Maintaining Peak Health and Camping in Paradise (sort of)…

Health Information (below) UPDATED 8.15.20

Welcome to “winter camping” over Memorial Day weekend! I’m starting to write this post on May 23rd. I will likely finish it on May 30th. Yesterday, temperatures were hard-pressed to get into the 50’s, and this morning, I awoke to a COLD breeze, my furnace running, and the outside temperature at 29F, and I’m NOT really in the mountains! I’m at 4800 ft. elevation, Tough Creek Campground, and… ready for this? The temperature is forecast to get into the 90’s by later this week (May 30th) – of course AFTER the “holiday weekend warriors” ALL leave!

Tough Creek Campground – my waterfront site, with my trailer hidden in the trees

That leaves me with an EMPTY reservoir (as in – NO people), but the water is there, in fact, water levels are RISING fairly quickly as we are experiencing a significant (and late) winter snow runoff. (Rising water levels are a GOOD thing!)

Endless Kayaking in the Boysen State Park Reservoir

Many of you know I’m a ski instructor in the winter, and even though ski areas closed in mid-March, “old man winter” continued on through most of April building the snowpack in the mountains. There’s STILL a ton of snow in the mountains (see my photos from Tough Creek of the Wind River Mountains just outside of Lander, Wy.) In fact, my friends visited Meadowlark Lake in the Big Horn Mountains (the lake is at 8500 ft.), last year I was able to kayak in it over Memorial Day weekend, this year it has PACK ICE covering it – and you can still see snowmobile tracks!

Traces of snow remain on the nearby Owl Creek Mountains – looking North in Boysen Reservoir

With those thoughts about where I am and what its like here, I’m going to get “topical” here and share a few very current thoughts on what’s going on all around us…

Your HEALTH is your #1 Asset – You MUST work to KEEP it

RV’ing is a healthy lifestyle, but nothing is worse than getting sick while traveling. Especially if the illness is potentially serious and you’re in a very remote/rural area. The appearance of this virus (apparently from China) has forced many of us to dial in on our personal health. Sure, after a heart attack scare in February 2019, I refined my eating habits and a few other things, but I still had a TON of upper-respiratory stuff going on as evidenced by a seemingly endless cough that would break only for short periods of time. This is a cough I’ve endured for over 35 years! But that has ALL CHANGED RECENTLY…

Looking west to the snow-capped Wind River Mountains that reach to over 11000 ft.

Yes, the RV Lifestyle IS a healthy lifestyle

Why? You’re outside FAR more than most folks. No, I have no stats to back that assertion up, but it only makes sense. If you’re doing the “rv life” right, you’re camping in GREAT places where you WANT to be outside. And… outside means SUNSHINE – a good thing in my view! But…

A close up on the Wind River Mountains

Eating well and getting lots of sun simply isn’t enough

I was still coughing! I was outside MOST of the time each day – regardless of whether its summer or winter, but I had a PERSISTENT post-nasal drip (that’s what caused the cough) AND a lingering cough. NEXT…Enter the covid virus…

Covid has forced me to step up my “pre-exposure” preparation…

From the research I’ve done, covid is a relatively weak virus that takes a serious turn in 10-20% of all cases. So… while 1/2 of those infected may not even know they caught the virus as it runs its course with NO symptoms, a small percentage “graduate” from viral symptoms to a “cytokine storm” where your own immune system goes wild and causes the horrific damage we’ve all been hearing about – and death in a very small percentage of all cases. Its the cytokine storm that has me concerned because it’s NOT super rare and it CAN and DOES leave lasting damage to your body.

Again – from my reading, having the strongest possible immune system INITIALLY helps the body to defeat the virus and prevents it from (somehow) triggering the cytokine storm (at which point you actually want to SUPPRESS the immune system!)

Further, a significant percentage (I can’t get figures on it YET experience LONG TERM effects from having Covid – even IF you have a “mild” (or asymptomatic) case! Do your research on this – and read the NEXT paragraph!!

Preface: I’m NOT a doctor, I don’t play one here or on tv, and I’m NOT telling you what to do, so this is NOT medical advice. I’m only going to share what I’m doing for myself. AND, I’m a motivated learner as I’m in a higher risk category after a heart attack in February 2019.

After doing EXTENSIVE reading and identifying some folks (named below) who are worth listening to, I went on an Amazon shopping spree and purchased the following supplements designed to serve as anti-oxidants, immune boosters, anti-inflammatories, and anti-virals. Here’s the list and a bit about each…

