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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Camping => Topic started by: theBINKYhunter on April 14, 2016, 12:12:54 PM

Title: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 14, 2016, 12:12:54 PM
My wife and I want to start camping with our family. She's never gone and it's been over a decade since I last went with friends. We have no gear except a sleeping bag of mine that's not been unrolled in a long time, a couple backpacks, and some fishing gear (used once, we want to change that as well).

We're not looking to go glamping or to do this in an RV. We want to pitch a tent, get a fire going, and have a good time with our kids. So where do I start? I've been looking at craigslist for stuff on the cheap. Our first excursion will probably be an overnight trip and hopefully with some friends who go semi regularly.

Here's my thoughts/questions on what we need to start:

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. What am I missing or wrong about? What brands or types of deals should I look out for or stay away from? Again I'm not looking to spend a fortune. My wife and I want to make this something enjoyable for our family that we can look forward to for weekend trips or vacations and learn some wilderness skills along the way.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 14, 2016, 12:27:03 PM
I'd recommend going to a nearby state park.  There's usually facilities to take a shower and use a real toilet.  It is also fairly cheap per night and if you need to leave quickly due to really bad weather or just not being prepared, you are close to home.  They typically have a picnic table in each camp site as well as a fire ring.

For the tent, it really depends on how old the kids are and how they would deal with waking in the middle of the night in a tent and mom and dad aren't right there.  The box stores have those 2 room tents and they work fine, but you won't get all that much use out of them.

Seems you are good with food.  For water, we use the campground water for cleaning and that sort of thing.  We bring a couple of the 2.5 gallon spring water jugs with us for drinking and cooking.

Your plan on lighting is good, but each kid will want their own flashlight.  I like rechargeable lanterns for camping.

I would also recommend that you set up camp in your back yard just to make sure you know how to set up the tent.  It's also a good introduction to younger kids to waking up in a strange place that isn't a house.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: David in MN on April 14, 2016, 12:34:20 PM
A lot of this will depend on how rustic you want to go. As a kid I would live out of a canoe for a week with my parents. My wife will only do a couple nights at a site you pull your car up to. I have friends who seriously backpack. All offer different challenges.

I wouldn't invest too much if you haven't done it with the family before. Start slow. Pick a campsite with some amenities like water and bathrooms. Eat "finger food" like hot dogs, tacos, kabobs, etc. with no clean-up. A low cost lantern type light is great. Start with a cheap tent from Wallyworld.

Frankly, if you have a relaxing weekend getaway with some fun foods around a campfire with some nature walks it's a big success. "Camping" is such an umbrella term you need to learn what aspect of it appeals to you. I'd much rather start positive than gear up like Lewis & Clarke only to find the kids hate it.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Teeroy on April 14, 2016, 12:39:30 PM
Where do you plan on going camping? General area/state
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: RuggedCyclist on April 14, 2016, 01:04:33 PM
You need some kind of comfortable sleeping pads. Trust me on that. Even if you can take sleeping on the cold hard ground (which actually could be doubtful if you haven't gone camping in so long), your wife and kids will thank you.

My camping set up is my bug out bag, plus tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and the girl's blanket and pillows she likes to bring. I have a small cooler we'll take some junk food in, hot dogs and the like, along with yerba mate tea, and trail mix and granola and stuff. For breakfast we normally go to this little diner in the nearest town, but sometimes we don't get to leaving for a bit so I have food with me because I can't go without breakfast for longer than like an hour.

Where we go it's way out in the national forest with no designated camp sites, but sites people have set up with flat areas and fire rings people make and leave there for the next person. Firewood is locally available, lots of dead trees around. Water, I have a 6 gallons in a big jug with spigot and a few smaller bottles behind the seat of my truck, plus my every day water bottle.

As for the tents, how old are your kids? If they're old enough to sleep alone, and you want to be separate, get two tents, a little kid tent for them, and make it an adventure for them.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: d3nni5 on April 14, 2016, 02:07:09 PM
The trade off of most camping gear is cost vs weight vs quality.   Car camping gets the "weight" issue covered.   The only time I buy higher end gear is for HIKING type camping and need to shed weight.   Mostly I stick with the Ozark Trail or Colman stuff.  It is affordable and easily replaced.

Before you go be sure to set everything up in your back yard, make sure it is working and all there.   This gives you a chance to try everything out so you aren't figuring it out for the first time on site.   On a similar note, don't worry about how it looks when you break it all down to come home, because you should set it all back up again to get it aired out and cleaned before you roll it up right for storage.



TENT

Any of the Wal-mart 6-8 person tents will do you right for 2 adults and 2 kids.   A lot of new ones even have a divider.   I'd not separate from the kids the first few times if you think they will be scared, because they will just end up back in the "grown ups" tent anyway.   These family style tents are roomy and have a lot of mesh for air flow, but are only reliable in fair weather, even with the rain fly.   Costs new....$50-80 or so.


SLEEPING

Same as above, fair weather bags are good down to 40F or so, and can be had new for $20 each.  I prefer these to be bought new, just like I wouldn't by used linens for my bed at home :). 

WATER

Any national or state parks will list if they have services like water or electric availabe on kept/numbered camping spots.   If they do, great, you can get a couple of jugs to use to make koolaid or tea, your set.   Otherwise, you have to consider it a necessity.  Even if water is available from a spigot, you should have a case of water, just in case.

STOVE

Propane is by far the easiest way to go, just like using gas at home.   Fuel is cheap and readily available.   If you think you need two portable tanks, bring three.   Try to stick with food that is easy and quick to heat.  For instance, if you want mac and cheese, a kid favorite, get the single serving kind, rather than a big box you make.   Less mess to clean up, and you are only having to boil the water.  Hotdogs and burgers can typically be cooked over the fire.   


DISHES

Paper/plastic products all the way.   When done, dump them right into the fire, your dishes are done.   I always bring a bucket of some sort.  Use it for quick hand washes, etc etc.   Handy to have a bucket around.  Ziploc bags are handy too.


LIGHTS

Everyone gets a cheap $3 LED flashlight to call thier own.   A good two mantle propane lantern will be plenty bright for the campsite.   LED is the way to go here for anything battery operated.   Brighter, easier on batteries.   Remember you'll get some light from the fire too.



