Mediaplanet Introduces American Adventure Guide

Mediaplanet introduces distribution of its first edition cross-platform edition of American Adventure Guide, as part of a campaign to encourage readers to reconnect with the America’s great outdoors.

Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

The campaign focuses on different types of trips from road trips, RVing, camping, hiking, fishing, and many more.

In partnership with industry leaders, the campaign provides readers with educational insight about family adventures and explorations as well as the accessibility and growth in recent years that continue to propel the industry forward and bring dream vacations to life, according to a Mediaplanet news release.

The print component of American Adventure was distributed within last weekend’s edition of USA Today in select markets including New York, South Florida, the Carolinas, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, and San Francisco, with a circulation of approximately 470,000 copies and an estimated readership of 1.4 million.

Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. An exclusive interview with Corwin on the interior serves as a source of inspiration for readers to get up, get out, and get going on the next adventure.

Dolly Parton is also featured, sharing insight into her RV lifestyle, memories, and inspirations.

Dolly Parton, a Country Music Hall of Fame member is at home in her custom made Prevost home on wheels. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
Dolly Parton, a Country Music Hall of Fame member is at home in her custom made Prevost home on wheels. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

This time of year outdoor enthusiasts begin planning camping trips and start researching and purchasing new equipment. Part of the cost is in camping gear, and for many, finding durable gear that lasts from year to year is crucial to a positive camping experience. An informative article in the digital version, “Innovative Gear For Outdoor Adventures”, offers tips for buying durable products.

Whatever your interests, wherever you want to go, whoever you want to travel with—an RV is a fun, flexible, and affordable option. There is an RV for everyone. Indulge in your options and find a recreational vehicle that fits your travel needs as you peruse “Which RV is Right For You?”

The digital component is distributed nationally through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news sites and partner outlets.

To explore the digital version of American Adventure Guide, click here.

This outdoor adventure campaign is made possible with the support of AAA, Leave No Trace, Children & Nature Network, National Park Conservation Association, Yellow Stone Association, Family Motor Coach Association, National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Boating Association, Foundation for Safe Boating & Marine Information, and more.

RVs come in an array of shapes, sizes, and configurations designed to make vacation travel convenient and comfortable. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
RVs come in an array of shapes, sizes, and configurations designed to make vacation travel convenient and comfortable. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

Details

Mediaplanet

Mediaplanet is the leading independent publisher of content-marketing campaigns covering a variety of topics and industries.

Mediaplanet turns consumer interest into action by providing readers with motivational editorial, pairing it with relevant advertisers, and distributing it within top newspapers and online platforms around the world.

Worth Pondering…

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is a society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more

—Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

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Alabama State Parks Celebrate 75 Years

From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian foothills, Alabama State Parks reflect every facet of the state’s rich natural landscape and in 2014 the state’s park system will celebrate a milestone—its 75th anniversary.

Gulf State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Gulf State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The parks system preserves some of the most magical wonders of the state, such as Oak Mountain, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Guntersville, Wind Creek, DeSoto, and Gulf Coast.

Throughout the year, Alabama’s 22 state parks will host a variety of hikes, nature walks and programs, dining and camping specials, and various other events highlighting 75 years of service.

“Alabama State Parks recently launched a public relations campaign acknowledging the many partners we have in our parks,” said Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director.

“We hope the 75th anniversary celebration will strengthen our connection with all the visitors and other partners who make these parks possible. Alabama’s park system exists thanks to their support and we need it now more than ever.”

The acquisition of land for public use has deep roots. The National Forest System began in 1891. In 1916, the National Park Service was established to oversee a growing network of parks that included icons such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Park.

Alabama’s park system began in the 1920s with Cheaha State Park being the longest continually operating facility. There were 11 state parks in Alabama by 1933 including Bromley, Cheaha, Fort Toulouse, Geneva, Little River, Panther Creek, St. Stephens, Sumter, Talladega County, The Lagoons, and Weogufka.

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park
Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Many of the original park structures and infrastructure were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and can still be seen when visiting a modern Alabama State Park.

The Division of State Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites was created to oversee management of the park system in 1939.

Back in 1939 when the first state parks were opened in Alabama, they were not created to make money.

One hundred percent of the state park operational funds are now generated through visitors and the remaining maintenance funds decided by the Alabama Legislature. The revenue to operate and maintain the 22 state parks is generated by user fees (i.e., gate entry, lodging, boat launch access, RV and camp sites, etc.).

