The Climate Change Impact on RVing: Can You Cope?

RV sales are hot right now, but not nearly as scorching as the climate change impact on RVing we’re about to experience. You don’t need to hang up the keys, but rather learn to stay alive during cataclysmic weather events predicted for the future. Here’s what you need to know to keep climate change from ruining your adventures.

Get Ready for the Climate Change Impact on RVing Adventures

climate change will impact RVing
Climate change will impact your travels in 2019.

According to the experts at the Fall 2018 Northwest Climate Conference in Idaho, the U.S. and the rest of the world will see more wild weather in 2019. “If the guesses are right, if the models are right, things are not looking good,” a University of Idaho scientist told colleagues at the conference, according to the Idaho Statesman Newspaper.

If you camped beneath the smoke-filled skies of the west in 2018, you know what these scientists are talking about. During summer, over five million acres of forest lands burned to the ground.

More unpredictable and scary weather events are expected to follow. Watch for flooding, severe storms with high winds and more out of control wildfires.

For a preview, check out the 2018 Climate Assessment Report. Published by over 300 U.S. scientists, weather predictions include less snow, more flooding, droughts and increasingly unpredictable rain dumps across the west. In the Midwest, flooding, soil erosion, and water quality issues from agricultural runoff will dominate the landscape. Back east, worsening humidity, rising sea levels, algae blooms and record numbers of tropical storms will continue.

In addition, the effects of the upcoming weather phenomena known as El Nino and La Nina will likely have a tremendous impact on the planet’s climate. Climate change will impact RVing into next year and well into the future. Here’s how to deal with it.

Choose a Boondocking Campsite with Care

Your first step in staying safe is to pick a campsite carefully. For instance, secluded boondocking campsites are lovely but in a fire or other emergency they are deadly. Look for a spot with multiple exits. And when you get there, keep your car keys and vehicle nearby, prepped to go in the event of an unexpected evacuation.

Live to Tell About Your Flash Flood Camping Weather Disaster

Spring runoff is often dangerous. RVers camped along rivers and streams are at great risk. If there’s even a small chance of rain in your region, don’t camp close to water. Also skip camping in a canyon, near low spots or anywhere with steep mountain walls closing in on you.

Practice Wildfire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life

Keep an eye on current wildfires near your camping area. Learn which agencies are reporting on burn activity. Facebook and Twitter are helpful tools to check for the latest updates. Remember, road closures are common, so monitoring road condition websites is also important.

In addition, these other tips will help keep your rig, your family and you safe in all of the extreme weather events expected to roll our way in 2019.

Don’t Freeze in Winter

How To Avoid Winter Camping Problems In Your RV.  Frozen holding tanks, poor insulation and poor refrigerator performance are common issues you might encounter during unpredictably cold winter RVing weather. Here’s how to cope with them.

8 Ways To Stay Warm While Camping In Cold Weather. Don’t let the cool temperatures keep you from getting out and camping. Here’s how to stay comfortable in cooler temperatures and keep on adventuring.

Hot Tips to Stay Cool in Summer

(Don’t) Get Injured Or Die In The National Parks. Most tourist deaths are the result of overconfidence or just simple bravado. Check out these surefire ways to end your national parks vacation on a bad note.

Keep Mosquitoes Away in Summer. Keep biting pests to a minimum with these camping tips to avoid mosquitoes.

Memorize these Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Symptoms and Prevention. Remember the symptoms to watch for and the steps to take to prevent heat-related problems that can ruin your trip and threaten your health.

Got any other extreme weather camping tips? Share them in the comments below, let’s all learn how to stay safe in a climate change RVing world!



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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | Go RVing

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

     It’s the time of year for giving and if you’re like me, treating yourself to a few items on your own wish list as well. Since I grew up in a camping family in the 1970’s, using a lot of hand me down items from the 1950’s, I tend to be drawn to classic camp items that evoke the nostalgia of happy times and the simple pleasures of life. I found a few of those to share as well as some new things bound for classic status. Here are a few of my favorite things!

Mollyjogger Old School Ice Box – When you come across these in an antiques shop they tend to be pricey and sketchy. I’m reluctant to put ice in them if I plan to put that ice in a beverage later. They usually have pitted aluminum walls. I’ve been using this new “Old” Ice Box on my bar now for two years. It is where I store the ice I use for drinks. It will keep a bag of ice for about 24 hours and its size makes it great for the floor of the passenger seat in my truck too. I keep drinks, snacks and lunch handy there. Plus, it just looks great! $89.

 

 

Kavu Long Johns – These are long johns with a twist. In addition to the classic bottom to top one piece style they have the added features of a drawstring hoodie, center pockets and thumb loops, a requirement for cold nights around the campfire.  They are 97% polyester jacquard knit for easy washing and have tight cuffs and bottom hem to keep the cold out. A classic! They are the perfect sleep, nap and lounge apparel on a chilly campout.  $90

 

 

Keen Sneakers – Those who know me know that I love statement footwear! It’s hard to get me out of my bowling shoes but these sneakers hit the mark for me. First of all, they are plaid. Can there be too much plaid in the world? I think not. They are a classic design with lots of toe space, soft interior, nicely rolled edges that don’t rub, aluminum eyelets that let your feet breathe and a really rich fleece fabric that brushes clean. These are not hiking shoes. They are day tripping shoes for running errands, getting stuff done and looking cute while doing it. $79

 

 

