Monday, December 31, 2018

Green Goddess 2019 New Year's Camping Resolutions

Mark Busha photo

Just having the thought at the beginning of the new year, "How can we make this year better?" is a powerful thing. Beginning a new season of camping on a positive, fun note is the best way to begin anything.

A new year of camping for tiny trailer owners sings its possibilities to us, sweet and full of sunlight. Even in January, spring seems just around the corner. What new roads will we choose? What new campgrounds or boondocking sites will we discover? What new toys and tools will we pack and use? What new friends will we make?

Posting on three Facebook tiny trailer groups, I've gathered the word on the streets (and trails) for what's the haps for 2019, and our camping dreams are much aligned like auspicious stars to the questions above: dreams of travel, beautiful landscapes, tools tried-and-true or cutting edge, and good company and conversation. Read on and see how your resolutions for the new year match with other tiny trailer campers.

Enough Stuff

For some of us, it was Enough stuff! and for others, it was Can't get enough! Are we surprised? One camping couple said, "Not to buy any more stuff. Don't need stuff because most monthly trips are short. Less is more." The idea of minimalism was a common theme, with some adding, "We want to start using what we pack!" A couple of campers were waiting to purchase a new camper, and one camper was resolved to remember that "just because I will soon have a hard-sided camper instead of a popup doesn’t mean I can put more in it." Do modifications to the trailer count? One couple was planning to begin the new year's camping with a new axle and tires for the trailer, and solar was a topic mentioned several times.

Cross Adventures

Adding bicycling or kayaking sweetened the trip for some, while another happy camper wanted to add some golf junkets to next year's season of camping. Although not a cross adventure but definitely a new experience, one camper wanted to learn how to cook with a dutch oven over the campfire, while another camper wants "to try more open fire cooking with my cast iron and use my stove less."

Place and Time

Kevin Ford photo
Many campers dreamed (and planned) for trips to new localities. Some folks are thinking of nearby places : "Lucky enough to live near some beautiful state parks, and I want to take advantage of them." Others are planning on packing in some miles and "spending about a month or so in Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Anza-Borrego, and the Mojave." Clear across the nation, Acadia National Park was mentioned several times. Canada and the Rockies, Newfoundland, California, Florida, and the Outer Banks were also mentioned. For RTTC Kodiak camper Rob Dickerson, he put it all together:
"2019 is going to be a 'acid camping test' for myself, my TV, and my Kodiak: I’m currently camping full time through the winter in Florida; come spring I head west to the California coast; north to the Canadian border; east to the Rockies; south through the Rockies in the fall; then back east to the [RTTC] reunion; after that I head north through New England, and then back south to Florida by next winter. Good Lord willing and 10,000 creeks don’t rise! By 2020 I’ll either trade the Kodiak (what’s left of it?) in on a pocket-cruiser boat and do the Great American Loop cruise, or just collapse for a year back on the farm in Missouri. If nothing else, its gonna be an interesting year!!"
Jeannie Petrinovich photo
New Year's resolutions for some centered more on time rather than geography. Camp "a lot more" was a common refrain, but some were very specific, such as "I'd like to try to have a camping trip somewhere at least once a month." Kevin Ford even said, "200+ nights in my teardrop." One teacher plans to fit camping to her schedule: "My goal is to explore some place new at least once each month. Plus, I want to do three Big Adventures this year. I'm a teacher, so that will mean spring break, Christmas break, and a Grand Adventure over the summer."

Getting off the grid and bookdocking was a goal shared by a number of campers. The first mention I read was a sort of Twilight Zone comment of "Boon-dock in a ghost town." Now that certainly sounds interesting. Cam Lindblade channels Star Trek camping for 2019 by saying, "To seek out and explore new and free campsites that are not part of campgrounds!" I hope he boldly goes where no one has gone before, because such exploring is not so easy all the time, as Michael Crosby explains: "Living here in the southeast most campgrounds fill up months or a year in advance for the more popular parks. Very few places to boondock anywhere. I'm so jealous of those who live out West with all the public lanes to just get out and go. I need to do a better job of planning far in advance to book sites; it's just difficult to plan in advance with my type of career and a young child. So my goals for 2019 is to make an effort to find some boondocking places, even if it means cancelling the trip if I can't find an open spot, and making an effort to book sites far in advance and cancelling at the last minute if plans change."

