The Luxury Look: Summer Camp
Escape to the woods for a camping adventure that gives new meaning to “roughing it.”
PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW YEE
STYLING HEIDI MEEK
AIRSTREAM NEST $45,900; AIRSTREAM.COM SNOW PEAK CLASSIC KETTLE, $100, AL DENTE COOK SET, $110, IRON GRILL TABLE 4 UNIT SET, $230, AND PACK AND CARRY FIREPLACE KIT, $320; SNOWPEAK.COM THE NORTH FACE SHIRT, $70; THENORTHFACE.COM ACNE STUDIOS T-SHIRT, $160; ACNESTUDIOS.COM PATAGONIA PANTS, $79; PATAGONIA.COM BIRKENSTOCK SANDALS, $135; BIRKENSTOCK.COM ROLEX WATCH, $8,200; ROLEX.COM
FAHERTY SHIRT, $98; FAHERTYBRAND.COM JAMES PERSE PANTS, $245; JAMESPERSE.COM STANCE SOCKS, $28; STANCE.COM RH TEXTURED MERINO WOOL THROW, $520, AND PILLOWS, FROM $200, IN OATMEAL; RESTORATIONHARDWARE.COM
Leaving civilization doesn’t mean accommodations have to be uncivilized. The Airstream Nest, the iconic RV company’s newest travel trailer, contains everything you need to retreat to the great outdoors in comfort. Despite its compact size (16 feet, 7 inches from end to end), the Nest features an airy living space for two and offers two different floor-plan options: a fixed bed or a dinette that converts into a sleeping area. The lightweight fiberglass exterior is a bold move away from Airstream’s gleaming past, but the rounded edges still evoke the metal bullet styling for which the company is famous. Inside, soft neutral colors create a welcoming vibe, and the LED lights, controlled by Bluetooth, enable lighting levels and colors to be adjusted via smartphone. Panoramic windows eliminate any potential claustrophobia, while blackout curtains form a cocoon of privacy. Stain-resistant seats are comfortably covered in Spradling Dolce vinyl, while the handcrafted cabinets are covered in an easy-to-clean white laminate with plenty of storage compartments available. Reversible throw pillows, body pillows, and bedspread are included. A propane two-burner stove, refrigerator, freezer, and microwave make up the compact kitchen. In addition to the handheld shower head and built-in soap and shampoo dispensers, there’s an exterior shower for the more adventurous. An integral roof-mounted air-conditioning and heater unit keeps the interior temperature comfortable in all types of climates, and the power-operated exterior shade, with LED lighting, provides a cool spot to sit outside while communing with nature. Pre-installed wiring makes it easy to connect solar panels for staying off the grid a bit longer. The Nest’s 3,400-pound weight means certain mid-size SUVs with a tow package can pull it. Gas, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors come standard and the Nest boasts a TRA “Emerald Status” green certification, the highest available.
For setting up camp out in the open, Snow Peak, an innovative camping equipment company from Japan, offers the most stylish, highly designed yet ruggedly durable gear available. Its modern Classic Kettle, with locking spout cover and a hanging loop for heating over a fire, makes 1.8 quarts of morning coffee in high-quality Japanese stainless steel that’s easy to clean. For dinner, the Al Dente Cook Set, with two stainless steel pots, two lids, and a strainer, makes it easy to create campfire pasta dishes. The Iron Grill Table is a versatile cooking system that can stand at varying heights from 12 to 33 inches. Its base unit includes an aluminum frame that features adjustable stainless steel legs and space for four inserts: a single- or double-burner unit, a griddle, worktable panels, and even single or double BBQ boxes. Finish it off with storage or cutting-board inserts, including half- or full-size bamboo boards. Optional tables provide more prep and eating areas, and can connect to the Iron Grill Table or stand on their own. If an open flame is preferred, the Pack and Carry Fireplace Kit delivers. This folding fireplace comes with a grill attachment, a fireplace base, and a carrying case. No more digging required: After dinner, pull off the grill, load up a few logs, and toast marshmallows for dessert by the portable stainless steel fire pit.
More than 4 million people visit Yellowstone National Park annually, putting up with endless crowds and traffic jams. So take your Airstream Nest to Eastern Idaho near the Montana border for a quiet, crowdless route outside the park and explore the tall waterfalls, thick woods, high peaks, and historic ranches along this scenic byway that ends near the Wyoming border. Here, a few noteworthy stops.
ISLAND PARK, IDAHO
Johnny Sack Cabin
Johnny Sack paid the US Forest Service $4.15 a year to live on the headwaters of Henry’s Fork. He carved his squat cabin by hand, including pipe stand and bed frame sized to suit his short stature. He hovered just under 5 feet tall. Watch your head while touring the place. www.co.fremont.id.us
Drive the steep (but paved) road to Sawtell Peak and see the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from 9,866 feet up. Look down on Montana and Idaho and all the way to Wyoming on clear days. If the view doesn’t stop you, the wildflowers will.
HARRIMAN STATE PARK
Owned by Union Pacific Railroad investors until 1977, the park served as a cattle ranch and private retreat for the Harriman and Guggenheim families until the late 1970s. The state’s park system was created when the families granted public access to their once-private retreat. Tour living quarters and other outbuildings on foot, by bike, or by horse. Classic cars and other old equipment are still in the multi-stall garage. parksandrecreation.idaho.gov
There’s nothing mellow about the rush of this waterfall dropping the height of a 10-story building and crashing through the canyon. It’s beyond impressive and you’ll hear its thunder before you see its shower. Hike the boardwalk to stand over Upper Mesa’s display, and make sure to stop at Lower Mesa too. fs.usda.gov
ST. ANTHONY, IDAHO
For the best beach sand you’ll ever stick your toes in this far from the ocean, don’t miss the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, which cover more than 10,000 acres with granules of white quartz shifting from 10 to 400 feet tall. If you like motoring in sand, this is the place.
Grand Targhee Resort
The chair lift offers access to a fantastic ski season in winter, but in summer, it operates for mountain bikes. The resort is in Wyoming, but the access road is in Idaho. Catch a ride up then peddle down the backside of Grand Teton National Park. grandtarghee.com
If you prefer hiking to biking, there’s a pile of trail miles in the Teton Range. From Teton Valley, Idaho, enter the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. Cross into Wyoming while exploring meadows, mountains, and a wind cave if your legs go that far.
ASHTON and SWAN VALLEY, IDAHO
Henry’s Fork and South Fork
Bait fishing is allowed, but you’ll find fly fishing suits Idaho water just fine. These Forks eventually meet to create the main channel of the Snake River. Before they do, fishing potential is outstanding. Both stretches are world-famous for prolific bug hatches and hungry trout. Drift boat guide service is available on both rivers.