Tag: nomad

Wildfire Safety

It’s summer! The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and the temperatures are higher. Do you know what this means for most of the western United States? If you guessed Wildfire Season you guessed right. It’s a sad reality for many western states. From May to October wildfires present tremendous risk to our National Forests and a huge potential to destroy them. Wildfires can begin in a heartbeat and spread within minutes.  Do you know Wildfire Safety while camping or boondocking?

It Could Happen to YOU!

Recently, I stayed at Lake Cochiti campgrounds. Just as I settled in, I received notice to evacuate due to wildfires spreading only five miles away. I was close to the Cerro Pelado Wildfire near Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’d been watching the smoke come over the ridge for a few days. But, I was told it wouldn’t cross over into the campground. Well, that assumption and information were DEAD wrong.

When I had to rush to pack up and leave, it got me thinking. I spend a lot of time in forests. I need to arm myself with more information about what to do in case of wildfires.

A few months ago, I released a video about preparing for weather emergencies, but I didn’t talk about wildfires. And the honest answer is I didn’t know how to talk about it. I’d never experienced it as a danger while boondocking. Well, now I can talk about wildfire preparedness. I’ve done the research to find tools, apps, and resources to help me prepare. Having armed myself with knowledge, I feel safer while camping on public lands and I don’t fear getting caught in a wildfire. I’ve done the work, so you don’t have to start from scratch. 

Ready? Let’s dive into how to stay safe if a wildfire breaks out while you are camping or boondocking.

No time to read and want to listen to the original video about my wildfire experience from my YouTube Channel? Click below.

Tips & What You NEED to Know

Boondocking on public lands adds an extra element of danger for recreational vehicle dwellers. I’m sharing what I learned about boondocking safely in national forests (since that’s where most of the wildfires are), tools for staying informed on fires in your area, and how to be prepared if you need to evacuate.  

Tips When Boondocking Near Wildfires

#1 DO NOT GO OFF-GRID!
If you are within 100-miles of a wildfire, stay within range for cell signal. You need to have your location, GPS, and emergency alerts on at all times. High winds accompany wildfires and can change at any time, changing the direction without warning.

#2 KNOW Where You Are. You need to know the closest towns around you.  Remember, boondocking in a forest alone means no one will be there to tell you to evacuate or what town to head to or away from. After you are settled, take a look at what type of emergency alert system the towns use. If a town near you gets evacuated, YOU NEED TO GO! Don’t stay, pack up and get moving to safety. 

Pro Tip:

Three places to check for alerts: Facebook for local Fire or Police, the National Forest Service for the forest you’re in (follow them on Twitter for FAST, real-time updates), and the City Government Offices near you. Some cities will use an emergency alert system to notify the town of evacuation in the event of a wildfire. Call the City to find out if you can sign up for text/phone alerts, but stay proactive and alert in case phone alerts fail.  

#3 Don’t Camp Alone. While solitude is great, (and you all know how much I like camping alone!) in this situation, if you know you are near wildfires, there is safety in numbers. You never know who might have a resource, like a HAM Radio, to help receive information about the fire and evacuation notices.  

#4 Make a Plan. Prepare ahead of time! Have an evacuation plan, know how you came in. Find an alternate route out, if possible. If you think you might need to make a quick getaway, bring all your things inside and stowed for travel, bring in your awning and anything else that will take you more than 5 or 10 minutes to pack up. Look at the towns around you and find their emergency evacuation routes. Know your way out!

Helpful Resources and Apps for Wildfire Alerts

Wildfire Safety Resources

FEMAFema.gov and available in your app store. You can sign-up for email and text alerts. You can enter up to 5 locations and you can change them as you move around. Make sure you locate towns north, south, east, and west of where you are camping.

National Weather Service: Website weather.gov and available in your app store.

Clime App: Fire Weather Alerts

Fire, Weather & Avalanche CenterFireWeatherAvalanche.org and search FWAC in your app store: This website/app will show you how big the fire is, containment, weather conditions, smoke drift, and more.

Ready.gov/wildfires: National service to help people prepare for disasters and emergencies.

Smokeybear.com: Learn more about Wild Fires and Wild Fire behavior. The more knowledge you have, the more confident you will be when needing to respond in this type of situation.