Pendleton Motor Robe – Back in the old days when my grandfather would take us somewhere in his car on those freezing Chicago winter days, he had the Pendleton blanket on the seat for us to sit on. My grandfather was a steel worker in Indiana who owned very few duplicates of things. He had a dress coat, a suit, a summer and winter hat and he had a few Pendleton shirts! We all wish we knew what happened to them!! He understood the value of a dollar and quality. There are few things more timeless than quality wool and items that get passed down. I have taken to giving this blanket to the nieces and nephews as engagement gifts in homage to our “Poppy.” It’s a great size for the RVer in your life because it serves many purposes. It fits on a camp chair nicely and adds a layer of warmth between you and the night air. It folds neatly across the bottom of a bed to pull up in the night if it gets too cold. It’s a great lap robe around the fire, at a game or while tailgating and even if you have seat heaters, it’s a welcoming sight to a cold hiker getting back to the car! $99

National Parks Candles – The Good and Well Supply Company was started by Megan McLaughlin, a Girl Camper on a quest to harness the scents in nature. She traveled the US camping in her tent and storing up treasured memories from National Parks. She resettled in the Pacific Northwest and began making 100% soy candles in small batches that she sells in pint, half pint and travel tins. The labels are truly art and each candle is made from 100% renewable soy, have balsa wood wicks, are petroleum free, GMO free, and lead free. A portion of each sale is donated to the National Parks Foundation. $36

The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles – by Laura Farenthold.  A good read for RV lovers and anyone who has ever been dealt a crushing blow in life. This is no sad tale of widowhood and its trials but instead it’s the tale of a woman who used RVing to help herself and daughters gain their footing again after the sudden loss of her husband and the girls’ dad. It is full of poignant, funny, and mystical coincidences that kept me turning the pages at a rapid rate. It’s a book of hope, chutzpah and perseverance mixed in with stories of our National Parks, backroad towns and the strangers they met along the way who were angels in disguise. A really uplifting read. $15

 

 

LL Bean Boots – There are two things about these boots that grabbed me. One, I love festive footwear and two, plaid IS my favorite color. I have bought several pairs of LL Bean knockoffs over the years while my sister in law has had the same LL Bean boots since high school. Every year she breaks them out for winter footwear, sledding events and to use to and from the ski slopes at her family’s weekend home in Vermont. I realized that if I added up all my quick-to-deteriorate replicas I could have owned the real McCoy! I indulged in the 10”, hand crafted 106 year old tried and true design and think I just acquired my last pair of boots. That’s Yankee thrift for you. They are incredibly warm with duck rubber soles, shearling lining and wool plaid outer layer. The boot bottom has Thinsulate lining and supported steel shank, they are triple stitched and still handmade the old fashioned way, one boot at a time, by craftsmen (elves?) in Maine. They also are just sooooo cute!!! $245

Wicked Good Cupcakes – I fell in love with this idea when I first saw this mother- daughter duo present their idea on Shark Tank. I then received a six pack of these gooey homemade cupcakes in Mason jars and fell in love with their taste. They are now my new go-to “have to send a gift” item.  I’m thrilled to find a fun alternative to flowers and fruit baskets. I recently spent close to $90 to send a fruit bouquet to a camping buddy in need of a hug from afar.  I wish I had known that for $26 I could have sent her two S’mores in a jar and sat around a virtual campfire with her. They come freshly made and packed in ice packs. They will last a week without refrigeration on your countertop but can be frozen for up to six months!! Wicked good idea!! Two pack $26 including shipping.

Dune Jewelry – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a shell or sand or pine cones from far off places and packed them to take home. What happens when it gets home is the problem. How do you keep and display sand from a favorite beach? Dune Jewelry makes beautiful keepsake pieces to remember a vacation by. You can mail them your own sand, dried flower petals, crushed stones or other elements that you gathered on a vacation and then choose a design.  They offer cuff bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and charms. If you don’t have your own sand they have an element bank to choose from. I purchased a necklace filled with sand from the beaches in Cape May, NJ. We had a home there when our children were little, and my oldest daughter is very sentimental about Cape May. I was thrilled when I saw they had Cape May sand in stock!! Each piece of jewelry is handmade by metal artisans. I’m thinking of starting a travel charm bracelet with element charms from the National Parks. After all, how many hoodie sweatshirts can you have? $36-$200

 

 

Old School Flashlight – When we camped as kids there were two light sources after dark, the Coleman lantern which kids could not touch, and the single flashlight our family owned. If you had to walk to the bathroom at night you were “entrusted” with the flashlight under pain of severe reprisal should anything happen to it. The batteries were probably more valuable than the flashlight.  I collect vintage flashlights which I use while camping and display around the house and trailer. I was excited to come across this little treasure online. The Chrome Vintage Flashlight is made by United Pacific and costs $9.95 on Amazon. It uses two “D” batteries, has the kid intriguing Morse Code Button in case of danger and the built in retractable hook to hang it from the tent pole at night. It’s sure to inspire lots of nostalgia and tales of the old days if you put it in an “old fart’s” stocking. $10

 

 

Williams Sonoma – Plaid Insulated Beverage Container. It’s a new “old” thermos with a nod to the Plaid Skotch Koolers I grew up with. This new version of a camp classic holds 16 fluid ounces, has double walled insulation to keep beverages hot for up to 12 hours and like the old version, the cap is also the cup!! $29.95

 

 

Chill Angel – I was gifted these incredible PJ’s last year and this year I got a second pair in this festive Christmas color for myself. I used these camping all year and discovered what they knew in the old days about the properties of wool. Have you ever wondered how the Civil War reenactors can be standing around in the heat in July and not sweating? It’s the wool uniform. These Merino wool pajamas are made of the best moisture managing and temperature regulating fabric known to man. They are made from super fine Merino wool that feels so soft on your skin but which also rapidly dissipates heat, minimizing temperature spikes during your sleep cycle. If you are one of those people who wakes up during the night kicking off the covers because you are hot, these PJ’s will return you to normal temperature and back to sleep quickly. If you just like luxurious pajamas that keep you cool in hot weather and very warm in winter you will love these as much as I do. They are not just sleepwear though. They are the perfect loungewear on a rainy day and a great gift for outdoor enthusiasts. $39-$139

