RVing Is The Freedom Lifestyle

Home is where you park it.

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the RVing lifestyle is the ultimate.

The country overflows with awesomeness at every turn, places we find completely captivating.

What a life. Today, it’s Arizona, last month it was California, and before that we were in Oregon. Soon it will be New Mexico.

Whether it’s dry camping in the wilderness or enjoying the comforts of a full-hookup RV park, RV enthusiasts agree—it’s all about the joys of camping.

For some hardy souls, camping means pitching a tent, snuggling in sleeping bags, and cooking on a Coleman stove or a grill balanced on a fire ring. Yes, I’ve been there, done that!

For the rest of us—and some us have left those days behind—we freely admit to enjoying a soft queen-sized bed, a plug-in coffeemaker, home-cooked meal, and hot shower.

The best part of RV camping with all the comforts of home: your own bed, your own shower, and being able to cook whatever you want to eat. Even after six months on the road I’m not ready to come home.

Live it well! Enjoy today! Do something fun! Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Live it well!
Enjoy today!
Do something fun!
Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No matter what you see when you look outside your window, you’re at home in your RV.

Yes, home is where you park it in this beautiful country of ours.

Many of us cringe when we see fuel prices climb, but the pleasure of RV camping can be had without driving for days. The “here” can be just as enjoyable as “there.”

So, let me remind you…whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, do it now! Don’t put things off too long! Life goes by all too quickly.

So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure about tomorrow!

Life is a gift to you. Make it a fantastic one!

Live it well!

Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia.
Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Enjoy today!

Do something fun!

Be happy!

Have a great day!

Life is too short to let even one day be frenzied or frazzled or frittered away.

Life is too short not to take time to do the things that will hold the most meaning for you.

So let yourself float like a leaf on a stream, relax with your memories and let yourself dream.

Throw out your list that’s impossibly long, and dance a few steps to a favorite song.

Turn off the news and go find someone real who’ll listen and talk and affirm what you feel.
Life is too short and flies by if you let it, so choose what you want every day—and go and get it.

The distance doesn’t matter. It’s what you see out your window in the morning that counts.

ferry boat returns from Cumberland Island to the dock in St. Marys
It’s the end of a wonderful day as our ferry boat returns from Cumberland Island to the dock in St. Marys. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

—lyrics by George David Weiss, George Douglas, Bob Thield; recorded by Louis Armstrong

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Newmar Partners with Tents for Troops

Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corporation announced a new partnership that will allow them to show their appreciation for the brave men and women enlisted in the nation’s armed forces, a press release from the organization stated.

tentsfortroopsFor every coach retailed in 2015, Newmar will make a contribution to Tents for Troops (T4T), an organization that works with campgrounds and RV parks throughout the United States and Canada to provide free accommodations to active military members.

Tents for Troops was founded about five years ago. They are a network of RV parks located across 47 states, each committed to providing free RV and tent camping sites for active military members and their families.

Although they go by the name Tents for Troops, the majority of those who use the program are young military families traveling by RV. In fact, around 80 percent of these families have one or two children, according to a news release.

At this time T4T has just under 300 Parks in their network, and will soon be adding 14 parks in Canada.

“Tents for Troops invites RV Manufactures, RV Dealers and Industry Suppliers of all sizes to join the program, any contribution large or small will truly make a difference,” said Charlie Curry, founder of Tents for Troops.

“RV dealers can donate for new units sold or both new and used and would have the opportunity to ask retail customers if they wanted to donate $1 when they purchase an RV as well. Both OEM’s and RV dealers can encourage each other to participate, and OEM’s and dealers can encourage suppliers to do the same.”

Newmar-factory-toursThe program is 100 percent voluntary and 100 percent free.

Troops never pay to stay at parks, and the designated parks never pay any fees or dues to be involved with Tents for Troops. It is a feel- good, pay-it-forward type of program, the release stated. T4T asks parks to offer two free tent or RV sites for a two-night stay.

“We’re honored to partner with Tents for Troops in their effort to help our military personnel enjoy the RV lifestyle,” said Matt Miller, President of Newmar.

