5 Things to Remember Before You Go Extreme Camping
Spending a weekend with the family in a designated camping ground comes with its own unique set of challenges, such as exactly how long should you grill those steaks? and how late is too late when it comes to shattering the meditative stillness of nature with the sound of your 4-wheeler? However, for some people, getting away from it all and roughing it in the wilderness just isn’t rough enough. You all know who you are. You’re the campers who “forget” to pack a tent. You’re the campers who schedule your weekend in Yellowstone to coincide with the flood season. You’re the campers who are, for lack of a less-annoyingly 90s word, “extreme.”
Well good for you! However, a thirst for adventure isn’t the only thing you’ll want bring if you plan on surviving a truly extreme camping trip. Here are a few tips to help get you home alive.
1. Do some research. Extreme camping is basically camping minus the supplies. It’s been called “primitive camping,” and for good reason. Basically, it consists of living off of nature to survive. So, before you get yourself killed and end up costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars so that Search and Rescue can retrieve your desiccated corpse, do some research. Read up on the area you’ll be visiting. Figure out what kinds of localplants can be eaten, and what kind of weather you can expect. Practise building shelters and campfires, and know how to prepare stream water for drinking. Also, it would be a good idea to make sure that your destination allows for this kind of camping, because fines and jail time are also extreme, but in less enjoyable way.
2. Start small. If you’ve never been extreme camping before, start small. Consider bringing a backup food supply or some basic fire starting equipment. Plan short (one- or two-night) trips, and stick relatively close to civilization.
3. Dressappropriately. I guess it really would be extreme if you were to just hit the trail naked and hunt for clothing along the way, but for the sake of modesty (and survival) make an exception to your primitive camping experience and bring along the right attire. Depending on where you’ll be camping and how much walking you’ll be doing, you may need a pair of sturdy hiking boots. You should also pack warm clothing—preferably waterproof—and a hat to help ward off sunstroke. Also, bring several pairs of clean socks, so you don’t get a foot fungus. Some work gloves will also come in handy if you plan on doing any shelter building or tool crafting.
4. Consider the toilet situation. No supplies means no toilet paper. Didn’t think of that, did you? Digging a hole and dropping your duece down into it isn’t all that difficult, but unless you’ve got a really high-fiber diet, you’re going to need something for wiping. If you’ve got some extra water for washing your hand, you could always go that route. It may not be pleasant, but it’s doable. Alternatives include using leaves (which brings us to another reason you should do your research before you head out, because you’ll want to know which leaves will and will not leave a burning rash when they come in contact with skin), or clean, smooth stones. I know, but its either that or your hand. Choose wisely.
5. Don’t be an idiot. Thrill seeking is all well and good, but it’s not worth your life. Before tromping off into the wilderness, let someone know where you’ll be. Bring some emergency supplies along with you, like signal flares and a GPS locator. Stay away from wild animals, excluding only the ones that can be safely (and legally) harvested for food. I guess what I’m really saying is that you should use your common sense. Another thing to consider is to be aware of surrounding accommodations in case they are ever become necessary. Its not unheard of for an enthusiastic backpacker to run out of supplies, become dehydrated, or get injured. In that case it might be a good idea to have a backup plan or at least know what is around the area so if you need to, you can get what you need. You should usually be able to find some sort of lodging accommodations or a service center if you look out for them. Personally, if I were hiking through a desert like DeathValley, I’d like to know how long it would take me to find civilization in dire straights. Either that or be the hovering vultures next meal, but then again, it is extreme camping.
Author Bio: Kevin Devoto is an avid outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer for the National Parks.
Help Our National Parks Survive the Sequester
March 1st was the kickoff date for a series of federal budget cuts that are designed to reduce federal spending by 1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years. These cuts are known as the sequester. It may seem at first glance that we finally have some fiscal responsibility in our government. However, these cuts are likely to have a major impact on jobs and important government programs, some of which are already being seen.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to keep your job over the last couple months, you might simply be wondering what the sequester is all about and how it is affecting you and your family. Here are some quick facts and figures that will help you visualize the impact of sequestration:
Yoga For Surfers class in Santa Cruz – June 8th with Michelle. Don’t miss it – should be a great class. Michelle also teaches our Yoga Surf Clinic – next one coming up in August.
