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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Camping => Topic started by: coffecat on November 12, 2009, 08:45:32 PM

Title: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: coffecat on November 12, 2009, 08:45:32 PM
CAR Camping with tent.

You can't have too many pairs of socks  and a few pairs of shoes.
Cover or put in car or bag or whatever any piece of clothing you don't want damp, at nite.  Put underwear in bottom of sleeping bag.   
A Hatchet is great for a multitude of things especially if you keep it sharp. 
A good sleeping bag. Decent small pillo.
MUST have closed cell foam pads for under sleeping bag or air mattress.
Enough clothes outerwear to layer if you need to.  If you are in mountains a good coat with hood. 
If it is rainy and you need a fire, can get bark from underside of trees that have bent limbs.

  # 1     Never go on a big camping trip unless you have camped out at least once with experienced campers !

Lots of other things, but these were the ones I made the most mistakes on.  If I had not camped with experienced campers, Our trip to California and back would have been a diseaster !!  We stuck it out in Wyoming in 30 degrees and sustained winds of 30 mph.  We were Comfy ! 
C
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: phuttan on November 13, 2009, 02:01:05 AM
Never take a camp grill off the fire with bare hand. I didn't make that mistake twice.

Pat
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Stonebear on November 19, 2009, 07:19:54 PM
Some advice regarding backpacking.
-Get multiple weather reports for the area you'll be in as close to departure as possible.
-Always leave your trip information with a trusted person. Tell them when you expect to be back etc...
-The further you get from assistance the more caution should be paid and less risks should be taken. Im sure most people dont usually consider how a sprained ankle could cost them their life.
-Always have a way to purify water and at least a good idea where you can find it in the area you'll be in. Do this before you go!
-Always carry more calories than you'll think you'll need.
-Be familiar with your equipment. Be able to use, set-up, activate your gear in the dark. (setting up your tent)
-Start setting up camp at least an hour before dark. Even if you don't plan on "setting camp" use the time to familarize yourself with the immediate area.
-Never take off on an excursion of any distance with boots that are not well broken in. Trust me you do not want to be many miles into the back country with bad blisters.
-Carry an appropriate first-aid kit.
-Stay on trails if you are unfamiliar with orienteering. Understand how to read and carry topo maps, regardless if you are using a compass to navigate. These maps can be helpful in many ways (finding water or simply finding landmarks)
-Often turn around and take a mental picture of what your back trail looks like. Try to remember outstanding landmarks or features. In the event you get turned around / disoriented this will become very helpful.
-Know the wildlife in the area and how to handle encounters.
-At least consider backcountry personal protection. You are usually not as alone as you feel you are.
-Though we often are trying to get as far from them as possible, bring your cell phone. Keep it off, but it may be a blessing if you get into a tight spot.

Ill add more as I think of them.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on November 19, 2009, 09:14:04 PM
Bacon on a stick is hard to pull off
bug spray is flamable
heating your feet by the fire may melt your rubber soles
make sure you don't pitch your tent on an ant pile
don't feed the racoons, they have friends
no matter how much it reminds you of Denis the Menace, don't eat canned beans, you won't have friends
unless you know how, don't bring a guitar and attempt to play
remember to have fun!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on November 29, 2009, 07:31:45 PM
Bacon on a stick is hard to pull off
bug spray is flamable
heating your feet by the fire may melt your rubber soles
make sure you don't pitch your tent on an ant pile
don't feed the racoons, they have friends
no matter how much it reminds you of Denis the Menace, don't eat canned beans, you won't have friends
unless you know how, don't bring a guitar and attempt to play
remember to have fun!
   Ha, ha, ha! You must have been our camp group!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: ncjeeper on November 29, 2009, 08:45:54 PM
No matter where I stand the smoke from the fire will always find me. :o
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on November 30, 2009, 10:53:17 AM
Mr. Jeep, that is what my husband says. And you know I did check out the smoke and he was right!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on November 30, 2009, 11:00:57 AM
Never take a camp grill off the fire with bare hand. I didn't make that mistake twice.

