Tips for Taking Kids on Their First Camping Trip

Tips for Taking Kids on Their First Camping TripSummer presents ideal opportunities to peel your kids from their screens and shuttle them off to participate in a timeless past time: a retreat in the forest, a camping trip. This is a great opportunity to share our enthusiasm for the great outdoors with our children, and allow them to experience the joy of camping. As you might suspect, however, camping with children is a little different than camping with a group of your adult friends. That’s why we put together some tips to ensure the process is fun for everyone involved.

Leave the electronic devices at home.

Nothing will detract from the experience of camping more than having digital devices laying around for entertainment. Both you and your children will be tempted to pick them up and fidget with whatever game or app you have at hand, distracting you from other experiences that can only be had while camping.

Involve your kids in the planning process.

Let them help plan the itinerary, find the campsite and pack for the trip. Kids love brainstorming with adults and, letting them have a say in the plan is a good way to get them excited about camping.

Assign tasks for your kids during the camping trip.

Children love to play but, they delight in being assigned a purpose.  Let the kids unfold the tent, clip the body onto the poles, send them on an urgent mission to collect firewood and have them perform other duties as assigned.

Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kid.

Minor accidents such as cuts, scrapes and bee stings are more likely to occur in the wild than in your own backyard. Likewise, it’s important keep first aid essentials readily accessible throughout the duration of the outing.

Plan for the rain.

As much as we might hope for crisp clear skies and sunlight pouring through tree tops, rainy weather is a fact of life. With this in mind, it’s worth bringing a deck of cards or other games you can play in a tent on a rainy day.

You can also find more games, puzzles and family-friendly activities in our main lodge. These activities include karaoke, bingo, trivia and even pigeon races!

Stock your camp with pre-made snacks.

You and your children will inevitably burn a lot of energy while partaking in outdoor activities. Don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks to keep your stomachs full. After all, the nearest grocery store might be miles away from your campsite.

Be flexible.

The most effective way to enjoy a camping trip with your children is to keep an open mind. Be open to changes in your plan, and circumstances that you didn’t necessarily anticipate. Remember: camping is an adventure!

Camping is an ideal way to expand your child’s perspective of the world and reignite their natural kinship with nature. Plan ahead, but be flexible throughout your journey. These are memories you and your family will cherish for years to come.

Choosing the Right RV

Owning an RV is something many people dream about, but they typically don’t know where to begin. If you’ve considered purchasing an RV in the past and are unsure about which RV is right for you, there are several things to consider.

You should take into account how much and how far you will be traveling, who will be traveling with you, the amenities you will require and more. No matter your needs, there are a wide range of RVs available, ensuring you’ll find something perfect for you and your family.

RV in the sunset

How much will you travel, and how far?

Figuring out how much you’ll be using your RV and where you’ll be traveling helps narrow down your search. If you’ll be traveling across America, you may want something that is a little smaller and easier to drive like a Class C. If you are interested in staying at local RV Resorts for the most part, consider getting something a little roomier and more comfortable like a Class A.

Who will be traveling with you?

Similarly, you should know the amount of people that will typically be traveling with you. When you envision how many people will be in your RV, you can make your search at the dealership much easier.

If it’s just you and your spouse, you may only need a bed and couch. If you plan on having children, grandchildren or friends with you on a regular basis, an extra bed or bunkbeds may need to be included.

What are you looking for inside the RV?

If you’re an outdoors person, you may not need all the frills that come with certain RVs. If you’re a homebody, and plan on spending a lot of time inside the RV, you should make sure you have all the amenities to make you comfortable.

Ask yourself how many beds, televisions and bathrooms are needed, if you’d like a living area, larger kitchen and more. With so many different options available, you can essentially customize your RV to meet your exact needs.  

When you make the decision on your dream RV and are looking for a spacious RV park in Mayo, FL, think of us at Suwannee River Rendezvous. As our name suggests, we are located along the Suwannee River and have RV spaces available for weekend getaways or extended stays. No matter how long you plan on visiting us, you’ll feel comfortable throughout your entire trip with full hook ups, 50-amp service, Wi-Fi and more available to all our guests. Call us today at 386-294-2510 to learn more!

Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Kayaking Tips for BeginnersKayaking is an ideal way to get in touch with one of the most elemental forms of water travel, and depending on where you choose to kayak, the experience can range from peaceful to thrilling.

