Car Camping Guide

Car Camping Guide

Privacy Is Key

One important aspect of car camping is ensuring privacy. This can help you relax and enjoy your time in the great outdoors. To create a private space, consider making a DIY window shade or setting up a wind tarp outside your tent.

Additionally, make sure your sleeping area is comfortable. With a car, you have more space to bring a     larger tent and air mattress, so take advantage of this to create a luxurious camping experience. Choose your location wisely and have a solid safety plan in place, including emergency supplies and a first aid kit

Your Bed, Your Sanctuary

If you’re used to backpacking, car camping can feel luxurious because you have more space to make your sleeping area comfortable. With a car, you can bring your biggest and nicest tent and your cushiest air mattress, allowing you to truly relax and get comfortable at night. The extra room a car provides means you can bring all the necessary items to make your camping experience enjoyable.

Car Camping

Car Sleeping

If you are committed to sleeping in your car, make sure your vehicle is well- equipped for it. Test out different sleeping arrangements to ensure you will be comfortable. Choose a location where you will not be disturbed and consider using an app like The Dyrt to find the best camping spots. If you end up parking on an incline, arrange yourself so that your head is at the highest point of the car to prevent discomfort and illness.

Tent Sleeping

When camping in a tent, bring more blankets and pillows than you think you’ll need. If it ends up being warmer than expected, you can use them for extra cushioning underneath your sleeping surface. Also, be sure to test your air mattress or sleeping pad before your trip to ensure it doesn’t have any holes. This will save you the frustration of having to inflate it every night only to end up on the ground in the morning.

Staying Safe

It’s important to have a solid safety plan in place while camping, especially if you’re alone. Make sure to download offline maps of the area you’re camping in, bring a paper map as a backup, and share your live location with loved ones. Keep your phone charged and bring an extra set of car keys in case of emergencies. By being prepared, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip.

The Nitty-Gritty of Keeping Clean

Maintaining personal hygiene while camping can be challenging, especially if you’re far from modern amenities. One option is to take a baby wipe shower or visit a nearby campsite to use their facilities. Make sure to bring a small shovel and plenty of toilet paper and consider using a menstrual cup or period-proof underwear instead of traditional period products. By being prepared and staying clean, you can enjoy your camping trip without worrying about hygiene.

Finding a Place to Park

When looking for the perfect spot to park for the night, consider factors such as distance from civilization, accessibility, and special permits or fire bans. Do your research ahead of time and check in with the local ranger station for advice. It’s also best to arrive during the day to avoid setting up camp in the dark. By carefully choosing your location, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

Cooking Like a Pro

With car camping, you have the luxury of bringing all the gear you need to make your meals delicious and satisfying. Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare your meals like a pro:

Bring nonperishable foods: Since you won’t have access to refrigeration while camping, it’s important to bring nonperishable foods that will last throughout your trip. This includes dried, freeze-dried, canned, or vacuum-sealed foods that don’t require refrigeration. You can even find powdered foods like potatoes that just need water to rehydrate them.

Test your food before your trip: Before you leave for your camping trip, it’s a good idea to test out the meals you plan to bring. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

Plan your meals carefully: If you do bring perishable items, make sure to eat them first before they spoil. This is where a cooler comes in handy, as it can keep your food fresh for the first few days of your trip. Know how you’ll cook your meals: It’s important to check your campsite ahead of time to see if you’ll be able to have a fire for cooking. Even if you’re planning to cook over an open flame, you should still bring a camping stove and backup fuel just in case it rains or you’re unable to start a fire.

Bring plenty of water: Having your vehicle with you means you have plenty of room to bring more than enough water for cooking and hydration. This is an essential item to have on any camping trip.

Packing

Consider bringing a pair of comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, depending on the type of terrain you will be exploring. It’s also a good idea to pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself       from the sun. And do not forget insect repellent, especially if you are camping in an area with mosquitoes. Finally, be sure to pack any essential medications or first aid supplies that you might need.

