Rainy Day Camping Activities for Adults

Don’t let the rain ruin your camping trip. Here are the best rainy day camping activities for RVing adults.

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again some other day,

We want to go outside and play,

Come again some other day,

Even as an adult, that nursery rhyme always pops into my head whenever it rains. Especially when we are camping and all we want to do is go outside and recreate!

But with over 25 years of enjoying the RV Lifestyle and lots of rainy (and a few snowy) days, we’ve learned how to keep ourselves entertained on days when the weather is not cooperating with our original itinerary.

I’m going to offer numerous ideas on how to spend a rainy day while camping plus some links to help you make the most of these ideas.

I’ll start easy but don’t expect all of these activities to be lounging activities—they’re not! Sure, rainy days are a great day to relax but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely inactive.

Savannah is the setting for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Read a good camping book (not just any book)

Now I know you may think this isn’t original advice but reading a book is a go-to rainy-day camping activity for good reason. There’s something about the pitter-patter of rain that helps you immerse yourself in the pages of a good book.

I will point out, too, that I said you should read a good camping book. Not just any book! 

A good camping book will transport you to another world while keeping you connected to your current travel experience. It will help inspire and motivate you to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as soon as the rain lets up. That’s why I highly suggest you keep at least one of these great books to read while camping at the ready on every road trip.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer
  • Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Watch a good camping movie (again, not just any movie)

That’s right, not just any movie—a good camping movie. As I said about books, you should choose a movie that keeps you immersed in your travel experience. That way, you still get a taste of adventure even if confined to your RV. 

To make it easy for you, I’ve made a list of 10 Iconic Road Trip Movies. This list includes a WIDE RANGE of movies bout life on the road. I researched the history of road trip cinema and chose 10 of the most iconic films in which people drive across the U.S.

Speaking of movies, I have posted articles on film-making in various regions of America. Here’s a quick sampling:

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Invite camping neighbors over

No matter the size of your RV, you could always invite fellow campers over. Whether you squeeze inside or tuck under your awning, it’s always nice to gather together on a rainy day.

Plenty of campers will agree that one of the best rainy-day camping activities is playing games. So, invite some people over and have a game night! Or, rather, a game rainy day!

This brings me to my next rainy day suggestion…

4. Host a championship game day

Forget game NIGHT. Host a championship game day! Whether you invite your camping neighbors over or play at your travel party, games are always fun on a rainy day.

But don’t get stuck playing the same game for hours. Instead, organize an impromptu championship series where you play various games to determine an ultimate winner.

Since every person has different strong suits, this style of game day levels the playing field. Each player can pick a game and then the person who wins the most games is the champion.

You can pick standard board games or card games or you can get creative with different challenges. 

There should definitely be a prize for the champion, whether it’s a silly homemade trophy or an inexpensive gift for RVers.

Truth BBQ, Brenham, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Cook up some comfort food

Comfort food and rainy days go hand in hand! Whether you’re curling up to a good book or movie, doing crafts, or playing games, comfort food is the perfect complement to all the activities on this list.

6. Camping puzzles and adult lego

What can be more relaxing than working on a puzzle while listening to raindrops hit your RV roof? If you think it’s not practical to do puzzles in a bumpy RV that you move from campground to campground, you’d be (happily) wrong!

You can use a roll-up puzzle mat to preserve your progress until you finish!

And I’m a big fan of crossward puzzles. As well as a rainy day activity, it helps to keep ones brain active as we age.

And on that same note, what about 3-D puzzles? Yep, I’m talking about Lego! Lego aren’t just for kids anymore.

Like the puzzle mat, you can use an organizer box to stay tidy. As an RVer, you might consider the following:

  • Lego Volkswagen Camper Van
  • Lego Wildflower Bouquet
  • Lego Birds Model
Journaling © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Journaling and scrapbooking

Another great rainy day camping activity is journaling and scrapbooking. It’s the perfect time to sit down and catch up on your recent experiences on the road.

If you want to be prepared for such a rainy day, you can check out my Guide to Journaling.

Some of the journals have prompts, while others give you plenty of space to write freely. 

8. Unique crafts and related activities

Doing arts and crafts is one of the best ways to keep yourself busy while being stuck inside on a rainy day. You can draw, paint, knit, quilt, leatherwork, carve, or even color. You can also enjoy many different activity books from crossword puzzles, sudoku, and miscellaneous games.

Okefenokee, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Plan your next RV road trip

There’s no time like the present to plan your next RV trip especially if rain is keeping you from enjoying your current one. If you’re stuck inside, you might as well make good use of your time and start planning your next adventure whether it’s reworking your current itinerary or starting a new one.

I have lots of articles about planning a great trip but I recommend starting with The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Cross-Country Road Trip.

Or, you can take the opportunity to review some of my tried-and-proven road trip guides. That way you only have to decide where to go next rather than plan the whole trip yourself.

Bernheim Forest, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Go out in the rain

Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! It doesn’t mean you can’t hit the trail or enjoy what you had planned for the day regardless. (As long as there’s no thunder storm, of course.)

Rain is just water, after all. You’re not going to melt. Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. 

So, whip out your camping poncho, put on your Tilleys hiking hat, and slip on your waterproof shoes. Get out there and see how the world looks different under its cover.

Jump in puddles if you will, turn your face up to the sky, and enjoy the rain!

Worth Pondering…

The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so.

—Ray Bradbury

20 Tips for Making Friends While Camping

Don’t make the mistake of getting out there in the camping world only to hide away in your RV. Here’s how to make friends while camping with some practical icebreakers.

Going to a new campground can feel like going to summer camp as a kid. You’re excited about all of the things to do but might be really nervous about the social aspect. 

