How To Have a Good Night’s Sleep in the Outdoors

Camping outside is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors, but you may have trouble sleeping. There are ways to help you fall asleep outside with ease.

Whether you’re in Inks Lake State Park or Big Bend National Park, camping is a great time for you and anyone else who enjoys the outdoors. The natural scenery and fun outdoor activities make it a memorable experience, but you may not have as much fun if you have trouble falling asleep. Sleeping outdoors may be difficult, but there are ways to ensure you fall fast asleep so that you’ll feel energized for any outdoor activities.

Sleep on Even Ground

Sleeping on uneven ground feels uncomfortable as the tent floor will be at an angle, and you’ll subconsciously tilt your body to prevent yourself from rolling. Sleeping on even ground is the best way to get a good night’s sleep outdoors, and you will have an easier time keeping sleeping bags and other items from moving overnight.

The ground should also be as flat as possible, so you won’t need to worry about rolling over and feeling rocks jutting into your ribs.

Take a Mattress Pad or Two

The solid ground of nature may make getting comfortable challenging, especially in the rocky landscapes of Texas. Mattress pads will make comfort easier to attain so that you can sleep better outdoors. Mattress pads are easy to carry; you may roll them up to make storage simple until you need them.

The mattress pad will provide comfort and make it easier to sleep on solid ground. Combining the mattress pad’s softness and the sleeping bag’s warmth will make an ideal bed for you. Plus, creating the best sleeping conditions with mattress pads is also how campers fall asleep in conversion vans.

Keep the Tent Facing Away From the Sun and Under Covers

The sun will be a large distraction as you try to sleep a little longer in the morning or fall asleep at sunset. Facing the tent away from the sun will ensure you don’t have sunbeams glaring in your face. You could also set up camp in an area with multiple trees to mitigate the effects of the sun and help you sleep in peace.

Sleep is essential for anyone who loves the outdoors, as there’s so much to do, and you need the energy to do them. If you have trouble sleeping outside, use these tips to help you get quality rest so that your camping trip is more enjoyable.

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.

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.

Accessories To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Truck

Driving a pickup truck offers you a lot of opportunities. Consider some of these useful accessories to get the most out of your pickup truck.

Trucks are some of the most versatile vehicles on the road. You can use your truck for hauling gear, off-road traveling, and even camping. The more you add to your truck, the more capabilities you can give it to perform more complex tasks. If you want to upgrade your rig, here are some accessories to help you get the most out of your truck.

Step Bars

Step bars are a useful tool for any truck and are often one of the first purchases truck owners make for their vehicles. Step bars provide an easy leg up to pull yourself into a higher truck or get easier access to the bed, and they give you a bit of buffer room. These bars stick out a little farther than the tires, meaning if you accidentally graze something, the step bar will be the first thing to come into contact with it. This protects your truck from potential damage.

Trailer Hitch

Trailer hitches are one of the best accessories to help you get the most out of your truck. If you ever need to load up materials, vehicles, or anything that won’t fit in the bed of your truck, rigging up a trailer can make things much easier. There are different types of trailer hitches, so you may want to know the tips for hauling trailers to make things easier for your truck. For example, you should know which trailers hook up to which hitches.

Tonneau Cover

Tonneau covers are lightweight, collapsible covers that go over the open area of your bed. These covers protect your truck bed from dirt, debris, and weather damage. They’re also easy to remove when you need to load up the bed with large cargo.

Not only do tonneau covers work for protecting your truck bed, but they help reduce drag when you’re driving at higher speeds. Reducing the amount of wind dragging your truck may increase fuel efficiency and help keep your truck working in the long run.

How To Make Your Truck Safe for Overlanding

Put together the perfect plan to make your truck safe for overlanding using these easy and essential tips whether you’re driving across mud, snow, or beyond.

Overlanding is a big adventure, and the type of truck you drive is a significant part of that journey. Like traditional off-roading, overlanding requires traversing unconventional terrain that requires special precautions to handle properly. This list will introduce you to several ways you can take this long trip with both safety and adventure at the forefront of your plan. Learn how to make your truck safe for overlanding today so you can make every trip better.

Better Lighting, Better Visibility

The weather, terrain, and time of day all influence your visibility when overlanding. For instance, traversing across the terrain at night is dangerous if you don’t have strong lights because you need to be aware of any hazards around you. Of course, careful handling of your vehicle plays into safer nighttime driving, but better lighting provides you with the power to see dangers around you so you can react quickly.

