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The Best Portable Gear To Help You Stay In Shape

Hitting the road and looking to stay in shape?  Try using some of this equipment that’s lightweight, versatile, and effective.

Set up your own portable RV gym. All photos by Crazy Family Adventure
1. Resistance band set

This resistance band set comes with five bands and each one has different levels of resistance, making it very versatile. The set also comes with 1 set of handles that you can easily switch from one band to the other, a door anchor, and ankle velcro straps, all conveniently stored in a small bag.

You can wrap these around a pole, use the door anchor, or use your own feet to stand on them, and it allows you to do almost any weight training exercise. These can be used in pretty much any exercise routine you want to do.

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2. Resistance loop band set

These come in a small loop set and a big loop set and I recommend getting both as these take up hardly any room and are very light.

Besides working well for weight training, they can also be used for some pretty hardcore total body exercises. Two of my favorites are squatted side steps (put the band around both your ankles, get in a squatting position and side step), walking pushups (put the band around both your wrists, get in a pushup position with both hands together and then “walk” by moving your right hand and right foot out at the same time).

Using a small resistance band loop to do side steps

The big loops are used as assistance bands. For example, if you can find a park or playground equipment that has a bar to use for pull-ups, these can be used to assist your pull-ups (we know you can do like a hundred on your own, but maybe for pull-up 101 you need some help).

Using a large resistance band to do assisted pull-ups
3. Jump rope

The jump rope has been around and used forever.  Just look at any old time photograph, it’s either a picture of a guy jumping rope or boxing a kangaroo. Seriously though, this simple piece of equipment can be used to create some super leg strength, coordination, and cardio routines.

Try doing a few minutes of jumping rope followed immediately by some push-ups and then immediately back to jumping rope… that’s an effective workout right there.

4. Adjustable dumbbells

Okay, so these aren’t lightweight, but if you have the ability to carry some extra weight, these are pretty handy. They give you the ability to do traditional weight training with varying weights while only requiring you to own one set of dumbbells. You simply adjust the dumbbells to the weight desired and workout any part of your body.

5. Suspension trainer straps

This is another must-have for your RV mini gym. Small and lightweight, these straps can pack into any gym bag or tote and be used to exercise any part of the body.

Using suspension trainers to do bicep curls at the RV park playground

The cool thing about suspension trainers is that you can use them anywhere with the accessories provided in the kit. Install them in a door frame or hang them from a tree branch, playground equipment, or a soccer goal post. They can work every part of your body and that is why it is one of my most used pieces of equipment. They work!

6. Weighted sandbag

This is another great way to do some strength training while not requiring you to lug around the weight. These work by filling the compartments with sand, small smooth gravel, or water to create different weights for many different workouts.

Do some bicep curls, shoulder presses, or walking lunges to get ripped quick and when you’re done just dump the contents and pack it into your gym bag or tote. Talk about a portable gym!

7. Swimming gear

If you find yourself at a lot of RV parks, chances are will have access to a swimming pool once in awhile. Swimming is an excellent way to build strength and endurance and is fun and refreshing to do.

I have a pair of decent swim googles, ear and nose plugs, and swimming cap in my gym bag ready to go if I find myself at an RV park with a pool. I’ll swim laps with different strokes and then throw some high knees (running in place) for some extra cardio work.

8. Foam roller

I had never used one of these until a couple of years ago, but now this is a must in my gym bag for rehabilitation. Anyone will eventually find themselves with a sore or stiff muscle and this simple foam tube can help relieve it.

You simply lay down on top of the foam roller, rolling your body and muscles over it to replicate a deep tissue massage. This thing works and I try to throw in a foam roller routine once every couple of weeks even if I’m not sore or stiff.

9. Stretch out strap

Another rehabilitation tool I have in my portable gym is a Stretch Out Strap and I use it to simply stretch out after a long run or lower body routine. It works by simply placing your feet or legs in them to pull your muscles into a deep stretch. This strap makes it feel like you have a partner to help you stretch out and I’m a believer in stretching before and after a workout routine.

10. Interval timer

If you want to replicate having a personal trainer to do a high-intensity workout, you need to have an interval timer in your gym bag. It’s the size of a pager so you can wear it on your arm or waistband and it can be programmed to vibrate and beep at specific intervals to maximize a workout routine. This tool will keep you working hard and fast to give you an ultimate workout quickly.


There you have it! Add some jogging and maybe some yoga and you can have a well-rounded and diversified workout routine at your fingertips everywhere you go.

See also: Put The National Park Race Series On Your Bucket List

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