“We appreciate all that the Armed Forces do for this country, without them we would not enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted. Many thanks to Charlie Curry for his efforts, so that the military personnel can enjoy the same lifestyle that we all enjoy.”

Details

Tents for Troops

TentsForTroopsIconAs a very small way of saying “Thank You” for all of the hard work and sacrifices men and women in the military make, campgrounds and RV parks around the nation offer free camping for active military.

Phone: (360) 274-7915

Website: www.tentsfortroops.org

Newmar Corp

NEWMAR: When You Know The Difference

Newmar Corp image001Established in 1968 Newmar is an innovator and leader in the RV manufacturing industry and recognized for its excellence in quality.

Newmar Corp is privately owned and has a dealer network that spans across the United States and Canada.

Newmar Corp is located at 355 N. Delaware Street, Nappanee, Indiana.

Newmar Corp currently manufactures Class A gas motorhomes (Bay Star Sport, Bay Star, and Canyon Star), Class A diesel motorhomes (Ventana LE, Ventana, and Dutch Star), and luxury Class A diesel motorhomes (Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex, and King Aire).

Address: 355 N. Delaware Street, PO Box 30, Nappanee, Indiana 46550-0030

Phone: (800) 860-0086

Website: www.newmarcorp.com

Worth Pondering…

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.

—Marcus Aurelius

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Take Camping to a Whole New Level

Forget about soggy sleeping bags and competing with rocks and debris on the cold, hard ground on your next camping trip.

The Tentsile Stingray is universally versatile three-season tent. It offers occupants a spacious triple hammock interior, accessed via a hatch in through the floor or via a large side door. It can be set up on the ground or suspended at any height. (Source: tentsile.com)
The Tentsile Stingray is universally versatile three-season tent. It offers occupants a spacious triple hammock interior, accessed via a hatch in through the floor or via a large side door. It can be set up on the ground or suspended at any height. (Source: tentsile.com)

Take your camping to a whole new level and be inspired by the tranquil calmness you will find when you hang out in the trees!

Tentsile was conceived as a range of portable treehouses, combining the comfort and versatility of a hammock with the comfort and security of a tent.

Tentsile recently launched a new suspended tent called the Stingray that lets you rest high up in the trees. Designed for three-season use, the 13 pound tent accommodates up to three people plus their gear.

The UK tent maker touts this tent for a wide variety of travel styles, for backpacking in the woods, and even as disaster relief shelters.

The tents pack down for portability and are durable for long use. The suspended setup means you’re off the ground and away from wet, damp, flooded, or snowy conditions. You’re also out of reach from ground-based wildlife, except for maybe those pesky tree snakes. Just be sure you like sleeping in a hammock and don’t mind rocking as you drift off into dreamland.

Using only two poles inserted into a polyester fly sheet and a set of tree straps, the arched Stingray can be set assembled in about five minutes.

With three anchor points and the use of tension instead of poles, the Tentsile is part tent and part hammock. The structure is made from a collapesable frame of webbing straps with fire retardant, UV PU and water resistant polyester fabric infill panels.

Tentsile Stingray uses heavy duty yet lightweight components with a 2.5-tonne minimum breaking strength and is recommended to carry the weight of three adults and their gear. (Source: tentsile.com)
Tentsile Stingray uses heavy duty yet lightweight components with a 2.5-tonne minimum breaking strength and is recommended to carry the weight of three adults and their gear. (Source: tentsile.com)

To get it set up, string its three anchor points from trees and you’ll be up above the ground, away from crawly insects, snakes, and even bears.

The three points serve as sleeping chambers and the middle is held in suspension and serves as a vestibule and gathering space.

The suspended three-person tent could also keep you safe in flash flood areas or other spots prone to natural disasters. Either way, it’s kind of like having a portable treehouse.

The interior is accessible through a floor hatch or side door via a collapsible rope ladder that comes in a wide variety of colors.

Each tent is made by hand and there is also an option to hang the tent with a stand if no trees are available.

Additional accessories are also available, including a shoe drying rack, luggage nets, and iPad pouches.