Taking time to learn everything you need to know about overland truck lighting is crucial because you can easily optimize your truck if the lighting is insufficient. Trucks like the Toyota Tacoma can be successfully outfitted with aftermarket lights that help illuminate the area around you for a safer experience.

Promptly Replace Insufficient Tires

Learning how to make your truck safe for overlanding requires focusing on tires for multiple reasons. For example, a careful inspection before the trip will help you catch any issues such as low tire pressure, holes, wear, and other causes for replacement.

Likewise, tires come in many forms, so always ensure yours can handle the terrain you plan to endure on the trip. Whether you’re overlanding in snowy, mud, or another terrain entirely, you need tires that will help you remain stable and secure when driving.

Double-Check All Secured Cargo

Another detail to check before your trip is all the cargo. Whether you’re carrying a light or heavy load, everything should be firmly secured in place. Keeping belongings secure helps with any drive, but overlanding is an experience in which you will travel across bumpy, uneven terrain that can cause cargo to fall.

Whether it’s a suitcase or your entire truck camper, inspect all secured cargo to ensure nothing will fall and cause damage or injuries during your trip. Add these tips to your next overlanding trip checklist to ensure you don’t overlook any essential steps.

3 Essential Safety Tips for Operating a UTV

It’s important to follow proper safety precautions at all times when driving utility vehicles. Here are three essential safety tips for operating a UTV.

Utility terrain vehicles, also known as UTVs, are versatile vehicles with the ability to travel over various types of rugged terrain and have amazing hauling capacities. There are all kinds of reasons to buy a UTV. You can use them for hunting, farming, outdoor work, and recreation. However, staying as safe as possible when driving these vehicles is important. Here are three essential safety tips for operating a UTV.

Wear the Proper Gear

Wearing the proper gear is the first safety tip essential to operating a UTV. It’s important to dress appropriately and equip yourself with the necessary gear when driving a utility vehicle, as these are not the same as cars you drive on the road. Because you are navigating difficult and rugged terrain in these vehicles, wearing a helmet is crucial. UTV rides can get bumpy, and you want to protect yourself from any potential hazards. Goggles are another great piece of gear to wear when driving these vehicles to keep your eyes safe from dirt, dust, mud, rocks, and other flying debris.

Avoid Public Roads

Another vital safety tip when driving UTVs is to avoid public roads. It’s not safe to drive these types of vehicles on regular roads with other cars and traffic, so you should avoid doing so at all times. In most states, driving UTVs on state-regulated roads and highways is illegal. In Texas, however, you can register your UTV as a street-legal vehicle for limited use on public roads with a speed limit of 35 mph at most, but you must meet proper codes and regulations to do so. Manufacturers design these vehicles specifically for off-roading, so you can drive them on designated trails.

Follow Rules and Regulations

Following rules and regulations is crucial for your safety when operating a UTV. Rules are in place to keep everyone safe from potentially dangerous situations. Familiarize yourself with trail regulations so you avoid getting into crashes. Only drive on marked trails, stay to the right of the trail at all times, slow down on turns, corners, and near campgrounds, and mark your vehicle with the appropriate stickers and flags. You should also never have more passengers than appropriate seating in a UTV. For example, if a UTV is intended for one passenger, no additional people should ride in that vehicle.

While the reasons to buy a utility vehicle seem endless, be sure to follow these important safety tips for driving a UTV. When you follow proper safety precautions, rules, and regulations, you are taking the necessary steps to stay safe.

The 5 Best Spots for Off-Roading in Texas

In the process of planning your next off-roading adventure? Us too. Here are some Texas favorites that you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

Everything’s bigger (and better) in Texas, including the off-road parks. If you’re looking for a great spot for your next off-road trip, you’re in the right place. Here are the five best spots for off-roading in Texas.

Trees Ranch Offroad Park

Difficulty: Extreme

Stretching over 5,500 acres, Trees Ranch Offroad Park has countless trails to explore. It’s located in Texas Hill Country, so you’re sure to get beautiful views. Covered in creek bed trails and extreme obstacles, this park has something for everyone—if you know what you’re doing.

This park is not beginner friendly. In fact, some damage to your Jeep is likely, so read the “Are You Prepared?” section on the website before you go.

Trees Ranch is owned by off-roading enthusiasts, so the trails are always well-maintained. If you’re looking for an extreme off-roading spot, this one is not to be missed.

