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Greetings, RV friends! As an RVing fitness expert, I get asked all the time for travel-friendly gear recommendations for people wanting to keep it healthy on the road. So, with the holidays fast approaching, it feels like a good time to list out some of my favorite ‘fitRVing’ things. These are the types of items that I see as a true gift of love. Because when you love someone, your greatest hope is that they stay healthy and safe. All the items shared here promote just that–plus they’re all packable and light, making them great for RV travel. So whether you’re shopping for a loved one or for yourself, here’s the stuff we personally travel with–and use–and can recommend with confidence.
Yoga mats aren’t just for yoga. They can also be used for bodyweight exercises— like pushups and planks— anywhere you travel. We even use ours when we’re not exercising. It makes a great beach mat or a hangout pad right at the campsite. We travel with a couple yoga mats, one that’s great for any abuse we want to throw at it, and then my very special Manduka mat. When I step on that mat, it’s my sacred & safe space. It’s a bit like my security blanket, and one of the material things I most treasure. I don’t even let James use it!
Traveling with a small meditation cushion gets us outside, spending time immersed in nature, and doing nothing else but being present with a focused mind. As an added bonus, it doubles as a comfy ottoman in the passenger seat while we’re rolling along. The cover zips off and comes out of the washer/dryer looking brand new every time.
Having a small backpack in the RV is incredibly useful. Besides using it for hiking with the hydration bladder inserted, it comes in handy even more often without the hydration bladder— biking to the store to get supplies, exploring touristy downtowns, etc. I picked up my Camelbak L.U.X.E. years ago at a bike shop in Eau Claire, Wisconsin once I realized, halfway across the country, that I had left my old backpack at home. I never used the old no-name brand backpack again, and to this day I use my Camelbak backpack every RV trip!
Water is the fuel of life, and if you’re an active RVer, you want to make sure you have some close at all times. When I don’t want to carry an entire backpack, I wear a hydration belt. I especially get use out of my hydration belt whenever I’m jogging or power-walking. I love this particular one because any size water bottle will fit, and there are pockets with plenty of room for a phone & extras. Plus, the velcro waist band can be custom cut to whatever length you want, and once you do cut it, the plastic end cap easily snaps back in place.
Resistance bands are a way you can take an entire gym with you on the road; all packed down inside one travel-friendly bag. You can work all your major muscle groups with resistance bands. I love the kits made by Bodylastics, whose bands have a safety cord inside them so if they were to snap, they wouldn’t snap back and hurt you. You can also purchase an anchor wrap, which allows you to wrap them around a tree, pole, heavy picnic table leg, fence post, etc, and basically turns them into a home gym. CLICK HERE to see one of my workouts using my Bodylastics kit and an anchor wrap.
There’s a lot to love about jumping rope— the health benefits, the price, and for RVers, you can’t beat its small packable size. You can challenge yourself to learn tricks and routines, too. For me, I just love how it makes my workouts more fun. We have a variety of jump ropes, but James and I both first grab for our Elite SRS brand rope (not shown–and btw we have no affiliation with them, or any of the companies whose products I’m recommending here). We prefer how that one turns and feels to use. It’s the one I got my grown son for Christmas last year!
I can’t say enough about how much I love suspension training. With just two simple straps mounted somewhere high, you can use your own bodyweight to do hundreds of different moves. The best part about TRX training is how it feels more like playing than exercise. Any fitness level can benefit from TRX training— from beginners and seniors all the way to advanced. The TRX packs down into a small bag and hardly weighs anything, making it a breeze to stash in the RV without giving up much space. CLICK HERE for one of my fun and unique TRX workouts!
Yaktrax are straps that slip over your shoes so you can easily walk over ice without slipping. The coils bite into the ice and it’s amazing how solid you are on the slipperiest of surfaces. They’re super easy to walk in, you pretty much don’t even notice they’re there. I remember hiking in Bryce Canyon last winter, and the trail became a solid sheet of ice. We came across a couple struggling to proceed, and we breezed right by them walking at a normal pace.
While we have first aid supplies in our RV already, we have a portable kit like this one by Adventure Medical Kits that we stuff in a daypack when we’re headed out for a day of hiking, paddling, or winter exploring. They also have waterproof versions of Adventure Medical Kits, and the backpacker version even comes with a handy guidebook on what to do in certain emergency situations.
I got into rucking about a year ago. It’s a simple fitness concept: grab a backpack, add weight to it, go walk. That’s it! Anytime you can do both cardio and strength-building in one workout–count me in. Most hardcore ruckers add actual weight plates to their backpacks. But I’ve done that, and it isn’t comfortable at all. Once I found this water weight, I’ve never looked back. It’s perfect for the RV lifestyle since when it’s empty, it weighs nothing and packs down really small. It holds around 23lbs of water, and conforms so nicely to your back making it super comfortable. Plus! The sturdy handles on both ends of the bladder make them great for doing strength training moves right at the campsite. I use them for things like squats, rows, shoulder presses, and more.
Jungle Speed is a simple-to-learn super fun and fast game great for groups of 3-8 players. Every time we’ve played it with friends, someone has added it to their Amazon cart, because it’s a hit everywhere we take it. This game may seem out of place in this list of healthy-lifestyle gifts. But! Mental health is just as important as physical health, and research shows having healthy social interaction with others can improve health in a wide variety of ways.
We all know sitting too much isn’t good for us, so a great strategy when you’re hanging at your campsite is setting up some easy games to get everyone up and out of their camp chairs. Our favorite is Ladder Ball. There’s something so satisfying about tossing a bola and then watching it wrap around one of the ladder rungs! We also love how it disassembles and packs down small, so it’s not taking up too much of our gear space in the RV.
So there you go! Some Fit RV approved gifts to keep your loved ones–and yourself–on the road for many, many more healthy & adventurous years to come.