July Live Outside & Play

Summer is officially here and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re continuing to follow our friends Ben and Roxy (plus Henry the dog) from L.O.A.P. on their cross-country adventures celebrating #VanLife. This month they’ll be caravanning across Colorado (our Roofnest home state)! If you’re in the area this month, be sure to try and join them at a meet-up.

LOAP July Calendar

6th – Copper Mountain Music Festival in Summit County, CO

12th-14th – Colorado Van Life Gathering in Basalt, CO

18th – S2S Event in Boulder, CO

26-28th – Group Camp Out in the Flat Top Mountains

Copper Mountain Music Festival

Join Ben and Roxy in celebrating 4th of July weekend at Copper Mountain Music Festival! On the 6th and 7th, they’ll be featuring free live shows from Guster and Rayland Baxter. Stop by for some delicious Colorado brews and to celebrate the red, white, and blue with some fellow Flock members!

Colorado Van Life Gathering

Next, Ben and Roxy will be attending the fourth annual Van Life gathering in Basalt, CO showcasing their Van and Roofnest Eagle. This year there will be a two day campout at the Dallenbach Ranch. There will be tons of vans and RVs, yoga flows, environmental workshops, and live music. Tickets are $65 and cover your entire weekend, with a portion of the ticket being donated to the Trust for Public Land. This event is family and pet friendly, so pack up and head out!

July National Park Highlight: Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park, MI

Hey there, Flock! We’re back again this month with another National Park Highlight Blog. We’re excited to introduce you to this month’s destination: Isle Royale National Park. If you’re unfamiliar, Isle Royale is located in Michigan, within Lake Superior. This park offers a surplus of peace and solitude for outdoorsmen and women of all type. There is endless opportunity for backpacking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. 

Lake Superior

Park Activities

Camping at Isle Royale is a one-of-a-kind experience. With 36 different campgrounds to choose from, you’re able to camp with Lake Superior access or on the Isle on an inland campground. The inland campground is only accessible by non-motorized boat. When camping in the park, it’s important to take into consideration how isolated it can be. Weather conditions can always take a turn, so be sure to pack an emergency kits and gear you may need, depending on the season. Campfires are not permitted at most campsites, providing an even more off the grid experience for experienced campers. One thing to note: camping gets very popular in the warmer months, so make sure to head to their site to confirm a reservation before your trip.


Gray Wolf in Isle Royale

Wildlife

Gray Wolves have inhabited the Isle since the late 1940’s. With the population fluctuating from around fifty in the 80’s to just two in 2018, your likelihood of encountering a wolf is very low. For this reason, no pets are allowed on the Isle and remember to practice safe camping practices. These wolves are unique apex predators who contribute to controlling the Moose population throughout the park. If you happen to see one, enjoy it! It’s a rare and beautiful experience. Moose have been on the Isle since the early 1900’s and their population in the area has varied from around 500 to 2,400 since 1980. 

So there you have it, Flock! If you get the chance to experience Isle Royale’s unique Lake Superior views, Wildlife, and hiking and camping opportunities. Be sure to pack your Roofnest down blanket for a light sleeping cover to keep you comfortable and protected on your adventures. Happy camping!

Destination of the Month Telluride, CO

This month we’re back and bringing you a new, exciting destination blog to get your adventure juice flowing! We’re excited to highlight a city in our Roofnest home base state, Colorado. If you’re not familiar with it, Telluride is a former mining town in southwestern Colorado. The city itself is located in a box canyon, surrounded by steep cliffs and mountains, and Bridal Veil Falls at the canyon’s head. The central part of town is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and is brimming with ski shops, coffee shops, and local artisan retailers. Telluride hits its peak popularity during the ski season, so this summer is the time to take advantage of all the exciting things this city has to offer.