Leave No Trace

Leaving no trace behind is an essential part of enjoying the great outdoors on a camping trip. It means finding a spot that looks untouched, without trash, fire pits, or graffiti. Follow these tips to ensure that your campsite is clean and pristine when you leave:

Avoid creating trash in the first place: Before you start thinking about how to avoid leaving trash behind, consider how to avoid creating it in the first place. There are many reusable options for items like straws, cutlery, and storage bags. As the #zerowaste movement has grown, more companies are offering reusable alternatives to single-use items.

Stock up on these before your trip. Separate organic and inorganic waste: If you compost at home, you know what I mean. Separate fruit and vegetable scraps from plastics, paper, and other inorganic waste. Collect your compost in a separate container and dispose of it properly. You can even bury it under at least 8 inches of dirt, if it’s far from your campsite. Pack it in, pack it out: This is a common phrase that means whatever you bring with you, you take when you leave. This includes trash. Keep it in a bag or bin and take it with you until you can find a proper place to dispose of it. Before you leave your campsite, check for stray stakes or anything else you might have accidentally left behind.

In conclusion, car camping is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors without committing to a full-blown van life. With proper planning and preparation, you can have a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience. Remember to plan for privacy, safety, cleanliness, and leaving no trace of your presence. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to hit the road and enjoy your car camping adventure.

Featured Image Credit: Joseph/ flickr
In Post Image Credit: Brad P / flickr

Stealth Camping: The Essential Guide

Stealth Camping: The Essential Guide

What Exactly Is Stealth Camping?

Stealth camping, or ninja camping, is like regular van or RV camping, except nobody should know you were ever there after you’ve left. The goal is to attract as little attention as possible to avoid getting spotted and told to leave.

Why do people stealth camp? One of the main reasons that people stealth camp is to avoid expensive campground/parking fees. Others stealth camp out of exhaustion after driving a long time, or to be near a special attraction when they wake in the morning.

Consider this article your one-stop shop for all things related to stealth camping, including which locations are best, how to prep your van, what to do if you’re caught, and more.


Image Credit: Neil Turner / flickr

How To Prep Your Van for Stealth Camping

To avoid unwanted attention when stealth camping, consider these tips on preparing your van:

  • Tinting your van’s windows is a great way to add a bit of privacy and should also help keep the cabin cool in the summer. Just don’t tint them below the legal limit, or you may get stopped and given a ticket.
  • Another option is to soundproof your van. Check the weatherstripping around the doors and windows, as age can cause cracks that allow more noise. You may also consider adding sound-deadening “acoustic” curtains.
  • Electrical hookups aren’t usually an option for stealth campers. You can combat this by installing solar panels in your van and/or carrying extra batteries.
  • Leaving your RV’s door open is another thing that may draw attention, especially if the radio is on or you’re cooking something. Installing an RV vent fan is a much more subtle alternative for keeping the cabin cool.

10 Places That Often Work For Stealth Camping

  1. Legal Street Parking: Street parking is usually paid for until late afternoon. So long as you show up after the paid period is finished and leave before it begins, you should be good to go.
  2. Hotel Parking Lots: Many hotel chains, like Best Western, Holiday Inn, or Mariott, make solid stealth camping locations. Just make sure parking is not enclosed and that a parking pass isn’t required.
  3. Walmart: Yes, Walmart does permit overnight RV parking. Savvy stealth campers have even given this a nickname: “Wally Dock.”
  4. Cabela’s: Many Cabela locations allow overnight parking. However, rules differ between stores, so you might want to inquire first. Look for trailer parking too, which suggests overnight stealth camping is allowed.
  5. 24-hour Businesses: Gyms, laundry mats, and casinos are just some of the 24-hour businesses that should make for a solid 12-hour stay. These places usually see lots of traffic no matter the time of day, helping you to blend in.
  6. Mall Parking Lots: Mall parking is ideal due to having minimal policing. They are also usually well-lit. If you’re lucky, there may even have a designated area for overnight parking, so be on the lookout for signs indicating an overnight parking space.
  7. Truck Stops: Most truck stops tolerate RV camping. Moreover, you’ll usually have access to bathrooms, vending machines, and even water-refill stations. Just be sure to avoid parking in designated spots reserved for passing semi-trucks.
  8. City Parks: Parks can be hit or miss for stealthy campers. Some communities will post signs refusing overnight parking, while others encourage it and even offer free electrical hookups and water.
  9. Big Box Stores: Home Depot and Lowes do allow overnight parking. However, some state laws about sleeping in vehicles may supersede this, so it’s best to call ahead and check before setting up camp.
  10. Church Parking Lots: Religious establishments tend to be understanding of others and will likely permit your RV if you ask permission first. As a rule of thumb, though, parking at a church without permission is now allowed.

