Posts tagged Destination

Consider these destinations for your 2017 camping trip!

When should I start planning my vacation?

“Are you thinking of renting an RV for your summer 2017 vacations? Maybe you want to explore the United States or perhaps you plan to travel further afield to see Europe, Australasia or beyond. Whichever destination takes your fancy, at Campanda we know that the best vehicles for summer vacations get snapped up at the beginning of the year by the early birds. So, to avoid disappointment, take our advice and get planning now! The earlier you book, the better value the prices are too so all you have to worry about is picking where you want to go. To help you get started with your trip planning, we’ve put together this list of our most exciting and upcoming RVing destinations for 2017 and some top picks of great value RVs available for rent on Campanda.”

 

In the graph above you can see two measure from 2016, the date campers booked their trip and the date campers went on their trip. The difference between the two measures should give you an idea how early people are booking their trips. Between January and April, many people are booking and not so many are going on vacation. It’s safe to assume that most of these people are booking for the upcoming summer.

To help you plan, here is a list of our most exciting destinations and the benefits of camping in them!


Top Destinations


Iceland

 
The amount of interest in that little island increases massively every year. This year, spurred by Iceland’s performance in the European soccer tournament, campers rushed to Iceland to get a glimpse of its fire meets ice landscapes. Check out this article, to find out more about camping in Iceland.

Iceland has a circular road that goes around the island allowing you to visit all the hotspots. To visit everything you need around two weeks.

Camping highlights

1. Wild camping: Iceland is one of the countries that allows primitive camping across the country. Its large plains and fields are mostly owned by the state allowing you to park your RV where you please. The only two rules are to not park on private property and to not destroy the landscape.

2. The hotsprings: Iceland has many natural hot springs said to carry health benefits for the skin.

3. Active volcanoes: The island has more than 30 active volcanoes.

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2. Botswana

 

Botswana resides north of South Africa. Part of its popularity among campers is the Kalahari desert and the Kalahari reservations. It’s best not to go directly during summertime as the temperatures will be difficult to bear. Instead it’s best to seek your Botswana adventures in the winter months. That being said, Botswana is a very popular destination and not only among camping enthusiasts but among animal lovers also. So make sure to plan your African trip early!

Camping Highlights

1. The Kalahari: It’s one of the most sought after wild reservations in the world along with the Serengeti. No other place offers you the chance to see Africa’s wildlife up close and personal. We’re talking Cheetahs, lions, elephants and rhinos so makes sure to bring enough storage for all your pictures!

2. Culture: it’s true that sub saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions in the world. This doesn’t stop it however from boasting a deep and unique culture that is heavily influenced by the land itself. Visiting small villages is one of the top activities our campers report doing in Botswana.

3. Shopping: Many campanders tell us how much they enjoyed the African fabrics. These are handmade and tend to be very cheap all whilst making you popular with the locals.

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3. New Zealand

 

Going there and back again has been a favorite amongst our International campers in 2016. It’s said that you can experience all 4 seasons in a day in New Zealand. From tropical forests to icy glaciers to serene beaches, it’s hard to question the reason New Zealand is so popular. New Zealand also has 3 official boondocking locations where you are allowed to park and enjoy the view.

Camping Highlights

1. Microclimates: As previously mentioned you’ll be able to experience very different climates in the same season. This in turn will give you the opportunity to do very different things like winter sports, hiking, nature watching, water sports etc.

2. Rich biodiversity: By virtue of being isolated islands far away from any land mass, Australia and New Zealand have a very unique collection of animals and plants – New Zealand in particular because of its more diverse climate. Many people go there just to experience Nature.

3. Opposite seasons: Many decide to go to New Zealand in winter when they live in cold countries. New Zealand thus provides a great opportunity to go and take full advantage of a second summer.

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4. Alaska

 

Alaska is beautiful in the summer time and looks very much different than the continental US. This makes it a destination for many RVers looking to explore and spend a temperate summer in the northern lands. There are many campsites to visit, some as far as Deadhorse, the northernmost city in Alaska.

You can furthermore explore the native culture and find out what type of primitive techniques were used to deal with the extreme weather conditions before the pilgrims ever set foot in Alaska.