Details

Tentsile Ltd

How will you use your Tentsile Stingray? (Source: tentsile.com)
How will you use your Tentsile Stingray? (Source: tentsile.com)

Treehouse architect and inventor Alex Shirley-Smith had a vision: to allow people to inhabit the trees 21st century comfort.

He founded Tentsile Ltd in 2010 and began designing and prototyping lightweight portable treehouses able to be set-up between any three trees.

In March 2012, a number of leading green design forums featured Tentsile’s larger tents, praising their unique advantages and holding them up as flagships of 21st century innovation.

After a year of prototyping and testing, in March 2013Tentsile launched their first production model—the Stingray.

Developed in partnership with product designer Kirk Kirchev, the Tentsile is the most versatile and refined creation to date—a lightweight portable treehouse that takes camping to a whole new level.

Going forward, Tentsile plans to release a new design each year, bringing the consumer a comprehensive range of suspended tents for a variety of needs.

Address: Unit 22, Southwark Studios, Rich House, 40 Crimscott Street, London SE1 5TE

Phone: 0044 7951 984 080 (Alex) or 0044 7515 551 002 (Kirk)

Website:  tentsile.com

Worth Pondering…

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Glamping in an UFO Tent

This futuristic orb at The Secret Campsite might look like an UFO as it hovers high above the ground but it is actually a Tree Tent.

The futuristic orb might look like a UFO as it hovers high above the ground but is actually a Tree Tent.
The futuristic orb might look like a UFO as it hovers high above the ground but is actually a Tree Tent.

The Secret Campsite is, of course, not really very secret at all.

The real secret is just how unique and special this place is.

The state-of-the-art pod is suspended three meters (10 feet) above the forest floor from a series of ropes attached to the woodland canopy, and is the latest in glamping.

The pod sleeps two adults and includes LED lighting, and even space for a wood-burning stove.

“Our campsite is all about getting closer to nature and our tree tent is great way of doing that,” The Secret Campsite owner, Tim Bullen told the Daily Mail.

“The Tree Tent is a completely unique and very special structure. Not only is it incredibly cool to look at, it’s also amazingly well designed and practical.”

Created by Brighton based designer Jason Thawley, Tree Tents blend two very different but complementary engineering materials— lightweight, recycled aluminum and steam bent British ash wood airframes. The spherical structure is encompassed by a waterproofed cotton canvas.

The frame is made from British ash wood sourced from local forests and recycled aluminium, with a cover made entirely from waterproof cotton.
The frame is made from British ash wood sourced from local forests and recycled aluminium, with a cover made entirely from waterproof cotton.

The tree tent is the product of three years of work by Thawley, who became inspired after seeing wooden tree houses in Canada.

Access to the Tree Tent is along a raised wooden walkway, and the tent is suspended between three sturdy oak trees on the edge of the ancient woodland that surrounds the camping meadow. From the two windows in the Tree Tent there are fantastic views across the campsite and on to the South Downs National Park.

Inside you will find two suspended single beds with warm, organic wool mattresses enabling you to relax and take in the canopy view, while gently moving to the gentle sway of the trees. The Tree Tent has its own grass pitch where you can chat and enjoy a campfire at your very own fire pit.

The Tree Tent is designed to sleep two adults but can also accommodate a child on the floor.

If you want more people to join you on your trip, up to a maximum of six are permitted including those in the Tree Tent.

For an extra charge you can bring your own tent, and pitch it on the grass below. The charge for this excludes the cost of the guests in the Tree Tent.

The Secret Campsite’s tree tent is the first in England. Only one other exists in the UK, at a site in Powys, Wales.

The Secret Campsite provides two single beds, plus crockery, cutlery, and utensils for three people and a small gas hob to cook on. They have washing up facilities on the site and there is a small welcome hamper on arrival.

Campers need to bring their own sheets and pillows for two single beds or sleeping bags plus pillows and towels and all the food you will need.

Cost is £95 ($146) per night and a minimum of two nights on the weekend.

What is Glamping?

Glamping comes from the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’.

Glamping combines traditional camping with luxuries usually found in hotels, such as en-suite toilets, heaters, comfy beds, and maid service.

Glamping is also known as boutique camping, luxury camping, posh camping, or comfy camping.

