Ask the Readers: Camp Much? (Chance to win $20!)

By Linsey Knerl on 13 July 2010 (Updated 20 July 2010) 68 comments
Photo: stevecadman

*** Congrats to our winners!***

  • Comment from okgirl- Make a master list so that your trip is safe, on budget, and enjoyable. Just like when packing for any other vacation (medication, insurance card, emergency contact info), you need to be sure that you have EVERYTHING. If it's just in the backyard, you can run back inside for that special blankie. If you forgot the propane to the camp stove/contact solution/camera batteries, it will be ridiculously expensive in the store near the campground. Your vacation will turn into torture if you forget the toilet paper and you're miles into a National Forest. Make a spreadsheet in Excel or a pencil list in a notebook, but have a list you can check off while packing.
  • anniemos
     

    camping is ok 4 me...but my son is away @ scout camp for the week, and he LOVES it!  

  •  

It's summertime, and for many, it means frugal vacationing by camping!  Whether you pitch a tent and rough it, or choose to hook up your luxury RV, there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors, beautiful scenery, and friends and family -- without going over budget. 

We want to know if you love to camp and how you make it an amazing (and affordable) experience. Do you camp every year? Or do you leave the experience to those more suited for the great outdoors?   Let us know what makes the trip special, and you'll be entered to win one of two $20 Amazon gift cards!

Feel free to link to a blog post, if you've written on this topic! We'll include it in our post upon the conclusion of our giveaway!

Win one of three $20 Amazon gift cards:

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well -- but you don't have to for entry.)
  3. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, July 19th at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after July 19th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)
  • Only those who have "Liked" both our Facebook page and the contest update will be entered.

Good luck!

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Guest's picture
Patrick

I LOVE tent camping, more specifically backpacking but don't get to do it as much as I'd like. It's significantly less expensive than hotels, gives me an opportunity to commune with nature, escape fast-paced city life and reaffirm how little value material items have toward my quality of life.

Guest's picture
Jaimie

I love camping! It gives our family a chance to reconnect without all the electronics and "things." We play games, go for hikes, and enjoy each other's company. We don't spend much money, just gas to get where we are going, and food for the trip. We often go with friends and food-share so we can make large meals for everyone and have little waste.

Guest's picture
Kate

I've only been tent camping once, and it was okay. But my grandparents have a cabin in the mountains, and we grew up going there every summer. It's not roughing it, there's indoor plumbing, beds, and electricity, but you're still in the middle of a beautiful natural setting, and gives us an opportunity to relax together as a family.

Guest's picture
Therese

I haven't been camping for a few years, but went a lot when my daughters were smaller. We saved money by buying groceries ahead of time and cooking most of our food over the campfire.

Guest's picture
Beth

My husband and I enjoy backpacking together. Instead of buying expensive pre-packaged foods, we prepare our own lightweight meals. For example, instead of buying packets of instant oatmeal we buy a big canister and re-package it in plastic baggies with dried milk and dried fruit.

Guest's picture
Melissa Sykes

I have been camping 3 times this summer already! We always bring a big cooler full of ice and water instead of buying bottled water! Keep the cooler in the shade and it will stay iced water for your whole trip!

Guest's picture
Paul

Camping is great. Best way to make it an amazing experience is to have activities or foods that are special for camping: hobo dinners, hikes, scavenger hunts, smores, etc. It makes camping something everyone looks forward to.

Guest's picture
Tessa

My fiancé and I go camping several times every summer. In fact, we are planning a camping wedding weekend. Yes, you read that correctly. We are making our loved ones go camping with us if they want to attend our wedding. Tent camping can be really cheap, especially if you have people to split the costs with. And I always hit up the library before I go so that I will have plenty of free reading material for entertainment.

Guest's picture
Jeff @ Sustainable life blog

I go camping every summer and love it. I dont care if it's car or tent camping ,it's all great

Guest's picture
Femmeknitzi

My friends and I camp twice a year at different parks around the state. It's easy to keep costs down because between 15-20 people, everyone has what you need. My husband and I were really wanting one of those screen tents to put over the picnic tables but then two other couples bought them so now if it rains, we're covered! We're known for cooking way more food than we need and so we share it with others. Forgot the mustard? No problem. Someone else has it. It's great because it always feels like we take lots of vacations, go lots of different places and all for around $12 a night and a few groceries.

