Save time and effort by preparing some foods in advance — like bacon for a breakfast skillet and spaghetti and reheatable sauce or homemade chicken tenders for supper.
At Blue Mesa, the boat-in backcountry sites were created with paddlers in mind. Bring backpacking-style tents that will fit on the designated tent pads and are easily stowed.
Leave the Dock Early
In the southern Rocky Mountains in July and August, a morning departure is a must. Thunderstorms will fire up anywhere between 2 and 4 p.m., and you’ll want to be set up at your campsite by then. Other regions have other patterns; learn them.
Remember That You’re in a Reservoir
Blue Mesa’s boat-in campsites all lie along the reservoir’s “arms,” which is reservoir-speak for creeks that feed the lake. As you approach shore, or the narrow head of an arm, keep a sharp lookout for submerged trees.
Have a Stowage Plan
Before you leave the dock, stow anything that can’t get wet. At the very least, have a game plan. Otherwise you’ll be frantically shoving bags, towels, pillows and sleeping bags wherever they will fit, and they’ll get wet anyway.
Practice “Leave No Trace” Ethics
Nothing is more unpleasant than exploring a backcountry campsite and finding garbage, leftover food … and more. Pack out everything you pack in, and become acquainted with the fine art of digging a cathole.
Prepare for the Sun
It’s the summer, so hydration, hats, sunscreen and a Bimini top are critical. Bring plenty of fresh water.