A little preparation can go a long way for a safe camping experience!
To us, there’s nothing greater than camping. Getting the opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, eating campfire food, telling ghost stories and watching the sunrise and sunset in the wilderness are memories many of us will never forget. However, being in the outdoors presents unique safety hazards we’ll want to be aware of in order to enjoy our time. Read on to find some of the most important safety tips you’ll want to follow while camping this summer.
It’s summer, which means it’s time to get outside! This week, we’re going to give you some fun yard (and camping) games you and the family can enjoy in the outdoors! You won’t have to break the bank to build these fun games, and chances are the adults will have just as much fun as the kids. Read on!
Going on vacation this summer? If so, you might want to partake in some mini-golf, or possibly even real golf! This week, we’re going to give you some tips on how to improve your putting, so you can have a great time on the astroturf (or regular turf). Two of our Midwest Outdoor Resorts destinations (Rushmore Shadows and Hidden Bluffs) have mini-golf courses, and we offer discounted rates for MOR members at Hart Ranch Golf Course in Rapid City, SD. After you read this post, stop out and see us to try your hand at some putting!
Looking for a great way to see the beautiful Black Hills? How about from the saddle?
The Black Hills of South Dakota are not only known for their pristine beauty, but also their history. In the late 1800s, pioneers and prospectors from the eastern U.S. settled in the Black Hills, with high hopes of striking it rich in the gold rush of 1876-77. This lead to clashes with the native Sioux tribes, who consider the land sacred to this day. Towns like Deadwood, Hill City and Custer are chock-full of all sorts of Old West history and landmarks.
Although times have obviously changed, you can still experience the same trails they did in the old west…on horseback! This week, we’re going to give you some of the best horseback trail ride barns in the Black Hills, so you can experience this unique adventure with the whole family. Most all the Forest Service roads and trails in the Black Hills are open to horses, but some require a user fee. For the purpose of this post, we’re recommending guided tours. Read on to find some great rides!
Campfire Cooking Doesn’t Have to Mean Kicking Your Diet to the Curb
Let’s face it, it’s not easy to eat healthy while camping. There are all sorts of temptations, from the moment you hit the road until you’re settled into your campsite. This week, we’re going to give you five easy recipes that won’t destroy your diet. Read on to find five easy recipes that will keep you and your weight-loss goals on track!
Check Out of Favorite Games to play whether you are inside or outside of your RV
If you’re hitting the road this summer, you need some ways to pass the time. Audiobooks and DVDs are great, but they can only give you so much entertainment on long stretches of driving. This week, we’re going to give you 10 fun games you can play with friends and family to get everyone involved in the trip. Read on!
Planning on getting outdoors with the family this summer for hiking? Check Out Our List of the Best Hiking Shoes for the Whole Family.
Shoes are underrated, especially if you spend a lot of time hiking. This week, we’re going to give you some of the best new hiking shoes for Mom, Dad and the kids. No one wants blisters and strained muscles on their feet, so read on to find some great products you can wear on your next family hiking adventure!
Your Pups are Family, check out our list of must have camping gear for your furry friends.
If there’s one thing we know our furry friends love, it’s being outdoors in the summertime. What they love even more is being with YOU outdoors in the summertime, especially in nature. With all kinds of new sights, smells and things to explore, you want to keep them safe and happy.. This week, we’ll take a look at some camping accessories to help your dogs have the time of their lives out in the elements. Read on to find some great products for your pooches!
How to Let Tech Make Travel Easier and More Enjoyable
If you’re someone who’s on the road constantly, you’re probably aware of the convenience of travel apps. For those of us who don’t get away from home all that often, we might not realize the awesome conveniences we hold right in our palms.
Say you’re looking for some cheap airfare. You can get a notification as soon as the price of a flight drops. Maybe you’re on a cross-country road trip. You can get traffic information about a crash on the interstate 20 miles ahead. If you have a long layover in an airport, there’s an app that can give you the best places to eat and some fun activities so you don’t have to sit in an uncomfortable chair for 10 hours.
This week, we’re going to make you a tech-savvy traveler and give you a few new apps that will relieve some of the inherent stress that comes with travelling. Read on!