Guest's picture
Heather

I love camping ... it's a great way to bond with friends or family. I love cooking over the fire, and I love camping where I can rock climb outside instead of just in a gym.

Guest's picture

We just went tent camping last week and took our little one (13 months) for the first time. He had a blast. The only problem was that it was very hot (mid-90s) so we spent a little less active time than we liked, though we did have lake access which made it tolerable.

Guest's picture
Adrienne

Growing up, camping meant an RV and 3 weeks on the road with lots of times in all kinds of National Parks. If I had kids, I'd've done things the same way, I think.

Instead, I've found myself in two different volunteer organizations, and each presents at least once opportunity every year for adult or family camping. Both have options for staying in cabins or tents. You can prepare your own food, brining it in already made (from pizza delivery to offsite restaurants), or joining a meal plan. You can alone, or be paired with roommates, but only one lets you bring your entire family every time. As for activities, you can participate in organized events (including personal development classes), or you can hang out and follow your own plans. You can stay over from Friday to Sunday, or attend during any fraction of time within that weekend. You can even stay in a nearby hotel or motel, and just do the "camping thing" while you're on-site.

I'd never planned for this, but I've realized how much I really need and appreciate a chance to live outdoors a few nights each year!

Guest's picture

My hubby and I just bought a tent and I can't wait to go camping with hime!

Guest's picture
Emily

I love camping but don't get the chance to do it often. To make it more enjoyable, always pack rain gear. You never know when the weather will change and being wet while camping and sleeping in a tent is not always a fun time.

Guest's picture

Camping is a very economical activity - once you get started. Buying all the gear up front can be a bit daunting but if you enjoy it, and look after your gear, it's something you can do without spending a lot of money. A night's camping in a tent can often be had for less than $20 a night. My kids love it - we just came home from a trip and as I set up my tent in the yard to air it out and get it dry, my youngest son (20 months) kept saying "sleep" and "tent" - Must've made a good impression on him :)

Guest's picture
Rowan Hartin

I camp for a week every year with friends; we buy all of the food in bulk and split the cost, which makes it exceptionally cheap and much more space-saving. By the end of the week, we feel like a tight-knit tribe outside of modern world; I think it's incredibly bonding to be without technology and the pressures of our jobs even for just a little while.

Guest's picture
Jennifer

We love to camp. but we might be skipping this summer because we have a new baby. We'll definite be back at it next summer.

Guest's picture
Trang

I haven't camped out in a long time, but when I did, it was fun! We made meals together, and smores are always a hit.

Guest's picture
Craig

Camping is an interesting hobby in that you can spend as much or as little as you want. I've slept in a $300 ultralight tent and a $30 big-box store special, and both kept the rain and the bugs off me. I've been just as comfortable on $10 military surplus stools as I have been in $80 reclining/rocking/folding camp chairs. Perfect camping pillow? Some old memory foam stuffed in a sweatshirt. Its a great way to test your reusing/recycling ingenuity: Have you been saving your dryer lint, burnt-down candles, and nearly spent chap-stick to make your own fire starters? Did you know a little yeast, sugar, and a 2-liter bottle can make a mosquito trap that bests any citronella? My biggest money-saving advice though has been touched on by others but bears repeating: don't fall victim to "grocery shopping for the camping trip". Repack what you already have instead of buying yet another bottle of ketchup, dedicated camping salt and pepper shakers, and huge Hershey bars when leftover Easter candy makes for much more interesting smores (Peep and caramel egg smore? yes please). Oh, and please don't let me see you with a coffee maker at the campsite. An acrylic french press will be cheaper, more durable, make much better coffee, and prevent you from making 12 cups when all you wanted was 2.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

I wish I had more experience with camping. I've only been once, and it was really fun (with the exception of all the bugs that managed to enter the tent). I think the best memory was waking up early in the morning to the sounds of birds and feeling rested enough to watch the sun rise.

Guest's picture
Kristy

I think I'd like to camp, but the initial investment is so big (tents are not cheap) that we haven't been able to do it. Maybe someday.