If you’ve never been kayaking before, though, you may have some lingering questions about what to expect on your first trip down the river. Like any water sport, kayaking takes some time to get the hang of, but with a little practice and preparation you’ll be ready to get out on the water.

Mind Your Posture

Do your best to sit upright with your back straight, as leaning forward or slouching will give you less control over your movements. Your heel and ankles should be touching the hull and the balls of your feet should rest comfortably against the footrest.

These contact points allow your body to distribute the strength needed to maneuver your paddle in the most effective manner. Contrary to popular belief, paddle strokes rely mostly on your core rather than arm strength.

Your paddle blade should enter the water near where your feet are in the kayak. Don’t grip the paddle too tightly, keep it relaxed. Your elbows, meanwhile, should stick out straight so that your arms are roughly perpendicular to your torso.

Practice Basic Movements

It’s a good idea to practice maneuvering your kayak before committing yourself to an excursion down a river. Controlling the direction of your kayak takes a little bit of getting used to before it becomes second nature.

The kayak will be inclined to shift in the direction of the paddle blade, so you’ll need to make firm, even strokes on each side to move in a straight path. The opposite holds true if you want to make a turn, and the sharper the angle of your paddle stroke, the sharper the angle your kayak will turn. Practice paddling straight, turning right and turning left until you feel totally in control of where your kayak’s headed.

Be Properly Equipped

If you’re going to be kayaking in rough waters, it might not be a bad idea to invest in a wet suit. This way, you’ll stay dry even if you get splashed or end up in the water. With that said, sporting a personal flotation device is absolutely essential, regardless of the conditions you’re kayaking in.

It’s also advised that you bring some sort of communication device like a walkie-talkie in case the current leads you astray and you need help reconnecting with your party. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, safety is integral to having a good time.

Now that you know what to expect, we’d love to have you come down to the Suwannee River and join us on a kayak trip! Give us a call to book your reservation today.

Things To Do During Your Summer Camping Trip

camping fishing tripThe best part of going camping is the amount of activities that are available in conjunction with your trip. Family members of all ages can find something fun to do in the great outdoors during your upcoming week or weekend camping trip.

Setting up camp by a river or lake provides a scenic view as well as short trip to the banks for some quality fishing time. Adults and children alike can enjoy the thrill of fishing together. Veteran fishers are able to spend the day luring in native fish while smaller children can fish on and off throughout a hot summer day. Caught fish can also be used to make a fresh dinner over the open fire.

If you and your friends or family prefers a more active way to spend a day of camping, there is plenty to see on a hike. Pack a bag with snacks, water and sunscreen before you head out. Hiking in the mountains or along the riverbanks gives hikers the opportunity to exercise as well as see elements of nature that may be completely new. This is a great exploratory activity for children of all ages as well as adults that want to immerse themselves in nature.

Maybe you want to spend some time out on the water instead of sitting or walking. Kayaking is a great activity that can be done at your own pace without a huge time commitment. Renting kayaks for a day or week gives you the chance to paddle around a river or lake to sightsee, sunbathe or just explore. Single or double kayaks can be found depending on your group size and their ages. The great thing about kayaking is that everyone can participate, even small children when they share a kayak with an older adult.

At the end of a busy day fishing, hiking or doing another fun camping activity there is a great thing to do before you go to bed. Having a campfire cookout is an opportunity for everyone to share the stories of their day including what they saw and what they liked doing. From hot dogs and hamburgers to fresh-caught fish, campfire dinners are always fun and filling. Eating dinner around the fire is a great time for family and friends to bond before settling in for a good night’s rest and another day experiencing the outdoors.

Buying a Kayak: Things to Consider

kayaking The sport of kayaking has become very popular these days, and more and more people are jumping into the water, paddles in hand ready to take on their next adventure. There are lots of things to take into consider when choosing a kayak, however.

Different Types of Kayaking

First and foremost, you need to think about what type of kayaking you’ll be doing. Will you be whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, kayak touring, sit-on-top kayaking, surf kayaking or just recreationally kayaking? This is important to know because one can’t go out and buy a sea kayak and expect to whitewater kayak in it so you have to make sure you’re choosing a kayak for the right reason.

The Kayak Make

The next question you should consider is what should the kayak be made out of? A lot of times beginners will want to purchase the best boat they can get their hands on, however you should really consider starting out slow and continually upgrading down the road. For this reason it is probably best for you to purchase a plastic kayak to start and the reasons for this are they are durable, less expensive and heavier than the composite ones.

