Archive for the ‘fulltime RVer’ Category
Avoid the “Are we there yet?” from the backseat by providing each child with their own map each morning at breakfast. (I would provide a map of our “before lunch” route to one child and an “after lunch” map to the other one.) You can print such a map from Google maps on the internet or from a mapping software you might have on your computer or use a road atlas map.
Briefly talk about the route, giving the child some idea of what might be waiting up ahead, such as a town with a funny name or a river with a history. You might want to highlight the planned route, may be not. Give the child a pencil and have them make notes on their map about what they see along the way. Maybe there is a 10-ft cowboy that waves at passing traffic, a herd of black cows with a white cream center (we called them Oreo cows) beside the road, or a really fun rest area they will want to remember.
Remind the child, they are the co-navigator and should let the driver know the name of any upcoming river or town and if there is some turn or change in the route coming up.
Some things to talk with the child about so they might be more aware of what they are going to see are:
Do the number signs look different for State, County, and US routes?
How does the map tells us if a route is State, County or US?
What are mile-marker?
Does every route have mile-marker? Why would mile-markers be important?
Are the mile-marker numbers going up or down? What do you think that tells us?
Here are 25 survival uses for duct tape (DT) from Outdoor Survival, in no order whatsoever. One tip they omitted was DT is great for repairing holes made by tree branch in the outside skin of a motorhome or travel trailer.
1. Repairing a cracked water bottle or a pierced hydration bladder. A little strip of DT is the next best thing to a bandage for an ailing water vessel. Just dry the surface before you try to tape your patch in place, most forms of duct tape don’t stick to wet surfaces.
2. Survival arrow fletching. Tear off a few 5-inch pieces, and a long edge of one piece to the arrow shaft, fold the tape lengthwise, and stick the other long edge of that piece to the arrow. Repeat this process one or two more times; trim the vanes to shape with your knife; and you will have a serviceable arrow fletching.
3. Butterfly bandage strips. Cut two small strips of DT, and add a smaller strip across their centers (sticky side to sticky side) to create a makeshift butterfly suture.
4. Make cordage. Twist one or several lengths of duct tape into a cord or rope.
5. Patch a hole in canoe. I wouldn’t trust my life to this one, but it’s been done more than once.
6. Fashion a belt. When you are starving in the wild, and your pants start falling down, run a piece of DT through your belt loops and stick it to itself in the front. Overlap it about 4 or 5 inches and you’ll still be able to peel the belt apart when nature calls.
7. First aid sling. Fold a length of DT down the middle, so that it is half the original width and no longer exposing a sticky side. Use the strap to make a sling for a busted arm.
8. Leave a note. Write on it with a Sharpie, or use strips to form letters.
9. Handcuff alternative. If someone is acting up during a survival emergency, you can duct tape their hands together around a tree to prevent them from becoming a danger to themselves or others.
10. Mend shoes and clothing. You can skip the sewing class, if you have enough duct tape.
11. Repair your glasses. The tape on your glasses my look a little nerdy, but at least you’ll still be able to see.
12. Attach shelter elements. Just a few trash bags and some duct tape, and you have a survival shelter roof, or a sleeping bag cover, or a wind break, or…
13. Attach survival gear. Tape a spark rod to the side of your knife sheath, and you’ll always have a back-up fire source.
14. Make a hat. If you believe what you see on TV, the “Mythbusters” guys made a pretty nice looking hat out of duct tape on a recent episode.
15. Afix bandages. Place a sterile dressing over your wound, and strap it in place with DT. Hopefully you’re not too hairy where you got injured.
16. Fix your rain gear. Keep the dry stuff dry, and keep the water out, by mending your ripped rain gear with a few strips.
17. Make a drinking cup. Some creative folding and sticking can result in a cup you can drink from.
18. Make a spear. Strap your knife to a pole and you have a trusty spear to fend off beasts, or make one into your dinner.
