If you feel trapped in your house as you spend time looking longingly out your windows at your closed-up rig, you might be suffering from the winterization blues. The good news is that you can beat this common ailment with the proper mindset. All it takes is a little effort to bring the campground experience to your home.
Our winterization blues episodes are a yearly tradition for us here at RVFTA. If you want to check out other wonderful ways to get through the cold, winter months visit our 2017 and 2018 winterization blues recommendations.
Instead of simply distracting ourselves from the winterization blues, this year we decided to figure out what makes us love the campground experience so much. Then, we looked for ways to find those highs even while we were stuck at home. If you follow these three steps, you can kick the blues to the curb, too:
- Identify the specific aspects of camping that bring you joy.
- Try to recreate those conditions at home.
- Schedule specific “camping at home” nights, days, or weekends.
So without further ado, here are the top five core experiences we love about the campground and how we have incorporated those into our winters at home:
#1: Cooking and Eating Together at the Campground
The Campground Experience: We love the closeness of our family meals at the campground. At home, meals usually seem more like a chore than valuable family time. When we stopped to really look at the situation, we realized that we tend to share the cooking duties more at the campground. Plus, we tend to interact more as a family while eating at the campground.
The Home Fix: Be more intentional about having family-centered meals at home. We’ve made cooking more of a partnership, like it is at the campground, as Jeremy has stepped up to put his newly learned cooking skills to work at home. This helps us share the burden of cooking, making meal time more pleasant. Plus, we make sure to eat together, just like we would at the campground.
#2: Spending Time Outside
The Campground Experience: When we are camping, we are almost always outside. We hike, we bike, we play ball, we kayak, and so on. When the cooler winter weather descends, we end up burrowing indoors, which can feel oppressive.
The Home Replication: Just go outside! Make yourself leave the house for some outdoor activities, even if it is something as simple as visiting a neighborhood park. Though we’ve often saved kayaking for the summertime, Jeremy has realized he can take an afternoon to paddle around, even when it’s cold outside. The experience might be refreshingly different as the seasons change. Bundle up, and enjoy the great outdoors–no matter the weather. Winter is the perfect time for forest bathing!
#3: Being Free from Chores and Errands
The Campground Experience: Who doesn’t love skipping out on errands and chores? Even though we do many of these same tasks at the campground, we don’t see to mind them as much. Maybe it’s because we do a better job of finding the balance between chores and fun while camping. When we’re at home for the winter, we tend to forget that we can still experience that vacation mindset.
The Home Fix: Put down that chore list, and make time for fun. Be a tourist in your hometown! Maybe there’s an indoor aquarium or a new bowling alley you’ve never visited. For us, even something as simple as hanging out at a local coffee shop for a few hours can relieve the winter doldrums. Also, don’t forget that you can travel without your RV. We took time this winter to visit some wonderful destinations (like Philadelphia), spending a night or two in cabins, and we’re glad we did!
#4: Enjoying Time with Friends & Families
The Campground Experience: We love taking camping trips with other families. Our boys have friends to pal around with, and we enjoy relaxing around the campfire and talking with other adults. During the winter, we don’t seem to do this nearly as much. At home, we tend to think we have to plan a party or some extravagant event just to get everyone together.
The Home Fix: Reach out to friends and family members, and don’t be afraid to do it at the spur of the moment. Sometimes, we let planning (or the lack thereof, actually) get in the way of spending time with others. Just last week, we called up a family we camp with an invited them over for smash burgers on the grill. We enjoyed the adult conversation just as much, even without a campfire.
#5: Utilizing Outdoor Living Spaces
The Campground Experience: Think about your favorite cozy campsites. You’ve got the picnic table and some camp chairs. The kids are playing in the grass nearby. You have everything you need to just sit back and relax. We love this outdoor living space because it feels cozy and comfortable. At home, it seems like we don’t utilize our patio and yard to their full potential.
The Home Fix: Recreate the campground experience at home by making your backyard resemble a campsite. For us, we started by cozying up our patio with better outdoor furniture and a ping-pong table for the kids. We brought our favorite campground cooking equipment out of the RV so we could use it year round. Also, we bought a propane fire pit, making it clean and convenient to have the campfire experience at home. We look forward to making more memories right in our own backyard.
Even More Tips for Beating the Winterization Blues
For more of our top tips and fun recommendations, check out these previous episodes:
Don’t fall into the depths of despair this winter! Just remember, you can beat the blues! Spring is right around the corner…
See you at the campground,
Jeremy + Stephanie