What To Know When RV Camping in the Winter

Camping is a good time, but even with an RV, you’ll want to know how to stay safe in the winter. Follow these cold-season RV camping tips to help you stay warm.

Camping in the winter is a unique and enjoyable experience. Few things feel better than cozying up to a campfire with the cold air around you. However, many campers make a dangerous mistake by assuming that their RV is warm and secure enough to keep them safe through the cold nights. So, before you head out into the woods, here are a few things to know when RV camping in the winter.

Install Proper Insulation

When you shut everything down for the night, your camper can start to get cold quickly without running heat. We suggest insulating everything before you head out. You can take detailed steps such as sealing the windows to more decorative steps such as putting thick rugs on the floor or hanging thicker curtains to block some of the cold air.

Make Sure Your RV Can Run

When camping in the winter, you will want to ensure your RV can run. In the event that your battery dies or you run out of gas, things can turn ugly fast. We suggest always having some spare gasoline on board and a way to give your battery a jump. We recommend converting your RV to lithium batteries if your vehicle still uses an older battery model to help increase its lifespan and reduce the chances of losing charge in colder temperatures.

Bring Helpful Supplies

When RV camping in the winter, it is vital to know the importance of packing some season-specific items in addition to traditional clothes and camping supplies. Before you head out, make sure you pack tire chains, a snow shovel, and something to help create traction in the event of ice or snow. A hairdryer is a helpful tool to bring on your camping trip to produce heat and help thaw things quickly and efficiently.

How To Prepare for Your Holiday Camping Trip

Camping outside is a great adventure, but camping during the holiday season is even more exciting. Here are a few things you need to do to prepare.

Tradition and the holiday season go hand in hand, but sometimes it’s more exciting to step outside the norm and do something different. You don’t have to break away from all your standard activities. Simply consider adding something new to the tradition—like a holiday camping trip. This excursion might be different from your other trips, so let us give you a hand. Here’s how to prepare for your holiday camping trip.

Find a Spot

If you’re a seasoned camper, you know the importance of a good spot. You want to find a location that is suitable for you and your family. There are a few things you need to consider. For starters, you’ll need to notify the authorities for that location, as you will probably need to obtain a camping permit.

Scope out a few locations and see what they offer. Look for things like what animals are in the area, a close water supply, and grounds spacious enough for your equipment. Additionally, you want to ensure your location is not too far away from a town or hospital in case of an emergency.

Track the Weather

Depending on where you travel, the weather might not be in your favor for your holiday trip. Of course, you can always bring along equipment to keep you shielded. However, it’s still best to keep a close eye on the weather leading up to the trip.

You’ll know what proper supplies to bring along. Consider items such as the following:

  • Clothes
  • Camping gear
  • Food and water supply

Get the Gear

This trip is a special occasion, so it calls for special equipment. Bring along your standard camping gear, but consider adding a few upgrades to the collection. Instead of the standard sleeping bag, get an inflatable mattress too. It will offer more comfort and support.

To make your sleeping arrangements even cozier, consider purchasing a truck roof tent. You’re still outside with this tent, but you’re not necessarily on the ground. And you’ll still get to see the big and bright stars deep in the heart of Texas.

Bring the Festivities

This might be the biggest point to remember. You need to bring the holiday festivities with you! After all, it’s not a holiday trip without them. Some decoration, presents, and holiday treats make the trip more memorable. But you don’t want to overcrowd your car or camper with too much stuff, so bring these items in moderation.

Holiday camping trips are the perfect way to reset and prepare yourself for the new year. Wherever your adventure takes you, we hope it’s full of holiday cheer!

What Every Camper Van Conversion Should Have

You can leave your ordinary life in the rearview when you learn what every camper van conversion should have to start your new life in the wilderness.

We all have thought about leaving modern civilization behind to live in the wilderness for a time or two. But the fantasy will come crashing down to reality if you don’t take the proper steps before becoming an outdoor person. Knowing what every camper van conversion should have ensures you have what it takes to live lavishly in Mother Nature.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Camper van living isn’t all that fun if you don’t have the necessary safety equipment. A carbon monoxide detector is a must inside your camper van. With all the fumes that could come from the vehicle and other appliances in the cabin, something that’s not easily detectable, such as carbon monoxide, could be a huge threat.

A fire extinguisher is another item you should have around if a fire breaks out. In a perfect world, the fire extinguisher will be nothing more than a piece of decor. However, you’ll be happy you have it if a fire does occur.

