Songwriters In Solitude: Camping Essentials for your Colorado Campout

Denver’s best bands and restaurateurs give us the lowdown on Colorado’s camping gems and must bring items. 

Erik (A Shoreline Dream)
Camping essentials are s’mores and fishing gear.”

Ben Foote (of Blackbelly Market) 
“Favorite camping spot? I wouldn’t be very good at camping if I gave this up, but here’s a hint, it’s in Colorado. Essentials: am I car camping? Dog. Whiskey. Fire.”

Brandon Biederman (of Steuben’s) 
“Indian Peaks Wilderness. I always bring my daughter Lilly, my hammock, and good coffee.”

Brent Cowles
“Estes Park and a Leatherman.”

“Idaho Springs area with a big campfire, whiskey and guitars.”

Elephant Revival
“Fourth of July trail near Nederland with instruments and soup fixings.”

Esme Patterson
“Buena Vista, south of denver a few hours is my favorite camping location. I always make sure to bring a film camera, some wine, food that’s fun to cook over a fire (if you’re in the safe time of year to make a fire!), and a good book.”

Head for the Hills
“Spot: the area around Twin Lakes, near Leadville and Turquoise Lake. Essentials: Colo. craft beer, in a can.”

Jeffery Petrello (of Old Major) 
“Most of my camping trips are to Utah, but in state I highly recommend anything in the Telluride area. My go-to camping items are Starbucks Via packets which make mornings bearable, a bottle of whiskey that packs easy such as Bulleit, and a Big Agnes sleeping bag that has a built-in sleeve to keep your pad attached to your bag, simply genius, and they are based in Steamboat Springs.”

Nadine Donovan (of Secret Sauce Food & Beverage) 
“I’ve had too many of my favorite camping spots destroyed by rookie partygoers who don’t respect the land. I’ve learned to keep the real gems a secret. My three camping essentials are beer, good company and a hammock.”

Nick Lowe (of Mercantile Dining & Provision) 
“Guanella Pass. Coffee/French press, deck of cards and a nice bottle of whiskey.”

Nick Yannett
“The Sand Gulch campgrounds at Shelf Road near Canon City is my favorite car camping spot. The scenery is amazing, and you’re walking distance from some incredible climbing areas that are accessible year-round.”

Paper Bird
“Mount Evans Wilderness Area is so accessible from Denver and so beautiful.”

“I hate camping but Patrick loves it. It is the single greatest rift in our relationship.”

Tim Kuklinski (of Rioja) 
“Anywhere that is secluded, Kebler Pass has some beautiful spots. Coffee, Campfire Ashes (Since I was young I have saved ashes from every camp fire and then spread them onto the next fire. I have been doing it so long that I can’t remember the reason it begun. More of a way to remember all the good time I have had camping with family and friends.”

Read through the pages of our digital guide below and check back in for our May Denver takeover. 

photo by: Gigie Hall