Coyote Camp Supports PCTA Backcountry Volunteers

PCTA receives generous support from many corporate partners. Not only do they support us with philanthropic gifts, partners share our mission with their customers, volunteer their time, and give in-kind gifts to support our programs. An example of a meaningful partnership is our relationship with Coyote Camp Fireline Chow. In addition to a cash donation, they have also donated yummy food to our backcountry volunteers.

Coyote Camp provided a supply of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for a crew of twelve volunteers for one week of trail maintenance work in the backcountry. This summer, volunteers from the North 350 Blades will use these supplies as they set out for their first backcountry response project in northern Washington.

Mike on a recent hike along the west coast of Ireland.

Mike on a recent hike along the west coast of Ireland.

Rather than establishing a base camp, backcountry responders move along the trail as they work and set camp in new site each night. This allows them to be more efficient and productive in the backcountry. The typical goal is to maintain a 20-25 mile section of trail, approximately two to three miles each day. Volunteers are dropped off at one trailhead and picked up several days later at another trailhead. Base camps are critical for projects that require multiple days in one section of the trail but are not effective for annual maintenance along a section of trail in the wilderness. With no base camp kitchen available, Coyote Camp ready-made meals will make this work possible!

We asked Coyote Camp’s owner Mike Harte, why he supports PCTA.

Tell us a bit about your first experience on the Pacific Crest Trail.

My first experience was as a teenager, having read “The High Adventure of Eric Ryback.” A friend and I did one of our first sectional backpacking trips of the PCT in Yosemite National Park, followed by a hike in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park a year later. Pretty heady stuff for a couple of 16 year olds! They were amazing trips, and marked the beginning of a life-long interest in the backcountry experience.

How were you inspired to start your company?

Coyote Camp was inspired by my time on the wildland fire line in the mid 90’s. I was involved in other markets of food manufacturing at the time. While eating MREs, I thought I could make something with a better balance of the calories, carbs, proteins, and sugars required that was enjoyable to eat. That’s when coyote camp was born.

Where does the name Coyote Camp come from?

In the world of wildland firefighting, the standard shift time on an active fire event is fifteen hours. The term “coyote camp” describes what firefighters may do when given a few hours of down-time while working a fire — scratch out (make safe) a small spot in a black zone (burned area), just outside the fire zone (green area), and eat, sleep, or rest. That, in all its delight and simplicity, is coyote camping!

What motivates you to support PCTA – when you’re so far away in Colorado?

My wife and I both had our first backcountry hiking experiences in the Sierra Nevada where we developed our love of the backcountry. When the opportunity to support the PCTA presented itself, it seemed like a reasonable and respectable way to give back to the region where our interest was first nurtured.

Author: Angie Williamson

Angie Williamson is the Director of Philanthropy for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. She oversees our fundraising work so that we have the resources we need to fulfill our mission. Her favorite part of her job is talking with donors who share our passion for the PCT.