Glampsites also include yurts, tipis, pods, bell tents, safari tents, tent cabins, and tree houses.

The Tree Tents sleep two adults.
The Tree Tents sleep two adults.

Details

The Secret Campsite

The Secret Campsite is a peaceful, tents only campsite for nature lovers, real campers, and their families, who are looking to explore Sussex, Brighton, or Lewes.

The woodland meadow camping pitches are large and secluded and come with their own camp fire pit and free hot showers.

Other Secret Shelters are available including: The Arkette, a contemporary twist on the old fashioned Shepherds Hut and The Bell Tent.

These Secret Shelters have been designed by engineers, artists, and inventors who love creating beautiful structures that can be slept in.

Address: Brickyard Farm, Town Littleworth, Barcombe, East Sussex, BN8 4TD

Phone: 01273 401100

Website: thesecretcampsite.co.uk

Worth Pondering…

“I think I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”

This sentiment expressed by poet Joyce Kilmer shows the impact on a human being of one of nature’s delightful creations.

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Summer 2013 Travel Plans Reveal Trends

According to a survey conducted By DreamPlanGo, the website and social community devoted to bringing travelers vacation ideas and trip inspiration, Americans are already busy making their summer travel plans.

Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The national study of 1,000 adults (split evenly between males and females age 25-64) revealed some interesting answers and insights surrounding that age-old question, “What are you doing this summer?”

True to form, America still loves the family vacation: 42 percent of respondents overall (and almost 50% of those age 35-44) who are planning to travel indicate that a family trip is in the works.

National parks are a traditional destination, and this summer is no different, with Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Acadia mentioned frequently. Many travelers also said South Dakota (Badlands, Black Hills, and Mount Rushmore) or the beach (Sanibel, Panama City, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Wildwood Crest NJ, and Lake Michigan) was their destination.

Today’s lifestyles are busy though, and 26 percent of respondents (34% of those age 45-54) say a weekend escape is the longest they can manage. Adventure travel (13 percent), romantic getaways (11 percent), and guys or girls getaways (8 percent) round out the top five trip ideas. Not surprisingly, respondents in the 18-24 age group were more likely to name adventure travel. Males and females were equally likely to name romantic getaway.

Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The cost of getting to their destination hasn’t changed travelers’ plans much, if at all. Three-quarters of respondents say that fuel prices have not altered their summer travel plans. Likewise, 75 percent of travelers considering flying say that airline ticket prices have not changed their plans.

Rural and suburban residents are 10 percentage points more likely than urban residents to drive. Women are more likely than men to say “yes” to flying, as is the 25-34 age group.

The road trip is alive and well in America, with 64 percent of respondents planning to drive to their summer travel destination. And a robust 28 percent of travelers say they will fly this summer; Alaska, Ireland, Paris, Belize and Costa Rica emerged as popular destinations for these big trips. Bus and train transportation have a small following, at 4 percent each.

Once travelers arrive at their destination, comfort and convenience are big factors, as indicated by the 41 percent of respondents who said a hotel or motel was their lodging choice. Bed-and-breakfasts and inns get the nod from 7 percent of travelers. The outdoor experience has its own following, with 15 percent camping in a tent, trailer, or motorhome, and 14 percent staying at a resort, cabin, or cottage, often near a lake or beach.

Visiting family and friends is big on the travel list, as evidenced by the 23 percent of respondents lodging with family and friends at some point in their travels. Here’s a typical comment: “This summer I’m dreaming of returning to my home area near Erie, Pennsylvania, so I can reconnect with family and attend my class reunion!”

Americans’ travel plans are shaping up for the summer, and this DreamPlanGo survey revealed their intentions. What’s the classic summer trip? That’s up to the individual. It might be a road trip to see some sights and visit family or friends along the way, a memory-making family vacation, a weekend getaway with a significant other, or perhaps the trip of lifetime.

Access to Cumberland Island is by a concession operated passenger ferry, The Cumberland Lady. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Access to Cumberland Island is by a concession operated passenger ferry, The Cumberland Lady. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The bottom line: As this DreamPlanGo survey reveals, America’s getting out and getting away this summer.

