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Antelope Island Instagram Meetup Recap & Photos

Last month, I organized the first official Bearfoot Instagram Meetup out on Antelope Island with my two of my fellow Outbound Explorers – Rob Witt and Jordan Smith.  I had never even been out to Antelope Island before so there were a lot of factors I was nervous about……..the campsite, the weather, the hike….oh and feeding dozens of people.

Luckily with some good team work and the help of the event’s sponsors, everything came together. Over 50 people turned out and braved the freezing overnight temps. I really couldn’t believe it. And what was really cool is that while most people who turned up enjoyed photography to some extent, the weekend was just as much about getting outside and making new friends.

This post is a quick recap with some of my favorite photos from the event.

The Hike to Antelope Island’s Dooley Knob

The Instameet started with a 2.5 mile round trip hike to the top of Antelope Island’s Dooley Knob. With just under 1000 feet of elevation gain, this trail offered a lot of bang for the buck. A quick jaunt up to the summit afforded views of the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Front, Antelope Island’s tallest point of Frary Peak, and the rolling grassy landscapes below.  The hike gave us a chance to get to know each other while working up a bit of a sweat, and a few people also got to test out Ozonic 50  and Hueco 35 Packs provided by Mountain Hardwear.

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley KnobPhoto: Rob Witt

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley Knob

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley KnobPhoto: Rob Witt

Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 packs Photo: Rob Witt

Antelope Island - Hike to Dooley Knob

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley KnobPhoto: Jordan Smith

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley Knob

Antelope Island - hike to Dooley Knob with Mountain Hardwear's Ozonic 50 pack

Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 packs

Antelope Island - the hike to Dooley Knob

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

The view from the Frary Peak Trail on Antelope IslandPhoto: Jordan Smith

Testing out Mountain Hardwear backpacks on the Frary Peak Trail on Antelope IslandPhoto: Jordan Smith

Antelope Island - Dooley Knob Hiking TrailPhoto: Rob Witt

Antelope Island - the hike to Dooley Knob

Antelope Island - the hike to Dooley knobPhoto: Rob Witt

Setting up Camp

After our hike to Dooley Knob, we returned to our campsite to set up  camp, refuel, and meet the folks who couldn’t make it for the hike. We reserved the huge Lakeside Group Campsite off the White Rock Loop which ended up being perfect. The site was super spacious with room for dozens of tents, and it was also far away from any other sites so we could be as loud as we wanted. It was also equipped with a giant fire pit to keep us warm in those icy temps.

**My only regret is not getting a big group shot of everyone at camp. We got a couple of photos from Dooley Knob, but over half the group showed up post-hike.**

Lakeside Group Camping Area on Antelope Island

The Lakeside Group Campsite on Antelope Island

Snacking on some Probars at the Bearfoot Theory Antelope Island Instagram Meetup

Sunset on the Great Salt Lake

For sunset, we decided to head out to the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Under normal conditions, the campsite sits right on the water, but with low water levels, it took about 25 minutes to stroll out there. Everyone agreed that the effort was totally worth it, as we were treated to one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in a loooong time.

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

Antelope Island sunset

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup
Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

 

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Antelope Island Sunset during the Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup

Fireside Fun

After the sunset, we were all starving, so Rob, Jordan, and I fired up the grill, and we all feasted on a tasty spread made possible by ProBar and Cotopaxi.

Once everyone had full bellies, it was time for the giveaways. We had so much awesome gear that almost everyone went home with something. Some of the prizes we raffled off included:

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope IslandPhoto: Rob Witt

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island - Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 pack giveawayPhoto: Rob Witt

We also had a Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2-man tent to give away. Since this was such a baller prize, we wanted to make things a little more interesting. We drew two names, and those people competed to set up the tent. The person who ended up setting it up the fastest got to take it home.  The winner was @chaston_2, and I can’t wait to see the cool tent pics he gets on his upcoming adventures.

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island - Mountain Hardwear Skyledge Tent GiveawayPhoto: Rob Witt

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island - Mountain Hardwear Skyledge Tent GiveawayPhoto: Rob Witt

After the raffle, Rob Witt led a night time photography workshop where he taught us about time lapses and how to capture the Milky Way. Here is my best shot from the evening.

Mountain Hardwear Skyledge Tent under the Milky Way on Antelope Island

And here are a few of my favorites that other people took from the night time workshop.

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

We finished the night chatting around the fire, toasting up some smores, and listening to tunes.

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island
Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Antelope Island Sunrise

As cold as it was, we all crawled out of our tents around 6:15 to catch the sunrise. We hopped into a bunch of cars and took off in search of the best views. We ended up splitting up and heading to different spots on the east side of the island. My car lucked out and ended up encountering a few buffalo right before the sun came up.

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup - Sunrise on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

Instagram Photo Contest

The week following the event, everyone uploaded their photos to Instagram using the hashtag #bearfootinstameet. It’s been so cool to see how people captured the same scenery in completely different ways.

In order to up the ante on the photos, we ran a little photo contest with prizes from Goal Zero and Mountain Hardwear.

Second place went to @jimquist who took home a Goal Zero Venture 30 solar panel kit for this photo:

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup on Antelope Island

The first place prize – a Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 pack – went to @cueballzzphotography for this sunset capture.

Bearfoot Theory - Outdoor Adventure Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

Final words

The Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island was a testament to the benefits that social media has had on my life. While Instagram has been a source of inspiration & caused me to be more passionate about photography, a year ago I would have never guessed that I’d be making REAL LIFE friends through Instagram. Thanks to everyone who came & made the weekend a big success and taught me that by branching out, this app can be so much more than a source of pretty pictures.

I also want to thank the sponsors shown below who made the Instagram Meetup possible. They fed us, paid for the campsite, and supplied us with all of those sweet prizes. You guys rock!

Bearfoot Theory - Outdoor Adventure Instagram Meetup sponsors

Based on how much fun we all had, I think this is going to be the first of many meetups that I hope to be a part of. To stay in the loop, make sure to sign up for my monthly emails!

Bearfoot Theory Instagram Meetup at Antelope Island

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE EVENTS? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET ME, OR WRITE ME A POST ON FACEBOOK.

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