One of the best parts of camping is getting to get away with your family, check out our ideas for getting your kids involved in the Camping Experience.
If there’s one thing that can ruin a camping trip, it’s an unhappy child. If they’re bored, or feel like they’re not involved in the experience, the whole vacation can quickly go downhill. One of the best ways to keep your child(ren) occupied and happy is to directly connect them to the whole camping adventure. This week, we’re going to give you some tips on camping with kids, and how to involve them so they learn valuable lessons and the entire family has a great time!
Healthy Snacking doesn’t have to mean no fun, try these ideas for fun and healthy snacking this summer
Let’s face it, it’s difficult to eat healthy while travelling. It’s even more difficult when we’re enjoying the outdoors. There are a lot of enticing treats to try, and of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and again.
If you’re looking to shed those unnecessary pounds however, a good diet is key. This week, we’re going to give you some healthy options to try when you’re out in the wilderness. Check out these simple recipes to feel great on those long hikes!
Midwest Outdoor Resort’s Newest Location is Sure to Be One of Your Favorites!
As people all over the U.S. can attest, it has been a crazy spring weather-wise. Mother Nature has struck again..and again…and again! Due to the late snow in Minnesota, the Ham Lake Grand Opening has been rescheduled to June 2nd, 2018. We’re so sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and hope you’re still able to make it! Please click on the link below to RSVP and we’ll have a treat waiting for you!
MN is the Land of 10,000 Lakes and one of our nation’s best fishing destinations
It’s almost here ladies and gentlemen! Summertime fishing is right around the corner, so we thought we’d prepare you by sharing some of the best spots in Minnesota. Now, to be honest, the Land of 10,000 lakes offers tons of great fishing opportunities, so it’s tricky to narrow it down. We’re going to give you five of our favorites, but please let us know in the comments if you have any lakes or rivers you’re partial to. Read on to find five great fishing spots in Minnesota!
The Black Hills are rich with history, scenery, and oxygen get out and experience all if it on these awesome hikes!
We’ve said it before, but if you’ve never made it to the Black Hills in the summer, you’re missing out. We’ve written about the top 5 places to visit in the Hills, as well as the best restaurants, but if you really want to capture the spirit of the Black Hills, it’s best to get outdoors. This week, we’ll take a look at some of the best off-the-beaten-path hiking destinations around the area.
Packing can be one of the toughest parts when you are starting out camping. Check out our Must Haves for your Check List.
So, you haven’t camped much, if at all. You’re not really sure where to start, and for that matter not really sure if camping is for you. No worries, because we’re here to help you with some useful tips and hints so you and your family can enjoy an awesome time outdoors.
First, realize that it doesn’t have to be a two-week excursion into the deep wilderness. Chances are there are many places within an hour or so of home that will do just fine (if you’re in the Midwest, or are looking to vacation there, check out Midwest Outdoor Resorts for five awesome camping destinations). As long as you’re prepared, camping is simple and one of the best ways to unplug from the daily grind and get back in touch with nature.
Here are a few useful tips to follow when embarking on your first camping adventure:
1. Choose a good campsite for you
This is key. There are almost always a large variety of places to choose from, but not every site is made equal. Do they have bathrooms and showers? Are they considered child and/or pet-friendly? Is there a town close by where you can get supplies if needed? You’ll want to do your research before just picking somewhere random. If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend choosing somewhere not too far off the beaten path, so you can get to town for things if needed. Also, make sure you book early. Campgrounds can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. As always, feel free to contact us if you need help.
2. Choose a good tent
If you’re planning on doing a lot of camping, don’t skimp on this one. You definitely want one (or two) you know will fit everyone comfortably. Here’s a handy guide if you’re having trouble choosing. Some quick tips: always set the back of the tent to the wind, and drive in the pegs at a 45-degree angle. You’ll also want to find a level spot that’s clear of a lot of debris. Practicing in your backyard is recommended if you’re trying this for the first time.
3. Choose good sleeping bags
Some areas that are considered extremely warm year-round can actually get really cold at night. Always have sleeping bags for everyone, even if the temperature isn’t supposed to be too bad. Sleeping bags will generally have a temperature rating that can help you make your decision, otherwise here’s another guide to help you.
