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The Perfect Outdoor Experience: A Weekend in the RV

The Perfect Outdoor Experience: A Weekend in the RV

I don’t know about all of you internet folks out there, but I’ve found that a weekend escape into nature is the best (and only) relief from dull city life. I “use” nature to chill and to brush away the cobwebs. You can call it simple relaxation, but it sure does the trick as it recharges my batteries and calms my nerves.

Knowing all too well the pressures of our jobs (and by jobs I mean bosses), I have come up with the idea to write this beginner manual on how to have the perfect weekend outdoors. Of course, not everyone shares my idea of relaxing so unless you are a nature lover you might want to skip this one.

RV camping is all about possibilities, and there is an array of fun things you can do over the weekend. From enjoying nature and birdwatching to my favorite activities – fishing and hunting – you will find ways to entertain yourself.

I will explain how I discovered my perfect weekend, and I will try to teach you how to do the same. However, you are more than welcome to explore and research on your own as the great outdoors has something tucked away for every one of us.

1. RV

rv-info

    I was always quite attracted to having a “home on wheels”, for a long time I was never bold enough to get one myself. Though, even if I had, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it. Once I did a bit of research, however, I found out that there are millions of people that share my desires and a bunch of places specialized for RVs (we’ll get to that later on).

    If you are a beginner when it comes to RVs, much like I was, you should know that there are certain prerequisites and rules that you need to keep in mind.

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    First of all, buying an RV could prove to be very expensive, so I definitely recommend renting.  Furthermore, renting gives you the option of testing whether this is the right thing for you and seems like the best choice since you probably won’t be using the RV during the entire year.

    After deciding on a rented RV, I took it first for a couple of short test runs. It is very important to get to know the RV you’re driving, and it does take some time getting accustomed to it.

    When it comes to RV camping (and every other camping for that matter) preparation is everything.  It is vital to prepare a plan for the route you’re going to take, and don’t forget to plan in a few stops along the way. Calculate the amount of food you’re going to need, and prepare in advance any additional equipment you might need.

    So far, I’ve only had one minor accident, but it has taught me to bring spare parts and a basic tool kit every time with me. This includes stuff you wouldn’t usually take into consideration such as light bulbs, cables, screws, pins, etc.

    2. Choosing the Right Spot

    rv-the-right-spot

      The number of camps specialized for RVs is at an all-time high in the USA, and there are loads for you to choose from. Travel Channel did a fantastic review of the best RV camp sites, but finding a serene spot that is surrounded by nature might not be as far as you think. Great hunting and fishing locations are found wherever nature flourishes.

      Forests and river banks that are nearest to you can make for a perfect spot as long as they are adjacent to a road. Going to a site that isn’t specialized for RVs requires quite a bit more effort, though it more than pays off in the peace and quiet you’ll be receiving.

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      If you choose to camp in a place built for RVs, first locate the electrical, water, and sewage hookups. Alternatively, it is a wise investment to get an RV generator so you can be free to go to a more secluded place.

      Once you’ve picked out a spot, clear the site of any debris and carefully inspect the ground for any holes, stubs, or similar hindrances. Next, make sure your RV is leveled and stabilized (blocks are my weapon of choice in this matter). Block your wheels to prevent any Benny Hill-like inconveniences from occurring.

      Get everything you need prepared and start scouting the area to find the perfect spots for the fun parts – hunting and fishing.

      3. Hunting

      hunting

        When I decided to take up hunting, I was frankly in the dark but kind of loved the idea of being a hunter. Hunting is one of the most popular activities in the USA, both as a hobby and as a sport, so getting familiar with it was not that difficult.

        I knew well enough not to think of hunting as a game so I signed up for a hunter education course (in the state of Texas you can even have it online). The course gave me answers to some common questions such as where and when to hunt, dealing with the game after a successful hunt, etc. More importantly, the course will teach you about safety precautions, firearms, and basic techniques.

        You can get your license from your local wildlife agency, and they can provide useful info on the hunting regulations and available game in your state. You should be aware that hunting is strictly regulated, so I advise you to check everything before you head out on the road.

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        Of course, getting yourself armed is what first comes to mind, but buying a rifle should be the last piece of equipment that is purchased. The gear varies depending on where and what you’re going to hunt. However, there are certain accessories you’ll need wherever you plan on going. A camo suit and a hunter’s orange vest are excellent items to start with.

        Calls, decoys, GPS, and related accessories all help the average hunter, but since you’ll be hunting in an unknown area, I suggest getting game cameras (with night vision if possible). Set them up on your first day of camping, and you might spot animal activity and trails which you could use the next day.

        4. Fishing

        fishing

          Fishing was suggested to me by a friend, saying that fishing is the most therapeutic activity on the planet though it isn’t for everybody. Now that I’ve become somewhat of a veteran fisherman, I can clearly see that he was right on the money.

          Fishing requires patience, resignation, and endurance, but don’t worry, the catch is very much worth the wait! Also, there is something unbelievably soothing in finding yourself next to a body of water with only the sounds of nature and your thoughts.

          Since a fishing license is not required in most places within the USA, you should focus on acquiring the right equipment and honing your skills. A fishing rod is the first and foremost, along with a reel, but its type is based on what kind of fishing you want to do (I have gotten quite fond of fly fishing, so a fly-rod is a must for me).

          Fishing lines are next on your list and are also dependent on the type (weight) of the fish you’re catching and the type of rod you are using. Bait and lures come to mind naturally even to a non-fisherman so it would be imperative to have them on your list. You can choose between live and dough bait or an artificial one (flies and lures). Flies and lures are essential in areas that do not allow live or dough bait.

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          As I would not want to bore you with other equipment that you will find out anyhow once you’ve found an interest in fishing, there is one seemingly natural thing that I need to warn you about. It is about appropriate clothing, a mistake I made and would not recommend anyone to try and do the same. Trust me – fishing waders should not be underestimated.

          Go Out and Have Fun!

          go-and-have-fun

            I have basically told you everything I had known before I took my maiden RV voyage into nature, so the rest is on you. Take it from me, you will have a lot of tales to tell, both rewarding and disappointing.

            You will not get everything right the first time, but that is the point. Challenge yourself and let your mind wander from the issues of the workweek; let it sink into the riches that our land is offering.

            Once you get used to the freedom and overall joys of the outdoors, you‘ll find yourself craving it during the week, waiting impatiently for the weekend to come.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on January 17, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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