Good Times with Good People

Resolutions for some campers focused on people, rather than places or things. One grandmother wants "to get our 10 year old grandson to like camping." A mother explains her family goals: "I will be seven months pregnant in March when camping season begins for us. My husband and I have two other sons, and they will be almost four and just turned two. So my resolution is to just get my pregnant self (with husband) out there with two small children before baby is due in June and then to take all three before summer’s end." This is a brave and noble goal, especially with a tiny trailer, although I imagine there will also be a tent somewhere in the mix.

A people-oriented resolution that probably resonates with many campers was articulated by Jim Cook: "We have made some friends through our interest in camping with our teardrop. Our hope is to meet more teardrop campers, make more friends and get to enjoy camping with our friends more this coming year." Well said!

Another camper explained how camping is a personal, growing experience:
"As I head out cross-country again in January, I will protect my healing process with lots of sleep and great nutrition, but I am determined to spend more time sitting outside with an inviting table and a couple of empty chairs, and try to learn habits of hospitality, becoming a listener, cherishing other travelers and their lives. These are logic goals right now; I long to sculpt them into heartfelt, soul-nurtured, soul-nurturing ways."
Tear Jerkers

Something new that I learned from researching this article is the existence of a tiny trailer social group called Tearjerkers. Below is information about this group from their online "About" page.
TEAR JERKERS was formed in late 1997 by Todd Brunengraber with assistance from Grant and Lisa Whipp of Tales & Trails/Teardrop Times. Our group encourages and supports membership in TEARDROP TIMES, the international fellowship of Teardrop Trailers. Our members include owners, home builders, manufacturers, restorers, parts suppliers and creative craftsmen that build their own from scratch. We enjoy not only our small vintage trailers but also, vintage vehicles to tow them with. TEAR JERKERS started out on the East Coast of the U.S. but, has expanded to include members from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Canada, and The Netherlands.
TEAR JERKERS is an informal group of people who share their love of Teardrop and small Travel Trailers through discussions & Gatherings. "If you enjoy the great outdoors and fellowship with others, our campsite will always be open." One does not have to be a member to attend our Gatherings.
Let us make no mistake, TearJerkers does "Group Camping". Our gatherings are Social Events with lots of interaction and activities.
Remember: ALL are Welcome.
If Camping in Solitude is what your looking for, Maybe a TearJerkers Gathering is not for you.
This informal group was mentioned by a couple of our own tiny trailer campers, with one person even being a gathering host. Although I tend to be a more "camping in solitude" camper, my experience online and in campgrounds is that tiny trailer campers are good folks to be around, so you might want to check these gatherings out, which happen all over the United States, and in fact are worldwide.

I'm impressed with all the wonderful resolutions of tiny trailer campers that I've interacted with online. They are inspiring! It seems only fair to now share my wife and my resolutions, which are very simple. We want to find campgrounds where we can "settle in," spending more time hiking, bicycling, cooking over the campfire, and playing with our grandkids. I suppose you can say that we want to feel more at home where we camp, spending longer times at one place and delving more deeply into the local geography and history: Indian mounds, fossils, nature trails, and campfire recipes and cast iron cookware.

Happy camping in 2019 to everyone, and thank you to all those who contributed to this article. Remember that the best way to consistently receive these posts is to subscribe to this blog by signing up at the spot on the sidebar to the right. Then you will receive blog posts as emails and can either read as email or follow a link to the blog. (I prefer the latter because it's more visually appealing.) However you choose, Green Goddess Glamping wishes you all a fun year of camping.

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