30 January 2015

The Brighter Side Of Boondocking

Scamper at Hagens Cove2

We had the most amazing boondocking experience the other day at Hagen’s Cove, which is part of the Big Bend Wildlife Refuge located in the panhandle region of Florida. After our previous experience parking overnight at a municipal parking lot in Panama City (click here to read about it), it was such a pleasure to discover what boondocking is like when you’re camped out in the great outdoors.

There wasn’t any cunning plan to go boondocking at Hagen’s Cove. It was one of those places we just stumbled upon. They’re often the best kind. We saw a dirt road, turned down it and ended up in a little slice of paradise. 

Hagens Cove2

Hagens Cove Palm Trees

I imagine Hagen’s Cove is a popular place for birders and picnickers. Part of the Florida Birding Trail runs through the area. We tried walking down one of the trails, but it was pretty swampy due to the recent rains. So we turned back – I’m not a big fan of wet feet.

Hagens Cove Pavillion

Hagens Cove Swampy Path

We were never 100% sure if it was okay to boondock at Haven’s Cove. We didn’t see any signs that said the refuge was closed after sunset or notices prohibiting overnight parking/camping. We looked online to see if we could find anything out about camping there, but drew a blank. A Sherriff's car made a circuit of Hagen’s Cove a couple of times checking to make sure there weren’t any kids getting up to mischief. Scott stopped the deputy and asked her if she knew if it was okay to stay overnight. She said she wasn’t sure if you could. She personally wouldn’t toss us out, but couldn’t vouch for whoever was on duty at night and what stance they might take. We decided to chance it. Fortunately, no one knocked on the door in the middle of the night to roust us out.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance – most of the time it pays off. Like this time. Which meant we got to enjoy our coffee on the observation tower while watching the birds scampering about in the water the next morning. The horizon and the water were the exact same color. It was hard to tell where one began and the other left off.

Hagens Cove Horizon

While a few people drove down to Hagen’s Cove, the only people that stuck around were duck hunters. Sadly, they didn’t have any luck. We were hoping for a handout of duck meat to put on the grill. But, I imagine the duck hunters were more disappointed than us, given that they had come from Georgia to hunt there.

Hagens Cove Hunters

If you aren’t familiar with the term boondocking, it is basically dry camping (i.e., no water, electric, sewage connections). Lots of folks boondock for days, if not weeks, at a time. Some have systems in place to provide power (e.g., solar or generators), while others do without anything that requires electricity. Whether you need power or not, everyone needs a water supply and a way to store their gray water (from dishwashing, showers etc) and do something with their black water (basically sewage). We have pretty small tanks in our Scamp travel trailer, so we’re pretty limited by how long we can stay out. But with our experience living on a small sailboat, we’ve learned a few tricks to make our water supply last and live with limited power. Hopefully, we’ll get some more boondocking opportunities, like our time at Hagen’s Cove, to put them to the test.

What’s been your favorite boondocking experience?

Want To Follow Scamper & Us?

If you're interested in following along with our adventures with Scamper, you can like us on Facebook, follow us via Google+ or add us to your Bloglovin' or Feedly feeds. We're also on Pinterest and Instagram. You can also sign up to get our posts via email - just submit your email address in the box on the right hand side of our blog page.

We would love to hear what you think - so please leave us a comment below or feel free to email us! 

We took our chances boondocking at Hagen's Cove on 24 January 2015.


  1. Replies
    1. It was really special! We've been loving our time exploring Florida - so many beautiful places! Hope winter isn't being too brutal for you guys :-)

  2. Do you have the coordinates for this place?

    1. Hi Linda - unfortunately we don't have GPS in our vehicle. The most sizable town near there is Perry. If you pick up Hwy 27A from there it will take you to County Road 361 and you'll find the access road to Hagen's Cove off of there. Someone else has found a section on the Big Bend site which says you can't camp there, but it is still a great place for a day trip :-)

    2. 29°46'20.3"N 83°34'46.9"W

  3. What a find!!!!! Sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Oh well, you tried and made the best decision...places that beautiful should be enjoyed and you all did!!!

    1. That was our theory - glad that we didn't end up having to ask for forgiveness :-)

  4. So ... did you know that Hagen's Cove Beach is clothing optional. I imagine that it wasn't when you were there or this might have been a different blog post.