Camping Highlights

1. Nature Watching: Splashes of violet and yellow flowers are peppered over endless plains and hills of white and green patches of earth. These act like greeting lands for many migratory birds that go to Alaska for the mating season. Not only birds, but sea mammals like the Orca and land mammals like the grizzly bear also make an appearance to take advantage of the cool summer weather there.

2. Native Culture: Eskimo communities have been able to retain a lot of tradition through the years. You can experience that culture by visiting “Barrow” (the largest Eskimo city in Alaska) or other cities like it. A camper recently recommended us the whaling festival that takes places on the longest day of the year on June 24th or 25th.

3. American Remoteness: Go to Alaska, if you wish to find yourself surrounded by nature and nothing else.

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5. The United Kingdom

 

Britain is a great location certainly, however it’s not the first place you’d think of going when you think camping. We chose to include it in this list because the British Pound is currently really cheap. A camping trip to the U.K. is about 25% cheaper than what it would have been prior to the referendum. So make sure to take a closer look at camping in the United Kingdom.

Camping Highlights

1. High density of campsites: The UK is a camping powerhouse with a thriving service industry to support it. It might surprise you to know that the UK has the highest density of campsites by landmass, more than any other country.

2. A Culture Mecca: Take a trip to visit landmarks like Salisbury Cathedral, York Minster and Stonehenge.

3. British Pubs: Have a mingle with the locals. All you need is a couple of pints of ale and Bob’s your uncle!

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5 outdoor activities you should try this winter

Are you a nature lover looking to dip your toes into a winter activity this season? As you know winter sports aren’t only about skiing and snowboarding, there is much more to explore. Having your home on wheels gives you the opportunity to go and take a look at this wonderful world, all you need to do is grab the keys and start the engine and your winter adventure is a go go.

1. Gazing at the Northern Lights

Northern lights are a unique phenomenon. Nothing else comes close to combining science and magic. To get a bit into the science here, northern lights are a byproduct of solar matter traveling through space only to be diverted by a magnetic layer surrounding Earth and pulled back in through the magnetic charge in the North and South poles!

What’s most crucial is getting the timing right. People tend to go in the winter time simply because the nights are longer at that time. It is a misconception that Northern Lights only occur in winter though.

A common misconception is also that you can just go to a location and start seeing northern lights. Although this is mostly true for some places, the reality is that these places are extremely remote and difficult to get to. You’re better off going to a location and spend a week camping or hiking. This will give you a big enough window to experience something extraordinary.

There are also a couple of things that you should monitor or be aware of to maximise your chances of getting the best light show possible:

  • The moon will take away from the experience as it seems really bright in remote areas. Try to time your trip when the moon closest to its crescent stage.
  • Clouds will get in the way of seeing brighter auroras. The clearer the skies are, the better the light show will be.
  • You want to go aurora watching when the sun is at its most active. Some people look at historical data but you can only predict if lights will appear within a 6 hour window. Here is a good resource to monitor solar cycles

Sky gazing is a perfect activity for campers as it is more of a passive activity. The hardest part is finding a nice place to park and boiling some water for hot tea.

Here are some of the more popular places to go see auroras:

  • Denali National Park – Alaska
  • Whitehorse – Yukon
  • Yellowknife – Northwest Territories

2.Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is a whole lot of family fun packed into one big ride. It covers a lot of things that people like individually like sight seeing, animals, speed, history and of course sliding.

It’s important to mention the history because what has become sport and recreation today used to be a legitimate transportation and delivery mechanism.

Eskimos were the first to use sled dogs for basic transportation of people and goods. The Pilgrims adapted this when they discovered the north and most of the arctic expeditions on land used dog sleds as means of transport. Later dog sleds were used to deliver mail. A team of 8 – 10 dogs was able to tow 700 lbs of mail over the course of a multi-day journey. Later during the gold rush, dog sledding increased again in popularity to help tow precious metals to ports.

The Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamut are still considered to be the most appropriate dogs for sledding, However over the last century, speed has been favored over strength as the activity became more recreational in nature. There are even some sledding services that use hounds instead of Huskies!

Here are our favorite destinations for dog sledding:

  • Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge – Minnesota
  • Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures – Montana
  • Mahoosuc Guide Services – Maine
  • Howling Dog Tours – Alberta

3. Ice Fishing

Ice fishing has its root in Eskimo culture. It was used as a primary means of obtaining fish and was necessary for survival. Modern Americans, Canadians and Scandinavians however have turned it into the social recreational sport we know today.

