envelops my whole being. I almost feel like dancing or singing or shouting – but that would be against all that is right now – maybe later, but right now I just want to chill, I don’t feel like being scolded by squirrels or birds.

The first thing that comes to me is the openness around me, It makes me feel limitless – no walls, no people, no noise, no judgements, no thoughts. Just me and the world around me. It makes me feel very insignificant in a profound way.

In this space in time I feel only deep and all consuming love – I don’t have to identify it, it just is and it’s all the way to my core and makes me smile that inner and outer smile that transforms me. Oh if only the world and my life would allow this feeling to follow me every moment of my days!

As I relax I notice the sun moving across the sky by seeing the shade of the trees move inexorably across the ground. A squirrel is foraging just over there as it readies itself for winter. A crow greets another as they weave through the trees and a songbird serenades all there is.

You may ask me what this has to do with Boondocking? To me, it is the CORE of what Boondocking is. It doesn’t matter to me how I arrived or where I have chosen or anything else – it is the peace and quiet and profoundness of it all. I may do this for an hour, a day, a week, 2 weeks or a lifetime.

Sometimes when I go Boondocking I find trash littering the area I have chosen. I always take it with me and dispose of it as it should be. It is not a natural part of the surroundings so I remove it. I’m confused as to why anyone would want to leave unnatural things in a natural setting, but I do what I can when I can.

Maybe some people who enjoy being in nature don’t understand about keeping nature natural. If I find an area where there was obviously a manmade campfire pit, I will use it. I mean it is disconcerting to want to build a small campfire in one of those pits and find where it is full of burned nails, aluminum cans or melted metal. I use a magnet to get the metal and nails out and then use a small shovel to dig the rest out. Why do people leave these messes? I honestly don’t understand it. Luckily this is not a common problem, just an annoyance that comes up along the way.

TO ME this is one aspect of Boondocking and it is a necessary part of my life. This picture of today many times will be different tomorrow or next week as I seek the varying beauty that life and nature has to offer.

Everyone worries that changes to laws surrounding our public lands may make dispersed camping impossible or limited. My vision of Boondockers United is to see it grow as big as the ARA and give us a voice where there is none now. Do you know that there is a National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds? (arvc.org) Do you know that they are a massive voice advocating for the use of RV Parks and Campgrounds as the ONLY solution for campers? Did you also know that Hotel and Motel associations are advocating for LESS camping because of the loss of income to their members?

WHO do we have? Dispersed camping needs a voice – BOONDOCKING needs a voice! Let’s do it! Join us now.



Posted by / October 24, 2020 / Posted in Blog

National Forest Trash

We are ALL ambassadors for the continuation of free public land dispersed camping. When one of us leaves trash it reflects on all of us. Let’s do our part!

Please look at the end of this post for the link to an article that All About Arizona News recently published.

I have emailed them the following comment:

I would like to comment on the article you wrote:  “Visitors Are Trashing Coconino National Forest Campgrounds”

I do believe you mean “dispersed camping areas” instead of campgrounds because that word implies that the are is improved camping areas with slabs, trash bins, picnic tables and bathrooms whereas dispersed camping areas are none of the above. Perhaps you should hear the “rest of the story”:

Dispersed camping areas are open to all people who wish to camp in a natural setting and the rules are that 1 camping unit may stay for up to 14 days. A camping unit is normally a family or a single person staying in a dispersed camping area. It is open to all people including those who walk in for whatever reason.

The ones who walk in do not have the means to take all of their trash with them so they leave it all behind and that means EVERYTHING including trashed tents, human feces, cooking utensils, unused food items, bedding, etc….

The “Visitors” as they are referred to in your article are actually the ones who are cleaning up the forest and then putting it beside the road for the forest service to take care of. They feel like they are doing their part. Why do they do that you may ask. The reason they are doing it is because the forest service will not try to do anything related to cleaning up the forest. They say it is not their responsibility. 

Perhaps the forest service for Coconino National Forest and Prescott National Forest should contact Ranger Bill Anderson of the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office in Yuma. He works with local concerned citizens, volunteer groups and non profits every single year to help keep Quartzite* dispersed camping areas and surrounding city areas clean and trash free. The BLM office arrives with 2 trucks and one large flat bed trailer. They also supply trash bags and long  handle grippers as well as gloves for those who don’t bring their own. They haul the trash to the local dump once the area is clean. Did you know that Quartzite can grow to 1 million people every winter as snowbirds flock the area from all across the USA and Canada?

