Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear Essentials – What You Really Need

Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear Essentials – What You Really Need

I’ve put together this list of Camping Gear Essentials after many trips growing up. You see, I’ve been camping since I was 3 months old!

Seriously, I have a picture of my dad holding me in the camping folding chair next to our tent when I was little.

Since then, we went camping multiple times every summer. It became a fun family tradition and a huge part of our summers as kids.

Maybe this is your first camping trip and you’re unsure what to pack. That’s okay! I got you! After all, we are all beginners at something!

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Now as an adult, I love camping even more. It has a new meaning for me. Camping allows me to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There have actually been many studies done on how “getting back to nature” is really good for your soul, brain, and overall emotional stability.

As you can tell, I’m a big advocate of getting back to nature, traveling, and of course, exploring! So here is what you need to get you started and enjoy your first camping trip.

Camping Gear Essentials for Sleeping

1. Tent

Unless you plan on sleeping on the ground with no cover, a Tent is a camping gear essential. A Tent will provide you with protection from the elements and critters.

2. Air Mattress and Pump

Having a Tent is essential, but if you want to get a decent night sleep then you will want to invest in an Air Mattress. From personal expereince, sleeping directly on the ground in the tent is not comfortable. You can even purchase a platform for your air mattress, so you will not only be sleeping comfortably but also off the ground.

3. Sleeping Bag and Pillow

If your wanting to get the best sleep, bringing a sleeping bag is a camping gear essential. The tempeture usually drops in the evenings, and being stuck without a warm sleeping bag is not fun. I would also bring a light blanket or sheet to cover the air matteress.

4. Extra Blankets

Unless you plan on backpacking and taking all your gear with you, I would bring some extra blankets. They are great to have on hand if you want to sit by the fire at night, but the breeze is just a bit too chilly. They are also great for laying across a log or laying on the ground to sit on.


Camping Gear Essentials: Cooking & Eating

 

1. Cooler

You will definitely want to bring a cooler! There are many types of coolers on the market but I highly recommend a Yeti. This cooler will keep your ice from melting and keep your food and drinks cold. Nothing is worse than waking up the next day and having to dig around in cold water for you breakfast items and hoping they are soggy and wet.

2. Cast Iron Skillet or Cooking Ware (Frying pan and Pot)

There are two ways to cook your meals while camping. One is over the Campfire and the other is with a camping stove. If you want to cook over the campfire, then bringing a cast iron skillet or a cast iron dutch oven is essntial. The material can withstand the heat tempeture from the fire.

If you plan on using a camping stove, then you can bring just your regular at home cooking ware like a frying pan and pot.

3. Camping Stove

There’s is nothing better than eggs, bacon, and potatoes for your morning meal while camping. Having a propane camping stove is essential if you want warm food and you don’t want to have to start a campfire every time you want to cook a meal. The great thing about camping stoves, is they last forever! They are great camping gear essentials that you won’t regret purchasing.

4. Utensils, Plates, Bowls, and Cups

When we camp, we always bring plastic ware, paper plates, plastic cups, and paper bowls. Bringing disposable items are time savers. Just be sure to throw your trash away properly. When camping it’s always good to remember to

“Leave No Trace Behind”.

You can also bring reusable items and wash them after use. Depending on where you are camping, some campgrounds provide a water spout, but some you have to bring your own water.


5. Water

Not every campsite will have a water spout to clean your dishes or wash your hands. Sometimes, you have to bring your own water gallons. We would always have the 5-gallon water tanks filled up for miscellaneous needs like brushing your teeth. You also don’t’ want to forget water bottles as well.

6. food (Smores and hot dogs)

You cant go camping without food, especially the classic campfire foods like marshmallows and hot dogs. Its also a great idea to bring easy foods like sandwich-making items and chips or crackers.

7. roasting sticks

If you choose to bring smores and hot dogs, then you will want to pick up some roasting sticks.

You can also use some old wire hangers and just bend them into roasting sticks. This was a trick we use to do as kids.

8. Folding Table

As a kid, we had this blue camping folding table that had four chairs attached to it. It was the coolest thing to take camping. Not only are folding tables needed for eating on, but also for food preparation. Not every campsite is going to have a picnic table.