 

 

Camco “Life Is Better at the Campsite” Goodies – This year Camco Manufacturing came out with a new product line aptly titled, “Life Is Better at the Campsite.” I couldn’t agree more! I’ve got two fun items for the holidays from Camco. The first is their new wrapping paper which is a perfect way to wrap gifts for your RVing friends! But, look closely, it’s not actually holiday paper. It’s all seasons. You can put a pretty Christmas bow on it during the holidays or use it for birthday gifts in July! The other fun items from Camco are their happy mugs!! I really loved this red ceramic one. It’s got speckles that make it look like snowflakes and it holds 12 oz. You can also put this in the microwave. It’s full of holiday cheer!! This will be my official hot chocolate and hot toddy mug all winter. I think it’s a great stocking stuffer or grab bag gift. Paper – $16 Mug – $10

 

 

 

 

https://www.mollyjogger.com/cart

https://kavu.com/products/wildwood?variant=12113657593927

https://www.keenfootwear.com/p/W-ELSA-SNEAKER-FLEECE.html?dwvar_W-ELSA-SNEAKER-FLEECE_color=1017967&cgid=womens_footwear_shoes

https://www.pendleton-usa.com/product/motor-robe-with-leather-carrier-71376.html?dwvar_71376_color=9442&cgid=blankets-throws#start=5&cgid=blankets-throws

 

https://goodandwellsupplyco.com/collections/national-park-candles

https://www.amazon.com/Pink-Steering-Wheel-Chronicles-Story/dp/1578267684/ref=asc_df_1578267684/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312176338241&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14434448599435065161&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003956&hvtargid=aud-466606931481:pla-490943437427&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=60258870897&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312176338241&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14434448599435065161&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003956&hvtargid=aud-466606931481:pla-490943437427

 

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/121340?page=bean-boot-10-shearling-lined-wool-plaid&bc=474-630&feat=630-GN1&csp=f&attrValue_0=Bn%20Boot%20Brown/Burgundy/Bn%20Boot%20Brown/Gum

https://www.wickedgoodcupcakes.com/

https://dunejewelry.com/

https://www.amazon.com/United-Pacific-C5013-Vintage-Flashlight/dp/B07BKR5LPZ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1543975543&sr=8-2&keywords=Chrome+Vintage+Flashlight

 

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/plaid-insulated-beverage-container/

https://chillangel.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Decorative-Different-Designs-Excellent-53239/dp/B07K565B5F

https://www.amazon.com/Vintage-USA-vintage-interior-Flashlight/dp/B01GCELIVM/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1543972589&sr=8-10&keywords=Chrome+Vintage+Flashlight

 

 

 

 

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SIMPLE BOURBON APPLE CRISP | Go RVing

When I Go RVing with my family, we make everything over the fire. We grill steak,

veggies, potatoes and more. We even heat up our cider with mulling spices to stay warm over

the fire. It’s always the best dinners in the world.

 

By the time dinner is over though, I start to crave something sweet. Not something too

sweet, but something that will really hit the spot. You know what I mean?

 

Bourbon… Apples… Sugar…

 

When I have a sweet tooth craving around the campfire, I tend to make my Simple Bourbon

Apple Crisp. Made with tons of sliced apples, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon and more. This

one skillet dessert is so simple to make with minimal dishes or prep work. Seriously, it only

takes about 15 minutes of work.

 

So why does it only take 15 minutes?

 

Instead of baking the crisp, you will cook the apples then add a blend of oats, pecans,

and more sugar. Stir in this blend to the added crunch and texture that we all love about fruit

crisps.

 

Add a little bit of bourbon for a night cap, and I am off to bed in the RV. Goodnight!

 

 

Recipe:

Cooking Details

Yields: 2-4 Servings

Cook: 10 minutes

Prep: 5 minutes

Equipment: Cast Iron Skillet and Spatula.

 

Fruit Ingredients:

  • 8 apples, sliced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Vanilla ice cream (with serving)

 

 

  1. In a skillet, add butter and let melt until beginning to brown. In a bowl, add all fruit

ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add fruit ingredients to skillet and cook for 8 minutes.

  1. In another bowl, add all topping ingredients. Pull skillet off of fire, add toppings and let

sit for 2 extra minutes.

  1. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

 

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Ultimate Recipe Guide For RVing Holiday Dinners

Some holiday traditions should be abandoned, like slaving away in the kitchen. What fun is it if everyone else is having a good time but you’re stuck with the cooking? If you don’t enjoy the hassle of making a big holiday dinner in your sticks and bricks home, it’s time to start the holiday season on the road with RVing holiday dinners.

RVing holiday dinners
It`s easy to cook old favorites such as green beans, brussels sprouts or even asparagus – seen here – over an open grill at a campsite for a side of any holiday dinner. Photo courtesy of Bruce B www.airforums.com member.

