RV travel has always been perfect for escaping crowds and immersing yourself in the great outdoors. Our RV’s allow us to cook our own meals, sleep in our own bedrooms, and enjoy our own comfortable and private indoor and outdoor spaces. But who wants to spend an entire vacation at their campsite? Not us. We love to explore everything that the campground and the surrounding environs have to offer.
But this summer, in the age of coronavirus, it’s important to plan great outdoor activities that will be filled with fun, fresh air, and lots of space for social distancing. Thankfully, our RVs put us incredibly close to the best that mother nature has to offer--and sometimes the adventure can start just a few steps away from our own front doors.
Here are six great outdoor activities that are perfect for social distancing. You may need to purchase some good gear to get started on each of these, but your RV is built for storing and transporting this kind of stuff. And right now may just be the perfect time to try something new!
For our family, hiking and RVing have always gone hand in hand. Our boys started hiking with us in their backpack carriers on our trips to Acadia National Park in Maine. Now, ten years later, they can complete technically challenging 8-12 mile hikes with us in places like Glacier National Park in Montana. This summer we will be looking for less popular hikes that are off the beaten path. We will also make sure to get there early so trails are empty and parking is easy. You should too.
Pro Tip: Invest in good hiking shoes even if they cost more. Your feet will thank me later!
We have a rack on the back of our Jayco Eagle HT 264BHOK that makes bringing our bikes along for the ride a piece of cake. In fact, all three of our sons learned to ride their bikes at the campground. So for us, bikes are essential on every single RV trip. We find that it is relatively easy to keep proper social distance while riding bikes and it will be one of our go-to activities this summer.
Pro Tip: Have a large family and lots of bikes? Consider a Jayco Toy Hauler to make transporting them a snap.
Fishing is built for social distancing. It is also a great hobby for RV families because so many campgrounds have stocked lakes and ponds. The front storage bin on our Eagle helps keep all of our gear organized and out of our main living space. Fishing with little kids can be challenging because they constantly need help with tangles and (hopefully) getting fish off the lines. But once they learn to do these things themselves it’s a pure joy.
Pro Tip: Teach your kids from a young age that they are responsible for packing up and maintaining their own gear. Mom and dad have enough work to do!
Kayaking and Canoeing
There’s nothing I love more than booking a waterfront site at a campground and launching a kayak just steps away from our RV. Getting out on the open water is peaceful and relaxing, and a great way to get away from crowds. If you have little kids, consider getting a canoe so everyone can paddle out together.
Pro Tip: Waterfront sites book up fast. You may have to make reservations 9-12 months in advance to get one!
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) may look difficult but it is actually pretty easy and makes for a great workout. Our entire family loves to SUP and we often seek out campgrounds near lakes and rivers that have calm and welcoming waters. It is important to get a board that is properly sized to the rider. A small child on a large board will have trouble paddling. A larger adult on a small board will have difficulty staying balanced and will probably fall off a lot.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have room to store an SUP in your RV consider getting an inflatable one. If you get a good one they are sturdy and reliable.
Birdwatching is an outside the box hobby for our family. Our boys are rambunctious and energetic and typically have non-stop energy from dawn to dusk. But something about bird watching soothes their souls. We bring several pairs of binoculars with us on every RV trip and often break them out when we need an outdoor activity that is a bit more chill and relaxing.
Pro Tip: Get a “Sibley Field Guide to Birds” to Help Your Kids (and you!) identify and learn about the birds in any given region.
I am so thankful that we purchased our first RV ten years ago. It has filled our time together as a family with adventure after adventure. There is nothing we love more than seeking out great outdoor activities by day, and relaxing back at the campground each night.
I usually head right to the hammock after an exhausting day of hiking or paddling, but my kids almost always beat me to it...
Jeremy Puglisi is the co-author of See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors and the co-host of The RV Atlas podcast.