Pat
Pat, You crack me up!!!! Ha! Yeah, we don't want to do that. Boy I love camping! Where else can these things happen and have so much fun! Some of the funniest things in my life happen when I'm camping!!! Ha! Like when I'm telling my son n law that his shoes are smoking........and he says, no there not! Everyone shouts, HEY, THEY ARE! We always laugh about that one for years! Ha!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Who...me? on November 30, 2009, 11:28:09 AM
Don't carry glass.

When I was 18 or so a few friends and I decided to go camping to one of my favorite spots for the weekend.  Now at the time that automatically involved alcohol.  So one of the guys had a 1/2 gal of Canadian mist in his pack. 

So the site involves a hike that is 1.5 miles up the mountain, 3/4 down the other side and then 5 miles along the mountain to an old mining site.  It had quite a bit of a slag pile which is where we placed our tents.  If there was rain...no matter how hard...the ground just soaked it up and so there was no mud.  Really beautiful place.

So anyway it takes a good part of the day to reach the site and we got there in the afternoon.  So the first thing Tim...the hauler of spirits...does is to take off his pack and proclaim how happy he is that that is over. Then proceed to throw the pack right on a rock.  So i guess you know what happened then...suffice it to say we had a thoroughly enjoyable...but alcohol free weekend.

 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on November 30, 2009, 11:38:51 AM
Don't carry glass.

When I was 18 or so a few friends and I decided to go camping to one of my favorite spots for the weekend.  Now at the time that automatically involved alcohol.  So one of the guys had a 1/2 gal of Canadian mist in his pack. 

So the site involves a hike that is 1.5 miles up the mountain, 3/4 down the other side and then 5 miles along the mountain to an old mining site.  It had quite a bit of a slag pile which is where we placed our tents.  If there was rain...no matter how hard...the ground just soaked it up and so there was no mud.  Really beautiful place.

So anyway it takes a good part of the day to reach the site and we got there in the afternoon.  So the first thing Tim...the hauler of spirits...does is to take off his pack and proclaim how happy he is that that is over. Then proceed to throw the pack right on a rock.  So
 i guess you know what happened then...suffice it to say we had a thoroughly enjoyable...but alcohol free weekend.

Oh man, You guys needed a bota bag or some flasks! Actually, my favorite drink is coffee while camping.....when you smell it in the AM it is the most awesome smell......of course some eggs and bacon too!

 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Who...me? on November 30, 2009, 12:06:31 PM
Quote
Oh man, You guys needed a bota bag or some flasks! Actually, my favorite drink is coffee while camping.....when you smell it in the AM it is the most awesome smell......of course some eggs and bacon too!

LOL ya that would have been better...of course now they sell stuff in plastic bottles.  But that was a lifetime ago and I have learned many things in the interim.  One of which is that weekends in the woods are more fun without the alcohol and that the smell of fresh coffee in the woods first think in the morning is indeed one of the better things in life.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: spooky-1 on November 30, 2009, 12:17:38 PM
always have gloves and more gloves for friends to carry firewood
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Ironhead on December 01, 2009, 10:43:55 PM
No matter where I stand the smoke from the fire will always find me. :o

when i was a kid i knew a scout troop that came up with a term for this phenomenon... they would refer to you as being "waftic", because the smoke always 'wafts' your way. (i also swear this is real).


for those who might be looking into backpacking and hiking, here's my $.02:

- on the trail, do your best to hike at the pace of the slowest person in the group.
- if you can't do that then all hikers must have at least one other hiker in their line of sight at all times.
- in the winter, make sure you never break a sweat.
- DON'T BUY CHEAP GEAR. it will fail on you when you need it most.
- always wear sock liners but carry moleskin for those who don't.
- carry a quality, fixed-blade knife.
- know how and where to properly shit in the woods.
- carry empty bags for trash. i like to have one or two 1 gallon freezer bags.
- if you can pack it in, you can pack it out. (this includes your shit).
- leave no trace that you were ever there and pack out trash left by others.
- trekking poles seem stupid but they're worth it.
- get into shape in the days and weeks before your hike and stretch right before you begin.
- men: before a big trip, let your beard and nails grow. (this is not for looks).
- don't forget that it takes a lot longer to break camp than make camp.
- experiment some and push yourself a little further on each trip.
- don't bite off more than you can chew.
- following every trip, reflect on the lessons you learned.