In North America, fans of the sport are known to participate in yearly outings. Many will tow a portable fish house and set off on an adventure to find the biggest fish schools. Technology makes it easier to scan and locate these schools. With the help of sonar, people quickly check to see if a fishing hole is active or not. It’s as simple as relocating and repeating the process. Experienced fishermen will tell you that the best times to fish are around dusk and dawn.

On the other hand, Ice fishing isn’t without dangers. There are certain precautions that you must take. First, avoid the activity during warm patches in the winter. Second, it’s safer to set camp when the ice is between 4 and 6 inches in thickness. Last but not least, remember that ice fishing is typically a multiple day activity, so watch out for frostbite, Some buttered rum should help keep you warm and toasty on the cool ice.

Here are some popular ice fishing spots:

  • Lake of the Woods – Ontario | Manitoba | Minnesota
  • Antero Reservoir – Colorado
  • Cold Lake – Alberta | Saskatchewan
  • Lake Winnebago – Wisconsin
  • Patterson Lake – Washington

4. Snowshoeing

This is an activity that can be enjoyed anywhere, even in your local woods after fresh snowfall. However it is best put to use when you want to go hiking or mountaineering during the snow season.

Snowshoes work by reducing resistance when walking on powdery snow. It does so by increasing the surface area of your footsteps. This concept is known as “Flotation”.

The first instances of snowshoe use is believed to be around 5000 years ago in Central Asia. However the rawhide lace snowshoes we’re familiar with are typical of the American natives. They were the ones who introduced it to the settlers 400 years ago. Scandinavians used yet another variant that is more closely associated to Nordic ski, with the bottom of the shoe being flatter, longer and less wide.

Historically snowshoes were important for people that needed to cross wild terrain on their travels such as traders, hunters and trappers. Nowadays, apart from its formal use by park rangers, snowshoeing has experienced a rebirth in the recreational space as it promotes sports and healthy living in the north.

Typically there are three formats for snowshoes. The thinner ones are purposed for sports while the larger ones are best for mountaineering and exploration. Modern snowshoes are typically made from plastics, lightweight metals and polymers for binding.

Snowshoeing is a very active sport and is a great way to discover national parks in the winter time.

5. Nature Tours

Organizing a nature tour is a great way to bring all the above activities under one umbrella. North America is full of National Parks and many people choose to visit them during the winter wildlife flourishes.

Free parking is widely available and is usually easily accessible from freeways running along or through the parks. You can choose to explore the parks yourself, choosing your own trails and moving at your own pace, or you can join a guided tour and benefit from years of experience that the National Park Centennial has accumulated over the years. Here are two of our favorite National Parks to visit in the winter time.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is located in northern Washington on the Canadian border – It’s a short 3 hour drive away from Seattle. The temperatures in the park can vary greatly from trail to trail nevermind from season to season. It also has the biggest concentration of glaciers in the lower 48 states with a total of 312.

The park is really easy to access from highway 20, with many one day trails starting close to the exits. You can also choose to join a guided tour here. To learn more about them, visit this page
on their official website.

Some of the wildlife in the park includes but is not limited to grizzly bears, grey wolves, lynx, wolverines.

Glacier National Park

Dubbed “The Crown of the Continent”, it’s easy to see why the Glacier National Park is so popular. Large mountains, serene lakes and a bustling wildlife makes this park the epitome of the American wild in the north. It was recently declared a world heritage site along with its Canadian neighbor the Waterton Lakes National Park.

The Glacier National Park houses a variety of animals and the biggest concentration of bears in the USA. You’ll also find beavers, bighorn sheep, elk, lynx, mountain goats, mountain lions and wolverines.

There are many trails to explore but we recommend the River Belly Trail that is typically open year round and the St. Mary Trail which is a little steeper and more traitorous in terms of weather conditions.


So there you have it. We hope to have given a bit of inspiration in terms of things you can do in the wild this winter. What’s your favorite winter activity? Maybe you know some hidden gems you’d like to share? Write them at the bottom, we’d love to hear from you!

Top Skiing Resorts for Campers and RVers in North America

If you’re looking to take your RV skiing this winter then this article is for you. We are going to highlight our favorite most RV-friendly destinations, so that you can make an informed decision about the best place to enjoy the slopes with your loved ones.