Places To Avoid When Looking For Stealth Camping

 

Government Buildings

Usually, government buildings are heavily surveilled and do not allow overnight parking. You’re also far more likely to leave with a fine if you park illegally at an embassy, DMV location, or any other government building.

Privileged/Underprivileged Neighborhoods

An unknown vehicle might be seen as a threat in upper-class neighborhoods, which may lead to someone calling the cops. While you might be able to get away with camping in a lower-class neighborhood, you also up the odds of getting robbed.

Airport Parking Lots

Other than the fact that airports are loud throughout the night, they also require a parking pass for anyone hoping to stay any amount of time. In terms of places to avoid when stealth camping, airport parking lots aren’t a reliable option.

Change Locations Frequently

While you shouldn’t have too much problem finding a place for a night, the last thing you want to do is overstay your welcome and get banned from future visits. For this reason, changing locations frequently is your best bet.

In general, if you can find 10 or so places in the area that let you stay overnight, and rotate between them, you should be set for a longer-term stay. Just be sure to clean up after yourself when leaving so you can keep the location on the list.

Porta-Potty
Image Credit: Ray_Shrewsberry / Pixabay

How To Find Bathrooms & Showers Stealth Camping In The City

 

    • Truck Stop Facilities: While you won’t typically find a truck stop inside a city, they are often found in the outskirts. Truck stops are not only friendly to respectful overnight RV parkers, but they also tend to offer public bathrooms and showers.
    • Add A Portable Toilet: If your RV doesn’t have a toilet, you may consider adding a portable one. Portable toilets are simple to set up/dismantle and typically start under $50. You can also bring a few “Waste Alleviation and Gelling” (WAG) bags as a last resort.
    • Gas Station Bathrooms: Sure, gas stations don’t usually have the cleanest bathrooms, but if you’re in a pinch, they do serve their purpose. For the best experience, check out this 2019 report by GasBuddy, which details which gas stations have the cleanest bathrooms in each state.
    • Body Wipes/Dry Shampoo: There are several personal hygiene products to consider when stealth camping, including body wipes and dry shampoo. If you haven’t heard of dry shampoo, it’s a powder that absorbs dirt, oil, and grease from your scalp without needing water.
    • Public Beach Showers: Many beaches offer public showers for people to rinse off salt and sand. While the water is usually cold, and you’ll likely be out in the open, beach showers do make a reliable option for stealth campers needing a wash.
    • Fast Food Chains: There’s almost always a Chick-Filet, Starbucks, or McDonald’s nearby. These fast-food chains have the best bathrooms, per Business Insider. If the lights are on, you can walk right in.

How To Cook Food When You’re Stealth Camping

 

Avoid Cooking Smelly Foods

For carnivores, there’s not much better than the smell of a sizzling T-bone or drumstick over a hot flame. Yes, BBQs go together with camping, but they also give off an aroma that can draw crowds.

Consider shelf-stable foods like canned tuna, protein bars, and peanut butter as protein-rich alternatives.

Consider Opening a Window

Cooking food when stealth camping in a van or RV does have its hazards (i.e., small spaces, open flames, poor ventilation). Before cooking, consider cracking a window or opening a vent.

You should also check that the kitchen is uncluttered to avoid a potential fire, as a van engulfed in flames isn’t exactly stealthy.

Keep Recipes Simple

The last thing you want is to have to hastily pack and leave when in the middle of cooking a complicated meal with many ingredients. Instead, keep recipes simple so that you can quickly put things away, move to a new location, and then finish preparing your meal.

For a few simple (and tasty) meals to cook when stealth camping, check out these recipes from Harvest Hosts.