19. Blister care. Cover the blistered area with a bit of cotton gauze, and tape over the cotton. Make sure that the duct tape fully covers the cotton and doesn’t touch the blister at all.
20. Mark a Trail. Use it to blaze a trail or signal for rescue, especially if your DT is brightly colored or reflective.
21. Make emergency repairs on your Bug Out Vehicle. Leaking hoses and windows that won’t stay up don’t stand a chance against the mending powers of duct tape.
22. Keep the feathers in your sleeping bag. If you have a hole in your down sleeping bag, the feathers will pour out faster than excuses from a politician. Patch the hole with DT.
23. Keep your tent closed. A damaged zipper could leave your tent door flapping in the wind. Stick the door shut, and keep the bugs and critters out.
24. Splint a leg. A broken ankle or leg can be stabilized with ample splint material, padding and duct tape. Pad the crotch of a forked branch with some cloth and duct tape to fashion a quick crutch to go with your splint.
25. Splint a broken tent pole or fishing pole. By taping a stick to the broken area of your tent pole or fishing rod, you might just get one last adventure out of it.
Whether a tent, car, and rv (recreational vehicle) camper, a tool box is an important. I’m not talking about an assortment of tools you might need to rebuild engine but some basic stuff to correct small problems like a tear in a tent, hanging a line to dry wet swimsuit, or change out a blown fuse.
Here are tools all campers should have in their toolbox. Make sure all tools fit your hand comfortably.
Hammer – 16-ounce curved-claw model. It’s lightweight and effective.
Screwdriver – a multi-bit ratchet screwdriver is best. It will save you weight (won’t need more than the one), money (no need to buy any others), and time (no need to reset the tool after each turn).
Pliers – slip-joint for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts and needle-nose pliers for twisting wire and reaching into tight places.
Hardware – a variety of nails, screws, eye hooks, and cup hooks along with wire and lightweight durable string. S-hooks and clothespin can be useful, too.
Adhesives – Carpenter’s glue for wood and paper, Super glue for almost everything else, but tape such as masking, duct, and electric, is probably more useful.
An rv camper will find a socket and ratchet set useful.
We are off for a long weekend in Tucson, AZ and do a presentation Saturday afternoon on camping in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region at the REI on Wetmore. (If you are in the neighborhood, please come by.) We’ll stay at the Catalina State Park. I think this will be our menu for the weekend – easy and pleasing.
First, a disclaimer – breakfasts are not included in this plan – I hoping for having that meal at one of the many yummy eating places nearby, like Beyond Bread and Bob Jerry’s.
Dinner first night – Chicken Kebabs (serves 6 but I’m using leftovers for two lunches and another dinner)
Mix ½ cup canola oil with ½ cup lemon juice (about 3 whole lemons), 4 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp paprika, and 4 cloves of garlic (smashed if you want a stronger garlic flavor in a large ziplock plastic bag). Put 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been cut into 1-inch pieces In a separate ziplock bag. Pour half of the marinade over chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat. In the original bag, add 2 bell peppers (red or green), 3 small (each about 6-inches long) zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces, and 3 small (same length as the zucchini) summer squash cut into 1-inch pieces, seal bag and toss to coat. Put both bags in ice chest for no less than two hours.
Bring grill to a medium-high temperatures (coals should be gray and ashy looking, then spread out in a single layer). While waiting for the grill, soak 12 wooden skewers and prepare instant brown rice. Remove the chicken and vegetables from their bags and pack dry. Throw out the marinade. Thread chicken, vegetables and, if desired, half an onion layer and mushrooms, on skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly oil grilled just before placing the kebabs on it. Grill kebabs, turning every now and than (remember the chicken will tell you when to turn it when it no longer want to stick to the grille) until cooked through, about 6 minutes at sea level. Serve half over brown rice and set half aside to cool for later meals.