Are the other kids going to like you? Are you going to make friends? Or are you going to write home to mama to pick you up asap?!

Hopefully, your summer camp experience is a happy memory, but no matter what, your next camping experience can be!

Here are some great tips on how to make friends while camping.

Camping at Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why you need to put yourself out there

One of the main reasons people join the RV lifestyle is to see the world. They want to visit all kinds of places and see new things. But don’t forget that people can truly take your experience to the next level.

What’s so great about RVing is you get to visit one place but can learn about so many places through the people you meet. Best of all, you can see how people from all over the country and even the world share a lot in common with you. 

Getting to know some locals will give you more insight than any travel guide could give you, too. A quick chat with your campground host or grocery bagger can teach you things about the area you’d never know otherwise. Gaining a glimpse into local life is interesting in its own right.  

And that’s the mindset you need to adopt. A friendship when camping is probably fleeting. In most cases, you’ll never see or hear from them again. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. You may, in fact, meet lifelong friends but even small friendly interactions can make a huge difference! Getting to share stories, relate to strangers, and lowering your guard can teach you a lot about the world and even yourself.

Not to mention, many studies have shown that social interaction improves your mental and physical health.

Camping at the Lakes Golf & RV Resort, Chowchilla, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s easier to make friends while camping

Making new friends can be nerve-wracking but you actually have two big advantages when camping. Embracing these two advantages can make the whole idea of meeting new people easier for you.

Advantage #1

The first advantage is you never have to see these people again. I bet you didn’t expect that! But that thought is actually very freeing. You don’t have to worry much about whether they like you or you like them because, if not, well, you move on. 

Some people can be nervous about meeting the neighbors at their brick-and-mortar house because they’d be stuck with them if they didn’t like them. But, don’t have that fear with their campground neighbors. The worst that could happen is an awkward conversation. 

The opposite is true, too. You may be more nervous that they won’t like you. Guess what?! Even if they don’t, they’re not stuck with you either! So, embrace the short-term stakes.

Camping at Harvest Moon RV Park. Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Advantage #2

The second advantage is you’re among your people! There’s a very good chance they like doing the same thing as you because they are doing the same thing as you. 

Plus, campers tend to be friendly people. They know how to sit back and relax and enjoy the moment. They’re curious about new places and things, and that usually includes you!

Many will even take the first step and strike up a conversation with you. So, you just need to be prepared to not shy away from it. Return their greeting or question and see where it goes from there.

Camping at Terre Haute Campground, Terre Haute, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to make friends while camping: 14 tips and icebreakers

Saying you want to make friends and knowing how to make friends are two very different things. So, here are some tips and icebreakers to help you along your way.

1. Look for long-term campers that have been there or are staying more than a few days. Weekenders and larger groups tend to just want to focus on their fun and their families since they’re limited on time.

2. Smile and wave at everyone. Some will take it from there for you! They’ll strike up a conversation and you just have to participate.

3. Let your dog be your wingman. Take your dog for a walk around the campground or park him beside you in your outdoor area. People will come to your dog and then to you. 

4. Let your kids be your wingman. Kids usually don’t have the same reserves we do about meeting new people so let them loose (within reason)! Let them play with other kids and then you can meet their parents.

5. Let your travel companion be your wingman. Chances are, one of you is more sociable than the other. Don’t hold them back! Don’t say, “You shouldn’t bother them or maybe they don’t want you to…” Let them do their thing and if it works out, great! If it doesn’t, that’s on them!

Camping at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Limit your first conversation to 5-10 minutes. Campers are very friendly people and often over-polite. They may be in the middle of something or on the way somewhere but they don’t want to interrupt you. So, try to keep the first conversation short and then swing back by or invite them over another time.

7. Set up extra chairs around your fire pit. You can invite people over, offer s’mores to passers-by, or even put a sign up that says “free campfire stories” or “campfire songs“.

8. Get involved in activities. A lot of campgrounds host group activities like card games, sports matches, or meet-and-greets. Join in!

9. Place your chairs at the front of your campsite facing passers-by. Smile and say hi to everyone and see where that goes.

10. Set up a snack station. Have a portable table for coffee or snacks and invite people to stop by. 

Camping at Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Ask them about their RV. RVers love to talk about their rigs! 

12. Offer help. If you see them lugging gear or setting up, offer to help. Some may decline but others will appreciate it.

13. Ask for help. Whether you need to borrow a tool or need help backing up, asking for help is a great way to break the ice.

14. Host a game night. Walk around the campground and let people know you’re having a game night and anyone’s welcome to join. Camping games and board games are a great way to interact without having to rely on conversation.

15. Listen more than you talk. When you’re talking to someone new, it’s important to listen more than you talk. Not only will this make the other person feel valued but it also means you’ll learn more about them and what they’re interested in.

Camping at Sea Wind RV Resort, Riviera Beach, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

16. Make an effort. To make friends while camping you must put in the effort. This means being the one to initiate conversations, inviting people to do things together, etc. It can be scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s well worth it!

17. Ask questions. When you’re talking to someone new, ask them lots of questions. This will show that you’re interested in them and make it more likely that they’ll want to be friends with you.

18. Walk around. Taking a stroll through the campground will provide you with a great opportunity to meet new people. Start by introducing yourself and your family members. Compliment something you like about their campsite.

19. Be yourself. It’s important to be genuine and authentic when making new camping friends. Jjust be yourself and the right people will take notice.

20. Take an interest in your fellow campers by asking them questions about themselves. People love talking about themselves so this is a surefire way to make a friend.

Camping at Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Share your tips

We’d love to hear your tips and advice on how to make friends while camping. Please share your advice and experiences on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.

Worth Pondering…

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

―Marie Curie (1867-1934), physicist and chemist

21 Enjoyable and Fun Hobbies to do while Camping

What hobbies can y’all do while RVing?

