Tag Archives: gear

Utah Road Trip Diaries: Camping, Kayaking, and A Lot of Great Stuff in Moab


After leaving Capitol Reef National Park, we stopped by a local restaurant at the intersection of two main highways that claimed to have some of the “best food” around. It was aiite (I guess their great personalities and effort make up for it). Outside on the patio, we ate our sandwiches and talked to two guys that were on a similar national parks road trip for the past few months. We were incredibly envious. They made it to the Grand Canyon too (my dad kept texting me fire updates and weather reports about Arizona, saying it was like 124 and 126 degrees out there, so we avoided that whole state in general). AND they actually saw bighorn sheep! One of the guys was like, “Yeah, he was a daddy sheep, looking at us all mean-like because he had a baby sheep behind him”. Sounded more like a protective bighorn mama sheep.

As we drove on we continued to see more signs saying “America’s Scenic Highways”. And goddamn, it was truethe land looked fucking AMAZING. Tall, brick-red and dark-colored rock formations surrounded the land around the road. It was almost unreal.

IMG_1581-155The only problem was that we had been going in the wrong direction for quite some time now (and we were almost out of gas, with no stations around for miles). We actually drove to the border of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (also near Natural Bridges) instead of going north towards Moab. We were so SAD to have to turn around (I’ve seen tons of photos of Glen Canyon in Backpacker magazine, and I have to say that it’s definitely a top priority on my next road trip. It looks stunning out there!)

It was so pretty, however, that we just had to get out of the car and take a shitload of photos…

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Gear Review: Marmot Ajax 3 Tent

While I’m somewhat of an advanced beginner when it comes to backpacking, I have to say that I do have my preferences when it comes to gear. I don’t even own this tent, but I’ve borrowed it once or twice from a friend of mine. It has become my FAVORITE bargain 3 person backpacking tent ever!!

The bomb.com tent

The best thing about the Ajax 3 is that it’s truly a 3 person tent – it’s not a 2 person tent masquerading as a 3 person tent (yes, I do put a lot of my gear outside of my tent when I go backpacking, I’m not that high-maintenance).  It has a very simple 2/3 pole set up for the main body of the tent, but the best part about it is that it has a cross-bar brow pole on the top to pull the sides of the tent by the doors up and out. Sitting up in this tent and hanging out with other folks is totally feasible. I never felt claustrophobic or squished at any time. Its spacious headroom coupled with the two very big doors on either side of the tent means that if the person sitting “b!tch” in the center of the tent needs to get out in the middle of the night to pee, it’s not that big of a deal.

Botchers Gap camp: Camille wakes up in the middle

Plus, how could you not LOVE the wrap-around mesh on this tent!? Perfect for stargazing on warm or cool nights. When it gets a little cold, I just put the fly half-on and leave the side covering the tent door wide open so I can still fall asleep looking at the stars. That blue and orange is FTW too!

The only drawback is that it’s not the lightest tent if you’re trying to be an ultra-lighter. At 6 lbs. 2 oz., you could find a much lighter backpacking tent, but it probably won’t be as spacious or as comfortable at this price. Plus if there’s 3 of you camping, that just means that each of you carry about 2 lbs. in your packs.

More on the specs:

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