Derek Vitiello, Author at Know Nothing Nomads

Hi guys! I’m Derek – a lifelong camper, hiker, and climber, born in Dallas, Texas.

I spent my childhood years in an RV with my parents, running around, camping under the stars, and even playing with fire even though my mom told me not to. (Mom if you are reading this, sorry about that)

As long as I can remember I have been in and out of tents and campgrounds like a second home. All that time has led to real-life experience and knowledge that most people just don’t have.

Fast forward to high school. Ashley and I met and fell in love like it was natural. Not only with each other but with our mutual love for Mother Earth and the outdoors.

Our adventures together have taken us around the world and back again, and I’m not talking about Paris. Our adventures always focus on getting outside climbing and hiking all day, s’mores around a campfire, and a night under the stars.

We don’t just love the outdoors, we eat, sleep, and breathe it.

All that brings us here and now. Ashley and I started Know Nothing Nomads after seeing how much false information was out there about camping, hiking, and climbing. We decided that we couldn’t sit on the sidelines knowing that people were being misinformed and misdirected instead of being shown the proper way of doing things outdoors.

So, that’s what we do here. We share our knowledge, experience, passions, and adventures with readers like you. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.

Derek’s Writings

  • Tent Waterproof Rating Guide: Staying High and Dry

    Tent Waterproof Rating Guide: Staying High and Dry

    Water can be a camper’s best friend, but sometimes it’s our greatest adversary. Nothing dampens the spirit of an outdoor adventure quite like the unexpected seeping of moisture through your tent’s fabric during a heavy downpour. But, with today’s technological advancements, tents have been engineered to stand up to the rain, sleet, and snow. Enter…

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  • What To Do If A Bear Is Outside Your Tent

    What To Do If A Bear Is Outside Your Tent

    The serenity of nature, the distant calls of birds, the whisper of trees, and then, the unmistakable rustling of something large just beyond your tent’s thin walls. It’s a scenario many campers fear: a bear right outside your tent. While camping offers an immersive experience in the wilderness, it also means potentially crossing paths with…

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  • What Material Are Camping Chairs Made Of? Seat of Adventure

    What Material Are Camping Chairs Made Of? Seat of Adventure

    The simple camping chair: an emblem of relaxation amidst nature’s grandeur. Whether it’s perched beside a roaring campfire or nestled in a serene meadow, the humble camping chair offers solace to weary travelers and adventurers alike. But have you ever paused to consider what allows this foldable marvel to bear our weight, endure the elements,…

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  • Is It Safe To Sleep Outside Without A Tent?

    Is It Safe To Sleep Outside Without A Tent?

    The great outdoors beckons with its vast expanse, promising an unparalleled connection with nature. For some adventurers, this means forgoing the traditional shelter of a tent and opting instead to sleep directly under the canopy of stars. This raw, unfiltered experience allows for an intimacy with the wilderness that’s both enchanting and challenging. While the…

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  • Using a Bell Tent in the Snow: Thriving in Winter Wonderland

    Using a Bell Tent in the Snow: Thriving in Winter Wonderland

    Winter presents a serene landscape for the avid camper, with snowy terrains offering a fresh perspective to familiar sites. Over my years of exploring various landscapes and climates, I’ve learned that there’s something truly magical about the tranquil embrace of a snow-covered wilderness. As the world quiets under a blanket of white, your campsite transforms…

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  • How Long Do Sleeping Bags Last? Sleep Tight, Camp Right

    How Long Do Sleeping Bags Last? Sleep Tight, Camp Right

    A sleeping bag is more than just a camping accessory; it’s a trusted companion on countless adventures, from starry summer nights to the frosty embrace of winter mountains. It envelops us in warmth, offering comfort in the wilderness and safeguarding against the unpredictable nature of outdoor excursions. Crawling into my down sleeping bag is one…

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  • The 15 BEST Places To Go Camping Near Breckenridge

    The 15 BEST Places To Go Camping Near Breckenridge

    Having called Breckenridge home for several years, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing its breathtaking beauty across all seasons. While its snowy winters are renowned worldwide, it’s the vibrant summers and the golden hues of fall that truly showcase Breckenridge as a camper’s dream. During these seasons, the town transforms into a haven for outdoor…

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  • Static vs Dynamic Climbing

    Climbing is an exciting sport that offers climbers many techniques and styles. Static and dynamic are two of these. Static is controlled and uses strength, dynamic is speedy and explosive. Knowing the differences can help climbers improve and find out what suits them best. Static involves slow, careful movements. Each hold is approached cautiously, with…

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  • GriGri vs ATC: Which Belay Device Is Best for You?