Hidden Falls Adventure Park

Difficulty: Moderate

Hidden Falls Adventure Park is billed as the “premier off-road adventure park in Texas” for good reason. It ranks number one on many lists of this nature, likely due to its 200 miles of fantastic trails. Hidden Falls boasts trails for ATVs, motorbikes, and 4×4 trails alike.

Katemcy Rocks

Difficulty: Beginner to Difficult

If you’re looking for beautiful scenery, this is the place for you. The entire park is full of stunning granite rocks. At 800 acres, there’s plenty to explore. In addition to the great trails, Katemcy Rocks also offers accommodations, so it’s even easier to make a weekend out of it.

Creekside Offroad Ranch

Difficulty: Moderate

Located near Houston, Creekside Offroad Rand consists of 350 acres of the best off-roading in Texas. There is plenty of sand, water, and mud if you like getting your Jeep dirty, and the hills make this spot stand out. There are also campgrounds available so that you can spend your whole weekend off-roading.

Barnwell Mountain

Difficulty: Beginner to Moderate

Barnwell Mountain is located in Gilmer, Texas—close to Dallas. It’s made up of 1850 acres of trails for all different levels of experience. In addition, it offers campgrounds, cabins, and bunkhouses; you have plenty of options if you decide to stay overnight.

Barnwell Mountain is one of the most beginner-friendly options on this list. Because it includes more difficult trails, it’s also a great place to push yourself and test your skills as you improve. But before that, here are some helpful tips to master the basics of off-roading.

Whichever trail you pick, one thing’s for certain—this great state has some seriously incredible off-roading spots.

What Are the Differences Between Van Life and Overlanding?

For men who don’t just want to spend time outdoors but want to actually live there, the van life or overlanding sounds great. Learn about the differences here.

Outdoorsmen love nature and want to spend every possible second on a trail, on a boat, hunting, fishing, or on some other kind of adventure. While you can easily do that when you live in a state as geographically diverse as Texas, sometimes you need to do more than just visit the great outdoors in your free time—you need to live there. Van life and overlanding are two versions of living outside that more and more people are embracing, and you can too. Keep reading to learn about the differences between van life and overlanding so you can pick the option that’s right for you.

Van Life Definition

You’ve probably seen videos on social media where people share about their van life. They either bought or fixed up some type of van so that it was more of an apartment on wheels than a vehicle, and then they set out to live on the road. People from all walks of life are embracing this comfortably nomadic lifestyle, outfitting vans with internet access so they can work remotely, training pets to enjoy the great outdoors, and even homeschooling their kids so that little ones can grow up adventurous. For most of these people, there is no end destination in sight. Their aim is to travel and try new experiences, possibly enjoying adventures like rock climbing and fishing along the way, but not necessarily planning for them.

Overlanding Definition

Overlanding focuses more on the adventure side of travel, and people who overland may use different modes of transportation to get to those adventures. You may or may not have a final destination in mind when you set out overlanding, but you definitely know where you plan to rock climb, fish, hike, and hunt. Most overlanders drive vehicles designed for off-roading and just plan to camp as they travel towards their adventurous destinations. However, depending on where those adventures are, you may start on a plane, rent an off-roading vehicle, and then set out overlanding. You might also ride a boat somewhere, leave it docked, and set out on a shorter overlanding excursion with your supplies. No matter how you get there, overlanding focuses on bunking down in the elements and finding adventure.

Which Is Best for You?

Your choice between van life and overlanding will be based on many factors, such as your lifestyle and finances. The costs of van life can quickly add up, since you’ll need fuel and insurance for the van, food while on the road, and will probably have to rent out a campsite. However, you’ll also be more comfortable and be able to bring more of your life with you, like your work.

Overlanding will have its own costs associated with it, but bringing your own camping supplies and only buying food you can cook on a campfire will keep your costs much lower. You’ll also have a better opportunity to experience nature and have the adventures you want. However, you may find it more difficult to balance work and other life needs with an overlanding lifestyle.

The differences between van life and overlanding are that van life is more comfortable and designed to accommodate your lifestyle, while overlanding gives you a better opportunity to experience nature and enjoy adventures. Whichever you choose, van life and overlanding are both great ways to break the mold and live out your outdoorsman dreams.

What Do You Need To Build an RV Solar System?

Camping in an RV is a fantastic experience. Those looking to add some sustainability to their trip may want to use this checklist to build a solar system.

It’s always a good idea to take the RV out for a weekend and enjoy a camping trip out in the wilderness. To help create a greener, more sustainable camping lifestyle, many people are investing in alternative energy sources for their campers. One of the most popular investments is creating a solar panel system, and when living in Texas, you may get bonus incentives for investing in solar energy. If you’re wondering what you need to build a solar system for your RV, Texas Outdoors Network has the answers for you!