RVing is a great way to escape it all. You can relax in the quiet beauty of the natural world. Some people live in the peaceful and relaxing setting of a campsite. 

But sometimes camping by itself can be a little, ahem, dull. While a quiet and serene landscape may be incredible for a few days, you may need a hobby while on the road. 

Maybe you’ll find a new hobby on this list!

1. Create nature art

Many RVers enjoy creating art out of items they find in nature. For example, some folks like to create a nature journal and include leaf rubbings of the foliage nearby. While creating art out of natural items is engaging, be sure that you follow all park rules and laws. For example, picking flowers from a national park is a big no-no. You want to ensure you know what you are and are not allowed to do before starting a hobby in a state or national park. 

Yarn for knitting © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Knitting

Knitting is a great portable hobby that’s perfect for camping. Not only is it enjoyable but it is useful too. While you create beautiful, handmade items, your body relaxes and experiences therapeutic healing at the same time. Using both of your hands for a focused activity is stimulating for your brain. So if you find yourself wishing for something to keep your hands and your mind busy, give knitting a try.

3. Metal detecting

A unique hobby some RVers enjoy is metal detecting. You never know what hidden treasure might be found in a campground or on a deserted stretch of beach. You can find a good metal detector for only about a $100. Not too pricey for a new hobby that keeps you active. However, it’s important to research metal detecting restrictions and the code of ethics before you dive into this hobby.

4. Wood carving/turning pens

Turning pens is a woodworking technique to create custom pens, pencils, and other writing instruments. Many people like to work with wood in varying capacities whether by carving or making a helpful tool from wood. You can get a mini wood lathe for about $200 and wood carving set for under $20 to keep in your RV.

Hiking in Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Hiking

In my mind, there are few things more rejuvenating than hiking or walking in nature. One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with the RV lifestyle is that beautiful nature is so accessible wherever you are. It seems like I am always just minutes away from a spectacular trailhead. Whether I am hiking in the mountains or traversing trails in the desert, nature is a refuge—it’s a change of pace from city life, from being stuck inside, from being sedentary.

6. Painting Rocks

Painting rocks is a fun thing to do while camping. Rock painting is a fun, creative outlet that doesn’t require you to be da Vinci in order to enjoy it. It requires minimal supplies (paint brush and paints) and you can search for smooth rocks right at your campsite. It is like treasure hunting and painting in one fun hobby.

7. Geocaching (modern day treasure hunting)

One of the more popular activities that many campers and hikers take part in is geocaching. A geocache can be anything from a simple logbook where you add your name and the date you found the hidden cache or something larger such as an ammo box which may be filled with trinkets left by other geocachers. (If taking something from a Geocache, it’s customary to replace it with a similar object of equal or more value.) Geocaching can be a fun way to get out and explore around your campground and people of all ages love treasure hunting.

Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Quilting

Quilting is another relaxing hobby you can work on when traveling. It’s a wonderful way to create items you can use in your RV or give as gifts. Some RVers make quilts out of t-shirts they buy wherever they travel. So, the quilt becomes a storyboard for their journey.

9. Paper quilling/paper crafting

Paper quilling is the art of cutting paper into long thin strips and rolling and pinching them into different shapes to create an overall design. You can buy paper quilling kits online to get started. They have everything you need to complete numerous beginner projects. 

Fishing at Parker Canyon Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Fishing

Fishing offers a double dose of fun and food—as long as the fish are biting. Be sure to check the local fishing regulations, get your fishing license, and read up on what kind of fish you’ll find near the campsite.

11. Jewelry making

Another fun hobby you can try is jewelry making. Create earrings, necklaces, or bracelets that are just your style. Jewelry making includes many different options including wire wrapping, leatherworking, and beading. There are numerous starter kits available. Some RVers sell the jewelry they make at swap meets or on Etsy. Talk about a creative way to make money while RVing.

12. Travel journaling

Instead of waiting until after their trip (and inevitably putting it off), many RVers journal and/or scrapbook as they travel.

13. Lego

Lego aren’t just for kids anymore. Some folks find it relaxing to build intricate lego sets while camping. You may think taking these tiny bricks camping will be a disaster but you can use an organizer box to stay tidy. You can even build a Volkswagen T2 Camper Van. The building kit for this classic camper van comes with 2,207 pieces.

Horseback riding at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

14. Play outdoor games

Fun outdoor games to play while camping include horseshoes, bocce, cornhole, ladder golf, and Frisbee. You can also toss around a mini football or play catch with a baseball.

15. Painting

While getting started painting can be daunting given the wealth of incredible art that has been produced for centuries, it can also be an enjoyable pastime for anyone to try. Painting is a calming hobby that also allows you to express yourself creatively. On top of that, it’s surprisingly affordable to get started and you can make real progress very quickly with a little dedication.

16. Gardening

Keeping a garden while traveling can be challenging but it also helps ground you and brings in wonders like fresh herbs and produce or simply beautifies and detoxifies a closed space like an RV. Start small and then work your way up to edibles. Even a cache of succulents can brighten the interior of a motorhome or trailer and are low-maintenance. 

Gambel’s quail in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

17. Birding (or bird watching)

Bird watching is an ideal way to keep in touch with nature and you also have the satisfaction of learning something new. Birding also relieves stress and can provide a place of solitude except for the sweet song of a bird. Most people go birding as a casual activity. One of the must haves for this activity is a field book that has pictures and tips about birds in your area or wherever you plan to identify them. Good binoculars are one of the most important items for a pleasurable time.

