I have been a long-time adventurer who always started an adventure with the sole expectation that I was going to learn something new, meet new people, and experience something only a handful of people can enjoy.
Through the years I have had the pleasure to be able to mountain bike, hike, explore via horseback, go caving, rock climbing, road trips, fly fishing all over, and much more.
In the beginning my adventures were a way for me to connect with my father, escape the day to day grind of life, and to find my limits. Why am I writing this? The answer is that I have met some people who are site seers and others that are site doers. What does this mean? It means that an adventure is as good as your expectations so the key to my adventures is to only rest expectations on the act of going on the adventure.
Let’s start with a way to connect with my father. Without too much detail, my dad found solace in being in the outdoors. It is a way to take he baggage of life and leave it somewhere safe for another day. The only rule was that you had to try and be willing. Be willing to look for yourself and be willing to accept what you found and very special occasions be willing to get lost in a world that you don’t know what is ahead, what the outcome would be, and lose yourself to the environment.
My dad and I first cross-country ATV ride.
The friends that I have met…. oh yes, the friends.
I am not a collector of friends, but I am a collector of people that are not only like-minded, but people who push me to be the best I can be. I do not find solace in knowing 500 people in a digital world, but meeting a handful of people I can talk about UFOs, history, science, Sasquatch, and much more. Those people help create memories that can be referenced by a simple “do you remember?” or even a way of a smile. Those people are priceless and cannot ever be recreated because those moments are one of a kind moment that belongs to that very specific place and time.
Nothing in life goes as planned and it never fails that on an adventure those plans sometimes go awry. I will never forget the time when I first got my Polaris 570 Sportsman Touring and my riding partner Kris got a flat a mile into the ride. See exhibit 1.
Now this 5’ 8” Sasquatch of a man did not want to give up and decided to ride Dutch on my ride. See exhibit 2.
That day we had one hell of a ride. Later we found out that even sitting on the back he could still be a kickstand for the ATV for those moments when I bit off way more than I could chew. Needless to say it was an adventure that I would never forget and we sometimes found ourselves even when we got lost.
The Yoro Gang
One would argue that any great journey in life is not the journey itself, but the challenges you had to overcome and prove to yourself that you could do it. It is not my standards or others that defines those moments, it’s the times when you did something extraordinary when there were no witnesses, social media posts, or pats on the back.
As I sit here at my desk staring at my laptop screen, contemplating the unopened beer, fiddling with my estate pipe, and looking at pictures of all of those adventure moments, I find myself not only reflecting on those moments, but trying to connect the dots of those moments and how it guided me later to find my way. Connected by those memories.
Now today my adventures are driven by another way and most definitely a need. The way is to show and teach others to look for those moments and a need to share. My wife and I ride 3-5 times a week typically in the afternoons. Even today those little ways of inserting adventure in my life still brings little surprises, new people we meet on the trails, and yes…even challenges. At the end of the day I guess I have never changed that internal compass that pulls me to new places.
I am going to apologize, this is such a tough subject so I am not going to write a handbook on this section, however I will put items that might be useful and give information/resources that might help you with this portion of the planning.
Let me start off with giving you some resources that you might not know is out there.
Great Gear Hacks and things to add to your pack:
Make your stuff accessible. I am extremely guilty of packing and not finding, so trust me it is a waste if you cannot use. To solve this I actually bought cheap tool bags from a store and put a packing list in the bag. I kid you not, this makes it easy to find things when it is dark outside, when you are cold, or just need to go to the bathroom really bad and need something to do so. I also keep zip lock baggies with a marker in the bag in each separate bag. This helps in the situations when you have to open a package and cannot contain the items, or to segregate something that cannot be mixed for instance dirty washcloths. There are a million ways to address this dilemma, however I will have more articles with specific tricks I have learned or figured out.
Years ago, both my father and the Boy Scouts taught me the most vital lesson. Have a plan A and a plan B. This is so that you are not only able to be prepared, but be visible and predictable to others so that they know when to start worrying. The other day I watched a movie 127 Hours that not only hit this point, but focused on this concept to the extent that there would not be a story to tell if these plans were put into place. In case you are wondering, the main character (Aron Ralston) reflects on who knows where he is and realizes that he did not tell anyone.
How does this work? Very simple, your plan A should be a written agenda of who, what, when, where, and what rule we all learned when writing in school. Think about who is going, where you are going, how long, check points (when), as well as guidelines for others to follow in case you are not heard from. This is not anything more than a guideline so diving into each section is not important as I am sure almost everyone can fulfill. The one item that is typically overlooked is what to do with the plan beyond hitting these points.
First step, your plan A should be nothing more than your regular planning session. Not a lot of people are aware that the forest service has a ton of amazing resources. They even have a “build your trip” tool you can use: https://www.recreation.gov/myTrips.do?tti=Trips
The plan B should be your contingency plan. For example, when I was going to Silverton, my plan B included alternate camping areas in case we moved locations, potential areas we would visit if something changed, and potential extended timelines in case something would cause a delay. This allowed me to be able to communicate with the other people participating as well as to let my emergency contact people know the details in case I was needed or they were needed.
