Why the Pursuit Series was the Best Weekend of My Summer

By: Rachel Davidson + Save to a List

Pursuit over-exceeded every idea I ever had about an “adult summer camp.” Here’s why.

I’ll admit, when I heard that The Outbound Collective and CamelBak were teaming up to put on a weekend-long outdoor event, my expectations were high. As my favorite adventure-inspiring, story-sharing community and one of the best gear brands in the industry, they were setting the stakes pretty high for themselves. Hosting pro athletes and expert guides to show us the ropes and provide gear was even better. Throwing in an all-you-can-eat menu and bottomless bar were just the cherries on top.

Yet somehow, my weekend at Pursuit in Snowbasin, Utah shattered every expectation I had by turning into the best weekend of my entire summer. I’m here to walk you through everything I saw, tried, ate, learned, and experienced at my weekend at Pursuit – and to tell you why you need to sign up for the Pursuit Series San Francisco.

Waking up to the Wasatch Mountain Range – and a few other luxuries

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Rolling out of our Barebones tents and being greeted by a face full of peaks was one of the best starts to each daybreak. Once we made our way to camp, each “Pursuer” got to enjoy the luxury of Kuju Coffee’s pocket pourovers at the behest of a few fine caffeine connoisseurs. Once the sun was blazing and sweat was running, these same heroes stepped in to deliver iced cold brews at various activity stations all day long.

Photo: Josh Currie

Yoga Journal also woke us up each morning with a rejuvenating sunrise yoga session – the perfect way to zen out (or laugh out loud ^^^) before a day full of excitement.

Outfitting adventurers with top-notch gear and apparel

Photo: Josh Currie

The guides and gearheads from Backcountry were leading classes, organizing gear, and helping just about everyone find what and who they were looking for at any given moment. You could find them in the Icebreaker tent – whose teammates were also on the scene to provide Pursuers with the technical apparel they need to enjoy each activity – rain or shine, wind or snow, and everything in between.

SMITH brought along technical sunglasses that still earn major style points, and Muck Boots showed us how to get comfortable getting dirty.

Stepping outside of comfort zones with all new outdoor activities

Photo: Josh Currie

Photo: Prajit Ravindran

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Okay, – this is what I came here for: To try something new that scares me. Since I have virtually no balance, I started at the Slackline Industries class with pro Heather Larsen showing me the moves. Next, it was onto learning the basics of mountain biking with Trek Bikes, with the help of Giro helmets. I also got to play in some of the outdoor sports I already love, like trail running up the summit of Mt. Ogden with Altra Running, and rock climbing the cliffs just below with Petzl. Trekking poles from Leki aided hikers up the strenuous Top of the World Hike, while others learned the basics of backpacking with Granite Gear and Leave No Trace.

Tasting slices of heaven from the backcountry cuisine artists

Photo: Josh Currie

Breakfast, lunch, and happy hour meals could be skipped simply by attending one of Camp Chef’s backcountry cooking classes. Braised brisket quesadillas? Smoked salmon bruschetta? Cranberry pancakes with homemade maple syrup? These guys never failed to surprise us by what could be cooked straight out of a portable cooler. Mountain House also armed each attendee with one of their world-class dehydrated meals to cook at camp, or save for later.

Splashing, paddling, and playing in the Pineview Reservoir

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Photo: Josh Currie

Tesla took us down to the water to try our hands at paddle boarding with Jimmy Styx, where Oru Kayak was on the scene to help sit-in and sit-on-top kayakers with their paddle stance. Being so far from the amenities of Snowbasin, Clif and CamelBak fueled water enthusiasts with mobile stations that kept us energized and hydrated.

Daily happy hours and adult beverage education

Photo: Jason Hatfield

Never did I ever dream that I would be able to pack in a cocktail kit into a backcountry camping adventure... yet somehow, the sorcerers at Tito’s Handmade Vodka made that dream a possibility. Their Backcountry Mixology class ran right into the daily happy hour, where brews from Lagunitas poured freely, giving Pursuers the chance to compare scars, stories, and sunburns from their adventures throughout the day.

Meeting, learning, sharing experiences, and winding down with fellow outdoor enthusiasts at camp.

Photo: Josh Currie

Photo: Josh Currie

Photo: Josh Currie

The main Pursuit Village was littered with clutch hammock setups from ENO for worn-out Pursuers looking to kick up their feet in between sessions, and OOFOS made sure those feet were nice and cozy in the comfiest lounge-time footwear. Rinse Bath & Body Co and Juniper Ridge proved that there are more steps to recovering from a backcountry adventure than simply a couple of stretches. Their essential oils and hygiene-friendly products left us smelling great and feeling refreshed.

Ending each day with amazing live music from Matt Hoyles and Jordan Matthew Young, endless s'mores, and friends circled around the campfire...well it just doesn't get much better than that.

Adventure daydreams, meet reality.

All in all, it was a weekend to remember. Where else could I ever get such an awesome activity roster, great food, and world-class company packed into one campground?

You’d be crazy to miss the upcoming Pursuit Series San Francisco at Sanborn County Park, CA this upcoming September 8-10. Do yourself a favor and register today for this epic summer getaway.

Cover photo: Josh Currie

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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