Today, one of Alabama’s 22 state parks is within an hour drive from most any community in the state and offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities including:

Five resort parks featuring lodge, restaurant, and convention facilities.

Ten parks with modern cottages and chalets.

Twenty-one parks with modern campgrounds.

Two parks with cave tours.

The Parks Path Golf Trail.

The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier and Gulf Adventure Center Hummingbird Zipline.

Three parks with marinas and many more fishing and boating opportunities.

Picnic pavilions perfect for any outdoor gathering.

Various museums highlighting the rich cultural and natural heritage of the local communities.

Buck's Pocket State Park
Buck’s Pocket State Park

More than 200 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and walking trails.
Thousands of acres of water-based recreation ranging from mountain lakes and rushing streams to the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s time to take an Alabama Road Trip.

Details

Alabama Tourism

Website: alabama.travel

Alabama State Parks

downloadThe Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water.

These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way.

Visit the website for information about the Alabama State Parks 75th Anniversary Celebration and for lodging, camping, and dining specials and event announcements.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Worth Pondering…

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you
Here I come, Alabama

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Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV

Montevideo, Minnesota-based American Surplus offers an eclectic array of wares from cheap sunglasses to refrigerator magnets.

Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV
Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV

This warehouse-like building is also the epicenter of a revolution in ice-fishing houses.

About 80 workers are building Ice Castle ice-fishing houses, the brand that is rapidly becoming ubiquitous across the Upper Midwest’s ice-fishing belt, reports twincities.com.

As the ice thickens up to 11,000 Ice Castles will be towed across frozen lakes, where they’ll join thousands of home-fashioned ice houses.

When you think of a wheelhouse that can be hauled along the highway and onto the ice road and then lowered onto the ice, you probably picture an Ice Castle.

The brand continues to grow, to the point where “ice castle” is becoming a generic term for wheeled ice-fishing houses. The company is scrambling to keep up with orders, and a slew of competitors are entering the fray (to read an earlier story, click here.)

The brand claims 56 percent of the market share in Minnesota; in January (2013), 178 units were sold, compared to 19 by its nearest competitor. According to Omaha, Nebraska-based A.C. Nelsen RV World, the top-selling travel trailer recreational vehicle (ice house or not) in Minnesota is the Ice Castle.

“We didn’t know it was goi

Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV
Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV

ng to be this big,” confessed Jeff Drexler, the owner of American Surplus, which owns and builds Ice Castles with almost exclusively American-made parts.

And it all started on a whim, Drexler told twincities.com.

In 1997, Drexler, who ice-fishes only occasionally, got a call from friend Dave Hanlon, store manager at Milaca Unclaimed Freight.

“Why don’t those guys make an ice-fishing house trailer?” Hanlon asked.

And, as they say, the rest is history.

The first models were nameless, 6-1/2-by-12-foot boxes priced at $1,999. The company now offers 33 models, with a new one to be unveiling at the Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show on February 6-9 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

American Surplus’ top-end model is the luxurious King’s Castle, which stretches 8 by 30 feet (with a V-shaped front for extra space) and has a suggested retail price of $36,250. The smallest, most spartan model—the Scout—sells for just under $5,000.

Ice Castle doesn’t own patents on any key components or designs, but it did show the world how versatile its products can be.

But these aren’t just ice-fishing houses.

They’re RVs you can fish out of in the winter and camp with in the summer; some have party decks. They can be hunting sheds and toy haulers, too.

Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV
Ice Fishing From the Comfort of an RV

A common feature in many Ice Castles—and some RVs (toy haulers)—is the back end opens into a ramp. ATVs, snowmobiles, and dirt bikes can be driven right into the living room, which is fitted with tie-down anchors.

This is huge because, in Minnesota and Wisconsin, camping is so big the rest of the year.

Being an RV officially—has other benefits. Some campgrounds won’t accept “ice houses on wheels” for safety reasons, and banks are reluctant to finance the purchase of such a contraption.

That’s why, several years ago, Drexler obtained official certification from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for larger Ice Castle models.

“It legitimized what we were doing,” Karen Bogan, who leads sales and marketing for Ice Castle, told twincities.com.

“It made it a lot easier to explain to people that, yes, this really is an RV, and it meant you could finance them from your local credit union.”