RVing Holiday Dinners are Easy

Do you live in an area with mild weather this time of year? Then pack up the RV and move your holiday season celebrations to a great RV campground. When you move the party to your favorite state or national park it`s like gaining an extra summer weekend at year’s end. As a result, the best part is that RVing holiday dinners are less labor intensive than a traditional sticks-and-bricks feast, but they are just as much fun to enjoy. Here’s how to prepare for your all new custom:

Meal Prep Tips for RVing Holidays

Many traditional holiday meal components like dips, salads and pies can be prepped and even made ahead of your departure. What`s more, once you arrive, a barbecue grill, pressure cooker and cast iron skillet can replicate your favorite holiday meals at the campsite, without any fuss. Use them in the following ways:

  • Toss the turkey and try Cornish game hens or turkey sausages. Most RV ovens are too small to cook turkeys, so consider grilling your main meat dish instead.
  • Pre-cook time intensive side dishes like squash and potatoes in the pressure cooker. Make them in shifts then pop them in the oven together.
  • Cast iron skillets for sides can be placed on a stovetop or campfire. Cook old favorites like green beans or seared Brussels sprouts with garlic in this multipurpose pan that’s a must-have for RVers.

Great Recipes for RVing Holiday Meals

RVing holiday dinners
Fruit compotes are easy to make in RV kitchens.

Keep your favorite holiday meal recipes and retire the rest. For some added excitement turn to these innovative RVing holiday dinner recipes spotlighted by RVlife.com food writer and culinary maven, Marian Platt.

Celebrating Diversity on Thanksgiving” shares an entire RVing holiday meal menu including:

  • Clam Dip
  • Apple, Pecan and Dried Cherry Salad
  • Chilled Cranberry Maple Sauce
  • Corn Pudding
  • Grilled Cornish Game Hens
  • Italian Turkey Sausages

Stuffing or Dressing?” starts your holiday meal right with four stuffing recipes:

  • Cranberry Stuffing Balls
  • Southern Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
  • Traditional Bread Stuffing with Herbs
  • Fruit and Vegetable Dressing with Nuts

Holiday Sweet Potatoes” mixes up this old favorite. From candied and mashed to baked, here’s a collection of several ways to enjoy this must-have side dish, including:

  • Baked Sweet Potato Sticks for Two
  • Mashed Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes with Apples
  • Sweet Potato Pie

Give Thanks for Succotash” pays tribute to the corn and lima bean classic, with variations such as:

  • Traditional Succotash
  • Down Home Succotash with Bacon
  • Succotash with Zucchini and Peppers
RVing holiday dinners
Make old favorites ahead of time.

Tis the Season for Pie” gives suggestions for pie fillings you can easily make in the RV. Just pour into a pre-made pie crust and enjoy any of these:

  • Pear Cranberry Lattice Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Sour Cream Raisin Pie
  • Mince Pie
  • Apple Pie

Eggnog, a Holiday Tradition” puts everyone in the festive spirit with creatively cooked ways to enjoy this popular favorite, including:

  • Bread Pudding
  • Fruit Topping
  • Eggnog Cake

Great RVing holiday meals don’t have to be restricted to the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Make the most of your year-round camping climate by adding Thanksgiving and the winter holidays to your annual RV celebrations.

Images: Pixabay.com



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CAMERA SHOPPING IDEAS | Go RVing

As a professional photographer, I get asked all the time: What is a good camera to buy?   What should I get to document my upcoming trip?  What do I need to capture non-blurry photos of my kids?

 

 

And my all-time most commonly asked question: What do I do with all the pictures and videos I have on my phone?  As a pro, I understand the benefits and limitations of cameras very well, but I am not an all-knowing camera salesperson.  Instead of trying to pretend to understand your ideal photographic solution, let me shed some light on the differences between each category of cameras, and you can make an informed decision from there as to which camera is right for you.

First, let’s discuss what you need the actual photos for, and more importantly, what you plan to do with them.  This will help you to understand what modern tool you need for the job.  In the old days cameras were much more straightforward.  For the most part, you bought rolls of film, inserted them into your camera and took photos.  When you got the photos back from being developed, you either enlarged and framed one or two or even bought a basic sticky album to put them all in.  (Or worse yet, you just left them in the envelope they came in from the lab.)  That was a simpler time in imagery for sure.  Now we seem to be more thoughtful storytellers with our photos and need the right tool to make it painless and simple to operate, manage and distribute all of our work.

Some fundamental questions to ask yourself before picking the right camera.

  • Am I creating a visual documentary of my travel journey?
  • Will I be capturing photos only or photos and videos in the same device?
  • Are the photographs I’m capturing for Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook etc.
  • How will I carry the camera and how big can it be?
  • What is my budget for a camera?
  • Will the photos be brought to an archive system and saved for future use and printing?
  • Will I be creating a masterpiece for the wall of the RV/Home?

 

Although diving deeply into this series of questions is an entirely separate blog post, you must first know the outcome of your work to know what tools you need.  Let me guide you through the types of tools you can bring with you on the road, and you can refer back to those questions to find your answers.

 

There are essentially four basic types of cameras.

 

 

The first camera is probably the most common one, and that is the camera on your phone.   The second is the most common “real camera”, and the one people think about purchasing first – the DSLR camera.   The third is the exciting newer genre of cameras that has dominated imagery the past few years – the Action Camera and 360º Cameras. And lastly, the slowly dying breed of cameras called Point and Shoots.

The first camera to talk about is your phone’s.  Phone cameras are at best as middle of the road point and shoot cameras.  They are of similar quality, but with excellent editing and sharing capabilities (Sharing is SO vital to so many people, and the lack of low overall quality is overlooked for the convenience of shooting and sharing.)  Yes, even the newest phone’s camera sensor is not in the same quality league as the sensors from DSLRs and Mirrorless SLRs.  Despite their quality shortcomings, their ease of use makes them the go-to camera for millions. Coupled with the speed of sharing and accessibility, they will continue to dominate.  The drawbacks to the camera phones are many and begin with lack of true manual control (to override the auto settings), lack of quality accessory expandability (like lenses), and lots of people claim to feel that creativity suffers when using their phone.