9. Folding Chairs

These are a must-have when going camping. We would bring two types of folding chairs when we went camping. One type was the normal chair in a bag, and then we would also bring lounge chairs in case we wanted to lay out in the sun or take a nap. They worked great because you can adjust the level of lounging.


Camping Gear Essentials: Hygiene & Safety

 

1. Wet Wipes or Baby wipes

Nothing is worse then having ditry hands and feet, and not being able to take a shower. Many camp ground don’t have access to showers or bathrooms. So having wet wipes or baby wipes are great to wipe the dirt off. If you have kids, then these are extremely essential not only for messy hands and feet, but also faces.

2. Paper towels

Paper towels are great to have on hand as camping gear essential because you never know what you may need to wipe up. It’s as simple as that!

3. toilet paper

This one is actually more important than paper towels, because everyone goes to the bathroom. There are many campgrounds that don’t have restrooms readily available, and if they do, sometimes they are out of toilet paper. So, I highly suggest you bring your own!

4. Toothbrush and Paste

Hello, Morning Breath! This is just a hygiene essential and even if you’re camping, it’s a good idea to bring it along.

5. Emergency Kit

Outdoors can sometimes lead to minor cuts or even bug bites if you’re not careful. Having a general emergency kit on hand is alwasy super smart. You never know when you might need a bandaid or an ankle wrap. Plus, when most people are camping they have fire pits and that alone is easy for someone to accidentally get burned. Therfore, the emergency kit is needed.

6. Sunscreen/Shades/Hat

This really depends on the time of year you go camping, but usually, it’s in the summer months. So having a skin and eye protections is really important. Especially, if you plan to camp near a lake and go swimming. Having sunscreen is important to help prevent sever sun burns and damage.

7. Lotion

THis one may seem a bit odd, and you’re probably wondering “why, lotion?”. Well, after you wipe your feet, legs, arms, and hands with the wet wipes, soemtimes all the sand make your skin super dry and uncomfortable. So, after many camping trips, having lotion on me became essential.

8. Bug Spray

Camping outside means there will usually be a ton of bugs. Some bugs like misquitos, fleas, ticks, ect. are a nusiance. They can also be a danger and carry diseases, so you definitely want to bring some type of bug protection. Chek out our post “Best Deet-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures”

10. Lanters and Flashlights

These are 100% an essential! You have to be able to see in the dark and the campfire in a dark wooded area just is not enough light. Having a lantern or flashlight is a MUST-HAVE!!

11. Trash Bags

There is nothing worse than going camping nd having to take care of the trash that someone else left behind. Having trash bags handy and available will further the ” Leave No Trace Behind” moto.


Camping Gear Essentials for Fire

 

1. Matches or Lighter

If you plan on having a campfire, then bringing either matches or a lighter is going to be essential to your camping trip. There are other ways you can start a fire, but who wants to rub a stick or stones together when we have modern technology with matches and lighters.

2. FireWood

Bringing your own firewood will depend on where you camp. Some campsites can prohibit you from gathering firewood from around the campsite. However, other campsites could be okay to gather wood from around the site. I would check this before choosing where to camp

But… just in case, I would bring some starter logs.

3. Lighter Fluid or Kindling

If you want to start a fire and get it going quickly, then having lighter fluid or kindling is essential to your camp fire. This is really a personal want, depending on how expereinced you are with starting and keeping a fire going.

BONus Camping Gear for a good time

 

1. Fan

This is a fantastic bonus essential because when it’s hot outside, having a battery-powered fan can be the difference of a good night’s sleep or not.

2. Mini Broom Brush and Dust Pan

This is one of my favorite bonuses because it’s something that will help you keep the dirt and leaves out of your tent. When you step inside your tent after walking around all day at the campsite, you’d be surprised as to how much dirt can accumulate on the floor of your tent. It’s also a great practice to sweep your tent out before you pack it up.

3. Outdoor Mat

This one is great and you will see this more with RVer’s, but it’s also great to have when you’re tent camping. Having an outdoor mat will lessen the amount of dirt that goes in your tent. You can also leave your shoes on the mat instead of bringing them inside. Another thing I enjoy about having a mat is it give you the ability to put your shoes on outside without stepping your bare feet on the dirt.

4. Card Games

This is great to have just in case. I always loved sitting around the table at the campground playing Phase Ten or some other card game. It’s a fun thing to do that helps social interaction during the trip.

