Camping is an exciting and popular activity among friends and family. Before leaving on such an adventure, one will have to make a few considerations and understand the fundamentals of such exploratory trips. Ensuring that you are adequately prepared and have found the ideal camp site, can protect from potential disruptions and contribute to a memorable experience.
The first step is to search for the ideal location. Perhaps the creation of a checklist will assist in determining whether the campsite possesses facilities such as showers, restrooms and suitable amenities. Also determine whether recreational activities are close by as well as access to some of the major highways.
When experiencing the outdoors, it is important that all forms of noise including trains and automobiles are eliminated. If visiting the area does not seem practical, take a look at the website and read testimonials from others who have explored and experienced the location. Information pertaining to sight seeing and related attractions should be made.
Determine which facilities you deem important to be included on the campgrounds. Criteria may include access to fishing areas, swimming pools, wheelchair accessibility and designated locations to prepare meals and keep items cool with large ice packs. Your checklist should include assessments of shelter, bedding and options for cooking.
The items that you will need to pack are dependent on the time of the year and the length of the trip you have planned. Include sunscreen to protect from the harsh summer sun, pack extra batteries, bug repellent, candles as well as a pocket knife. Planning ahead can secure your spot and prevent against an unpleasant experience.
Do not forget to incorporate a basic first aid kit in the case of minor injury. The type of camping essentials required for the trip are dependent on the activities planned and the location. Preparing to camp is certainly an exciting time so be sure to adhere to your checklist to prevent hassles and ensure a smooth journey.
Since my wife and I retired, we find ourselves constantly around an open campfire. We are always having one ourselves or our camping neighbors are calling us over to visit beside theirs. In campgrounds, Friday seems to be the gathering time for fellow RV’ers to want to just have a big get together around the fire.
Our latest campfire gathering we all decided to have S’MORES. I am sure most, if not all, of you have had a S’MORE at one time or another while camping. It seems to be a Kids favorite part of camping out.
The standard S’MORE is made with a combination of campfire roasted marshmallow, Gram Crackers, and a Chocolate bar or some kind. You take the chocolate and put it between two pieces of Gram Cracker and then put the marshmallow in-between that.
Now for a different twist on an old favorite.
Well, because our last campfire outing had not been planned, none of us had all the ingredients and we had to improvise as best we could. If you have never tried it, instead of using a chocolate bar try taking a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The added peanut butter from the Reese’s makes the S’MORE irresistible. If you try this I am sure your kids will have a new favorite while camping.
Before my wife and I started traveling the United States in our new motorhome, we spent many of hours at the local RV store and even traveled hundreds of miles to big RV Showrooms to make sure we had all the facts before making a purchase. What we found was there are 4 different types of recreation vehicles on the market for use depending on what your camping needs are. No matter what kind of camping you plan to do or how many people in your family, there is a recreational vehicle out there to meet your needs.
Let’s spend a few moments discussing some of the pros and cons to each of the four groups. This info will help you decide what is best for you and you camping family.
Pop up Trailer
The Pop up Trailer is the first level of Recreational Vehicles above just old fashion tent camping. It gives you almost all the freedoms you have with a tent, except the hiking to remote places. It does however add a level of comfort that a tent doesn’t offer. You have Beds and a place to stay warm and dry from the rain without being on the ground. They come with basic toilet, a sink, sometimes a heater as an option and a small propane stove. They are actually perfect for the weekend getaway if you and your family are small in numbers. They also can be towed by almost any vehicle you already own without having to upgrade. Costs also are not that high and you can usually get a good used one for even less. I have even met one couple that full time in one, not to say that there is anything wrong with that, but you must have a very good relationship with your partner to attempt this.
This is the first level on recreational vehicles that are designed and built for travel and longer stays of more than a week. They come in all different lengths and you start getting some of your home amenities built into them. These also will work better for the larger family or ones that have older kids that need a little more room and privacy. Depending on the length you go with you can still get into many of the remote locations to camp and enjoy the great outdoors. The price here is just starting to climb a little based on what your needs truly are. One major drawback to these though is that they are just big enough to be effected by truckers on the road or any kind of wind gusts. Even with Sway Bars they have a tendency to move back and forth a little. You may find you need a bigger car to tow them but almost any truck on the market can handle even some of the larger ones.