Keep the Energy Flowing

A camper van is versatile enough that there are various energy sources you can rely on. While many prefer using electricity and natural gas for their home, it’s not the best option for a camper van. Solar power for your camper van ensures you get the power you need without fiddling with cords and finding a plug-in.

Solar panels use sunshine to generate power. Electric currents pass from the solar panels to the charge controller through the solar wires. The controller regulates the voltage it receives to avoid a power spike, assuming you have the correct solar battery for the van. It is also beneficial to have a backup battery to store surplus power for later use.

Design the Best Kitchen

An integral part of van life is making the most of your limited space. That can be a serious challenge when configuring and designing the kitchen inside the vehicle. Other than the essential appliances, such as a range, refrigerator, and freezer, it’s nice to have a table to eat a meal on. A foldable table with aluminum legs is light but sturdy, making it the perfect addition to your van. And since it’s foldable, you can stow it away in any free crevasse.

Adaptable Storage Capabilities

If you store your items like a champion, you will get well-acquainted with Velcro and cargo nets. Velcro straps help create space by holding random things neat and orderly. It can hold anything from the wheel on a bike to curtains in the cabin, and they work much better than other tying devices. Additionally, cargo nets help you keep everything together without wasting space. You can even opt for the best of both worlds and get a cargo Velcro net, which is extremely handy.

Before you begin your off-the-grid lifestyle, you should know what every camper van conversion should have to ensure you have the bare necessities for comfortable living. Without a viable energy source, a well-designed kitchen, or proper storage, you could be in for a rough van life.

4 Ways Anglers Can Help Conserve the Environment

Do you want to ensure your grandchildren can enjoy the great Texas outdoors as you do? Learn the ways you can conserve the environment in our guide!

Anglers shouldn’t just be sportsmen and sportswomen—they should be conservationists. After all, don’t we want to preserve the beautiful Texas outdoors you love and enjoy so much? Learn how you can help conserve the environment as an angler below!

Pay for a Fishing License

Anglers should always have a license, as it’s legally necessary to fish in Texas for anyone over 17, but the fee for licenses isn’t just money down the drain. Instead, it helps the state’s environment. Much of the money from fishing licenses goes toward government environmental maintenance projects to preserve fisheries for anglers today and in the future.

These funds are vital for many state agencies to monitor fish and other species populations carefully and evaluate Texas water quality. It may seem like a hassle for anglers, but when everyone chips in a few bucks for a license, they’re helping ensure their children and children’s children can enjoy the same fisheries and watering holes they did.

Battle Invasive Species

Invasive species are a problem in many Texas waterways, with some of the worst being zebra mussels, giant Salvinia, and Asian swamp eels. As anglers are the ones who frequent many of these waterways, they hold a responsibility to do what they can to help slow the spread of invasive species so harmful to Texas’s environment.

Anglers must be diligent about the invasive species found at their fishing spots and carefully clean and sanitize their fishing gear and boat if they travel from one body of water to another. Many state agencies post notices of invasive species at popular fishing spots, so keep an eye out for those postings and do what you can to root out invasive species.

Preserve Natural Cover

Another part of Texas waterways that anglers should consider conserving is the natural cover on the water and along the banks and surrounding habitat. Natural features and vegetation aren’t just cosmetic but are crucial for wildlife and Texas ecosystems because they provide food and shelter to many species, not just fish.

As an angler, you may want more accessible pegs and feel tempted to clear out some vegetation and natural covers, but you can harm the environment more than you realize. Anglers should try to leave the waterway and environment as they find them—undisturbed.

Clean Up Litter

The simplest but one of the most effective ways anglers can help conserve the environment is by doing their part to clean up when they see trash around. Waters that attract lots of anglers unfortunately also tend to attract lots of litter like discarded fishing tackle and garbage from food and drink.

If you’re fishing and see litter lying about, pick it up and dispose of it properly to keep Texas clean. If you bring plastic packaging for a drink or snack, bring some trash bags to dispose of your garbage properly.

What Are the Benefits of Carrying a Firearm?

People might want to carry a firearm with them for many reasons. These items are more than just a weapon; they’re tools that provide many services.

Those who own firearms begin to realize the worth of these tools the longer they have them. Due to their usefulness, it’s wise to have at least one firearm secured around the house.

But when you carry a firearm on your person, it becomes even more of a utility you can use in real-time situations. Here are some benefits of carrying a firearm to further explain.