Outdoor Activities

When in Telluride, there is no shortage of things to do outdoors to take in the incredible views surrounding you. One of the most sought after activities in Telluride is the Via Ferrata climb. This climb isn’t for the weak-hearted, as at its thickest point you’ll be standing on one iron ledge and attached to a harness at over 500ft. While you are strapped in at all times, we recommend taking a guided climb or going with a very experienced pal who’s gone before. It’s long, strenuous, but utterly unique in the experience and views its provides to those who take it on. Climbing gear and basic technical skills are required.

Via Ferrata Climb

Another popular outdoor adventure in Telluride is the hike along Bear Creek Falls. The hike is open all year round, and totals in 2.5 miles roundtrip. Unlike the Via Ferrata, this is a great opportunity to get all the family and friends involved. Along the hike you’ll cruise by streams, clearings, and ultimately end up at Bear Creek Falls.

Bear Creek Falls

Campsites

Camping in Telluride can be an experience unlike any other. Scoping out sites before your trip will provide you with some pretty unimaginable views, so we’re here to give you the low-down on two of Telluride’s most popular and cherished campsites: Alta Lakes and Blue Lake.

Alta Lakes Campground is by far the most popular site in the area. This campsite is easily accessible for the whole family, and provides tons of things to do right from your campsite, perfect for our Flock on their family adventures. The campground is one destination, but provides three lakes. In the morning, walk right out of your tent and go fly fishing, paddleboarding, or hiking. This campsite practices No Trace camping, and is increasingly popular during the summer for its one-of-a-kind experience. Be sure to check for availability before packing up and heading out!

Blue Lake camping is for those who are seeking more of a back-packing experience. The views you reach at the end of the hike are more than worth the effort. You’ll need to bring all your supplies on back and prepare to hike through the Mt. Sneffels wilderness. When you finally reach the stunning Blue Lake, you’ll be able to hike down and locate the flattened land area for camping. Throughout the night, it tends to drop down and still get cold, even in the summer. Make sure if you head out to this site without your Roofnest, to still pack your Roofnest down blanket, which is light to carry and warm to sleep under.

Blue Lake

Local Attractions

Aside from all of the outdoor magic, Telluride has tons to offer in the heart of Town. Telluride Brewing Co. is one of the largest microbreweries in the United States, and has several awards to show for it. Stop in and grab a drink or take a tour, but again, be sure to call and check availability this summer as it gets very popular for tourists passing through. The Telluride Food Tasting Tour is another exciting summer feature in this town. The tour is about 3 hours long, and introduces you to the many different cuisines and the folks who have crafted them for you. Be sure to book a tour sooner than later!

So there you have it, adventurers, Telluride in a nutshell. Check back soon for another destination highlight and get your summer planners out and ready.

June Ambassador Highlight

Todd Hendrickson

We’re bringing you another Flock Ambassador Highlight, and this month we’re featuring Todd Hendrickson! He’s been a Flock member for two years and we’re excited to show you a little bit of what his world of adventure is like. Check out his Instagram and follow along! @hoptodd

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m Todd, I’m 52 years old, and I’m the CEO of Aquascape, an ultra-high end swimming pool builder.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Explore as often as possible. I tend to wander when I am traveling alone so I can turn down any random road or trail. Rarely will I look at a map, and many of my favorite campsites were found this way. Once I have scouted out an area I then save the best sites to go back to with friends to further enjoy the area.

How has Roofnest helped you with your travels?

I have camped and wandered my whole life and have slept in cars, trucks, and tents. I was driving past a local used car dealer and saw my jeep for sale around the end of November 2017 and went in and bought it on a whim. I tried sleeping in the back a few times and was not happy, so I looked online for “jeep camping” and saw people were sleeping in roof top tents. I had actually never heard of them, so I then typed in roof top tents on Craigslist and happened to buy an almost new Roofnest Sparrow. A guy had bought it new and it didn’t fit in his garage. The rest is history. I keep my tent on the jeep year round and have all my gear always packed in the garage. I can depart anytime and go, go, go.

