Welcome to the Strive Seek Find Podcast. I’m your host Chance Whitmore. This episode marks the questions “ Ten questions” episode . The ten questions episodes are based around a simple concept: Allowing people to talk about the things they are passionate about. It can be a job, hobby, cause, or anything in between. Today I’m joined by Zac, an avid expert camper and long time friend.
In life, we have two choices, to experience or to exist. Every week, each of us makes that choice to either seek a better way to live or to get by. walk alongside me each week on the strife seek find podcast as we continue to seek our own brilliant future. Welcome to strive, seek find podcast. I'm your host chance Whitmore. This episode marks the fourth of the 10 questions episodes. The 10 questions episodes are based around a simple concept, allowing people to talk about the things they're passionate about. It can be a job hoppy cause or anything in between. day I'm joined by Zach, an avid expert camper and longtime friend. Thanks for coming aboard Zack. Thanks for having me chance. Now let's get started. So, tell me, tell us a little bit about yourself. From a camping perspective, you got anything you want to share. There's nothing like being put on a spot right away chance. My name is Zack, I have been camping for a long, long time. I think in all honesty, camping was one of the big things in our life as a kid growing up. I was not a child of money. That was our way of getting out and having vacations. And so I think most of my growing up years camping was my ability to get out and have something that was different from the normal. Maybe that's why I've loved it so much all my life. See, and I come from a very different background on this. I learned it more as an adult. Because when my father who you've met Jim, absolutely, he was fond of telling me growing up, I slept on the ground enough in Southeast Asia, I'm never I made that this he made the statement that he would never sleep on the ground again. So my first attempt camping was in high school, by my with my younger brother, actually. So camping for me is something I learned during college and after college. So this is a different perspective. Yeah, I like I said, I came about it from from a little bit different realm. My parents met each other in Yellowstone National Park. So I think that tells a little bit about them as people, they definitely are outdoorsy, they enjoy being in the western half of the United States. appreciating the the outdoors and the beauty and, you know, all those types of things. And that probably rubbed off on me. And then, you know, a group of my friends and myself were really involved in scouting. And that led me to a whole host of camping experiences from backpacking to, you know, winter camping to, you know, all those types of things. So I think that was an early thing for me. And I was blessed from a young age to kind of learn some stuff. So when you finished out with the scouts, which I'm assuming was probably Middle High School, right? Yeah, yeah, that early mid. So what kept you camping once you kind of moved out on your own away from your parents and started doing other things? Honestly, I just I think I've always felt like camping like recenter you as a human. And I know that might sound a little weird, but I think that, you know, taking away all the comforts that modern society has provided you and you just have the experience of being out in nature humbles you, maybe I mean, I think it makes you appreciate where you're at where you're at in life. I think there's plenty of times where I was, you know, bemoaning the trailer that I was living in or the apartment or whatever, that absolutely beat sleeping out on the dirt and 30 degree temperature. So, you know, I think that's that's part of it for me. So, we have camped together for close to 15 years now. Way to make a sound like young guys. I will say I am older than crap right now. Mr. McGee is younger, still young, we're going to give him that credit. So in a standard camping trip in order to be successful, now we're going to do this, I'm going to ask this two ways, a standard camping trip. First off, let's go. The adults are out camping, what does it have to be to be successful? And then after that, we're both camping with kids most of the time. How is that different? Well, I think both of them the common thread is you have to have a good plan. I think, you know, we both been on camping trips, where they were highly successful, because we had stuff set up beforehand, grew, who was doing what, you know, who was bringing what, etc. And then we had others that we carried the tent down the road to a better spot later on. And while those were memorable, they probably weren't our most successful camping trips, per se. You know, when you when you add kids to it, I think you add a different layer of that planning. You definitely have to have a I guess, a cognizance of time, you know, when it's just the adults time can be killed in you know, nice, quiet moments. quiet moments with kids are usually a terrible idea. So there's more of the activity planning and hikes and, and all those types of things that come into it. So what you're saying is to clarify, with, with kids, you better have a lot of activities with adults, there's more time by the fire and more time with the whiskey. I would say those are accurate statements. To clarify, when we carried that that tent down the road, there may have been scotch whisky involved. That's accurate. So what do you what have you learned in the last, let's say, 10 years, that a major, major camping experience is better? Because I know, in my case, that camping experiences are actually fewer and far between in the last 10 years? Yeah, I That's a great question. I think just what makes it better is really being aware of, of, you know, who you're with, and what they're enjoying. You know, I think for a long time, just going out was the important part to me. And now, you know, trying to get friends and family and my kids specifically into new experiences, I think is the the big part of this, you know, taking them to a new place, having them do something that they've never done before. Those are the things that I remember, from my camping experiences. And I think that they will as well. So I guess I'm just really kind of cognizant of that, you know, it's nice to have your same place, you always go and you always do the same thing. But I think it's nice to have someplace where you're, you know, this is special, and you can all feel that way. So best best camping trip in the last decade or so. That one's tough. I mean, I've had smart, big moments where we're carrying tents down the street. You know, I've woken up in the base of the Tetons, and you know, or at the California and Oregon coast where you're on zip in and you're looking at something that looks like it's out of a postcard. So I don't know, I feel like the one that you just came back from is probably the best trip that you've been on. Like I enjoy being out that much. Now, I'd agree with you. Part of this is always been for me. My most memorable camping trips have involved something beyond being around the fire I have, whether it is hiking or kayaking or something. Is there a process you go through selecting locations or is it just feel or because we've been some places that we'll never go back to again, but they're all memorable along the way? Sure. I think you know, it's almost like if that that he has been scratched then you move on to the next one. You know, sometimes you look at a place and you kind of check the box on like did we do everything that we could there and if so, how Maybe that other places is just better because it's new. Like the beauty of camping and providing in, you know, planning trips is that you have that new element to it, because I know we've got a couple places where we've been several times. And it's nice to have a standard but, you know, I think from a kid standpoint and all the rest you really look forward to being someplace that you haven't been before and having a new experience and that's that's kind of the the dream of camping as you you get that travel kind of, you know, break from your norm. Is there any place you've been camping that you absolutely would not go back to? Um, yeah, there's, there's a couple times like I mentioned earlier, I've I've done the whole winter camping and, you know, I've, you learn a lot from your experience. tarps matter. dry socks matter. I don't know that I would go out in some snow banks and do some camping that I did in my we'll just call them younger, formative years. I wouldn't replicate those now. Are you saying that you've made poor decisions in your youth? That's a shocker. Yeah, well, it is because I've lived such a wholesome, great life. No, yeah, there's there's a few times where I have, you know, found myself waking up in a puddle after a rainstorm, realizing that the rain fly was an important article. And, you know, I think if anyone hasn't camped before, there's a lot of worry on. Well, I've never done this, I don't know anything. And, you know, great. I can say anybody who claims to be a quote unquote, expert camper has also, you know, slept in the cold, wet, terrible conditions or maybe not slept, but just sat there and shivered and told themselves like never do that again. You know, that's how you get better at this. So, out of the various trips we've taken, which one would you put up there as the most memorable? Well, we just had a probably maybe the most recent chance and I have full disclosure, I've had several times where we've gone over to the coast with our families, and I think every single one of those trips has been fantastic. Beverly beach over on the Oregon coast is a great spot. Highly recommend it for anybody that can go Good, good facility. I mean, it's a it's a traditional, you know, drive in, put your tent up or you know, roll up your camper type of campsite, but that one's fantastic. We went with a group of friends including the Whitmore family here up to allow a lake a couple years ago and that one was a great one for the hikes that we had the ability to get you know jet skis and canoes and paddle boards and you know kayaks and just everything on the lake and you know, I think that one was great. Probably the planning for it was probably the best piece because there was no question about who had what food meals were just I don't know, it almost felt like it was catered. They were that good. You know, like I started it's the creature comforts that you're trying to get away from but those those things were probably the things that were the most memorable because it was such a great experience that way was so well organized. So my first experience camping like I said, my dad was disinterested in it. So my first experience camping involved me borrowing an old Marine Corps mummy bag, my brother doing the same and walking down below our house down to the can down the canyon wall which as you know, I lit on fire at one point yeah, here you did. And camping along the curriculum there. And that was it. What was your first camping experience like? Well, like I said, I've been camping since I was like, unable to really remember so may have heard stories about my first camping trips. I've seen pictures of my first camping trips was as a little kid, you know, three, four years old. And I think sometimes you like maybe fabricate memories about them. So I think the the probably one that was the most memorable was a trip to Thomson falls when we were kids. And my family, you know, that was our vacation for the year. And so we went out and we were just tent camping and I remember waking up I don't know why it's such a big deal for me but waking up in the morning when it's just kind of that you know, like glow that's going on and you unzip the tent and it's called cold outside and the sun is, you know, just starting to make little peaks. Like, that was the that was a memorable part for me. So I could say that was the first like camping trip that I remember being on. You know, and