Lunch – Grilled Chicken Salad (serves 6 but I’ll reduce it by half since it is just Fred and me)
Place 8 cups of greens (your choice) in a large bowl. Arrange chicken and vegetables, holding about half the peppers and zucchini aside for the next day’s lunch, on top of the greens. Scatter 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese, one cup of drained and rinsed beans (black are a personal favorite but use what you like), and a handful of olives over the greens. In a separate small bowl or big coffee cup, use a fork to whisk together 1 Tbsp of red wine vinegar and 2 tsp Dijon mustard. Continue whisking while drizzling 3/4 cups of olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. Toss salad with half the dressing and serve immediately with crusty bread. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
Dinner second night – Pseudo Chicken Fried Rice (Serves 6 but again I’ll reduce it by half since it is just Fred and me)
Make 4 cups of brown rice according to the package directions. (Save one cup plus any leftover rice to tomorrow’s lunch.) Put one-and-half pounds boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1-inch piece in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Place large skillet over high. Heat 1 Tbsp oil to almost smoking and add half a slice onion. Stir-fry until edges start to brown than add chicken. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 6 minutes at sea level. Transfer cooked chicken and onion to a plate. Add another Tbsp oil to skillet and stir-fry 1 pound bag of thawed stir-fried vegetable (pat dry to reduce splatter) and cook about 2 minutes (to heat through). Add chicken and onion mixture and 1/4 cup soy sauce to skillet and cook one more minute. Serve immediately over cooked brown rice. Option: Substitute one pound pork tenderloin for chicken.
Lunch – Rice and Bean Burritos (serves 6)
If you make breakfast burritos, this is a good way to use up leftover flour tortillas.
Wrap six flour tortilla in foil and set over warm part of the grille to heat through. Meanwhile, in a skillet saute one finely diced onion in a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add 1 tsp cumin along with leftover zucchini and bell pepper and stir to heat through. Stir in one 15-oz can of beans (either black or pinto), 1 cup of thawed frozen corn, ½ cup enchilada sauce (I substitute with salsa from my breakfast out – most place graciously provide extra if asked), and one cup plus any leftover brown rice; heat through. Remove the flour tortilla off the heat and carefully open. Put one tortilla on size plates and divide the bean and rice mixture between the tortilla, sprinkle with grate cheddar cheese and wrap the tortilla around it all. Service immediately. Love fresh pineapple on the side.
What does a snow day activity have to with camping? Simple, while “Train Up a Child: Learn as we go” shows six activities that will help children burn off some extra energy inside the house on another day when outside play is limited, these activities can easily translated to a campsite activity. I would suggest using sidewalk chalk instead of the tape. One word of caution – these activities are good fun for adults, too.
With the start of the new year, my thoughts stray to thoughts of another season of camping. To me, camping, surrounded by towering trees, endless horizons, and challenging trails, is a rejuvenating experience.
This year, 2013, may not be as rejuvenating as past years but it is still early and we’ll see. This year we have three options: stay close to home and enjoy the national forests in Arizona; take a long delayed trip to Puerto Rico to research and survey the El Yunque National Forest; or, maybe, take a couple to three months and revisit the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri and the Chequamegon National Forest in Wisconsin. So many possibilities, were to start planning.
Since I am most familiar with the national forests in Arizona, that will be the first itinerary I’ll developed. I think I’ll try to integrate visiting some of Arizona’s wineries in our plans. An important starting point to my planning is the when do we start. At the moment, I doubt will be on the road before June no matter the option we pick. Option 1 (Arizona) and option 3 (Missouri and Wisconsin) will probably require two or three months while Puerto Rico will be only a month long. However, the duration of our travels will be determined by number of campgrounds, their physical locations, what there is to do nearby, etc. Also things like dump stations, grocery stores, laundromat, and such must be factored into the equation. I think it is all called “Logistics” and it is something all moms know about.
No matter the option, there is a pile of research to be done and a ton of planning before we hit the road. Just between us, all the research and planning makes me more ready to get on the road. Camping is so much more fun then the preparation.