In 2012, Ice Castle produced 1,422 fish houses, and in 2013 about 2,040. Working six days a week, they manufacture up to 10 units a day and are about 500 behind.

Details

Ice Castle Fish House Mfg.

ice_castle_logo_colorBased in Montevideo, Minnesota since 1993, Ice Castle Fish Houses is the largest manufacturer of premium Portable Ice Fish Houses.

The road licensed Ice Fish House, featuring deluxe double pulley suspension with retractable wheels can be used year round. Use as a Hunting shack in the fall or use as a trailer for hauling snowmobiles, four wheelers, motorcycles and other toys in the winter, spring, and summer months.

Address: 3134 E. Highway 7 – P.O. Box 326, Montevideo, MN 56265

Phone: (320) 269-5428 or (877) 269-542 (toll free)

Website: icecastlefh.com

Worth Pondering…

You can camp in an Ice Fish House, but you can’t fish in a camper.

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Lake Raystown Resort Re-Flagged as RVC Outdoor Destinations

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC Outdoor Destinations, the leading provider of high-quality outdoor resorts in the United States, announced today (July 23) that Lake Raystown Resort will be re-flagged as an RVC Outdoor Destination in March of 2014.

RVC Outdoor Destinations-image001The Entriken, Pennsylvania property was developed by Jules Patt in 1984 and is one of the finest outdoor destinations in the country.

Lake Raystown Resort’s addition into the RVC collection of premium outdoor hospitality properties will coincide with its 30th Anniversary.

Brother and sister duo, Josh Patt and Samantha Patt Kozak, recently purchased their father’s interest in Lake Raystown Resort and continue to operate the over 400-acre property that includes a 52 room Lodge, 79 cabins and villas, 221 RV sites, a 650 slip marina, the Wild River Water Park, and a 22,000 square foot state of the art Conference Center.

Lake Raystown Resort is the second separately owned property to be flagged an RVC Outdoor Destination.

In addition to providing long-term asset management and branding, RVC will provide capital for improvements and expansion.

“We are very excited to have Samantha and Josh joining the RVC movement and honored that they are adding their wonderful Lake Raystown Resort to RVC’s collection of upscale outdoor recreational properties,” said Andy Cates, RVC’s President.

“They are great operators who add a lot to what we do, and their property is already one of the best outdoor destinations in the country. RVC is redefining outdoor recreation and camping by providing unique environments that provide a consistently high-quality guest experience.”

 Lake Raystown Resort (Source: raystownresort.com)
Lake Raystown Resort (Source: raystownresort.com)

“Our family has been committed to high quality outdoor hospitality for three decades,” said Josh Patt, co-owner.

“RVC is the first company and brand that reflects what we have developed at Lake Raystown Resort. Also, they bring collaborative resources and support that will allow Lake Raystown Resort to grow and improve.”

His sister and co-owner Samantha Patt Kozak added, “Ever since I first read about what RVC was doing, I was excited because their efforts were so similar to what we have been doing here for many years. We have always searched for a way to expand our market reach and to be a part of something larger, and after spending over a year getting to know the RVC team and seeing some of their resorts, we are very pleased to be a part of the RVC family.”

Details

RVC Outdoor Destinations

RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns, and operates a portfolio of high-quality outdoor hospitality properties located within some of the country’s most beautiful natural settings and offering upscale services and amenities.

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC is redefining the traditional camping experience with its original Outdoor Destination concept and upgraded RV resorts that provide guests with a comfortable, customizable, outdoor vacation through a variety of affordable lodging options, including RV sites, yurts, cabins, and cottages, all with enhanced guest amenities and recreational activities.

RVC operates eight Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Address: 429 N Main Street, Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Phone: (901) 432-4748

Website: rvcoutdoors.com

Lake Raystown Resort, Lodge & Conference Center

Lake Raystown Resort map (Source: raystownresort.com)
Lake Raystown Resort map (Source: raystownresort.com)

In business since 1984, Lake Raystown Resort, Lodge & Conference Center is Central Pennsylvania’s top destination for family fun. Family owned and operated the resort continues to provide affordable family vacations.

Our 221, star rated, campsites have water, electric, and cable hook-ups, and are unmatched in proximity to the lake. Bring your tent, popup, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome because we have the perfect site for you.