  • Zinc –  35mg w/ zinc gluconate/zinc citrate – – anti-viral – as I understand it, zinc prevents virus’ from attaching to your cells by blocking the cells’ receptors. Biochemically, a virus can not replicate unless it attaches to a cell, effectively “re-codes” it and then when the cell replicates, it makes more viral cells. Zinc is also vital for those who choose to take HCQ.
  • Melatonin – – better sleep, anti-inflamatory – the stuff I’m using (see link) is a spray – tastes fine and actually works! (Far better than CBD oil!! I’m actually sleeping through the night most nights now.)
  • Quercetin –  1000mg –  – antioxidant – and from what Chris Martenson shares, quite important – involved in helping your body absorb Zinc
  • NAC –  600mg –  – free radical protection w/ selenium – I’ve heard its MOST important to take once you’re ill; but you can take it pre-exposure as well.
  • Vitamin D3 –   5000 iu – – immune system (HERE is an article detailing all the powerful things D does and is suspected of helping with. To quote from the linked article “Low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased susceptibility to infection.” – I believe this is commonly accepted wisdom and in light of the virus, good enough for me to take it daily!)
  • Vitamin C liposomal, 1200mg – – anti-oxidant, high absorption (I use 2400mg / day, but if you’re ill, up to 20 GRAMS per day can be taken (in doses every few hours) – do your research on Vitamin C. I’ve discovered that your body will “tell you” when you’ve over-loaded on vitamin C (you get the runs.) The solution? Back off on the amount you take until the runs subside.
  • Glutathione, 500mg – – super antioxidant (As I understand it, your body produces this, but supplementing helps.)
  • Elderberry – immune support
  • Douglas Labs Multi-Vitamin – a good quality, comprehensive multi-vitamin
  • PERHAPS the MOST IMPORTANT TOOL to have in your home – a Pulse-Oximeter – here’s the one I purchased – (Its made by Santamedical.) What does an Oximeter do? (Again – I’m NOT a doctor!!) – it measures blood oxygen (normal is in the mid-high 90’s – its a percentage.) From my reading, Covid can produce “hypoxia” (low blood oxygen) which has (as I understand it) potentially serious consequences. Reports indicate some covid sufferers can have very low blood oxygen levels and NOT feel it! Hence, I check my blood oxygen levels twice daily. Its a NON-invasive test and the device has lasted me over 2 years thus far.
  • I now have two additional “tools” at my side – I can’t discuss them here, but if you contact me privately, I’ll tell you what I’m taking and why. Due to the (apparent) revocation of the First Amendment, I can not post here what course I’ve chosen and why.

AND…I’ve gotta share this… I just cut my own hair and it turned out fine…
Mangroomer – self-haircut –

Bottom line: My cough is mostly GONE, my energy is UP, my post-nasal drip is about 10% of what it used to be (and THIS for me is now “allergy season”, and I think I’m even losing some weight. I can’t attribute any of this to what I’m taking, but, it coincides with starting this regimen in early April. In short, I feel great, and I’m hoping this mix of supplements will give me the strength I’m going to need when covid comes knocking – which for MOST of us is just a matter of time.

A few of the medical professionals I’ve been following include Elisa Song (Pediatrician), Chris Martenson (Pathologist – and a financial guy!), Dr. Tyler at JH Backcountry, and others.

Back to life at Tough Creek Campground…

Weather moving in on the lake – time to get OFF the water!

Ok, I’ve had my say about health and wellness – and I’m sticking to it. It’s now May 28th, the weather has warmed up, about 80F each afternoon, just under 50 in the morning. The weekend though is still forecast to be in the 90’s. The nice thing about being here, I’m just over an hour from Meadowlark Lake, nearly 4000 ft higher than I am here – I’ll take the kayak and enjoy a 70F afternoon while this place bakes on Sunday!

The view from my rear bay window – Tough Creek Campground

Again – every day… biking or kayaking or both! I’d go soak in the hot spring waters in Thermopolis, but thanks to covid, its all still basically shut down. Soon I plan to head west (not far) and begin exploring the Wind River Mountain Range (you’ve seen them in my photos taken here), except I’m going to hit them from the west side – actually not too far from Jackson. So… you’ll hear about some adventures there. Also, I have an article coming up about water filtration and I’m sure I’m going to have more to say about RV manufacturers and buying advice for all rv’ers… in the interim, hey, YOU have a great day and if you’re motivated to do so, let me hear from you below this post!

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10 thoughts on “Maintaining Peak Health and Camping in Paradise (sort of)…”

  1. I had some respect for your opinion until you started rendering your opinions on health and mask wearing during this pandemic. As I am a medical professional with 35 yrs of experience,( as a physician assistant) I resent you providing medical information that is literally BS. Stick to what you know, skiing and RV’s, and leave medicine to the professionals.

    • Mark,

      Thank you for your OPINION. I have one too. Yep, you’re correct, I’m NOT an MD or a PhD, but I CAN read and listen to those who are doing the research and reporting upon studies. I’d love to hear what info is “literally BS” as I’m always open to alternate views. As to masks, if they’re so effective, why did we never wear them prior to this during a flu outbreak? Isn’t it true the virus is too small to be restricted by a mask? Further, I only offer my opin on what I’m doing and seeing. If I were in mid-town Manhattan, realities would necessarily be different from being in rural Idaho. So…Mark, thanks, but respectfully I suggest you change your tone as if this is any example of your “bedside manner”, I would never want you as my PA. Al

  2. Thanks for the post Al. You are a great motivator for getting outdoors. Just returned from camping and hiking in Plumas National Forest in California. Back in the East Bay now and can’t wait to get out again!

  3. Hi, Al
    Praise God you are taking those healthy supplements as am i, having scarred lungs and a weakened immune system. I have always got my minerals and vitamins from my food but now use supplements as i have to rely on a questionable, at times, food supply. Keep kayaking and enjoy! God bless!!!

  4. Those temps sound heavenly right now. We’re still stuck in Phoenix waiting on my husband’s permanent crown to come in. Once his dental work is complete we’ll be hightailing it north. We too are focused on our health and eating right and taking our supplements. Thanks for sharing your list of supplements.

  5. Thanks for sharing your health regiment with us. I’m a chronic Amazon (Prime, no less) shopper so I appreciate the recommendations. You might consider adding Super Beets Inmune ( to your arsenal. The regular version keeps me from the afternoon drowsiness I’ve been plagued with for so long.
    Take care! Karen Johnston


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