Park Ranger Vehicle
Image Credit: DrFrank / Pixabay

What To Do If Someone Knocks

The occasional knock on the door is common when stealth camping. If someone does show up unannounced, don’t be surprised if it’s a security guard or the police telling you to leave. In some states, getting caught means an instant ticket. In others, you may just have to relocate.

Ignoring a knock on the door from law enforcement is not suggested as you may end up getting towed.

If someone knocks on your door at night and they don’t have a badge, you might do best to keep the door closed. Instead, slide a window open to communicate, which should at least keep you safe from someone with malicious intentions.

Finally, if you are told to leave, make sure to notate the location on a map so you don’t return. While you may not have gotten a ticket the first time around, the officer might not be as lenient on the second.

Plan Your Escape Route When Stealth Camping

There are a lot of things that can go wrong when stealth camping, like getting told to leave at 2am, having a bear show up to nibble on your tires, or getting harassed by an aggressive stranger.

For these reasons and more, your best bet is to prepare an escape route ahead of time so you can speed off in a hurry.

First, consider where you’ll go. Police stations, 24/7 businesses, or even just the nearest highway are all more secure than a secluded campsite.

If you’re camped somewhere without cell coverage, a health scare can be disastrous. For this reason, try to keep track of coverage quality before going too far into the wild, as you may have to return to a hotspot in a hurry.

To avoid stumbling, you should always keep the path to the driver’s seat is clear. Moreover, knowing where the ignition key is at all times will ensure you don’t waste time. Consider designating a place to store the keys that’s close to the steering wheel.

Stealth Camping in The Wilderness

Wild camping is essentially setting up camp in an undeveloped wilderness site. Camping in the wilderness is inherently sneaky, making it a perfect option for confident stealth campers.

Of course, there are downsides to wild camping, like not having electrical hookups, cell coverage, or toilets. There’s also the possibility you encounter some larger wildlife, like a coyote or even a bear.

When done right, stealth camping in the wilderness can be an extremely rewarding experience. To ensure your trip is a success, check out the wilderness stealth camping tips below.

 

Wilderness Stealth Camping Tips

              • Don’t Get Lost: You do not want to get lost when wild camping. For this reason, keep track of where you’re headed, notating any landmarks or signs along the way. If directions are not your forte, you can pick up one of the best handheld GPS devices for just $300.
              • Leave No Trace Behind: With the goal of stealth camping being to go unnoticed, you surely don’t want to leave behind a mess. Building a fire pit is fine, but leaving trash is not only bad for aesthetics but can harm wildlife as well.
              • Wear Bright Colors: No, bright-colored clothing is not ninja, but doing so does tell hunters you aren’t a target. According to the International Hunter Education Association, between 700 to 1,000 people are accidentally shot each year by hunters. Wearing bright colors may be what keeps you out of this statistic.
              • Pick A Safe Campsite: Before picking a site to camp, give the area good once-over, scanning for potential hazards like landslides, flooding, and predatory animal droppings. While you can’t prepare for every occasion, you can minimize the chances of a dangerous situation occurring.
              • Be Cautious of Bears: Encountering a wild animal is possible when wild camping. Bears, black or brown, are the biggest threat. If you aren’t sure of how to handle a bear encounter, you may want to brush up on best practices, like staying calm, not running away, etc.

           

          Apps & Websites To Find Stealth Camping & Boondocking Sites

          Having troubles finding a good stealth camping or boondocking site? Well, there’s an app for that, several actually, plus a handful of helpful websites. Below we’ll cover some of the best apps and websites for stealth campers in 2022.

          Apps For Finding Free Stealth Camping Sites

                    • FreeRoam: While FreeRoam has only been around for a year or so, the app has a large directory of campsites with user reviews that you can browse through. FreeRoam also allows you to create a profile so you can save your favorite locations and share them with friends.
                    • Gaia GPS: Gaia is a detailed GPS app that helps users find free camping locations. The unpaid version offers lots of value, but upgrading to Premium allows for map usage even without Wi-Fi. The app also has options for off-roaders, backcountry skiers, and mountain bikers.
                    • Avenza Maps: This offline map app offers nearly a million available maps for you to download. Avenza also allows you to measure distances and plan routes. You can also save locations if you find somewhere interesting that you want to return to.