SEATING and COMFORT

The older I get, the more this means to me.   I like my zero gravity chair.   I used to sit on an unsplit log and be fine.   I also used to sleep on the ground, now I go air matress.   All depends on your tolerance.   Air Matresses can keep you warmer too, providing a barrier between you and the cold hard ground.   Most sites have a picinic table.  A folding card table is good to have.   Got a truck?  Tailgates work great too.


SHOWERING

Like water and electric.  A lot of state parks have showers.   You usually pay more for a site if they are available.   If you are going for just the weekend, shower when you get home.    I camp near streams and rivers almost exclusively.    I have been known to put on my swim trunks and grab a bar of soap and wade in :).....trunks are even optional!  lol
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 14, 2016, 02:14:29 PM
Thanks for the input and suggestions. After thinking more on the tent I think two tents will be preferable to one. If my wife and I ever decide to go by ourselves I'd much rather have only a small tent to set up for us. I believe the kids will do fine in their own tent and will most likely love it. They've 'camped' in my parent's living room before without issue. I realize that's not the same but it is different from their normal bedrooms. The weather is warming up and soon we'll be 'camping' on our trampoline in the back yard :)

We would be doing a federal or state park to start with. They have some basic facilities and I know that will be easier on all of us to start. I don't know if we'll ever be living out of backpacks on the trail for a week but I think it would be awesome to do something akin to what Rugged mentioned: out in the (semi) sticks just by ourselves.

Frankly, if you have a relaxing weekend getaway with some fun foods around a campfire with some nature walks it's a big success. "Camping" is such an umbrella term you need to learn what aspect of it appeals to you. I'd much rather start positive than gear up like Lewis & Clarke only to find the kids hate it.

I completely agree and the weekend is my/our goal to start. My wife and I went hiking with the dog this week and really enjoyed it. It's something we want to start doing consitently and adding a night or two out close to the trails would be a lot of fun I think.

On a similar note, don't worry about how it looks when you break it all down to come home, because you should set it all back up again to get it aired out and cleaned before you roll it up right for storage.

I never would have thought of that, great tip!
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: machinisttx on April 14, 2016, 04:56:52 PM
I like tents, but I dislike tents too. Here, they are miserable to be inside during the day in the summer. Not too bad at night, as long as there is wind and airflow through the tent. All tents are not created equal..... Walmart stuff is serviceable, but it's not well suited to really heavy use. If you have a truck, there are truck bed tents. No idea what they cost though.

Air mattress or pad(air or foam) most definitely if you're sleeping in a tent. The air mattress is really nice if you're going to drive up to the campsite and unload your stuff. If not....they're pretty bulky and you have to carry some way to inflate it too. The other option would be a "self inflating" sleeping pad, though they are kind of pricey. They pack small, so that's a bonus if you're carrying it.

Your old sleeping bag may or may not be serviceable. Bags should not be stored compressed. I would pull the bag out and see if it lofts back up. If it doesn't, trash it or keep it to modify into something useful. Half of the weight of a sleeping bag is completely useless to you. The half that's under you when sleeping provides little or no insulating value...it is compressed by your weight and there isn't any air trapped in the insulation material. Backpacking quilts are way better if you're carrying your gear around.

You might try using hammocks, though they bring their own set of potential problems. An entire hammock sleep system can weigh less than just a typical sleeping bag...depends on the materials and setup though. One of the problems with hammocks is that even in warmer weather, you may need at least an underquilt to stay warm at night. The upside of this is that in our Texas summer heat, you can hang out in the hammock during the day without sweating your brains out. Check out hammockforums.com if you're interested...very inexpensive to make your own hammock and under/over quilts, and ultralight tarps. I'm about to make my son a Hennessy Hammock clone for a campout he has coming up.  ;D

Water? I have an MSR Miniworks filter and a sawyer filter(walmart and academy have them). The latter is extremely cheap and can be used several different ways. With four people, you will probably be more happy with the sawyer set up as a gravity filter. If I'm going to car camp, I'd just take bottled water.

https://www.treadlightly.org/ (https://www.treadlightly.org/)
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: bradleypaul75 on April 14, 2016, 07:46:28 PM
our local parks have lean-to for use (no cost to county residents). they also have a water pump and outhouse. Pretty much you can car camp and me pretty set. This and your back yar are great places to learn from. Something worth every dime is a good quality sleeping at like a Therma-Rest. I bough one for the wife that is about 1" thick.

Dont worry about all the sweet gear yet. Borrow and rent (REI rents out stuff). You have sleeping bag, work with in its rating (IE 20 degree, -10 degree.....) If walking have well broken in boots and quality socks (I am a Smartwool user). In fact, Lieutenant Dan said two great things, "take care of your feet... Wool socks, OD Green. And don't do anything stupid like getting your self killed"

Little sayings:
"Cotton is rotten"
"Wet is cold, cold is dead"
"take care of your feet"
"the most important step is the one you are taking"


Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: AvenueQ on April 14, 2016, 07:52:53 PM
We just got a mattress and new tent this year because I have had trouble sleeping on the self-inflating pads (even the thick ones are too thin for me, I wake up with hip and back pain). In fact we just inflated the mattress tonight to check everything and make sure it will work.

One thing you forgot from your list which may not seem obvious is FUN STUFF TO DO! (you may have thought of this already and just didn't add it up top, but I have this problem when we go camping and so I thought I'd mention it). Especially if you have kids, you're probably already used to having a variety of things for them to do when you go places and have backup activities. Don't shirk on it here just because there's more [strike]stuff[/strike] chores to do when camping (and we know how kids feel about [strike]stuff[/strike] chores ;) ).

As for water, we save 2 liter bottles and carry them in with milk crates, which you can often find at the thrift store. They're easy to store, fit easily in the crates, and they're friggin indestructible (plus cheap). We have a couple of the 3 gallon Resilience jugs with handles, and I personally wouldn't go any bigger than that just for weight reasons (your wife will likely agree with me on that one).

This time of year you may not need to worry as much, but always check your local fire restrictions before going. Around here sometimes you are allowed to have a fire but only in a designated fire pit with metal walls, and sometimes you are not allowed to have a fire at all and have to bring a propane stove in. This will have a big impact on what types of food you chose to bring.

The future husband and I usually bring plastic dishes and wash them, though we don't have kids and usually make one-pot dinners and then just use the pot as a washing basin (dumping the water over the fire when done).

Good luck, I hope you guys get some gear and have a good time!

