Beyond the Tent

All Inclusive Camping with Out Livin’ Adventure Glamping…

Why stress about an outdoor adventure trip when you can go straight to the fun? It’s a question that married business partners Jason and Jessica Matthews are answering with their all-inclusive camping experience, Out Livin’. Based out of Mount Shasta and touted as adventure glamping, it’s an overnight in the woods with safari-style tents and all the essentials. “It’s basically the traditional glamping setup where you have the platform and the canvas tents with insides furnished like a hotel room,” Jessica explains. “We’re completely off-grid and don’t have traditional hookups to running water or electricity, but we do provide everything that is needed to run stoves, heaters and lights through propane and whatnot. The cook kitchen is also off-grid camping, but it’s a step up from your traditional camping setup.”

Photos courtesy of Out Livin’

Both husband and wife are locals of the Mount Shasta region and fell in love exploring the area. According to Jessica, the idea for the business comes from those adventures. “We’ve always loved recreating and camping with family. And not to knock any local or traditional campgrounds, but we always preferred to go out and have our own experience,” she says. “We’d be out walking or hiking, and we’d get to an amazing spot and we’d be like, ‘Gosh, I wish there was a bed out here.’” It was that sense of immersion blended with the concept of comfort that made the pieces fall into place. “To us, glamping is having a queen-sized bed out in the middle of nature.”

Working closely with the Forest Service, Out Livin’ is now doing just that. “I think my husband is like John Muir reincarnated,” Jessica says with a laugh. “Part of his day-to-day office job is really scouting locations that are close to town and recreational hotspots, but still give that feeling of being in the woods.” The site includes accommodation for up to four people, but for an additional charge, more people and even pets can join.

Photos courtesy of Out Livin’

To date, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. “No other glamping, camping, or outfitter business is doing this in the National Forest. We operate under a special use outfitter permit through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.” But achieving the accolade of being first has also been a process. “We’ve finally now gotten our 10-year permit, which is exciting for us. But it’s been a learning process, and we’re still learning and working with the Forest Service to figure out how it spreads. We work closely with them to make sure we have appropriate liability insurance coverage, equipment coverage, etc.,” Jessica explains.

Photos courtesy of Out Livin’

She also acknowledges that the health of their business depends on the health of the forest. “We’re about being sustainable, especially as locals. We work closely with the Forest Service on pitching and scouting locations and always make sure we have sign-off from various departments, like the archeology or heritage department. I have a major in wildlife biology and my husband has one in history, so everything that we do is in line with making sure we’re as safe as possible, while still protecting our national resources and cultural heritage hotspots.”

Photos courtesy of Out Livin’

Fire season also weighs heavily into their planning. “Guests must come with a campfire permit. Everything we have that uses propane is approved by the Forest Service, and during restrictions, we switch our wood-burning stoves to propane-based fire pits so that people can still have the traditional experience. When there’s smoke, our sites sit about 2,000 feet in elevation higher than the town of Mount Shasta so it doesn’t seem to stick around. And, if there was an emergency, the Forest Service has a law enforcement patrol that passes our sites as part of their regular route, so they’d probably beat us there, to be honest.”

Photos courtesy of Out Livin’

One of Jessica’s favorite parts is sharing her love of the area. “We really want to give people the opportunity, encouragement and confidence to go out into the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. We get a lot of families that are first-time campers. They see camping in the media and there’s this romanticized version of that. Then, there can be a little bit of a bubble pop when they go camping for the first time, and they’re trying to set up and everything’s crazy. So, we’re about taking all that distraction and mess out of the way. Everything’s set up and ready to go. That way when you get there, all you have to do is focus on family, friends or whoever you came with and create some memories.”
And if there are any lingering questions about where the business name comes from? When friends and family ask what you’re up to, you can just say, “Out Livin.’”•

Out Livin’ • (530) 924-4460 • 
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About Megan Peterson

Megan Peterson is a freelance storyteller who loves her family, her pets, and Northern California. Her favorite part of writing is finding flow, and she always relishes a touching human story. Aside from Enjoy, she’s typically busy writing and producing for television, having created more than 220 hours of on-air content on networks ranging from National Geographic to Netflix.

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