          Websites For Finding Free Stealth Camping Sites

                    • FreeCampsites: As one of the oldest campsite finding tools, FreeCampsites offers a massive collection of free (and paid) campsite locations. The search feature has many filter options to help you find the perfect spot, including for things like fishing, hunting, rock climbing, and more.
                    • Recreation: A popular camping website that lists over 4,200 government-owned camping facilities and 113,000 individual sites throughout the US. You can even buy entry passes for national parks through the site, as well as sign up for tours.
                    • The Dyrt: Last, but surely not least, is The Dyrt, a camper-friendly site with a detailed map showing campsites across the US. Helpful map icons indicate things like what type of camper the site can accommodate, if pets are allowed, and whether bathrooms and/or shows are available.

          What About National Parks?

          Many national parks allow backcountry campers, but only in designated areas. These camper-friendly locations are usually displayed on trail maps, so be sure to take a gander before starting your search for a campsite.

          Yes, camping in a national park has a cost, typically ranging between $20 and $130 depending on location. Those seeking a day pass can pick one up for around $15 per person.

          Are you allowed to pay for a day pass and then camp overnight? No, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t done. If you attempt to stealth camp in a national park, at least follow the basics to avoid curious eyes, like arriving late, leaving early, keeping noise to a minimum, etc.

          Hammock in Woods
          Image Credit: independentwolf / Pixabay

          Alternatives To Stealth Camping

          If planning escape routes and searching for bathrooms isn’t your thing, you may want to consider an alternative to stealth camping.

          Hammock Camping

          Hammocks are a great stealth camping alternative. These are easy to set up (find yourself two trees in proximity) and they aren’t intrusive. Sure, you’ll need to watch the weather forecast, and safety may be iffy (i.e., thieves, wildlife, etc.), but done right, hammock camping is very rewarding.

          If you don’t yet own a hammock, you can purchase a good one for as low as $20. Spending more adds things like bug nets, a base, and rainproof covers. Check out some of the best camping hammocks in this online review from NYMag.

          Campground Discount Memberships

          Another stealth camping alternative is to sign up for a monthly campsite-discount membership. Depending on the provider, as little as $29 per month can save you as much as 50% at participating locations. Good Sam, Passport America, and KOA are some of the options available.

          Memberships are best for those that camp often, as you’ll surely save a lot vs. paying for single nights, which run as much as $150 in peak season.

          Woman with VW Van
          Image Credit: Victoria_Borodinova / Pixabay

          Final Thoughts on Stealth Camping

          Not everyone enjoys stealth camping, but those that do usually swear by it. If you don’t mind having to occasionally relocate at 2am, and you keep the TV volume low, stealth camping can be extremely rewarding.

          In general, if you are respectful to those around you and clean up after yourself when you leave, you shouldn’t have too many issues. What’s more, thanks to the plethora of available apps and websites, finding a place to stealth camp, and researching the location, is easier than ever.

Featured Image Credit: Michel Curi / flickr

What Tent Campers Need to Know Before Buying an RV

What Tent Campers Need to Know Before Buying an RV

As a tent camper, you have likely developed a certain image of camping. Sleeping on the ground, waking up to the sounds of nature, cooking over an open fire, and relaxing in the woods all come to mind.

However, as soon as one takes the plunge into the world of the RV camper, camping takes on a whole new persona. Suddenly, complete comfort can be had in the middle of the woods and cooking a meal is as simple as it is back home.

If you are a well-seasoned tent camper who’s considering upgrading to an RV, you may be wondering what to expect after purchasing a camper of your very own. We have created this list of 16 things you need to know before you upgrade from a tent to an RV.

1. Packing is Simpler

While packing for a tent camping trip can be pretty time-consuming, packing for an RV camping trip is a breeze. You see, everything you pack for your first trip can simply be left behind in the RV for next time, making heading out for a weekend in nature easier than ever.

Just be careful not to leave food in your RV, as this can attract pests.

Class B RV

Image Credit: peterolthof / flickr

2. You might need a New Vehicle

If you plan on pulling a trailer of any kind, it’s likely that you’ll need to look into purchasing a new vehicle. The heavier the trailer, the more power you’ll need to tow it, so keep this in mind when shopping for your RV.