How does the camera phone cause lack of creativity?  Simply put, the camera phone is so readily accessible, people tend to shoot anything and everything that might spark their interest.   So much so, that they are carelessly shooting nonsense much of the time, which ultimately buries their greatest moments deep within piles of garbage pictures.

When we load a memory card into a Mirrorless SLR or DSLR, we are essentially saying, “Ok, I inserted my blank canvas. My camping trip to the shore will be my paintbrush to work with.”   When using a DSLR I treat each memory card as if it was a roll of film for that day/event/place only.  I then deliberately capture to paint a beautiful story of our trip.   One picture at a time I pick and choose what I want to capture and document.  For some reason, the act of carrying that camera with me forces me to think one frame at a time and the results show.  Something a phone just can’t seem to do as well.  (Side note/Pro Tip: I then download that memory card the second I get home and label the folder of images MMDDYYYY_NameofTrip/Event and save it under a folder of the year)

 

 

The DSLR and its modern cousin, the Mirrorless SLR, are likely the only cameras you will handle that will genuinely give you that sensation of working with an actual creation tool.  The long and short of SLRs are their endless expandability from lens options to flash options to the sheer quality in the files.  (What I mean by quality in the files is how clear the images are at close zoom while viewing in the computer) Big camera sensors mean big clean files you can enlarge, enhance & print.  You can change lenses that allow you wide-angle viewing as well as telephoto zoom lenses to get you right up close.   DSLRs are larger than anything else you will handle, but the quality of file of your once in a lifetime trip will be something that is undeniable.

 

 

You have to weigh the cost vs. size vs. personal use of images to know if an SLR is for you.  Most all, SLRs now offer incredible video capabilities as well that translate to a powerful multitool for both mediums and increases their value.  SLRs have always been the only way to go, and the whole photography industry is watching everything that is happening around the new smaller Mirrorless SLR phenomenon.   Only an SLR will allow you to do something like this 30-minute exposure of our camper in the middle of the night.

 

 

The incredibly shrinking niche in the photography market is undoubtedly the Point and Shoot marketplace.  For all practical purposes, these cameras have always had small lenses and small sensors, and quite frankly, the camera phones of today just outperform that of the traditional point and shoots.  One point and shoot exception is the “Tough Waterproof Cameras.” They offer unique differences like underwater shooting and shockproof/drop proof shots.  These types of cameras as you can imagine, make exceptional backpack cameras for hikes, beaches, vacations, etc.  They are virtually indestructible pocket cameras that aren’t fixed wide-angle/fisheye cameras like action cameras.   Point and shoot cameras still have a purpose such as manually overriding the auto settings, long exposures, self-timer, etc, but more and more you will see this segment dwindle away as phones take over their space completely.

 

 

Wearable action cameras have been the fastest growing segment in photography for a few years now.  These little pint-sized cameras are mostly known for their impressive video capabilities, but quite honestly, I have ALWAYS used them as still cameras.  Whether attached to my bike, my backpack or even my dog Cole.  (Side note/Pro Tip: I set these little powerhouse cameras to take interval timer photos (once every 5 seconds) and let them shoot away.  Then I submerge my family in the scene and act out life as usual.

 

 

The result is a memory card full of images, but after I select a handful of my amazing favorites, I delete the rest and enjoy a few fantastically candid scenic photos of ourselves.   Action camera benefits are clearly their size, their wearability, and their environmental proofing.   Recently, I have been having a blast with my new 360º camera and that market has yet to officially take off.

 

 

OR Embed  in VR with photo on our FB Iframe Code: <iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Four1chance%2Fposts%2F1934410313269591&width=500″ width=”500″ height=”614″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allow=”encrypted-media”></iframe>

 

Keep your eyes out for how the cool VR/AR photos and videos will play out over the next 4 years.

So, with all that said, which type of camera is the most important to have?

THE ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOU!  I know that isn’t the answer you were looking for but it’s a complex subject.  As a pro photographer, I happen to have all of these types of cameras and can honestly say I use them all for each of their individual strengths.  Captured with my Phone

 

 

No one camera is going to be your end-all, so you have to work within your budget and decide if you want something expandable, self-contained, wearable, etc.  Each one is so uniquely different that I feel the need to have all of them to feed my soul as an artist, but of course, I don’t expect people to get all types.  (My DSLRs are what I make a living off of so those tools of the trade are unfairly weighted)

 

I’d love to continue the conversation with you about camera needs, wants and desires.  Leave a comment below with some questions or head over to our blog http://www.our1chance.com or on social @our1chance and DM us your question.

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RV Clubs For Solo Women Travelers: RVing Women

There is a growing number of women who enjoy RVing independently, whether because their families are not into traveling, or because they are single, or just for the adventure of being alone in the wilderness.  Many women who might consider independent RVing are hesitant to jump in and get started.  That is where groups like RVing Women can help.

RVing Women
Exploring Quartzite (Photo by IRV2 member Jpony56hd)

Janet Miller has been a member of RVing Women for over 15 years.  When she found herself nearing retirement, she relocated from her home in Wisconsin to Nevada in order to enjoy the warm Southwest climate.

She had met some friends who traveled in an RV through work and found the lifestyle intriguing.  After reading through the RVing Women magazine, filled with helpful and interesting information, she bought a small Class C motorhome and began traveling with her partner on weekends.

