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This is an interview that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I started thinking about doing a tent camping blog. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of appearing on the “Happy Camper Radio” podcast twice in the past, talking about my outdoor books (Pie Iron Recipes, episode HCR-15-119, and The Best Tent Camping Guide, episode HCR-17-176), and now it was my turn to put Skip into the hot seat to answer questions. Skip Huber is a tent camper himself as well as the host of “Happy Camper Radio”, and you can learn more about Skip and listen to every episode of the podcast at his website, www.happycamperradio.com. Skip has had a love affair with the outdoors and camping, specifically tent camping, for many years. It started when he was a kid, and he never lost the desire to spend time out in nature. We’ll get into just how long Skip has been camping (he’s how old?!), what his setup is like, some favorite gear and more. Welcome back, Skip!
How long have you been tent camping?
Skip: When did they pull down the pillars of Rome? (chuckles) It’s been a long time. I want to say my first camping experience was back when I was about 5 years old, and my dad and I slept in the back yard. We looked up at the stars, and we fell asleep. That was my first outdoor camping experience. It was such a great experience that I had to continue doing it.
Where is your favorite campground that you always find yourself going back to and why?
Skip: The campground at Stone Mountain Park I go to quite frequently, it’s convenient and easy to get away to. The problem I have is my time constraints (just not enough time), and lately the weather has not been helpful for camping (it’s rained a lot in late summer this year). I don’t think I have a favorite, but we do have several nearby that we enjoy going to.
Why do you think you’ve had the success in this camping niche that you have?
Skip: I want to say it’s because of the passion that I have. I’m talking right from the heart, and that can be felt by the listeners to the show. They share the same passion that I have, and word gets around. When I finally get to be retired, I’ll be able to do more frequent episodes.
What tent do you normally use when you go camping, and what other items complete your typical setup?
Skip: The tent that I’m using now is one that I purchased no more than, I want to say, 8 months ago. I bought a Coleman instant tent, and I bought it for a couple of reasons. Number one, a couple of my friends that I go camping with, they are up there in ages like myself, and they try to make things as easy as they possibly can on themselves. They have the smaller version, I’ve got the larger version because I require a lot of space. But with the instant tent, the neat thing about it is, you break it out of the bag, you set it up, you extract the poles and your tent is in place in roughly 60 seconds. No more getting down on the ground, staking your tent out, putting together the fiberglass poles, sliding them through the sleeves.
Now the second part of your question, you asked me what comprises my camping equipment. I bring pretty much everything but the kitchen sink, I’ve done that for a long time, I never forget anything. I have everything stored in these large plastic totes. Organization is the key, you take everything with you, it is there, you can find it, you can put your finger on it, and that’s how I operate. Some people its not that way, they want to take the very minimum, the basic. And I can understand that because not everybody has the transportation opportunities that I have. I have a pick-up truck, I have a big 12-foot trailer if I want to hook that up and bring some firewood and haul some more gear. So I am a well-prepared camper.
Do you have any favorite pieces of camping equipment?
Skip: I wanna say my camp stoves. Recently I refurbished a 3-burner Coleman stove, which they do not make anymore, and I took that over to Stone Mountain Park to use. It worked just like it did when it was brand new. Today I like using the butane stoves, they have a canister that looks like a hair spray can. You can get about 3 or 4 good meals out of one of those canisters. I like them because they are convenient, they are compact, and they heat up the food really fast. The reason I think more people don’t use these butane stoves is because you can’t find those canisters just everywhere. If you live in a rural or remote area, you may need to travel a long distance to find these canisters. You may be better off having a 20 pound propane tank and a propane stove versus doing a butane stove. Today, that’s probably my favorite piece of equipment.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start an outdoors podcast?
Skip: First of all, read up all you can on podcasting. Find out what other people are doing, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. If anyone were to email me at email@example.com and asked for advice, I will be happy to answer any questions along those lines. You don’t have to spend the money I spent to get a podcast up and running, you can get a very small microphone mixer, get a good dynamic microphone, and a good digital recorder. Have a topic that you have a passion for, don’t bounce around. Start recording a few shows and get a feel for how it all fits together, then move forward to figure out how to get it online.
What else do you want people to know about Skip and/or Happy Camper Radio?
Skip: All you have to do is listen to the show and you can get a good idea about who I am and why I do the things that I do. I like to be the guy who is like the friend next door. I always like to say that the nicest people you’ll ever meet, you’ll meet in a campground. You might only meet them once, but you made a friend for life because of camping.
If you haven’t read the first part of my interview with Skip, you can read that HERE.
Skip is a wealth of information when it comes to podcasting and tent camping. He has the great opportunity to combine two of his passions into an enjoyable pursuit that he intends to continue into his upcoming retirement. This first part of our interview focused on his podcast and his radio broadcasting background, and the second part will feature his tent camping experiences. Skip is readily available to help others who are wanting to get into podcasting, and you can check out the website at www.happycamperradio.com and you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t read the other interviews, check out my interview with newly weds who chose tent camping for their honeymoon – You Did What For Your Honeymoon?!. You can also read my interview with Tom Tash of Pocket Parks and how they are taking the tent camping world by storm with their new tent-only campgrounds, Part 1 is HERE and Part 2 is HERE.
Got some feedback on this topic? Do you have a unique story that prominently features tent camping? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, send me an email or share it on social media! Happy Tent Camping!
Featured Image photo courtesy Pexels, 12/17/2017. Photo was taken from: https://www.pexels.com/@seej-nguyen-249333