Hi there, and welcome to DudesWithTents.com!!

This blog comes to you from the disturbed mind of David Sandel (that’s me). I started this blog for several purposes:

  1. To keep my sanity of disliking my current full-time job as an electrical engineer
  2. To document the shenanigans my buddies and I get into
  3. To hopefully leverage this site to get a job in the outdoor industry or at least get some sort of freelance work as a writer or social media/branding type worker guy (cuz I’m really good at the Twitter)

Along with working as an engineer, my other passion (besides the outdoors) is human performance. I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through National Strength and Conditioning Association (a fancy way of saying personal trainer specializing in sports performance). So, along with everything else I’m going to list that you will find on this site, I will also be sprinkling in some training advice geared specifically towards adventure sports and how you can apply it to your hobby or off-season training program. You do have one of those, right?

You can find general information about training, nutrition, psychology, and other random awesomeness at: AthleteCreator.com

Beware: The humor and writing style is quite different than here (so far). 😉

The Supporting Cast

The other dudes with tents are high school friends, Mat (with one “t”) and Justin. I don’t expect them to contribute as much as me (I’m hoping they do), but they will be free to submit stories, reviews, and or pictures/videos any time they’d like. Even if they don’t contribute much in writing (I’m hoping they do), they are most assuredly the two dudes that will be seen the most in pictures and mentioned the most in stories. They should be contributing their information shortly.

We also host a couple of seasonal festivities such as “Crappie Fest” so our other friends will be making appearances as well.

The Content

What you will find on this site is mostly going to be stories of our adventures. We all have real jobs and real salaries and real, set amounts of vacation time each year so you won’t hear about us going on month long excursions to Papua New Guinea, but we do have fun with the landscape available here in the Midwest.

You will also read gear and location reviews. As I hinted to with “real salaries”, all of our gear is pretty average to maybe slightly above average. No one owns a $300+ tent or a $400 soft-shell jacket. That being said, we’re not heading out in the wilderness in jeans with a blue tarp either. Well, sometimes.

Lastly, we tend to drink a fair amount of booze. In fact, on our last trip to the Boundary Waters in northern MN, I ended up projectile vomiting due to too much “hot drink”. So, we may throw in a review about new liquor we’re trying out. Of course, none of us are actual “technical” taste testers, but we can at least compare it to similar, well-known industry standards.

What We Cover

We didn’t want this site to be just about camping or hiking or downhill skiing specifically. We wanted it to encompass everything we do in the outdoors. I am letting the other dudes list all of their hobbies, so here is what you will find me writing about:

Hunting – Whitetail deer (with a rifle). I used to bow hunt, and would like to again, but lack of bow and lack of hunting land nearby make this a fantasy. I have been applying for a black bear kill tag for the past 3 years so only 3 more and I can try my luck at a bear. I also occasionally like to shoot at upland game birds (and miss) as well as pretend I’m turkey hunting by getting all dressed up and sitting in the woods but not seeing anything. I’m also not opposed to shooting at ducks and geese.

Fishing – I primarily fish when there’s no ice on the water, but I won’t turn down a trip to the ice shack with a flavorful 12-pack of PBR. I like to fish for pan fish, walleye, small mouth bass, and the king of the north: Musky.

Camping – All year ’round. We’re getting pretty good at it actually (on our home territory). We’re trying to find ways to make it more “adventurous” but not impossible. Basically to build our skills for emergency situations if need be. Tops on our list is trapping some sort of small game.

Mountain Biking – I’m novice-intermediate at best and took last season off. I’m going to try adding that back into my routine this year though. A new bike may be in order.

Canoeing/Kayaking – I’ve never taken a kayak whilst camping or done anything extreme with one, but I’m fairly confident I could paddle from Point A to Point B in calm waters.

Water Sports – I can slalom (barely) and wakeboard (barely). The fact that I don’t own a ski boat or have regular access to a ski boat hinders any progress quite a bit. I’m pretty damn good at drinking on a pontoon boat though.

Winter Sports – Besides ice fishing and winter camping, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are the only activities I’ve been exposed to, and those have both been, literally, just this season. Hard to believe that I’ve never ever been downhill skiing or snowboarding ever in my life, but it’s a sad truth .

I hope this website opens up doors for more outdoor opportunities. The other dudes are into all of the things I’ve mentioned above plus more, but I’ll let them talk about it. I know I, personally, want to get more into rock climbing. I’ve gone to Vertical Endeavors a couple of times and the instructors have said that I don’t completely suck (without any kind of training).

And there you have it. That’s me. That’s what will be covered. And that’s what I’m into. Stop in and say “hi”.

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.