that puts me, I don't know, in early elementary school, probably. That is impressive. The fact that what do you remember about the interrelationship with your folks? Were they patient on these trips? Or were they just kind of still stressed? That's a great question. Um, you know, sadly, a, you know, Dad, if you're listening, I apologize. I just, I feel like, you know, some of the some of the stress of feeling like you're supposed to know what's going on, and, you know, you've got a plan, and it's not working out the way that you're supposed to, you know, I think I could see that in my dad as a kid. And I sadly feel like sometimes I channel that to my, my children as well, you know, we've been on camping trips, where, you know, tires blow, you know, things fall down, that shouldn't we're missing something that we were supposed to bring, you know, and all those things, I'd love to say I was awesome. It just rolling with the punches, but others probably some frustration that is that is shared, you know, on that we all learn to interact with each other, I found that like, I set the tent up with my daughter, I don't set the tent up with my wife. There's somewhere we can, we can find some some ways where we, you know, work best as a unit. So, now, so you recently you moved into a pop up, trailer, yes, this has happened. So I'm going to put that down to all of us getting older and it just being easier to camp that way it is. But how has that changed the setup because I can remember you and I setting up a tent that you'd had since college, which meant climbing trees, and played it putting stakes and nails into stuff that I didn't even think about? How is the tent trailer changed your camping game? Well, like you mentioned, it makes things easier, you know, everything's in there, it's ready to set up. You kind of pull it in, make sure it's level, you know, for those of you that that have not, you know, level when it comes to campers and pop up trailers and all the rest is key. And then from there, it's crank it up and, and go. As a tent camper, the one big thing that that was always big for me was you know, making sure that I wasn't wet, you know, or that my family or the people that I was with weren't because I found as a kid, that was the most uncomfortable I'd ever been. That's the not sleep at night type of moments. 10 trailers make it so that that is a lot less of a concern, I guess, you know, so you're, you're more more apt to be dry. And in a spa, where you can protect the people that you're with how you're feeling about 17 foot fires? You know, I went with this attorney once called Chase Whiteman. And you know, he did that. And then you know, he mentioned that he might have burned a canyon wall down at some time in his earlier earlier time. So I would suggest campfire safety's important. All right, so for those who are listening, who haven't camped, like we have listeners in Great Britain, we have listeners in the east coast, where there's less opportunities to get out and do this. For someone who is a complete newbie, what would you what advice would you give those newbies? Well, the big thing I think, is just get out and try it. You know, the the uncomfortability is the the key to it. In all honesty, I think it's important for us as people to realize that a lot of the creature comforts that we have, maybe create a false sense of our humanity, you know, and disconnect us from from being fully aware of nature. And in that part. The other thing I would make sure and recommend is you actually talk to somebody who knows something and get the get the appropriate gear so you don't just have a complete miserable experience. You know, you can go out and be really really cold and really, really hungry and make sure that you never camp again and that's that's definitely not a not a thing that I would want to recommend. last in the last couple of years. You had some people that went with you camping. I'm going to say full disclosure was not my family, but let's leave it at that. that showed up with nothing but blankets and their vehicle. How did that go? Well, you know, I think that was bad, bad, bad form by me, make sure that, you know, you try and find the things that you need. Whether weather is extremely important if you're looking into non creature comforts. So making sure that you know what the temperature is, if if it's going to be below that 5060 range, you're going to need something more than just a blanket off your bed, you'll need an actual like, you know, sleeping bag or something that's set for those types of temperatures. So I went in that lesson as a as a young guy, I guarantee you, you know, lots of new new campers learning the same type of lesson. So just finding that that that weather forecasts and kind of looking at and seeing where your conference can be as important. So to finish things up, is there anything else you'd like our audience to know? Yet get out? I think that's the, that's the real the real piece. You know, anybody can say that they're quote unquote, expert on camping. But really, it just means that we've been out long enough to like, fail and learn. You know, if you have a desire to get out and see nature to be, you know, part of it, I just can't, can't recommend that enough to wake up in the morning and see the sunrise over a lake and just makes you feel maybe not as important as significant as maybe you think your problems are. And that's why I just feel like every summer is kind of a reset for me on realizing that, you know, I might not be that big of a deal. My problems aren't so large, because there's a really big, huge wide world out there and, and, you know, just just trying to get out and be a part of it. It's important. So, Zach, thanks for coming on. Thanks for sharing your passion for camping. And I'm gonna ask our audience again. What are you passionate about? What you like? Would you like to share it with us? Let me know. And that concludes this edition of Strive Seek find. Thank you for listening. 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