3. Gas Mileage will not be the same

Tents are lightweight and highly portable. RVs, on the other hand, are still portable but not exactly lightweight. This means getting one from point A to point B requires a good bit of fuel, something many people forget to factor into their expenses for their first trip out.

MPG Fuel Gauge
Image Credit: Crystal Collins / flickr

4. Morning Coffee is much easier to procure

Forget boiling water over an open fire first thing in the morning. An RV kitchen means you can get your coffee via a coffee pot and spend your morning sipping said coffee while enjoying nature.

VW Camper VanImage Credit: Virginia State Parks / flickr

5. “Roughing it” will be… less rough

For better or worse, camping in an RV is much cushier than tent camping. If you enjoy the rough aspect of tent camping, you may want to reconsider your decision to purchase an RV.

RV Interior
Image Credit: Willing Warriors / flickr

6. Finding Camping off the Beaten Path will be more difficult

While it is not impossible, camping outside of a dedicated campground is a bit more difficult in an RV than it is in a tent. This is due to the bulky nature of the RV and its inability to drive off-road in rough conditions.


Image Credit: Virginia State Parks / flickr

7. Stovetop S’mores are easier

Building a campfire is hard work. Sometimes a hankering for s’mores may strike, but the desire to build a fire just isn’t there.

In these cases, s’mores made on the RV stovetop are a much easier alternative. However, these simplified versions are not quite as delicious as their campfire counterparts, so you won’t want to drop the campfire habit entirely, and you won’t have to.

RV Cooking
Image Credit: Timothy Rezendes / flickr

8. You may want to sleep in

If you’re someone who adores early mornings spent in nature, you may want to know that you’ll probably sleep later in an RV. The comfort of an RV mattress on a real bed combined with climate control is enough to keep anyone in bed a little longer. Therefore, morning lovers will want to set an alarm.

RV Bed
Image Credit Vanguard Conversions / flickr

9. Setup takes practice

You may be excited at the prospect of never pitching another tent, but you must know that setting up an RV is not always a walk in the park. Therefore, while you are welcome to be happy about the lack of tent-pitching, you may want to practice setting up your RV before heading out in order to avoid frustration. Once you learn, setting up will be a breeze.


Image Credit: Robert Stinnett / flickr

10. Microwaves, Real Stoves, Kitchen Sinks & Showers are amazing

Remember when we said camping is cushier in an RV? That includes the cooking aspect too. RVs include such luxurious features as microwaves, stoves, and real sinks, making cooking and cleanup a breeze.

11. Campgrounds aren’t always the same as RV Parks which aren’t the same as RV Resorts or Outdoor Destinations

When looking for a place to park your rig, you are going to come across a lot of RV parks. Although there are plenty of wonderful RV parks out there, it pays to do your research.

If you are accustomed to tent camping, you are likely looking for some beautiful nature to go along with your camping trip, and not all RV parks are created equal in this respect. Read reviews to get a good idea of what a park is all about before making a reservation.


Image Credit: Virginia State Parks / flickr

12. Towing can be Tricky

Towing a trailer – and even driving a big rig – can be rough, especially while you are still learning the ropes. Make sure to go out for a practice run before heading out on a long trip, and take things slowly at first as you get a feel for the wider turn radius and slower stops.

Towing Airstream
Image Credit: rulenumberone2 / flickr

13. You’ll need to store that Beast

It is important to keep in mind that whatever rig you purchase will need to be stored somewhere. A tent can be thrown in the back of a closet, but the same cannot be said of an RV. Therefore, you will want to look into storage costs before making a purchase in order to fully understand the commitment you are making.


Image Credit: SteelMaster Buildings / flickr

14. Camping Directories are a good thing

RV sites are generally harder to find than tent sites. This makes sense, considering the fact that they generally offer more amenities and are privately owned. That said, it can make RV camping a bit harder to do. For this reason, camping clubs and directories are a great guide to RV camping — Google, Campgroundsontheweb.com, GoodSam Directory, RVParkReviews — can be good resources.

