I am looking into next years late summer vacation plans, and am insisting on the Rockies. Every trip I have ever made out there has been in April, so I miss all the wonderful scenery and fishing that accompanies the late summer season.

My question is how do those of you that camp out west (Yellowstone, Rocky Mtn, Glacier, etc.) get your camping gear to your destination? I understand that some percentage of you probably drive the entire distance, but I am not about to attempt that with a 5 and 2 yr old. Not to mention I have enough frequent flyer miles to cover the cost of our tickets. Do you check your gear with the airline or ship it via UPS or FedEx? I have recently started updating my camping gear to pull double duty for backpacking trips, so packed size is not vary large. Do you try to carry on as much as you can in a backpack, check your backpack, or just ignore the backpack and check a large duffel bag?

The item that I envision being the most cumbersome is the tent. I am quite familiar with most airlines policies for carry-on luggage since I have taken fishing trips before, but I have not investigated the cost difference between airline checked baggage vs. shipping.