Folks, the outdoor advice line is now open

Today I’d like to find out how I can help you.

No, I will not clean your house, or watch your kids, or offer reliable relationship advice. You would be worse off if you came to me for any of that stuff.

So what am I offering here? Good question, pilgrim. I’d like to help you get started on your next outdoor adventure.

Suppose you’ve never been camping, or backpacking, or kayaking, or anything to do with being outdoors, and you really want to give it a shot but feel like something is missing.

Thinking about a new sleeping bag? Or which tent to buy? Or how to go about securing permits? Maybe you’re stuck in a debate between bacon and beef jerky for your next camping trip (hint: without hesitation, always go with bacon)?

I don’t know it all, and I’m still learning a lot myself. But as a dude with experience in many outdoor situations, I just might be able to give you a few tips. Let’s talk.




  1. oh no he says….its Lizzie and I said how can I help you πŸ™‚ just wondering.. lol anyways. this is a dumb question – BUT …. I want to take my Gaggle camping – and I am feeling adventurous so I will be taking them ..alooonnee. I know how to camp and fish and stuff but I am in a new area ..different climate and terrain than I am used to- now there is a bunch of information on the web for sure but I get a lot of conflicting stuff and the last thing I need is to get stuck out in the wilderness with 6 kids,,,,, unprepared and …uh…what am i THINKING???? this is probsby where your advice should be RUN AWAY!! lol

    How do I find reliable information that won;t have me cursing the camping gods when I am finally there?

      1. i am in AZ – right north of here is FLagstaff which is actually more like what I am used to…but pretty much desert and hot… HOT..too damn hot. we used to go camping in the summer in CO but here the spring and fall are the best bets….but camping in the desert.. ?

      2. You are in luck. I went to college at NAU in Flagstaff. Which part of the high desert are you headed to? Do you want to camp around Flag? Because there are plenty of cool kid friendly spots in the area. And it probably won’t be so damn hot at that elevation this time of year.

        Even camping in the desert shouldn’t be too bad in March.

      3. Wow That;s so COOL! I figure Flag would be the closest to what I am used to.. and even up until mid May it should be ok – maybe? still hot but with the higher elevation not unbearable..I don;t want to freeze either. I grew up in CO but since living here I am a wuss about the cold. 40 is about all I can take. ok 36.. πŸ™‚

      4. If you grew up in Colorado, you’d love Flagstaff. It actually doesn’t get too hot there most of the year. I always have to tell people who have never been to Arizona that it snows in Flagstaff.

        I think the kids will dig it up there. I don’t know where you’re at in Arizona, but if you live anywhere near Phoenix, Flag is a cool, desert oasis for Valley folks in the later parts of spring and summer. Mild temps, a little chilly at nightβ€”nothing an old jungle commando can’t handle, right? πŸ™‚

        It’s just so pretty up there, especially once you get up on the mountain in the aspen groves. There is a ton of great camping in the area. Are you going in tents or a RV?

        You should look into taking the kids up to the Snowbowl. You can ride the chairlift up the mountain, where the views are so good, you can see the Grand Canyon. There’s also a great, mellow mountain trail nearby to wear those lil’ knuckleheads out.

      5. SO Flag would probably be a good place to start so I at least appear to know what I am doing …probably a good idea not to lose cool mom points so they will want to go again. ? Tents. And my biggest worry after that is their issues with boredom…. we went to the Rockies every summer when I was a kid…took our books and cameras – one year a flower press.. but I think somewhere they can run and play and climb…I also heard Payson might be nice? Im gonna do a litte research and then when I got some thing I ‘ll ask more specifically…I have been saying it for 5 years… this year I AM DOING IT!!!! the whole by myself with kids is kinda intimidating though…. silly I know but…

      6. “The whole by myself with kids is kinda intimidating though. Silly I know.” Are you serious? You are one brave woman!

  2. Thanks for your services =P
    My first question would be about bringing the lightest weight food possible, aside from dehydrated dinners like Mountain House and whatnot. I mean, I’m curious about the idea of buying my own dehydrating gadget that I could use to pre-make stuff before a trip. Any ideas as to how well those things work? Or just ideas on non-dehydrated meals that are lightweight and easy is god too πŸ™‚ This would be for an 8-9 day hiking trip.

    1. Excellent question. Dehydrators are great gadgets if you actually use them. You can pretty much dehydrate anything and make a meal out of it on the trail later. You can get really creative with those things.

      I like to mix ‘n’ match cheap dehydrated foods from the grocery store. Most stores have sections devoted to dehydrated this, and dehydrated that. Also, if you think about it, there’s a lot of food out there that only requires you to “just add water.” I find myself coming up with new backpacking food ideas when I get bored grocery shopping.

      Food like oatmeal makes for a great breakfast. It doesn’t weigh a thing, and it packs a pretty good nutritional punch to get you going for the day. Lunch, dinner, and snacks all depend on what you like and how creative you can get either dehydrating food or mixing ‘n’ matching at the store.

      Personally, I don’t really like the food from Mountain House. A lot of people do though because it’s convenient. I think the price is a little ridiculous (especially for longer trips), and the food isn’t that great (not that I expect to eat gourmet food on the trail).

      Is this for the Killarney trip?

      1. Thanks, Eric! This is great advice, I’m gonna have a closer look at the dehydrated items at the grocery store next time. Excited to see what concoctions I can come up with =P
        This is for a potential hiking trip in Killarney, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get the time off work. There’s a canoe-portaging Killarney trip I’ll most likely be able to do, but that is only 4 days and I’m not gonna be too worried about carrying weight for that.

      2. One of the many reasons why I love a good float trip: bring all the food you want!

  3. I’ve been waiting ages for you to ask that question. How to I get my husband and kids to go outdoor camping for the weekend and LEAVE ME ALONE! πŸ˜‰

    1. Easy. Send your husband packing with beer and bacon for the weekend, and you should be good to go.

      1. Kids cannot say no to eating unhealthy amounts of s’mores around the campfire.

      2. Hey Eric, I have a real question for you. What fun thing should we do over spring break? Also, what is something really adventurous that I could do from a “use walker or wheelchair, and is scared of the water” position?

        Oh, I have another…where can I go skydive…I already asked Dr. Drew, am going to ask Ellen, but if the rich people don’t send me, Maybe we could vacation to whatever area in the US is equipped to handle jumps with disabled people. Oklahoma is where I am now, and the 3 centers in our state are just not really set up like that.

    2. Spring break is probably coming up soon, correct? Are you guys planning on traveling or staying in Oklahoma?

      As for something you can do that is adventurous, what do you think about a guided off-road 4×4 trip? Here’s an example:×4-roading Looks like fun to me!

      I called one of my local skydiving centers here in Southern California, Skydive Elsinore. They do accommodate disabled people! The very friendly gal on the other end said you would need a doctor’s note, and you would be required to sign additional paperwork. And that’s pretty much it! They have jumped with many disabled people in the past, no problem. So, you would get a vacation to Southern California, and you would get to go skydiving! Win, win. Skydive Elsinore’s number is (951) 245-9939 and here’s their website:

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks Eric, spring break is actually next week, and we have kind of tossed a few ideas for camping, or just doing some local attraction stuff, but have you gone geocashing? What do you think about that, and we’d like stay within a few hours Okc as the center and as far as Dallas Tx in any direction would probably be ok.

      2. You know who would be a great source for geocaching? Guapo! He’s really into it. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like fun!

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