Saturday, August 27, 2016

Playing on your Rural Property

I've spent a little too much time writing about work, work, working the land. Getting it prepared for a weekend retreat. Here's where I messed up. Our country property is already a retreat!  We camp, we watch sunsets, we observe wildlife, we go out for steak dinners, and we socialize with our country friends and neighbors.

Whether you own rural property or you just love the rural lifestyle, remember that any time you're away from the city, it's rural and it's peaceful. Tammy and I have our own private campground. However, it's the 100th Anniversary of the National Park System, and these national treasures are your rural property, so get rural wherever you are!

Big Bend National Park

Get your gear during Labor Day Sales

The Labor Day weekend is a few days away, and the Labor Day sales have started.  It's a great time to get great prices on camping gear, grills, outdoor clothing, and such.  I opened my inbox this morning, and it was chock full of great sales. I'll share some of this stuff with you, so that you can get your weekend rural gear gathered up and ready for fall fun.

  1. REI Labor Day Sale & Clearance - The Elite Grand Master of everything outdoors is having one of their big sales. The REI Garage is full of top of the line gear from last year, so get the good stuff for as much as 50% off. REI sells the very best in hiking boots - I only buy my boots from this store. They also sell North Face, Merrel, REI brand, Mountain Hardwear, and many more high quality brands in clothing. Shop online, or I recommend going to a store because all of these brands size a little differently. If you're a medium in Mountain Hardwear, you might be a large in North Face.
  2. The Clymb - This is a well kept secret for those who do the serious deal shopping that I do. The Clymb is a repository of deep discounts on high end outdoor clothing, shoes, and gear. Today, they're having a 60-80% off sale. I see lots of boots and shoes on sale, but I also see they're having a ski and snowboard sale. I'm sure it's overstock and closeout stuff, but go for it. Think of the The Clymb as the TJ Maxx of outdoor adventure. You do have to "join" this online store, but that just means giving an email, and you want to do this so you know when there's a new inventory of goods.
  3. Sears - Yes. Sears. Here's why. They carry one of the best known brands in appliances and grills - Kenmore. Sears will have a big Labor Day Sale on Kenmore, and you can start shopping right now. Sears also promotes the heck out of grills. Country living and camping requires a good charcoal grill. I dug around on the website, and I found that Sears also sells fire pit rings. I think I'll buy one because it's just plain easy to deal with, and it contains your little campfire in a safe way.
  4. Academy - Of course. They're inexpensive, they anchor many shopping centers, and they sell everything. If you want to test the open sky, but you're not sure the outdoor life is for you, go to Academy and buy your stuff. You'll find cheap tents, camp stoves, canopies, clothing, hunting and fishing gear, and the necessary cooler. You already  know your way around this store because you've been buying your kid's soccer shoes here since forever.

The Best Time to Camp

I've timed this blog entry to coincide with optimal camping. Camp after Labor Day. Things get much quieter because the kids are back in school, and family vacations have wrapped up for the summer. It won't be scorching hot, and it won't be unbearably cold and wet. October is prime time in Texas. Since Austin becomes a tourist mecca in October, it's really the best month to leave town and enjoy a quiet camping trip. 

Alaska Marine Highway

There's probably a National or State Park very close to you. Even county parks can be awesome outdoor destinations. The National Park Service makes it easy to find a park. You can search by state or browse featured parks and getaways. 

I encourage everyone to ground the kids from Pokemon Go, lock up the phones, pack up the car, and go rural this fall.

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