Once you move up to the 5th wheel you start getting into some more of the serious type of camping with longer type stays or even permanently living in it. You can get full size fridges and electric fireplaces. They will have lots of storage underneath and designed more for the serious camper. These however, start having some major draw backs that require you to decide on what your real plans are for using it. They are usually larger than a trailer and thus are not as easily taken into remote locations. They also most of the time require a larger vehicle to tow them due to their weight. My wife and I actually started full timing in one and eventually traded up to the next category due to some issues we found with them. Once we found that having a larger truck sure hurt us on the gas mileage when just running around town not towing. Also the amount of time to hook up to your truck and set up at various campgrounds made it more cumbersome. They also are not really designed for stopping for quick over nights stays. You can do that but it just wasn’t for us. If you are going to be at one location for a very long time then it’s probably ideal but if you are going to want to move every week or two then we found it was just not right for us.
This is the last of the categories. These are really designed for the serious person planning to live or travel most of the year in it. Due to their size they will not fit at a lot of campgrounds and many state parks don’t allow them if they are over a certain size. We moved up from a 5th wheel to one though because they are easy to set up and take down when traveling. They also are perfect for stopping at rest stops or parking lots for overnight stays during your travels. They have everything you could find in a home. You do however need to have a smaller vehicle to use when driving around town when you are at your final destination. These are priced anywhere from the low $100K to over a million based on manufacturer and how many amenities you really need or want. You can get a good used one almost anywhere including E-Bay.
In closing, the most important factor for you when deciding on which recreational vehicle, is to first decide what kind of camping you plan to do and where you want to be able to take it. Cost is always very important but first decide on what you want then find one that fits your price range. If you purchase the wrong one these do not increase in value. Like a car they lose a lot of value the day you purchase it so make the right decision the first time or you will not enjoy it to the fullest.
When my wife and I decided to retire we figured one day we would eventually go back to work at sometime due to our young age. Becoming a Work Kamper and being able to still stay at various camping locations made Work Kamping a perfect fit for us.
Work Kamping is a means of working at a campground for a certain amount of hours in exchange for your RV camp site and other benefits. Benefits that come with Work Kamping varies from location to location. On average you will work 20 to 25 hours a week in return for you site. This is a combination of you and your wife or just one person. Most will also pay a slight gratuity for hours that are worked over there minimum if you want to work more. Most will also ask that you contract with them for at least a 90 day period if not more.
My wife find that the two of us only work 2 days a week and that is enough to give us the site. Paying for the site gives us the added income for traveling due to your RV site is usually one of the most expensive costs associated with living in a RV. The two days a week is easy and it helps break up the week and actually gives you something to look forward to at times. Yet two days aren’t enough to make us feel like we are still working at a Job and we can still see the sites when we want to.
Work Kamping duties can include many things. Most common are reservations, house cleaning, and basic maintenance on the grounds. Again this can vary greatly depending on locations. In fact, at some state parks you will sit there and collect admission fees from guest and pass out information to vistitors. When you apply for a Work Kampers position, you need to make sure what the duties involved are something you are willing to do and the benfits fit your needs.
There are many different locations that offer Work Kamping duties. Some of these, many people may not have thought of:
Almost all Camp Grounds
State and National Forest
State and National Parks
Corp of Engineers
Fish and Game
The list can go on and on. There is a company designed around helping Work Kampers find jobs and will actually email you daily on new openings that you may be interested in. You can find them at:
Companies will post there openings with them and you can read the openings and apply. Some jobs fill very quickly so you may find you need to apply almost a year in advance at popular locations. So you will need to plan your travels if you want to go from place to place throughout the year.
Some of the things you will need to get together before you start applying for these positions. Most will want some kind of Resume’. This is not the same kind you had when you were in the work force, but more of a brief description about yourself and the duties you are able to perform. You can have both you and your wife on the same resume’ if both are applying. Any hobbies you have can also be helpful. They really aren’t concern with your schooling you attended but more of what you are able to offer them, so be thinking of what kind of job you are applying for. Some even want a picture of you and your rig. I haven’t been able to narrow this one down as to why, but I do make sure I have it available for them if asked.
In closing, I will have to say that becoming a Work Kamper has been very enjoyable for my wife and I and we love doing it. It allows us to visit the locations in the US that we want to and save money at the same time. This added benefit has greatly reduced our costs in retirement and allowed us to travel more.