Details

DreamPlanGo

DreamPlanGo is a popular website and social community devoted to inspiring every person to get out and explore the world beyond, and wonders close to home.

DreamPlanGo brings travel and vacation ideas, insights, and inspiration to seasoned travelers, budding tourists, and beginning adventurers.

Through a steady stream of exciting articles, colorful pictures and reader experiences, eyes are opened to the endless travel possibilities out there waiting. DreamPlanGo’s message: If you can dream it, you can plan it and go.

Phone: (877) 374-5270

Website: dreamplango.com

Worth Pondering…

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.

—Ursala K. Guin

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Parks Canada Introduces oTENTik

Think that you might enjoy camping, but prefer the comforts of home too much to sleep on the ground in a tent?

Designed and made in Canada, Parks Canada’s oTENTik tents offer visitors a comfortable, gentle camping experience, ideal for new and seasoned campers alike. (Source: Parks Canada)
Designed and made in Canada, Parks Canada’s oTENTik tents offer visitors a comfortable, gentle camping experience, ideal for new and seasoned campers alike. (Source: Parks Canada)

Parks Canada has found a convenient way for people who prefer to camp in comfort to enjoy an overnight in the great outdoors. Parks Canada’s new option for you is the oTENTik.

As Canada’s population ages, becomes more diverse, more urbanized, more technology-oriented and as the way people travel changes, visitors’ needs and expectations related to accommodations offered in National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Marine Conservation Areas are changing, according to a Parks Canada news release.

To adapt to these changes, Parks Canada is introducing a new camping option, the oTENTik.

Parks Canada – oTENTik tents offer a unique blend of homey comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure. It’s an ideal way for visitors who want to discover the joys of camping but prefer the comfort of a bed and a campsite already set up.

This “turn-key” camping option is a great way to introduce camping to new and urban Canadians as well as to reintroduce camping to those who remember the experiences of their youth but are no longer equipped for camping.

All oTENTik sites will be equipped with a table, chairs, and three beds to accommodate up to six visitors, with ample storage under beds to keep belongings out of the way. (Source: Parks Canada)
All oTENTik sites will be equipped with a table, chairs, and three beds to accommodate up to six visitors, with ample storage under beds to keep belongings out of the way. (Source: Parks Canada)

Each Parks Canada – oTENTik tent is made with wooden frames and has a wood floor and canvas walls in a 19-foot by 24-foot space.

The oTENTik tent has been described as a cross between a prospector’s tent and a cabin in the woods.

Each unit tent is equipped with table and chairs and two queen-sized beds and a double bed and can accommodate up to six people. There is ample storage space under the beds to store additional equipment and supplies and to keep personal belongings out of the way.

In sites where the camping offer spans four seasons, the tents are heated either by propane stove or wood stove.

Campsites offer parking for up to two vehicles, a picnic table, and a fire pit.

Visitors need only bring their food, personal effects, and sleeping bags.

“It’s a new visitor experience in the park,” said Judy Glowinski, Parks Canada’s product development specialist in Banff. “I’m totally stoked about it.”

Parks Canada plans to erect 20 oTENTik tents in Banff and Kootney national parks this summer and plans to open another 10 in Jasper next year.

In Banff National Park, there will be 10 tents available along the shoreline at Two Jack Lakeside campground on the Lake Minnewanka loop road. Another 10 tents will be set up at Redstreak campground, near Radium Hot Springs, in Kootenay National Park.

Parks Canada will invest $455,000 for installation and infrastructure costs to bring the 10 oTENTiks to Banff National Park (similar costs are estimated in Kootenay), but they expect to recover those costs with the camping fees within three or four years.

It will cost $150 a night to rent one of the tents in Banff, which will have electricity. Kootenay’s tents, which won’t have power, will be $145.

Ten more oTENTik tents will arrive in Jasper National Park, where there’s already one prototype available, in 2014.

Campers can book oTENTik tents through the Parks Canada reservation system as they become available.

New “tent-like” structure available through Parks Canada. (Source: Parks Canada)
New “tent-like” structure available through Parks Canada. (Source: Parks Canada)

“Parks Canada is thinking on its feet right now with this project,” said Monica Andreeff, executive director of Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment.