Self-Protection as a Vital Skill

Most people who carry, whether open carry or concealed carry, do it for the sole purpose of self-protection. While this might seem aggressive to some, individuals might have difficulty protecting themselves if they were ever in hand-to-hand combat. There is also the issue of the police being unavailable during a crisis where the individual has to defend themselves until the police arrive.

Allows Gun Safety Awareness

One of the greatest reasons to carry is to make an awareness of gun safety. Responsible individuals who keep their firearms concealed unless necessary provide a great model to the youth and others who may need guidance.

An example is training individuals on which carrying position is safest for those curious to know. With due diligence toward an awareness of firearm safety, we will have a much safer world with more responsible individuals.

Can Provide a Source of Food

If people need to hunt for food, a firearm is a great tool. If you’re stranded in the wilderness and carrying a firearm, you will stand a much better chance at survival than you would without. A firearm helps you practice self-defense and keep yourself fed.

With the right perspective, training, and awareness, people can better understand the many benefits of carrying a firearm. It’s an important topic to address because handling a firearm is a big responsibility. With a little information and discussion, more of the public can see the usefulness of having this tool on your person and how it can help you in everyday life.

What You Need to Pack for a Weekend Camping Trip

Camping is one of the best ways to get away and reconnect with nature. Before you head off, make sure you pack these essential items for a relaxing trip.

Everybody loves a good camping trip. It’s one of the best ways to relax in nature and escape the daily grind. It’s important to go through the checklist and make sure you pack all the essentials to ensure that you have a good trip. Here’s what you need to pack for a weekend camping trip to get the most out of your getaway.

Tent (and Accessories)

Unless you plan on sleeping under the stars or building your own shelter, the first thing you want to pack is a tent. Before packing it, we recommend setting up the tent and checking for any damage. One of the most common forms of damage is dirt or debris causing problems with the zipper, so we recommend protecting your outdoor zippers and fixing any problems from home. Aside from the tent, ensure that you have stakes, poles, and other accessories.

Enough Clothes

Many people just pack enough clothes for the weekend. However, we suggest bringing at least one or two extra sets of clothes in case the items get wet or especially dirty. Extra socks might prove especially crucial.

First-Aid Kit

Something you always need to pack for a weekend camping trip is a proper first-aid kit. These kits are essential if there’s any accident or injury. Your first-aid kit should include bandages, splints, disinfectants, tweezers, gauze, and pain medication.

Flashlights and Lanterns

If you live in an area with many streetlights, you may forget how dark it can get at night. Make sure you always have a flashlight with you or a lantern to provide light when you don’t have a fire going. Make sure you bring enough batteries to last through the weekend.

Sleeping Bags and Pads

Remember to pack a sleeping bag and a cushion between you and the thin fabric of the tent if you want a good night’s rest. While some campers may choose just to bring a blanket and pillow, it feels more like real camping when you crawl into a sleeping bag for the night.

Necessary Tools

There are several tools that are handy to bring with you on any camping trip. You should always have some form of pocket or hunting knife in case you need to cut anything. Many campers bring a multi-tool or a small hand-axe to address any potential obstacles out in the woods.

Outdoor Activities To Consider as a Hobby

It’s important to spend your free time doing something worthwhile for you. Here are some outdoor activities to consider as a hobby this season.

While it isn’t the end of the world to be stuck indoors, most people prefer doing something progressive with their time instead of sitting around. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor hobby, there are several things to consider with varying degrees of difficulty, depending on your preference. Check out these outdoor activities to consider as a hobby to help find your next passion.

Geocaching

If you love exploring in the style of a treasure hunt, then geocaching is worth trying out. All over the world, people have marked little packages in hidden areas while pinging them through a global positioning system. Participants then search for those caches to keep for themselves. While the prizes are often little knickknacks, this is a fun way to use your free time and have some fun.

Packrafting

Going out and enjoying watersports is great for pushing your body to the limit while exploring what nature offers. Packrafting is a full-body workout in terms of what it puts you through as you meander your way through different rivers with varying difficulties. From unpredictable currents to hidden obstacles, it’s worth knowing how to get in shape for packrafting before you start practicing.

Orienteering

Some people haven’t heard about orienteering, but it is a lot of fun, and it’s worth trying at least once. For those confident in their navigational skills, orienteering involves using a special map and compass to navigate your way to specified locations. Unlike geocaching, you are typically on unfamiliar terrain and are expected to move at a certain pace to get to the location on time.