- this one is usually said of general travelers but it's much more fitting for hikers: "there are two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who really wish they would've packed light". along this line, there's an old rule that goes, "lay out everything you want to take - then put half of it back". that's probably good advice.

don't forget that "ounces lead to pounds and pounds lead to pain".
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Fudgenmudger on December 02, 2009, 06:47:01 PM
hmmmmm
-head out with a gameplan or objective whether its sightseeing,recon, or relaxation. also let somebody know of your headings and whereabouts. provide possible emergency contact #'s and coordinates of your projected location and route. and should something horribly negative occur rescue/emergency personnel have an idea of your location.
-when camping in cold/wet weather keeping yer head,feet and chest warm/dry is a must.
-know how to use your equipment. and if ya dont know how.....well then why the hell are ya bringing it in the 1st place??.........ya dummy ;D
 -never hesitate to think outside the box. i.e.: due to a shortage of water and an injury,my fellow camper and i once had to stash our gear and mark its location ( which we later recovered ) just so we could complete our expedition on time.
-be confident of your skills and in your equipment. remember theres a reason ya spent good money on it. and if ya didnt well then i promise you it will come back and bite ya in the ass.
-be mindful of your surroundings and whats going on around you.
-rest as frequently as you deem necessary. when youre out alone, should you push too hard too fast even a sprained ankle is a trip ender.
-be able to pitch camp quickly and with minimum effort. and the same goes for breaking camp.
-GiGo.....garbage in....garbage out. you pack it in...you damn well better pack it out.
- AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THOUGHT...HAVE FUN AND ENJOY NOT BEING SURROUNDED BY TECHMOLOGY AND SIRENS AND VERMICIOUS KNIDS!! :D
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on December 02, 2009, 08:44:01 PM
Ironhead, oh yeah the pounds!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on December 02, 2009, 08:51:57 PM
Oh yeah, make sure you are camping in an area that is allowed camping, or else you will wake up in the morning looking at trooper boots right beside your head as I did. Hey, that will send a shrill down your spine. Oh no! Then all I could say is, "Yes sir"! I was way dumb camping here, sir.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CountryRootsCityJob on December 18, 2009, 07:54:48 AM
Universal Rule...
- you will run out of water.  Bring more or a way to acquire more
- As with guns, get the best gear you can afford... you might be trusting your life to it! 
- Speaking of guns, consider how long it would take the police to come find you, should they need to.  When seconds count, the police could be days away!  (At least, at minimum, please carry pepper spray*! Jack has pushed this as well...  *(Over 10% of the population is not effected by pepper spray- I suggest a .45  ;) )

Car camping...
- chainsaw's are your friend, especially in the winter :)  (Just make sure you put them in a case... I've heard that if they cool off too fast things can distort=BAD)
- Don't bring ash wood to your campsite... try not to spread the nasty emerald ash buggers/ borrers...
- cast iron and a scrub brush... and a place to pour the gray water... keep the heat on low.  There's nothing like a good pot roast in a dutch oven over the fire...
- My biggest deal... if you are going to rough it in some areas, food is not one of them.  Good food = full stomach = happiness ;D

Backpacking...
- As stated before, hiking poles look stupid... and stupid people are too proud to use them.  I haven't gotten a blister since I got my poles
- In the winter, a closed cell pad on the bottom, inflatable on the top, then your sleeping bag with you inside... and emergency blankets work, GET ONE!
- Gloves: finding firewood made easier, rappelling safer, and more... since the time you put them on :)
- A sleeping pad strap wound around a tree makes a great place to hang your pack while at the campsite!
- Bring a small piece of tarp/plastic to sit on... its a lot more fun when your bum stays dry!