“It’s a way of moving forward and recognizing that the target market has shifted to urban people who might live in small condominiums without room to store camping supplies or people who just don’t understand how to do all of the stuff that our parents may have shown us on camping trips.”

Made in Canada, Parks Canada said oTENTik will provide visitors with a comfortable camping experience.

Details

Parks Canada

Website: pc.gc.ca

Worth Pondering…

And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.
—Dave Barry

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Parks Canada Introduces Learn to Camp

One of the best ways to discover some of Canada’s most beautiful natural heritage areas is by spending the night in one of Parks Canada’s many campgrounds across the country.

learn_to_camp_home_engStarry nights, breathtaking views, tons of activities, and a chance to bond with your family around an open campfire…Let these experiences inspire you at Parks Canada-operated campgrounds.

Parks Canada, in collaboration with Mountain Equipment Co-op, is inviting young urban families and new Canadians to a first-time camping experience to learn about camping basics such as how to set up a tent, how to cook outdoors, what to pack, and other real Parks Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-op staff tips to make your camping adventure a success.

“The Learn to Camp initiative will provide Canadians, especially those living in urban centers away from Canada’s national treasures, the necessary skills and knowledge to have an amazing experience while connecting with our country’s nature and culture,” said the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s environment minister and minister responsible for Parks Canada.

“This memorable journey of hands-on experiences will inspire Canadians to get engaged in the protection of these places for the benefit of future generations.”

Learn-to camp events will take place across the country over the summer with main events scheduled on June 22 and 23.

This initiative is aimed at introducing young families and new Canadians in urban centers to the joys of camping and related activities.

Parks Canada is working with different immigration and urban outreach associations across the country to invite new Canadians and young families to participate in Learn to Camp events.

If you dream of camping in Canada's national parks, the Learn To Camp app is for you! Find tips, advice and all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first camping trip. And if you are already an experienced camper, you'll love the recipes, checklists and insider tips too.
If you dream of camping in Canada’s national parks, the Learn To Camp app is for you! Find tips, advice and all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first camping trip. And if you are already an experienced camper, you’ll love the recipes, checklists and insider tips too.

The goal is to gather an average of 100 participants per location. The Learn to Camp experiences will occur in or near an urban centre, and for locations that are further away transportation will be arranged for participants in certain cases.

“Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has a deep passion for the outdoors and a long history of inspiring Canadians to camp as a way to explore the backcountry”, said Senja Palonen, MEC’s Community and Envoy Program Coordinator.

“Through partnerships like the Learn-to-camp initiative, MEC and Parks Canada will help more Canadians discover their love for the outdoors while learning the basics of camping in a fun and engaging environment.”

Learn to Camp features workshops on camping related skills like how to set up a tent or cook in the outdoors. Participants have the opportunity to enjoy fun interpretive programs and other Parks Canada activities. Spend the night and enjoy the experience of camping.

For additional information, visit the Learn to Camp section under Learn and Discover on the Parks Canada Website (SEE details below)

Learn to Camp Dates and Locations

June 15-16

  • Lévis Forts National Historic Site (Quebec)
  • Lachine Canal National Historic Site (Quebec)

June 22-23

  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (Nova Scotia)
  • Prince Edward Island National Park (Prince Edward Island)
  • Rouge National Urban Park (Ontario)
  • Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)
  • Prince Albert National Park (Saskatchewan)
  • Yoho National Park (British Columbia)
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site (British Columbia)
  • Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site (British Columbia)

July 6-7

  • Elk Island National Park (Alberta)
  • July 20 (Day Activity)
  • The Forks National Historic Site (Manitoba)
  • Cape Spear National Historic Site (Newfoundland)

July 20-21

  • Fundy National Park (New Brunswick)

July 27-28

  • La Mauricie National Park (Quebec)

July 30-31

  • Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)

August 24-25

  • Signal Hill National Historic Site (Newfoundland)

Phone 1-888-773-8888 to register and to get more information.