    Climbing is a popular sport and Belay devices are essential for safety. GriGri or ATC? That’s the debate! Each device has its advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on what you’re looking for. GriGri, made by Petzl, is a well-known name in the climbing community. It’s an assisted braking device that helps the belayer. With…

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  • Does Rock Climbing Build Muscle

    Yes, rock climbing can definitely build muscle! It works your entire body. For your upper body, biceps, forearms and latissimus dorsi are activated and strengthened. Your lower body gets a workout too, with calf muscles pushing you off footholds and quads helping with balance and stability. Core abdominal muscles are essential to maintain control and…

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  • What to Record in a Climbing Journal: Beyond Chalk Marks

    What to Record in a Climbing Journal: Beyond Chalk Marks

    At a loss for what to record in a climbing journal? We’ve listed everything out in this complete guide to journaling all your climbs!

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  • What Are Climbing Holds Made Of

    Climbing holds are vital for climbing walls and bouldering routes. They come in many varieties and are crafted from different materials. The material used affects grip, durability, and realism. Polyurethane (PU) is a popular material for making holds. It offers a good grip and is durable, so it works for indoors and outdoors. PU holds…

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  • What Is a Gaston in Climbing? A Game-Changing Move

    What Is a Gaston in Climbing? A Game-Changing Move

    In the dynamic world of rock climbing, the language we use can sometimes sound as tricky as the routes themselves. Take the term “Gaston,” for instance. While it may conjure images of a robust Frenchman, in climbing jargon, it refers to a distinct hand grip. Named after the French climbing legend Gaston Rébuffat, a Gaston…

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  • Quick & Easy Rigging for Climbing Photography

    Quick & Easy Rigging for Climbing Photography

    Capturing the essence of climbing in a photograph is no small feat. It requires a deep understanding of both the sport and the art of photography, along with a keen sense of timing, composition, and lighting. But that’s not all—you also need a solid grasp on rigging techniques to ensure that you can get yourself,…

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  • Heel Hook Climbing Technique: The Key to Your Next Level!

    The heel hook technique is a key for success in rock climbing. It involves gripping with your heel onto a foothold or ledge. This gives you more control and leverage, allowing you to be closer to the wall. To do this, two things are important: For better performance, practice on boulder problems or routes that…

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  • Flagging Climbing Technique: Why and How to Do It

    Flagging Climbing Technique: Why and How to Do It

    Discover the essentials of the flagging climbing technique. Learn about outside, back, and inside flags to improve balance, efficiency, and safety.

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  • The Dawn Wall vs Free Solo

    The Dawn Wall vs Free Solo

    We’re going to break down all the differences between The Dawn Wall vs Free Solo and pick a favorite – read on to learn more about both films!

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  • Can You Bring Climbing Chalk on a Plane? YES, But…

    Can You Bring Climbing Chalk on a Plane? YES, But…

    Can you bring climbing chalk on a plane? YES, but there’s some things you should do to make it easier for TSA and for you!

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  • What Is a Dyno in Rock Climbing?

    Do you dare to try dyno climbing? It’s dynamic and thrilling, but also dangerous if not done correctly. The term “dyno” comes from the word dynamic, which means swift movement and power. It’s typically seen in bouldering, where climbers scale short walls with no ropes. To succeed, they must propel themselves to the next hold…

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  • How Should A Climbing Harness Fit?

    How Should A Climbing Harness Fit?

    How should a climbing harness fit? We’ll answer your question and explain it thoroughly, that way you can find a harness that fits perfectly!