~CRCJ
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CivilDefense on December 22, 2009, 07:32:41 AM
I always keep a thermos jug around, and when i am done heating water for washing the dinner dishes, i heat one more kettle and put it in the thermos jug.. It is so nice to be able to shave and wash up with warm water on a cold morning.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: PositiveForce on December 23, 2009, 05:42:20 PM
Wow, there are some great ones here!!

Make sure that everything you plan to store in a cooler has been refridgerated before you cram into a cooler (otherwise your ice will melt much sooner) Also before you throw a bunch of bottled waters in your cooler, freeze 4 or 5 of them the night before you pack and put them in your cooler first!

Chilled food and water, 4 or 5 frozen waters at the bottom of the cooler, you will have ice for DAYS!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Gray Ghost on January 26, 2010, 04:50:44 PM
Never take a camp grill off the fire with bare hand. I didn't make that mistake twice.

Pat

This goes for putting out Tiki Torches used to mark you camp site too.. Drinking might have been involved ;-)

I have found that the single most important pieces of gear after 25 years of camping is my bag and my knife.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on January 27, 2010, 09:17:16 AM
One year we decided to drive up the coast of CA and camp out at camp sites all the way. We have been to a lot of places for vacation, but this was the most fun! First we got some tents that really were like a cabin. Tall enough for my husband and I to stand and change clothes in. We had tried sleeping bags and we decided to make it like a cabin with blow up mattress, sheets and comforter and pillows. Awesome! We had 2 chairs in the tent with cooler, light, cards and radio. Awesome! We practiced putting up our tent and timed it. Our first site we were on a rocky shore with winds. We put that puppy up and set up in 15 minutes. We camped and went places that were not planned but had a heading, going north along the shore. Great times.  Then there is hiking camping, which is fun too......but totally different.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CyborgX on February 08, 2010, 09:51:31 AM
No matter where I stand the smoke from the fire will always find me. :o
Me too.

Also, make sure there's no fish eggs in the water before you dip your water bottle in... Caviar water is chunky and yuck.

If you're base camping in the winter, it may look like the snow you're setting up tent on it flat and comfy, but once you're body has melted the snow for a few nights, you'll have the worst spot with tons of roots under your tent. Always clear the snow first.

Always bring more than enough toilet paper.

There's never enough moleskin for everybody.

Seagulls will steal your stuff.

Maps don't need batteries.

Just because the lake looks frozen doesn't mean it's safe to walk on.

Metal canoes and a lightning storm don't mix.

You can never have too many granola bars.

Drummond Island is Satan's ass.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: womule on February 15, 2010, 06:08:52 PM
NEVER....FORGET...
TOILET PAPER!

Its one of those things that's easy to overlook. First time I forgot and created a problem, I was 2 hours into the woods!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: steeltownknight on February 26, 2010, 01:48:32 AM
-Scrape away as many lil stones as you can before you set up your tent.
-A fixed blade full tang will save your a$$.
-A sharp blade is safer than a dull one.
-ALAWYS use a utensil you brought from home to stir your food, many have died by accidentally using a toxic twig/stem...!
-Hoist your food up into a tree.
-Flame orange = rescue Camo = concealment.
-If you have a all black knife use reflective tape/paint..You drop it at night you SOL.
-Really learn how to read a map & compass
-Insect repellent is also fish repellent wash hands after applying or use a spray before you touch your tacklebox reel etc.
-Learn basic first aid like CPR
-Before you head out from your car use a sheet of tin foil and make an imprint of your boot print. Then sign it with your name
leave it your car. this will make it easier for SAR to distinguish your tracks from other hikers.
-If you can buy 2 of almost everything in your survival kit prectise with each item IE: magnesium /firesteel, Bring the new Fresh stuff
with you leave the worn practise stuff at home.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Dawgus on February 26, 2010, 05:07:05 AM
 Tips from myself and with a friend who should have NEVER gone camping....ever:

No matter how many showers afterwards, you can never wash off Deep Woods OFF and will smell like a cheap air freshener for a week.