If you’re unsure whether you should take an RV to your Ski trip, then consider these facts:

  • You’ll have more flexibility over the dates as you don’t need to worry about reserving accommodation that much in advance.
  • You’ll save money and bypass the high resort prices
  • You’ll have more privacy
  • You get to go camping again!

Now that we know the benefits of combining a camping trip with a ski vacation, let’s take a look at the best places to go.

Vail Mountain – Colorado

  • Population: 5,303 people
  • Vertical: 3,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 290 inches
  • Ski lifts: 33
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 5,200 acres
  • Accessibility by RV: The I-70 leads directly to the base of the mountain and is a very well maintained freeway.
  • Season: 11/25 – 4/23

Vail is amongst the most popular winter destinations in America. In part because of Colorado’s central location making it ideal for many. Anyone in the States will be able to drive to it in a reasonable time. You’ll find that Vail itself is only a short 2 hour drive away from Denver.

Vail is also renown for its snow parks. So if you’re a skier or snowboarder who’s all about rails, boxes and launches, then this place is for you.

What’s more, Vail is one of the biggest winter sports cities in terms of population. This means that you’ll find a lot of shops, restaurants, activities and oddities outside the slopes, making Vail ideal for large families that won’t necessarily do the same things all the time. For example you can go dog sledding at Mountain Musher’s, experience Colorado beers at the the Vail Ale house or go for a beauty day at the Sonnen Alp Spa, A spa with a German approach to pampering!

Closest campsite:
Aunt Sara’s River Dance RV Resort and Campground


Alta Ski Area – Utah

  • Population: 390
  • Vertical: 2,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 541 inches
  • Ski lifts: 11
  • Snowboarders allowed: No
  • Ski terrain: 2,200 acres
  • Accessibility: 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City
  • Season: 11/18 – 4/23

Alta is not the biggest Ski resort in North America – those who appreciate seclusion appreciate Alta especially for that reason. Alta is said to possess a unique microclimate that benefits from large amounts of snowfall. To be more precise, the type of snow they get is a soft, dry snow that accumulates on the slopes. The result is many patches of fresh powder snow that skiers and snowboarders can make their own.

The resort is highly appreciated by skiiers as only they are allowed to access the slopes. By the nature of the sport, snowboarding changes the landscape of the snow, eroding the otherwise compact demeanor of the slope. Die-hard skiers have expressed their dismay about this and Alta has answered the call becoming one of the last ski resorts that gives skiers refuge from snowboarders. So if you plan on snowboarding, then you can go ahead and cross Alta from your list.

Closest campsite:
Mountain Shadow RV Park


Whistler Blackcomb Skiing – British Columbia

  • Population: 10,000 people
  • Vertical: 5,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 275 inches
  • Ski lifts: 37
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Skiing terrain: 8,100 acres
  • Accessibility: 78 miles from Vancouver through highway 99
  • Season: 11/24 – 5/22

The best thing about Whistler is that all winter sports are available for you to take part in. Whistler offers lessons in Nordic Luge, Skeleton, Bobsleigh and many more activities, making it a great place for beginners and experts alike.

There are a lot of features in Whistler that are state of the art: The peak to peak gondolas, the sheer amount of skiing acreage and the population of the town that allows for more than just a skiing experience. However what’s perhaps the most special about Whistler Blackcomb is the vertical. The 5,000 foot vertical means that you ski for longer, explore many different runs and find yourself easily off-tracking, discovering custom runs of your own in the process.

You’ll also find a bustling nightlife in Whistler, from after-ski bars to jolting night clubs. Whistler has something for everyone this winter. Slopeslide village consistantly gets rated as the best ski village for nightlife, dinning and shopping by international bodies like the Ski Magazine.

Closest campsite:
Whistler RV Park


Castle Mountain – Alberta

  • Population: n/a
  • Vertical: 2,800 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 354 inches
  • Ski lifts: 7
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 3,500 acres
  • Accessibility: Well maintained roads and many services and amenities for RVers and campers
  • Season: 2/17 – 4/2

We’ve included Castle Mountain in our list not because of its size or above average skiing. You won’t find Castle Mountain on any top destinations for skiing in North America lists. However, it is really easy to access with a large RV as the road leading to it is on a straight and gentle steady slope. What’s more is that you’ll have access to electrical hookups for just $25 a night.