These are very exciting times here at Adventure Out HQ. As many of you have read in the media this past week, we have officially launched our Affiliation Program. Applications are rolling in, and by the end of 2013, we will be announcing our first 10-15 Adventure Out Satellite locations around the country.
In short, our guide training program will be pushed out and offered to the public to come learn the nuts and bolts of our programs and business. How do we do it, what are our teaching methodologies, how the business is run, and how we grew to the company we are today with over 30 guides serving over 5000 people per year. Existing outdoor schools with a proven track record, or new guides/schools upon completion of the training course, will then be able to “affiliate” with Adventure Out: they can license the brand name as well as receive business and marketing assistance, client referrals, discount group purchasing power on outdoor gear, liability insurance, and more.
As this program has been gearing up for launch over the last few months, I’ve been getting one question over and over: ”Why? …why would you do this? Why would you serve up all the knowledge and experience you’ve acquired so that other people can copy your model?“.
The answer is quite simple: because I want to, and because I can. Adventure Out has grown to be an amazing organization – it has taken me on a ride and become bigger than me, and bigger than I’d ever imagined. I want to share this with people. I’ve been getting requests to franchise for years – but that’s not what we’re about. I don’t want to own a hundred outdoor schools across the country, I don’t want a percentage of their profits. I want to see people own their own business, control their own program, and be passionate about what they do. I want to give new adventure entrepreneurs the chance to use my knowledge, my teachings, and the lessons of my successes (and failures!) to go out and start amazing new outdoor schools anywhere. I want to form a network of trusted programs, offering a level of top-quality service, and unified by a community, and a brand, known as Adventure Out, that stands for integrity and professionalism in the outdoor industry.
Who’s going to join me?
Adventure Out LLC
Check out our new Giant Sequoia Backpacking Trip! September 20-22 – spaces are filling fast!
As the Bay Area revels in 70-degree weather and sunshine, the Adventure Out team is headed up to North Lake Tahoe to hold our annual Winter Survival & Snow Cave Camping trip. This trip is always one of our most fun – and to have a beautiful blue-bird spring day (with FRESH SNOW THIS WEEK!) makes it even that much more perfect.
We have just a couple spots (3 to be exact) left for the last snow cave trip of the year – Apr 5-7. Sign up now if you want ‘em!
Stay tuned for updates from the field this weekend…
So, you think these automatic government spending cuts that are being collectively referred to as the Sequester have nothing to do with our Parks and Wilderness? Think again:
According to a recently leaked Park Service memo about potential impacts to park budgets, information suggests the sequester will cause drastic cuts to jobs, educational programs, visitor centers, and visitor access points, including:
• Jobs: Blue Ridge Parkway would cut 21 seasonal interpretive ranger programs, which would result in the closure of 50% of its visitor center-contact stations at our country’s most-visited national park site. By eliminating these seven stations, an 80 mile distance will be put in between each open facility.
• Education: Gettysburg National Military Park would eliminate 20% of its Student Education Programs during the spring, which will impact 2,400 students.
• Impact to Gateway Communities: Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road would delay its reopening by two weeks. In previous instances, closure of the road has resulted to $1 million in lost revenue daily, to surrounding communities and concessions.
• Permanent Visitor Center Closure: Mount Rainier National Park would permanently close its Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, affecting 60,000-85,000 visitors.
• Tourism: Grand Canyon National Park would delay opening of its East and West Rim Drives, and reduce hours of operation at the main visitor center – impacting a quarter of a million visitors.
This past weekend was another beauty here in Santa Cruz – the sun was shining, the waves were good – we had surf lessons running, 3 rock climbing programs, a mountain biking class, and 2 survival workshops. To say we were busy would be putting it lightly.
But after work on Saturday we got the Adventure Out crew together for some laughs and good times. I feel truly blessed to be working with all these amazing people. They show up every day and give 110%. They are all experts in their own right, and they choose to spend their time with Adventure Out, working to make our programs simply the best.
-Cliff Hodges, Founder, Adventure Out
While much of the country is battling cold weather and snow, we are enjoying sun, warmth, and beautiful surf conditions here in California. Here are a few shots from a surf lesson in Pacifica last weekend. Anyone up to join us this weekend? We have classes in Santa Cruz and Pacifica!