Ditch everything you thought you knew about camping and go into the woods with outdoorsman Chris Puckett.
“My father is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, so as a kid we were stationed all over the world—giving me the ability to just pick up and go. Home is where my backpack lays,” shares Los Angeles explorer Chris Puckett, who recently formed a new excursion company that takes guests out of their element and puts them in the elements. “Camping and hiking was always a favorite. It’s where we connected with other family members and created countless memories.”
With Puckett Excursions, Chris aims to recreate those important moments of bonding with an ever-changing roster of participants. While the beauty of the outdoors takes center stage on all of his chosen adventures, there’s also an elevated experience that allows guests—particularly those with an aversion to camping—the opportunity to feel at home.
“It combines the hassle-free environment of a five-star hotel with the long-held traditions of camping,” says Chris. “I’m talking starry nights, crisp mornings, hot showers, fine camp cuisine, luxury bedding and the most majestic scenery the world has to offer.”
Imagine pre-dinner cocktails by a roaring fire, exchanging amazing stories with a group of friends, only then to be ushered to a fully catered, farm-to-table meal paired with locally sourced wine. These are just a handful of ways Puckett Excursions has reinvented the outdoor experience. It’s geared toward adventure seekers who want to connect with nature but do it in style and comfort.
Chris says he’s long been the “go-to” guy for planning excursions among his circle of friends and acquaintances. “If anyone needed help, I’d jump in to find unique and special ways of traveling,” he explains. “I enjoy pushing each person out of their comfort zones with the hiking, trekking and backpacking experiences.”
But as the requests got progressively more involved, Chris saw an opportunity to branch out. “With research and experience, my knowledge grew,” he says. “It’s then that I felt this could be an actual business. I really wanted to share my love for travel with everyone, not just those who knew how to get ahold of me.
Puckett Excursions offers trips to all of the major national parks, including Yosemite, Zion, Yellowstone and Olympic, with each trip focused on “off-the-beaten-path” adventures and special attention to the “must-sees” of each location. This might include a hike through secret paths or a hidden trail, which only an experienced guide can show you.
“I’ll guide you over fallen logs to secluded meadows, tempting you to take a plunge in natural formed glacier pools,” Chris shares. “You’ll rappel down rocks, scurry over boulders and swim through dark waters to see one of the world’s most beautiful rock formations.”
Michael Pena, CEO of LA Skin Inc., has joined Chris on three excursions so far: Yosemite, Zion and Bryce Canyon. “I’m convinced Chris Puckett is a walking GPS when it comes to hiking through our national forest parks,” he says. “He is pure genius in selecting or creating his own trails to excite our adventurous seeking eyes.”
Bryson Rand was also one of Chris’ lucky guests on a recent trip to Yosemite, where they hiked a challenging route to the top of the falls. “The view was breathtaking,” he remembers. “After hiking along the water away from the falls, Chris led us to what felt like a totally secluded swimming hole. Each of my fellow hikers took the time to swim in the crystal clear pools to cool off and get some alone time.”
By the end of the trip, Bryson felt a special connection to the members of his travel group through their combined effort. “It could be described as male bonding, but the experience felt more universal than that,” he says. “We shared in the physical challenges, as well as the natural beauty of the park, and at the end of the day discussed our adventures around the campsite. It really brought everyone together, and by the end of the excursion we were like a team.”
“Our hero John Muir said it the best,” says Chris. “‘Of all the paths in life, make sure a few of them are in dirt.’ We’ll see you out there.”
For more on Puckett Excursions, visit puckettexcursions.com