 Keep TP in a bag. A 4 inch spitball in your bag won't do squat.

 Always check friends bags for zip ties. This usually means they will sneak over in the night and tie your tent zippers together.

 If you lean against a tree to do your business, check for poison oak FIRST.

 Never squat with tp in one hand and a Colt Trooper in the other. You look silly, and if you're that afraid of seeing a bear, don't go camping.

 No matter how attached you are to your walkman (this was in the late 80's), wildlife gets very scared when you start singing Aerosmith at 7am.


 Never, I repeat never, set up a battery operated game caller next to your friends tent at 3am and play tapes of a female fox as loud as you can. Your friend may forget he is in a small tent and jump straight up.

 I claim no liability for anyone using any of the above camping tips. I am no expert. Do not try these at home. (or while camping)
 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CountryRootsCityJob on February 26, 2010, 05:20:08 AM
Tips from myself and with a friend who should have NEVER gone camping....ever:

 Always check friends bags for zip ties. This usually means they will sneak over in the night and tie your tent zippers together.

 If you lean against a tree to do your business, check for poison oak FIRST.

 Never squat with tp in one hand and a Colt Trooper in the other. You look silly, and if you're that afraid of seeing a bear, don't go camping.

 Never, I repeat never, set up a battery operated game caller next to your friends tent at 3am and play tapes of a female fox as loud as you can. Your friend may forget he is in a small tent and jump straight up.

That there is funny, I don't care who you are  ;D  What a great way to start off the day!
~CRCJ
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: benjaminbrasel on April 25, 2010, 02:51:33 PM
In my wilderness education / medicine classes I have found that telling more than one person where you are going is very important.
I normally fill out three of these forms.  I give 1 to my parents, 1 to a close backpacking buddy and post one on my fridge.  It's a little overkill but on long hikes its nice to have more than one person in the loop.

(http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l48/benjaminsimpson/Emergencyinfoplanner.jpg)
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: dwhoppy on April 29, 2010, 03:17:12 PM
Some great Posts! After Jack’s “Developing Survival Knowledge While Camping” podcast, I had to put in my view. I camped as a kid, learned a lot, and am getting back into it again. The last few years, I have done some river rafting, which is a great way to learn form very experienced people. I would recommend joining a rafting trip if you ever get a chance. You will learn many more things than just regular camping, like keeping warm when wet, tying knots, food storage for longer times (last year included 21 days on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon), food preparation from non-refrigerated, washing dishes in the 4 bucket system, personal sanitation, and so much more. It was a great adventure too! I encourage everyone to try some camping this summer.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Dadio on April 30, 2010, 09:24:22 PM
If they have enough time to figure it out, racoons can push the little botton on the spout of an Igloo water cooler to get at the lemonade inside.  And if you find that out on the last night of a week long campout, you'll spend a very long time calculating how much 'coon spit you've ingested.
If you camp with friends for more than about two days in a row, you may not need to speak much to them again for a couple years.
Nothing interrupts a good nights sleep as effectively as someone over the next ridge playing bongos.   
Excect maybe a tree full of cicadas..
You can't keep kids away from the water. You just can't.
Bears apparently are afraid of llamas. At least that's what the people camping with llamas will tell you.
Always make reservations for the hotel on the drive back. Especially in Wyoming. It can be a REALLY long drive to the next one. 
 