4. Know what to take:
Obviously this is key. You don’t want to overburden yourself, but at the same time you don’t want to be caught without something necessary. Depending on where you go, it’s usually a good idea to pack some of your own food (research the animals nearby and seal everything tight so you don’t have something trying to get into your cooler at night!). If you’re going on a short trip, you can easily plan each meal beforehand, and semi-prepare every meal at home.
As far as camping gear, here’s a quick checklist of stuff you’ll definitely want to have:
Tent, Poles, Stakes
Ground Cover (for the tent)
Flashlights with Extra Batteries
Cooler with Ice
Matches and/or Lighters
Gloves and Hats
Remember, this is a short trip checklist. If you’re going somewhere for a longer period of time, or outside of peak camping season, you’ll want to bring more.
Hopefully this gives you a rough guide to one of the most fun ways to vacation! Camping season is coming up shortly, so give us a ring at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be more than happy to help you plan your trip today. Happy exploring!
Summer is just around the corner! Is your RV Ready?
It’s right around the corner! Vacation time is almost here, and if you’re hitting the road in your RV this year, you’ll want to prep your rig so it’s ready to handle everything a long road trip has to throw at it. Unless you live in a warm climate (we’re jealous), chances are your RV has been stored for the winter and could use a tune-up. This week, we’ll give you some trips and tricks so you’re fully prepared for an awesome summer of travel your RV. Read on!
1. Check the Tires
This should probably go without saying, but be sure to check the tires for wear and the tire pressure before hitting the road. Any cracks in the treads or on the sidewall must be replaced. Don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere!
2. Check the Exterior
Water leaks are the most common issue when storing your rig for awhile, but they can cause serious damage. Check your roof and caulking around windows, doors, AC units, etc. Even small cracks can be a big headache.
3. Drain the Water System
If you’ve used RV anti-freeze over the winter (which you should), be sure to flush out your water system before actually using the water. The easiest way is to mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, and pour it into your empty water tank. Run your faucets until you begin to smell bleach, then let it sit for a day. Drain your water tank again, and fill it with water. Run your system again until the bleach smell goes away. You’ll probably need to do this several times in order to completely flush out the tank. Here’s a video for reference:
Long-term storage builds up all sorts of foreign debris in your RV. Be sure to thoroughly clean all appliances, and dust out any cobwebs, insects, nests, etc. Use household cleaners to clean out dirt and dust. You can use light air from an air compressor to clean out the burner area, but DO NOT blow high pressure up the refrigerator chimney. A thorough cleaning of appliances will go a long way to keeping everything in working order.
5. Check the Batteries
It’s not uncommon for batteries to lose up to 10% per month due to internal leakage, and if your batteries haven’t been stored properly over winter, it might be time to replace them. If you’ve recharged the batteries periodically over the winter, you should be good to go. Regardless, make sure they are fully charged, and they have enough water before reinstalling. If you don’t feel comfortable, ask a qualified professional for help. Your batteries must be fully functional before hitting the road.
6. Test the Gas
Be sure to test all of your gas appliances before heading out. First, check your liquid propane (LP). Make sure all LP appliances are turned off, there is no smoking, flames or sparks nearby and the leak detector inside the RV is on. Open the valves of your tanks, and smell for any leaks. If you detect a leak, talk to a professional to repair it for you.
If everything looks good, light your stove-top burner, then light the fridge on gas. Light your water heater as well, but first make sure it’s full. Gas appliances can be difficult to get started after sitting awhile, and can be dangerous. Be sure everything is in working order.
7. Extra Safety
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure the fire extinguisher is still full. Check your plumbing system and lines for cracks and leaks. Roll out your awnings and inspect the fabric. You’ll also want to make sure the generator is in good working condition. Generators, like gas, can be tricky after sitting for an extended period of time.
These are just a few steps to make sure your RV is primed for an awesome summer vacation. If you’re unclear on any of these steps, it’s a good idea to take your RV in to a place like Camping World to get everything tuned-up. The last thing you want is to have to make repairs on the road, or have a much-needed appliance break down. Here’s to some fantastic road trips this year, and happy exploring!