Size of the Kayak

In correlation to the make of the kayak, you’ll also want to evaluate what size you need to buy as well. While there are many different kayaks, the size generally refers to the volume, length, width and weight of the kayak. Pay very close attention to the weight range of the kayak as well as the comfortability of it. You do not want to be sinking in the water while kayaking downstream, or feel crammed inside of the boat either.

Finally, decide if you want any other types of kayak accessories to come with your boat. You can purchase kayaks with different riggings, types of hatches, backrests or storage compartments. Find and analyze all the options in this department and choose the one that best suits your style.

Kayaking is a great way to spend your summer or warmer weather months. You can take a kayak in a pond, lake, river, and many other bodies of water. If you’re an avid camper and outdoors-person, investing in a kayak may be a good choice.

Contact Suwannee River Rendezvous at 386-294-2510 today or visit us online for more information about our camping and summer adventures!

Cabin Camping Can’t Forget List

rustic cabinThere’s no doubt when you camp in a cabin, you need to bring significantly fewer things with you. While cabins provide your shelter and often come with bedding and dining supplies, there are still items you can’t forget to bring with you.

Although you’ll be indoors, it can still get cool at night especially if you’re camping in the mountains. Make sure to bring at least a 20 degree sleeping bag.

What happens if it rains? You can’t control the weather, but you can control your boredom. So don’t forget to bring a deck of cards. Perfect for any age, you can play a variety of games with just one deck of cards, keeping you entertained for hours. This small pack of cards can be a lifesaver on a rainy afternoon in a cabin.

Whether your cabin has electricity or not, you’ll still want to bring a flashlight and back up batteries. And back up batteries are necessities if you’re going to bring a flashlight or any other battery-powered device.

Aside from staying warm, preventing boredom and having a flashlight, don’t forget plenty of food and water. Families especially should take note of these items and make sure they re packed and ready to go for the next cabin camping trip.

Contact Suwannee River Rendezvous at 386-294-2510 today or visit us online for more information!

Camping Hammocks are Good Alternatives to Tents

If you’re an avid tent camper, you know the struggles of laying on the ground and dealing with weather elements from time to time. However, there is a great alternative that can be less expensive than tent camping, which is investing in a camping hammock. Hammocks can be more comfortable than laying on the ground, which is good if you don’t want to be sore every morning of a camping trip.

Man camping in a hammock

Here’s How to Beef Up Your Hammock Set-Up

Most hammocks come in two options of either a single nest or a double nest system with carabiners and a suspension system. If you’re looking for more room, a double nest hammock is probably your best bet. These are the basic features of the hammock, but there are add-ons you should think about investing in if you want to make hammock camping a regular enjoyment.

Hammock Accessories that Benefit Your Camping Experience:

  • Rain Fly – To combat some of the weather elements, a rain fly will help keep the rain off the hammock. Rain flies come with a suspension system as well, which will hover over your hammock keeping the rain clear.
  • Mosquito Net – A bug net is also a great option to make sure the “bed bugs” will stay away from you during the night.
  • Under Quilt – For some of the colder nights camping out in the mountains, an under quilt can be added on for extra warmth underneath the hammock material.

The Benefits of Camping Hammocks

Camping hammocks provide you with better comfort when camping. You don’t have to worry about a sore back with lying on the ground anymore in a tent. It also is versatile picking a spot to camp. It’s easier to carry on your back if you’re going backpacking. As long as you have two trees to strap onto, you’re in good shape. It’s also easily portable.

Camping at Suwannee River Rendezvous

Suwannee River Rendezvous is a great place to go and camp in Mayo, Florida. We have a plethora of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, water activities, and much more! If you’re looking for a great place to camp in Florida, contact Suwannee River Rendezvous at 386-294-2510 today or visit us online for more information!

When Is Good Age to Start Taking Your Child Fishing?

Fishing is one of the best bonding activities you can do with your child. When you take your child fishing, you’re teaching them discipline and patience, and you’re also having a bonding experience with them. The great sport of fishing is something that male and female, young and old can go out and participate in together, all the while getting to know each other and learning the patience and exuberance of the catch.

But when is a good time to introduce your young ones into the family tradition of fishing?

Father teaching son how to fish

Make Sure They’re Ready

They should be at a certain age that the child is engaged in the act and still find it fun because sometimes it can take a long time for that pesky fish to bite the line. If the waiting is not understood or accepted by the young child, then they might not enjoy the overall fishing experience. And the equipment being used, such as a fishing pole, lures, hooks and bait, can be a challenge and dangerous if not properly handled. That’s why it is important to introduce them to fishing and its etiquette slowly.

