Wecome To RVs and OHVs

This blog is all about RVs (recreational vehicles) and OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles), camping, sailing, and survival
and how they work together to provide wholesome family fun and great learning opportunities.
Many posts are intended to familiarize novice campers and RVers with RV systems and basic camping and survival
skills. But even experienced RVers and campers will enjoy the anecdotes and may even benefit from a new
perspective. Comments, questions, and suggestions are encouraged. The organization is pretty much by date of publication. Please use the SEARCH option below to find what you are looking for.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Are You Ever Too Old to RV or OHV or Camp?


Are you ever to old to RV or OHV or Camp?  I sure hope not!

This is a question that comes up more and more as we get older.  However, the calendar is not going to tell  you when  you have to quit camping in your RV or riding your OHV.  One of our favorite OHV quotes is:  "You don't stop riding because you get old; you get old because you stop riding."   I will be 76 soon and my lovely wife is 73 and we still love to sail, camp, and to ride our dirt bikes.

My Mom and Dad didn't even buy their RV until Dad was approaching retirement age.  For many years my Mom's Mom traveled with them too until she was well into her late 80's at least.  I have a dirt biking friend who continues to organize and lead week long rides in Mexico even though he is in his late 70's.  My wife and I logged 50 off road miles on our dirt bikes on my 70th birthday.  I was already 73 when we got our sailboat!

How can you tell when its time to quit?  Unless acquire some dangerous health condition, there is really no reason why you can't keep camping and riding as long as you feel up to it.  I know many older folks who have had their driving privileges suspended but I also know plenty who keep going and going.  My own Mother, now 96, voluntarily quit driving only a few years ago when she felt her eye sight and reaction time made her feel uncomfortable behind the wheel.  I was very impressed a few years ago with my then 85 year old step dad's driving.  Unlike many elderly drivers, he maintained a youthful level of awareness and never fell into the over-cautious pattern many older drivers adopt.  On the other hand, we have seen some family members loose their driver's licenses relatively early due to failing eye sight or symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.  They weren't happy about it, but we agreed with the DMV, especially when we had to go find the family car one had abandoned and walked home (or been brought home by police) more than once.

My Grandfather always said "A man will rust out quicker than he'll wear out."   I definitely believe that is true.  I have seen men retire and just plop down in front of the TV with nothing to occupy their minds or exercise their bodies except the remote control.  In many cases instead of pushing the buttons on the remote control they were soon pushing up daisies!  Publications for retired folks are promoting volunteer service as a way of improving retirement.  Volunteer service gives people something productive and rewarding to do and often includes more physical activity than they would otherwise pursue on their own.  Camping, boating, and OHVing are activities that also fulfill many of the same needs.   Even in our 70's my  wife and I are active volunteer firefighters and EMRs in our rural community.

All this being said, we need to behave responsibly as we grow older.  We need to measure our strength and stamina and adjust our schedules and expectations accordingly.  We need to remember that our bones are more brittle and that injuries will take longer to heal than when we were young.  That may mean being a little less aggressive in our off road pursuits or turning in a little earlier and/or sleeping in a little later when camping.  If we are taking prescription medications, we must remember to bring them along and take them during our outings -- and to consider any possible side effects or restrictions associated with them.  Certainly it would be irresponsible to insist on continuing to drive our RVs, boasts, and OHVs if we have physical limitations that could impair our safety or put others at risk.  Some conditions of particular concern are those that affect vision, hearing, and reaction time.  My own mother voluntarily stopped driving when she decided her eyesight and reaction times weren't as good as they once were.

So, don't let the calendar or some arbitrary number of birthdays determine when you have to stop camping, boating, or riding your OHV.  After all, having more birthdays is a good thing:  the more  you have the longer you live!  Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes good nutrition and adequate exercise.  Exercise doesn't have to be daunting or expensive.  Personally I use the 5BX program developed for the Canadian Air Force in the early 1950s and adopted by the  US Air Force.  You can stay relatively fit working out just 11 minutes a day.  I am pleased that I am able to maintain the level specified for 45-49 year olds at my age (75).

Just Do It!