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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 November 15, 2019

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, these bad habits are difficult to break because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

            Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental and emotional health.

            Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

            If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

            Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

            1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

            Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

            Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

            Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

            2. No Motivation

            Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academics and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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            This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family and life in general.

            If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

            3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

            Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to break bad habits.

            A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to eventually become a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

            A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

            The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

            4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

            One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

            We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

            Over-eating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of crisps, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are needed by us. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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            You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

            5. Upward Comparisons

            Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

            The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

            These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

            6. No Alternative

            This is a real and valid reason why bad habits are hard to break. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

            Someone who has physical or psychological limitations such as a disability or social anxiety may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

            Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

            Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

            7. Stress

            As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing bad habits.

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            When a person is stressed about something, it is easy to give in to a bad habit because the mental resources required to fight them are not available.

            Stress plays such a huge role in this that we commonly find a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

            8. Sense of Failure

            People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

            Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

            Over-eaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store.

            Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

            If such people slip even once with a glass of wine or a smoke or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

            9. The Need to Be All-New

            People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

            These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit.

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            10. Force of Habit

            Humans are creatures of habit and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

            Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or munching on crisps when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

            These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

            Final Thoughts

            These are the main reasons why bad habits may be difficult to break but it is important to remember that the task is not impossible.

            Do you have bad habits you want to kick? My article How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One) gives you tips on well, how to kick bad habits while my other article How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You gives realistic information on what to expect while you’re trying to quit them.

            There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

            Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?

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