Edited to add: warm layers, especially socks! Even fifty degrees gets chilly when you have to stay out there for 8 hours straight. Better to have too much clothing than not enough.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Da Li on April 14, 2016, 08:59:27 PM
Wrote the whole post and then came back to add this one... TOILET PAPER!!
ALWAYS have a backup roll! Remember, outhouses, bathrooms, etc. at state and fed parks are stocked by gov't employees or contractors...some do a great job, some do a gov't job. Don't be the guy that comes home with only half a T-shirt.

I like a pair of cheap(-ish) welding gloves for making adjustments to the fire, handling pots/pans, adjusting cooking grates etc. You still hit a point where things are too hot to handle, but it definitely increase my baseline tolerance. Plus, if it gets TOO hot, you can shake them off easy just like when you're welding.

My wife and I have started using a small futon mattress instead of the foam pads and extra sleeping bags, blankets etc. that we used to use for padding.

Our tent is a shorter domed tent that we can't stand up straight in for changing clothes. We bought (after thoroughly reading reviews) a stand-up changing tent for when we are sleeping/camping out of the back of our Forester. The model we bought was relatively cheap ($25) on Am azon. Search "TMS portable green outdoor pop-up camping changing room." All the negative reviews complained about difficulty packing it up but if you find the youtu be video showing how to do it it is extremely easy. Won't stand up straight in stronger (20mph+) winds so take it down when not in use.

My thoughts on LANTERNS... go to bed when it gets dark. Don't get me wrong, I'm a "night owl" and I love sitting by the fire til 2 a.m., but that's because I enjoy watching the ~fire~ rather than being able to see 100 ft in every direction like some campers do. That being said, if it's late, you're tired and hungry and can't see well enough to even make PBJ sandwiches for supper you'll be wishing for a good broad area light source.
We do have a small solar/dc/110 volt rechargeable led lantern that I like to leave on on our picnic table when we make the last bathroom trip before bed so we have a beacon to guide us back to the right campsite.

FOOD...my wife is mostly vegetarian which means I am too. This makes camping SO much easier when it comes to keeping things cold. A trick my wife came up with on a long road trip is to buy a drink from the coolers at a gas station/grocery store/etc. and put it in our lunchbox sized cooler bag instead of an ice pack. (Function stacking!)
We like having a package of soft-shell tortillas on hand. One of life guiding principles is -when in doubt put it in a tortilla and call it a burrito. Saves on cleanup too.

COFFEE drinkers? We use french press mugs. Put in grounds, add boiling water, coffee's ready. (Legal Disclaimer-- Don't be an idiot and burn yourself like the McDonald's lady.)

STOVE
I'll agree with others regarding the portable propane stoves as being worth the effort. Just plan ahead and buy propane cylinders at home NOT at the camp store, nearby gas station, etc. Camping gear carries HUGE markups the closer you get to the campground. I used to be a purist and insist we cook all our meals over the fire. Then I got tired of being hungry and spending an hour and a half trying to make ramen. Sidenote - campground wood for sale is usually expensive and green (ie doesn't burn well enough to be worth the money).

MOSQUITOES (and other crawly critters)
If there's one there's a million. Keep that tent zipped up tight. You don't necessarily need to fumigate the whole campground, but be good about keeping them out of your "house".

TOOLS
Hatchet for splitting wood, driving tent stakes in hard ground, cutting branches into shorter lengths. Folding saw. Pliers/multi-tool. Good knife for everyone responsible enough to handle one.

FIRST AID
Skip the pre-made kits in the camping aisle and go to the pharmacy dept. of the big box store and get more value. Pre-assembled kits are usually mostly band-aids. Buy some bigger gauze pads and ace bandages.

GARBAGE and HOUSEKEEPING/SAFETY
Take some large and small (wal-mart bag sized) garbage bags and keep the site tidy. Look for things you'll trip on when its dark, your eyes are burning from a smoky fire and you're trying to move some logs around. Face planting into the fire sucks. Your kid face planting into the fire bc you left random logs strewn about is gonna be an even worse feeling.

Also, make friends with your garbage man at home. Seriously. I drove a garbage truck for 4 years. People throw out brand new tents bc they can't get them back in the box, fishing gear, hatchets and other tools, candles, butterfly nets for the kids, flashlights that need new batteries, all kinds of string and cordage, weather and two-way radios, lawnchairs, etc. etc. etc. etc. Throw him a ten for such great service and then next week ask if he ever sees any ~blank~ thrown away. I've been meaning to start a topic about prepping with "garbage" but haven't gotten to it. Tipping at Christmas is fine and appreciated, but a tip in Apr-Sept is ~noticed~. Just make sure it's your regular guy and not a substitute driver.

That's enough out of me for the moment.
ENJOY and keep us posted!!

--Da
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Ms. Albatross on April 14, 2016, 09:28:05 PM
Don't be the guy that comes home with only half a T-shirt.

--Da

 :spit:
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 14, 2016, 11:08:10 PM
We have TP covered and there's always at least two spare rolls in both vehicles. We learned quickly on our trip to Thailand that you are wise to bring TP with you everywhere you go.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Cedar on April 15, 2016, 02:19:26 AM
  • Tent: Two room or two tents? I'd like to be separate from our kids. Not sure which way is better go for this.

How old are the kids? Under 12, keep them with you. Where are you going? Local campground or pretty remote? DO NOT believe that a 2 man tent is a 2-man tent, it is like a medium sized woman and a small sized child tent. I prefer a 3 man tent for me and my 6 year old daughter.

Sleeping: Sleeping bags for all or air mattresses/foam pads and blankets?[/li][/list]

Wanna be cold? Get an air mattress. I use my old -0C sleeping bags as a ground pad, unless I am sleeping on snow, and then I put a bale of straw under my tent. Where are you camping? Where I usually camp is 35F at night recently and 75F during the day. I take -0F rated sleeping bag, put a flannel sheet in it, or a sarong in it if it gets too hot.

Food: We've got a couple ice chests and a small portable grill to cook on. We rarely eat meat so most of our stuff can be stored in a cooler. What do you do for multi day trips where the ice won't last?

Freeze water in 2 liter and half gallon jugs and when it is melted you have drinking water. If I am going where there is a creek, I take a large milk crate and a rope and drop the perishables in it, and then into the moving creek. In hot country and long time, I use dehydrated.

Water: Is there a trick I'm missing or do we just take a crap load of bottled water? I've got a Berkey that we could use to filter local water if there was a source nearby.