 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: OKGranny on April 30, 2010, 10:31:49 PM
And another bit of hard learned advice. Never, ever go camping when it's below freezing till you know whether or not there are burn bans in place. It never occured to us that the area had experienced a dry year and thus banned all outdoors fires.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: wlfhwk1 on May 07, 2010, 12:54:26 AM

Nothing interrupts a good nights sleep as effectively as someone over the next ridge playing bongos.   
Excect maybe a tree full of cicadas..

 

Except someone over the ridge playing banjos. (dueling banjos starts to play).
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: scoutmaster on May 07, 2010, 09:42:25 AM
Trying to learn Camping Just on line, will not work, you must do it try it, and refine it. even if it is in the back yard, Just don't go in the house to get stuff it is not there.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Ironhead on May 24, 2010, 10:26:49 PM
And another bit of hard learned advice. Never, ever go camping when it's below freezing till you know whether or not there are burn bans in place. It never occured to us that the area had experienced a dry year and thus banned all outdoors fires.

^^^ you're right. i've camped during burn bans and camping with no campfire is doable but it just kinda sucks. of course we probably could've gotten away with starting a fire anyway but i just don't want to go thru the rest of my life being that jackass who burned down a forest - so i honor the ban. plus... you've got to consider alternative ways of lighting your site at night and staying warm with no fire. i don't know that i'll ever hike a trail again while a burn ban is in effect.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Scramblin on May 24, 2010, 11:53:51 PM
If you're in bear country hang your food high.

Put your tent UP wind from the campfire.  Nylon melts really fast.

Booze is lighter to carry than beer. ;D

I'll second, third and fourth the warning about buying good gear.  Or at least be real about what you did buy.  Don't go deep back country with crappy gear, why test your actual survival skills.  Car camping, not such a big deal.

When snow camping remember the o rings in your stove shrink.  White gas "may" shoot out the leaks before it warms up and seals.  Only a big issue if you try to light it in the door of your igloo.

NEVER trust a GPS.  ALWAYS have a real map and compass.

A bug net that goes over your head and ball cap is really nice if you are going to mosquito-ville.

Pay attention to the weather.  Getting soaked takes a minute, getting warm can take hours.

Have FUN! 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Pukwudji on June 01, 2010, 01:36:48 PM
When going camping with a large group, you do NOT want to be the guy who forgot the silverware!  Only slightly less dangerous than being the one to forget the TP.

TARPS!  Double the number you think you should take with you.   Rain Law:  If it can rain during your trip, it will.  Make sure to cover the firewood if there's any chance of rain.

Always erect your tent on higher ground (see above Rain Law).  Even the best tents are only water resistant.

Do not switch the rum in your buddy's rum and Cokes with 151 after he's already had a few.  Things can get messy and potentially life threatening.

Do not throw an aeresol can of deoderant on the fire when there is anything which embers can burn through or melt within a 20' radius of said fire.

Always wash your pans immediately after use (possibly even before eating the resulting meal).  It is much easier than waiting until everything is hard and crusty.

Kids should never get between mom and a safe place when critters in the bushes start fighting over the wash water from dinner.  Maternal instinct only goes so far.

When you've been tubing down the river all day and think to yourself "huh, I've had the only set of car keys in my pocket this whole time." never think "well, one more trip down the river can't hurt."  The wife will give you "The Look" and you'll never live it down.

-Brian
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CountryRootsCityJob on June 02, 2010, 11:56:50 AM
Wow... those last few are hard to argue with!

>When camping in the snow, bring something water-proof and insulating to sit on... there is typically a shortage of dry spots to land your bum. 
>Buy the best you can afford... my preference is down sleeping bags since they don't deteriorate over the years... but they'll kill you if they get wet and you need them to keep warm.

~CRCJ
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: robrit13 on June 02, 2010, 04:49:15 PM
When you wife gives you that look saying... what on earth she will use for a toilet when rough camping...show her the luggable loo and the Home Depot bucket that she will go in.  The 'Wag Bags' work wonders. 