After retirement, Janet vowed to attend one of the RVing Women Rallies to see what they were all about and meet some fellow lady travelers.  Over the three-day rally, she met many other members, learned a lot, and enjoyed the community and ease of traveling with a group of women.  Everyone was very helpful and no question was too simple to be asked. Janet shares,

The most challenging part of my entry into RVing was learning the in’s and outs of preventative maintenance, and the need to be aware of all systems of the “Motor” part of the motorhome (engine, tires, brakes, shocks, etc.) and the “Home” parts (refrigerator, air conditioning, stove, water heater, etc.)  In addition, I had to learn the basic housekeeping associated with Fresh Water storage and exit water storage (black and grey.)  Fortunately, I had good teachers either through devouring the Internet, reading Motorhome and RVing Women Magazine and by receiving the help of other RV’ers along the road.

Since that initial rally, Janet has made it a goal to get out with her RV at least once a month, with a “use it or lose it” attitude to keep her out exploring.  There is no RVing women chapter in Nevada, so she joined as a member of the Arizona and Southern California groups in order to attend rallies in neighboring states.  Through the years, she has become an active member and is hosting the upcoming boondocking rally in Quartzite, AZ starting January 17, 2019.

Janet finds that the benefits of being a member of RVing Women are largely the safety and comfort of traveling in an all-women group with different lifestyles and life stories are accepted without fear or humiliation—regardless of your experience level.

Single women, widows, divorcees, or those just looking to get away—the common thread is a group of women with a taste for adventure.  Some have new, fancy rigs, others have found older RVs that they have creatively and lovingly refurbished to their individual needs and tastes.

Some women are retired, others still working, and some are full-time RVers.  Rally attendance can range from 20 to 100 and is largely dependent on the space available at the hosting site.  Rally hosts work a year or two in advance to secure campsite areas, permits, and activities.  Often rallies are coordinated around another event, like an RV Show, or music festival.

women
RVing Women Rally at Quartzite, AZ, 2017 (Photo via Janet Miller)

In addition to the rallies, the group often hosts informal “meet-ups” throughout the year, from weekend trips to “rolling rallies” where members travel over many days or weeks as a caravan to enjoy destinations like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.  These longer trips are great for single travelers who might be hesitant to attempt the journey by herself.

There are 17 RVW chapters across the United States, and members can attend any rally across the US that interest them.  Many members travel south for the winter and may join a southern chapter such as the Arizona or Florida Chapters, but return home during the summer months where they might participate in rallies associated with their home state area.

RVing Women also has an annual convention that changes location across the country each year, so that members can attend periodically from all parts of the country.  Tours and educational seminars, as well as entertainment and vendor offerings, make this a very interesting event to attend and members often arrive early and stay later to enjoy a 10 day or so experience with their RVW “Convention Friends.”

For more information on the RVing Women Quartzite Rally, click here.  For other chapter rallies, visit the listing of events on the left side of the RVing Women web page.

See also: Solo Women RVers Hit The Road



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How To Go Full-Time RVing With Kids, Solo, Or With A Small Budget

Full-time RVing is certainly not for everyone, but many people dream of hitting the road full-time if life was different. The good news is that this lifestyle is very doable, it just takes some effort, planning, and downsizing. If you think you can’t RV full-time because of these three reasons, think again.

full-time RVing
Is full-timing right for you? Photo by Laura Kane/Flickr

1. Kids

Of course, RVing with kids comes with challenges, but it also has its own benefits. Your little ones don’t always have to run around those pricey theme parks every day. Full-time RVing rather gives you a chance to roadschool and be closer with your children and give them hands-on experience at museums, historic sites, national parks, and state capitals, as opposed to sitting in a classroom all the time listening to lectures or reading about these places in books.

You can find educational books on the areas you’re visiting and teach them life lessons that are not always taught in public schools. In the evenings, they can often find other kids to play with at the RV park or campground, many of which have playgrounds. By night, they can fall asleep watching TV in the camper while the adults are outside around the campfire.

2. Work/money

Like at home, RVing comes with plenty of money challenges. Things in the RV are always breaking and they’re almost always going to cost you. However, there are many ways to make and save money while you’re living and traveling full-time in an RV.

Some of your options include remote work online or even starting your own mobile business. Many full-timers also like to stay in one place for a few months for a seasonal workamping job. You could also search for local handyman projects or gigs at nearby events.

full-time RVing
Work as you travel. Photo by Don Travel/Flickr

If you’re creative, sell prints of photography from your travels or get a booth at local fairs to sell artisan goods like jewelry. Set up an Etsy shop or your own website through WordPress or Wix. Other RVers have found great success in gaining a following on their blog, Youtube channel, or podcast.

It is also equally important to save money as you travel. Instead of camping in RV parks and resorts every night, you can save a lot of money by boondocking for free on public land, or for cheap in county or state parks. Once in a while, stay overnight at Walmart, rest areas that allow overnight parking, or if you’re lucky enough, a friend or family member’s driveway. Rather than spend money on overpriced tourist attractions, try seeking out local parks, hiking trails, and other free/cheap points of interest.

Sign up for clubs like Good Sam Club, Passport America, Escapees, and Thousand Trails to get a discount at the campgrounds they’re affiliated with across the country. Members of Harvest Hosts can also dry camp on farms and wineries across America. If you’re a AAA member, make full use of all their great discounts on everything from prescriptions to campground rates.

Save money on food by cooking in your RV as often as possible (though it is nice to take a break from cooking sometimes to try the local restaurants). Always search for the lowest local gas prices on Gas Buddy’s website or free app before you fuel up. You can also plan your trip on RV Trip Wizard to track all of your trip expenses easily.

This Do It Yourself RV article shares how to live and travel on a budget of $2000 or less a month.

3. Going solo

Many people would love to travel full-time but do not want to go alone. While some aren’t comfortable with doing everything by themselves, others don’t mind as it gives them solitude and independence.

There are both men and women who RV solo and plenty of RV clubs and online forums where you can meet and chat with other like-minded travelers. Solo travel isn’t for everyone, but definitely something to consider if you would love to travel full-time and don’t want to wait on anyone else.