Have You Camped with Coast to Coast? Don’t Miss these awesome Wisconsin Parks this summer!
Of course you’ve heard of our 5 Properties you can enjoy as a member of MOR, but did you know that we offer other destinations as well? This week, we’ll take a look at 5 awesome parks you can visit in beautiful Wisconsin! Depending on your membership level, you can visit these parks for $10 per night, or completely free! These destinations come compliments of our affiliate, Coast to Coast. Let’s take a look!
Located in the gorgeous northwoods region of Wisconsin, Chain O’ Lakes offers fishing, boating, hiking and swimming o’ plenty! The campground sits right on Cranberry Lake, which is connected to 28 other lakes in the area (hence, Chain O’ Lakes). The area features 47 acres of woodland area, perfect for the whole family to explore!
Gresham is a gorgeous little town located about an hour from Green Bay. This wooded lakeside resort is perfect for getting away from it all, with two sand beaches and a clubhouse overlooking the water. The lake is closed to motorized boats, so you can really get some peace and quiet. For nightlife, the Menominee Casino is only 8 miles away.
If you’re into fishing, this is the resort for you. Located on Lake Thompson, you can cast for trophy Muskie, or check out the 232 lakes, Trout streams and two rivers located within a 12-mile radius. West Bay also offers a private beach and plenty of great hiking. Ask about the legend of the Hodag!
Sturgeon Bay is located in Wisconsin’s famed Door County, one of the most scenic places in the Upper Midwest. Harbour Village is close to some of the best golf, wineries and beaches in all of Wisconsin. Harbour Village also has the largest waterpark in Door County, so you know the kids will love it!
We couldn’t talk about a Wisconsin vacation without mentioning Wisconsin Dells! Widely known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World,” this is a wonderful area to take the entire family. Christmas Mountain Village has a 27-hole golf course, as well as alpine skiing in the winter. Boating and fishing are a must in the area, and there are plenty of secluded forests to explore. The entire area is a bucket-list destination, so don’t miss out!
One aspect of a MOR membership our customers really enjoy is the flexibility to check out new areas. Remember, these parks average $10 per night for a Midwest Outdoor Resorts Deluxe Member and are free for Premier Members! Give us a call at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to go over all your membership options. Happy exploring!
It’s almost spring, and therefore, almost camping season! Few things go hand-in-hand with camping better than s’mores. This week, we’re going to give you some interesting s’more recipes you and the entire family can enjoy! Let’s get a little creative, and see if we can make a delicious snack even better. Click on the links above the pictures to find full recipes. Enjoy!
We’ve done some Dutch Oven recipes before, but this one might be the most delicious! This particular recipe takes about 15 minutes, but will make 12 servings. An easy and efficient way to make dessert for a lot of campers!
Have you ever tried campfire bacon? If not, you’re missing out. Combine it with the classic s’more, and you’ve got one interesting flavor combination! This particular recipe uses a home oven, but can just as easily be done over the campfire.
As this recipe says, the only thing better than eating a s’more is drinking one! This gooey treat is absolutely delicious. To be honest, it may get a little messy at the campsite, so try it at home first.
Try these fresh ideas to countdown to your next family vacation
So, you’ve got the date set, the tickets are bought and all the work plans are in place. In a couple months, you and the family are heading out on an awesome vacation! Unfortunately, the kids know it too, and are pestering you every day, constantly asking how much longer it will be until they get to leave. Why not do something productive and fun the entire family can participate in? This week, we’re going to give you a few ideas on making a vacation countdown, which helps with not only counting down the days, but also saving and planning for your trip. Read on!
Making a countdown calendar is pretty simple, and there are all kinds of options. You could buy a Hawaii calendar, for example, and have the family jot down fun things to do every day until your trip. If the kids are into coloring and drawing, have them draw pictures of things they’ll be seeing at your destination each day. You could also do an “advent calendar” type things, where you peel off a portion to see a fact and/or picture about your trip. Click here to find a bunch of great ideas.