Going out and testing your capabilities is half the fun of finding a new passion you’re trying for the first time. Depending on how challenging you want it to be, there is likely something to accommodate your needs. These outdoor activities to consider as a hobby are a great place to start when looking for something new to take up your time.

PIKES PEAK OR BUST

June 14, 2004 and we finally we are off to Colorado! Our route took us through Junction, Fort Stockton, and onward. Around Ft. Stockton, we noticed the engine was sputtering like water or trash in the gas as we had just filled up at Junction and had no earlier problem. We called Bill Cardell, with Flying Miata, and he helped track down part of the problem (and we did make it to his shop in Grand Junction). We were scared we would spend the night on the road but we made the first stop in Roswell, N.M.

When we finally made it to Bill’s Flying Miata shop he worked on it all day and found a bad connection on the 02 sensor. Very nice people and definitely came to our rescue.

Pikes Peak
Glen Coker at Pikes Peak

From Grand Junction, we drove to Glenwood Springs, took the cable car up to the top of the mountain, then spent a couple days around the area. The next night at Redstone, a tiny little town of one street we toured the Redstone Castle and took in some of the local cuisine. Great food!

From there, we took a scenic drive towards Crested Butte and ended up in Gunnison. Part of this drive was a bad decision on Glen’s part (who else?) as it was mostly meant for 4 wheelers. In Gunnison, we were offered free tickets to a Chuckwagon dinner complete with locals playing guitars and singing. It was definitely worth the price. The next night we went to a concert in the park.

Continue reading “PIKES PEAK OR BUST”

5 Tips To Prepare a Jeep for Long-Distance Driving

Traveling on the road is more enjoyable when you have the right planning with your vehicle. Learn five tips to prepare a Jeep for long-distance driving.

Taking a family vacation or traveling for the holidays is more enjoyable when your vehicle has the right elements and attachments to handle anything. Avoiding unwanted situations like accidents or delays will make your trip a better experience and more memorable for everyone.

Some vehicles are easier to handle on the road than others. These tips to prepare a Jeep for long-distance driving will give you different options on things you can do, attach, and check before hitting the road.

Get Specific Attachments

Jeeps have unique and useful attachments that enhance some of their special characteristics and features. While these elements may take up space, attachments like coolers, cushions, and smart screens will make travel more enjoyable for everyone.

Remove Objects From the Interior

Removing objects that don’t benefit your trip and take up space is ideal when you have restricted space inside a Jeep. Elements like spare tires, tools, emergency kits, and road assistance must always stay inside the vehicle, but they don’t have to take up room in the interior. Jeeps have wide trunks, which is the ideal space for these items and luggage. Arranging everything with precision will enhance the space and make it easier and more comfortable to travel.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Before traveling anywhere, inspecting your vehicle and everything that involves a safe ride is essential. Check oil levels and tire pressure, ensure no engine lights are on, and inspect the gas levels. It’s also important to do test runs in case strange noises come up; you must know your Jeep transmission to learn if something requires special and immediate attention.

Plan Your Route

Having an estimated arrival time and mapping out a route for your trip is a good way to stay safe and avoid delays or surprises. Luckily, your GPS will give you live updates and preferred routes to where you need to be. You can also take different routes with off-roading options to make your trip more adventurous and fun when appropriate.

Keep the System Updated

There is a unique situation with Jeeps called “death wobble,” where the steering system will start to shake. This will make the Jeep vibrate and shake uncontrollably when driving and could cause discomfort and increase accident probabilities. Preparing your Jeep for long-distance driving by checking on worn suspension parts will make a big difference and help you avoid the death wobble.

Hunting Dog Training; Hitting a Wall

Now, not every pup is perfect or easy to train. So, what do you do when you have a dog that hits a wall? What I mean by that is, at some point during training you might have a dog who stalls, hesitates, or refuses to complete the drill you’re trying to train. When this occurs, we take a step back. Remember, we always want to end a session on a good note. Some of these young pups can get overloaded sometimes and that is when you start to see them shut down. They express it by walking instead of running, not going when sent on a retrieve, or coming “HERE” when being called.