Lake Raystown Resort, Lodge & Conference Center is located in rural Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania on 400 acres of beautiful waterfront property. Known as Pennsylvania’s Crown Jewel, Raystown Lake is 28 miles long with over 8,300 acres of water and 118 miles of shoreline.

Address: 3101 Chipmunk Crossing, Entriken, PA 16638

Phone: (814) 658-3500

Website: raystownresort.com

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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Discover a New Reason to Love the Outdoors

Longer summer days and warmer weather provide great opportunities for families to get outside and discover something new.

130617_HP_PrimaryV2cWith summer right around the corner, L.L.Bean is encouraging families to discover ways to enjoy the outdoors and is launching the 2013 Outdoor Discovery Tour as a way to introduce new forms of outdoor recreation.

And outdoor adventure can be as close as your local park.

With the help of its expert Outdoor Discovery Schools guides, L.L.Bean hopes to show families how easy—and fun—it is to enjoy the outdoors and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. L.L.Bean’s larger-than-life Bootmobile embarked on a multi-city tour in New York City on June 22 with free kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fly casting instruction as part of the 9th annual Adventures NYC in Central Park.

Following New York City, the Outdoor Discovery Tour brings outdoor adventure to Pittsburgh (June 29), Philadelphia (July 13), and Chicago (July 20), among other cities, where expert guides will demonstrate outdoor activities, promote local outdoor resources, and share their own experiences to inspire others.

In Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, L.L.Bean will host an “Outdoor Discovery Day”—a day where families can try new activities like fly casting and geocaching or learn the basics of camping.

A survey conducted by L.L.Bean and the National Park Foundation found that according to 60 percent of parents, their children spend less than one hour a day outdoors.

LLBean_Bootmobile_at_flagship_store“We’re concerned that people—particularly children—are spending less time outside than ever before and losing out on the physical and mental benefits of the outdoors,” said Chris McCormick, L.L.Bean Chief Executive Officer.

“With our 2013 Outdoor Discovery Tour and Outdoor Discovery Schools’ programming, our goal is to make the outdoors both accessible and fun, hopefully helping to instill a lifelong passion for the outdoors.”

Bootmobile Kicks Off 2013 Outdoor Discovery Tour

This year, L.L.Bean is offering dozens of courses through its popular Outdoor Discovery Schools, ranging from multi-day expeditions to free clinics right in the store.

Expert guides provide instruction at all levels, providing an easy and affordable way to learn more about a favorite activity or try something new for the first time. This summer there is something for everyone with activities including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and much more. Check the calendar for a full monthly schedule at L.L.Bean store locations.

Additionally, people can search thousands of national, state, and local parks using L.L.Bean’s ParkFinder tool on the company’s website to identify outdoor activities in which to participate. The free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Android, makes finding a hiking trail or spot for kayaking easy while on the go.

For more information on ways to get your family outside this summer with L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools or to see the full Bootmobile tour schedule visit the L.L. Bean Website (SEE details below).

People can share their outdoor discoveries to help inspire others using #OutdoorDiscovery.

Details

L.L.Bean, Inc.

Whether you're looking for an introduction to paddling, a relaxing scenic tour or a multiday adventure, L.L.Bean has a kayaking activity to suit your interests.
Whether you’re looking for an introduction to paddling, a relaxing scenic tour or a multiday adventure, L.L.Bean has a kayaking activity to suit your interests.

L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel.

Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe.

While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service, and a love of the outdoors. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last, and always shipped free.

In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 200,000 square foot L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, Maine, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year.

L.L.Bean invites people to also join the fun on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and on the ParkFinder app.

Website: llbean.com

Please Note: This is Part 3 of a 3-part series

Part 1: Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

Part 2: National Parks as an Economic Engine

Worth Pondering…

Take time to listen to the voices of the earth and what they mean…the majestic voice of thunder, the winds, the sound of flowing streams. And the voices of living things: the dawn chorus of the birds, the insects that play little fiddles in the grass.

—Rachel Carson

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Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

Millions of Americans and Canadians take pleasure in the pursuit of enjoyment in the outdoors.

Biking, hiking, and exploring Red Rock Country by Jeep are popular outdoor recreational activities in the Sedona area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Biking, hiking, and exploring Red Rock Country by Jeep are popular outdoor recreational activities in the Sedona area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But we rarely consider the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry on local communities and the entire country.

