There are many definitions to RV Living depending on your goals, but however you define it it still involves traveling and living in a small space. Just like the pioneers of the early days of this nation RVing for us means packing up all that we have and making our way across this land, seeing new things and finding new places.
RVs, or Recreational Vehicles, are self contained living areas that can be either driven or towed to various locations where people can have shelter while away from home. Just like pioneers in the past, when one sets out on an RVing trip they need to be sure they have what they need. Of course depending on where you are going and how long you will be gone these needs can be much easier to meet. You can also stop at the nearest store and stock up.
For pioneers of the western frontier things were a little different but some similarities can be made.
Pioneers lived from there wagons as they traveled to new homes and new hopes across the United states. How could the western journey be anything like mine?
I actually started thinking about this subject a few days ago when I was getting ready to wash dishes. We hadn't turned the hot water heater on that day so I needed to heat water to
wash my dishes. I didn't want to waste the time or propane switching on the tank so instead i simply boiled water in my kettle giving me plenty of hot water for washing.
In the past Pioneer woman would have done the same thing only they would be heating water over a fire or small camp stove instead. Just like when we are boondocking these intrepid traveler had to watch their water unless they were near a stream so most often dishes were scrubbed with a handful of rough grass and a dry cloth. I'm glad I don't have to do that.
So what are some parallels for RV living and traveling with a wagon train?
For those living full time in their RV I think there are a great many similarities. To begin with, you carry everything you need with you. Wagons traveling over one of the various westward trails carried nearly two-thousand pounds of supplies, tools, and other materials as they lumbered across the vast prairie. When joining a wagon train you needed a set amount of food and supplies. Even with the modern conveniences of a stove and refrigerator in an RV it is important to stock up for your extended stays. Not everyone rolls like us and enjoys being in the wilds of the National Forests for days or weeks on end but when you plan on settling in you'd better be stocked up. Pioneers would carry enough flour, salt, sugar, rice, beans, and bacon to last them up to six months and baked bread daily. Bread was backed with a already prepared and cared for sourdough mixture. I keep my own stock of sourdough bread starter in my refrigerator just in case I ever need to make some bread to get us by. I would actually love to make it over an open fire someday, but there are draw backs to that idea.
In over a year of travel we have never actually made a campfire. It isn't that we don't enjoy them but when you sit around a campfire you end up smelling like smoke and we really don't want the RV to smell like wood smoke all of the time. I think before we consider campfires we might look into the Solo Fire Pit first. I could see myself cooking over this. While in Alaska we met a fellow RVer who used this item exclusively for cooking. It seemed to live up to its reputation of being smokeless because I actually thought it was a gas fire pit.
Another parallel between our Rolling & Writing is that we carry all of our water with us. A pioneer wagon was required to carry a barrel of water with them. This barrel was used to
provide water for man and beast alike and would be refilled at every opportunity along the way. Our rig has almost one-hundred gallons of water storage and it is nice to know we can stay out on our own for two weeks without a refill. We have however, looked into other ways of subsidizing our water sources when out hiking. We both have backpacks with water bags and now we have a filter straw so that if we ever run out of water while hiking we can manage just fine. It never hurts to have back plans when you are on the trail.
Living on the road is interesting, tiring, normal, all, and amazing at the same time. For the emigrants traveling west, days could be very much the same as they rose early, ate breakfast, prepared lunch and started out once more. If weather or trail conditions were bad they would often only move a few miles in a day. On the other hand as they made their slow way closer to their goals they would come across sights that not even the most talented authors of the time could describe. I've experienced some of that on our westward roll this year. Visions that are more beautiful than a photo can possibly convey. Places that steal your breath and whisk your words away. Perhaps the biggest reason I've been thinking of life on the road and pioneer journeys has a lot to do with my current work in progress. In this story coming out in early August we follow the journey of a young woman headed to the hill country of Texas her heart and hopes wrapped up in a journey full of risk and relationship.
For additional information on what others consider RVing check out His and Hers Vlog.
Hitting the road is remarkable but it is still living and working.
Stay tuned for more of my Rolling & Writing Blogs coming soon.