Guest's picture
Molly

I wish I liked regular old camping more, but I think I'd REALLY like a cabin in the woods. Quiet. That's really all I want. Quiet should be cheap!

Guest's picture
Spedie

I do not camp. When I was a kid, it was okay. But then I went in the Army. I've had enough of camping! If you do want to camp and want the supplies, go to craigslist, as I have seen stuff for camping on there for a good price.

Guest's picture
Jill

We tent camp about once a year. One money saving thing I do is plan our meals
so that we have everything we need on hand. Sometimes I will pre-mix things so that it's easier to transport. We save up our ice for a week or so to use. It's great not having access to TV, etc. and just let serendipity take over!

Guest's picture
Quisicosa

I have great memories of camping. I love bringing my bike along. I hope my kids pass this along to their kids when the time comes.

Guest's picture

I haven't been camping in quite a while, but I always loved the sheer simplicity of it. It's just you and nature with minimal possessions, only the very basics. It's a great reminder of what you can live without.

Guest's picture
Guest

We've just moved back to an area that is camp friendly. We were in Tx for 2 1/2 years and its too hot and full of fire ants so we didn't camp there. This year we are making up for it. I love that we all work together in all things from meals to fun.

Guest's picture
Olivia

We camp in our own backyard! We set up the tent with sleeping bags and pillows crammed inside. We make s'mores on the charcoal grill, light sparklers, catch lightning bugs in our jelly jars..all within walking distance of our own home! Our kids love it and consider it an adventure even if it is only our own backyard!

Guest's picture
ryan

good call on camping. You cannot beat it. I hear other people who dont even sound excited about their vacations. Staying in a resort, not even seeing the place they are.

Go camping! you dont have to go far, it is cheap (if you have supplies), and is an awesome break from the TV and BS of daily life.

reconnect, see the planet, you are only here once.

Plus, there is nothing like sleeping in a tent and being able to hear the waves all night. awesome!

Guest's picture
Deb

My family loves camping so much that my daughter wants a "camping birthday party" this year. So we'll be taking a van full of kids along for campfires & swimming... and borrowing my sister's tent so they can have their own & we can (maybe!) actually sleep some!

Guest's picture
scotland90

I love tent camping. Sitting around the fire with friends and family, it doesn't get much better than that. A great time to go is in the fall/winter, yes it is cold, but many times you can enjoy great state parks with no crowds. I also enjoy cooking while camping (we bring along the cast iron) and love to come up with easy and creative meals using items we already have in the pantry.

Guest's picture
Andreas

I like to go camping. One of the best ways to keep it cheap is to camp at low cost or no cost Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campgrounds. They may not have the best facilities, but they are usually well maintained. I've stayed at some BLM campgrounds that allowed for a 14 day stay without charge.

Guest's picture
okgirl

Make a master list so that your trip is safe, on budget, and enjoyable. Just like when packing for any other vacation (medication, insurance card, emergency contact info), you need to be sure that you have EVERYTHING. If it's just in the backyard, you can run back inside for that special blankie. If you forgot the propane to the camp stove/contact solution/camera batteries, it will be ridiculously expensive in the store near the campground. Your vacation will turn into torture if you forget the toilet paper and you're miles into a National Forest. Make a spreadsheet in Excel or a pencil list in a notebook, but have a list you can check off while packing.

Guest's picture
debaser

Camping: Cheap awesomeness.

Guest's picture
valletta

We go "glamping" or as my husband calls it "Martha Goes Camping" :)
There a few places in California (and i'm sure other places) where you can find these great lodge/campsites that have tent cabins/bungalows that are camping with some nice amenities (locations like beach access, saunas, outdoor showers, good food, etc.) but you can get these Out of Africa tents.
We like Costanoa (Pescadero CA) and El Capitan (Santa Barbara).

Or my favorite camping site, Kirk Creek @ Big Sur. Heaven.