Newly released information from three separate and diverse studies provides a revealing look at the outdoor recreation industry as an economic engine that employs millions of Americans and Canadians and contributes billions of dollars to the economy.

These studies were commissioned or conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Park Service.

The Conservation Economy in America, commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and conducted by Southwick Associates, reports the economic impacts of direct investments into conservation: jobs, tax revenues, and other dividends produced by state, federal, and private conservation funding.

This study provides a revealing look at America’s economic stake in conservation, totaling the total public and private investments in fish, wildlife, and natural resources conservation at $38.8 billion per year—money that, once spent, circulates through the economy and stimulate an impressive $93.2 billion in economic activity.

Rich in history and natural beauty, northeast Florida’s Amelia Island offers varied recreational activities. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Rich in history and natural beauty, northeast Florida’s Amelia Island offers varied recreational activities. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The study’s implications regarding the role of natural resource conservation in the broader U.S. economy are considerable. For example, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the trade association for companies in the outdoor recreation business, has commissioned a number of groundbreaking studies that examine consumer spending in the pursuit of outdoor recreation activities.

“When these new conservation-focused figures are combined with OIA data, as well as with similar data for historic preservation, the relationship is clear: Our $38.8 billion investment in conservation forms the underpinnings of an economic boon for the US through subsequent spending related to outdoor recreation and historic preservation, which are largely dependent on sound natural resources stewardship,” said Katherine K. McKalip, director of media relations for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The study has commanded the attention of America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation (AVCRP), a coalition of more than 1,200 organizations representing citizens with diverse political backgrounds who have united in support of conservation, recreation, and historic preservation programs as a way to create jobs and improve the economy.

The AVCRP coalition drew data from the new study and combined existing information to showcase the following finding:

  • $1.7 trillion – Total economic impact attributed to natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation, and historic preservation in the US, $1.6 trillion of which is derived from consumer dollars spent on outdoor recreation activities as it circulates through the economy as quantified by OIA.

These rounds of spending also create additional impacts:

  • $211 billion – Federal, state, and local tax revenue generated annually from this sustainable economy
  • 12.8 million – Number of jobs supported by these three sectors
  • $877 billion – Combined contribution to the United State gross domestic product from these three sectors
  • $33.3 billion – Total annual federal spending on natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation, and historic preservation that helps generate this $1.7 trillion economy

“Conservation has always been a strong economic driver, and this new data reinforces that fact,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall.

Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“When Americans pursue their favorite outdoor pastimes each year, they support wildlife conservation but also are strengthening our economy to a much greater degree than they may realize. Investing in conservation is a great deal for the American taxpayer.”

“Investments in nature produce a great return, and the bottom line is clear—America’s natural resources are a critical part of our national economy,” said Mark R. Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy.

“Our environmental health is directly related to our economic well-being, among other benefits. As a result, even in this time of budget austerity, the federal government can and should address the federal deficit while still investing in critical conservation programs.”

Please Note: This is Part 1 of a 3-part series

Part 2: National Parks as an Economic Engine

Part 3: Discover a New Reason to Love the Outdoors

Worth Pondering…

I only went for a walk, and finally concluded to stay till sundown, for going out, I found,

was really going in.

—John Muir

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Grub Hub Camp Kitchen Promotes Sustainable Camping

For many people base camping is a tradition that makes it possible to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, climbing, rafting, photography, fishing, hunting, surfing, and other outdoor activities, often many miles from home.

Grub Hub Camp Kitchen
Grub Hub Camp Kitchen

“Unfortunately ‘car camping’ or ‘base camping’ is often associated with high impacts to the environment,” claims GrubHubUSA company president Joe Baughman in a company news release.

“Just like at home, most activities within camp center around the kitchen. Without an easy and efficient method of organizing, cooking, and preparing food outdoors, excessive waste and negative impacts to the environment are much more likely. When campers negatively impact an area, the result is more regulation, higher costs, and less freedom.”

“The patented new Grub Hub camp kitchen,” says Baughman, “addresses this challenge by making camping much more organized and making camp kitchen tasks much easier.”

“The Grub Hub camp kitchen supports and promotes a very sustainable camping methodology by providing highly portable and organized cooking and working space, as well as support for lighting and water and other features such as air dry bags for cleaning solid dishes,” stated Baughman.

