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Introduction

I wanted to take a moment and share a quick introduction and little bit of backstory. I originally started this writing project several years ago. My original intention was to publish this in a book format, or even an ebook. It was a personal goal and passion of mine to share some outdoor adventure experiences that was hinged on challenging ourselves to get outdoors more often and take better care of nature. Written to help inspire responsible outdoor adventure, activity, etiquette and wellness for us and the wilderness. Sharing some personal experiences and unique locations that people and their families could enjoy responsibly. I’ve decided to revise the book into a different format, taking on a more outdoor adventure blog approach, with some key important principals. The great outdoors isn’t being treated so great. Unfortunately, we live in a time that has seemed to forget the basics about kindness and compassion for nature, including each other for that matter. Many have lost sight of basic manners, respect and etiquette. Even just simple common sense seems absent these days. In our current climate and global situation, we have turned to nature to meet our personal and social needs, but are failing to reciprocate the needs of the environment. Respect and appreciation. Responsibility and accountability. 

I understand that you and any others reading this, very likely feel the same way and share the same love, appreciation and respect for nature. So, talking with you and not at you. We are all likeminded here and share a common love for the wilderness and healthy outdoor experiences.

So with that being said, here is the important ask… Along your outdoor journeys, please help promote the message of being mindful while outdoors. Leaving no trace wherever we journey and treading lightly. Exploring, not exploiting. Leaving places better than we found them. Following rules and understanding outdoor etiquette. Nature isn’t a place we go, it’s part of who we are. 

It’s a wonderful thing that more people are connecting with nature these days, but not so great when these places are disrespected and treated carelessly. Again, I know those of you reading this do not fall into that category, but helping inspire this message of wellness for the wilderness is paramount, today more than ever. This means taking extra steps on our end to keep these places preserved, clean and our ecological footprints minimal. The voice and example of an environmentally mindful community can be a loud and powerful one. We can make a difference and help these places stay beautiful. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead

So here we go, a warm outdoorsy welcome to my adventure blog and some outdoor experiences through my lens. I am not a professional writer (hopefully that grants some grace from the grammar police folks) I’m a normal guy who just loves adventure, nature and the great outdoors with a passion. An adventurer who happened to squeak past enough English classes to proficiently share my stories and experiences in journal form. What I may lack in writing ability, I aim to make up for in personal experience, first hand knowledge and enthusiasm! Oh and I might ramble from time to time, just a heads up.

The thrill of adventure and the outdoors has always held a very special place in my heart. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a deeply rooted passion for adventure, exploration and travel.  I am equally as passionate about taking care of the places we visit, in every way possible. This isn’t a newly found passion for me. Personally, I find an incredible solitude and connection when I’m in nature. It’s beauty and mystique draw me in. It’s calmness provides natural therapy. It makes bad days better. Our connection within nature provide us with so many benefits: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Nature teaches us how to live a fulfilling life and provides so many positive and healthy rewards. I have learned more about life and myself outdoors than I ever could in a textbook. I’m definitely not suggesting pulling your children from any school program, but maybe incorporating more outdoor time for extra credit wouldn’t hurt any of us.

Most of us live within the boundaries and noise of our urban neighborhoods and hectic cities. We don’t live in the country and we’re surrounded by city life.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see how close nature really is from us. Many of these amazing places exist in our very own backyard, you just need to know how to find them and where to look. I have spent twenty plus years exploring, documenting and categorizing. Twenty years of collecting maps, stories, knowledge, pictures and GPS coordinates to these areas. Although I’ve traveled many places across the United States and world (which I plan on sharing as well), a good portion of my time spent adventuring has been in Southern California, which will be a good portion of this journal. Located centrally from dense Alpine Forests to the north, beautiful coastline to the west and rugged deserts to the East, it’s like Disneyland for the adventure seeker and outdoor enthusiast. Within this area, there are concealed and rarely explored locations that are truly inspirational and healthy for our appreciation for nature. The struggle is finding them. I know it’s difficult to coordinate and put these trip together, believe me. It’s taken me many years of searching, mapping, research, road-trips, hiking, dead-ends, disappointments and trial and error to find some of these places. I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve spent on Google doing that research. It’s not that the information doesn’t already exist, it’s the scattered pieces of the information “map” that is the challenge to piece together. In my experience, It’s always difficult finding and filtering all the information to best plan these trips. To add to the struggle, life gets hectic, and things get busy. We have the best intentions about planning a trip, but mere “talk” becomes the outcome and we sometimes fail to follow through. 

My hope is to help reduce the research burden and allow you to focus on enjoying your outdoor adventure, seeing new places and experiencing new things. I will do my best to make this journal your “One Stop Shop” for information, locations and details. Adventuring made simple. All I ask in return is that we practice and promote outdoor etiquette and keep these places we visit beautiful and better than before. If you can help inspire, mentor or educate someone else to do the same, that’s worth it’s weight in environmental gold. As in other areas of life, when we don’t take care of or love the things we value, we will end up losing them. We cant afford to lose these beautiful places or this beautiful world, there is no planet B.

“The future will be either green or not at all” -Bob Brown

One last thing I would like to add before you go. For some, maybe you have a good amount of outdoor experience, others might not. I will do my best to write in a format that covers all levels of experience. It’s important to outline a few precautions and suggestions to make your trips the most enjoyable. Some of these I have learned the hard way. Geographically, most of these locations are spread out all over Southern and Central California, from deserts to mountains to flood basins. It’s important to always be very prepared, weather can shift and change in the matter of minutes. Always look ahead at the the weather forecast and then prepare for the opposite, especially if you plan on camping overnight. In the mountain areas, it can be a perfect 75 degrees during the day, then dip below freezing as soon as the sun sets. I will include as much weather information in each write up, at least a basic expectation. Two important items, bring plenty of food and even more water. I always overpack in these two areas, I’d much rather have more than not enough. Much of how you prepare will obviously depend if you plan to just be out for the day or overnight. Use your best judgement and pack accordingly. Each location has it’s own set of rules and location regulations. One area may allow campfires with a permit, another it’s strictly prohibited. Be observant and respectful of all local rules and regulations. I will provide as much current “rule and regulation” information as possible in each of the posts or at least links that are helpful. You will find each post to be as detailed as possible.  Let someone know where you are going. and when you will be returning. In the event, heaven forbid, something goes wrong, someone knows your location and when to start getting worried. 

Cheers to happy and safe travels!

EF Outfit

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