She bought it, and has loved camping ever since.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: CountryRootsCityJob on June 03, 2010, 08:10:12 AM
When you wife gives you that look saying... what on earth she will use for a toilet when rough camping...show her the luggable loo and the Home Depot bucket that she will go in.  The 'Wag Bags' work wonders. 

She bought it, and has loved camping ever since.

I am beginning to realize how wonderfully blessed I am... my wife looks around for a shovel and a good tree to hide behind...  ;D  Given she brings 10x as much TP as necessary, but that's not much to fight about.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Ken325 on June 03, 2010, 10:17:13 AM
Get a weather forecast and carry a radio to check on news and weather.

Never go into the woods without sunscreen, insect repellent, proper clothing for the weather, TP, small first aid kit, and a map.

If you sleep well, eat well, and you are dressed for the weather you will usually have a good time. Screw up one of these and you will suffer.

For backpacking- go light and less is more.  You only need one set of clothing with extra socks, underwear and a pair of shorts to wear while washing clothes.  Rain gear also works for this.  No Cotton!!  Wear nylon and polyester synthetic clothing because if cotton gets wet it takes forever to dry and it provides no heat when wet. Cotton kills! All your clothes should work in a  layer system. Don’t bring a big coat.  Bring thermal underwear, synthetic pants and shirt, fleece jacket, and a good rain jacket.  Wearing all these allows you to stay warm and you can remove layers as needed.  Look at your gear when you get back and remove anything that you didn’t use unless it is safety equipment.

Put your tent on flat ground that is higher than surrounding area or with good drainage.

For canoeing- store everything in dry bags and tie it into the boat.

For car camping- store gear in big Tupperware bins.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Dainty on June 26, 2010, 04:18:44 PM
If your parents raised you on car camping and backpacking, you'll grow up thinking that fighting raccoons for your food and storing the food up high away from camp because of the bears is the perfectly normal thing that everyone does.

Camping on the beach is paradise. No mosquitoes.

Sleeping directly on the sand under the stars with nothing but a sleeping bag under you is a nice thought that doesn't translate well into reality.

Sand fleas on your face make for a very effective alarm clock.

If your destination turns out to be mosquito central, you can enjoy it all to yourself, while the mosquitoes enjoy you all to themselves. You decide whether or not that's a worthy trade off.

Having a designated cup for each person with their name on it makes everything easier. Each person is in charge of keeping track of their cup and keeping it clean....if they care about those sorts of things, that is.

When hiking over compacted snow, plastic grocery bags held underneath your backside make for great impromptu sleds. :D

I don't care how accustomed you are to flip flops, you do not want to hike in them without a backup kind of footwear readily available. I didn't dare look down until I had arrived, and when I did there was blood everywhere....

Food tastes better when you're out in the middle of nowhere, cold, tired, hungry, and wet.

Making a second trip to bring an inflatable kayak up to a remote mountain lake is worth it.

Citronella candles work.

Take the time to enjoy yourself.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Cryptozoic on July 17, 2010, 11:47:00 PM
FIRE/STOVE
No matter where you are, even the desert, there are always plenty of small (3-6") sticks lying around.  No need to haul the ax for chopping firewood.  Recently I got one of these
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/foldable-pocket-cooker.aspx?a=640638&pn=2 (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/foldable-pocket-cooker.aspx?a=640638&pn=2)
but the tabs a pot sits on are slippery.  So I drilled a hole in each and constructed 2 aluminum slabs to fit over part of the top, leaving a gap in the middle.  This increased surface area (more stable surface for pot to sit on) eliminated the slipperiness factor, and more evenly distributes the heat from the fire.  Clever little gadget, way lighter than carrying stove and fuel.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: bartsdad on July 18, 2010, 01:19:49 AM
FIRE/STOVE
  Recently I got one of these
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/foldable-pocket-cooker.aspx?a=640638&pn=2 (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/foldable-pocket-cooker.aspx?a=640638&pn=2)

Ok, that is a cool little stove. Quick question, does a can of Sterno fit in this thing? Looks like it would be a very versatile if you could use Sterno and build a wood fire.