Details

Parks Canada

Website: pc.gc.ca

Worth Pondering…

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.
—Konrad Adenaur

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Arizona State Parks Introduce Family Campout Program

Arizona State Parks is hosting a Family Campout Program at five state parks during March and April.

Arizona-family-camping-programThe new 2013 Arizona Family Campout Program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping.

The program will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors.

Participants can expect to spend the weekend with rangers and nine other families learning the basics of camping.

“What we’re targeting with the program is people who would like to get more involved with the outdoors but really don’t have any full-time experience,” Dutchman State Park program coordinator Nicole Armstrong-Best told the East Valley Tribune.

“We just want to give the families an idea that when you go to camp, you don’t just sit there and stare at the rocks.”

Best refers to this program Camping 101.

“(The goal is) that (participants) will be comfortable to go out and camp again, that they will understand what programming state parks offer. So even if they don’t go camping again, they might go in (to a park) for a program or a presentation, or go for a hike.”

Family Campout Program activities vary by park and will include demonstrations that detail how to pitch a tent and use a lantern and the right foods to pack.

There will also be recreational activities throughout the two days including a guided hike, mountain biking or fishing clinics, geocaching, archery, and presentations on geography, birding, geology, or astronomy.

FCP_DEHORegistration fee is $65 for a family of up to four people; additional family members are $5 each. Children five years and younger and/or pets cannot attend this program.

Family Campout Program provides the tents, sleeping mats, camp chairs, lanterns, flashlights, GPS units, water bottles, first aid kits, and all activity equipment, plus water, lemonade, coffee, and all food including two lunches, one dinner, one breakfast, daily snacks, and campfire treats.

Families are required to provide their own sleeping bags or any available bedding, pillows, clothing, sturdy shoes, and personal items such as toothpaste, towels, and soap.

Details

Arizona State Parks

Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 state parks and natural areas. The agency also includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and more.

Arizona State Parks provides over 1,400 camping and RV sites throughout the parks and manages eight of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.

Website: azstateparks.com

Arizona Family Campout Program

FCP_LODUParticipating Parks & Dates

Catalina State Park, Tucson: April 20 & 21

Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction: March 9 & 10; April 13 & 14

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood: March 16 & 17; March 23 & 24

Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson: April 6 & 7; April 27 & 28

Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia: April 13 & 14; April 27 & 28

Registration

Visit Arizona State Parks information and registration page for program details including activities, specific dates at parks, along with a sample schedule, menu, and a list of program sponsors. Each weekend program is limited to 10 families. Registration is first come, first served.

Worth Pondering…

When I walk in the desert the birds sing very beautifully

When I walk in the desert the trees wave their branches in the breeze

When I walk in the desert the tall saguaro wave their arms way up high

When I walk in the desert the animals stop to look at me as if they were saying

“Welcome to our home.”

—Jeanette Chico, in When It Rains

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Hey Dad…Can We Go Camping this Weekend?

There’s something about camping, from tent, tent trailer, and pop-up camper to diesel pusher and luxury fifth wheel trailer that makes it more than the sum of its parts.

Let’s go camping…to Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You’re not just looking for a place to spend the night or weekend or to hide out from the rain—you’re buying into a lifestyle.

It’s taking in the fresh air of the great outdoors.

The RV lifestyle is about freedom, and it’s a complete 180-degree turn from the hectic pace of everyday life.

When you arrive at your campsite it doesn’t matter if the Yankees lost a double header or the Cowboys were defeated in overtime.

It’s is a relaxing pleasure to park in a beautiful location and go fishing, take a walk, or simply relax by the camp fire.

Camping is a great way to get to know your family better and to meet new friends.

Once you get away from all of those distractions at home, you have a great opportunity to really talk with your kids and teach them how to fish or make a camp fire.

Are you going to teach your kids how to whittle in the backyard at home? That’s just not going to happen — they’re too busy with their Playstations and Nintendos or whatever.

The RV lifestyle is fantastic because you can stay for a day, you can stay for a week, or you can stay for a month.

It’s whatever you want to do.

When I was a kid on the farm after the milking came the process of skimming the cream. The cream which rose to the top of the heavy crock in which the milk was stored, was reserved for the treats of our frugal lifestyle: rich yellow butter, whipped cream for our desserts, and that rarer treat, tasty homemade ice cream.