Are you going where there is no potable water? I usually take 18 gallons, plus another 5 gallons and whatever is the 'ice packs' in the cooler/s for 2-3 days. I figure it is better to have more than less, and I usually go where there are no potable water available.

Lights: I've got several flashlights and we can pick up a lantern or two.[/li][/list]

In the last few years I am really liking those battery operated candles.. works great in the tent too.

Cleaning: Dishes, us, etc. What is the best way to effectively clean things while out? If it's an overnight trip I'm not concerned about showering but dishes and other things... paper plates?

I take a dishpan and dishsoap in a squeeze bottle. I use cast iron pans, normal plates, normal coffee mugs (unless I am hiking/packing). I clean them just like I normally clean them. I also wash my hair in the dishpan unless there is a creek nearby, and I use organic earth friendly shampoo.. and I have washed my hair in glacial water in about 30 seconds flat when I had not washed my hair in a week. Desperate measures for desperate times. If you try this, do it in the mid-morning, so you are dry (I have long hair) by evening.

Seating: We've got some camping chairs. I can get a few more and I would imagine a folding table of some sort would make eating or playing games more enjoyable.

I have 2 wooden 'trunks'. One is the dry box for foods, the other is the drybox for cooking gear. Ice chests also work as seating. I consider all three of them fair game to sit on, cook on, play games on, but not all at the same time. If you are not going to a local campground where there are picnic tables, then you might decide to take a folding table. I usually like to set up camp in less than 10 minutes if I am only going to be out there for a day or two. Unless setting up camp is *your thing*.. which to some people it is..



Cedar[/list][/list](I cannot make the /list /list go away)  :(
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: bigbear on April 15, 2016, 01:44:34 PM
Starting with state/national parks is the way to go.  Like others have mentioned, the car, bathroom, and access to water are good for beginning the journey.  With kids, it’s about building great experiences primarily.  If you have a ball, then you’ll have more justification for spending more money on camping supplies.

Tent – either way.  We have a large two room for the family.  But I also have a small 3-man tent.
•   But a plastic ground cloth is key if your tent doesn’t have one.  You don’t want water seeping up from the ground.
Sleeping – Go ahead and get sleeping bags.  Two options for the kids – cheap replaceable with a few blankets or good quality adult bag.  Actually, I always use a blanket when I camp (either throw it inside the bag with you to add insulation/take up air space or if it’s too warm just use that instead of the bag). 
•   Regular air mattresses are comfortable, but if it’s colder then it’ll take your body heat at night.  So in colder weather you may want a foam pad or a higher quality backpacking air mattress.
•   Do the foam pad for the kids either way.  They are lighter, so they won’t feeling the bumps as much (at least that’s what I tell myself).
Water – For this level of camping, just packing it is fine.  Or better yet, most state/federal sites have clean water.  Do your homework on this first.
Dishes – depends…  You may want to just do paper plates and plastic forks/spoons to start.  But there are all sorts of durable strong plastic dining sets on the market.  (Or use a Frisbee and it’s multi-purposed!)
Cooking – If your portable grill is a one-burner, then you’ll most likely be doing one-pot meals.  Or supplementing the cooking over a fire.  Some things that I’d suggest to pack:
•   Aluminum foil – wrap whatever you want to cook in it with some (butter, seasoning, etc) and throw it on the coals.
•   Metal grate – cook directly on it or in an iron pot or skillet
•   Iron pot, skillet, Dutch oven, kettle – to cook with (choose based on what you’ll eat)
•   Oven mitt – because fires get hot
•   Tongs, burger flipper, and skewers – to cook with (hotdogs over a fire, baked beans on the stove, and fresh veggies with a s’mores chaser is camping meal kids of all ages love!)
•   Campsuds – biodegradable washing detergent (you could use it to bathe with too).

Either prepare the meals ahead of time (i.e. chopping, spices, etc) or bring the chopping board and stuff with you.  State sites sometimes will have picnic tables.  If not, then a small folding table is better than using a stump or log (or trunk/hood/tailgate) as your prep station.

Seating – Bring the chairs.  Do you have to?  No, but you’ll enjoy it better.  And isn’t that one of the main goals at this point?

Other things – fire starters, matches in a Ziploc bag, trash bags, extra socks, rain gear (maybe even a canopy/tarp), extra batteries, whistle, map/compass?, multi-tool (duh).
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Carl on April 15, 2016, 02:09:39 PM
I also suggest a small fan/LED light combo for in your tent ,a bit of air moving will make for comfort and skeeters don't find you so well.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: bradleypaul75 on April 15, 2016, 03:55:21 PM
Last year I wen camping well rested and did not work too much. Therefore I slept very lightly and every bump in the night kept me up, I recommend bringing foamy ear plugs just in case you need them. They are good for those who you may tent with that snore.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 15, 2016, 08:08:11 PM
Last year I wen camping well rested and did not work too much. Therefore I slept very lightly and every bump in the night kept me up, I recommend bringing foamy ear plugs just in case you need them. They are good for those who you may tent with that snore.

so my wife needs them because I snore... and I need them because the dog snores louder than me... :D
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: RitaRose1945 on April 16, 2016, 08:39:49 PM
Last year I wen camping well rested and did not work too much. Therefore I slept very lightly and every bump in the night kept me up, I recommend bringing foamy ear plugs just in case you need them. They are good for those who you may tent with that snore.


Honestly, if you're used to city noise, "out in the middle of nowhere" silence can be really difficult for some people to sleep in.  It's too quiet.


It's like how you don't truly understand real "hand in front of your face" darkness at night until you're really far away from the city.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: r_w on April 17, 2016, 10:16:44 AM
Some parks charge per tent , some have an X by Y rectangle tent site that everything including guy lines must fit inside.  Either can make two tents challenging. But sometimes the good spots are too small for a giant multi room tent.

I have done both and the right answer depends on location, weather, and your kids.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: d3nni5 on April 17, 2016, 02:50:40 PM
It is great that you want to get out there.   After a trip or two you'll have tips for us😄.  I used to camp up on the Mogollon Rim when I was in AZ.  It's a cool place.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Carl on April 17, 2016, 06:01:22 PM
It is great that you want to get out there.   After a trip or two you'll have tips for us😄.  I used to camp up on the Mogollon Rim when I was in AZ.  It's a cool place.