How Young Can They Start? 

By the age of three, many kids have gathered the rules and grasped on its patience, reacting properly to the various situations that might arise.

Helpfully, by the age of three the natural curiosity and the want for inclusion will take over, drawing them into the new adventure and experiences. At three-years-old your offspring will have a better understanding of fishing from their senses, hearing, seeing, and talking about it. If you show your enthusiasm for the sport, that alone will give them excitement as well to be included. 

Show them the good and the bad, not to feel bad if they don’t catch a fish that day and learn that there will be more fish in the sea, lake or river to get the next time they try. When they do get something to latch onto the hook, show them how special the occasion is and how proud of them you are, putting a cap on the wonderful day you spent with your child.

Suwannee River Rendezvous

At Suwannee River Rendezvous, fishing is excellent on the Mayo, Florida river. We have all types of fish to catch and you can enjoy your time with your little ones teaching them the fine art of the catch.

For more information on our fishing activities or reserve a camping or RV vacation, please feel free to contact us today at 386-294-2510 or visit us online for more information! 

Plan a Hunting or Fishing Trip at Suwannee River

The beginning of hunting season is a holiday in many parts of the country, and here in Florida there are many great seasons to consider hunting and fishing.  

Man Fishing Near Lake

Hunting at Suwannee River Rendezvous

At Suwannee River Rendezvous, we have had great seasons of hog hunting, with guests coming from all across the country – and of course from throughout Florida – to enjoy a successful season of hunting wild hogs. If you’re looking for a different hunting experience this year, come join us down at the resort to take part in this fantastic sport.

There are also trapping seasons, archery seasons and small game seasons for you to enjoy, so you can hunt a wide variety of wild birds and small animals or test your marksmanship with a bow. 

Fishing at Suwannee River Rendezvous

If you’d rather fish, the Suwannee River is perfect for catching fish on your trip. We have fishermen come back with big catches nearly every day, ranging from bass to catfish to sturgeon. In fact, we have some sturgeons that weigh in at more than 200 pounds, though you can’t keep them. They do, however, make for a great photo and an even better story that you can tell by the campfire.

Located in Mayo, Florida, about halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Suwannee River Rendezvous serves as a getaway for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Some of our guests love the outdoors so much, they’ll drive their RVs to the resort and spend their days exploring the Florida wilderness or stalking wild hogs while enjoying nights at the campground beneath the stars.

Before you plan your next hunting or fishing trip, think about planning your stay at Suwannee River Rendezvous. We have hunting and fishing opportunities all around the region, not to mention other activities on the river, such as kayaking and canoeing, that can make for a fun trip for the whole family. Our weather is great all year round, so make your next hunting vacation one with us. Learn more or make your reservations today by calling 386-294-2510.

The Benefits of Exploring the Outdoors for Vitamin D

Exploring the outdoors has many benefits to your physical and mental health. One of those benefits is getting the proper amount of Vitamin D from the sunlight. Although, you have to be careful when spending time outside in the sun. Always remember to wear sunscreen when exposed to the sun for long hours during the day. 

What Does Vitamin D Help With?

Vitamin D is produced naturally by your body when your skin is exposed to the sunlight. Certain foods and supplements also contain Vitamin D because not everyone can get outside all the time in the sunlight. Vitamin D also really helps with keeping your immune system strong and functioning. Vitamin D on the other hand is vital for kids’ bone growth. 

How Can You Get the Most Vitamin D Exploring the Outdoors? 

A great way to get the proper amount of Vitamin D is to get outside and go camping. Spending a weekend camping in the wilderness forces you to step in the sunlight. Another way to get sunlight is to go hiking. You will receive the right amount of Vitamin D during a day’s hike, and you’ll also get quite a bit of exercise along the way.

Where’s the Best Place to Go Camping in the Sun? 

It’s not called the sunshine state for nothing. Florida is a wonderful place to go camping with the family. In fact, Suwannee River Rendezvous is the perfect place for you and your family to camp, hike, go fishing, kayaking, and much more! 

Located in Mayo, Florida, Suwannee can give your family the weekend you need to spend outside. If you’re looking to get outside and get more Vitamin D, contact Suwannee River Rendezvous at 386-294-2510 today or visit us online for more information!