You don’t have to wear a raccoon on your head.

We’ve shared a few of our favorite Spring time camping spots, but so far we haven’t ventured east of the Mississippi.  Our last two campgrounds have been great spots, with scenic vistas.  Places where you can pull up your trailer and set up your side tent,  and  and have fun for a solid week.    But want to make sure our East Coasters know about some of our favorite spots, without having to drive 2 days to get there.  This next spot is a HUGE national forest, and this one is named for an American  frontier Icon  famous for wearing a coon skip cap( although some say he never wore such a hat).

 

Cave_Run_Lake.jpg
Cave Run Lake   Picture by Ryne, Salyer

The Daniel Boone National Forest  in Kentucky  is comprised of over 7000,000 acres of rugged terrain.   The park is so big that it is split up into 4 separate ranger districts,    There are  over a dozen tent camping campgrounds where you can set up  family tent and enjoy the great outdoors.   There are  7 or 8 campgrounds that allow campers, including some fun group campgrounds that are great for big get-together.   You’ll have so many options in the Daniel Boone National Forest, that you won’t know what to do with yourself.   Our last two featured campsites where great, one was on the ocean, and one in the arid landscape of West Texas.      So Daniel Boone National Forest is the first spot to feature fresh water recreation.    With 4 lakes and 3 rivers, you’ll have plenty to choose from.   Of course there is also mountain biking, fishing, OHV riding, horse riding and rock climbing.    There is literally something for everyone at this park.

 

Sheltowee_Trace_Red_River_Suspension_Bridge
Hiker on suspension bridge over the Red River, on the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail By US Forest Service – Southern Region – 

There are so many great camping spots, and so many fun activities, you should plan out your trip before you leave home.  The US National Forest Service site is a great place to start.    Once you’ve planned it all out,  pack up your family  camping tent,  or your camper, head out and enjoy some of the best camping  in the US.

 

 

 

It’s called Big Bend for a reason.

Spring is here, and so is Spring break. In our last post, we shared our favorite West coast camping spot: Point Mugu Point Mugu is a great place to  do some family camping, or to do some long hikes and escape the hustle and bustle. The 14,000 acre Point Mugu state Park is only 30 minutes from Malibu, and 2 hours from LAX, but you feel like you are a world away. But our next park is over 50 X as big as Point Mugu, and almost 300 miles from the nearest sizable town. Big Bend is named for the “big bend” in the Rio Grande river that forms a 1,000 mile border between Texas and Mexico.

rio-grande-river-1581917_1920
The Rio Grande River along the US/Mexico Border

 

Big Bend National Park is not only a giant park,  it contains a wide diversity of plants and animal.  In fact 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals call the park home.  With a little luck, you’ll spot a golden eagle or a gray fox. If you are exceptionally lucky, you’ll see a cougar, or even a black bear, and you’ll almost definitely spot a javelina.

This large park contains an entire mountain range,  and borders 118 miles of the Rio Grande river. The variety of terrain offers many options, and you can choose to river raft, fish, canoe, hike, off road, and more. This is a great park to escape crowds, as the distance from any sort of populations center ( 300 miles to El Paso, almost 400 to San Antonio) makes this one of the least  visited national parks in the country. For much of the year, there are  plenty of tent camping spots where you can set up your PahaQue Promontory for the family, and RV/Camper spots where you can roll up with your R-Pod or T@B trailer, set up your side tent, and settle in for a week of adventure. But In March and April, It’s best to plan ahead.You are probably too late to reserve a spot for this spring break, but you’ll also find camping at the nearby Big Bend State Park, as well as several private campgrounds near the park.

18684012109

 

Within a couple of hours of the park, you can also check out the Marfa lights, the town of Lajitas, and you can even make your trip international by crossing the Rio Grande and having  lunch in the Mexican town of Boquillas. Big Bend is a long way from anywhere, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

rio-grande-river-1581918_1920

Resources:

Visit Big Bend  https://visitbigbend.com

Big Bend National Park   https://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm

Big Bend State Park  https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/big-bend-ranch

Our Favorite West Coast Camping Spot: Point Mugu

point mugu beach
photo by King of Hearts

For us, march means Spring Break, and Spring Break means camping.  So we wanted to share one of our favorite California  camping spots: Point Mugu.   Point Mugu is only 90 minutes from Donwtown Los Angeles, but it might as well be a world away.    This secluded 14,000 acre state park is just off of Highway 1, and features over 60 miles of hiking trails, as well as mountains, beaches, and amazing sunsets.     In the Winter and early Spring ( NOW!) you  can sometimes catch views of migrating whales from your beach side campsite.    Point Mugu  is a great spot where you can pull a camper like  your R-Pod or T@b trailer  right out on to the beach,  you can also tent camp on the beach sites or on more traditional parking  pads.    If  the Point Mugu State Park is full, and you can’t find any camping spots there,  an excellent backup is  Leo Carrillo State Park, only 8 miles away.   And  you’ll find plenty of supplies, along with some of the best surf in SoCal only 14 miles away in Malibu.

