Our first Colorado camping trip this year was in the Rio Grande National Forest, west of the San Luis Valley.

In May, it can still be frigid and snowy in the Colorado mountains, so we chose a lower-elevation destination. This being Colorado, that meant around 8,000 feet above sea level, on the eastern slopes of La Garita Mountains.

After arriving and unpacking, I noticed that a large insect had unfortunately gotten stuck between our front license plate and bumper. Looks like a dragonfly, but I’m no entomologist. Sorry, buddy.

For most campers, fall and winter are the time to stow our camping gear until camping-friendly temperatures return in the spring. Here we’ll provide a quick run-down of the critical steps to ensure your camping gear successfully weathers the winter.

Storage locations

You may want to keep camping gear somewhat accessible so that it’s available for use if you’re lucky and hit a spell of nice weather (or if you want to use some of your gear for other purposes, like sleepovers). Choose a cool, temperature-controlled location away from direct sunlight. Options include under your bed, a closet, or a basement. Be…

In the market for camping gear? Of course, you can visit your local outdoor store or friendly online retailer and pay top dollar for new-model camping gear. But that’s not the only option-you can also find bargain-price new gear from various retailers, buy “pre-loved” camping gear, or rent gear. Read on to find out more about how to choose between new, used, and rental camping gear and for some excellent resources in each category.

New camping gear


  • You can find the specific item, brand, functionality, and style you want
  • Nearly certain to be in great condition
  • Often carries good return/warranty policies


  • Can be…

If you like to camp and take road trips in the American West, you’ve surely run across sagebrush frequently. Sagebrush may seem at first blush a rather ho-hum plant, but in fact it plays a critical role in Western ecology.

Sagebrush is an emblematic plant of the West, covering 165 million acres across 14 states ranging from Washington to New Mexico. Its leaves are a source of food for deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, jackrabbit, bighorn sheep, and birds-in fact, hundreds of species depend on sagebrush.

Multiple species and subspecies of sagebrush grow in the West. The plants can reach 100…

I’ve grown to love downhill mountain biking almost as much as skiing, which is really saying something.

Like skiing, downhill biking reliably puts me in the precious state of flow: that elusive, magical experience of losing yourself in a challenging task that’s in the sweet spot between boredom and anxiety.

My adrenal glands are sore after hours of flying down a mountain on curvy, banked, hand-carved singletrack trails at Winter Park ski resort and other such venues.

My quads also ache, but downhilling this summer at Trestle Bike Park has been a great way for me to get my mind…

I tested out my new 360-degree camera while snowboarding/skiing the other day and it forced me to think of video in a whole new way.

Smaller than a fist, the Rylo 360 camera packs in some amazing technology and is among a new breed of action cameras.

Here are some highlights from a recent powder day at Loveland Ski Area.

The Rylo has super-wide-angle lenses on both the front and the back, so it’s able to film in all directions. …

The summer was nearly over and I still hadn’t climbed any 14ers, so I set out to rectify the situation with a trip to the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.

The San Juans — Colorado’s biggest and wildest range — are home to more than a dozen mountains above 14,000 feet.

We try to hit the area at least once a year, but the San Juans are a long drive from Denver, so after 10 years of living in Colorado, I still hadn’t climbed any of the range’s tallest peaks.

With Ginette and Camille visiting friends in Seattle, I…

One thing I love about fall in Colorado is the changing of the aspen leaves.

On my way back from the San Juan Mountains, I stopped at one of our favorite camping spots with hopes of capturing some drone footage of the fall foliage.

During our previous visits over the summer, I noted that the hillsides across from our campsite had an abundance of aspen. I figured if I came back at the right time in autumn, the hills would be glowing.

The prediction held true and, by happenstance, I happened to be visiting when the aspen were peaking.


We love Crested Butte and the mountainous terrain around the ski town in Central Colorado, so we try to get there at least once a year.

This summer, we camped for a couple of nights on the way to a hotel near the ski resort, then camped again on the journey back to Denver.

On the first night, we went to one of our go-to spots in the San Isabel Forest and enjoyed some beautiful and unseasonably warm weather.

The next day, we were looking for a camping spot east of Crested Butte, in the Gunnison National Forest, when we…

On the final day of my road trip to Utah, I made a quick stop along the Colorado River near Moab to shoot some video with my drone.

I set up my launch pad on a roadside pullout along Utah 128 and took the Phantom 3 for a spin, moving the aircraft up and down the canyon.

This turned out to be a fun spot to fly the drone. I didn’t have to worry about trees, power lines, or other obstructions. …

Mitch Tobin

Award-winning author, multimedia journalist, and FAA-certified drone pilot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store