Karma for your camping,and your dog...plus 1
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Thrive on April 18, 2016, 10:08:53 AM
Quote
My wife and I want to start camping with our family. She's never gone and ...

We're not looking to go glamping or to do this in an RV. We want to pitch a tent, get a fire going, and have a good time with our kids. ...

My wife and I want to make this something enjoyable for our family that we can look forward to for weekend trips or vacations and learn some wilderness skills along the way.

Most important: know thy wife!

I grew up backpacking with boy scouts. At twelve I did a 60 mile 5.5 day hike through NW backcountry you couldn't get to any other way. We didn't need camp chairs 'cause logs and rocks were fine. We didn't need entertainment because we had knives, fire, lakes, and distance from parents.

Many years later I camped with my wife for the first time. She grew up doing fairly impressive hikes and a bit of camping, so I didn't think to make adjustments. Serious mistake. Our excited young child squirmed all night when we wanted to sleep. My wife got sick, not yet knowing she was pregnant with our second. The capstone was her reaction to the not-so-pleasant scent of park service latrines when she was already nauseous.

The most important preparation you can make is to know your wife, and consider how to help her have an amazing experience. If that means a thicker foam pad under her sleeping bag, then get it. If it means that you work a little harder to give her a break, then do it. Definitely check forecasts and ensure her first experience is in decent weather.

Consider your children's ages and ability to help vs. hassle. If you're trying to simultaneously give your wife a break, pitch a tent, and keep small kids out of the fire... good luck giving your wife a good first experience!

Think ahead about what you need to do on arriving at the campsite. Know who's doing what. Have a plan. Include room for error in the plan by not arriving right before dark, and not driving so far that kids go nuts in the car.

If you like camping and you want your family to like camping, then go out of your way to help them have a fantastic first time.

Most of all, enjoy! The little things are the big things... so make them good things.

Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: RitaRose1945 on April 18, 2016, 06:54:57 PM
The most important preparation you can make is to know your wife, and consider how to help her have an amazing experience. If that means a thicker foam pad under her sleeping bag, then get it. If it means that you work a little harder to give her a break, then do it. Definitely check forecasts and ensure her first experience is in decent weather.


MUCH cheaper in the long run than bear spray or attorneys.   ;)


But you're absolutely right.  And I would also say that you should have a good discussion of how each camper sees the trip.  The ideas of what constitutes "camping" can be anything from a 33' motor home with full hookups to camping open air, no tent, eating freeze-dried food and using a Lifestraw for water.


ETA: Oh!  And welcome to the forums!  Great first post!
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: MrThirteen on April 18, 2016, 10:11:35 PM
I have nothing to add to this thread at this time, but I wanted to thank all the participants thus far... We have been car camping for a little while now and have experienced quite a few things.  The above posts have peaked my interest into some new camping experiments.   Never thought about our bags being rolled up all winter long. Also never thought about purposely setting up the tents etc at home to air out/clean pack right as a rule anyway. (It usually happens because the tents are dirty and we are tired of camping and want to go home. Thus, the "awe screw it" thought comes followed by "we will just clean it at home later".)

Thanks again,

13
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: 11steve11 on April 19, 2016, 09:48:18 AM
Re-read Cedar's post...Ditto!
All posts are excellent information and you should be able to pick and choose what you need.

Similar to Thrive, I grew up camping with family and Boy Scouts and today lead a scout troop.  My son and I are minimalist campers even at summer camp, when others are in cabins, we're sleeping out in our camping hammocks...awesome.
My wife, by contrast, thinks 'roughing it' is a hotel without room service or indoor pool.  She is a tough lady and has camped with us but son and I were prepared to handle any of her 'not having fun issues' and she does great.

Two additional bits of advice:
>Practice - practice - practice in your back yard. Each of your team needs to do this individually.  All of you need to learn to do the other's jobs too in case of an emergency. One night when I was 12 or 13 years old, my dad got sick while camping; I had to break camp and pack everything in the truck.  Then about 5 miles from camp, my dad turned to me and asked if I could see the road, I could, "Good, then you're driving." I had been driving on a farm for several years by then but this was the 1st time ever on a state highway; he fell asleep and I drove about 100 miles home.  Contingency and emergencies should be part of the practice.
>During your camping career you and she (and kids) will have 'moments' where you won't be friends; work hard and get through it even if that means packing up and going home (or a hotel).  Years later, all of the other camping trips will meld together in your memory; but those will be the ones you'll laugh about together and will be a special bond to share with future generations. 

Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: RitaRose1945 on April 19, 2016, 06:53:07 PM
Oh, one more I just remembered - keep a small journal.  And use paper for it, not your phone or your computer.


It's great for writing down what the best and worst camping sites are for the next trip, as well as details like things you might need to bring and how long it really took you to get there, or whether that shortcut actually worked.


It's also great for looking back and reliving some pretty cool memories.  My parents had one when we started camping beginning in about 1968, and it's likely the only thing we kids will fight over when my mom passes.

Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Da Li on April 20, 2016, 01:03:10 PM
Another thought has come to mind....

When possible, avoid the ReserveAmerica camping reservation website. It was hard to do when we were passing through coastal California in prime July camping season. Some campgrounds fill up months in advance, particularly on weekends, so in those cases you'll pretty much have to use the website.
But otherwise, my thinking is:
Why pay an extra $8 per reservation?
You might need multiple reservations for multiple campsites in order to stay within one campground for several days...one night at site 32, two nights at site 15, one night at site 78 makes four nights in one campground. In this type of scenario it's often easier to just talk to the host or admin. people on site.
 ...and...
 Why lock myself in to a particular campsite that may be a terrible site for a tent?
You could get to your reserved site and find out it's at the bottom of a hill, next to a swampy spot with extra mosquitoes, backs up to the main parking lot for the boat trailers, or is next to the dumpster, etc.etc.
Also!
It doesn't guarantee your site will be empty and ready when you get there. We accidentally camped in someone's "reserved" site one night because the campground (government) workers didn't have an adequate system for marking reserved sites. According to the park ranger that chewed us out the next morning(at 10 am as we were leaving), there was a sticky note in the window of the unmanned (at 7 pm, so not extremely late) gate house listing all the reserved sites. Nothing at all at the actual sites to indicate whether it was reserved. So due to inadequate procedures and signage, the other campers had to scramble to find a site, despite having made a "reservation".
As stated in Seinfeld season one or two... Anyone can just TAKE a reservation!