 For more info, check out the Ca State Parks website, and let us know your favorite beach camping spot in the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

PahaQue Design for Airstream Basecamp

PahaQue Custom has extensive experience designing, producing, and selling high quality  side tents, awnings, visors, and accessories  for T@B and T@G trailers, A-liner, R Pod, Little Guy, and more.    So when the folks at Airstream needed help designing and producing tents for the new Airstream Basecamp, they knew exactly where to turn. 3-Aistream04-Back-Tent-0003

PahaQue Custom worked closely with Airstream beginning in 2015, before the first Airstream Basecamp rolled off the factory floor.  Work even started before a prototype was available, so the design crew at PahaQue actually used CAD files from AirStream  to build a full scale model of the Basecamp  roof out of plywood. This allowed PahaQue to achieve  almost perfect fit before the  first prototype arrived, at which point final design changes and fit modifications were easy to make.

20160408_153157.jpg
Designing an early version of the tent around a plywood replica

The Basecamp tent utilizes a unique attachment that makes it easy to set up and take down, while also keeping out the harshest elements.  But the Basecamp tents are not just functional, they were designed to look great as well.  Airstream campers  have an iconic look, and it was important to maintain that  visual aesthetic.  “We’re pretty proud that we were able to design tents that complimented the cool geometry of the trailer itself.” said Jeff Basford, President of PahaQue.   The Basecamp side and rear tents add a total of 120 square feet to camper, making the Basecamp even more versatile and useful.

3-Aistream08-Both-Tents-Doors-Awning-Rolled0003

So if you love PahaQue Custom and you love Airstream, you are in luck.   You can get these tents along with your Airstream Basecamp trailer at any Airstream dealer, read more about the tents on the Basecamp on Airstream’s website here.

 

 

 

Chef Jason’s World Famous Camp Side Kebobs

Chef Jason’s World Famous Camp Side Kebobs

 

Who doesn’t like kebobs? Warm up with these around the camp fire or on the patio. Just because it is winter doesn’t mean we can’t grill, does it? And kebobs are just plain fun. The key to making these special is in the marinade. Of course there are countless marinades you can do. You can play mad scientist and come up with all manner of concoctions. The idea here is to have fun with it and experiment.

 

Major Players

 

  • Beef cubes – Don’t use stew meat here. London broil is really great, but sometimes I even use New York Strip or rib eye (my personal favorite). Just make sure it’s cut into 1-inch cubes. 4 to 5 per kabob, so you’re looking at about 3lbs for 7 to 8 servings
  • 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 to 3 tsp for tossing veggies with
  • 1 Tbsp Salt and 1 Tbsp course ground pepper (white pepper if possible)
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped rosemary (Now, you’re not using the dried stuff in little plastic jars, are you?)
  • Finely chopped (leafy) fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro, etc…)
  • 3 to 4 medium-size button mushrooms per kebob
  • 1 large onion, quartered and layers separated into petals
  • Wooden skewers

 

OK, the fun stuff:

First we’ll start with the marinade. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and rosemary in a blender and blend until smooth. Add beef cubes to a gallon-size zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Push out as much of the air as you can and seal the bag. Massage contents gently to make sure every piece is coated. Store in the refrigerator or icebox for at least 3 hours and up to 12. Also, soak the skewers in water at the same time, for a good 3 hours. I don’t like handling raw meat at the campsite so I prefer to assemble these at home and transport them in disposable aluminum baking pans covered with foil.  Its also easy to make a few meatless ones for your herbivore friends. 

 

Drain away marinade and discard. Toss mushrooms and onion petals with 2 to 3 tsp olive oil and salt. Use 3 to 4 beef cubes and 3 to 4 mushrooms per kabob, alternating, with onion petals separating the beef and mushrooms. Leave at least an inch of skewer on each end for handling. Cook over medium heat on all 4 sides until browned and slightly crisp. It should be about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with the fresh-chopped herbs. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Crowd-pleaser? I think so…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Photo Contest Time! Win a $100 Gift card

We love getting photos from our loyal customers.  We love seeing our gear being used, and we love sharing those photos with the PahaQue community.   We figured  the best way to get those photos is via a photo contest, and to give away a $100 gift card.  So here is what we need from you:

Email us at happytrails@pahaque.com and attach a photo of your PahaQue Custom or PahaQue Wilderness gear out in the real world.   Include your Instagram handle if you have one.    We love photos include people,  and pets.     In return for your lovely photo, you’ll get a chance at a $100 PahaQue Custom gift card, and a our everlasting appreciation.     Be sure to read the full contest rules below, and send us your photo by February 28, 2018.

