Off Beat Characters

Utah Happy Campers

See how a variety of Utahns have found the best ways to camp: destinations, methods, tips



July 2012 issue: Off the Beaten Path

Camping is finding a balance between enjoying creature comforts yet still feeling a connection with nature. The question is: Can you have it both ways?

I was once a very hard-core backpacker, which made me anti-RV. I believed anyone who would consider it “camping” while maintaining a fridge, toilet, AC and in some cases a flat screen TV with a DVD collection at your “campsite”, failed to understand the point of camping: feeling a connection with our primal desire to sleep under stars, sit by a campfire and feeling the wind and elements. My advice for RV campers:  stay home and watch a movie about the national parks on TV and save yourself the hassle and the fossil fuels which pollute our air.

But after eight years of marriage with a wife who now won’t backpack or tent camp because she doesn’t have a clean toilet and she needs to “escape the bugs” –I am beginning to realize that likely one day I’ll need to make some serious concessions in my rugged outdoors camping philosophy. If camping in Moab, Escalante or the High Uintas means I need to pull a trailer along, then so be it. Guys with trailers or RVs must have once been guys like me who were required to appease their wives.

What I’ve come to understand about camping in Utah is that the people here view it much more than a hobby or “recreational activity.” Camping is ingrained into our lifestyle. Whether you are a decedent of Mormon Pioneers or a descendant of gold miners, or you are a recent Utah transplant– people who love to camp, love Utah.  Passionate outdoors people certainly feel that by camping they are taking advantage of the great standard of living Utah has to offer. Conversely, those who don’t camp often feel Utah is lacking in fun things to do. Our advice:  whether you buy the basic gear for backpacking, fix up a bus to drive across the country or make a serious investment into a fifth wheel or motor home—get out there and camp! There is simply no better place to camp than Utah.

How Do You Want To Camp in Utah?

Click on any of the photos below to learn how they do it.
Or buy our July issue plus two additional small town issues (Three for just $3.99!) Click on side panel for more information.
Volkswagon bus 1974
VW camping for seven years Coulson Rich and his dog Atlas are preparing for Burning Man 2012. More on Rich in our first installment of Happy Campers.
Learn how RVing is done from the masters
backpacking slot canyons in Southern Utah
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