With Mt. Shasta disappearing into the rearview mirror we set our sights on another California gem. Nestled in the sunkissed boulder fields of the Eastern Sierra, we rolled into the high desert playground known as Alabama Hills. You may recognize this backdrop from the big screen seeing as over four hundred movies have been filmed in the picturesque landscape we called camp for the next few days.
After circling the wagons and popping our tents, in a matter of minutes we were already eyeing up the day's activities. Climbing ropes, cast irons, and bike tires all made the list for our group with many smiles to follow.
Before heading out for a long trip, it's a great idea to identify camp locations that have a few different options for activities. One of the best things about Alabama Hills is that it has something for everyone. Below are some great ideas for making sure you can take advantage of everything a destination has to offer.
Our Favorite Gear from Alabama Hills
ExoShell 270 - When the sun is out and there isn’t a cloud in sight, a constant source of shade can make all the difference. The ExoShell 270 was a perfect match for all-day coverage, and easy to set up and take down when it’s time to move.
X-Cover 2.0 Mini - Sometimes all you need is room for two and a little extra gear to top it off. The X-Cover 2.0 Mini gets you there with its ability to fit any type of vehicle and cross bar to bring bikes, kayaks, boards, and more.
The Perfect Basecamp for Everyone
Picking your spot - Probably the most important part of setting up camp is picking your campsite. Find a spot that is level, provides protection from the wind (if possible), and offers a great view. These are the core building blocks for a five-star basecamp.
Where’s the food!? - We all know, that one of the best parts of camping can often be the food that comes with it. Do yourself a favor and designate a cooking and hydration station to keep camp organized from the start. As always, be sure to set up a waste station for garbage and recycling to minimize your impact on the environment. This will help also reduce the likelihood of critters coming to steal your food.
Protection from the elements - Whether you’re out on a bluebird weekend or you find yourself in a downpour, bringing along an awning or annex is a great move. They offer a place to relax, and you know you’re covered no matter what weather comes your way.
Stakes, Stakes, Stakes! - When your day’s activities take you away from basecamp, be sure to tie down or stake down your tents and gear. Awnings, tables, and RTT extension panels are just a few things you wouldn’t want to be tossed around by a gust of wind. If you’re on soft ground you’re in luck! If not, use coolers, tires, and other heavy objects around camp to secure the more “flight prone” things. Remember to flip your chairs over as well!
Let's go over there - Sometimes you might want to change the location of your basecamp. Whether it’s for a better one or to be closer to the next activity. If you keep camp organized and dial in your storage systems, moving camp is a breeze. It helps to leave an exit/entry lane for easy coming and going when you’re camping with a group. This is a smart idea in case of an emergency as well.
Stay tuned for part four of our Bend to Baja journey where the road takes us to some of the most remote parts of Baja, Mexico!