Every camping trip you take, you’ll find something else you will want to take along with you. I hope this list of camping gear essentials help get you started.

Camping can be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy getting back to nature.

Stay safe! Have fun and let me know how you liked your first trip in the comments!

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How To Make Money Traveling (7 Proven Ways)

How To Make Money Traveling (7 Proven Ways)

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Whether you’re wanting to make money traveling full-time in an RV or traveling full-time Internationally by plane, being able to earn an income is essential.

With today’s technology, the possibilities of making money online is almost endless.

However, many are still so skeptical about whether they can really make money online so they can travel full-time. I get it! Especially when college and careers are pushed on us almost our entire lives.

We are trained to think that we need to get a job, work 9-5, commute to and from, and that’s just the way everyone is supposed to do it.

Well, I believe things are changing for the better. People are wanting freedom from the mundane 9-5 commuting jobs so they can travel full-time.

This current generation who grew up with technology are opening doors to a whole new “work environment”. People are demanding more at home jobs, more freedom with their schedules, and they desire the ability to travel and explore while making money online.

Through so much research and desire myself to earn in income from home, here are 7 proven ways you can make money to travel the world.

9 Top Reason You Should Consider Full-Time RV Living
How To Start Your Full-time RV Living Journey

1. Find a Remote Job and make money traveling

This is exactly what I did, after I started my own business.

I started my own travel agency and affiliated with Avoya Travel as my host agency. Then, when there became a Remote Employee position available within the company, I applied.

I applied for two positions. One I was denied, and the other took 3 weeks of interviews before being hired.

Due to becoming an employee, I could not affiliate my Travel Agency with them. So, I chose to liquidate my business and work as an employee. After all, all I wanted was a job so I could work from home. Therefore, I took the steps to make it happen.

Maybe you have a job now that could allow you to work from home. It wouldn’t hurt to ask and investigate it. A lot of companies now are opening Remote Employee departments.

I suggest looking at Indeed (for example) to search of positions.

If you have a company in mind that you are interested in working for, check out their career page and see if they offer remote positions.

2. Start your own online business to make money

Before I became a Remote Employee for Avoya, as I said, I owned my own Travel Agency. It was great because Avoya Travel provides Leads for their Agents that affiliate with them. If you’d like more info on Starting your own Travel Agency, check it out at Joinavoya.com.

Maybe selling Travel from home isn’t your ideal, that’s okay. There are so many other types of businesses you can start!

Think about your strengths or maybe what you went to school for. You could be a Virtual Fitness Coach and start online personal training sessions.

Maybe you’re an Accountant or Book-keeper? You can start your own business by offering your services.

These are just a couple of ideas to get you started in brainstorming.

3. Start a blog to make money while traveling

I know, blogging is probably the number one that people say you can earn an income doing and they’re right!

If you choose to start a blog, you can earn income from Advertisements, Sponsorships, and affiliated marketing.

I have been blogging since September of 2018. This is when I purchased the Course from Heather and Pete Reese, Blogging Blastoff. Before I took their course, I read blog post after blog post on how to write and start a blog. I got to a point where I just felt stuck and lost in the blogging world.

I knew I needed to invest in a training, and through months of contemplation and getting serious about wanting to blog, I purchased their course. After all, I wanted to make money and have the freedom to travel in our RV or purchase a plane ticket.

It was the Best Decision I made in my blogging career.

They cover so much material including all the different ways to earn an income, how to promote your blog and how to write your blogs to appeal to your audience. Heather and Pete also cover how to pitch brands for sponsorships, tips for SEO, Pinterest, and all the other Social Media Platforms to get your name out there.

If you’re interested in starting a blog and serious about making money to travel, then you can start by taking their 5-day email course. After that, you’ll be set to enter the Blogging Blastoff course. If you would like to start the Free 5-day email course, here is my affiliate link.-> BLOGGING BLASTOFF Free 5 Day Email Course

4. Affiliate Marketing

There is a huge potential to earn an income at home by affiliate marketing. All you do is take someone else’s product, market it, and when someone purchases the product or service from your affiliate link, you then earn a commission. You can do this with or without a website.

Many Bloggers who have websites are also Affiliate Marketers. They write blog posts as reviews for a specific product or service, market it, and earn commissions. I am one of those bloggers, however, I have learned that it really takes time and understanding your audience.