Ok back to my english paper!

--Da

Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Black November on April 26, 2016, 02:20:37 PM
Instead compiling a list of stuff, I will just give you some advice:

1.) You won't use half of the stuff you bring. So don't go crazy buying stuff.
2.) If you want to make things easy, make you meals at home ahead of time, and just heat them up like left-overs.
3.) Don't become discouraged/overwhelmed when you first start out camping. Camping takes practice, and is much more enjoyable once you become better at it.
4.) The point of camping is not to watch TV or play video games in woods, but to enjoy the experience of the woods with friends and family.
5.) If you forget something, you will survive. It is not the end of the world.
6.) After returning home from a camping trip, take a moment to appreciate all the modern conveniences that you normally take for granted.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 26, 2016, 04:11:01 PM
Outstanding post Black November

5.) If you forget something, you will survive. It is not the end of the world.
I'll add to this.  If you forget something that is critical, there will likely be a Walmart, Target, etc within driving distance most of the time.  If you are in a state park or established campground, talk to the other campers.  You will likely be able to borrow whatever you forgot.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 26, 2016, 04:17:34 PM
Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all of the info!
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: machinisttx on April 26, 2016, 08:33:00 PM
Outstanding post Black November
I'll add to this.  If you forget something that is critical, there will likely be a Walmart, Target, etc within driving distance most of the time.  If you are in a state park or established campground, talk to the other campers.  You will likely be able to borrow whatever you forgot.

Unless you forget the TP and it's an emergency evacuation procedure..... In that case, I recommend cutting off the tops of your socks and/or the bottom of your shirt.  ;D
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Cedar on April 27, 2016, 08:02:40 AM
A friend and I went a couple weekends ago, as I could not turn down an $18 & gas money three day vacation. She had never been camping before, and half my stuff is AWOL or stolen. So I basically tossed together two totes, and a cooler. A tent and my two sleeping bags (in hindsight it was good I took two). Clothes.

1.) You won't use half of the stuff you bring. So don't go crazy buying stuff.

I packed the minimum.. and in about 10 minutes time. I forgot my hatchet, but I had a hammer, so I used the claw end to smuck up kindling for our fire. I bet you probably have most of the things around your place, or can find at garage sales.

2.) If you want to make things easy, make you meals at home ahead of time, and just heat them up like left-overs.

I sent the ingredients to my friend's house, where she cooked up the meats, and then froze them. First night we had tacos with fresh tortilla made on the campfire coals. The frozen meats helped keep the rest of the cooler cold too. Second night we had ham slices. Breakfasts we had good homemade-type sausages and eggs, and pancakes (which did come out a bit doughy -- but we had dogs with us who did not care). I will likely make French Toast next time we go.

3.) Don't become discouraged/overwhelmed when you first start out camping. Camping takes practice, and is much more enjoyable once you become better at it.

I am glad my first-time camping friend didn't get discouraged even though she froze in her lightweight sleeping bag (hence why I was glad I had my other cold weather one for her the second night).. as it did get well below freezing in camp that first night, even if it was 80F later in that day. She learned to make her first fire, put up a tent, how to cook in camp etc.. I was proud of her and she is game to go again. YAY I have someone to go camping with me now!

4.) The point of camping is not to watch TV or play video games in woods, but to enjoy the experience of the woods with friends and family.

My friend took a book to read while she was there, and we were so busy talking, hiking, playing Yahtzee ect, she never did crack open her book the whole weekend.

5.) If you forget something, you will survive. It is not the end of the world.

I forgot a few things.. I was going to write them down, have totally forgotten what we forgot to take with us, and we will probably forget to take the next time too.  ::)

6.) After returning home from a camping trip, take a moment to appreciate all the modern conveniences that you normally take for granted.

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh... we were so ready to go back already five minutes after we got back to our respective places LOL...

Cedar
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Black November on April 27, 2016, 08:48:35 AM
Unless you forget the TP and it's an emergency evacuation procedure..... In that case, I recommend cutting off the tops of your socks and/or the bottom of your shirt.  ;D

We call that a "Sockrifice"  ;)
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: d3nni5 on April 29, 2016, 10:56:26 AM
Unless you forget the TP and it's an emergency evacuation procedure..... In that case, I recommend cutting off the tops of your socks and/or the bottom of your shirt.  ;D

Been there....I've gone home with one less sock before.   
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Badhog on May 03, 2016, 11:23:10 PM
Quote
   
6.) After returning home from a camping trip, take a moment to appreciate all the modern conveniences that you normally take for granted.   

Like not living with spiders, mosquitoes, horse flies....
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: stopthat on June 29, 2016, 03:58:33 PM
Hey All,

I am a little late to this post, so hopefully you've already experienced a camping trip by now! But I wanted to give my two cents for first time campers. This is not for experienced guys. I survive on a lot less many times, but you choose your battles. If you are camping with a newbie, especially if the newbie is your spouse, make the camping experience easy. That is more important on the first trip than making it a "real" camping experience.

I think the key to getting into anything is to have fun and do not overwhelm yourself. Just like gardening, hunting, or any other skill, it takes some time to feel comfortable at it. Really focus on making this easy for your family, even if it feels less "camping-ish".  You should make sure your wife and kids have generally "positive" experiences on this first outing. The last thing you want is a horrible first day or two, if that happens, you can likely say goodbye to camping with the family forever.

Location
Make it simple, and not too far out. Try going to a local state park with good facilities. Check the reviews on a private camp ground and see what they offer. Make sure they have clean bathrooms with flush toilets. Not much scares new campers away from the activity faster than a stinky bathroom every morning.

Tent
If you know someone with a tent, ask to borrow it. This makes it much simpler. If you can, borrow two tents if your kids are older. If they are under ten, just stay in the same tent for this first trip. While your at it, ask your friend to borrow a screen house to setup over the picnic table on site.

Sleeping situation
Bring sleeping bags if you have them. Otherwise just use sheets and blankets. They won't get that dirty. It is not like you are sleeping on the ground outside. So don't worry about that. I would highly recommend a cot for the adults if possible. If not, get an air mattress. Once again, borrow this if possible. Most campers would love to loan their equipment to friends.

Bring Pillows! Everyone forgets these and you should not. If you use two pillows at home, bring two. This is doubly true for your camping wife.