Let me tell you first hand what has happened when I have contacted the local forest service. I called on one occasion and asked if my friends and I could clean up the area outside of Thousand Trails campground in Cottonwood (on the way to the bignotti Picnic Site) and could they haul off what we got together (there were multiple areas of trash all around which were from those people who walk in). They told me that they do not do that and they don’t have the means to haul it. So my friends and I cleaned it up and called a local landscaper to come and haul it off and we paid for it out of our pockets.

The next year a friend called the same office and was told, “then the prisoners wouldn’t have anything to do”. The next year they had closed the area completely off to all campers because of trash that they refused to help anyone try to clean up.

“Those who walk in” are often those who have no other option nor a vehicle to leave in. Many times a local “help” organization will give them a free tent, food supplies, a small amount of water and then they further help by giving them a ride out to our National Forest and tell them they must leave within 14 days. They never return to check on them. The local campers who don’t walk in find the trash left behind and the only option they have is to leave it beside the dirt access road because they don’t have the means to haul it off. 

This feels like a no-win situation. Responsible campers (which the majority are) find trash left on our National Forests repulsive and they can only do what they can do. If the forest service would put together a system whereby campers can help with or participate with them, I think the trash problem would diminish considerably.  A way to do that would be to contact an organization like ours, a visiting camper facebook group or website and put out there that help is needed or even put a notice in the local paper or online that on this date and at a given time a clean up will be scheduled and that volunteers are needed. If the forest service would handle it much like the BLM, I think the outpouring of help will be unforgettable.

Let’s try to work together as  a positive unit instead of “them” against “us”attitude.

*The traditional notion of “home” has little meaning here in Quartzsite, AZ. During January and February, homes on wheels outnumber permanent houses by about 500 to 1. The sleepy town of less than 4,000 year-round residents receives a winter migration of nearly 2 million humans and their mobile dwellings each year” Jan 22, 2020

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+the+average+population+of+quartzsite+in+the+winter&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS783US783&oq=what+is+the+average+population+of+quartzsite+in+the+winter&aqs=chrome..69i57j33.29848j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Posted by / May 25, 2020 / Posted in Blog

Homeless Solution #1 – Let’s create a TLC – Temporary Living Center!

There is a lot of talk about the homeless crisis in America. I don’t have all of the answers but I DO have some ideas.

Let’s begin by talking about what Homelessness is, sort of defining what we are trying to address.

There are varying ideas of who the homeless are and how to handle “them”. You would think “the homeless are those without a home” but what is a home? Is it a sticks-and-brick affair only? I know many people who will tell you that their vehicle (van, car, bus, truck or motorcycle) is their “home” or the tent they have with them to put up each night is their home. What is the saying, “Home is where you hang your hat”? Then bring in all of the full time RVers and their respective homes. Many of these I mention in this paragraph will never say they are homeless, in fact they will vigorously disagree with that. They are very happy in their “homes” and in their chosen way of living.

Then we have the “down and out” sort of homeless.The DaO’s are the ones who, for whatever reason, have only the option of living on the streets or in the surrounding forests, under bridges or wherever they can find to sleep for the night and put their meager belongings (changes of clothing, medicine, etc). Many of these unfortunate persons are struggling with drug addictions, alcoholism or mental and/or medical issues. Others are forced into these situations because of a loss of income, family or other reasons including legal issues. The people in this paragraph are the ones who I feel like could be helped by giving them back their dignity. 

How do we do that? I’m glad you asked. I believe that if we can construct and maintain a place I will call a “Temporary Living Center” it will help with the homeless situation across America and possibly beyond. I propose this as a place which could be described as a transitional point for persons to acclimate themselves before returning to a “normal” life. It is not intended as a permanent, long term answer. I see it as a peaceful, safe and relaxing space full of opportunities for them to grow mentally and physically. Just by giving them safety it can ease their mind out of “frantic” mode and into a more creative place where they can become productive members of society once again. Imagine yourself in their places right now: On the street worrying about theft, abuse or other personal issues. Trying to find a bathroom and food to eat all the while protecting yourself and what’s yours. Maybe one answer to one part of the problem is to just throw a million compost toilets at them and hope they maintain them correctly.

I see this village as a wonderful solution or a sort of jumping board from the streets to main stream society. I think it is necessary for them in so many ways.

I can imagine that once each person is welcomed into the village they are given an identification card with a ribbon on it to keep around their neck. That ribbon can be an identifier to management in lots of ways. When they first enter a blue ribbon could indicate male, a pink one female and a purple one transgender. Entwine a yellow one to indicate they have a medical marijuana card and a red one may tell us they have some emotional issues and would need to be handled differently. A dark blue one may indicate they take medications and will have access to the medication facility. A green one may indicate that they are a volunteer at the facility. You get the idea. It’s a simple and efficient concept agreed to when they are accepted into the community.