Every Sunday I make a brunch for Fred and myself. No bowls of cereal or bagel smeared with jam for our Sunday brunch. It is a full on meal that we enjoy while reading the Sunday paper. While some parts do vary, French toast one week, blueberry pancakes another, with muffins and coffee cake fresh from the oven on other days, eggs and a bowl of fruit toss together (we call Fruit Salad) are always served.
Tried a variation on my standard Fruit Salad and may never go back.
We had a group of friends over for Christmas dinner and I found a half-full bowl of a Riesling white wine in the back of the fridge. I remembered hearing either from someone or reading it somewhere, you can mix a 3/4 to 1 ratio of white sugar to white wine syrup for mansurating strawberries. Well, if it works for strawberries why not other fruit? So, I cut up an orange and banana, tossed in some grapes along with frozen strawberries and blueberries into a bowl. In a cup I add 2 tablespoons of white sugar with 4 tablespoons of my leftover white wine and stirred until sugar was dissolved, then poured in to my bowl of fruit. A gentle toss to coat all the fruit with the syrup and let it sit for several hours. Time for brunch! I made some Rocotti pancakes and spooned my drunken fruit salad on top – so good. Fred scooped a healthy portion into a bowl and declared it to be, “One of your best Fruit Salads.”
Cold weather camping requires an RV have a dependable and adequate source of heat, reliable batteries with enough amperage for your needs and a way to charge them, full propane tanks, plenty of warm clothes, extra food for “just in case” situations, and some way of receiving weather reports.
Cold weather camping is more labor intensive. It is also a wonderful experience, when one is properly prepared. Here are some hints we were given and found useful:
- Remember that batteries become more difficult to recharge as the temperature drops
- Keep antifreeze in holding tanks so drains won’t freeze.
- Crack a winder when heating the RV with any type of propane or solid fuel heater
- Keep lower cabinet doors ajar so water lines will not freeze.
- A hair blow dryer is useful for thawing frozen drains and iced over doors. A can of de-icer is an alternative.
- Each night discount sewer and water hoses. Bring the water hose into the RV to prevent freezing (we stow ours in the shower stall).
The bottomline is be safe and enjoy.
This pie is so delicious and rich. I have substituted almonds for the walnut and it was just as good. Top with a little whip cream and you are golden. This pie is so rich, just add a cup of coffee or tea, and you will have eight satisfied dinner guests. Best served at room temperature. Travels well too.
Melt 3/4 butter or margarine. Add 1 ½ cup sugar and ½ cup milk and blend. Beat 4 eggs. Add eggs, 1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1 ½ cup raisins to wet and mix well. Pour into unbaked 9″ pie shell. Bake in a 300 degree preheated oven about 1 hour 15 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Serve with whip cream. (From Verna Cherz of Silver Lake Café)
To serve 6 use an 8″ pie shell and 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk, 3 eggs, and 1 cup each of nuts and raisins.
We have met tons of super people over the years. This year we met a delightful couple our last week in Ennis, MT. Super people and hope we meet again somewhere down the road.
They are ranchers who decided it was time to take a break from their ranch. Afterall, they old enough to have sons that can manage the ranch. However, it is hard to break all your old habits like buying cattle. I’ve never bought a cow, much less multiple cows, but according to Mr. Lindamoon , your best method is to buy smaller numbers of cows in groups over a period of time. In other words, Mr. Lindamoon spent a portions of his “vacation” going to Sales Barns and buying up to 30 head of cattle at numerous locations across Montana.
Interesting but what I found “cool” was his business card. Here is a photo of that card. Note the size when compared to my pen. It definitely doesn’t fit in his wallet. There is a reason for the oversized business card and it is so it can double as a log for his cattle buying activities!!! The back has a grid where Mr. Lindamoon can enter the needed information and present it to the auction folks to claim his cows.
Another interesting tidbit about this couple is they are neighbors to Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman blog. I think that’s about as close to meeting a “celebrity.”
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