Around the Campfire: 8 camping questions for pro snowboarder Danny Davis

ASN’s Around the Campfire series interviews professional action sports athletes from all disciplines, to get their take on an activity that every outdoor athlete can certainly appreciate: camping. Pulling the athlete away form their day-to-day life and placing them in nature is what Around the Campfire is all about.

For outdoorsy people, camping is one of those rites of passages usually passed on from someone in your family. It typically starts at a young age and is an interest that only grows stronger with time.

Being in the outdoors has a profound impact on people, especially when started at a young age. For someone like professional snowboarder Danny Davis, that is certainly true. Each year Davis and his friend Jack Mitrani put on the Frendly Gathering in Vermont which is a big camping/festival/concert — so Davis knows a thing or two about sleeping outdoors.

We met up with Davis recently to talk about the upcoming Olympics, starting with the qualifier at 2017 Dew Tour Breckenridge, but we couldn’t help adding in some questions about the great outdoors. Here’s Davis on his love for camping in this latest installment of “Around the Campfire.”

Danny Davis (left) and friends at his annual Frendly Gathering. Photo: Courtesy of Danny Davis/Frendly Gathering

What’s your earliest camping memory?

Northern Michigan with my folks, proper tent camping. And proper park camping, where you have your campsite, your fire ring, cooking up hot dogs and s’mores.

There was a lake nearby. My folks used to get us out camping early on. We loved it as kids, hanging out in the back of Dad’s truck when it’s raining. Definitely kickstarted me into camping.

Are your parents outdoorsy people?

Yeah, they are. They’re active people. Huge golfers now. In their time, my dad was really into sports. Anything outside: hiking, biking anything really. They love it.

What’s your favorite camping food?

Depends on your cooking scenario. I always say when I’m camping how much I love oatmeal in the morning. And I only do oatmeal when I’m camping. One time I said to someone, “Man I love oatmeal. I’m going to do it everyday in the morning.” And they were like, “No, no no. Don’t burn yourself out on oatmeal. This is for camping only.”

So I always love oatmeal for brekkie. Stir fries are so easy for camping. It’s good and easy. It’s better than hot dogs or hamburgers, you can just bring a bell pepper and some other veggies you like. Cook the meat on the side and do a quick little stir fry on the skillet.

Danny Davis isn’t shy about doing the hard work it takes for the Frendly Gathering. Photo: Courtesy of Danny Davis

What’s your favorite camping spot on the planet?

This spring I just did a seven-day walk through the Sierras. Hands down the best camping, some of the most legit conditions I’ve ever camped in. It was cold, it snowed like a foot on us. It was awesome. We were in the John Muir Wilderness, so we were down near Mammoth Lakes and out in that area. We did about 30 miles. It was some of the most beautiful mountains and some of the raddest riding I’ve done.

I haven’t done a ton of snowboard camping so it was really something else. Heavy pack, wet gear a lot of the time until the sun comes out. We didn’t really do fires while we were out there. It was some of the most beautiful camping I’ve ever done.

What’s one place you’ve never camped that you’d like to?

I see a lot of people camping in Mexico on the beach, the whole Baja. I’ve always wanted to do it and never gotten to do it. I need to go do that. Surf all day everyday and do nothing but have beers, surf waves, go get tacos in town and camp on the beach.

Danny Davis (third from the left) with friends enjoying the Frendly Gathering. Photo: Courtesy of Danny Davis/Frendly Gathering

What is one camping tip you’d give to a first time camper?

Take less than you think you need. What I did for a long time, and still do, is bring way more stuff than I need. Way more food, way more clothes. Minimal, especially if you’re walking in and out, you don’t need all that much. Less is more in camping.

A large animal is lurking outside your tent in the middle of the night, what do you do?

Make as much noise as possible. Any kind of metal you have to bang together in your tent, scream, yell and then make yourself seem scarier than they are.

Has that ever happened to you?

No, I’ve never dealt too much with animals while camping. But the bears where we live are so scared [of people]. Wyoming, Montana and Alaska you need to know what you’re going to do in that situation. Where I live in Tahoe area we don’t have any animals like that.

Danny Davis (middle) getting things ready for the Frendly Gathering. Photo: Courtesy of Danny Davis/Frendly Gathering

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