Go West Young Man: 3 Really Good Reasons to Camp out West

January 13, 2020

I have been doing wildlife photography for several years now, and I have written in the past of the benefits of the Lumix FZ-80 for wildlife photography. I can not recommend a greater place to use this camera than on a military surplus tent trip out west.

That camera is easily found on the Panasonic website for $399, and is often on sale for $297 on Amazon and other outlets, including refurbished ones. I have both a refurbished one and a factory first that I bought on sale. They both work exactly the same and I've shot lots of footage with both of them.

The first trip I ever took to the west came when I was a 17 year old drifter who took a job as a driver for a crusty old WWII vet called Piper, who had landed in the 5th wave at Omaha Beach and had walked all across Europe with Easy Company of "Band of Brother" fame. I was saddened that he passed before that HBO mini-series aired, because he had several other stories that I'm certain would have made the cut. We drove through Denver at about dusk on the third or fourth day of the trip, and I was truly awestruck by the sight of a herd of wild buffalo stretching across a grassy foothill. So here are three reasons you need to take a camping trip out west.

1. The Freedom of the west. Let's face it, the west is dangerous and there is a certain appeal to some men and women to face danger. That leads many of us to shake off our herd instinct and take risks. Because it is so sparsely populated, the west definitely offers a sense of danger.

2. The shot opportunities. I like to shoot amateur photography. In the 80's I wasn't able to devote the time or money into photography, (I was too busy going to survival schools and chasing crazy, wild eyed women around), however; with the advent of digital cameras, photography has become my passion. .

3. The accessibility. There are no other places in the world that you can just go to as the American west. Get on one of several dozen highways that run to and fro, and just go. You can walk, ride a bike, ride a horse, or hitchhike, (if you're careful). The options are limitless.

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