Author Topic: Frugal Lake Activities?  (Read 4492 times)

SomedayStache

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Frugal Lake Activities?
« on: July 29, 2015, 08:01:08 AM »
Hoping to get some ideas from this great community.  We live about a two minute drive from a lake.  It's a dirty lake with no real beaches so not much fun for swimming.  We are in Oklahoma, so not much fun for hiking - unless you like to be eaten alive by millions of bugs and track through chest high grass and bramble covered trees.  People do love to boat and fish on it, but fishing isn't our thing and though I have fond memories of water skiing as a child, I am firmly enough entrenched in mustachianism that we shall not be buying a motor boat probably ever.

I go through periods of anger and resentment about living out in the boondocks, but if there was some way we could take advantage of this close lake I think my attitude might improve.

While traveling out of state recently I got a chance to play around on a stand-up paddleboard and had a blast. I think this would be great fun, but wasn't expecting them to cost $500 to $1200 each!  My husband and I are still excitedly considering this option, but need to find used or  cheaper versions.

So what can we do that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?  (bonus points if it is kid friendly - ages 1yr, 4yrs, 6 yrs).

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 08:02:20 AM »
Could you fit your kids in a nice big canoe (with life jackets of course)?

therethere

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 08:06:24 AM »
Kayaks? I got a Sevlor inflatable kayak on a deal site for $80 that takes about 5 minutes to inflate. Its a double kayak and while its slower than a regular kayak it takes much less storage and is easier to fit in the car. I expected it to only last a few times. But its going on 20+ outings with no issues.

If you are handy you can make a standup paddle board from the pink/blue rigid insulation. I think glue two 2" boards together. Shape as desired. Then wrap it in either fiberglass or personally I would try to wrap it with canvas sealed with waterproof Titebond. I've always wanted to make one. But my unfinished and unstarted project list is already so long.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 08:08:10 AM by therethere »

SomedayStache

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 09:14:07 AM »
An inflatable kayak for only $80?  That sounds like a score if I can find one. 

I think I'll just start keeping my eye out for good deals on things like the kayak, paddleboard, or canoe.  It means I can't buy one RIGHT NOW, but eventually a deal will turn up right?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 09:24:08 AM »
Around here you can get an older canoe/paddles/and maybe life jackets, too, for $200-400.  Check to see if they require registration in your state.  If so, probably only $20-30/yr. Sometimes there is a length limit for registration that you would like to stay under if possible.

rubybeth

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 09:31:16 AM »
Paddle boarding?

araminty

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 11:09:46 AM »
Do you have a camera? Even cell phone cameras are pretty good nowadays. Nature photography is almost free, once you've got the equipment, and has taken me and my husband to some amazing places. I bet your "dirty" lake is teeming with wildlife, and it's exciting to be able to capture a moment of their lives without impacting them.

Here's some nice tips for nature photography with/for kids: http://blog.nwf.org/2013/06/nature-photography-a-fun-and-free-outdoor-summer-activity-for-kids/

Bob W

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 11:30:07 AM »
We live near a lake that we rarely use.  Your kids ages make it difficult.

I would think you could buy a reasonably priced PWC this time of year.   Or better yet spend the $50 per hour and rent one for an hour every week or so.

A big raft comes to mind as well.

Really with kids that age they should just enjoying digging in the sand or rocks around the lake.   The cost of that is life jackets and bug spray and a few lawn chairs.

Sorry to hear about your sentence to Oklahoma --- what was the crime and how much time did you get?


galliver

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 12:28:10 PM »
Seconded on kayaks and canoes being fun...or even an inflatable boat of any kind. My grandparents had an inflatable rowboat and we kids loved it when we visited.

Is there a place on the shore to set up a fire, hammock, rope swing, and/or slackline? any of those could be fun (as long as the bug spray works, sounds like).

Also, it doesn't sound like you do, but if you did want to get your kids into water skiing, my parents' friends pulled it off with a larger jetski (it had a place built in to tie the rope to...I've only gone once so I don't know the technical terminology). Obviously still expensive and not frugal in the way the other suggestions are, but it's probably cheaper than a boat, and up to you to decide if it's worth it.

SomedayStache

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 12:37:56 PM »
I would think you could buy a reasonably priced PWC this time of year. 
[...]
Sorry to hear about your sentence to Oklahoma --- what was the crime and how much time did you get?

Bob- what is a PWC?

And its looking like a life sentence.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 01:33:43 PM »
Kids love finding stuff in water. Give them some clear containers and a magnifying glass and help them find little floaty bugs and plants. Heck, 6 is old enough for a basic microscope. As for the younger kids, they can find and sort rocks by size or color (well, not the 1 year old, you know what i mean). Grubby muddy shoreline is the best for this!

ETA: thought of another one. We used to make little sail boats out of pop bottles and race them.

SomedayStache

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 02:34:23 PM »
If you are handy you can make a standup paddle board from the pink/blue rigid insulation. I think glue two 2" boards together. Shape as desired. Then wrap it in either fiberglass or personally I would try to wrap it with canvas sealed with waterproof Titebond. I've always wanted to make one. But my unfinished and unstarted project list is already so long.

This!  Genius.  I even found some detailed instructions online. 
http://www.instructables.com/id/Paddle-Board/?&sort=ACTIVE&limit=40&offset=40#DISCUSS



AZDude

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 03:53:29 PM »
My SIL built her own paddle board herself in her garage. Seems like a fun project.

Emg03063

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2015, 09:01:39 PM »
For 3 small kids, my vote is canoe.  One boat carries the whole family, plus gear.  Keep a lookout on Craigslist.  There are always deals coming along to those who are patient.  Alternatively, you can build you own as well, but unless that happens to be your particular brand of fun, you'll be better off buying used from a financial perspective.  If there's wind, you can always add an outrigger sailing kit.

dave__

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2015, 09:54:56 PM »
I would think you could buy a reasonably priced PWC this time of year. 
[...]
Sorry to hear about your sentence to Oklahoma --- what was the crime and how much time did you get?

Bob- what is a PWC?

And its looking like a life sentence.
PWC = personal water craft

lunahsol

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Re: Frugal Lake Activities?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2015, 10:30:26 PM »
I so envy your access to a lake!  I have relatives with this privilege, but they are so far away and while always invited, I can rarely partake. 

Anyway, kayaks - yes! (my favorite, by far!)  Also, paddle boards.  A giant inner tube that can be hooked to the boat is a significant childhood memory.  Masks to be able to view the lake floor, etc.  I loved all of that!  Is there a place for "cliff diving" that the teens know of (and everyone else does not) - this was most exciting to partake in. Enjoy your lake experience!