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Little Elm Man Conquers 26 Mile Backpacking Trip Without A Tent To Highlight The Cowboy Camping Experience

Outdoorsman Mark Wilcox hiked 26 miles in Big Bend National Park and hopes to inspire others to enjoy nature’s beauty with backpacking and cowboy camping

LITTLE ELM, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, November 18, 2021 / — A Texas outdoor enthusiast, author, and business owner is sharing his latest backpacking experience with others in hopes of inspiring them to get out and explore the world around them. Mark Wilcox, published author and co-founder of the digital magazine Camping Forge, recently completed a 26-mile backpacking trip in Big Bend National Park. This feat is more remarkable because he did it without a tent.

Wilcox’s latest adventure is a type of camping known as cowboy camping. Cowboy camping involves sleeping without a tent or camper out in the open, simply with a sleeping bag on the ground. This camping style gets its name from scenes from movies of the Old West where cowboys can be seen sleeping on the ground under the stars. In addition to engaging in cowboy camping himself, Wilcox also shares his knowledge with others through Camping Forge and his books in hopes of building interest in the cowboy camping experience.

While this form of camping may seem unrealistic or daunting to people who haven’t tried it, Wilcox tries to dispel many common misconceptions about it. While a tent will help protect against smaller non-threatening animals, rodents, and possibly insects, it doesn’t protect campers against larger, more dangerous threats like bears. Bears tend to gravitate towards food, so whether a camper sleeps in a tent or trailer or out in the open, the main factor for safety is sleeping at least 100 feet away from any cooking sites or food storage containers.

For those looking to try cowboy camping, Wilcox recommends a few items. A couple of tarps are valuable, as campers can place one on the ground to provide insulation and keep their sleeping space dry, while one above can help protect against precipitation if needed. Additionally, a sleeping pad can provide extra insulation and comfort. Finally, a comfortable sleeping bag rated for the weather conditions and temperatures you expect to encounter is the most critical piece of the cowboy camping puzzle.

Wilcox encourages others who may be thinking about giving cowboy camping a try to consider trekking to Big Bend.

“Big Bend in the fall is the ideal cowboy camping environment because of the lack of rain, cool weather, and no bugs,” said Wilcox. “I encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to give cowboy camping a try. It’s truly an experience like none other sleeping underneath the stars and taking in your surrounding environment. “

Other advice Wilcox offers to cowboy campers is to try it when the weather is nice and insects are hibernating to mitigate pesky nighttime visitors.

To learn more about cowboy camping and get other helpful camping tips, visit the Camping Forge site at

Mark Wilcox
Camping Forge
+1 469-383-8497
email us here

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