Castle Mountain also has a lot of expert runs, a little more than usual with 45% of runs rated as diamond or double diamond. It also benefits from having three snow parks. The combination of all these facts makes Castle Mountain a yearly go-to winter vacation destination for many RVers that are also enthusiastic about skiing.

Furthermore, the horse back riding is said to be a one of a kind experience, partly because of the owners at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, said to be some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It’s a year round activity, so the snow shouldn’t deter you from riding. The ranch covers 4,000 acres of grazing land. Just ask the ranchers to point you towards the Red Deep River Bank trail and you’re sure to have a great time.

Closest campsite:
Lake Louise trailer campground


Mammoth – California

  • Population: 8,000 people
  • Vertical: 3,100 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 400 inches
  • Ski lifts: 28
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 3,500 acres
  • Accessibility: Skiers above the age of 80 ski for free
  • Season: 11/10 – 7/3

Mammoth has one of the longest skiing season in North America spanning a timeframe of 6 months. It has been a California favorite for over 50 years drawing people to the edge of the Sierra Nevada in the east of the state. Mammoth benefits from 3 snow parks, 151 runs with the longest one being 3 miles, longer than any in other RV resorts with the exception of Whistler and Vail.

In the last 10 years, they refreshed their facilities, dining areas, nightlife and activities in the skiing village. For example they are the only resort on this list that offer RV camping directly to their guests instead of going through 3rd party campsites.

There is also a growing scene of snowshoeing and cross country skiing because of the flat terrain that’s available there. For those not familiar with snowshoeing, it is definitely an endurance sport where users walk with the help of snowshoes and ski sticks across long distances. Want to test your metal? Give snowshoeing a try and you won’t be disappointed – as long as you survive it!

Closest campsite:
Mammouth Mountain RV Park


What about you? What are your favorite Skiing spots in North America?

8 Luxury RV resorts to visit without your kids

No one is against getting pampered right? Wrong – a lot of RVers just look for a place to dock with a friendly staff and clean restrooms. If you’re looking to get a little more out of your RV park, then this article is for you. Leave the kids at home, because we’ll list you 8 luxury RV resorts that are truly unique and not just trying to pretend!
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William Creek & Lake Eyre – What to do in Australia

Many foreigners dream of an adventure in the heart of Australia’s outback and most are put off by the sheer scale of such a trip. It’s true – a trip through the outback is an ambitious undertaking. But if you prepare well, take your time and do your research it may also be the most unforgettable road trip of your life.

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Boondocking your way through Costa Rica

Costa Rica

20,000 Miles
4.5 million people

Do you want to go camping in Costa Rica with monkeys, sloths and turtles? Then look no further than Costa Rica. It’s one of the closest places where you can experience the jungle and all the wildlife that comes with it. It’s perfect for couples, families and even solo travellers. So then comes the obvious question, how is the RV scene in Costa Rica? Continue reading

Top 10 stops to make on your PCH roadtrip

When I get through tearing a lobster apart, or one of those tender West Coast octopuses, I feel like I had a drink from the fountain of youth. Joseph Mitchell

 
 
 

Traveling along the west coast is a trip deemed by many as a great time. For those who don’t know it, the PCH or the Pacific Coast Highway is a highway that borders the Pacific ocean. In California it’s the “1” freeway but northwards in Oregon it merges with the “101” freeway all the way to Canada. We decided to shorten a list of must see destinations on the west coast whether you’re traveling by RV or by car. So without further ado, here are the top 10 must see destinations on your PCH roadtrip. Continue reading

Here is why everybody is camping in Iceland!

Camping in Iceland is a dream that comes true for many people every year. For a country that has a total population of less than 350,000 people, it even seems that the term “country” is an over exaggeration. Tourism in Iceland is increasing every year faster than anywhere else in the world. People are choosing to spend their summer vacations in the great north for a chance to gaze at the northern lights and discover some of the most unique caves in the world and many are choosing to do it in an Iceland RV. Continue reading

German Roadtrip – Conquering Castle Road

For most campers the only important castle is their mobile home. On the campgrounds, everyone is excited to show people their model and custom electrical converter. some flaunt their extra big living space, others unveil their mounted titanium grill with duel benzene burners.

However, some centuries ago in Europe, this competition saw a very different picture – each lord tried to show off with large towers or imposing castle courtyards. “The German Castle Road” takes you and your RV back to those times.

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