RV Fun

Edible Plants Along the Trails

 

 

The trails are alive with food! Sometimes, it just takes a keen eye to locate it. Fruits like blackberries and apples are pretty easily identified, while mushrooms, for instance, require more rigorous identification before eating. It is always best to have a field guide for the region you are visiting in order to identify edible plants in the wild and many are available for purchase online or to check out from your local library. When staying at National and Regional Parks, be sure to check in with rangers and campground hosts about collecting edible plants in the wild. Here are a few universal plants in North America that you may come across, and taste, on your next hike.

 

Dandelion –  The humble dandelion can be eaten entirely, from flowers to leaves to roots. Young leaves and flowers can be added to salads or eaten raw, while older leaves and roots taste best boiled.

 

Cattail – This easily identified marsh plant is another plant that can be eaten nearly in its entirety. Young shoots just appearing out of the water are great chopped and steamed like leeks and have a wonderful nutty flavor. Roots are a little fibrous, but can be peeled to the soft, white inner core, chopped, and fried like potatoes. Be careful to inspect the water source where the cattail grows and avoid plants growing in polluted water.

 

 

Wild Onion – If it looks and smells like an onion, it can be eaten like an onion. If it does not smell like an onion, leave it be. Related and smaller garlic and chives can be used in the same way and can add some wonderful flavor to any foraged plant on this list.

 

Purslane – If you are a gardener or tend to your lawn at home, you are probably already familiar with this widely available “weed”. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is a wonderful addition to other mixed greens collected on the trails. Purslane is high in beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids and grows low to the ground like a miniature succulent.

 


Milk Thistle – Milk thistle leaves take a little work to prepare, but the resulting cooked greens are both nutritious and delicious. Use gloves or a bandana to collect the leaves from the plant, cut the spines from the leaves, and boil for an easy meal with other greens, roots, or fruit.

Tidy Spaces: KonMari Your RV

 

Since its release on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has become a buzz in households across the country. The KonMari Method espouses downsizing clutter, keeping only those household items that spark joy, and efficiently organizing to save time and space. The great thing about the KonMari Method is that it can also be applied to how you clean and organize your RV.

 

First of all, you will want to deep clean your RV. This is most easily done by removing everything that is inside of the RV, including everything in drawers, cabinets and storage spaces. Keep like things together in stacks or in boxes, but remove them all from the RV. After all things have been removed, start by cleaning all surfaces, appliances, drawers, and shelves, starting from the ceiling of the RV and moving down. Finally, vacuum furniture and floors, and then mop. Voila, a clean palette to start from!

 

 

At this point, you’ve seen which cleaning products work best for you. Restock on everyday products for your RV and keep a list of what those products are so that they can be purchased and stored in your RV. Start with the cleaning products you just used. Add consumable items to this list as well, like toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, shampoo, and cooking oil and spray.

 

 

Next up, go through the items that you removed from the RV, one by one. Does the item have utility or “spark joy” for you? Can it be replaced with something newer or more utilitarian? Is there another tool or item that would work better? Perhaps your spice rack needs an overhaul with newer, fresher herbs and spices. Maybe the dollar store set of holiday hand towels in the bathroom could be replaced with something a bit more luxurious. Donate the items that you no longer use or need in your RV and replace them with items that will be a joy to use on your travels.

 

 

Finally, organize for tidiness and efficiency. Washable plastic bins and trays are inexpensive and can help keep items separate in drawers and cabinets. Closet and pantry organizing systems can be installed to maximize useable space. Other RV organizing hacks can be found on the internet, like this article. Keep like items together and within reach for the spaces in your RV where they will be used.

Wildlife Viewing Tips & Etiquette

 

One of the greatest joys of being on an RV excursion is how it brings us closer to the natural beauty of the world we live in. For some, that means simply going on a hike with a spectacular view as a destination. However, none of us are unfamiliar with the thrill of encountering wildlife along the way. Indeed, some of us camp for no reason other than to see spectacular wildlife in their natural habitat. By following some of these tips, you can make your wildlife viewing excursion even more successful.

