I’m a public lands advocate and travel quest junkie living in Phoenix, Arizona. I love both long road trips and weekend adventures. I prefer to spend my free time enjoying the outdoors, but I also love stopping for roadside oddity or a crappy dive bar.
“He’s the guy that…”
When my friends introduce me to someone I haven’t met before, they tend to lead with one of these things:
→ “He’s the guy that’s trying to visit all of the national parks—there’s like 400 of them and he’s almost done.”
→ “Scott works in public lands conservation. Or something like that, I’m not entirely sure what that exactly entails, but he seems to know a lot about it.”
→ “He’s a huuuuge ASU football fan. Probably the world’s biggest, I’d imagine. I think he’s had season tickets since he was nine or something.”
→ “He’s the guy with all the quests. I’m not even sure how he comes up with all of them.”
→ “He’s been to every craft brewery in the state. You should see his untappd.”
Over the years, I’ve been involved in a variety of great causes, including organizing students on campus (bet you can guess where), working in local and state politics on behalf of progressive causes and candidates, launching a number of new nonprofits, and helping to lead efforts to protect a new system of public lands known as the National Conservation Lands. I’ve recently co-founded a software company and launching an app called Questing.
Find me @rscottjones
You can usually find me at @rscottjones on the major social media networks. I tend to keep facebook for just existing friends, but I’m most active on twitter and instagram. You can also check out my flickr account for lots of photos, though I have countless trip albums waiting to be posted. I have a few travel videos up on youtube.
About this site
I first registered this domain back in January 2000, and it’s been active since then. For the most part, the site has served as random repository of various tidbits of information—everything from my thoughts on the last ASU game, to a detailed listing of the trips I’ve taken, to random thoughts I wanted to post.
A new focus
More recently, I’ve decided to narrow its focus a bit. It’s emphasis these days is chronicling my own adventures while helping others to #optoutside and have some adventures of their own. I ended up spinning off much of this to another site, JustGetOutMore.com. I have since merged that content back into this site.
Below is a bit more from what I was trying to accomplish with JustGetOutMore!
My original vision for JustGetOutMore!
I decided to launch this website in an effort to empower people to…well…to just get out more.
What does “out” exactly mean? Well, that’ll depend on who you are, what you like, and what’s within your comfort zone—or, better yet, what’s just outside your comfort zone.
For me, it means traveling as many weekends as I can, taking some longer trips into the wilderness, and spending larger chunks of time on the road. But it also means making sure I hit the city mountain preserve during the work week, that I visit an occasional museum, and that I keep working towards those bigger travel goals we all have.
Because why not? I’ve had the good fortune to do quite a bit of travel. As of this writing, I’ve been to
49 of the all 50 states and I’ve visited 385 406 of the 417 418 national parks around the country. I travel and explore every weekend that I can (read: still not nearly as often as I’d like). In 2016, I pulled off an epic trip, visiting 100 National Parks in 100 Days to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System.
I’m often introduced to others as some sort of authority on travel and outdoor adventures. I guess it all depends on your starting point. I do travel far more often than most all of my friends. But there are countless people that travel much more often and adventure much harder than me. I’m not particularly special in any one regard. I’m not a digital nomad roaming the world, nor am I living the #vanlife. I’m just a guy who appreciates adventures and does what he can to have more of them.
I don’t have a ton of money; having a career in chronically-underfunded nonprofits will do that for you. Travels and adventures are extremely important to me, but I also love craft breweries and ASU football games. So like most everyone, it’s a balancing act. I just make sure that the scales don’t tip against travel adventures too often.
I recently surveyed my twitter following and chatted with some of my friends who’ve been pushing me to write. I was a bit surprised that most people were interested in reading more about my adventures and in learning how to travel cheaply. Given the glut of information available online on both of these topics, that wasn’t the route I had planned on taking. But I realized that I still had an important perspective to provide, so here I am.
I’m planning on writing on a variety of topics, delineated into a few broad topics:
I’ll do my best to chart some of my adventures—both the quick ones and the bigger trips. But don’t worry, the goal here isn’t to brag about what I’ve done—it’s simply to show you what’s easily possible. I’m no adventure superhero. If I’ve managed to pull off something fun and amazing, you most certainly can too. I also promise to be authentic with you. If something sucked, I’ll tell you. If things went horribly wrong, you’ll hear about it.
What you won’t get is the inauthentic experiences—no “perfect selfies” by models that required 300 shots to get just right. No setting up a tent at an amazing overlook just to shoot a few photos pretending that you camped there. None of that phoney-ness that’s ubiquitous in your instagram feed. My accompanying photos won’t be quite as good, but I also promise you that your adventures will more closely resemble the ones in my photos than the one in your IG feed..
