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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

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            Last Updated on September 10, 2019

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

            Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

            This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

            One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

            Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

            Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

            1. Gratitude

            Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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            The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

            Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

            So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

            Gratitude-Quotes

              2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

              This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

              For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

              What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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              Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

              3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

              This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

              Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

              An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

              Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

              write down goals

                4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                6. Rise Earlier

                The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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