 

 

 

Photo Contest Rules: Entries should be submitted via email as a JPEG, PNG, GIF, or TIFF attachment  Each photo should include photographer’s name, location, caption.  Any photographs including identifiable images of people must include subject’s permission.  The photographs must be your own original creations. You must be the sole owner of the copyright of any photograph(s) submitted.Your submission of each photograph is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of such photograph. By entering, you also warrant that the image does  not violate or infringe upon the copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, privacy, or any other intellectual  property or other rights of any person or entity.By virtue of their entry, contestants agree  that the PahaQue and PahaQue Custom   may adapt, edit, and/or modify their photographs in any way and may also publish or  otherwise use their photographs for promotional or other purposes .  Your Submission constitutes agreement of this use  without compensation, right to royalties, or any other  compensation.

An unexpected gift for your outdoor loving Valentine

The gift that gives for 12 months, and only costs 80 bucks.

Let’s face it. A romantic dinner date for Valentine’s day is a bit amateur hour. Heading out for a fancy dinner is what almost everyone does for this winter holiday. But you  and your valentine aren’t everyone. You prefer wildflowers over a bouquet of flowers, campfire stories over dining by candlelight, and cooking with a camp stove over being served by a waiter in a suit.  So for less than the cost of a dinner date, give your sweetheart the gift that lets them know that you want more than just dinner and a movie. You want a lifetime of adventure together ( or at least 12 months of it). The America The Beautiful National Parks Pass is the ultimate Valentine’s day gift.

The America the Beautiful National Parks Pass is only $80 a year, less for seniors, and free for active military. The pass allows entry at national parks, refuges, national forests, monuments, and more. The pass is a Valentine gift that keeps on giving for a full year, and is the ticket to much more fun than a simple dinner and a movie. Of course you’ll enjoy the adventures even more if you take some time to snuggle in a double hammock, and the PahaQue Rendezvous is great for the two of you and all your gear.   Anther gift you can use  along with your parks pass is this grill basket specifically engineered to make the tastiest s’mores.  But the most important things is that you get out there and use that pass, your sweetheart will be thanking you for the next 12 months. 

How the government shutdown may effect your camping trip.

The last federal government shutdown was in 2013, and one  of the immediate effects that was felt by campers was the shutdown of federal parks.  It appears that most federal  parks are being left open when possible, but no staff or resources will be available.  So here are a few things you may consider if you plan on camping at a federal park during the shutdown:

  1.  The gate may or may not be open when you get there.  Parks like Yosemite, and Big Bend National Parks are open right now, but  but not every federal park is open, and those gates could be locked at any moment.   The NPS is not offering much information right now, so keep your fingers crossed!  NPS Twitter is inactive, but you may be able to search and find out what other users are reporting.
  2. Your  reserved site might not be ready.  Park staff have all been furloughed, so there is nobody to guide you to your site,  prep the site for you,  or to help you if you need help.   That includes rescue and emergency medical services, so stay safe and be prepared for the unexpected.   Print out any maps or other information before you head out.
  3. Guided tours, hikes, and the like  are shut own until the federal government re-opens.  So that  park ranger guided hike that points out the nest  of the elusive desert swallow is canceled until everything is back to normal
  4. There is no trash pickup or toilet services.   Make sure you  bring extra garbage bags, and plan on hauling it all out with you.   If you have a trailer or RV, you’ll   have a toilet, but no dump station.   Car campers might find the bathrooms locked, or in and “unpleasant” state.    Make sure to bring  your PahaQue TeePee for privacy as well as a portable camping toilet and your own paper.

Hopefully this will all be over soon, and we’ll be back to normal.    Are you visiting federal parks during the shutdown?  head on over to  our Facebook page and tell us what you found.

 

 

 

Chef Jason’s World Famous Sage Roasted Pork

Time for the first winter recipe of 2018:   Much of the country is blanketed in a
winter wonderland right now, but the warming euphoria of the aroma of cinnamon, sage, pine, and other holiday staples is what really drives the fall/winter season mood in my opinion, and we’re going to use a couple of those here.
Boneless country style pork ribs are my personal favorite. They’re super tender and easy
to grill. But any cut of pork will work just great. If you’re using pork chops, make sure
they’re at least an inch thick. And this will be a double cooking process. Follow along…
Major Players:

  • 3-4lbs preferred cut of pork
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced/diced
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely shredded/chiffonade sage. Must be fresh sage; no dried stuff from plastic jars here.
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, or 1 ½ cups fresh ones (roughly chopped)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Start by grilling the pork just until all sides are browned and you have some nice grill marks on all sides. Make sure you coat the pork in a little olive oil and salt and pepper first. You don’t need to cook it all the way through here. The second part of this is done in foil pouches. Pour a little olive oil on the foil and lay the pork down on top. Then simply add the garlic, onion, sage, cranberries, butter, and chopped walnuts over the pork. Seal it up but leave a slight opening for venting. Let it hang out over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the foil to a plate to cool, but don’t you dare throw all that wonderfulness in the foil away. No no no… Drizzle the contents over the pork and serve. Sagey goodness abounds.