This section is all about the learnin’. I’ll try to provide some useful tips I’ve garnered over the years, whether that’s about pre-trip prep, what to do while you’re out and about, and maybe even things you’ll want to do after you get back. I see this covering things like traveling cheaply, best practices during road trips, as well as some outdoor recreation tips. In addition to my own writing (and some videos), I expect to link to and incorporate content from plenty of others who have explained it better.
One of the barriers to getting out more is fretting over whether you have the necessary gear. I’ll try to write a bit about what you might need. I’ll review some gear so you know what to expect before you buy, or to learn what things to pay attention to when you’re buying something different. I’ll do my best to always include a cheaper “work around” option, too. After all, the goal here is helping you to just get out more—not to introduce more barriers to doing so.
This website will not be an exhaustive list of destinations, or trails, or of must-do adventures. However, I’d like to include some posts about specific places. They’ll be stories about these places, about some of the experiences you can have there, and why those places are important. You can easily google visitor center hours on your own.
I’m hoping to author some posts that will help you inspire you. Some of these might be stories of accomplishment; some may be about the doubt that we all sometimes have. I’m not exactly sure what tone it’ll all end up taking, but I do want to write in a way that provides an authentic perspective on traveling and adventure while making it all feel a bit more accessible to all.
We have an inherent duty to protect our cherished places for others. I’ll occasionally weigh in on such topics, especially as they relate to our public lands. I’m a fierce advocate for our public lands and I won’t pull too many punches here.
Travel quests + fellow adventurers
I probably won’t get into these too much right off the bat, but I’d eventually like to include two additional sections. One of those will be on adopting and pursuing travel quests—something I’m rather infamous for. I strongly believe that travel quests are an effective way of ensuring that you’re getting out regularly, and that you’re also exploring new places and having new experiences. I’d also like to highlight other people and their own adventures and stories. I think many of these will fit in the Inspiration category mentioned above, but hopefully there’s enough of them to feature them on their own.
Please have some patience
This is a side project. I’ve purposefully decided not to invest substantial time and money into this—at least for now. I’ll post as often as I can, I promise. But I also promise to never skip an adventure simply because there’s a post that needs to be written.
After all, all I want is to just get out more, too.
Where appropriate, I’ve used affiliate links in posts and pages. That means that if you click on the link and buy a product, I may get a tiny bit of cash as a thank you for the referral—at absolutely no additional cost to you. These payments are almost embarrassingly small, but maybe if I get enough of them they might help pay for a month or two of hosting this site.
A quick note before the standard disclosures you find on outdoor and travel sites. I’m not here to make money. Frankly, unless you have a huge following, you really need to whore yourself out pretty hard to make much money in endeavors like this one. So, that’s just not my goal. I’m not even sure if there are any active referral links in my site content at this point, but I’ll keep this page active just in case there are in the future.
As for the new personal data laws, it’s probably a good thing, but I’m not sure it really affects the gazillion blogs out there. In any case, read below and contact me if you have any specific questions.
Where appropriate, I’ve may use affiliate links in posts and pages. That means that if you click on the link and buy a product, I may get a tiny bit of cash as a thank you for the referral—at absolutely no additional cost to you. These payments are almost embarrassingly small, but maybe if I get enough of them they might help pay for a month or two of hosting this site.
So (hint, hint!) clicking through one of my links when you’re ready to purchase an item is a very simple way to support this site, again at absolutely no additional cost to you. But it’s not required.
From time to time, I may get access to products for the purposes of writing a review. Absolutely any time this happens, I will disclose this at the bottom of the review—so you’ll always know. And I promise that I’ll always be honest and truthful with you in the review. I post reviews as a service to my readers, and that’s where my loyalty lies. You can absolutely count on that.
I don’t really collect any personal data, and I’m not really sure what I’d do with any of it if I did.
If you add a comment, then that information is saved and (usually) displayed for the world to see—but that’s kinda the whole point of commenting on a blog. Likewise, if you subscribe to my email list, then I keep that information so that I can send you emails in the future. Again, not earth shattering revelations.
WordPress, one of my plugins, or perhaps something on my website else may leave a cookie on your browser, if you have set it to accept such things. Usually these are for improving your experience somehow, or providing some basic web analytics so I can make the site better. As far I know, there’s no personally-identifiable information involved in this, but I might be wrong on that. The whole point here is that you can expect me to treat any data my website collects as you would any other blogger.