Imagine if we were to add a workshop for wood and metal training as well as a place for crafting. Just imagine what those newly unfrantic minds could create!

An Overview of what the village would look like and then a detailed discussion to follow:

I see a transitional village as a very large piece of land surrounded by a fence (to keep the inhabitants safe from Coyotes, Foxes, Wolves, Javelinas, wild donkeys and horses as well as other critters of the night). Inside this fence would be many spaces with varying sizes where there is a 10×10 cement building on each lot which will serve as a shower, commode, sink, and charging station (Solar energy via a solar panel on the roof) and electronic storage area (for the solar system). The rest of the space would be for personal use. Some lots may be large enough to park a vehicle on or an RV or even to put up a tent or two if so desired. As a revision, I believe the shower should be a small extension out the back of the 10×10 accessible by a doorway to keep mold and other humidity issues out of the main area.

I challenge you to put up a 10 x 10 canopy and just imagine a cot in one corner, a 2.5 x 6 countertop on the opposite wall with a sink and storage area. At the foot of the bed would be a 2.5 x 3 area with multiple shelves (probably built into the structure with cement blocks and a door on it). On the far wall from the entry is an area they put a work table/desk and chair and beside that would be the entrance to the outside shower which is 2 x 6. beside the sink area and shower would be the restroom. the last wall would be the entrance door and then open area for moving around in. Outside you could put a picnic table or built in bench on each lot. The solar storage which includes 2 lithium batteries, 1 inverter which is wired to several outlets in the room and the solar controller. This area would only have access from the outside via a vented and locked doorlet accessed for maintenance. Around the top of the structure walls could be separated opaque glass squares that let light in during the day and you could also put those in the bathroom area and/or down a wall in the main area. Look at the diagram above for what I “see”:

I further see a complete common kitchen and eating area where meals are prepared in a cafeteria type style for everyone to enjoy and many outdoor picnic tables. This area could also house a small library and a board game area. It would be great to have this area with lots of small trees and a nice walking path and personal space areas. this could also be a family visiting area if a larger space is needed. In warmer climes this could be an open type area whereby the walls are 3 ft high and then the rest is a screened in room with a palapa style roof. This is very Mexican traditional.

This village would also need to have a medical room that perhaps has covey spaces for each lot where medicines can be housed safely and given out as required to those who need them. This would cut down on overdoses or theft or illegal distribution. An onsite staff Nurse would be in attendance or available.

The village would not be complete without a full garden area where the habitants can help grow their own food and enjoy the exercise and pride in their accomplishments. Over production could relate to income via a vegetable stand outside.

It would also be great to have an animal husbandry area where their are goats for goat milk, cows for cow milk, chickens for eggs and other great animals to help keep our village organic and well fed. I think the population may enjoy the interaction as well.

I think a small commissary onsite would be beneficial and purchases would be based on a per person allotment delegated by approved funds through our funding options and managed by the Village. This would allow the villagers to get needed personal items like Soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene items, tooth paste and tooth brushes, etc.

Admittance to this private village would be based upon need. Each person would need to be personally approved by the approval committee and would sign an agreement to the terms of living in this village. That may include a clause that no drugs or alcohol are allowed under any circumstances and if found that person would be immediately evicted indefinitely. The approved person would then receive a Village issued identification card with their picture on it. This is the card that they would keep on themselves at all times.

Maybe you want to know about where the water will come from and how will the waste water be handled. My vision is of a main well that is attached to a tall water tower. From the water tower lines are run to each and every lot where an on-demand hot water heater is used for the sink and shower area. The wastewater is easy. My son is in the Air Force and he has been tasked many times with setting up new encampments with wastewater systems. One idea of this is to use an underground container where up to 3 lots can be emptied into it for the black water and it is leached out or pumped out regularly. The grey water could be tubed to the garden area for treatment and recycling.

So, you say, this all sounds very grand but how would it pay for itself? Again, I’m glad you asked! By helping cities, counties and states with their homeless they could be charged a per person fee for the ongoing care of the individuals helped. The Federal Government also has grants, etc. to help fund this type of establishment. Private funds would be needed as well and fundraising events could be held. This would be a nonprofit establishment.

To get something like this started, it would take a considerable amount of investment money and there is a lot of land available in certain tax-free zones. It CAN be done and I think it should be done. What do you think? Email me: Boondocker16 @gmail.com

Let’s help give people back their dignity!