Solar Panels

Naturally, one of the most fundamental parts of building a solar panel system is having solar panels. Whether you lay them flat or choose to angle them slightly toward the sun, having solar panels on the roof of your camper is a vital part of building your system. We recommend getting monocrystalline panels for campers due to the limited space.

Battery Bank

The solar panels on your camper collect energy, but you need somewhere to store that power, or you’re not going to be able to use it. Lithium-ion battery packs are among the best when it comes to safe, reliable storage of your solar energy.

Charge Controller

Think of the charge controller as the middleman between your solar panels and the battery bank. You won’t be able to build your RV solar system without a charge controller. Essentially, this device safely regulates the amount of usable power that goes from your panels to your battery. The charge controller prevents the battery from overcharging and keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently.

Inverter

When you use power from your RV or camper, the energy typically comes from the battery, which is often a 12v DC source of electricity. Your solar panel system’s inverter allows you to convert the 12v DC power into 120-volt AC power, making it better for charging laptops, coffee makers, or other similar devices. When you install the inverter near your battery bank, your system allows you to utilize AC power from your solar panels fully.

The Most Important Safety Rules for Going Off-Roading

Off-roading is a fun outdoor activity, but it can do some damage to your car if you’re not ready. Here are a few safety rules for going off-roading.

Off-roading is an exciting activity where you bring your car or dirt bike to unsurfaced roads consisting of dirt, mud, snow, and rocks. It’s fun to do with your friends or family on the weekend or even as part of a competition. However, there are some things to do before off-roading to ensure you and everyone you’re with remain safe. Read on to learn the most important safety rules for going off-roading.

Tell People Where You’re Going

Off-roading is thrilling because you can get away from the main roads and go out into the middle of nowhere! Unfortunately, when you go this far from civilization, you’re more likely to lose your cellular signal, and if anything happens, you have no form of communication. This possibility is why it is so critical to tell people where you’re going beforehand and how long you expect to be away. If any accidents happen, you’ll have to wait until someone comes to help you.

Bring Another Car With You

Along with letting people know where you are, you should bring another car with you. An extra car can tow you out if the mud traps your vehicle, and if it’s impossible to get free, you have a way to get home. Of course, sticking in the mud in the first place isn’t ideal, but you should prepare for the worst-case scenario. Otherwise, you’ll end up with no car, no cellular signal, and no assistance.

Find the Perfect Tires

You can go off-roading in your regular tires, but you may want to consider changing them for a better alternative. Standard tires aren’t the best for off-roading, and the drive can seriously mess them up. Instead, you should look for the best off-roading tires for your vehicle. With the proper tires, off-roading will be a fun and sustainable activity for your vehicle.

Wear a Seatbelt

You may not be on the main roads where the law can spot you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear your seatbelt. If anything, wearing your seatbelts while off-roading is even more critical. Without a well-paved road, your vehicle will experience a lot of bumps, big rocks, sharp turns, and other hazards that can mess up your car. Wearing your seatbelt keeps you safe, and if a hazard leads to your car flipping over, buckling in will be essential.

Prepare for off-roading with these safety rules to ensure you have an exciting and safe time the next time you go out. These safety rules don’t mean you will be safe, though, as you must still be careful when driving behind the wheel. The Texas roads can be reasonably safe, but when going off-road, you are venturing into the unknown. While you can still have fun, you should always focus on safety.

Cast and Blast with Capt. Nathan Beabout

Day 1 & 2 of 5, has been decent mornings of duck hunting with lots of air traffic, but weary birds.

Fishing on day 1 was slow with zero trout action, but a few redfish falling for the Down South Lure trick. 

Down South Lures
Down South Lures

Continue reading “Cast and Blast with Capt. Nathan Beabout”

South Texas Trophy Hunts

South Texas has produced many trophy huge Boone & Crockett Whitetail Deer bucks over the decade. There is no other hunting ranch to hunt these big Texas Whitetail Bucks like the Agua Dulce Ranch located in South Texas. Whether you are deer hunting from one of our comfortable stands or driving this Texas hunting ranch doing a spot and stalk or getting down and dirty with a set of rattling deer antlers the excitement and unique hunting experience you get from hunting in Agua Dulce Ranch compares to no other ranch in South Texas.

Visit our website and contact us for a hunt of a lifetime

www.texastrophywhitetaildeer.com/