“The product’s features and functionalities assist campers in working much more efficiently outdoors and help reduce convenience packaging and other wasteful methods. Easy outdoor preparation of real meals to fuel real activities is our goal.”

The product is compact and lightweight with an aluminum frame, molded tables, and expedition grade materials that reflect durability needed for serious outdoor use.

As the product’s designer, Baughman adds, “The quality built Grub Hub not only promotes sustainability but is a sustainable product itself. It is made from modular serviceable components that provide a virtually unlimited service life for the unit as a whole. The unit won’t easily break or wear out but when it does we can easily service all of the components.”

For hunters, fishermen, mountain bikers, climbers, hikers, and others, the Grub Hub may be the perfect solution for organizing camp while helping to reduce impacts on their favorite camping areas.

Details

GrubHubUSA

Grub Hub Camp Kitchen
Grub Hub Camp Kitchen

GrubHubUSA is located in the greater St. George, Utah area where the southwest mountains and canyons provide inspiration for developing functional and reliable gear.

Mailing Address: PO Box 461136, Leeds, UT 84746

Location: 1145 South Red Cliffs Road, Leeds, UT 84746

Phone: (435) 705-1773

Website: grubhubusa.com

Worth Pondering…

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
—Alan Ashley-Pitt

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Outdoor Recreation Participation Increases

More than 90 million U.S. residents age 16 and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011, up three percent from five years earlier, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released last week.

Combining Birding and Photography with our life on the road is like enjoying pecan pie with Blue Bell ice cream for dessert following a turkey feast on Thanksgiving Day! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
In addition to nearly 30 bird species found nowhere else in the US, the Lower Rio Grande Valley is home to an astonishing concentration of more widespread birds. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In total, wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, accounting for about one percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

These findings come from the final national report with results from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released by the Census Bureau on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, according to a news release from the Census Bureau.

Conducted since 1955, the survey is one of the oldest continuing and most comprehensive recreation surveys in the U.S., collecting information on the number of anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers, as well as how often they participate in wildlife-related recreation and how much they spend on these activities.

According to the survey, wildlife recreationists spent $70.4 billion on equipment, $49.5 billion on travel, and $24.8 billion on other items, such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.

The number of people fishing, hunting, or both rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011, with 33.1 million people fishing and 13.7 million hunting.

The Roseate Spoonbill uses its long, flat, spoon-shaped bill to strain small food items out of the water. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The Roseate Spoonbill uses its long, flat, spoon-shaped bill to strain small food items out of the water. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The survey showed that 71.8 million people participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity, such as observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife.

Wildlife Watching Highlights
About 71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed birds and other wildlife in 2011. Almost 68.6 million people watched wildlife around their homes, and 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home to primarily watch wildlife.

Of the 46.7 million people who observed wild birds, 88 percent did so around their homes and 38 percent on trips of a mile or more from home.

People spent $54.9 billion on their wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011 — an average of $981 per spender.

Fishing and Hunting Highlights
Of the 33.1 million people who fished, 27.5 million fished in freshwater and 8.9 million in saltwater.

The most popular fish sought by freshwater anglers, excluding Great Lakes fishing, were black bass (10.6 million anglers) and panfish (7.3 million anglers).

The most popular fish sought by Great Lakes anglers were walleye and sauger (584,000 anglers) and black bass (559,000 anglers).

About 1.9 million people ice-fished and 4.3 million fly-fished.

Anglers spent $41.8 billion on fishing trips, equipment, and other items in 2011— an average of $1,262 per angler.

Of the 13.7 million hunters that took to the field in 2011, 11.6 million hunted big game, 4.5 million hunted small game, 2.6 million hunted migratory birds, and 2.2 million hunted other animals.

Ninety-three percent of hunters used a shotgun, rifle, or other similar firearm; 33 percent used a bow and arrow; and 22 percent used a muzzleloader.

Nearly all hunters (approximately 94 percent) hunted in the state where they lived, while 14 percent hunted in other states.

Hunters spent $33.7 billion on hunting trips, equipment, and other items in 2011 — an average of $2,465 per hunter.

State reports with detailed information on participation and expenditures will be released on a flow basis beginning in January 2013, according to the release.