Eating/Cooking
The key here is to keep it simple on this first outing. Bring ready made foods or plan on going out. I would avoid cooler stuff as much as possible (other than for drinks). That means if you drink milk, you go buy those Organic Valley Ultra Pasteurized milk containers. They come in 8oz portions and are shelf stable until opened. They cost a little more, but save tons of headaches with ice and stuff.

For breakfast, eat granola bars or cereal (with aforementioned milk). Some also prefer trail mix. If you must have meat with your breakfast, get the precooked packaged shelf stable bacon. They sell it at aldi and other grocery stores.  It tastes great. We use this method while travelling on the road because we often stop at rest areas and sleep for the night before getting back on the road. We keep prep times to a minimum.

For some, coffee is a must. If possible, go buy some Frappaccino in bottles or just bring along a lot of soda to drink. Yes, it is not healthy, but neither is running into a momma bear that has not had her caffeine fix that morning!

For lunches, go out to eat if you can afford it. If not, bring some summer sausage, cheese, and crackers. Or bring some other food items that are less perishable. Make sure you bring more than enough of this non-refrigerated stuff.

For dinner, bring some hotdog roasting forks and have hotdogs and smores. Again, cleanup will be minimal. Be sure to bring ketchup (did you know it is shelf stable even after opening?)

Dishes
Use disposable dishes. Plastic bowls and such work great in most situations. Plastic silverware is also essential.

Things to do
If you are at a state park (or national park) take a tour from the rangers. If you don't know when the tours are, check at the camp office when you check in.
Stop by a tourist office or stop in a hotel lobby and pick up some brochures. They are filled with good activities.
If you hike (and you should), do a short hike, like a mile. And bring water and snacks with. Make it fun and leave them wanting more.

Misc
Bring bug spray.
Bring stocking caps for at night. If you get cold, put it on and it will do wonders.
If you have only one pair of shoes to bring, make it a pair of tennis shoes.
Borrow a trailer from a friend if you need room to haul stuff for your trip. If you don't have friends, rent one off craigslist for cheap.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: notmyrealname on June 30, 2016, 06:46:08 AM
OK, I wil give you a quick run down of the stuff we use when camping.  You can pare down this list to make it simpler if you want.  We camp kind of heavy, but -- we are very comfortable camping.

Tent -- we bought a kind of pricey Eureka mansard 8 2 room tent. 
Ha ha, here it is via a tspaz.com link:
https://www.amazon.com/Eureka-LIB370635-Mansard-8-Tent/dp/B004R1J356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467290453&sr=8-1&keywords=eureka+mansard+8

It's been a good tent.  You want something that will resist rain and is pretty easy to set up.


Long list of other things

-- tarp to set tent on top of
-- pop up garbage can and garbage bags
-- table cloth and clips to cover picnic tables
-- camp chairs
-- fire starter log
-- axe / hammer combo tool
-- we take camping plates and in fact a whole camping kitchen thing called a grubby buddy that my husband built:
http://www.blueskykitchen.com/Grubby_Two.html

We also take a propane gas 2 burner stove.  We might be glampers
https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-Explorer-EX-60LW-2-Burner/dp/B0006VORDY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467290646&sr=8-1&keywords=camp+chef+stove

The minivan gets very full with all this.

2 coolers

Water jugs and a 5 gallon bucket

Sand toys for kids

Bikes

Snacks and food for a couple days

Small air pads for under sleeping bags

Sunscreen / insect repellant, etc.

My husband uses an REI camping packing list.  I need to get this today because we're camping this weekend.
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/family-camping-checklist.html

Have fun!  You can get stuff used on Craigslist, etc.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Carl on June 30, 2016, 07:02:18 AM
It often takes an RV and a big trailer to get away from it all these days, especially when you try to take it all with you ::)
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: stopthat on June 30, 2016, 10:42:29 AM
It often takes an RV and a big trailer to get away from it all these days, especially when you try to take it all with you ::)

Now once you get experienced, try to lighten up the load a bit. But you do not want to travel too light with a first time camper usually. You want an easy introduction.

When we go hunting by the Canadian border, we survive on much much less. No heat, often 0 degrees Fahrenheit... We bring a canvas tent, and sleep in Surplus Military Sleep System bags with Gortex bivvy sacs. They keep you toasty and out in the cold while you sleep. But if you take a beginning camper into that, they will probably kill you, steal your car, and never set foot in the forest again.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: ridge rover on August 01, 2016, 11:19:43 PM
Binky, please give us a progress report.

Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 05, 2016, 12:54:36 PM
Binky, please give us a progress report.



Not much progress to report. I lost/left my job in February and just recently got a new one. I haven't done anything camping wise because the funds were not and still aren't available. I started this thread in order to get ideas and plan for what we would need. I've got several friends with families that camp so we'll eventually be getting some gear and all going together. There have been some great ideas and suggestions in this thread and I plan to make use of them when the time comes to go down this road.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: surfivor on August 05, 2016, 01:48:28 PM
 I used to go for day hikes and then take a nap. I have a hammock sort of like this one. I would hike out in the woods, set it up between two trees and take a nap for awhile. That way I would feel rested and could hike some more. Otherwise I might feel tired and want to head home early.

 It's not exactly camping but kind of along a similar idea and a good way to enjoy the day outside. Some of these hammocks are ultra light and fit easily into a day pack. I forget exactly which one I had .. You can also get small bivy sacks etc but the hannock is the best for summer and nice weather.

 This worked well when I lived in a condo and wanted to spend more time outdoors without necessarily making an entire weekend out of it. When I lived in the condo, I had no yard, no garden etc. I moved out of there 3.5 years ago

(http://www.tripsurvival.com/media/2016/06/adventure-gear-outfitter-backpacking-hammock-with-mosquito-net-and-free-tree-straps-ultralight-and-strong-ripstop-nylon-single-camping-hammock9.jpg)

http://www.tripsurvival.com/product/adventure-gear-outfitter-backpacking-hammock-with-mosquito-net-and-free-tree-straps-ultralight-and-strong-ripstop-nylon-single-camping-hammock

  " Strong hammock made to hold 1 person as much as 400lb
    Strong and lightweight 210 ripstop nylon
    triple stitching for strong seams
    Carabiner holds up to 770lb
    COMPLIMENTARY strong 500lb limitation lightweight tree straps
    Elastic suspension cable for netting.
    Hammock is 9.5  feet long by 4.7 legs wide
    Mesh mosquito net
    Suspension loops for mosquito web are tree strap material. Made to hold.
    Just 1.7lb including every thing – Hammock – line – Mosquito web – Carabiner – Tree Straps -Elastic Suspension Cord.
    Stuff sack included and attached to hammock.
    Multiple makes use of – While created for backpacking and camping you can always utilize it into the yard and. You can even turn the hammock upside down not to make use of the mosquito web. "



Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Alan Georges on August 05, 2016, 05:13:17 PM
Oh man, camping season is still two months away here and already I'm feeling the Call of the Woods.

