Talk about a great beginning to the weekend. Last Friday we had the opportunity to go camping with Brady Pesola from San Diego School of Survival. Quick backstory: Like us, Brady runs an outdoor oriented, veteran-owned small business. As if a full time job and family weren’t enough, he has also been working very hard on starting an outdoor group to serve active duty and veteran members of our military. The group, Triple B Adventures, is picking up a lot of momentum and is focused on outdoor events where we can hang out, bond, help each other, and help the community as well.
We are very proud to have the opportunity to help out Triple B Adventures and be a part of the great stuff they are starting to do! So far, Brady has organized a great trip to the Anza Borrego desert and we were finally able to meet up with them on their most recent trip to Palomar Mountain in San Diego. What a great weekend it was. With the weather forecast calling for high winds, rain and the possibility of snow, you would expect a low turnout. That wasn’t the case with this group, and that’s one of the reasons camping with veterans and active duty is so much fun. We had a great showing from the U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy and even the Royal Army!
When I arrived Friday afternoon with my buddy Rob, these guys and gals were hard at work building shelters and getting the fire going. The weather was rough to say the least, with high winds and freezing rains. The great part was that there were smiles on every face and teamwork was the name of the game. There was some epic shelter building going on and two big camp fires were roaring in no time. Once we had a reprieve from the weather we could turn our attention to focusing on what really matters, hanging out around the fire and talking some trash, haha.
I was personally happy to break out the dutch oven for its first trip of the year, and make my signature beer brats (secret recipe that you have to show up to get). I’ll tell you what, even with the fire and shelter it was getting into the twenties and some warm chow was the order of the day. After the brats were demolished we boiled up some beer soup potatoes and had a great evening, while some other camp cooks worked their magic on the long fire. The long fire was set up so we could build a bed of coals for cooking, while simultaneously keeping a large warming fire going, so you can just keep changing sides as the night goes on. Another little trick we used was building a wall of wet firewood along the back of the long fire, so we could reflect the heat and dry said firewood. Nights like these usually have continuous chores, such as collecting, drying and burning wood.
That cycle became my evening. While I had brought a bunch of cold weather gear, I decided to forgo getting it all wet. Instead, I set up my twenty degree bag on my Grabber All Weather blanket, with the back turned up to reflect the heat of the fire. I was nice and dry under our tarp shelter and with my thermarest on the ground, I had a great night. I was up every couple of hours to maintain the fire and enjoyed watching the storm blow through on a lull moon, as the outlines of the trees came in and out. Around two in the morning the storm broke and I was able to get some solid sleep.
Saturday we all woke up a little chilled but in great spirits and quickly sat around the fire, warming up, talking about just how cold Friday night was. Out of nowhere, our host Francisco appeared with hot coffee. Now we could really wake up. Unfortunately, I had to head back home. Rob and I broke camp with our buddy Donald and said our goodbyes. Now, this is the best part of the weekend and I missed it: If you thought bad weather and a cold night’s sleep might be the end of this camping trip, you would be wrong. More people showed up on Saturday night! Not only did more people show up, they also spent part of their Saturday doing trail maintenance as a thank you to our gracious hosts! This is one of the many reasons I love being a part of the veteran community. These guys and gals worked really hard. I am just amazed and appreciative to be a part of Triple B Adventures and the great work Brady is doing. If you are a veteran or active duty, please take a chance to check them out on Facebook. Currently, it is a closed group for veteran and active duty members. Though if you are a civilian, please stay tuned, as we will be adding trips and opportunities for everyone in the future. Thanks again for reading our blog and we look forward to seeing you Get The Fox Out There!