What’s your favorite part of your Roofnest?

I loved my old Sparrow (and sold it to my brother) but really love the new Sandpiper. I was stoked to get one of the first few. The racks are amazing, and it’s great I can keep my gear on top when the tent is open. Having the tent set up in under 30 seconds lets me explore until I find a spot I love and not worry about picking a semi-ok spot so I have time to unpack an old fashioned ground tent, bedding, etc. It’s a complete game changer. Everywhere I go people want to see the tent and climb in, it’s super cool.

Tell us a quick summary about your most recent favorite trip:

One of my favorite recent trips was down to Death Valley to meet a group of friends for 5 days. I left Northern CA around 5pm, drove until 5am to an area near our 7am meetup, popped up the tent and took a power nap, and then off to our trip kickoff meeting at 7. We then drove about 80 miles a day through the deepest nooks and crannies of Death Valley, camping each night at an epic different location.  We went from high mountains, canyons, and ravines to crazy giant sand dunes. In the end I did 1500 miles in 4 nights/5 days.

Anything else you want our audience to know?

I have seen more of California’s back roads in the last 15 months than I have in my entire life.  A good roof top tent is well worth the investment. My Roofnest has kept me warm, dry, well rested, and safe for all of these adventures. Heavy wind, rain, snow, dust, bugs, critters, creepers: you name it and I have seen it. I won’t ever camp on the ground again. Also, I would say you get what you pay for and buying a cheaper tent will greatly lower your enjoyment and experiences. Do it right the first time and buy a Roofnest!

Look out next month for another ambassador highlight, and above all, reach out to u on Instagram @roofnest if you’d like to be featured!

June Live Outside and Play

First of all, Happy June Flock! Our friends Ben and Roxy from Live Outside and Play continue on their journey across the country this summer. They’re in their Roofnest Eagle taking in all the birds eye views from West Virginia to Colorado this month. If you’re in the area, make sure to join them for some outdoor fun, good conversation, and above all a tour of their Roofnest Eagle!

LOAP June Calendar

  • 6/6-9: Wanderlust in Snowshoe, WV
  • 6/13-16: Franklin visit in Franklin, VA
  • 6/14: Meetup in Franklin, VA
  • 6/29: Aprés Day with Upslope in Boulder, CO

Wanderlust

Wanderlust is in Snowshoe! If you’re in the area, make sure to drop in to experience some of the world’s leading yoga and meditation instructors, musicians, speakers and more. A gathering about overall health and wellness, in short, this is something you don’t want to miss! And of course, after a long day of dancing and yoga you’re probably used to camping in a hot tent on the ground, however, this year we want to change that. Get yourself a Roofnest and live the festival life the right way.


Après Day

Apres Day with Upslope is a #VanLife rally for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. This rally will be Apres all day, and a big outdoor party! As a celebration of outdoor living and nomadic life, there will be experts from the road with their vans available for tour, and of course, beer! Join Ben and Roxy for some epic times and because there’s beer… and fully loaded sprinter vans…

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of Colorado’s hidden treasures. It’s located on the Eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, and only about 30 miles outside of Alamosa. Great Sand Dunes National Park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, with these dunes reaching up to 750 feet in height. In the park and preserve you can find hiking trails with breathtaking and mountain and dune views, endless amounts of sandboarding, plenty of campsites, a shallow creek, horseback riding, and more. Our Sandpiper model is perfect for the Dunes, you can strap all your sandboards and sleds straight to your roof!

What to do in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Dunes Exploration

When you arrive in the park, you’ll be greeted most noteworthy with overwhelming views of the dunes. You’re able to hike all over the 30 mile dune field but Due to the risk of heat exhaustion, burned feet, and lightning strikes you should plan on hiking the Dunes early in the morning or if you’d rather not wakeup at the crack of dawn, you can catch the sunset . While the temperature isn’t too bad in the summer at this elevation, the hike can be strenuous at points. Make sure to bring your phone or camera for the one-of-a-kind views at the top.