Think I'll go brew a percolator of chicory coffee and watch Blair Witch Project (my favorite camping movie, believe it or not) for the umpteenth time, while dreaming of the cooler weather to come.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: endurance on August 06, 2016, 09:08:27 AM
After returning from a 26 day backpacking trip where I went ultralight, carrying no more than 22 pounds the entire trip (except one two day stretch with no good water where I had ten-plus pounds of water), I'd bring a shovel next time. No, not for latrine duties, but for the gosh darn mosquitoes. Before I left I treated all my clothes with permethrin. Just in case, I brought some 99% DEET. By the end of the trip I wanted a shovel. Those little bastards can be relentless, especially when you stop to eat. There were actually times I found it easier to stop and set up my tent for lunch than to try to eat while actively swatting the little vampires. Unfortunately, my tent was entirely too small to cook in, so I went days between cooked meals (which I planned for, just in case I was too tired... Which I was, in general). 

So, just in case, bring a shovel... And helmets for the kids just in case you go a little mad... Which happens from time to time in mosquito country.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: machinisttx on August 07, 2016, 05:08:37 PM
I used to go for day hikes and then take a nap. I have a hammock sort of like this one. I would hike out in the woods, set it up between two trees and take a nap for awhile. That way I would feel rested and could hike some more. Otherwise I might feel tired and want to head home early.

 It's not exactly camping but kind of along a similar idea and a good way to enjoy the day outside. Some of these hammocks are ultra light and fit easily into a day pack. I forget exactly which one I had .. You can also get small bivy sacks etc but the hannock is the best for summer and nice weather.

 This worked well when I lived in a condo and wanted to spend more time outdoors without necessarily making an entire weekend out of it. When I lived in the condo, I had no yard, no garden etc. I moved out of there 3.5 years ago

(http://www.tripsurvival.com/media/2016/06/adventure-gear-outfitter-backpacking-hammock-with-mosquito-net-and-free-tree-straps-ultralight-and-strong-ripstop-nylon-single-camping-hammock9.jpg)

http://www.tripsurvival.com/product/adventure-gear-outfitter-backpacking-hammock-with-mosquito-net-and-free-tree-straps-ultralight-and-strong-ripstop-nylon-single-camping-hammock

  " Strong hammock made to hold 1 person as much as 400lb
    Strong and lightweight 210 ripstop nylon
    triple stitching for strong seams
    Carabiner holds up to 770lb
    COMPLIMENTARY strong 500lb limitation lightweight tree straps
    Elastic suspension cable for netting.
    Hammock is 9.5  feet long by 4.7 legs wide
    Mesh mosquito net
    Suspension loops for mosquito web are tree strap material. Made to hold.
    Just 1.7lb including every thing – Hammock – line – Mosquito web – Carabiner – Tree Straps -Elastic Suspension Cord.
    Stuff sack included and attached to hammock.
    Multiple makes use of – While created for backpacking and camping you can always utilize it into the yard and. You can even turn the hammock upside down not to make use of the mosquito web. "

Hammocks are easy and cheap to make. Mom sewed up something similar to what's above for my boy. I sewed the underquilt together, still need to finish the suspension points on it. The bug net will keep the skeeter's out and the quilt should keep him warm to ~50 Fahrenheit without a sleeping bag. It's also double layered on the bottom so the skeeter's can't bite through, and it formed a pocket for a sleeping pad if some extra insulation is needed....or it's not cool enough to carry the underquilt. I'd guess I have less than $50 in the hammock and less than $100 in the whole setup. You won't find anything equivalent for less than 2-3 times that.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: surfivor on August 08, 2016, 07:06:22 AM
After returning from a 26 day backpacking trip where I went ultralight, carrying no more than 22 pounds the entire trip (except one two day stretch with no good water where I had ten-plus pounds of water), I'd bring a shovel next time. No, not for latrine duties, but for the gosh darn mosquitoes. Before I left I treated all my clothes with permethrin. Just in case, I brought some 99% DEET. By the end of the trip I wanted a shovel. Those little bastards can be relentless, especially when you stop to eat. There were actually times I found it easier to stop and set up my tent for lunch than to try to eat while actively swatting the little vampires. Unfortunately, my tent was entirely too small to cook in, so I went days between cooked meals (which I planned for, just in case I was too tired... Which I was, in general). 

So, just in case, bring a shovel... And helmets for the kids just in case you go a little mad... Which happens from time to time in mosquito country.

 Where did you do a 26 day trip ?
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: endurance on August 08, 2016, 07:31:55 AM
Where did you do a 26 day trip ?
The Colorado Trail. I hiked 431 miles of it before tweaking an ankle and having to get off for a rest. Im hoping to return to finish it before the snow flies.
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: surfivor on August 08, 2016, 07:49:36 AM
The Colorado Trail. I hiked 431 miles of it before tweaking an ankle and having to get off for a rest. Im hoping to return to finish it before the snow flies.

 Who did you go with ?
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: endurance on August 08, 2016, 07:51:16 AM
Who did you go with ?
Me, myself and i
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: Carl on August 08, 2016, 07:53:10 AM
1  a place to go and time to do it
2  cover from the elements,proper clothing,sleep gear
3  Water,water filter
4  food and cook pot , fire ,knife,first aide ( for you or others)
5  extra stuff to occupy your mind and weight down your pack

Get used to your chosen gear in short,backyard campouts till easy to set up and meets your comfort level.
Remember ,campfires are often discouraged and a contained fire/stove is a convenient necessity in many areas
Title: Re: What do I need to start camping?
Post by: RitaRose1945 on August 08, 2016, 06:23:06 PM
Me, myself and i


The Ink Spots - "We Three."  And yes, this really is the kind of music I listen to (among others), especially when I'm on my bike.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOhtZdINkY0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOhtZdINkY0)