Camping in an RV is so much different than Camping in my 69 Econoline or even tent Camping. It’s kind of like bringing your home to the campground. Ok for me it is bringing my home to the campground. Whether I am boondocking or in a campground there are things I absolutely make sure I have for when I enter the wilderness.
You already know the basics of making sure all your tanks, propane, fuel and water are full. Depending on where you go there may not be any close.
Even though I live and camp in an RV I really am a basic camper. I have no canopies or large comfort things for the outdoors. A lawn chair, a good cup of coffee and a warm campfire on a star filled night is really all I need. I can just go home if its raining. Lol! There are a few accessories that make it a little more comfortable and fun.
Here is my top 5!
Oh when I found this I was in seventh heaven! The worst thing about nature is bugs! Mosquitos are the very worst. Trying to enjoy the outdoors in mosquito season can be a challenge. I seen an advertisement for thermacell bug repellent and thought I would give it a try. I have never been much of a bug repellent person mostly because I do not like spraying that on me. It makes me sticky and yicky. Lol! Well it does!! I will admit I was scheptical at first but thought why not give it a try.
I was never really bothered by mosquitoes until I went into menopause then oh my stars I was breakfast, lunch and dinner! Got a little sweeter maybe?? Lol! I was going up north and knew I was headed into a bug party. I stopped and bought the small thermocell that you can attach to your belt as you walk. The package said it would protect you as you walked. The campground I was in had a beautiful hiking trail so some what confident I slid the thermall pack into the holder and with 3 pushes on the igniter lit the heater. It emits a vapor that is not overpowering and to my amazement and delight it worked!!! They then came out with a lantern that would spread the vapor farther and I bought that one too. It keeps the bugs away and emits a nice soft glow. I now, never go anywhere without it. Whether I am sitting by the fire or out for a walk I am mosquito bite free.
My Habatchi BBQ
Having a Class B RV I have a a two burner propane stove. When I am plugged in I have my toaster oven but there is nothing like a good burger or steak cooked on a BBQ in the woods. Just a note I am a burger freak. There is nothing like a good burger with cheese (everything tastes better with cheese) and all the fixin’s to get my tummy growling and my mouth watering! My Habatchi BBQ is small so fitting it in to my RV is not a problem. It runs on propane so no charcoal needed. Using the small 1 pound propane tanks also makes for easy storage. Thank goodness because as much as I like the charcoal flavor I do not like the mess. It can be set up on the end of a picnic table and is big enough to cook for 1 or 2 people which is perfect since most of the time I am camping alone. Whether I am camping in my 69 or my roadtrek this is one item that makes the switch.
I know it sounds silly but have you ever tried to start a fire with wet wood? I do not know about you but when I am in a campground and there is a fire ring there needs to be a fire in it. I usually buy the wood at the campgrounds. I have no room for wood and it is really not good to shuttle wood to different areas due to invasive species inside the wood spreading to other areas including inside my van. No bugs in the van!! Buying from the campground you never know what kind of wood your going to get. It could be wet or if you are lucky dry. Sometimes they have kindling to start the big logs burning sometimes they do not. I also carry a small hatchet so that I can make kindling if they do not sell it. Growing up in the country we often had fires at home and my Dad taught me how to build a great fire even with wood that does not really want to catch. Taking newspaper and twisting it into a small thin line and inserting into your wood teepee will guarantee you a great start to an awesome fire. I cannot tell you how many times I have torn my paper towels apart to use the cardboard roll or burned my camp map to get a campfire going. Now I make sure I stop and buy a local paper, give it a read with a good cup of coffee then set it on fire!
Roasting Sticks and Sandwich Makers
How many times have you been in a campground and watched the Dad next door try to make a point out of a stick with a knife so the kids can roast marshmallows? Now I am not much of a roasted marshmallow type of girl but I do love Grillem’s over an open fire. They are a sausage with cheese inside them that when cooked over an open fire sprinkled with a little mustard is a must have for me at the campfire. I found these extendable sticks that are perfect as they fold up and can fit in my cutlery drawer out of the way when not in use and is the perfect length when extend for roasting without getting heated out by the fire.
Sandwich makers are a whole new tool for campfire meals. Able to hold 2 slices of bread you can put anything in between them. My daughter who is a big camper also introduced me to them. You can make sandwiches or even apple pie over the campfire it a fun snack. Yes you read it right apple pie. Laying the bread on the skillet you put apple pie filling, or cherry or blueberry what ever is your fancy on top, then lay another piece of bread on top, close the sandwich maker and put it into the fire and you have apple pie by the campfire. It’s a fun campfire accessory.
Let’s go deep! Deep into the forests is my favorite camping. With that comes animals. Some darn big and the best thing you can do is respect their home you are visiting. I think people forget that when you enter the forest you are the visitor. The biggest issue I have ever encountered is bears. I have never met one on a walk but I have had one stroll by my campsite.
When I was working I had the pleasure of working in bear country many times. They had people come and do bear attack prevention and I learned a lot about these beautiful creatures. Did you know a bear really does not want to be bothered with you? If they can ignore you or move away they will. Most bear attacks happen because you have startled them or accidently stumbled on a Momma and her cubs. Nothing is more dangerous than a Momma protecting her cubs in many species.
People laugh when I show them my bear bells but I take them for every walk in the deep woods. They will move away if they hear you coming. I also will play music if I am somewhere I can get a signal but I prefer the bells as I also can hear the sounds of the forest which I find very healing. I have had people tell me that I should carry bear spray. Well there is a use for that, but if that spray does not hit the bear just right or blows back at you, then you have a very mad bear and you are the one that’s hurting from the spray.
A few bear tips I have learned. Never run! Then you become a game. Bears are very playful. Chasing you down and batting you around is a not so fun game for you but big fun for them. Just because they are big does not mean they are not fast! They can move pretty quick. You want to stand as tall as you can and make yourself as big as you can. Make a lot of noise, yelling, ringing those bells hard, they can be scared off. One person that came into to train our people on bear safety even said it is a good idea to take a large green garbage bag with you and if an encounter a bear pull it out and spread it in front of you to give you a bigger look.
In all the places I have been I have never had a problem with a bear. Give them space, let them know you are there and respect their home knowing you are the visitor and both you and the bears can enjoy the intense beauty the deep forest has to offer.
Hopefully soon we can be free again in Canada. If you listen closely you can hear the forest calling me.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure.
See you next week!