As I’m sitting in the comfort of my RV, the comparison of “skimming the cream” to extracting the best from life comes to mind.

To us, RVing offers the cream of life; it is the “treat” that adds zest and flavor to living.

Let’s go camping to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When you hook up the tent trailer or climb into the camper or motorhome and hit the road, that’s how memories are created.

When you’re camping or RVing everyday is a new and exciting experience.

Let’s go camping! If not now, when?

RVing and imagination—both take you anywhere you want to be. And remember, RVing is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle!

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, latte in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Live one day at a time…

While you can plan for tomorrow, you can’t live it until it arrives. Most people spend so much time regretting the past and worrying about the future, they leave no time to enjoy today!

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Decide to make the most of each moment.

Life is short. We’re following our dreams…are you following yours?

Worth Pondering…
Escape to the open road…life is calling!

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RVC Outdoor Destinations Launches Wounded Warrior Fishing Partnership

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC Outdoor Destinations, the leading provider of high-quality outdoor vacation properties in the United States, announced the launch of its Wounded Warrior Fishing sponsorship, an initiative underscoring the company’s commitment to active and retired military personnel.

RVC Outdoor Destinations has partnered with retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. and current U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark McDuffie, to offer the program, which is designed to help soldiers injured physically or mentally in Iraq or Afghanistan relax and enjoy the outdoors with their families, according to a news release.

The Wounded Warrior Fishing program, headquartered at the company’s Live Oak Landing property in Freeport, Florida, will host an injured soldier and his or her family one night each week to enjoy the outdoors through activities such as fishing trips, river tours, onsite recreation activities and a cookout—all free of charge.

McDuffie first started the program a year ago, as a nonprofit called Wounded Warrior Fishing. Injured while fighting in Iraq and now fully recovered, McDuffie operates at the Live Oak Landing property and will head up the new partnership sponsored by RVC.

“Having been wounded at war, I can relate to what many of these injured soldiers are going through,” said McDuffie.

“I know that when soldiers suffer, their families do too, and while I can’t take away their pain or completely understand their particular situation, I can offer them time to relax with their families. At the end of the day, if we can put a smile on their faces for a few hours or for a weekend, we’ve done our job.”

Wounded Warrior Fishing and RVC will officially kick-off the program on Memorial Day weekend to coincide with the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

In addition to the weekly sponsored accommodations, Live Oak Landing will host 10 injured soldiers and their families during an end-of-summer celebration the last weekend of September. The group will be able to fish with local professionals, take boat rides on the Choctawhatchee Bay, eat BBQ from local restaurants, enjoy massages, and relax.

Besides the new Wounded Warrior Fishing sponsorship, RVC also offers active and retired military discounts on lodging, and several of its properties offer a free RV site rental for active service men and women through the Tents for Troops program.

RVC locations individually raise money for regionally based military charities through their own events and fundraisers throughout the year.

“RVC believes in taking care of the military men and women who have made a tremendous sacrifice for our country,” said Andy Cates, president of RVC Outdoor Destinations.

“We wanted to find a meaningful way to say ‘thank you,’ and for us that means giving them a chance to have some fun in the great outdoors with their families. The Wounded Warrior Fishing program is part of RVC’s corporate commitment to give back to these brave individuals. At each of our properties, we have different ways of reaching out to the military community, knowing that each region has unique needs. We’re always searching for new ways to show them how truly grateful we are for everything they have done, for all of us.”

Details

RVC Outdoor Destinations

RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns, and operates a portfolio of high-quality outdoor vacation 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 that provides guests with a 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 currently operates Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.

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

Phone: (901) 432-4748

Website: rvcoutdoors.com

Wounded Warrior Fishing Program

To nominate someone for the Wounded Warrior Fishing program, please call RVC’s Live Oak Landing at (877) 436-5063.

Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The purpose of WWP is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, non-partisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Address: 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256

Phone: (904) 296-7350 or (877) TEAM.WWP (832.6997)

Website: woundedwarriorproject.org

Worth Pondering…

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

—Conita Kent

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