A few years ago I received a Petzl Nao (1st Edition) as a gift and immediately fell in love. I used this lamp on my first ultra distance run in Hawaii and for every early morning run over the last 2+ years. The torch out preformed my expectations and still to this day is functioning well. Over the use the battery has taken a hit and the longevity has suffered some. Before I ran my most recent run (Read about the disaster that unfolded here), I decided that it was in best interest to purchase a new torch with more battery life. Over the years Petzl has released two updated versions of the torch, which incorporated new features, improved battery performance and higher light output. I decided to go with the most recent version of the Nao and have been putting it through the test since.
I feel a little uneasy sharing this with you. The trips location is no secret, but the place definitely ranks high on the stoke factor. World class views, no crowds, and excellent singletrack combine to form the Rainbow Rim Trail. Riding is prohibited in the Grand Canyon National Park trails (below the rim), but just a few miles North of the Northern Rim lies the Rainbow Rim Trail system. The route winds along the 7,600ft elevation terrain, dipping into old growth forest and then diving back out to the rim for expansive views of the canyon. The singletrack is fast and well groomed (most sections) and provides the rider some difficult climbs, mixed with bomber downhill.
A friend of ours (@cribboutdoors on Insta) organized a car camping and mountain biking trip to the trail last week. I don't want to give away our camping location, but I will say to think outside the box when choosing the best place to set up a basecamp. The spot he chose looked out over the canyon and was a few minutes away from one the best sunset views the canyon can offer. We hung out for the weekend riding (AKA:sucking air for us Phoenix residents) and relaxing in the high elevation temps.
My first introduction to the outdoors were family "camping" trips. Load up the Honda Accord with a trunk full of camping gear and a car top carrier full of other shit and head for a campground. Four humans and a Beagle all crammed into that car, fully loaded. This maximum approach to camping was probably what fostered the outdoor flame I have today. During high school I picked up a book by Colin Fletcher about backpacking and started obsessing. I went to the far other extreme of the family trips by fitting everything I needed in backpack for a weekend. This worm hole led to Cuben Fiber tarps, Carbon Fiber Poles and way too much money spent saving a ounce.
The last few trips we have done have involved a healthy dose of car camping. After creating spreadsheets for backpacking gear weights, I have felt a little lost on how to car camp. My wife and I have together charted into these unfamiliar waters of the car camping world.