 

The general rule of thumb for viewing wildlife is three-fold… be patient, be early, and be quiet. You will want to arrive at your viewing destination in the early morning, in most cases before dawn. Once there, you will need to find a comfortable place to be still and quiet. Don’t forget that wildlife often strive not to be found by predators, meaning they will remain hidden until things are quiet and peaceful. Waiting for that right moment can take a while, sometimes up to an hour. Do not give up! Wildlife viewing in itself can be like an act of meditation.

 

 

Come prepared with field guides so that you are able to identify the wildlife that you encounter, or anticipate natural habitat where specific wildlife might be found. Pay attention to edge spaces in particular, such as where forest gives way to meadow or a stream cuts through a canyon. Using binoculars or a telephoto lens on a camera is a good way to approach these habitats without being noticed by the local fauna.

 

 

Learn to interpret various animal signs, like tracks, markings, or droppings. These can lead you to areas where herd animals like bighorn sheep or bison congregate. Move slowly, quietly, and deliberately while tracking and keep an eye out for viewing areas where you can remain out of sight from approaching animals.

 

 

Many rules of etiquette also apply, like leaving pets at home so as not to ruin other wildlife viewers’ experience. Additionally, leave things that make noise behind, like cell phones and iPods. Some wildlife have such a keen sense of hearing that even headphones with music can scare them off. Respect private property and sensitive habitats, as setting foot in these areas can disrupt the natural habitat of the wildlife you are seeking.

 

 

 

Lastly, be sure to bring a journal to document your excursion and the wildlife you encounter. While a photo can sometimes be captured successfully (be sure your volume is turned off if using a cell phone), a journal entry is always effective for capturing how you felt in the moment.

EVERYBODY NEEDS A LITTLE YAMPING IN THEIR LIVES

Yamping (Yard Camping)

Have you heard the Kacey Musgraves song: “My House”? It’s about bringing “My house to you”. Nothing beats a little Yamping (Yard Camping) at a friends house, your own, or a business.

There are so many reasons to Yamp. You may not have much time off of work and can’t get away long enough to go on a “real vacation”. You may be testing out your new RV or doing some maintenance. Maybe you have friends or family in town and need a place for them to stay. Or, maybe you are visiting friends or family and are Yamping on their property. Whatever your reason to Yamp, Yamping is a great way to spend quality time with the people you care about. Read More

How to Name Your RV

Have you named your RV yet? If you haven’t you may want to make it a priority. Over 50% of RVers say they’ve named their RV. It brings some great pride to ride around in their nicknamed home on wheels. But it also has some practical value as well. It might not be very efficient for conversation to say “let’s head back to the Heartland Road Warrior 425” compared to saying “let’s head back to Earl”.

If you’re having a tough time coming up with names here’s a list of ideas you may want to keep in mind. Try brainstorming by writing down every name that comes to mind for five minutes and then sifting through the results to narrow it down to the lucky winner. Read More

Why Fall is the Best Time to RV

“Chasing the Foliage” is becoming a popular event. In fact, most RVers will tell you autumn is the best time to go camping. The beauty of this season is unrivaled in many parts of the country. But that’s just part of the benefits of RVing in the fall. Before you winterize or head south for the season you might want to schedule one last camping trip for these reasons. – note: all of these photos were taken on Fall RV Trips.

Read More

RV Hacks You Need to Know

With so many people embracing the RV lifestyle, there are more and more great ideas being shared each year.  Hacks like how to make travel and packing easy, and how to set up camp more efficiently. We love reading about ingenious solutions and have picked our top ten favorites to share with you here.  

Read More

Baseball and RVing

Summer is the time of homeruns, popcorn, and Major League stadiums. Baseball is America’s game. If you want to check out some of the top stadiums in the country, pack up that RV and camp in any of our RV sites top picks.

Minnesota Twins

Located in Minneapolis, Target Field is home to the Twins.  The city offers plenty to see and do, so you might want to extend your trip a few days before or after the game.  We’ve found three RV sites that are perfect for your stay and are within 30 miles of the stadium.

Read More