Boating at Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

18. Boating

Boating and camping just go together. Who doesn’t love a day on the water? From canoes and kayaks to small sailboats, fishing charters and recreational crafts, these vessels can be seen gliding across lakes and rivers from coast to coast. Love boating? Many campgrounds and RV parks provide on-site and nearby opportunities for boating rentals and charters.

Biking the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

19. Biking

In the minds of some, camping and bikes go hand in hand. Nearly everyone is aware of the fact that spending time outdoors is good for your health. In fact, this health benefit is one of the best reasons to go camping. And, this can be enhanced if you throw some exercise into the mix. Riding a bike to get from point A to point B is a wonderful way to get some exercise into your trip while also reaching your desired destinations. Best of all, you’ll be spending even more time outside.

20. Crossword puzzles

You might think of a crossword puzzle as a fun way to pass the time on a lazy Sunday. They’re inexpensive (especially at a Dollar Store), require only a pencil and your brain, and can be played wherever you happen to be including camping. And, it turns out that there are quite a few benefits to solving crossword puzzles. One of the most obvious benefits of solving crossword puzzles is that it can help improve your memory. This is especially beneficial for older adults who are at risk for memory decline. Solving a crossword puzzle also requires focus and concentration.

Photographers at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

21. Photography

Camping is a fantastic opportunity to get started with photography. You will have a wealth of subjects, events, and scenery that you simply have to record for later enjoyment. Taking photos means you can keep a visual record to look back on for years to come. Preferably you want as little equipment as possible—both weight and space are often at a premium when camping.

Worth Pondering…

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

—Albert Einstein

Camping Activities Guide

Fun things to do while camping

It doesn’t matter how you camp—in a tent or an RV. Camping is an opportunity for serious fun and activities. Moreover, it’s an experience that you can customize for your family’s interests based on the season and where you’re camping.

You don’t have to pack to the hilt to stay entertained. In fact, there are plenty of simple activities for your next family vacation by the lake or in the mountains. 

Here’s my super RVing with Rex Checklist of Camping Activities.

Fishing is a favorite camping activity © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Water-based activities

There are tons of exciting things you can do in the water if your campsite is near a lake, seashore, river, pool, or other body of water. Some are very active; others are for lazy relaxing days. Slip on your bathing suit and have some fun in the water—here’s how:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Floating or lounging
  • Canoeing or kayaking
  • Boating
  • Water skiing
  • Tubing
  • Water volleyball or basketball
  • Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Water balloon fight
Hiking is a favorite camping activity © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Sports-related activities

Not all camping and RV resorts have a full list of amenities. If you’re rustic camping in the wild or you’re somewhere with limited amenities—or maybe just want some more variety—here are some great ideas to stay active with your family:

  • Disc golf (Frisbee golf)
  • Horseshoes
  • Ringtoss
  • Corn Hole
  • Lawn bowling
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Kickball
  • Baseball
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Nature walks
  • Spelunking/caving (make sure you have an experienced guide with you)
  • Capture the Flag
  • Hide and Seek
  • Tag (there are dozens of variations)
  • Red Rover
Combining photography with birdwatching © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Nature-related activities

Part of the joy of camping is being closer to nature. Explore the great outdoors more with these activities. Be sure to respect the area where you are. Don’t disturb or damage the wildlife.

  • Birding (bird watching)
  • Animal watching
  • Photography
  • Sketching
  • Catching fireflies
  • Collecting leaves
  • Cataloging rocks
  • Fossil hunting
  • Exploring
  • Search for wild berries, nuts, and other edible plants
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Camping scavenger hunt
  • Geocaching
Canoeing is a favorite camping activity © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Winding down activities

Staying active and enjoying the day is an important part of every camping trip. But you also need to embrace the down time and give your mind and body a rest. Camping to relax and get away from daily stress? Here are some great ways to relax and enjoy the family camping trip:

  • Swing in a hammock
  • Watch the trees blowing in the breeze
  • Listen to nature
  • Take lots of naps
  • Daydream and let your mind wander
  • Float on the water
  • Stargaze
Fishing is a favorite camping activity © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Downtime activities

Maybe the kids need some downtime in the tent. Or perhaps someone isn’t feeling well. There could be some unexpected weather that is keeping you indoors.  Of course, you could just be relaxing under the protection of your tent to escape the bugs. There are plenty of things you can do inside the tent or RV either alone or with friends and family:

  • Read books and magazines
  • Read aloud to each other
  • Card games
  • Board games
  • Crafting (knitting, sewing, drawing)
  • Watch movies on portable devices
  • Play on other electronic devices (iPods, iPads, Gameboys, etc.)
  • Make up stories to tell each other
  • Snuggle
Enjoying nature is a favorite camping activity © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping activities: Evening activities

The camping trip doesn’t end when the sun sets. A whole slew of activities become available when evening comes and dark settles on the campground. The darkness is a thrilling time while family camping because you’re not dealing with the lights and commotion of the city. Check out these awesome evening activities:

  • Sit around the campfire
  • Sing campfire songs
  • Play a guitar or other instrument
  • Dance around the fire
  • Try out new varieties of s’mores
  • Make colored fire (packages of colored fire crystals or pine cones are sold at many camping supply stores)
  • Make shadow puppets
  • Go for a nighttime walk (with a flashlight, of course)
  • Stargaze
  • Play flashlight tag
  • Play hide and seek in the dark
  • Go for a midnight swim
  • Play glow in the dark bowling. Put glow sticks in 2-liter bottles filled with water. Use a ball to knock them down.
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Play Truth or Dare

Now that you have great ideas for things to do while camping, it’s time to get out there and try them.

Enjoying nature while camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Related Posts:

Worth Pondering…

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

—John Burroughs

Are New Campers Really Interested in Camping?