Affiliate marketing is a beast, which is why I loved taking the course my Michelle Schroeder, “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing”. Her course is a lifesaver when it comes to understanding who your audience is, how to locate the right products to market, and how to market them. She goes over so much and is so helpful.

She averages now over $50,000 a month with Affiliate Marketing Products.

YES, THAT NUMBER IS RIGHT, $50,000 A MONTH!!!

If she can make money traveling, so can you!

Ask yourself, what would you do if you were able to make that kind of money?

If you’re interested in taking her course and learning exactly how she does it and how you can too, here is my affiliate link for her course -> Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder

5. Drop-Shipping

Many people are making thousands, if not millions, by owning a drop shipping website. These sites are usually found on Shopify. They are great if you’re wanting to earn money online and travel the world.

Drop Shipping is similar to starting your own business if you had tangible products to sell. However, this system is a supply management method where you do not keep the goods you are selling in house, but instead you transfer all customers ordered to a manufacture who distributes the product for you.

6. Freelance Writer

If you love to write, but the idea of having a blog is just not your cup of tea, then maybe becoming a Freelance Writer is for you. There are so many online blogs and magazines that are looking for writers to help them with their content. The best part is they are wanting to pay you to write for them. This gives you that opportiunity to make money traveling because as a Freelancer, you work when you want.

You can also check out websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or People per Hour to find jobs. You can even start a business, build a website, and with time can really make money online. There are some Freelancer writers making $30-100K a year. All depends on you!

7. Virtual Assistant and Make money Traveling

This one is very similar to Freelance writing, but instead of writing blog posts or articles you are helping others with their daily tasks. This is something I have always been so good at. I enjoy helping others be successful because in turn, that made me successful.

If that sounds like you, you can become a virtual assistant by being hired with a company, or you can freelance. If you really are wanting a free schedule, then freelancing is the way to go. Usually companies have set schedules and times they need you to work.

As a Virtual Assistant, the tasks you can help with are endless, so I would narrow down a just a few tasks that you are good at and market those. For Example, If you’re great at scheduling, keeping up with emails, and proofreading material then let your prospects know.

Some websites to check out are

Upwork.com
Taskseveryday.com
Peopleperhour.com
Indeed.com

So, I know there are a ton of articles stating what you can do from home to earn an income. While there are many other options, these top 7 are legit ways you can leave the 9-5 job and travel by RV on the road or international and make money traveling.

I don’t want to overwhelm you, because starting anything and trying to make money online is overwhelming enough. Pick one that works for you and run with it.

I do have to say it will take some work. Not one of these options is going to get you rich quick, so if that’s what you are looking for then starting a blog or business just isn’t for you and that’s okay.

For me, finding that Remote Job was my goal, then I work on my blog on the side. Maybe that’s the route for you as well. There are many companies looking for remote employees.

So, if you’re willing to put in the time, want to set your own schedule and travel the world, then you will succeed!

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9 Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Full Time RV Living

9 Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Full Time RV Living

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Maybe you’ve seen the craze all over Pinterest and social media about RV Living. So many people are ditching their suburban brick and mortar homes to live a simple and minimalistic life while traveling.

But why have so many people made this change to their lifestyle?

What are the reasons they became “Full Timers”?

If you’re here, your probably already considering the lifestyle change and maybe would like to know why so many are choosing this path. Or you could be asking yourself “Is the RV life for me and my family” or “what are the benefits of RV Life”?

Those are great questions to ask…

For us, we started our journey back in April of 2018. Our reasons for moving into an RV were Freedom, Minimalistic lifestyle, to pay off debt, and much more. Someday we will travel, but as of right now our focus is paying off student loans.

Maybe you don’t have any debt to pay off, but you love the idea of living a life on your own terms. That is reason number one why so many make the move.

Let’s get into the top 9 reasons why people move into RV’s.

1. Freedom – Live life on your own terms

Living life on your own terms is a dream for almost everyone. Who doesn’t want to plan their schedules and days according to their desires? Living in an RV full time can make that freedom a reality.

The RV Live gives you the ability to move anytime you want without having to go through all the home/land buying process. It is as simple as picking your next location, and making a reservation at whichever RV park you choose or finding the perfect Boondocking location.

