March Madness, Mayhem, and Jolly Roll
I'm finally back at #rollingandwriting after a break in February. I had truly meant to get the blog done but life seemed to get away from me. I guess that is pretty normal sometimes so I'm not going to sweat it. I loved visiting with my mother in Pennsylvania for two weeks this past month and now we've hit the road running as we get closer and closer to our roll-out date.
No that hasn't been pinned down but we know we have to be in Yellowstone for a start date of April 5th so preparations are underway. I believe we will be seeing a lot more of this white fluffy stuff when we arrive in the park but we are still excited. So what are we doing to prepare? Even living full-time in an RV you should plan ahead and be as prepared for odd weather, changing plans, and things like a virus that dictates how your roll. One important aspect of RV living is food. No, we don't stop and eat out when we are traveling, we cook. There is a huge difference between being on holiday in your RV and living in it full time. Eating out is a treat
and living on a budget one that we are careful about. One of the things I do to make sure we have food for any situation is store canned and dried goods. I keep several bags of dried beans and canned meat so that if we were to get locked in somewhere or couldn't get to the store for some reason, we would have staples to keep us going. A couple of bags of dried beans can go a long way in feeding two people who can't make a grocery run.
Food is not the only consideration when thinking of the long-term roll. The weather can change in a moment as we have seen so clearly this spring and being prepared for bad weather is a must. After spending last summer in Yellowstone we know that when we return we would love to do more hiking. We are told that April is cold and snowy and that May isn't
much better in the park so we decided we needed to gear up for cold weather hiking and some possible backcountry camping. There are several trails in the park that require a backcountry pass and an overnight stay to complete so on the advice of a friend we headed to a discount camping store and found some great buys. My first priority, (you can see this in the snow photo) was my feet. If your feet are cold and wet you will not be a happy camper so we searched for some tall, waterproof and insulated boots. You know it's mighty hard to find these for women anymore. Where's that pioneering spirit? I ended up buying a pair of men's boots that fit like a dream and keep my toes toasty.
Overall, the everyday-hero and I are pretty well supplied with warm clothing. We even have a pair of ski pants compression bagged in the back cupboard of the rig. I'll be hunting for a few more pairs of good socks as well before we roll but the clothing side of things are stitched up. Yes, pun intended. So what else could we need? How about a tent? Yes, a tent. I know we live full time in our rolling home already but there have been times when we really wish we could have pitched a tent and just stayed somewhere.
The summer of 2019 in Alaska was a big one. We drove two hours to Kinnecot and wished we could have stayed longer. If we had a tent and some minimal gear in the Jeep we would have stayed a night or even two in the area and done a lot more exploring. Even though the RV is our home, it can also be our home base if we are going to be stationary for an extended period of time.
So what do we consider minimal gear? For one, we don't want heavy items because, for the most part, we will not be 'Car Camping' (parking and pitching a tent along the side of the Jeep), we will be hiking and overnight camping. Here are a few things we feel are essential to have when doing some light backpack camping: A two-person tent, sleeping bags, backpacks, water filter, ground cover, cookstove/pot, and food. When we went to the camping store in Pennsylvania we were super lucky to find two down sleeping bags on sale for less than half price. Depending on where you will be camping you need a good warm sleeping bag and since nights are cold in Yellowstone, these were a huge Boone.
I am what is called a cold sleeper, I get chilled as the night goes on and I am so glad we found these bags. Not only are they perfect for backpack camping, because they are lightweight, but they can also be kept in our packs and locked in thein Jeep when we have to do the long run to the grocery store. You never know when a bad storm might show up and lock you in unexpectedly. It feels good to be prepared.
My mom was worried about us traveling south again when we left home and asked if we had stuff for an emergency. I'd have to say the answer is a resounding YES.
I'll try to add a few other items here as I finish out this long blog, but I wanted to talk more about getting organized to roll and not just camping.
Living full-time in an RV and being an author has its fair share of challenges. One issue is always the internet and staying connected. Not only do I love keeping up with my friends, family, and readers, I am dependant on the internet to write and publish my books. To be quite frank, writing is not an easy task. Yes, we zip out books on a regular basis and after a few hours of enjoyment the book is read, but there are many hours of hard work involved in getting that book into your hands. I'm so thankful that we have the ability to Independently Publish books not. I know I've read many books that would not have made it past a publisher's desk that I have loved, but that means all of the work, responsibility, marketing, and creating is on the author. This also means the expense is fully on our shoulders. So what does this have to do with staying connected.?
Yellowstone National Park and most National Parks are not known for their connectivity levels. As a matter of fact, getting internet or cell service is quite difficult. One of the biggest complaints this year from guests was they had no cell coverage. Well, that's life in a National Park, folks. So what does this mean? It means that we have had to get creative with our internet and upgrade. We are now on the V network you know that phone service with the big V as their first letter in their name that has coverage in the west. Honestly, I hate having to change these things but as they say, "needs must". Please, before you travel to any National Park, make sure you understand what it will be like to be there. It's all online until you're in the park.
I am currently working hard on my March release and looking forward to peaceful hours in Yellowstone to write loads more for everyone to enjoy. Please check out my books and remember to support your local authors. We love sharing our stories, but we love to eat as well.
Here is my February Release if you haven't seen it. Stay tuned for more and please feel free to ask questions about my #rollingandwriting life.
More Camping gear we've grabbed:
Next Month, I'll try to deal with cooking, cleaning, and the snowy roll.
Fun for February and upcoming in March!