Map DirectionsImage Credit: Pexels / Pixabay

15. You won’t ever want to go back to real life

Camping is an amazing experience. This is even more true when you are camping in complete comfort. Therefore, it is highly likely that you will never want to return to real life after experiencing a trip in your RV. Fortunately, it is possible to live in your RV, so there’s always that option.

RV Winery View

16. Nature is amazing no matter where you sleep

You know that feeling of awe and wonder at the world around you that made you excited about camping in the first place? That feeling remains no matter how you go about taking your trips into the wilderness.

As you can see, there are both pros and cons to purchasing an RV. However, after taking everything into account, we are pretty sure you will agree that an RV is absolutely a worthwhile investment for anyone who loves to camp.

Featured Image Credit: chulmin1700 / Pixabay

Learn More About RVing from your Fellow Travelers

Learn More About RVing from your Fellow Travelers

The web has made it easier than ever to learn about RVing, travel, and road-tripping. Whether you’re getting started or have been hitting the road for decades, an old dog can always learn neat tricks. Blogs, videos, social media, and more give you a plethora of information on RVing at your fingertips. When it comes to learning, following others’ examples and seeing what they did to overcome obstacles can be more beneficial than you realize.

Here are five RV blogs to follow and learn more about RVing, destinations, customizing your rig, and more. Ready to become an even better RVer? Let’s get started.

5 of the Best RV Blogs to Follow

Love Your RV

The Love Your RV  blog comes to us from a Canadian couple who sold their brick and mortar home, buy a 5th wheel RV, and go traveling across North America. I chose this blog due to the variety of content. The Love Your RV blog is full of travel reports, RV product reviews, tips, and tricks, and plenty more.

The author’s background as an electronic technician shows on the blog as he offers tons of significant modifications that can be used by the reader to improve their RV. With three years and 50,000 miles strong, this helpful blog is a great resource for many RVers.

Everything About RVing

Everything About RVing is run by Al Wiener and provides about everything you’d ever want to know about RVing online. From articles on where to go RVing to how to fix up your ride, there’s something for every level RVer here. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of what RVing is and can be on and off the road, Everything About RVing is a must-read blog. Not finding what you need to know on the site?

Alan takes questions, too! Consider submitting your question and see if it gets answered on the website and make sure to watch his Twitter feed because he’s sharing new articles, tips, and tricks on social media.

Technomadia

The unique blog Technomadia is geared towards the younger X, Y, and Millennial generations that are rivaling the baby boomers on the road. The couple running the blog met on a Toyota Prius forum fell in love and have been on the road ever since in their converted bus. This blog focuses on current issues not addressed by many other full-time RVers such as sustainability, minimal impact travel, and the trials of tribulations of working in the tech sector while on the road.

Technomadia’s website is the expert resource on staying connected to the web and technology no matter where they are, and they try to help other RVers out with their posts on solar panels, and lithium-ion batteries and have even authored The Mobile Internet Handbook. The Technomadia blog also provides several links to other younger generation full-timer blogs.

Wheeling It

Wheeling It is brought to us by another couple that quit their monotonous jobs and hit the road full-time with their two cats and Great Dane in tow. This blog stands out because it addresses some of the many critical issues for full-time RVers that some travel blogs gloss over, such as getting health care, pet care, and working.

The blog is also mixed with an updated tips and tricks section, a modification section, and a dense section of travel stories browsed by individual states. The vast amounts of content are organized on this blog, making it a formidable resource for those looking for everything from recipes to information on finding a veterinarian.

Frugal RV Travel

The Frugal RV Travel blog is a guide on how to save money while RVing, full-time or not. The blog discusses boondocking in depth. Boondocking is the practice of RV camping without any utility hookups, often to save money by staying at free campsites.

This blog also discusses budgets, purchasing an RV, doing repairs on the road, and many other varieties of topics that concentrate on maximizing your dollar and adventure. The blog also includes links to buy extensive and detailed boondocking guides specializing in RVing destinations like California and Arizona.

More Blogging Resources for RVers

Here are a few more blogs to check out to learn more about RVing that we love:

Here’s a  best RV blog list that is curated from thousands of blogs on the web and ranked by traffic, social media followers, domain authority & freshness.

