Camp 24

I posted this film up on my personal site and facebook a few weeks ago, but wanted to share a little more with the Trailing Hook followers. It’s just taken me a little longer than planned. So, here are some new photos and a little background for how all this came about.

But first, here’s the video….

This is a story about camping. About family. About memories. I’ve been going camping my whole life, and this was a quick over-nighter my son and I took on his birthday. Sometimes, even the shortest camping trips, can leave you with the longest lasting memories. Take your kids camping every chance you get.

For many years, my son and I always tried to do something special on his birthday. It had to be adventurous and fun. When he was a little guy, it was pretty easy, just go somewhere close, pitch a tent, make a fire, and grab some flashlights. It was so much fun. Then take a walk after dark with our flashlights for the adventurous/spooky part. I can still hear him asking all the questions, “Daddy, what was that? What’s that noise? You hear that? Can I grab your hand?” as we walked along. He was brave to a certain extent. Well, braver than a lot of 5 year olds I knew.

The last few years it became a little more difficult in April, and we had bigger trips we’d do during the year, so this one got pushed to the side. It was getting overshadowed by our Dude’s Trips in November, and with the scout campouts, our side trips, kayaking, fishing….it just wasn’t something we put much thought into.

But this year was different. He really wanted to go, and i’m always ready for that.

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The video at the top tells the story of the trip, so I won’t go much more into details, watch the film for that. But I have more photos that were a part of the trip I wanted to share. The main reason for this trip was… he asked to go. That was easy enough. Plus it would give me the opportunity to get out with the cameras a little more. I always take all my gear and shoot during all our trips, but I wanted this to be a little different. I knew I wanted to document our adventure. I wanted narration, I wanted some scenery shots. I wanted to tell a story.

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I don’t get the time to do this very often because of work, so when I do, I try and hit it full force. Maybe one day I can make this passion full time, but right now it stays as a hobby. I hate that word, hobby. It just sounds so, I don’t know, not important. Especially when you have the drive, the desire, the need to be creative. But I have a family and I need a steady paycheck, and the stability that freelancing doesn’t always provide. So it’s always there when I have the time, when I can break free for a little bit to pursue it further. Dang, I guess it is just a hobby. 🙁

When all this was decided, it was only a couple of days before we were actually leaving, so it was fast and furious trying to get everything put together. There was so much work that had to be done to prep, even though it was just a quick overnighter. Camping gear, food, camera gear, more camera gear, and then a little more camera gear. With this short amount of time to prepare, I just brought it all and figured I would have it all with me…just in case.

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Everything was so green from all the recent rains and the grass, weeds, and bushes were pretty thick and tall. We definitely wanted to hike around, and all my prep work, although quick and disorganized, made it easier to get the shots I wanted. It was tough going dragging two cameras, a tripod, and camera bag through all of that, and at the same time watching were every foot was going. This is rattlesnake country and they were on the move.

It was so fun to get out and just wander. No trails other than those the wildlife take.

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I was trying to balance out the video work with the photography. I would start up video, then grab my other camera and shoot at the same time. The challenging part was when I found something I really liked, I had to make that quick decision…photo or video, or can I do both at this location. Either way, it has to be thought out and composed, but in two entirely different ways.  Lighting is always changing, and so are the surroundings as we walk on a path we’re creating ourselves. I’ve always been one to try and focus on being real good with one, instead of being ok with both. It’s just hard when you want to do it all.

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As the sun began to fade, all the work shifted towards camp. I still wanted to film as much as I could, but supper wasn’t going to cook itself. Nicholas had fire duty, I was on kitchen detail. Well, and camera guy duty.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better night. Hardly any wind and it was nice and cool. I didn’t want to spend all my time shooting and fiddling with my gear and forget the main reason we were out here. So I did a few fire shots, then setup for some timelapses. That way I could still enjoy the evening by the fire with my boy and let the cameras do their own thing for a few hours. It was definitely the right decision. It was an amazing experience. Listening to the noises, talking, laughing, and overall just sharing this time we were given.

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Morning came too fast and I tried to shake off any disappointment that started creepy in, knowing we had to head back today. We quickly got moving. Breakfast was made. Coffee was poured. Plans for the remainder of the day were made.

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We went ahead and packed up everything and headed for the trailhead. A real trail this time. It was still cool enough for a light jacket, but that went away by the time 10am got there.

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The trails are usually very well maintained, although they were starting to get a bit over run with growth since the rains. We hiked for a few hours on a trail that only takes 30 minutes to walk. I had my gear in tow and stopped every time I saw something I liked. We weren’t in any big rush, especially since all we had to look forward to was going back to the house. Just like with all of trips, we plan something until the very last minute we’re there. On our bigger trips we’ll get back on a Sunday night late, then up first thing in the morning to go to work. No down time or decompressing. Like the song says, I want the good times to keep on rolling.

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Remember how I said the rattlers were on the move. Well, they certainly were. Fortunately we saw this guy first, and let him go on his merry little way…after a few photos of course.

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It was an amazing weekend. Extremely short and very hectic leading up to it. Some folks ask me why I bother going to these extremes for just a quick trip like this. My answer to that…we all have a short amount of time, get out there and live a little. I can’t imagine any better way to spend quality time with my boy. For a few hours or a week, these trips will be remembered. Not for the rush and craziness, but for the moments around the fire, the conversations about love and life, for the camaraderie of too old friends that just happen to be father and son. How could anyone pass that up?


Thanks for coming along,


Scott Gartman

Scott Gartman

Scott Gartman is a photographer and filmmaker. He is also an avid fisherman, kayaker, backpacker, and overall outdoorsman. His accolades are too many to list, as with the many streets and towns named after him. He's a legend in his own mind. Check out his home page at

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