    I love boondocking, so it is hard to pick a favorite - but here is the scariest.

    We were looking for a site in Moab. There is plenty of boondocking in Moab, but I, of course, have to find the most obscure spot. I had a map, but no info about the area we were scouting. And although this part of Moab had far less readily available information about camping than other parts of the Moab desert, we still saw lots of rigs already staking out their territory as we drove down the dirt road into the desert. So we continued into the unknown until we found an unoccupied spot. It was directly under a power line that was going "zip, crack, zip, bzzz." Power lines freak me out, especially when I can hear them doing their electrical stuff overhead. We pushed on, around a corner and up a hill. The road narrowed, the hill steepened, and the drop off became more acute. If that wasn't scary enough, dune buggies came whizzing past. The idea of trying to find a spot in the middle of nowhere was starting to look foolish. And then up the hill some more, in the middle of this skinny road was a burned out remains of a buggy. With just enough room we inched around it, our passenger side wheels spitting small rocks over the side of the cliff and me holding my breath.

    P.S. We ended up finding a great spot.

    1. P.S.S. If we ever catch up the blog to Utah, I'm just going to come and copy and paste this into a post, if I can ever find it again.

  5. Are you in bad need of love spell to bring back your ex lover or reunite your marriage? contact Dr Sam for fast 48 hours solution. I had a problem with my husband a year and six months ago, which lead us apart. When he broke up with me, I was confuse and did not know what to do to get him back, I felt so empty inside. Until i came across Dr Sam on the internet on how He has helped so many people solve there various problem. I emailed Him and I told Him my problem and i did what he asked me to do for him to help me, to briefly make the long story short, Before I knew it, in less than 48 HOURS, my Husband gave me a call and he came back to me and told me he was sorry about what was going on between the both of us. Finally I am writing this testimony to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you Dr Sam for keeping to your words and your promises in bringing him back to me in just 48 hours of your powerful spell casting, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back. If you need his help, you can email him at ( okokakspellhome@gmail.com ) or add Dr Sam on WhatsApp ( +2349060421250) or call him get all your problems solve No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him now THANKS TO Dr Sam

  6. I'm 40 years old female I tested genital herpes (HSV1-2) positive in 2016. I was having bad outbreaks. EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I have try different kinds of drugs and treatment by the medical doctors all to know was avail. Six months ago I was desperately online searching for a helpful remedies for genital herpes (HSV1-2) cure, which I come across some helpful remedies on how Dr OYAGU have help so many people in curing genital herpes (HSV1-2) with the help of herbal treatment because I too believe there is someone somewhere in the world who can cure herpes completely. At of the past 2 months, however, I've been following his herpes protocol Via oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or +2348101755322 and it stopped all outbreaks completely! To my greatest surprise I was cured completely by following the protocol of his herbal medicine . Don't be discouraged by the medical doctors. There is a cure for HSV with the help of herbs and roots by a herbalist Dr call Dr OYAGU he is so kind and truthful with his herbal treatment, kindly contact him for more information Via oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or WhatsApp DR on +2348101755322 or visit his website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome you will be lucky as I am today

  7. It's a pleasure for me to write this testimony about this wonderful thing that happened to me last week on how i got my HIV aids cured, i have been reading so-many post of some people who were cured of HIV, but i never believed them, I was hurt and depressed so I was too curious and wanted to try dr.odoma then i contacted him on his email on drodomasolutionhome20@gmail.com when i contact him, he assured me 100% that he will heal me, i pleaded with him to help me out, it's a great success that he healed just as he promised, he told me that in three days time that i should go and check on my HIV status, I was floored that when i went to the hospital to check of my status that i was HIV negative, i never thought possible that dr.odoma can do miracles, i never really believed in magic but I played along with a little hope and faith and after everything but dr odoma changed my life and made me a true believer you can contact him drodomasolutionhome20@gmail.com or whatsapp Number: +2348100649947..visit his website:
    (facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Drodomaherbalmedicine/) he said that he is also specialise on the following diseases: HERPES, HIV, ALS, HPV, DIABETES, HEPATITIS B, CANCER,SICKLE CELL, VIRGINAL DRYNESS, And Bring Back Your Ex back.


We LOVE when people leave comments. It's so much more fun hearing what you have to say. If you have a blog, make sure you leave a link and I'll be sure to pop on by.