Guest's picture

Just got back from a weekend camping trip and had been thinking about writing a blog post about saving money and resources when camping. Just got done posting it and came here to find the same subject! So here's my blog post: http://www.derekpress.net/2010/07/13/save-green-while-camping-green/

Guest's picture
Britt Landon

Our family of 10 ( my husband,myself, and our 8 kids) camp for 10-14 days each summer. We've been doing this for years, as it's one of the few vacations a family of our size can afford. But, we don't suffer, even though we do tent it, and we camp at a forest-service campground with no electricity and no showers. Our secret? We make improving our situation a priority. Each year, we have come up with better ways to make ourselves more comfortable. After 19 years of camping with kids, we now have: a solar oven (Global Sun oven--highly recommended--I bake with it at home during the summer), a solar-powered/propane water heater for camp showers and dish water heating, air mattresses, a propane driven refrigerator/freezer that we carry in our cargo trailer, comfy camp chairs and hammocks, and kids that are well-trained in all things camping! I realize that our style of camping doesn't work for everyone (lots of set-up and clean-up), but if you aim to stay for a week or more, it makes a huge difference in the comfort level. Another thing I do ahead of time is to carefully plan our meals--marinating and freezing meats, making baking and pancake mixes (minus wet ingredients) ahead of time, and generally keeping our diet as close to the healthy diet we follow at home. We've learned that two weeks of eating junk makes unhappy campers. Hope these hints help you all as you enjoy the great outdoors!

Guest's picture
cwaltz

My kids adoooooore camping(at least the younger 2, okay maybe the older 2 too because the younger ones love sleeping in the tent so the older two don't have to share their room, the TV, or the computer). From March on all I hear is "when can we get the tent out". We just bought the tent last year so I can't attest to this being an annual thing but I will say a tent site is way cheaper than a hotel room and my family is a big fan of the great outdoors so a weekend at Claytor Lake is a fairly inexpensive trip that is completely within budget for a 6 person family(who'd technically need 2 hotel rooms).

Christine
dazed1821@aol.com

Guest's picture
KelR1

I am the least outdoorsy person ever. I've never actually tried camping in a tent but, from the horror stories I've heard, I never would. I have stayed for a few days in cabins with no running water or electricity, and I hated every single second of it. My idea of "roughing it" is staying in a cheaper hotel with no nice restaurant in it! If I wasn't a germophobe who is terrified of bugs perhaps the camping thing would work out for me, but I'm a lifelong city girl. I'd rather pound the pavement of the urban jungle any day!

Guest's picture
Jeffrey Bennett

Camping can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, plus you get away from all the chores at home and relax. The kids have new places to explore to keep them busy.

Guest's picture
lostAnnfound

We camp a lot. Had been tenting for years (since teenager) and in 2002 bought our first trailer. Some people may say going out in a trailer is not camping, but to me it is, I just have my own bathroom. We still going swimming in the rivers, cook over a fire, and sit around the fire at night making S'mores with the kids.

Guest's picture
Sandy

We camped a lot when I was a kid. Then a couple of years ago, my husband and I, my parents and my brother and his wife joined with 25 others to build a private campground. All good in theory. By the fourth year, each member of my family had sold their membership. Too much bickering and in-fighting between two other families which basically boiled down to a power thing. All of the other members were caught in the crossfire and it made camping there miserable. We sold our camper, but we've been looking at purchasing a tent so we can camp at the state parks.

Guest's picture
Jennifer

Our idea of camping is in well conditioned rvs:) But on the off chance of packing it old school we like to bring prepackaged food to make it easier on us "berry pickers" rather than hunters.

Guest's picture
Eric

I haven't gone camping since I was a kid. I'm open to it, but I do love the non-outdoor comforts, so I'm not sure if it's my thing.

Guest's picture
Heather M

We use a camper, my husband won't sleep in a tent on the ground. Here around Michigan it cost usually about $23.00 per night, of course we try to find cheaper. Nothing beats being outside, the smell of camp fire, kids riding bikes, people walking about and it is just plain relaxing. Our favorite place to go is Grand Haven. We ride bikes, walk on the pier, play at the beach (all for free) or state park sticker $25.00 for the year. Even cooking in the camper is no big deal, plus we take the grill with us.

Guest's picture
twblues

I haven't been camping since I was a Girl Scout. I don't care for roughing it. If I was in a cabin, with electricity, a flush toilet and hot showers, is that still camping? I'll pass on the tent, sleeping bag, bugs, bears, etc.

