In My Secret Campground, luminaries in the world of the outdoors share their favorite under-the-radar camping destinations. This week, we talked to Brian Heifferon, CEO and founder of The Outbound Collective and co-founder of the just-wrapped CamelBak Pursuit Series (plan on it for 2018). His pick is as close as you can get to the city limits without actual being, like, a patch of grass in Duboce Park.
Name: Brian Heifferon
My secret campground: Angel Island State Park. "It's just a short ferry ride to the island, but it feels like it's a world away from San Francisco. The island features sweeping 360-degree views of the Bay, but I have a couple of favorite campsites that provide incredible views of the downtown skyline and both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges. There aren't too many spots around S.F. that you can escape to mid-week, but this is definitely one of them."
What do you like to bring to eat? "All of the campsites require you to hike in, so if I'm heading out there by myself, I'll pack as if I was backpacking, which means keeping it dead simple. I'll bring my JetBoil stove for hot water and coffee. Fruits and nuts for snacks and dehydrated backpacking meals. If I'm going with friends or co-workers, we'll usually bring out a small cooler with drinks and some food to barbecue."
What do you sleep in? "I usually just take my backpacking tent, sleeping pad, and my 20-degree sleeping bag. The only variable I try to account for is the wind — it can really howl out there. But the Bay Area is pretty temperate year-round, so you don't need much more than that.
What do you bring to read? "Whatever is currently on my Kindle Paperwhite — which is right at the top of my list of indispensable travel gear. Right now, it's Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. I'm really enjoying it and would highly recommend it. The next book in my queue is Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram."