This is our fifth summer to go out west. The first year Andrew and I headed out he was 3 years old; now he’s almost 8. We’ve been to some amazing places — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and California. We’ve camped, climbed, surfed, off-roaded, hiked, biked and swam. We’ve hung with a lot of great folks — Cubbins, Sponseller, Bingham, Capote, Futhey. It’s always fun to watch the changes that happen to the kids when they get outside. They get wild, goofy and dirty. They love it and it’s contagious even to us haggard adults.
We’ve learned a few things along the road:
- Don’t worry about reserving campsites — there are plenty of first come first serve places out west, and you can’t really trust the internet or even books.
- Hot dogs are fine and coffee is required.
- It’s easy to overpack when car camping. If you have a tent, sleeping bag and pad, Coleman stove, skillet, lantern, Yeti, and coffee percolator you’re good to go.
- It’s good to be close to civilization. Most towns out west have good laundromats and places to shower. They also have used gear stores that are totally clutch.
- Motels are great, and there’s no shame in it — who doesn’t love a good pool?
The main thing is, just do it. Get outside and have fun. Don’t worry about the details because they’ll all change when you get out west anyway. Play it by ear and wear sunscreen.