In this video, you can see the example of a dog not going when being sent and eventually walking back instead of running with excitement. At this point, we did end on a good note because the dog returned to us, so we quit. Now some could say, well that dog just doesn’t have what it takes, and that is true. But before we make that assumption, we have a small trick up our sleeve. We give the dog 4-5 days off just to be a puppy. We will let the dog out of the kennel several times a day one on one and play with them, or simply sit and love on them. This can act as a reset button for some and in a week can be right back into training with no problems. If the dog continues to show the same lack of drive or motivation, it is at that point we either contact the client and discuss, or if it is one of ours, we simply sale the pup as a family pet. I know what you’re thinking, but this is our family pet! That’s fine, keep the dog as a family pet and go get another hunting dog. I am a firm believer that you can make a family pet out of hunting dog, but you can’t make a family dog hunt. It does not make since in having a hunting dog that only wants to hunt when he/she wants too.

Every dog at some stage of training is going to have a hang up, or stumble on a drill for a few days in a row. Knowing when they have hit a wall and seeing the signs is key to helping them get over the hump or understanding they don’t have what it takes.

Bear, the last pup we had for sale this year has sold. He will enjoy the Hill Country life and be able to roam and play with the other family pets. We are currently waiting for one of our females to come into heat. She should be coming in soon, and we will have a repeat breeding. If all goes well, we will be looking to have a February 2023 litter. The pups would be ready to go home in April, and any of the hunting dogs we hold back for training will be trained to a Started Dog in time for the 2023/24 bird season.

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

N&M Sportsman’s Adventures

www.nmsportsmansadventures.com

AB Kennels/M2 Breeding

www.abkennels.com

4 Tips for Having Fun Off-Roading With Family

With the right plans and mindset, off-roading can be an adventure for the whole family. Use these four tips for having fun off-roading with your people.

If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the outdoors with your family, consider going off-roading. While this activity has a reputation for ruggedness, you can find plenty of trails that gently meander through nature. Use these four tips for having fun off-roading with your family.

1. Prepare Your Off-Road Vehicle

Before you head off on your great adventure, prepare your vehicle for the terrain. You won’t have any fun if you’re low on fluids, gas, or don’t have recovery gear to help you out when you get stuck.

Preparing your rig for off-roading takes extensive care, but it’s essential. And the more you know about your vehicle, the more you understand its limitations.

Check the engine, fluid levels, and tire pressure. Know the ground clearance and your tire type to make sure you can safely traverse the terrain. If you’re renting an off-road rig, talk to the rental company about how the vehicle is equipped for the trip.

2. Choose an Appropriate Trail

The next tip for having fun off-roading with family is to choose an appropriate trail. What’s appropriate depends on the driver’s experience and skill level, the rider’s ages and their preferences, and the vehicle’s capabilities. All these indicators will help you decide what level of difficulty to tackle.

Once you hit the trail, modify your driving based on people’s interests. When it comes to kids or people who haven’t gone off-roading much, it’s a good idea to have other activities planned to help break up the drive. Going on a hike, stopping to camp out, or just taking a break to picnic and admire the scenery will help you enjoy the outdoors even more.

3. Pack the Essentials

Pack essential items that keep people and rig in the best condition. For your vehicle, bring items such as a tire repair kit, a spare tire, a basic tool kit, tow strap, and tree saver.

You should also bring a fully stocked first aid kit and ample food and water. Other common camping equipment, such as insect repellant and thermal blankets, can work well too. Keep in mind the time of day and weather conditions so that you can stay comfortable.

If you’re going on a trip with other drivers, consider bringing a communication device such as a CB (citizens band) radio. You can share communications about needing to stop, ask questions, and point out fun things on the trail.

4. Follow Trail Etiquette

Finally, once you’re on the trail, follow off-roading trail etiquette for the well-being of yourself, the environment, and other off-roaders. While there are several things to keep in mind, they’re simple guidelines to follow.

Following trail etiquette makes your trip more fun by giving your off-road adventure some needed structure. For example, at some point you might cross paths with another vehicle while you’re on an incline. When both drivers know that the vehicle going up the incline should be the first to move past, that makes the experience safer and smoother for everyone.

Seadrift, TX. Fall Sight Casting; 11/3/22

Sight Casting before approaching fronts can be very successful. On Either normal tides or low tides, reds usually go on a more aggressive feed as these fronts get closer. Found many fish crushing surface mullet, and patrolling the banks for small perch and grass shrimp.

I guess the marsh had Halloween too. When the fog lifted this was revealed

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

N&M Sportsman’s Adventures

www.nmsportsmansadventures.com

AB Kennels/M2 Breeding

www.abkennels.com