HOW IMPORTANT IS IT to find the perfect campsite when you’re camping? For kayaker Kalen Thorien, there’s no more crucial task when she’s on a paddling mission. “I have this bad habit of wandering around for a while” looking for just the right spot, she says, “to the point where I’ve added on three or four extra miles, two hours’ unnecessary walking to find a camp spot, because I’m really picky about my places. I’ll sleep anywhere if I have to, but if I have the time and the resources to really find that zone, I do. Because once you finally establish your home base, and it’s in a spot that you really love, it’s totally worth it.

“This is sort of the poor man’s…room with a view.”

Watch Kalen put this philosophy into practice on a kayaking mission to Lake Powell, where the red- and tan-striped sandstone canyon walls and crisp waters of the reservoir make for one stunning camp backdrop:

This video is proudly produced in partnership with REI.