These types of Freedom are impossible while living in a brick and mortar home.

Another Freedom that inspires the RV Life is the ability to see family anytime and anywhere. Let’s say you live in Texas, but have family in another state, all you do is drive there. There is no flying involved, and you can take your whole home and belongings with you. You can also stay as long as you want. Now, that is FREEDOM!

2. Travel – Change your View

From the Beach one day to the Mountains the next, the views out your RV’s windows are endless. There are so many places to go in the United States that allow you to have million-dollar views for pennies or less.

Not just the views though, just traveling is exciting!

Maybe you have a goal to visit all 49 states (that you can drive to) in a few years. Traveling in an RV is going to make that dream a reality.

If you have a goal to visit as many National Parks in the US, then traveling in an RV is the perfect way to go. The places you can go are endless if there is a road, there is a way!

3. Minimalize – Less stuff, More Experiences

If you’re looking for a reason to get rid of your stuff, then moving into an RV is the answer. RVs don’t have much room for extra items that are not used frequently. This is a chance to live life on simpler terms and replace things with experiences.

When we moved into our RV, we sold our couch, table, and more. When it came to our décor and kitchen items, we took what we could use in the RV and packed up the rest to store.

4. Pay off Debt

For many, full-time RV living means cheaper living costs and that can help pay off debt faster. This is totally doable. and many have accomplished becoming debt free because of downsizing and minimizing their life.

If paying off debt is a huge desire for you, then considering the RV lifestyle is a way to go. We have paid off a personal loan and credit cards by limiting our living expenses.  I would check out our post on How to Start Your Fulltime RV Living Journey for more information.

5. Learn

RV Life is full of new learning opportunities. If you are someone like me, who thrives off learning new things, then the RV lifestyle is for you. There is so much to learn about RVing, plus all the places you will go provides all the learning opportunities in the world.

If you have kids that are school age, then full-time RV living and traveling state to state is the perfect way for your kids to learn hands-on about life and the history of this country. I know many families who are doing exactly that, and their kids are thriving.

6. Explore – Spend more time Outside

Along with learning, you and the family will spend more time outside. When you live in a small space and travel from state park to state park or city to city, you’ll find yourself exploring more. Whether it’s a new trail at Yellow Stone Park or a cute downtown area like in Waco, Texas. The exploration possibilities are endless.

If you have kids, it’s a great way to get them close to nature rather than spending all their time inside with movies and games. When I was a kid, playing outside and hiking through the trails were memories and lessons learned that I will never forget. I loved to explore the unknown.

7. Socialize

Another reason the RV life is worth considering is that it helps you socialize. Every place you stay, you’re bound to meet new people because your neighbors always change.

You could meet people that will change your life for the better. Some RVer’s have met life-long friends because of their journey in RVing.

8. Job Change

If you’re on the market for a job change, one that allows you to work remotely and travel, then full-time RV living is one to consider.

There are also plenty of Workamping opportunities at RV parks. Workamping is where you take care of the RV park in exchange for free hookups and/or a small salary. There are sites like workamper.com that you can check out for more information.

9. Family

Living the fulltime rv life gets you closer to your family. There are less places for you kids or loved ones to go to block themselves out. When you live tiny, your practically forced to get along and thrive as a close couple or family.

If that is something that you long for your relationships, then the RV life should be a consideration.

So, are you convinced? Are you moving your family into an RV and going to travel, explore, and learn about this great country?

If this inspired you to make the move, even if it’s for a year or two that’s awesome! Enjoy the lifestyle and live it to the fullest. We have enjoyed our Fulltime RV living journey and I’m sure you will too!

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How to Start Your Full-Time RV Living Journey

How to Start Your Full-Time RV Living Journey

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That’s Awesome! We started our Full-Time RV Living Journey in April of 2018.

It’s been exactly that, a journey! We have enjoyed the lifestyle so far but to be honest, there were a lot of beginning steps and planning that happened before we made the move.

I think when considering any significant lifestyle change, there needs to be a lot of research, planning, and personal consideration before-hand. Living in an RV is an adjustment, especially if you’ve lived in either a home or apartment your entire life.

If you’ve been camping with an RV, you’re already a step ahead because you at least know how things work like the tanks and slide outs. For us, we had no clue and learned everything when we started full-time RV living and that’s ok too!

