Spring Camping – The Time is Now

Arizona desert weather is perfect for camping during this time of year, with clear cool nights, and the desert looking as green as it will all year, following the winter rains.  A bit too early for the desert wildflowers, but the cactus were beginning to bloom, and the Ocotillo’s bright red flowers were just beginning to show.


There really is something mystical about the desert, so vast and vacant, untouched by modern civilization.  So rich with history, this prehistoric land of the ancients.  There is something about standing on the same land as the Anasazi, the Hohokam, and later the Hopi, Apache and Mojave Indians, and realizing that very little has changed since their time.

Now I love camping just about anywhere, and grew up camping in the lush, verdant forests of the upper mid-west, an area equally as rich with its own unique brand of history.  And I’ve spent a great deal of time camping throughout the southeastern United States, almost always near a river or a lake.  Something I don’t get to do very much now that I camp primarily in the more arid southwestern area of our country.

I do try to camp all around the country as often as possible however.  I want to know how our tents perform on humid Florida nights, or how they keep out the mosquitoes on a hot Minnesota summer day.  I want to know that our tent will keep me dry even during the worst northwest soaking rain storms, and to see how our fabrics hold up in the blistering sun and heat of the southwest.

This particular trip however, there would be none of that.  Perfect weather, and as we like to say here at PahaQue, any tent performs well in fair weather.  On this trip we were comfortably camped on Perry Mesa, in our Perry Mesa tent!

Perry Mesa Rock Art
Rock Art on Perry Mesa

There were three of us – our VP Mike, our CFO Craig, and myself.  We camped about 2 miles from Squaw Creek Ruins, a massive pueblo complex overlooking Squaw Creek Canyon, and Squaw Creek about 1000 feet below.  It is fun to hike the last few miles to this site because you really get a good feel for the lay of the land as you approach the ruin and the southern edge of the mesa.  This area represents a massive prehistoric civilization site, comprising over 20 pueblos on approximately 20 square miles.  And it is remote and relatively untouched.  The sense of history is heavy as you tread over trails, see trash dumps filled with pot sherds, collapsed pueblos that are over 800 years old. This was one of the last ancient civilizations prior to Spanish contact.

So for this particular trip, the only testing that occurred was on our legs.  This is rugged country, and two miles here can seem like ten.  Constantly trying to avoid ankle-breaking rocks, painful cactus, and other such obstacles can make for a tricky hike.  Trying to keep your eyes on all the amazing sites around you, while watching each step to avoid falling on your face is the real trick.

Squaw Creek Cyn
Perry Mesa overlooking Squaw Creek Canyon

So after hiking/stumbling the 4 miles to and from the ruins, and the additional odd mile or two spent exploring the area, seeing our Perry Mesa’s on Perry Mesa was a welcome site indeed!  No matter where you camp, your tent is your home away from home, and is always a welcome site after a long day of physical activity.  And fortunately for us there was no severe weather testing of the tents this trip.  However, we did find three scorpions under our tent upon packing up on our last day.  So I guess we can call that our bug-test trip.  And it seems even those nasty little dudes know where to go to find good shelter! Good thing we kept our tent doors zippered tight!

5″ long Scorpion….Nasty!

If you’ve had fun or exciting camping experiences with your PahaQue Tent or Shelter, please take a moment to share it with us.  We love to hear your stories!  Also be sure to check out the details on our upcoming photo contest – you might just win a free PahaQue Shadow Mountain Cabana!

See you ’round the campfire!

Jeff Basford

PahaQue Wilderness


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