The new campers are looking for hotel-type amenities

If there’s one trend that has many veteran campground and RV park owners shaking their heads, it’s the largely pandemic-driven phenomenon of the new camper, according to Andy Zipser, author of Renting Dirt, the story of his family’s experiences owning and operating a Virginia RV park.

Considerably younger, more diverse and more urban than their predecessors, the newcomers have changed not just the quantity of campers but their overall quality—and not always in a good way. At least, not from a traditional perspective!

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Perhaps no one statistic sums up this new reality more succinctly than the answers to a Campspot survey taken this past August that among other things asked campers why they camp. A less than overwhelming 10 percent of 1,556 respondents answered “to spend time in nature.” The three larger responses could as readily have applied to an ocean cruise, a hotel stay, or a ski resort: 23 percent for vacation family time, 19 percent for relaxation, and 17 percent for proximity to outdoor activities. In other words, the one characteristic that traditionally set camping apart from all other vacation options has become the least important reason for doing it.

Sun Outdoors New Orleans North Shore, Ponchatoula, Louisiana© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A summary of the Campspot survey was distributed at a breakout session at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) annual convention this past month which was only fitting. Campspot, a cloud-based campground reservation management system has been a principal driver behind both the swelling tide of new campers—who are most comfortable in the online universe—and of the increasingly transactional nature of the camping experience.

Related article: The Expanding Camping Community

With more than 2,000 campgrounds in its customer base for which it processed more than $1 billion in gross bookings within a recent 12-month period, Campspot has been a leader in pushing “revenue optimization” in all its various incarnations including demand pricing, site-lock fees, and increasingly onerous cancellation fees.

Bella Terra of Golf Shores, Foley, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But other industry representatives at the ARVC convention sang the same tune usually to lay the groundwork for urging campground owners to accommodate the changing demographics. Typical in that regard was the observation by Jon Gray of RVshare, a peer-to-peer RV rental company that the new campers are “looking for hotel-type amenities” which he contended is a “great opportunity” for campground operators.

Lake Osprey RV Resort, Elberta, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In real-world terms “great opportunity” means the opportunity to spend more money on various upgrades, increased amenities, and all the marketing bells and whistles that go along with that. More spending, in turn, will necessitate higher rates but the new campers, everyone seems to agree, not only can afford to foot the bill but won’t even notice the difference. “They’re conditioned for it—nobody says anything,” piped up an audience member at the Campspot presentation.

Vista del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Indeed, KOA’s North American Camping Report 2022, released in late April, found that nearly 40 percent of the new campers have annual household incomes exceeding $100,000. Moreover, nearly half went glamping in 2021 and the rest planned to glamp this year which is to say planned on the least outdoorsy—and most expensive—way to camp. That high level of glamping interest contributed to KOA’s broader finding that 36 percent of all campers went on a glamping trip for the first time in 2021 with 50 percent saying they would seek a glamping trip this year.

Related article: More Campsites Coming

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While industry purists may shake their heads at such trends others are all too willing to jump aboard what they see as a gravy train. As one such campground owner observed at a cracker barrel discussion about managing RV parks in a softening economy, “When we first started we welcomed everyone but then we started upgrading our clientele.” Another campground manager who runs a large Florida park added, “People will pay to have fun. That will never go away.”

Sun Outdoors New Orleans North Shore, Ponchatoula, Louisiana© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Just how pervasive the change has become was evidenced by ARVC’s choice of campgrounds for its prospective owners’ workshop, a pre-convention one-day session attended by approximately 30 people learning the business as they prepare to build or buy an RV park of their own. Following a morning of quick-and-dirty workshops, the prospective owners piled into a bus to drive an hour to … Camp Margaritaville RV Resort, the only example of what an RV park looks like that they would be shown.

Related article: On Camping and Spending Time in Nature

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nice place, Margaritaville. Two restaurants, 401 sites that include 75 RV park models, 650 imported palm trees, artificial turf throughout, its own call center, a cashless economy—everything that’s needed, said one of its amiable owners, “to propel old-style RV parks into the present day.”

Worth Pondering…

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

—C.S. Lewis

Find Your Passion: What Type of Road Trip Is Right For You?

The open road is calling

After an unpredictable first half of 2020, we can all agree that we’re itching to travel. Road trips have been a huge summer trend in the current climate mainly because it’s safer than flying. You’re in complete control of your adventure—there’s no waiting in airport security lines, sitting in crowded spaces, or fees for missing your departure. There’s a sense of adventure that’s so satisfying, discovering all that America has to offer…right in your backyard.

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A recent survey conducted by Ford Motor Company found that people are really looking to reconnect with friends, family, and the great outdoors in their travels this summer. More than a third of the respondents ranked wanting to visit family or friends who live within driving distance as their top reason for taking a road trip. Considering the impact of social distancing and restrictions on being able to travel this makes sense. The survey also found that people are looking to slow down and make the most of their time away from home. More than 20 percent wanted to take a road trip just so they could explore and see the sights along the way to their destination.

Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Planning an RV road trip has endless opportunities from camping beside a lake or river, visiting national parks, roadside attractions, tasting the local cuisine, or even taking some time for well-deserved relaxation. You’re not restricted to flying on a schedule, renting a car, and booking a hotel like other vacations. And it’s okay if it doesn’t go as planned—it might actually be more fun. Veering off on the road less traveled also makes for a great adventure. Not sure what type of road trip to take? Here are three different themes around which to plan your summer road trip.

El Moro National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National Park Road Trip

Yes, we all know the Grand Canyon (it’s breathtaking) and Joshua Tree (it’s amazing) but did you know that there are 419 National Park Service sites in America? Of these, 62 have a national park designation. Planning a road trip to visit national parks is for the history buff and outdoorsy type who enjoys hiking and camping.