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STOCKING YOUR NEW RV | Go RVing

You’ve just purchased your first RV, so now it is time to stock your rig with everything you’ll need to get rolling. It’s tempting to head straight to a camping store or to hop online and order EVERYTHING. New grill? Cute pillows from Etsy? All of the camping chairs? Those items are fun, terrific purchases; however, you might want to pause and prioritize before you find yourself dropping $1000 on gear you might not want or need.

 

The ultimate goal with stocking up is to have everything you will need and nothing you won’t. When we first started RVing, we hauled many of our regular household items out to the RV for each and every trip, and then we hauled those same items back into the house.

 

Of course, this process got tiresome after a bit. However, it helped us figure out which items we used the most. Those went to the top of our packing list. Over time, we bought dedicated gear that stayed in the RV and continued to use a checklist to repack items as needed.

 

You can use our complete stock up checklist as a starting guide for your first rig. Over time, you’ll learn which items you can’t live without and which ones you never touch. Then, you can develop and refine your own personalized packing list. Here’s an overview of some of our essential recommendations:

 

 

RV Tools and Safety Gear

Tools and safety gear are less fun to purchase than the cute or kitschy camping décor many of us covet; however, these items ensure your safety and security while on the road or in a campground. Put these necessities at the top of your list—or else!

 

To set up camp, you’ll need the following items:

  • Chocks
  • Leveling boards
  • Sewer hose (the stinky slinky)
  • Potable water hose
  • Water pressure regulator
  • Surge protector
  • Electricity converters (to move between 20, 30, and 50 amp)

 

The following basic tools and gear can help you roll safely down the road and repair small problems:

  • Basic tool box
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Fuse replacement kit
  • Replacement bulbs
  • Air compressor
  • Jumper cables

 

Other overlooked safety gear might include a rechargeable flashlight, a fly swatter, a water filter, and latex gloves. These will come in handy!

 

 

Camp Furniture and Outdoor Gear

Once you’ve safely set up your rig, now comes the fun part of turning your campsite into a pleasant outside living space. You can always start with relatively cheap versions of these items and then upgrade over time. After five years of traveling, we’ve become camp chair connoisseurs, with each family member having a favorite style, but trust me, we didn’t start off that way.

 

Here are some items you might want that will make your campsite even cozier:

  • One camp chair per person
  • An outdoor rug
  • Table cloth
  • Lanterns

 

Now, comes the fun part. You can truly personalize your campsite with the following gear:

  • Awning lights
  • Pop up shelter
  • Rope lights
  • Hammock
  • Outdoor games

 

What’s a campsite without a campfire? If you forget to stock these items, you’ll miss out on this revered camping ritual:

  • Firewood (note: some states do not allow the transport of firewood from area to area)
  • Fire starters
  • Lighter & matches

 

 

Kitchen (Indoor & Outdoor)

Ah, the kitchen. Some people use camping as a chance to take a break from their culinary duties, while others take pride in becoming the consummate camp chef. No matter which one of these is your goal, you’ll likely need some kitchen essentials.

 

Of course, you’ll need the basic eating utensils. Consider purchasing unbreakable items, whenever possible. Our rule of thumb is to pack one for each per person, plus a couple of extras.

  • Plates & bowls
  • Silverware
  • Cups and mugs

 

Next comes the cookery. Think about the wares and utensils you will need to prepare the types of meals you cook most often. Consider stocking the following:

  • Nesting bowls
  • Cutting board & quality knife set
  • Cooking utensils (spoons, ladle, tongs, peeler, whisk, etc.)
  • Collapsible colander
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Pots, skillets & baking wares

 

We don’t store food in the RV when not in use, but these pantry staples can be kept in airtight containers, ready to load:

  • Salt, pepper, & other seasonings
  • Nonstick spray
  • Oil & vinegar
  • Coffee (don’t forget the filters and coffee maker)

 

Finally, you’ll want these miscellaneous kitchen items to help keep your kitchen clean and functional:

  • Dish towels & washcloths
  • Sponges
  • Can opener & bottle opener

 

If you’ll be using an outdoor grill, be sure to include the specialty supplies to accompany your grill.

 

 

Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the places you’ll want to have well stocked. Health and hygiene are pretty essential! Take care of those with these items:

  • Shampoo, conditioner & body wash
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • Shaving cream & razors
  • Hand soap & sanitizer
  • Towels, hand towels & washcloths

 

Bedroom & Closets

We highly recommend having dedicated bedding for all of the beds in your rig. Bonus points if you have pillows and blankets you can leave in it—those are the biggest pain to haul in and out! Whether you buy new or choose to use spares you already have, here are just a few of the main items you’ll need for your beds and bodies:

  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Laundry hamper
  • Jackets and rain gear
  • If you have old shoes and spare clothes that can “live” in the RV, it’s nice to leave them packed, just in case you ever take off without these essentials (not that we’ve ever done that!)

 

 

Wow! That seems like a lot of stuff. Just remember, you don’t have to pack EVERYTHING on this list. Start small, and add only the gear you think you will use. Once you have a handful of trips under your belt, you’ll develop a rhythm and routine all your own. Soon, you’ll have a good idea of your perfect stock up list. Until then, feel free to consult our Complete RV Stock Up List as a starting point. Then, get out there and make that new rig the cozy home on wheels you’ve always dreamed of!