TIP: You can GOOGLE search the fire name to find more specific and updated information as well! Stay proactive and know the name of the fire(s) in your area. Typically, this search brings up a link to local information reported about the fire and possible Facebook pages to follow for local police and fire.

Wildfire Safety prepared

Stay Alert, Stay Safe During Wildfire Season

Having accurate, current information about your surroundings can be critical for anyone living a nomad life or even if you are just a recreational camper. Knowing how to stay safe near wildfires while camping or boondocking and having a safety plan can be the difference between life and death for you. Literally. 

Wildfires are fierce and unpredictable and often uncontainable. Know your surroundings, and have a plan. Be prepared, be happy, be free, and be safe this summer.

Other Resources from Carolyn’s RV Life:

RV Life Extreme Weather Survival Guide Vid

Extreme Weather Safety Blog

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in Your RV

How to Stay Cool in Your RV During the Heat of Summer

Escaping the Heat in Florida’s Blue Springs Park (click below)

Have a question for me or want to chat about RV Life? Check out my Roadside Chat with Carolyn Video Call HERE: Live Calls with Carolyn and Personal Video Messages – Carolyn’s RV Life (carolynsrvlife.com)

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking the icon above for more RV Life How-To and Not Tos.

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DISCLAIMER: Carolyn’s RV Life and Carolyn Higgins share her experiences, thoughts, opinions and ideas in this blog post and on this website for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, instruction or guidance. Viewers/Readers should consult with professionals before pursing any actions or behaviors exhibited in this video. Carolyn’s RV Life or Carolyn Higgins cannot be held liable in the event of any accident or injury that may occur as a result of application of procedures and information provided in this video.

FIVE REASONS TO LIVE IN A CLASS C RV

If you had the choice to live in an RV, van, motorhome, School Bus, Class A, Class C, or Sprinter van what would you choose to live in??  There are many things to consider when purchasing the right Residential Vehicle for your nomad life or RV adventures.  For instance, are you interested in living in your RV(or as I like to call it, Residential Vehicle) full-time or even part-time, it’s important to think about what is important to you.

Can you live in a confined space for months and months and be comfortable/happy?  Do you need a vehicle to separate from your rig (A “Toad”) because you are a city explorer and less of a nature explorer?  Will you be boondocking or staying in National Parks, RV Parks and campgrounds?

Most of you know, I’m a nature wanderer.  I love boondocking and finding the hidden treasures our Public Lands have to offer. If you are like me and are considering an RV life-style and enjoy boondocking, This is a must-read blog for preparing for your RV Living adventures!

Below, I’m going to share five simple reason why I chose to live in a Class C for full-time RV living.

Vehicles for RV Living

WHY I LIVE IN A CLASS C RV

#1: Why I chose a Class C vs. Class A?  I like the van chassis. It actually sits on a Ford E450 Van Chassis as opposed to a Class A which is typically on a commercial bus chassis.  So, if I need any work done it’s just a Ford van as opposed to something more complicated.

#2: Why did I choose a Motorhome vs. Van?  More space of course!  I spend a lot of time inside, working from my laptop.  I didn’t want to feel like I was in a cave, feeling claustrophobic, and have to sit on a bed.  Having my table and bench to work from is so much more comfortable.  And most importantly, I have windows!!! I can gaze out them and let the light shine in as I work!

There is also more headroom to walk around and having a full kitchen is important to me. 

Full-Time RVing

RV SAFETY & DRIVABLILITY CONSIDERATIONS

#3: Why I chose a Class C vs. Trailor?  Above all, safety. I like not having to exit my living courters to get in the driver’s seat.  For safety as a solo female RVer and nomad, I like that I can easily get from my living quarters to my driver’s seat without having to go outside of the rig.  Think about it, it’s like being trapped in a big box if you are in a questionable situation.  Therefore, I wanted to know I could easily and quickly leave a situation I’m not comfortable with.

#4: What I like about my Class C vs. Class A? Most certainly, it’s size. I like that the Class C is smaller, more aerodynamic and has higher clearance making it easier to drive on the less traveled roads for boondocking.  Another thing to consider is that a Class C is easier drive through trees and brush.