The great kiskadee has yellow on its crown that is often obscured by the black stripes that frames it. However, if you get a view of the top of its head as I did in this photo, the yellow brightly stands out on this Rio Grande Valley specialty. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The great kiskadee has yellow on its crown that is often obscured by the black stripes that frames it. However, if you get a view of the top of its head as I did in this photo, the yellow brightly stands out on this Rio Grande Valley specialty. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During the initial data collection phase, the Census Bureau interviewed approximately 50,000 households nationwide to determine who in the household had fished, hunted, or watched wildlife in 2010 or 2011, and planned to do so again, states the release. In most cases, one adult household member provided information for all members.

In the second phase, a sample of individuals identified as likely anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers were interviewed; each individual had to be at least 16 years old and provided information pertaining only to his or her activities and expenditures.

All comparisons made in this news release are tested at the 0.10 significance level.

Worth Pondering…
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is a society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more

—Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

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Victoria Coleto Creek KOA Opens in South Texas

Scooter and Gail Reaser knew a great opportunity when they saw it.

The newest KOA opens in South Texas mid-way between Victoria and Goliad.
The newest KOA opens in South Texas mid-way between Victoria and Goliad.

The Reasers, longtime recreational boating enthusiasts on Coleto Creek Lake in Texas, noticed that the very basic camping facilities offered at the Coleto Creek Reservoir just weren’t meeting the needs of campers.

So, they decided to convert the 60-acre pasture that they owned near the reservoir into a top-notch campground, according to a news release.

In the current economy, newly constructed campgrounds are a rarity. But trying something a bit different didn’t scare Scooter or Gail.

In October, they opened Phase 1 of the new Victoria Coleto Creek KOA Campground, which included 124 campsites, each with free cable television and Wi-Fi, a patio with barbecue, a 10,000-square-foot Kamp K-9 pet playground, and a nature trail that meanders through acres of undeveloped land.

Coming soon will be Phase 2 and Phase 3, which include a large pavilion and additional recreational activities including bicycle and watercraft rentals and an additional 200 campsites.

“Those plans will be far easier to complete, now that we have the infrastructure in place,” said Vernon (Scooter) Reaser.

“The initial challenges of getting the permits, the electricity and sewer, and engineering are now done. Basically, it’s been like building a small city—far from existing services—from the ground up.”

Entrance to new KOA near Victoria, Texas.
Entrance to new KOA near Victoria, Texas.

The Reasers are dedicated to making everything on their KOA top notch. Guests entering the campground will see a palm-tree-lined, double-lane boulevard with the U.S, Texas, and Kampgrounds of America flags flying high on a circular island.

“The state flag of each guest’s home state will be flown throughout their stay here,” said Gail. “You can drive up and see your own state flag and know that someone from your state is here, too. I’m looking forward to seeing everybody with their campfires and barbecues going, having fun, enjoying the park and the outdoors.”

While the campground has its own catfish pond, as well as hiking trails and swimming, the KOA entrance is just 100 yards from the Coleto Creek Lake Reservoir entrance, so boaters and watersports enthusiasts can stay as busy as they like.

One of the Reaser’s top priorities was keeping the natural landscape intact.

“We wanted to keep as many of the native trees as possible during the construction process,” said Gail.

“Each and every tree was individually identified with its own bar code, so we could work with the engineers to select the best ways to avoid them. People who visit sometimes say, ‘Oh my gosh, you wasted a lot of land,’ but it was intentional. We didn’t want to lose the big, bright wide-open spaces of Texas. We’ve always loved the outdoors, so we wanted to keep it intact for our guests.”

“We’re close to three major highways, halfway between Victoria and Goliad, so whether people are heading to the Rio Grande Valley, the Coast, or down to South Padre, we’re a great place to stop for a while,” said Scooter.

The Reasers hired a former KOA owner and manager, Greg Dunagan, to manage their new park. Dunagan and his wife owned a KOA campground in Kansas before Greg became general manager of three of KOA’s company-owned campgrounds in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Sugarloaf Key, Florida.

“The location of this campground is extraordinary and the park itself is something special,” Dunagan said.

“I can’t wait for people to come here and experience it, and tell their friends about the unique atmosphere here. You just don’t find this wide-open, natural ranch feeling with the native beauty intact at most campgrounds.”

Dunagan said the campground will be a natural stop for empty-nesters and full-time RVers in the winter and shoulder seasons, as well as families with kids in the summer.