2. Countdown Chain:
A countdown chain is exactly what it sounds like. You can use construction paper or cardstock, and make individual pieces for every day until your vacation. Have the kids decorate each piece with stickers or drawings. There’s something very satisfying about seeing that chain get shorter and shorter! Here’s a cool idea for a beach vacation countdown chain.
3. Savings Plan:
Of course, it’s always a good idea to teach kids about saving their money. If they know they’re going to be using it on an awesome trip, they’ll tend to be more motivated. You could do something simple like piggy banks for each member of the family, and chart everyone’s saving progress as you go along, or even set up individual bank accounts and have a competition to see who can save the most. Maybe the kid who saves the most gets an extra prize. This is especially good if you can get extended family involved as well.
4. Countdown Gifts:
At significant intervals (50 days out, 25, etc.), you could give or send a useful little gift to those going on vacation. This could be something as simple as pictures of your destination, or something they’ll use, like sunglasses for the beach. You don’t have to break the bank on this, but it will get kids (and adults!) excited for your upcoming trip.
Fresh Air & Family Time: Tent Camping Has Never Sounded Better
For as long as humans have existed, we have camped. From the early hunter-gatherers to the sophisticated explorers of today, people have camped underneath the stars and truly connected with nature. Camping is one of the best ways to detach from the grind of everyday existence. This week, we’re going to give you 7 reasons why you and your family should try tent camping this summer. If you haven’t tent camped, or it has been a long time, it’s time to recharge your batteries and get outdoors. Here’s why:
1. Camping is Economical
If we’re being pragmatic about it, camping is going to save you a lot of money compared to other destination. With airfare, hotels, theme park tickets, etc., expenses can add up quickly, especially when travelling with family. Camping is comparatively cheap, and can be just as much fun. Sure, you may need to purchase some basic equipment like a tent and sleeping bags, but your still going to save a ton just by camping for a couple vacations.
2. Camping Keeps You Fit
Being outdoors in general is healthier than sitting on your couch, and if you do even some moderate activity (which you will) you’re going to burn a lot of calories. Most campsites have plenty of hiking, biking and swimming nearby, and usually new activities you’ve never tried before. Being outdoors also boosts your vitamin D and increases your endorphins, which are natural stress-fighters.
3. Camping Allows You to Explore New Places
You can camp just about anywhere you go in the U.S. There are so many fantastic things and places to see, and you’re not tied down to just one spot when you camp. Non-campers are often shocked how many great campgrounds and gorgeous areas are less than an hour from their homes. You can go places you’ve never thought of going and really expand your horizons.
4. Camping Makes the Food Taste Better
There’s nothing like campfire food after a long day of hiking and exploring. If you haven’t experienced it, trust us on this one. There are all kinds of new and fun recipes to try, and again, it’s going to cost a lot less than taking the entire family to a restaurant.
5. Camping Resets Your Sleep Cycle
Studies have shown that exposing yourself to only natural light can reset your sleep cycles to that of the sun, the way humans lived for thousands of years before harnessing electricity. A few days of camping will really help you sleep better when you get back home.
6. Camping Lets You Detach
We’re so often bombarded by constant phone notifications, emails and advertisements that we don’t understand how scrambled we can get. Now, we’re not suggesting you’re never going to have your phone or tablet with you when camping, but it might be nice to turn them off for awhile. Again, studies show that simply getting away from work and/or school will actually make you a better employee/student when you get home. Leave technology behind for awhile, and live (at least somewhat) like our ancestors. You’ll be thankful you did.
7. Camping Makes Memories and Builds Skills
We’d venture a guess that those of you who grew up camping have unforgettable memories of friends and family together. The skills and activities you learn while growing up camping can be used for a lifetime and passed down through the generations. At Midwest Outdoor Resorts, our campgrounds offer all sorts of fun and unique activities that the entire family can do together. Most state parks also offer classes and lessons on all sorts of things, from kayaking to knot-tying. If you’re looking to rekindle a relationship, or get closer with your friends and/or family, camping in the outdoors is a perfect way to do it.
Please let us know some of your favorite camping memories or activities in the comments. As always, we’re happy to help plan your next camping adventure. Give us a call toll-free at (800) 231-0425, or email us here. Happy exploring!