What to do with your plans? Other than develop and stick to them, I almost always keep a written summary in my emergency pack, give a written summary to my emergency contacts, and include anything of value such as life impacting medical info such as insurance, blood type, medications needed, and allergies.
I have attached an example of a plan that I used for the Silverton trip. If you think this is overkill, please rethink it. I personally have seen the impact this would have made if the information was available.
In my book, the plan is something that I take very seriously and stay consistent with. Everyone who acts as my emergency contact expect this and know exactly when to take action. Please create a habit that screams something is wrong if you are not able to communicate this. On a side note, as you go to a lot of the resources I share, you will see the same theme of planning.
I know this might be a trivial part of the planning process because with all the tools we have in this current day and age this should be the easiest. The point I would make is that in almost every trip or adventure, poor planning almost always negatively impacts the overall experience and can be very dangerous. In almost every ride, trip, or adventure that I have been on I come across people who are suffering due to not planning properly even when it is blatantly obvious that they should have been prepared.
Getting the trip ready, what we needed when we got there, and what items were we grateful to have and bring?
This goes without saying, #1 rule when planning any adventure is to be prepared for the worst case. This is tough because what do you prepare for? This post is specifically addressing items that we learned spending 7 days in the mountains hopefully to help others, but more specifically to help the newcomers to the adventure circle.
Before I dive into each segment of planning, I want to keep this open by saying that I myself not only have a planning routine, but almost always over-plan to be sure. The challenge we all face is that it is impossible to plan for everything, but to be able to remain stable is the key. In the associated posts I will post tricks that I learned, cool products that have taken years to discover, and even ask for questions/input. For my own edification here is a high level summary of what is to come.
We were adventuring in areas that we have been in prior, however in an area that can have drastic swings in weather. There is always limitations on budget, space, cargo, etc. which almost always plays into what can be deemed as acceptable or overkill. A good rule of thumb is to do the following.
Again, I do not believe that any one way of doing things is better than the other. In my lifetime of adventures (camping to caving) there are real threats to safety and great opportunities to experience. At the end of the day, the experience is why we go on adventures and so my main goal is to keep the desired experience as positive as possible.
You guessed it, finding a campsite can be easy in an area like Silverton. Because we were going to be there for so long we looked at staying at an established campsite for the first two days and then looking for primitive camping sites later while riding. Initially I thought this was easy, but then found that the place books up very quickly. Here is what we learned.
All established campgrounds in the area are nice. Some are more in the town than others. We ended up staying at the Silverton Lakes Campground. We picked this site because according to locals and online reviews they were on the river, right outside of town (5 minutes from campsite to downtown Silverton by ATV), very clean bathrooms, showers, etc. When booking the campsite, we met a very nice lady Ann Miller and the caretaker Dan.
Here is the info:
Price for tent dry site: $28.00 per night (includes fire pit, bathroom access, and showers)
Pictures of our campsite:
For the last week in July, Bek and I went to Silverton, CO to camp and ride the Alpine Loop. In the 5 days out in the mountain range, we experienced a ton of rain, other riders, and of course BEAUTIFUL VIEWS. For anyone who can take this trip, it is definitely a trip to plan for. You will find videos and photos from the trip in the blog. I want to take time to offer information and guidance as this is a trip that almost everyone can enjoy. If you have not heard of this please see the links:
Campsite Used: http://silvertonlakes.com/
While this is a beautiful area, there are a lot of challenging trails that can cause injury and fatality. Not to sound gloomy, but this is a back country experience that requires the proper maintained equipment, wet/cold gear, water, survival equipment, helmets, and planning. I will provide a list of equipment that was used (primary) and even some reviews of the equipment. All the blogs related will have the same intro title with the extended topic listed. Please feel free to ask questions, post comments, and share if you have experienced this part of Colorado.
Notes about ride: Lots of trees with good forrest and high altitude riding. Weather was warm, however rained and hailed.
Start of ride: 11AM
Reccomend to bring: Essential supplies, wet weather gear, and lunch.
Difficulty: Beginner and Moderate
Terrain: Maintained and mountainous dirt road
Photos posted in album: Forrest Road 378 Jemez NM.
Riders: (Robert Miller and Henry Miller).
Date of Ride: 8/20/2016
I would love to welcome you to my blog. I am constantly looking for ways to grow and share. You will find in my blog everything from information on projects that I am currently working on to reviews of products that I have invested into and how they fit in my adventurous way. Just like Yoro Adventures, we believe that knowledge should be shared and sought. If you have any questions, comments, or additional color to offer please feel free to comment.
I am not just an adventurer, but I am a project enthusiast. I look for projects and overall love the hunt for an adventure. My nickname is Bubba who loves fly fishing, photography, building things, and is open to finding an adventure anywhere.