I’m going to go over a lot of detailed information on what you should consider before purchasing and also how to get in to that RV.

1. Check your Finances, Monthly Budget, and Current Living Situation

This step is extremely important. The last thing you want to do is get into this lifestyle if you can’t afford it. It sounds odd because you think you can probably save money by full-time RV living, and in some circumstances, you can.

However, if you plan to stay at RV Parks, then this could up your monthly living cost. In some ways, living in an RV at a park can be just the same living cost as a mortgage payment. It depends on where you live, of course.

I know many RVers who do save money and have paid off their debt by living in their RV. This option is mainly possible by choosing to Boondock or having the ability to live either on family land (like us) or their own land. I’m not saying it’s impossible to live in an RV Park and save money, but many RV parks are around $400 to $1000 a month for full hookups.

For us, we chose to Finance our RV because we wanted something brand new. We also live on family-owned land and only pay $100 a month for electricity and water. It has allowed us to save and pay off debt.

To check your finances, you’ll want to look at your monthly credits and deposits.

Questions to ask:

  • How much are you spending on your living expenses?
  • Are you going to live in an RV to decrease those expenses?
  • How much are you spending on monthly debt payments, like credit cards or loans, if you have any?

If you’re not budgeting monthly, I highly suggest you do so before jumping into this lifestyle, especially if you’re planning on traveling.

  • Also, if you’re in a home, are you going to be selling or keeping the home?
  • If you’re leasing, when is your lease up?

These are some of the questions to ask and consider before changing to the RV lifestyle.

2. Research, Research, Research

Read Blogs, like this one.

We started our research by reading blogs and learning from other’s experiences. Also, we researched different types of RV’s for over a year before we made our purchase.

We considered used and new RVs. If you’re torn between purchasing new or used check out the post specifically one the pros and cons of buying new vs used.
Blog Post: Should You Buy a New or Used RV? Pros vs. Cons

Questions to ask:

  • What style of RV are you looking to purchase?
  • What are your family’s needs?
  • Will you need a bunkhouse, a toy hauler, an industrial-style fridge, or a king-size bed?

RV’s today come in all different styles and features.

3. Consider the Lifestyle Changes (Are you going to Travel or Live Stationary?)

Moving into an RV is a complete lifestyle change. If you’re someone who can adapt super easily and quickly then go for it. However, if there are things like taking a long hot shower that is a necessity for you, then understand that it may not happen unless you have a tankless water heater, stay at a hotel, or there is a campground shower.

Another thing to consider is you will have to take care of your own wastewater/sewer. For some, this can be a deal-breaker.

We realized when we moved into our RV that we never thought about the water after we used it or after we flushed our toilet. However, in an RV it became our responsibility to release our own tanks properly. It can be gross and stinky, to be honest.

For 6 months, after releasing our tanks every week, we would suffer from a horrible smell fumigating our living space. I struggled with trying out so many different tank solutions to keep them from smelling so horribly. After about 6 months and many trials and errors, we discovered that best Tank Treatment. You can check it out here and we still use the Happy Camper today.

Blog Post: RV Tank Treatment- Comparing the GEO Method and Happy Camper

Also, are you planning on traveling while living full-time in your RV? If so, there are things to consider like how you will get power, where you will release your tanks, and making campground reservations ahead of time. This alone can become stressful at the beginning until you get the hang of it.

And if you plan on traveling, how will you be able to continue making an income? Will you be Workamping, starting a business, or working remotely for your employer?

Or, maybe you are looking to live stationary in your RV. Will you be staying long term in an RV Park or on privately owned land with power and sewer hookups?

Having a place to bring your RV once you purchase is important. Make reservations with the desired RV park or have the full hookups ready on your land.

4. Minimize your Life

Another step you will want to consider and start as early as you can is minimizing your life. Start selling, giving, or throwing away the things you won’t need or aren’t taking with you. There is not much space in an RV so minimizing your closet, kitchen accessories and keepsakes is a must.

Another option is to keep what you want in a storage unit. We have on for the items we didn’t want to get rid of when we moved into our RV. If you’d like more info on downsizing, check out the Ultimate Guide to Downsizing for life in an RV. Great step by step to make it happen.

