HIKE IT: TEN TIPS FOR HIKING WITH KIDS

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about RVing is exploring the great outdoors and what better to way to experience the beauty of nature than by foot. It’s relaxing, excellent exercise, and you can see places that are only accessible by trail. From gentle paved trails with handicap access to steep rocky backcountry hiking, no matter your condition or experience, there is something for everyone, even the youngest among us.

 

From babies to toddlers to teens, we’ve covered the gamut when it comes to RVing and hiking with kids. Along the way we’ve learned a few things and hopefully these tips will make your next family hike one to remember!

 

Ten Tips for Hiking with Kids

Snacks and Water – If you want to keep the meltdowns away, keep hunger at bay. Pack your child’s favorite snacks – and yours too. We like to pack things like fresh fruit, protein bars, and trail mix. This goes without saying, but don’t forget to bring along some H20 even for those short hikes. A water bottle will do, or if you’re a frequent hiker and your child is out of the sippy cup stage, consider investing in hydration packs, a backpack with water bladders and drinking tube. It makes staying hydrated a breeze and allows everyone to carry a few of their favorite things.

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GATHER UP YOUR LOVED ONES AND GO RVING

RVing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My very first RV memory is sleeping on the convertible dinette bed in a borrowed truck camper. When I was in middle school, my parents bought a 1970s Starcraft travel trailer that my dad towed with a gold 1969 Buick station wagon. I’d take along a friend on family camping trips and we would cram ourselves into the tiny bathroom spraying Aqua Net onto our teased bangs. Clearly, I knew how to “glamp” even before “#glamping” was a thing.

 

By the time I was in high school, my parents had changed RVs again and I had changed my hairstyle. (Thank goodness, four-inch tall bird nest shaped bangs aren’t flattering on anyone.) This RV was a Type C. It was our first motorized RV and I can remember hanging out with my siblings or reading in the back bedroom while we traveled to our destination. Cool beans!

 

Once my parents even let me drive it while they took a nap in the back (before seat belt laws required all passengers to be buckled in). That was back in the day when kids could stay out wandering the neighborhoods alone until dark. My brother sat shotgun and we chatted away until my dad woke up from the rough ride and decided I wasn’t ready to be driving the RV after all. More than 20 years later, we still laugh about it. Today I wouldn’t even dream of letting Thing 1 drive while we even relaxed in the back, let alone sleep, but that was a different, more innocent time…

 

The RV I supposedly drove “100 MPH” when I was a teenager. Right!!!

 

The cousins and my sister (I was way cooler in middle school ;-)) camping with Papaw.

 

My parents were not and still are not the only ones in our family with an RV. For as long as I can remember, my mom’s parents, Junebug and Papaw, had an RV. If a weekend at grandma’s house was fun, a weekend in grandma’s RV was even better.

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NAVIGATING CAMPGROUND MEMBERSHIPS

Summer is now here and you can already smell the scent of pine forests and campfires. Excited for another season of RVing, you are already thinking about finding your AWAY.

In a recent conversation anticipating the upcoming season, a fellow RVer mentioned she just bought a campground membership. She excitedly told you that her new membership is going to save her hundreds of dollars in campground fees. Curious, that evening you googled “campground memberships” and came up with lots of websites using terms like “home park,” “reciprocal”, and “zones.” It didn’t take long for you to find out that there are many different types of campground memberships and you asked yourself, “Should I buy one? If so which one?”

 

 

Considerations When Purchasing a Campground Membership

 

Location – Most camping clubs have campground directories and online maps. Take a look at the directory or map to see where the parks are located. Are they near you? Are they near places you want to visit? If not, you may end up you spending more money on gas to get to the places you want to visit than you will save on camping fees.

 

Usage Rules and Restrictions – Each membership or club has different usage rules. For instance, some allow so many weeks in a particular park a year or so many consecutive days in a campground before you must leave the system for a set amount of time. Rules also often vary by season and affiliations with other networks. Many of the campgrounds in the discount clubs also have restrictions when using the discounted rate as to how many people the discounted rates includes or when it can be used. To be sure you understand don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, take notes, and read the fine print. Making sure you understand the usage rules and restrictions now will save you a headache later on and for most RVers joining a club or two or even more is worth the effort!

 

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IS FULL TIME RVING RIGHT FOR YOU?

 

Camping next to mountain lakes. Fishing along peaceful rivers. Evenings spent around a campfire. Hiking through alpine forests. A new “backyard” every week. The love of the open road is as American as apple pie.

“Living the dream!”

This was something we heard multiple times during our four years of full time RVing. And you know what? For us full time RVing was a dream come true. Our four years on the road were amazing, but as our boys grew into teenagers their needs changed. Now in a different season of life we are going to enjoy part time RVing until the times comes when we can hit the road full time again.

Perhaps you have spent many hours dreaming of hitting the road but how do you know if RVing full time is really right for you? For some, full time RVing is a perfect fit, but for others part time RVing or being weekend warriors may be a better fit. From personality types to family dynamics there is much to consider. So before you uproot yourself to hit the open road, ask yourself these 10 questions to know if full time RVing is right for you.

 

Do you thrive on change or prefer stability?

 

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A CHRISTMAS EVE REFLECTION

 

 

This time of year I find myself slowing down and getting lost in my thoughts. Memories of the past year flicker through my mind like the lights on the tree.

I see…

 

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