Mount St. Helens National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Discover hidden gems like El Moro in New Mexico, Mount St. Helens in Washington, and Cumberland Island in Georgia. Explore the Mighty Five in Utah planning a camping adventure along the way. Chances are there are lesser-known national parks within a few hours of your home that you’ve never visited, possibly Cedar Breaks in Utah, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, or Montezuma Castle in Arizona.

Texas BBQ © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Taste America Road Trip

As much as tourists want to see the sights, they also want to taste the local food. For the foodies out there, that’s what road trips revolve around. They’re known for finding the best restaurants, seeking out underground spots, and trying cuisine that they can’t get back home.

Kolaches at Weikel’s Bakery in La Grande, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Creating a road trip around food can literally go anywhere. Definitely make some stops down south for some true southern hospitality. Texas barbecue pitmasters provide an excuse for a road trip to just about any far-flung corner of Texas.

Cracklins © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Louisiana’s food is legendary. Rôder (pronounced row-day) in Cajun French means to roam, or run the roads and Lafayette is the perfect destination, Southern Living’s Tastiest Town in the South. Where else can you tour a rice plantation, a crawfish farm, and a pepper growing facility before enjoying a dish that combines them all? Avery Island’s Tabasco Experience is perhaps the most well-known foodie attraction. And the area also has its own Boudin Trail. Don’t miss the opportunity to chow down on dishes like crawfish etouffee, cracklins, and gumbo.

La Posta in Historic Mesilla, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No adventure in New Mexico is complete until you have experienced their unique cuisine. Unlike any other, it is a blend of flavors from Spanish and Native American cultures that has been perfected over the course of 400 years. At the center of it all is the New Mexican chile in both red and green varieties which is used in everything from enchiladas to ice cream and wine. Whether you’re looking for a dining experience that’s received a James Beard award or an authentic dive off the beaten path, you will find it here.

Woodford Reserve Distillery tour © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Along with food, add some brewery tour stops to explore local beer and spirits too. Take a trip on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to discover heritage sites, working distillery tours, tasting rooms, a whiskey museum, and the rolling green pastures of Bluegrass Country.

Giant Peachoid © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roadside Attractions

All manner of strange and interesting pit stops are found across the country. Road trips wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without these alluring, wacky, and fun landmarks. America plays host to some of the weirdest off-beat roadside attractions found anywhere. Check out these six strange roadside attractions on your next road trip across the country: Paisano Pete (giant roadrunner) in Fort Stockton, Texas; Peachoid in Gaffney, South Carolina; desert sculptors in Borrego Springs, California; World’s Largest Killer Bee in Hidalgo, Texas; World’s Largest Roadrunner in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and World’s Largest Pistachio in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

World’s Largest Pistachio © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Better stock up on boudin and pork cracklins, kolache and doughnuts, and other snack foods—there are going to be many, many detours in your future.

World’s Largest Roadrunner © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No matter which way you road trip, you’ll get to see America through a lens that perhaps you didn’t experience before. After being kept home for months with previous trips cancelled, it’s a journey of self discovery and learning more about off-beat places in America. It will demonstrate that you don’t need to hop a plane and fly across the ocean to seek adventure. Who knows where the road will take you, but I’m sure it’ll make for a great story. And don’t forget your camera!

Worth Pondering…

Destination is merely a byproduct of the journey.

—Eric Hansen

Wildness is a Necessity: Interest in Camping Is at an All-Time High Following COVID-19 Outbreak

Now, more than ever before, it is evident that the outdoors is vital to our wellbeing.

The international ripple of COVID-19 has dealt a crippling hand to select businesses and industries. And yet, unfamiliar circumstances have simultaneously provided others unparalleled profitability—and not just those in the toilet paper or hand sanitizer industries.

Meaher State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sales of bicycles, for example, have spiked so significantly in the U.S. that the nation is now facing a shortage—especially on low-end models—as overworked suppliers struggle to keep up with the never-before-seen demand.

Along the Colorado River, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Similarly, public interest in camping has increased exponentially in the months since the nation first locked its doors. A dread of at-home confinement has led to the American public turning its eyes toward the outdoors, according to recent data.

Along the Mississippi River, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some families have spent decades loading up the camper and heading to the lakes and forests for a week or two of relaxation. But thanks to a drastic change in travel habits, some folks are now getting that first camper and discovering state parks. It’s the kind of family getaway that’s been around for a long time, hitching up the camper, or loading the motorhome, or packing a tent and heading to a state park. Those campsites are tucked away in piney hills, laid out along clear-water lakes or streams, or nestled among the oak trees in a mountain hideaway.

Parker Canyon Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The renowned naturalist John Muir wrote that “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

The world has changed immensely since he wrote this in 1901. People, now more than ever, seek the benefits of nature.

Pinnacles National Park,California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Safe Ways to Recreate Outside This Summer

Now, more than ever before, it is evident that the outdoors is vital to our wellbeing.

Laura S. Walker State Park, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As states and local communities continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines about what activities are safest and where people should visit continue to evolve. Many are seeking opportunities for outdoor recreation, including visits to the nation’s public lands, waterways, and public spaces like parks and trails.

Artisan Village, Berea, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With the summer season in full swing, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition released an update to its tips, initially released in May, for safely recreating outdoors. The coalition first came together two months ago as a group of two dozen organizations based in Washington State. Since then, the group has grown into a diverse, nationwide community of over 500 businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, outdoor media, and influencers. The coalition’s common ground is a shared love of the outdoors, a desire to help everyone experience the benefits of nature, and a belief that by sharing best practices, people can get outside safely and help keep our parks, trails, and public lands open.