Figure 1

sage

Sage chiffonade (cut into ribbons)

Figure 2

pork

Finished Product

PahaQue Gift Guide

The time to get those final gifts for your favorite camper is now.   Of course there are tons of cool options on PahaQue.com  where you can use the code “FALL2017” to get 30% off everything on the site through the end of the month.    For your R-Pod fans, the code POD30 will get 30% off all R-pod accessories on PahaqueCustom.com through December 20th.    But here is our gift guide, where we recommend  a few specific products  from Pahaque and other brands that we love.  These gifts range from $5 to $599, so you’ll find something in just about every price range.

tentrug

 

The PahaQue Wildness TentRug Starting at $45  ( don’t forget the coupon code)

The TentRuglooks great and helps keep your tent nice and clean, and it looks great.

Features:

  • Soft and Durable
  • Heavy-duty, stain-resistant polyester rug material with a durable waterproof fabric backing
  • Easily folds into its own carry bag
  • Washable
  • Folds into its own carrying bag

adv dog wipes

 

 

Adventure Dog Wipes by Adventure medical Kit for only $5

Everyone loves adventuring with their dog, but nobody likes a stinky dog.

Features:
– Dog-Friendly, Cleansing Formula
– Moisturizing, Aloe-Rich Wipes
– Witch Hazel Relieves Burning & Itching
– Unscented
– Durable
Pack of Eight


Energizer LEd

The Energizer  Folding LED lamps  for $20

Don’t get caught out in the wilderness with no lights.   This LED lamp is a bargain and will give  you 135 hours of light for reading, games and more.

Features

led 2

  • Versatile area light provides light when you need it
  • Light pivots to provide 180º to 360º lighting
  • Three area light modes: High, Low, Night Light
  • Integrated carrying handle
  • Folds for easy, compact storage
  • Reliable – operates on 2 or 4 batteries
  • Folding lantern operates on four Alkaline D batteries (not included)

x-40-hot-vent-tent-heater The X-40 Hot Vent Tent heater for $599 will keep you warm in just about any type of camping situation.   No cold toes, or cold kids, no dangerous fumes.

  • Safe, clean forced heat in seconds without dangerous fumes
  • Rugged high-output portable heater with all-metal construction
  • Sealed stainless steel heat exchanger for extended duty cycles
  • Sets up in seconds, just connect to 12 volt power & propane tank
  • Propane regulator connects easily to 5 gallon propane tanks
  • Durable metal handle for easy transport
  • Includes inline 12 Volt fan and flexible 4 ft air hoses
  • Compact size – stores and transports easily in included gear bag
    Made in U.S.A.


    banditBandit Rechargeable LED  Headlamp  $35

This headlamp is great for night time games, enjoying a great book, or making that midnight trip to the bathroom.

Features:

  • 180 lumens (High)
  • USB rechargeable; charges in approx. two hours
  • Lightweight (1.3 oz) and low profile; includes visor clip for use with ball cap
  • Produces bright, even light with less shadow than spot beams

cotTexSport Folding Cot $75

Put a couple of these in your Promontory  XD 8 person tent and you’ll sleep  like a king.

  • Heavy-duty black aluminum frame
  • Water resistant coated nylon cover
  • Weight limit 350 lbs.
  • FREE Nylon carry/storage bag included
  • Forest Green
  • Size: 82″ x 31″ x 18″ h.

  • cauldrynCauldryn Fyre Mobile $129.99

This water bottle will keep your drink warm literally all day.   You can be out on a job site, out in the wilderness, or just sitting in an office.   This thing is so powerful  it can even boil water.

Features

  • Boil water from a rechargeable battery
  • Keep your favorite hot beverage at your ideal temperature ALL DAY without the need to plug in (Boil and Brew mode cannot be maintained all day long from battery power)
  • Boil, Brew, Extra Hot, and Hot modes
  • Battery power allows for go anywhere mobility
  • Vacuum insulation keeps liquids either hot or cold even without power
  • Innovative two opening lid allows for sipping, or taking large drinks/pouring
  • USB ports allow for charging your electronic devices
  • Wire free drinking from AC Base