Guest's picture
Erika

We went camping quite a bit when I was a kid, and I plan to take my own kids when they're a little older (my youngest is 1). It is affordable, but also I remember it being a lot of fun. We'd go hiking and climbing, swimming and building sandcastles. We roasted marshmallows and ate watermelon. My parents had a camping stove so they would make coffee and pancakes in the morning. As a little kid it seemed like a big adventure (even though we were just at some state parks in Indiana). I want to give my kids that kind of adventure.

Guest's picture
gt0163c

I enjoy camping. When I go, it's generally in a fairly big group and just a night or two. We go in together for the camp site and the food. As a group we either have all the equipment that we need or borrow it from other friends. That helps keep the equipment costs down (although my thermarest air mattress was expensive, but it's been worth every penny and also gets used on occasions when I'm traveling and sleeping on the floor).
We often camp at state or national parks, so the camp sites are pretty cheap. And there's lots of free hiking, swimming and such available. All in all, it makes for a pretty cheap weekend getaway.

Guest's picture
Sandy

My husband and I have been camping with our friends for 8 years at the same campgrounds and at the same time of year. We bought a no frills pop up camper ($100), invested in a compact freezer (no more buying ice or having spoiled meat), and bring most of our food from the pantry supplies and freezer. We go fishing, hiking, pick berries, watch DVD movies (when it rains) and play Yatzhee.

Guest's picture
Sweta

Camping by definition is significantly cheaper than most vacations since you are sleeping in your own tent and not in an expensive hotel. I like to stop at a grocery store and stock up on hot dogs and ingredients for smores and then roast them over a campfire. It's also fun to bring your own boardgames for entertainment.

Guest's picture
Heather

I love camping. Whether I am hiking in for a few days, or driving up to a provincial campground, it's always a great experience. I won't go into why I love camping because other posters have and I couldn't possibly add anything more to that conversation.

Camping always leads to a less expensive weekend for me and my husband, which is somewhat counter-intuitive. When we stay home for the weekend, all we really need is food (we don't drive within the city or go to movies very often). When we go camping, we have the additional cost of gas, firewood, and the occasional park fee and we always buy a 6 pack and a tetrapack of wine. you'd think we spend more than staying at home, but we never do. This is most likely because we pay for everything we think we might need for the weekend up front instead of paying as we go, which means we stick more closely to our budget.. There also aren't extra spending opportunities. Nor are there restaurants, invitations to go out dancing with friends, or pubs. Really, it's the temptation to spend at home that kills us on weekends.

As for equipment, we invested all we needed a few years back. It was expensive, but considering that we start camping while there is still snow on the ground and go right up to when the rain starts in the fall, it was well worth it. For those who don't want to invest, there are some cheap rental services (through some outdoors stores such as MEC, and sometimes through universities).

Guest's picture
Chris

Camping is the best! I find it more fun then a stuffy hotel, and summer is a great time to be outside. I plan on camping nearly every night on a 3 week bike trip I have coming up.

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

We love to go camping and do so each year...some more than others. We tent it but because the last few years I have been pregnant or had a small child we stick to campgrounds for the outhouse (no flush toilets). We have gone in the cold and in the warmth of summer (gotta love Idaho!) and I now can set up camp pretty fast and take down fast too as well as have learned what to bring to stay warm at night (always wear a stocking cap!). LOVE TO CAMP! PS. Split the costs of food and such with friends and its less work and more affordable for all!

Guest's picture
Carmen

We go camping at least once a year with friends. Our favorite place allows our four families to camp together along the water's edge - just over $20/night, including water hookup (we only use for washing) and electricity (nice for hot nights to have a fan running). We have a pop-up camper. We splurged and bough the extra-insulated coolers; that means less (no?) restocking of ice over the weekend. We always plan our meals with the other families - we all bring milk, bread, eggs, bacon or sausage and meat that will feed everyone one night.

I love the time we get to sit around the campfire - cooking or roasting marshmallows, playing games with our friends, fishing, or just chatting and catching up. The cost of staying there is less than what we'd pay for one night in a hotel. Our food costs might be slightly higher than if we were eating at home - but we eat a LOT when camping (fresh air makes you hungry) and it's still cheaper than eating out.