5. Purchase and Register your RV

Once you’ve considered the lifestyle change and researched the perfect RV for you and your family, it’s time to purchase. This is the easy step as long as you have your finances in check.

You have the option to finance your purchase or you can pay cash if you’ve saved enough. Either way, it’s exciting to purchase your new home on wheels.

Now, I would check the requirements of your state for inspection and/or registration. If you purchased from a dealer in your same residential state then the dealer should take care of the registration. However, if you purchase out of state or privately, the registration is up to you to take care of. I know in Texas, we had 30 days to have the RV that we purchased in Oklahoma to get inspected and registered.

6. Move-in with just the Necessities first

When you’re moving from a larger space to a smaller one, my biggest piece of advice is to start with the necessities. Items like towels, tools, and clothes you wear on a daily basis before you start with the want items.

If you’d like to bring on some keepsakes or heirlooms, do it, but just make sure the daily items you use have a spot first. One cool thing about living in an RV or a smaller space is it allows you to get creative when it comes to storage. In an RV there is plenty of opportunities to utilize vertical storage space on the walls and behind doors. You can check out more vertical storage space ideas here.

Blog Post: 7 Ideas to Create Extra Wall Storage in your RV

7. Enjoy the Full-Time RV Living Lifestyle!

Last, but not least Enjoy the RV Life! Whether you plan on hitting the road and exploring the unknown or living stationary, enjoy the journey and new lifestyle. It’s a big change but it can be extremely rewarding. The experiences you will encounter if you travel are one of a kind.

If you choose to stay stationary, I hope you enjoy the Full-Time RV living lifestyle as well. I know we have because it has taught us how to live minimally and be happy with the little things in life.

Share your full-time RV living journey with us by guest posting on our blog. Contact us on our contact page here!

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12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

12 of the Best Hiking trails in san diego for families 1 200x300 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

The Sunny City of San Diego has more to offer than just some gorgeous beaches. This city is home to beautiful natural hiking trails that will get you and your family outside and breathing that fresh air.

Hiking trails in San Diego are plentiful with the hill and mountainous terrain. The best hikes are those that get you close to nature and experiencing the beauty of the land. I also believe that hiking is a wonderful activity for kids to explore, learn, and exercise all at the same time.

So, get your hiking boots, camelbacks, and sunscreen ready, because the views while hiking in San Diego are spectacular!

 1. Cowles Mountain Trail (Mission Trails Regional Park) Screen Shot 2020 02 23 at 9.15.30 AM 300x289 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3 Miles
Elevations: 908 Feet
Route: Out & Back 

This beautiful trail is one of the top scenic hiking routes in San Diego. The Cowles Mountain gives you spectacular 360 panoramic views of Downtown San Diego, Mexico, North County, and Orange County. 

The Cowles Mountain Trail is perfect for all ages! It is a moderate trail that is great for running, mountain biking, hiking, families, and dogs as long as they are on a leash. The trail is a bit rocky and little to no shade spots to rest, so maybe bring a hat and of course water!

2. Los Penasquitos Canyon TrailScreen Shot 2020 02 23 at 9.34.24 AM 300x275 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 7.4 Miles
Elevation: 147 Feet
Route: Loop 

The Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail is wonderful for the whole family because it’s mainly flat. This is a great trail because you can choose to make your hike/walk/run as long or as short as you’d prefer. You may see many bikers, runners, and even horse-back riders along this trail. 

This hike is popular because of the gorgeous waterfall and beautiful bridges. There is one precaution, however, and that is to be careful during the wet season. The trail tends to have muddy areas but it’s nothing that can’t be walked around. 

3. Sunset Cliffs Park Trail (Sunset Cliffs National Park)

Screen Shot 2020 02 23 at 2.59.04 PM 300x170 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.7 Miles
Elevations: 150 Feet
Route: Out & Back

A very popular trail that is year-round and great for all skill levels to enjoy. This trail gives you an opportunity to see local wildlife and sandy beaches. Sunset Cliffs Park Trail is perfect for the whole family including dogs on leashes. 

This hike is considered to be one of San Diego’s best hikes to watch the sunset over the coast. It is also a beautiful place for a romantic stroll.

