Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Roger J. Wendell's Walrus Tent Near Winfield, Colorado - 09-04-2005
and backpacking

A look at sleeping on the ground and other
ways to escape the daily grind of big cities,
apartment living, and 21st century excesses!



Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for more my page on technical climbing...

Ten Essentials Click Here for the Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for some info on 14ers...

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my hiking page...


"We left town, coasted down a hill back to the barren plain and found a comfortable place to camp. When I looked towards the setting sun, I could not see anything built or even touched by humans. At these special moments, I am reminded that camping not only saves money - it brings us closer to our natural surroundings. I bid the world good night and slept like a rock."

- Tim and Cindie Travis in their book, Down the Road in South America
(A Bicycle Tour through Poverty, Paradise, and the Places in Between), p. 167.

[I met Tim and Cindie while I was in Argentina - I've since had 'em both on my radio show and am honored to be mentioned on page 224 of their book!]


Definitions and Explanations:

Roger J. Wendell Camping on kilimanjaro - January, 2003
Wet camping in Africa!
Although I've spent about two years of my life sleeping on the ground (in either a tent or on a ground cloth in the open) I don't consider myself much of a "Camper." That's because, for me, camping is a means to an end. I'm usually involved in camping because it either gets me that much closer to an alpine climb or I'm simply saving money on hotel accommodations!

Nevertheless, I really do enjoy camping and am especially appreciative of clear skies that allow me to keep the tent packed away. Tent or not, camping brings me closer to the Earth in a number of ways besides being on the ground. It's that night-long connection with our surroundings that keeps us tuned into not only our inner-self, but that huge natural world that surrounds as well...

Oh, I'm not exactly sure how to define the distinction but I consider backpacking very much different than camping at times, and very connected at others. Backpacking, obviously, involves a lot more walking and planning than simply plopping a tent down next to my car. Still, "tenting" or camping doesn't always mean setting up house that close to creature comforts either - I've camped alongside some pretty remote dirt roads all over North America (including Canada and Mexico) and am thankful for the experience! And, as you can see by the photo (at left) I've "camped" in Africa on my way up to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I call it camping, there, because at the time of my climber it was pretty much required (to help the local economy) that we hire guides and porters to carry most of our stuff so it wouldn't be fair to have called it backpacking knowing that young men carried our tents and food!

Anyway, whether you camp next to your car, on some rancher's property (with her permission, of course!), alongside the highway, or three days down a Sierra Nevada trail I'm sure you'll agree it beats expensive hotel rooms and crowded dorms by a long shot! When it's convenient I'll add more tips and photos to this page as time permits. The main thing, however, is that we all get out there to enjoy (and protect!) the natural world!

- Roger J. Wendell




YouTube Logo Click Here for my video demonstrating how to shake out your tent!
Click on any "Thumbnail" image for a larger view!


Grand Canyon 2006

Although I have a ton of pix on my Grand Canyon page the point, here, is to illustrate some alternatives to "traditional" camping methods. In our case, we always attempt to camp without a tent whenever possible - even when our neighbors are using 'em. And, of course, we always try to avoid the use of open fires despite our stove getting a little carried away at start-up!
Roger J. Wendell's Ground Cloth at Monument Creek Campground, Grand Canyon - April 2006
A ground cloth called home...
Camping at Hermit Rapids, Grand Canyon - April 2006
Hermit Rapids
Doug Wakes up at Hermit Rapids, Grand Canyon - April 2006
Doug Bloom waking up!
Starting the Stove in Grand Canyon - April 2006
Starting the stove!
Our Well Organized Camping Neighbors at Hermit Rapids, Grand Canyon - April 2006
Organized neighbors...




Summer 2005

Walrus Tent Near Winfield, Colorado - 09-04-2005 Here's a single "man" Walrus tent I've been using since the late 80s. I like it because it has a relatively low profile yet still allows me to sit up (almost!) to read and perform chores. I almost never make fires, while camping, and I never cook inside my tent. This particular style of tent is solid protection throughout three seasons and works pretty good through hard winter conditions if carefully set up and anchored...   Leave No Trace Tent at the Sierra Summit - September, 2005 Leave No Trace had this little set-up at the Sierra Club's 2005 Summit in San Francisco...




Australia 2005

In 2005, for my 50th birthday, my wife and I drove over 5,800 km (3,600 miles) across Australia. Unfortunately my wife broke her leg so we came back home earlier than expected. Nevertheless, we experienced some good roadside and national park camping along in the state of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. A common feature seemed to be that tenters stayed with the caravans, or what we'd call "RV" parking. Electricity was always available as was a hot shower (even though I only used cold water because it was usually about 35c and above) and laundry. So, despite being many hundreds of miles from the nearest town we could usualy rely on finding some very comfortable campsites!
Halls Crossing, Australia - November, 2005 Tami shows the way, Australia - November, 2005 Tami in the Tent, Australia - November, 2005 Tenting on Cememt, Australia - November, 2005




San Francisco 2005

San Francisco Street Camping - September, 2005 Okay, homelessness is not a joking matter. Nevertheless, I couldn't help post this picture here because I found their "camp" to be almost perfect! I took this picture mid-morning, during the business week, in downtown San Francisco (September, 2005). I didn't disturb the campers but would have sure liked to talk to them about their set-up - their tents were in excellent condition and carefully erected so as not to impede pedestrian traffic. I've never seen such a encampment on a public sidewalk before!




Camping Waypoints

Compass For personal safety, and just for the fun of it, I usually take a GPS "reading" on the top of each peak, at the trailhead, or some other interesting point or curiosity along the way. WARNING: I cannot guarantee the accuracy of these waypoints as my own GPS bounces around a lot or I simply take an incorrect reading! Please rely on a more accurate source for your Waypoints! That being said, I still enjoy "cataloging" Waypoints and I keep a bunch of other locations, from around the world, on my 12ers, 13ers, 14ers, Waypoints, and other pages...

Noname Creek Camp at the Animas River north of Durango, Colorado N 37° 39.807' W 107° 40.723' 8,431 feet 2,569 metres
Avalanch Lake, Montana (near the southeastern shore where there was only one flat boulder to camp on!) N 45° 10.905' W 109° 48.496' 9,750 feet 2,972 metres




Tent Links:
  1. 12ers
  2. 13ers
  3. 14ers
  4. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  5. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  6. AIARE - The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
  7. Alpine Resuce Team - Evergreen, Colorado
  8. American Avalanche Association
  9. Antarctica
  10. Barefoot
  11. Barr Trail and Pikes Peak
  12. Bear Safety
  13. BRCS
  14. Champ Camp
  15. China
  16. Climbing
  17. Climbing Photos
  18. CMC
  19. Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  20. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  1. Cycling
  2. Ecuador
  3. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  4. Grand Canyon
  5. Hiking
  6. Japan
  7. Knots for campers (animated by Grog)
  8. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  9. Lightning Safety
  10. Russia
  11. Sierra Club
  12. Silk Road
  13. Snow Caves
  14. Survival in the backcountry
  15. Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!
  16. Tibet
  17. Travel
  18. Travel Two
  19. Voluntary Simplicity
  20. Walking Softly in the backcountry


Warning! Climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing are dangerous and can seriously injure or kill you. By further exploring this web site you acknowledge that the information presented here may be out of date or incorrect, and you agree not to hold the author responsible for any damages, injuries, or death arising from any use of this resource. Please thoroughly investigate any mountain before attempting to climb it, and do not substitute this web site for experience, training, and recognizing your limitations!




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