We’re getting close to turning the corner into spring. The beginning of February is when we start getting restless to get outside, and this year is no exception. Cold-weather camping isn’t always for the faint of heart, but we’re here to prepare you. Below you’ll find some of the newest wintry camping gear, sorted by price for your convenience. If you’re well equipped, camping can be a delightful adventure any time of year!
As I write, there’s a large shakeup taking place in the snowmobile industry. Minnesota- based Arctic Cat, an industry leader, has been sold to the Rhode Island company Textron, which makes all sorts of specialized personal and commercial vehicles. Textron is known for E-Z-GO golf carts, Cushman vehicles and aviation brands like Bell Helicopter, Cessna and Beechcraft.
The 132,500-acre Lake Mille Lacs is the second largest inland lake in Minnesota (which is saying a lot). About 100 miles north of the Twin Cities, it offers a fantastic winter destination for the whole family (see here). Containing the smallest National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. (two small islands in the middle of the Lake), Mille Lacs is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, some bear, quail, grouse and pheasant.
Northern Minnesota is one of the best places to visit for Outdoor Activities
Let’s face it, when you’re thinking of a winter vacation, your first thought probably isn’t on Northern Minnesota. Most of us would like to take a long break in a tropical paradise, but it’s often not feasible. Luckily, there are plenty of fun options in the Upper Midwest, even if you’re not necessarily escaping the frost. Minnesota is a winter haven for outdoor activities, and offers plenty of indoor destinations if you’re not the winter sports type. Take a gander at the list below, and let us know in the comments if you have experienced any of these adventures yourself. Hopefully this will give you an idea of just how enjoyable a Minnesota winter can be!
Discover why the Soo Line Trail is a perfect weekend getaway!
Winter is what we make of it. It’s often difficult to escape the drab monotony of never-ending snow, small windows of daylight and clenched fists on icy roads. If we let it, winter can really get to us mentally, physically and emotionally.
One thing is for certain: no one who entered 2016 will depart it the same way. It was a tumultuous year, with unprecedented political turmoil, beloved celebrity deaths, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history and the Zika scare. There were also positives: the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, the U.S. high school graduation rate reached a record high, unemployment went down to 4.6% and the National Park Service turned 100.
Check out our Tips to Beat that Christmas Time Panic Attack!
Merry Christmas! Hopefully, those two words still bring you a childlike sense of wonder and joy. Remember when the holidays were fun? School was out, you were anticipating what Santa might bring (and in my case, contemplating if you’d been truly good or bad), the sledding hill was packed and all the holiday burden was on the adults. It was truly the best time of the year.
How to make the most out of your small space this Holiday Season!
If you’re in a small cabin or RV for the holidays and still looking to spread the Christmas cheer, we’ve got ideas for you! With some imagination and space-saving savvy your place can be plenty festive with minimal square feet. Making shrewd use of walls, furniture, flat decorations and lights will give your abode a cozy, winter-wonderland type feel. Also, you won’t need to go through the hassle of stuffing an 8’ tree into your house, so you’re already ahead of the game. Take a look at some of these ideas and please let us know what you think in the comments!
Don't sacrifice quality gifts because your funds are running low! Check out our list for the best gifts on a budget!
We all want to give the people we love something sincere and meaningful for the holidays. To many, that means waiting in long lines, scouring the internet for the latest and greatest craze and inevitably spending way more dough than you meant to. No fear! We’re here to help you get through the most stressful season of the year on a budget.
We all know Christmas shopping can be a challenge. Gift cards are great, but aren’t always heartfelt. Everyone loves getting cash, but it can show a lack of initiative. What do you get the person who seems to have everything? It’s usually best if we can narrow down the recipient’s interests and/or hobbies and go from there.
Well, I have some good news! If you have a camper/RVer in your life, there are all kinds of unique gifts sure to please. Chances are, he or she won’t have one of the items listed below. Whether or not you purchase one of these directly, hopefully this will help spark some ideas. Enjoy!
Once a year, I’ll gorge until my pants don’t fit, watch football for 10 consecutive hours and eventually fall asleep in an unflattering position on the couch. This has become my Thanksgiving. In reality, it’s a day that was originally entirely devoted to gratitude. In that spirit, I’d like to mention a few things about camping and the outdoors that we can reflect on and feel grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Here are 4 ways camping makes you more thankful:
Will you be traveling this holiday season? Are you staying in an RV, cabin or hosting Thanksgiving in any modestly-sized accommodation? While holiday dinners can be difficult in the most spacious areas, there’s no need to be stressed. Here are some simple tips you can use to throw a fantastic Thanksgiving feast in a small area.