Along the Tech at St. Martinsville, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The overall #RecreateResponsibly message remains simple: We all have a role to play in keeping people, places, and communities safe as we enjoy the outdoors this summer and beyond. 

The latest #RecreateResponsibly guidelines are:

  • Know Before You Go—Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a backup plan.
  • Plan Ahead—Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch, and bring essentials like hand sanitizer.
  • Explore Locally—Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
  • Practice Physical Distancing—Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Play It Safe—Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  • Leave No Trace—Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you.
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Wilderness needs no defense, only more defenders.

—Edward Abbey

Advice to Help You Get Outside This Summer

Tips for people who don’t really camp but kinda want to camp

It’s the summer of camping. It’s the summer of RV rentals and takeout picnics, of visiting national parks, and exploring small towns. Summer has always been the season of road trips, but this year, being able to escape the four walls you’ve been quarantining in holds even more appeal.

Versailles, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After spending half the year cooped up inside due to a certain virus we’re all sick of thinking about, our need for a good old fashioned camping trip has never been greater.

But camping can be intimidating, especially for first-timers. The key is preparation.

Babcock State Park, West Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What to bring (sunscreen and socks!), what to do (hike and stargaze!), and what to know (bears and bug prevention!) for a successful camping trip.

Socks might be the most important thing you pack. No kidding! Wet socks—whether from rain, mud, sweat, or a wet trail—make feet blister easier which can pretty much end your fun times right there.

Quail Gate State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To avoid unwanted run-ins with bears and other wily critters, you’ll need to put all of your “smellables” away (this includes toothpaste). If you plan on doing any hiking in bear country, invest in some bear spray.

Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t forget the deet. And don’t stress about it too much, either. Past health problems caused by the insect repellent were mostly due to overapplication and ingestion. If you apply as the label recommends (once a day, to exposed skin only), and wash it off at the end of the day, you’ll be fine. It certainly beats risking mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile—or the woes of being the mosquito magnet at camp.

An added benefit of camping: You might just wake up to the sight of a rugged mountain range bathed in morning sunlight, like we did in the photo below at Catalina State Park.

Catalina State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Shutdown-induced boredom renewed our appreciation for scenic drives; now, we’re going full-on day trip, complete with roadside attractions, oldies on the radio, and a cooler in the back—but wait. 

Weekenders, meanwhile, are back in love with RVs. According to industry predictions, 46 million people plan to hit the road in an RV this summer. And it’s not just seniors getting in on the wonderful world of sewer drains and s’mores; millenials who used to roll their eyes at their parents’ traditional ways are largely behind the wheel. 

Camping in Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Those motorhomes, camper vans, and trailers are bottlenecking the national parks which are reopening across the country to renewed enthusiasm. For self-contained campers—those whose idea of roughing it includes being able to keep all your stuff within 10 feet—campsite reservations are among the hottest tickets to be had. Want to camp in Arches? Check back in October, when some spots might open up.

Buccaneer State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With the more popular parks at capacity, people are discovering America’s beautiful B-sides: Enter national forests with millions of acres to explore and hardly any people. America’s 154 national forests cover more than 188 million acres across 40 states: three times the total area protected by the 62 national parks. State parks, county and regional parks, and the lesser-loved national parks are now as valid a destination as Disney World reminding us that sprawling protected lands should never be taken for granted. So yeah, you’ve got options in these favorite often-overlooked natural playgrounds from coast to coast.

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These throwbacks to the “good old days” have always been available to us. But a funny thing happened this spring when we all started to hunker down, faced with unprecedented anxiety about the still-uncertain future: Collectively, people yearned not just for fresh air, but for the familiar

World’s Largest Pistachio Nut, Alamogordo, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The past is telling us that the best way to experience the present is to hop in an oversized vehicle and hit the road. To take a three-hour detour to see the world’s largest pistachio nut or some cute little town that somebody said has good pie. To struggle with a cheap popup tent and tell ghost stories with our friends. To get out this summer and barrel down the highway to rediscover places from our youth.

Discover cute little towns like Midway, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For now, those simple pleasures of discovery and escape from an increasingly fraught world—and sometimes, that’s enough.

Worth Pondering…

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

—Douglas Adams

Celebrating Independence Day during the Pandemic

Happy Birthday, USA! Like all birthdays this summer, celebration will probably look a little different than usual.

2020 is shaping up to be the summer—maybe even the year—of the road trip. Pent up demand to get out of town is ramping up with millions of Americans planning to hit the highway for Fourth of July.

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After months of staying home, many Americans are itching to get away during the Fourth of July holiday bringing a bump up in travel, particularly short trips by car or recreational vehicle. But many vacationers also appear to be making last-minute decisions as they navigate travel restrictions, canceled fireworks, and uncertainty amid rising coronavirus cases across much of the country.

Road trip along the Blue Ridge Highway in North Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A recent story in the Detroit News indicated that sales of bikes, kayaks, and other outdoor gear is at an all-time high, and in fact, some major outdoor retailers are completely sold out of these items. The owner of a bike store in the region stated that he has had his two best months of bike-related accessories and bike repair in over 20 years of business.

Hiking in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Recent studies have shown that people are beginning to return to travel, but they are looking for unique outdoor experiences, as is being proven by their outdoor equipment purchasing habits. Also, people can travel and enjoy the outdoors in such a manner that allows for social distancing. The trend coincides with the most significant increase in Google “camping” searches in nearly a decade.

Canoeing in Stephen Foster State Park, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Having all you need at your fingertips including kitchen, bedroom, toilet and shower, and entertainment center coupled with the ability to easily change course adds to a sense of freedom following COVID-19’s lengthy lockdown.

Fishing at Lynx Lake near Prescott, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Not everyone is venturing out to cure cabin fever. Only 18 percent of Americans have taken an overnight trip since March, according to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. A majority said they have no plans to travel for the rest of 2020.