RVing

RV SHOPPING: MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK

#5: Price.  Both my Class C RVs cost less than Sprinter and Coachmen Vans (both of which I considered).  It’s a considerable difference when you are looking at a used sprinter van that can cost $67,000 versus used Class C in good condition for around $15,000 (when I bought mine, they’ve gone up a lot since!).

There you have it!  Five simple reasons for choosing a Class C for full-time RV living.  I hope this helped and I hope you will find yourself living your best RV life soon!  Until next time friendlies… be Happy, be Free, be Kind!

Check out this three part video to help you choose the right RV!

Check out the Playlist below for more info on how to start your RV Life!


More Helpful Video Links for RV Living:
Full-Time RV Living & How to Find a New Home State
How to Earn Income for Nomads
Things to Know About RV Life

Helpful Blogs on RV Life:
How Much Does RV Living Really Cost
How to Find the Right RV or Van to Live In

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more RV Life How-To and Not To.

DISCLAIMER: Carolyn’s RV Life and Carolyn Higgins share her experiences, thoughts, opinions and ideas in this blog post and on this website for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, instruction or guidance. Viewers/Readers should consult with professionals before pursing any actions or behaviors exhibited in this video. Carolyn’s RV Life or Carolyn Higgins cannot be held liable in the event of any accident or injury that may occur as a result of application of procedures and information provided in this video.

A Nomad Thanksgiving

What is Thanksgiving really about?

Well, it is another Nomad Thanksgiving day for me. And while my American brothers and sisters are busy being grateful for Butterballs, the NFL, and $100 Sony TVs on Black Friday, I sit here, alone in the forest, and contemplate gratitude. Do I have a right to feel grateful for having this gorgeous forest camp all to myself? For the sky and the trees and the crunchy autumn leaves?

My mind returns to the remembrance of a tweet from a man of the Cherokee Nation after “Nomadland” came out. “Nomadland is literally a film that wistfully celebrates how white people have ability to become ‘free’ in land evacuated of Indigenous peoples.” he wrote.

My immediate gut reaction was to deny his interpretation. Yet, months after reading this tweet, it has stuck with me. Is it true?

Yeah, it kind of is…

Today, I will give in to that truth.

Today, I acknowledge how privileged I am to live life the way I do; to walk once-sacred grounds, to be one with the trees, the birds, the sky, to feel as though I have a right to this public land, and this life that was stripped away from others.

Original Nomad Life

Nomading is not new. First Nation people have been nomads for tens of thousands of years. The Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and other Plains tribes followed the Buffalo and lived in Tipis. We tend to forget this fact and instead, self-righteously believe we are the pioneers of modern-day America. Boldly shunning a world we do not fit in, do not want, and did not ask for. Sure, in that way we have much in common with the Indigenous Peoples.

But in reality, we could not be more different. Colonialism, war, assimilation, broken treaties, and time have made me the de-facto beneficiary of something lost–no, that’s too easy–something stolen.

So what is Thanksgiving supposed to mean for non-native Americans then? I really don’t know. But I can not just celebrate the day without recognizing this truth.

Let today be a day of honor.

Today, I will make new traditions that will honor and embrace the people, the culture, and the way of life that was vanquished; all but erased from our culture.

Today, I will walk in the woods and let my feet carry my mind to a world that could have been. An old world that is pure, meaningful, and buried too deep beneath the mores of productivity, progress, and profit of today’s world.

Today, I will meditate (oh who am I kidding, I’ll sit in the pine needles and try to pretend I don’t hear the freeway a couple miles away). I’ll watch the trees sway in the wind, shedding their fall sweaters. I’ll watch Sadie sniff out every log and branch and trapper’s hole in the ground. I’ll listen to the birds and breathe in the cool crisp morning air.

Let today be humbling.

Today, I will give thanks to the people, the culture, the way of life that was lost so that I could have the life I do.  

Today I will be thankful to our mother Earth, the provider of all life.   

Today, I will prepare my camp for rain and wonder what it would have been like living in a tipi during the rain. 

I will make a meal and imagine the same ingredients: sweet potato, corn, and onions picked from a garden or field from the tribal camp.

I will contemplate my fortune and my privilege, paying homage to the brave warriors(Dahnawa Danatlihi in Cherokee), mothers(Okasu in Algonquian), and children(wah-ky-yeh-ja in Lakota- literally meaning “sacred gift”) who should be here, celebrating this glorious day alongside me.