Guest's picture
Lisa

We once owned a 27ft travel trailer, it had a private bedroom, bunks, full bathroom, microwave, tv. We soon grew tired and stopped camping. When we first started camping we used a tent, enjoyed it so much then decided we needed to upgrade. Much to our surprise it was the closeness and the creative ways we made do with or should I say without that made it so much more fun to tent camp. It is carefree, stressfree and a whole lot of fun to explore ways to do things without the luxury of "THINGS". It is the simple things in life that bring us the most pleasure. In two weeks I turn 40 and for my birthday celebration we are planning a tent camping trip.

Guest's picture
Alice

I've been camping in a tent for vacation for several years in a row now and LOVE it. My boyfriend and I take along a cooler packed w/food. I'm hoping that this year I can go backpacking as well.

Guest's picture
Jess

This is the 12th year that we have camped with the same five families. When we started, there were 16 of us, now there are 26 of us!! We are so fortunate to have awesome friends! We all share the food and it makes it so easy. Highlights include making baggie ice cream and baggie omelets and of course s'mores.

Guest's picture
danielo

I camped plenty when I was young. My dad led our Boy Scout troop, and we camped all year long. I think that got it out of my system -- I'm much rather scout for cheap hotel rooms now.

Guest's picture
Lisa

We enjoying tent camping! Its a great way to make some amazing memories with your kids. We usually camp at state parks, cook from a small grill and enjoy lots of different activities. Stocking up on items for our trip throughout the year (especially after holiday and season sales) helps us keep cost down.

Guest's picture
Michelle Murphy

My idea of ultimate camping is to go to a beautiful campground in a nice RV. That way you can enjoy the great parts of nature, cook outs, scenery, hiking, etc and then come back to your RV and sleep in comfort without the bugs and varments.

Guest's picture

We love camping. If you get a "lake view" hotel you have pay an arm and a leg. Lake view campground <$20. We have not done backpacking yet, slowly getting there. We just came back from a road trip/camping trip, so I was planning to write a post on that but this inspired to make it soon :)

My blog post on how we make our camping comfortable - How to make tent camping comfortable? - http://www.wealthinformatics.com/2010/07/14/comfortable-tent-camping/

Guest's picture
Nancy B from Many LA

Love camping, but since I now live in the country, I'm already "away from it all"! One tip - remember to bring a can opener!

Guest's picture
Jessica

My boyfriend and I go camping every summer. I actually make a fire starter that I learned to make in Girl Scouts instead of buying one: take strips of corrugated cardboard and roll it tightly to fill the inside of a tuna fish can. Pour some melted parafin wax 3/4 of the way up the holes, and this turns into a giant candle that you can place under your kindling.

Guest's picture
Gina

I've never gone camping before, but I would love to try it with my family.

Guest's picture
Laura

My husband and children enjoy camping as a family but don't get out as often as we'd like. We're spoiled by the luxury of our Jayco pop-up camper.

When we're choosing a destination, we look for parks that offer learning activities like guided hikes and science hours for the kids. Devil's Lake State Park, WI, is one of our favorites.

Guest's picture

Our family goes tent camping because it's great to be surrounded by nature and off the grid for just a little while. Bringing two small kids along can make the experience a lot less relaxing -but ultimately, I know that my children are experiencing something that will stay with them. Plus it gets them away from the xbox long enough to use their creativity and explore something truly wild -the FOREST! I blogged about my camping trip this past weekend here: http://marydiamond.com/2010/07/18/back-to-the-woods/ if you want to read more. I think sitting around the campfire late at night is the best part.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I love camping... tent camping is the only way to go. I don't have much hints that make it affordable since I never had to deal with the money part of the trips. I haven't been camping in about 10 years and I miss it! What really made it special was getting out into the wilderness and just enjoying the natural beauty of the world.

My most favorite experience was when I went with a group of friends on a 50 mile backpack trek in the Sequoia National Forest here in California. We did the whole hike over 6 days. It was amazing to get out into the wild and just survive on what you brought with you in your pack.