Sandboarding

Sandboards and sand sleds are available for rental at several local retailers in Alamosa and surrounding cities to the park. Make sure to make reservations if you’re planning your trip in peak season! To hike up to a low or medium-sized dune, the hike will be around 0.7 miles, but to the higher peaks expect  hike closer to 1.25 miles. Pack and plan to wear some long-sleeves or pants if you want to avoid as much sand as possible getting in your clothes.

Medano Creek

Splash around in the shallow flowing creek adjacent to the sand dunes. It’s a pit-stop on your hike in and out and perfect for cooling off hot feet and washing off sand before heading back to camp. The snowpack in this region was over 100% average this year, so Medano Creek is flowing strong and fresh.

Pinon Flats Campground

This campground provides mountain and dune views! There are 88 campsites, therefore look to reserve before arrival during peak season. The campground is outfitted with restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables for easy camp setup and maintenance. And for the most convenient camping solution you know where to get the best tent available.

If you make it out to Great Sand Dunes National park, make sure to tag @roofnest and #roofnest so we can share your adventure. Happy adventuring and above all, have fun!

May Ambassador Highlight

Roxy and Ben From Live Outside and Play

We are excited to introduce you to a new series: our ambassador highlights! We want you to get to know the faces of our flock members and hear their stories of adventure. This month we have our ambassadors Roxy and Ben from Live Outside and Play. You can check out their Instagram to follow along on their journey! (@liveoutsideandplay).

Who are you and what do you guys do?

We’re Ben & Roxy and we’re living in a van on the road full time with our pup, Henry. We do photography and videography for Elevation Outdoors and Blue Ridge Outdoors and seven awesome outdoor focused companies, one being Roofnest.

How is your Roofnest a part of your outdoor journey?

Living in a van, our space is limited. With the extra room up top from the Roofnest, we can focus on daily living in the van, and sleeping up on top. It gives us the option to bring friends along on adventures as well.

Why did you decide to start Live Outside and Play?

Connecting with nature and living each day spontaneously is high on our list of “Favorite ways to thrive.” This lifestyle works for us and gives us the freedom to explore parts of the US we never knew existed. Working with outdoor focused companies to spread the love of the outdoors is the best part of this job.

Follow along with our ambassadors on Instagram through @roofnest!

Live Outside And Play June Calendar

  • June 6-9, Wanderlust Festival, Snowshoe WV
  • June 13-16, Franklin VA visit, Franklin VA
  • June 14, Meetup in Franklin VA, Franklin VA
  • June 29, Apres Day with Upslope, Boulder CO

Lookout next month for another Ambassador highlight and reach out to us if you want to be featured. Happy adventuring Flock!

Birds Eye Views at Banff National Park

Moraine Lake at Banff National Park
Banff National Park was founded in 1885 and was Canada’s first national park. The park provides hundreds of miles of hiking trails, high mountain passes with plenty of birdseye views, crystal glacial lakes, unique waterfalls, bubbling hot springs, and breathtaking canyon views. The park is also home to a vast array of wildlife from bighorn sheep to grizzly bears.

Camping in Banff

When you arrive at Banff National Park, it’s hard to find a campsite that doesn’t sport breathtaking views. The park has 2,462 sites in 14 campgrounds, but in the summer it can be tough to grab a spot during peak season. Most sites in the park provide waste disposal, showers, and toilets, but there are other options for those who want to be more off-the-grid. The park does require camping permits, and BLM lands are patrolled, so make sure to stay in permitted grounds.
Lake Louise Campground

Take in the views

When deciding where to camp in Banff, consider which views you would like to wake-up and fall asleep to each night. One of the most popular grounds is the Lake Louise campground, where you can have full lake views from many sites. If you’re camping in a rooftop tent, like our Sparrow, you can align your tent to have a wide angle view to take in the mountain lake fresh-air every morning as you wake up to the sound of wildlife and a crisp sunrise.