 

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CAMPFIRE SURF AND SURF | Go RVing

Adventure is my middle name…

Getting out into nature and enjoying cooking in the great outdoors is how I want to live. One of the best ways to do that is by RVing! I am so excited to announce that I am teaming up with Go RVing to show how easy it is to cook delicious meals around a campfire while you are exploring nature. Whether you are in a different state or at a nearby campground, RVing doesn’t have to limit the flavor of the food that you eat. Everything I will cook will be simple, easy and delicious. So to kick it all off, I have decided to cook some Campfire Surf & Surf.

The old Surf & Turf is a classic grilling recipe. But for all you seafood lovers out there, why not substitute the heartiness of the steak with a thick piece of salmon? Top that off with some skewered shrimp and veggies. Now you are talkin’ my language!

In my Campfire Surf & Surf recipe, you will first grill up a massive chunk of wild caught salmon over the fire. Seasoned with parsley, garlic, cayenne powder and more to make sure you have a savory and tangy fish. The same seasoning will go on the shrimp as well! This will balance the flavor of the food with the same seasoning on two very different seafoods. The tenderness of the salmon really complements the robust flavor of the shrimp to make sure you get that variety that you are looking for in a combo dish like this. Lastly, you will add some charred veggies cooked on a skillet/plancha over the fire. These veggies round out the whole meal with their salty and charred flavor.

My favorite part about this dish is how easy it is to cook. All the ingredients you can find on the road at any local grocery store! Plus, they do not take up a lot of space in your RV while still giving you delicious food. Stay tuned for more recipes to come while I cook over fire in an RV!

Recipe:

COOKING DETAILS

Yields: 2-4 Servings

Cook: 30 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Equipment Needed: Fire pit, wooden skewers, cast iron skillet/plancha, tongs, wood, and fire starters.

CAMPFIRE SURF & SURF

  • 1 whole salmon (un-filleted)
  • 1 lb. of shrimp (no shell & de-veined)
  • 2 zucchini (diced)
  • 2 yellow squash (diced)
  • 1/2 white onion (cut into halfmoons)
  • 1 tbsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of cayenne powder
  • Sea salt & black pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Using a fire starter, build your fire and let burn until it coals (about 15-20 minutes).
  • While the fire is burning, skewer the shrimp & lather both the shrimp and salmon with olive oil on all sides. Season both shrimp & salmon with dried parsley, minced garlic, cayenne powder, sea salt & black pepper.

  • Once fire is hot, season skillet/plancha with olive oil and start cooking zucchini, yellow squash and onions. Let cook until nicely charred & soft (about 10 minutes).

  • While veggies are cooking, place salmon on grill skin side down. Let cook for 8 minutes per side. Cook until internal temp reads 145F. PS: You can also smoke the salmon if you prefer!

  • Lastly, place skewered shrimp on grill and let cook.

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RVing And Camping Near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

On a crisp fall day, I stand on the shore of a lake that is sparkling with a million sunlit stars across it; the warm sun on my face making a noticeable contrast to the coolness of the breeze at my back.  The day is a perfect blend of summer shorts and soft fall flannel shirts. 

Flattop Mountain and the Bighorn flats seem to stand guard over the abundant wildlife in the valley floors where the golden leaves of the aspen trees are glowing with the backlighting of the sun. 

The gentle breezes play along the lake surface, painting strokes of light sparkles as they move.  It is the perfect backdrop to a day that breathes the promise of a rugged hike, then warm soup and fresh bread.

Rocky Mountain
Fishing on Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo by TC Wait)

Rocky Mountain National Park is the crown jewel of Colorado’s National Parks and Monuments.  It is located between Estes Park on the east side and Grand Lake on the west side, about an hour and a half drive northwest from Denver.

As one of the largest and most visited National Parks, averaging over 3 million visitors each year, the park boasts some of the highest elevation of all the National Parks (with over 75 peaks over 12,000 feet), is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and Cache la Poudre River, and straddles the Continental Divide.  The park is open year-round, and at any time of the year a visitor can quickly see how special “Rocky” is.

national parks
Mummy Mountain in RMNP (Photo by NPS)

Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915 by Woodrow Wilson as the ninth National Park.  Today it encompasses over 415 square miles ranging from 7,840 feet by the east park entrance to 14,259 feet at the summit of Longs Peak.

Over 95% of the park is wilderness, spanning from the lower moosey marshes, over the moraines, to the alpine tundra, and then the high snowy peaks of the Never Summer Range.

More than a third of the park is above treeline (the altitude at which trees can grow).  Trail Ridge Road, which allows travel 48 miles through the park from Estes Park to Grand Lake, is the highest paved roadway in America topping out at a driving elevation of 12,183 feet, and one of 11 designated America’s Byways in Colorado.

Trail Ridge Road is not maintained during the snowy winter months but makes for a spectacular summer travel route.

Rocky Mountain
Trail Ridge Road above timberline (Photo by NPS)

Although the park sees many visitors each year, there is plenty of space to get away from people and enjoy the wilderness.  The park affords exceptional access to some of the most iconic Colorado scenery and high alpine ecosystems.

While only 100 miles of roads (28 of those on unpaved roads) are available for vehicle access, there are over 355 miles of backcountry hiking trails!  There are 147 lakes and 450 miles of streams, many with fish including the threatened greenback cutthroat trout.

Some of Colorado’s oldest rocks can be found in the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park, carved into exquisite landscapes by glaciers and rivers.  Several small glaciers are still found in the high peaks within the park.

The park is listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural (UNESCO) international biosphere reserve and globally important bird area. Portions of the park’s montane, subalpine, and alpine ecosystems are managed as research natural areas for scientific and educational purposes.

The park has five visitor centers and four RV-friendly campgrounds that are open usually from late May to mid-September.  Backcountry camping is also available year-round.  Additional camping options can be found in Estes Park as well as in and around Grand Lake.

See also: 10 National Parks To Visit In 2018



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