Well, we’ve unfortunately hit that time of year. Camping season is coming to a close, and when the temperature starts regularly dropping below 32°F (0°C), it’s time to winterize. Basically, winterizing entails protecting your RV from freezing temperatures so it’s prepared when the snow melts, the frost thaws and spring flowers start poking out. (Yes, I’m currently listening to The Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun”).Your main goal when winterizing your RV is taking care of the water system. Here is a step-by-step guide so your rig is thoroughly prepared to hibernate through Jack Frost.
Before getting started, make sure you read through your owner’s manual carefully to take any additional recommended steps.
Drain all water tanks completely –Take your RV to a waste station and drain all tanks.
Drain the water from the hot water heater (DO NOT DO WHILE WATER IS HOT OR UNDER PRESSURE)– Small lime deposits may come out. This is normal.
Drain the pipes –Turn on all faucets (hot and cold), flush the toilet, and turn on the outside shower.You can also use an air compressor to blow out all the pipes (set to no more than 30psi).
Open all low-point drain lines –There will be a hot and cold water line.
Once all lines are drained, recap, close and turn off all drains and faucets.
Bypass the water heater –This isn’t a must, but will save you gallons of antifreeze. If you don’t have a bypass kit, you can get one installed relatively cheaply.
Pump antifreeze through your water lines (RV antifreeze is PINK) –Most newer RVs have a valve attached to the water pump that will allow the pump to draw antifreeze directly from the bottle. Turn on water pump, and starting with the closest faucet, open the hot and cold valves one at a time until you see pink antifreeze, then close. Keep replacing the bottle as needed, don’t let it run dry.
Open each faucet until each has antifreeze coming out –Also, keep flushing your toilet until you see antifreeze. Make sure you run antifreeze to the outside shower as well.
Turn off the water pump –Open a faucet to release pressure, then close.
Pour antifreeze down each drain and into the toilet.
Make sure if you have an electric heating element on your water heater, it is turned OFF.
Make sure all valves and faucets are CLOSED.
If you have other appliances (ice maker, dishwasher, etc.) consult the owner’s manual to winterize
Envision yourself hiking in the deep wilderness of Minnesota, trekking through the land of towering pines, pristine lakes and black bears. You’re in the midst of raw and organic wilds, taking in the atmosphere only the Upper Midwest can provide. You stumble on an untouched lake, so crystalline you can see the pebbles and fish underwater. This should be a euphoric moment, enveloped by unblemished nature and its everlasting serenity.
Here in Member Services, one of the many things that we help our members with is planning vacations. I’ve been helping plan some really cool ones lately, including my own. If you haven’t read about it already, you can read about it here on the blog!
Here are some tips on how to go about planning your own vacation using your membership! And remember, we’re here to help you if you have any questions along the way
1. Decide where you would like to go.
I decided that for my first vacation ever that I would go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have been overseas before but I had n
ever been to Mexico before and I had heard that Puerto Vallarta was beautiful. I did some research and it is a safe, friendly, and accommodating place to be in Mexico. If you’re dreaming of going overseas like Andrea is in the picture, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to get or renew a passport. This can take a couple of months sometimes so make sure to start planning early!
2. Decide when you’d like to go.
For me, the best time to take time off is when the parks are closed so I knew that my best window for securing time off would be during November-April. Your dates may vary but it is best to be flexible. Keep in mind that most condos check in on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and that they run for a week. It’s best to have a few weeks in mind that you’d be available to go.
I’ve spent the past year here in the Member Services department helping countless members research and plan their vacations all over the world. I love helping them find great deals in great places so I was very excited when my boss suggested that I take a vacation of my own. Using Hopaway Holiday, the condo portion of Coast to Coast, I was able to take a fabulous vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in early November of this year.
I started planning out my vacation nearly a year in advance. I had to think about where in the world I wanted to go. Did I want to go on a cruise or did I want to book a condo? Should I go somewhere warm or should I learn to ski in the snow? How many people did I want to take? These were just some of the things I had to consider before I could continue planning my vacation. I decided on Puerto Vallarta, Mexico because I speak the Spanish language and because upon doing some more research, I found that it was a safe, friendly, and inviting place to go in Mexico.