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  • Large Slopers in Rock Climbing

    To master sloper climbing in rock climbing, understanding the techniques and significance behind it is crucial. In this introduction, we will dive into the explanation of sloper climbing and sloper climbing holds. Additionally, we will explore the importance of mastering sloper climbing, as it plays a vital role in enhancing your rock climbing skills. Get…

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  • Buying Used Climbing Shoes: Bargain Beta

    Buying Used Climbing Shoes: Bargain Beta

    Navigate the ins and outs of buying used climbing shoes with this guide. Learn how to find the perfect fit, where to shop, and how to maintain them.

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  • What Is Dabbing in Climbing?

    To navigate the world of climbing with confidence, it’s essential to understand the concept of dabbing. In this section, we’ll explore the definition of dabbing in climbing and its importance. Knowing what dabbing means and why it matters will help you make informed decisions on the rocks. So, let’s dive into the intricacies of dabbing…

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  • How to Wash a Climbing Rope: Do’s and Don’ts

    Cleaning your climbing rope is key to keep it in top condition. Here’s what to do step by step: Importance of Washing a Climbing Rope Washing a climbing rope is not to be overlooked. Cleaning it removes dirt, grime, and other contaminants and helps keep the rope performing well and lasting longer. Not cleaning your…

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  • Trad Climbing vs Sport Climbing: 5 Major Differences to Consider

    To understand the differences between trad climbing and sport climbing, it’s important to delve into each style briefly. Trad climbing involves placing gear to protect against falls, while sport climbing relies on pre-placed bolts for protection. By comprehending these dissimilarities, you can make informed decisions when choosing your climbing routes and ensure the right gear…

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  • Climbing Shoes Digging Into the Achilles Tendon: 3 Solutions

    Climbing shoes can dig into your delicate Achilles tendon, causing pain and discomfort. Too tight or ill-fitting shoes are the usual culprits. If left unresolved, blisters, bursitis, and even tendonitis can result. But there are ways to fix it! Choose shoes that fit properly and have cushioning around the Achilles area. Shoes that are too…

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  • What Is a Crimp in Rock Climbing?

    Rock climbing is an adrenaline-filled, difficult sport. It requires physical strength, mental focus, and skill. A key part is understanding different holds, such as the crimp. Let’s explore this thrilling sport’s crimps! Crimps are little, often slim holds on a rock or wall. They demand accurate hand positioning and finger strength to grasp. They can…

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  • What Goes in a First Aid Kit for Climbers

    Climbers need a first aid kit to help in emergencies out on expeditions. Tape, bandages, gauze, and meds like aspirin should be in the kit. Scissors and gloves are essential, and it’s important to take a first-aid course to know how to use them. Climbing accidents can lead to sprains and scrapes, so ankle wraps,…

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  • Benefits of Rock Climbing

    Climb away! Rock climbing is a thrilling sport that offers numerous benefits – both physical and mental. It’s a great way to increase strength and endurance, as it requires the use of muscles all over the body. Plus, it’s a great cardiovascular workout for those looking to lose weight. Mentally, it boosts critical thinking skills…

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  • How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last

    Climbing shoes’ longevity is an important question among climbers. It affects their safety and performance. The answer varies, but usually their lifespan is between 6 months to 2 years. This depends on the type of climb, intensity and frequency, plus how well they are maintained. Clean shoes after each session, keep them in a cool…

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  • Bouldering vs. Rock Climbing: What’s the Difference?

    Bouldering and rock climbing are two popular outdoor activities. They share similarities, but there are differences. Bouldering is often done on small formations or walls. It focuses on challenging ‘problems’, without need of ropes or harnesses. It’s all about strength, agility, and problem-solving. Rock climbing has various styles and techniques. It involves using ropes and…

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  • Level Up Your Climbing With The Pyramid

    Climbing is a sport that needs strength, technique, and mental focus. To take your climbing to the next level, Pyramid training might be the answer! This method increases the difficulty of your climbs like a pyramid. Start with a V3 or 5.10, complete it, then repeat for muscle memory and technique. Then move to one…

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