ASN’s Around the Campfire series provides a glimpse into the outdoor lives of the action sports athletes through the common appreciation of simply getting outside and connecting with nature.

Whether their idea of camping is miles off the beaten the path, or minutes from the nearest Stabucks, the simple consciousness of breathing in some fresh air and spending some time away from the computer screen is the common bond that camping brings to everyone who partakes.

We chatted with professional BMXer Dakota Roche to get his take on what getting outdoors means to him. Hailing from Huntington Beach, California, Roche is one of the most respected and dynamic riders in the game. And living in Southern California, he’s surrounded by infinite opportunities to get after it outdoors.

What’s your earliest camping memory?

All my earliest camping memories take place up at Jalama Beach, California, which was the main spot my family camped back in the early ’90s. There’s always good swell up there in September, so my pops would want to go surf and camp there for a few days.

The first memory that comes to mind is being stoked to surf up there for the first time. I started to paddle out and I wasn’t able to handle how cold the water was, so I instantly paddled back in.

What’s your favorite camping spot on the planet?

My girl and I camped up in Big Sur a little while back and it was unbelievable The energy that place gives off is unreal.

What is one place you’ve never camped that you’d like to?

I’ve always wanted to camp near some hot springs, seems like that would be a killer time. I have to figure out how to make that happen soon.

What is one camping tip you’d give to a first time camper?

Enjoy the process and try to unplug as much as possible. They’re not called the “Great Outdoors” for nothing.

You can choose one tool on a survival expedition in the wilderness: machete or firestarter?

I’d say a machete. I’m no expert, but it’s easier to start a friction fire than cast a knife in the wilderness.

A large animal is lurking outside your tent in the middle of the night. What do you do?

I’ve never had it happen, but I would just try to chill and not aggravate the animal. Might be a different situation in the moment though.

What’s the sketchiest camping moment you’ve ever experienced?

I was camping in Joshua Tree a few years back and woke up to a damn scorpion in the tent. That was pretty gnarly. I’m stoked it didn’t get me!

All Photos: Courtesy of Vans

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