Get the full Banff experience

Staying in Banff National Park provides endless opportunities to get out there and really take it all in. Activities in the park range from hikes of all skill level, backcountry trails, visiting the hot springs and cave basin, fishing, climbing, tons of photo viewpoints, seeing the Bison and big horned sheep, and of course lake-side hikes for those famous instagrammable views, just make sure to tag @roofnest. One of the must-see views in the park is Moraine Lake, though it can get heavily populated in the summer season, you don’t want to miss out.  Visitors come from all over the world to experience the vast, breathtaking views in Banff, so be sure to reserve your site as soon as you start to plan your trip, and of course, make sure to have a Roofnest Sparrow for the trip.

Live Outside and Play

Our friends Roxy and Ben from Live Outside and Play are back on the road for their epic summer adventure, so you know we had to set them up with a new Roofnest Eagle. They are starting their adventure on the East Coast, Virginia and Maryland specifically, and they would love to show off their new Roofnest to anyone who wants to see it. Go join them for some fun times, good conversation, and a tour of our Eagle model.

LOAP May Calendar

  • May 12– Group Hike with Rockfish Gap Outfitters Waynesboro, VA
  • May 16 – Appalachian Trail Days, Trail Magic Damascus, VA
  • May 17-19 – 33rd Annual Appalachian Trail Days Festival Damascus, VA
  • May 18 – Badminton Tournament Sponsored by LEKI Damascus, VA
  • May 23-26 – Delfest Cumberland, MD
The 33rd Appalachian Trail days festival is coming in hot and you better bet it’s going to be one hell of a time! Whether you want to join in on the hiker parade/water gun fight, bid on some new gear in the auction, or grab a beer and listen to some music, this festival is for you. Join Roxy and Ben in celebrating one of the most epic trails in our country!
To finish off the month, Roxy and Ben will be heading to Cumberland, Maryland to jam out at Del Fest. With a lineup including The String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, Trampled By Turtles, and more, this festival is one for the books! In between sets they offer yoga classes, an arts and crafts tent for you crafty Flock members, and theres no need to leave the kids at home because they have a full kid zone to keep them entertained. So join the fun and be the talk of the campground with your new Roofnest.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is located in Luray, Virginia and is the perfect spot to start your summer adventures on the east coast. Whether you are planning a cross country road trip, need a weekend getaway, or just want to explore a new National Park, Shenandoah is a must see place this summer. With tons of wildlife including black bears, bobcats, barred owls, and red-winged hawks, you’ll want to bring some binoculars to take it all in, and probably stay in a Roofnest to keep away from the Ring neck Snakes.

Photo Credit: National Park Service

What to do at Shenandoah

  • Overall Run Falls – This waterfall is one you have to see when visiting the park, standing 93′ tall it is the largest in Shenandoah. You will climb 1850 feet on your 6.4-mile roundtrip, but there are rock ledges to relax on at the falls to take in the views of the Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten mountain.
  • Skyline Drive – If hiking isn’t your forte, take a cruise down the 105-mile Skyline Drive along the top of The Blue Ridge Mountains. You’ll wander through 200,000 acres of Shenandoah National Park and see some of the most fantastic views the park has to offer, all while sitting back in the comfort of your vehicle.
  • Camp at Big Meadows Campground – There are 5 different campgrounds to choose from in the Shenandoah National Park but Big Meadows is our favorite. Located at mile 51.2 of Skyline Drive, this campsite offers everything you want when on an adventure. You can visit 3 waterfalls all within walking distance, take in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley from your Roofnest, and if you’re lucky you’ll also see some of the amazing wildlife this park has to offer.
Photo Credit: Ken Goulding

So what are you waiting for? Go explore Shenandoah National Park and make sure to share your adventures with us by tagging @roofnest.

Happy Adventuring Flock!