Utah Scenic Byway 12, an All-American Road © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the latest projections from the AAA, Americans will take more than 700 million trips this summer but that number is down nearly 15 percent or 120 million trips from last July through September. It’s the first decline in summer travel since 2009 when cash-strapped Americans were trying to climb out of the recession. Airline travel is expected to see a nosedive of 74 percent due to coronavirus fears while cruises, buses, and train travel will be further sunk by about 86 percent.

Fishing at Port Aransas, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That’s where the good old American road trip comes in. Nationally, road-tripping will only decrease by 3 percent with 683 million summer road trips still taking place. Awareness of crowds, self-contained travel, and lower fuel prices are changing the name of the travel game. The spirit of the open road and freedom that comes with departing your driveway has been a staple of travel for generations.

Camping in Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Popular destinations and even some states may raise or lower their restrictions at the drop of a hat. But driving gives people a chance to change their travel plans at the last minute.

Camping at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With all due respect, summer 2020 is probably not the best time to live out your Jack Kerouac fantasy. Planning in advance is essential, and that includes a pandemic-specific packing list.

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

AAA lists masks, Lysol wipes, toilet paper, gloves, sanitizer, health insurance cards, and thermometer as the new road trip essentials. Make sure to stock up your COVID kit before departure: These items are in high demand and may be out of stock.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are requiring travelers from states with outbreaks to self-quarantine for 14 days. Other states have varying policies and recommendations. Before you head out to camp for the July 4th weekend, or any weekend, be sure to CALL FIRST.

Although we all need to maintain social distancing and follow CDC guidelines for avoiding the COVID-19 virus, your family can still enjoy the July 4th celebration.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Go camping – Camping is a) perfect for social distancing b) surrounded by natural air filters and c) an excellent excuse to go offline. As we’ve been saying, camping and the outdoors are the safest ways to enjoy nature and have fun.

Saguaro Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Picnic with your family – Grill those favorites…burgers, hot dogs, potatoes, and make s’mores over your campfire. 

Worth Pondering…

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

―Marie Curie

Hidden Benefits of Camping

If you regularly camp out, you’ll enjoy dozens of significant health benefits

As long as campers set themselves up for a relaxing getaway, the potential for a stress-reducing trip is very attainable. When we go camping we spend most of our time outside. Mentally focusing on all the things that make you feel great outside can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul. Life pauses and stress levels drop making it a fantastic time for your body to have a break.

Camping in Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we go camping we simplify, subtract, and strip back from our normal cluttered and hectic daily lives. This gives us more opportunity to get in touch with nature, find some solitude and time to switch off, and simply to breath.

Camping at Edisto State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This space and clarity allows us to see everything in natures playground, listen to it speak, and be reminded of how amazing it all is. This in turn helps us put everything else into perspective.

Being outside in the fresh air also seems to heighten our senses, which can bring more rewards. Food tastes better, air smells cleaner, and the birds and nature sound clearer.

Camping at Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A byproduct of camping is the physical nature of setting up the camp, hiking, and typical environment enjoyment.

Leave your worries behind you. Focus on the simplicity of your current situation without reflecting on work, concerns, or anything else that may negatively affect your experience.

Camping at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Appreciate the small, seemingly insignificant parts of the living world around you: light shining through a dew droplet just before it crashes to the ground, or maybe the simple elegance of a butterfly as it flutters from flower to flower. Notice how the slight breeze affects its flight, yet not its mission.

Camping in Palm Canyon Campground, Anza-Borrego State Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The feeling of being calm, appreciating the simple things in life, and knowing that things do not have to be complex all the time allows one to have a more positive and clearer outlook or perspective in life. Camping also gives an emotional rest from all the emotional expense from the usual day to day life.

Camping at Laura S. Walker State Park, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ensure your gear is organized and in working order before your trip. Eliminate all potentially frustrating situations prior to your adventure.

There is nothing worse than having a camping trip ruined by a scraped knee. Bring along a basic first-aid kit outfitted with bandages, gauze, and anti-bacterial cream. Also make sure it has insect repellent and some cream to help relieve the itch of bug bites.

Camping at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Take a walk, ride a bike, or sit on the edge of a lake or river to clear your mind. Simply focus on the “here and now” to get the most out of your experience. 

Camping will not only get you outdoors and enjoy nature, but it also has some awesome impacts on your health.

Camping at Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Modern life as we know it is full of the Internet, social media, work, demands, mobile phones, pressure, and deadlines. This has an impact on our bodies by getting it to produce extra adrenalin to deal with it all. Having this reaction is normal since the body is built to deal with it, however, what isn’t good is not taking time away from it all to give the body time to recover. Camping helps our systems recover ready for the next challenge.

Camping at Buccaneer State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we go camping we have more opportunity to get involved in hiking, biking, fishing, and simply doing what we enjoy. Exercising and moving is simply one of the best ways to combat an overworked body, mind, and soul, in an over committed lifestyle.

Camping at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many camping activities can be a good form of exercise. Walking and hiking help improve circulation, strengthen and pump up the heart, help in lowering blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart problems.

Camping at Galveston State Park, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Back pains, eye strains, muscle aches and headaches, sluggish circulation that increases the risks of heart problems and heart attacks are just some of the results of too much stress. Any form of outdoor activities such as camping has been proven to reduce the level of stress in the body. This allows the body to recuperate and regain the energy lost.

Camping at Meaher State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping is an effective and cost efficient form of outdoor activity. Camp out and experience the many health benefits of camping and at the same time enjoy the beauty of nature.

Worth Pondering…

When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in an old land; feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving wasters, the simplicity of sand and grass, and the silence of growth.

—August Fruge