4. Lake Miramar TrailScreen Shot 2020 02 23 at 3.18.35 PM 300x206 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.9 Miles
Elevation: 98 Feet
Route: Loop

Lake Miramar Trail is the perfect place to enjoy nature and still have the luxury of modern paved walk-ways. The trail is great for families of all types and is stroller/wheelchair friendly. Dogs on leashes are also welcome to enjoy a stroll. 

Be cautious because it is a heavily tracked trail but it does provide bathrooms through the 4.9-mile loop. 

5. Oak Canyon to Grasslands (Mission Trails Regional Park)Grasslands loop 300x184 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.7 Miles
Elevation: 344 feet
Route: Loop

Oak Canyon to grasslands is a heavily trafficked trail great for kids and dogs on leashes. If you enjoy hiking with great views, nature, birds, and more then this trail is for you. 

It’s considered a moderate trail because some places are a bit rocky and may require more solid shoes like hiking boots or tennis shoes with good traction. The Oak Canyon to Grasslands trail is a nice and peaceful hike but not much shade so bring a hat. 

6. Seven Bridge Walk (Balboa Park)7 bridges 242x300 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 6.6 Miles
Elevation: 485 Feet
Route: Loop

The Seven Bridges Walk is wonderful for everyone of all ages. The best times to go is between April and September. There are plenty of open fields that you may want to rest, so bringing a towel or blanket to sit on is recommended. 

The trail is not shaded so a hat and water is a must to bring along. The trail does run through the city and it has stopping points with crossing streets, so keep the kids and pets close! 

7. Visitor Center Loop Trail (Mission Trails Regional Park)Visitor loop 300x199 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.4 Miles
Elevation: 160 Feet
Route: Loop

This looping trail is great for the kids and pets. It is another heavily trafficked trail that many enjoy running and even horseback riding along. This trail is located partly along a river so you and the kids can stop and skip rocks or relax by the water. 

The views are gorgeous and the walk is nice and peaceful. It’s a short loop to get out for a quick walk or run. 

8. Tecolote Canyon Trail Tecolote canyon trail 300x251 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.7 Miles
Elevation: 538 Feet
Route: Out & Back

This trail is a long hike but you can turn back at any time. It has stunning features and is accessible year-round. The trail is pretty easy for children to walk along and is dog-friendly. 

You may want to avoid this trail, however, if it’s been raining as it can obtain mud and puddles during the wet season. 

9. Bayside Trail (Cabrillo National Monument)Bayside 300x199 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2 Miles
Elevation: 205 Feet
Route: Our & Back

If you’re looking for the perfect family-friendly trail that gives you spectacular views of the coast, this is the one! This trail is easy and has access for strollers and wheelchairs. 

This trail also located at the Historic Monument that commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo who was the first expedition to land at the San Diego Bay. Great historical learning site for the kiddos. 

10. Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit Nighthawk 300x219 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.9 Miles
Elevation: 846 Feet
Route: Out & Back

Nighthawk trail is a wonderful options for families who enjoy a little challenge as is can be quite rocky with a steady incline. However, the views and wildflowers along the trail are spectacular. This trail can also be made in to a loop if you desire to hike down Black Mountain Service Road.

The trail is also pet friendly with dogs allowed as long as they are leashed. You may even see some mountain bikers on this trail so keep an eye out. Shade is non-exsitent on the trail so you may want to wear a hat or sunglasses.

11. Point Loma Tidepools and Bluffs Trail (Cabrillo National Monument)point 300x280 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1 Mile
Elevation: 45 Feet
Route: Out & Back

This trail is wonderful for all skill level hikers looking for a quick outdoor adventure. It has beautiful beach and wildlife scenery and is open year-round.

If you plan on bringing the kids, watch them closey as it could become slippery.

12. Mission Bay Trail (Mission Bay Park)mission bay trail 284x300 - 12 of the Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 6.3 Miles
Elevation: 52 Feet
Route: Out & Back

Mission Bay Trail is popular amongst the locals. It is used heavily for running, hiking, and biking. The trail is open year round and is pet and kid friendly. The path is paved the entire way which makes it great to bring along stollers or those in wheelchairs.

This trail also has great views of the Bay and you may even see ducks along the water. It is the perfect place for a morning or evening stroll.

I hope you enjoyed this great list of the best kid-friendky hiking trails in San Diego that you can explore with your whole family. Feel free to check out more options at alltrails.com. Thanks for stopping by!

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