Details

Victoria Coleto Creek KOA

A short drive to Coleto Creek Lake will bring you to a fishing pier, which affords anglers the opportunity to try their skill at catching some fresh-water fish.
A short drive to Coleto Creek Lake will bring you to a fishing pier, which affords anglers the opportunity to try their skill at catching some fresh-water fish.

Located within the Golden Crescent of Texas, Victoria Coleto Creek KOA offers premier RV accommodations in a beautiful natural country setting.

All campsites are full hook-up, with 20/30/50 electric service, free cable TV and WiFi.

Pull-through and back-in RV sites are available, many backing onto open space. Texas wildflowers, live oak trees, wildlife, birding, and a catfish pond are waiting for you.

Beautiful Coleto Creek Reservoir is only seconds away from the campground, and offers outstanding fresh-water fishing and water sports activities. The Central Gulf coast is a short drive, and offers amazing salt-water fishing and recreational opportunities as well.

Address: 500 Coleto Park Road, Victoria, TX 77905

Location: Midway between Victoria and Goliad off US-59; 13 miles west of Victoria; 14 miles east of Goliad

Phone: (361) 582-0222 or (800) 562-9394 (toll free)

Website: koa.com/victoria-coleto

Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…

No matter how far we may wander, Texas lingers with us, coloring our perceptions of the world.

—Elmer Kelto

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2,000-Acre RV Resort Opens in Texas

“Everything is bigger in Texas,” and at 2,000 acres this certainly rings true for the nation’s newest RV resort.

Located just an hour northeast of Houston, the Preserve RV Resort recently launched a national marketing effort.

The property offers amenity-rich, Texas-sized sites averaging 10,000 square feet, along with five fishing lakes, 1.2 miles of white sandy beach on the Trinity River, hiking, biking, equestrian trails, swimming pools, and pavilions, according to a news release.

Model sites are complete and preview tours are underway.

“As part of the build-up to our launch we attended the FMCA Show in Indianapolis and the Southwest RV Supershow in Dallas,” said John Mangum, sales director.

“Our larger sites and beautiful amenity packages are a far greater value than any others in the country today. There’s no other resort in America offering such a special connection to nature at the same time situated just a stone’s throw from major city conveniences. I can fish all morning and then take my wife, Dolly, to lunch in Houston’s museum district.”

Resort amenities include:

  • Private gated security entrance
  • 5 fishing lakes with boat access
  • 1.2 miles of white sandy beach
  • 2 miles of riverfront
  • Walking, hiking, and biking trails
  • Equestrian facility with 20+ miles of equestrian trails
  • Resort cottages
  • Guest RV sites
  • Large outdoor pavilion and meeting area
  • Community events and entertainment
  • Swimming pools
  • Expansive clubhouse and resort style pool under development
  • Welcome center (under construction)
Platinum Site at The Preserve RV Resort

For a limited time, the developer is offering several ownership incentives. Private tours are now being scheduled.

Visit the website or phone the resort (details below) to learn more and/or request a tour.

The Preserve RV Resort offers three ownership amenity packages, in addition to either a Resort Cottage or Equestrian option. Owners can also select from a limited number of waterfront private sites.

The basic Silver package has a 30-by-80-foot custom brick paver pad, landscaping package, fire pit and full hookups with early bird pricing starting at $44,000.

The upgraded Platinum package includes the addition of a spacious resort casita, stone fire pit, personal resort spa with steam room, shower, bathroom and an outdoor kitchen. Platinum sites currently start at $88,000 while construction is underway.

Details

Preserve RV Resort

Trail ride at The Preserve

The Preserve RV Resort offers a one-of-a kind fusion of pristine surroundings and man-made amenities.

Here you can connect with nature, adventure, and most importantly, your loved ones. While we cherish the beauty and perfection of this natural destination, we wouldn’t exactly call this roughing it!

User groups, RV clubs, and individual owners are encouraged to schedule a preview visit today.

Mailing Address: The Preserve of Texas, 201 Cypress Lakes Circle, Cleveland, TX 77327

Phone: (800) 414 – 4280

Website: preservervresort.com

http://www.preservervresort.com/

Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…

I love Texas because Texas is future-oriented, because Texans think anything is possible. Texans think big.

—Phil Gramm

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