When learning the ins and outs of RVing, or road tripping in general, relying on others’ expertise and experience is the way to go. The web makes it easier than ever to see what others are up to. Check out the above blogs for guidance before your next adventure and see how to get the most out of your trip no matter the destination.

Featured Image Credit: Skitterphoto / Pixabay

5 Family Camping Games

5 Family Camping Games

Ah, camping — a chance to get out into nature and away from the toils of everyday life. But in today’s tech-heavy world, have we forgotten how to occupy ourselves without the aid of gaming devices and television? Luckily, people have been playing games a lot longer than we’ve had the benefit of electricity, so we know it can be done. Whether you’ve got a group of young kids or hard-to-please teenagers, there are activities to engage them all. Here are five family camping games to keep in mind as you plan for your adventure!

1. I Spy

“I Spy” is a classic game of distraction that can refocus bored or antsy kids. The premise is simple: One person begins the game with the phrase “I spy, with my little eye, something …” and fills in the blank with a letter, color, or texture. So, if the object you pick is a flower, you might say, “I spy something yellow” or “something that begins with the letter ‘F.'” The other campers will look around and take turns guessing which item it might be. The “spy” can offer clues during the guessing. Whoever guesses correctly gets to start the next round. “I Spy” is great to play while on a hike, because it draws attention to the things around you. You can also use it to make chores, like setting up a campsite, go more quickly.

2. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to get everyone on their feet to experience the surrounding landscape. You can take your scavenger hunt in one of two directions — either plant your own objects and clues around the campsite or else simply look for things already found in nature. Safety is an important consideration for scavenger hunts. If you have younger kids, pairing them up with an experienced camper is a good idea, so that they can learn what plants to avoid and how to safely navigate the terrain. Set a time when everyone must be back at the campsite, at least a couple of hours before dark. And, when you hand out the clues or list of things to find, give each team a whistle and a flashlight to use in case of emergency. Once everyone is back at the campsite, have each team do a show-and-tell with their findings.

3. Map-making and Navigation

Being able to understand what a map is, and how to read one, is important for campers of all ages. Start your smallest campers out on the right track by having them draw their own version of a map. You can use the area surrounding the campsite, or have them draw the hiking path you just took. It’s a good opportunity to talk about landmarks and directions. Challenge older kids by giving them a compass and having them plot the directions you take on a hike.

Another fun map-oriented activity is a constellation hunt. Look through a book about constellations with your kids and see how many you can find in the night sky. You can even work a little history lesson into the mix by telling the stories behind each constellation’s name. See any other shapes lurking in the stars? Have your kids make up names and stories for these brand new constellations.

4. Capture the Flag

If you have a larger group, organize a game of capture the flag. This is a game that can be as complicated or simple as you want to make it, depending on the age and energy levels of the players. The basic premise is this: The group is divided into two teams, each of which has its own territory. Make sure there’s a clear dividing line between the two territories; it can be something natural like a stream, or something you set up to mark the boundary. Both teams start at the dividing line, and when the referee starts the clock, the players have a set amount of time (usually two or three minutes) to hide their flag. The flag can be anything from a bandanna to a dish towel. The flag’s hiding place can be inconspicuous, but some part of the flag has to be visible. After the hiding time is up, the goal is to sneak into the other team’s territory, find their flag, and steal it without being caught. If a player is caught in enemy territory, that person is put into the “guard house.” The game ends when the enemy’s flag crosses the border over to home territory. It’s a great way for hyperactive campers to burn off some energy, and it’s fun for the adults, as well.

5. Round-robin Storytelling

As the day draws to a close, finish up the activities with stories around the campfire. The pitch-black wilderness just outside the firelight lends itself to spooky tales in particular. But it doesn’t have to be a one-person show; the entire group can get in on the act with round-robin story-telling. A round-robin story is one that each person adds to. You can create a story sentence-by-sentence, or each person can add as much or as little to the story as they wish. Simply go around the circle a set number of times, or until the story seems to be finished. Round-robin storytelling challenges everyone’s imagination and demands quick thinking of the participants. It also allows the younger campers among you to participate, as opposed to simply listening.

So, there you have it — five great camping games for your family! Check out the next page for lots more information and ideas.