Thanks
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Sister Wolf on July 18, 2010, 01:58:44 AM
BRING:

shoes that are worn in.  Those bad ass new hiking boots are gonna give you blisters, no matter how much they cost.

Two pairs of socks for every single day you plan to wear shoes.

Baby powder.  You're welcome.  ;)

Way more paracord than you need.  Cuz you need more than you think you do.

A wilderness survival kit (home made, not something purchased in a store).  After day three, you will be grateful for this.  More probably, you'll be thanking yourself for this after the end of day one.  Or maybe I'm just a clutz.  :D

A wee bit of whiskey.  Because there just isn't anything more satisfying after a hellish day, when you're sitting at the campfire with your ankle wrapped up, and your skinned elbow all patched up, and your head throbbing from that stupid branch that came outa nowhere, than a couple swigs of good whiskey.  It's better than Advil.

Bandannas.  Like 10 of 'em.  Or more.  :D

A really, really good trail partner.  I understand the joys of solo camping, but... I wouldn't be happy for more than a couple of hours without the hubby to hold hands with or talk to.  Specially when a big branch comes and whacks you in the head and you twist your ankle and skin your elbow.  Gotta have somebody to patch you up.  :)
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Wimary on July 23, 2010, 06:29:54 AM
Quick tip for cooking when primitive camping...we make our food at home, freeze it in a ziplock baggie (the good ones), then when camping all we have to do is boil some water and drop the bag in until done.  Works great because you can just eat right from the bag, you can use lake or river water as the water will not get in your food (besides that your boiling it anyway).  The best part is that there are no dishes to wash after and you can use the hot/warm water to clean up with before bed.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Cryptozoic on July 24, 2010, 01:39:04 PM
Ok, that is a cool little stove. Quick question, does a can of Sterno fit in this thing? Looks like it would be a very versatile if you could use Sterno and build a wood fire.

Thanks

Yes, the inside is big enough to contain 2 cans of Sterno.  Thanks for mentioning this, I hadn't thought of using it with Sterno.  That's a great idea!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: bartsdad on July 24, 2010, 11:37:06 PM
Thanks, next time I head down to the guide I'm gonna have to pick up a couple.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: 18C Troll on August 13, 2010, 10:28:20 AM
-not saying that this is acceptable in all areas but learn how to make a Dakota Fire pit.  Even in the dark you cannot see the flame unless looking down at it.  It is invalueable in a hide site, or trying to be covert, or a highly controllable fire in a burn ban status. 

- Bungee cords, 550 cord, and D-rings.  small, light and very awesome.

- Canteen cups with names engraved in them, both look cool and makes sure everyone in the family has thier own cup/bowl.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Steelheart on September 06, 2010, 08:04:38 PM
I try not to borrow any gear from the house for camping.  I've got kitchen utensils, dishes, etc all in the camping gear.  It makes packing so much easier.   A bag of rope in various lengths and strengths/thicknesses come in very handy for rigging your tarps over your living area.  With multiple tarps you can fashion side walls to keep you mostly dry if/when the rain/storm shifts.  Extra tent stakes are great for helping with the rigging.  I keep a back-up stash of toilet paper vac-sealed in the gear, it's come in handy more than once.  Extra bags for trash let you deal with it nightly, easier to avoid nocturnal guests this way.

And a final tip, keep your keys etc easy at hand incase you have to bug out from your camp site.  A couple of years back there was a flash flood that covered a state park campground, travel trailers were floating/washing away.  That's the time you just grab whatever you can as you run for the vehicle.  I'd also recommend knowing your evac route from the campground.  I'd spend a week in this campground a few weeks previous and when the public was able to visit it the next spring was unable to recognize the site I was at.  It was after this that I added High Ground to my list of preferred campsite specs.

Steelheart
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: paleo_prep on September 06, 2010, 10:55:48 PM
Secret Camping Weapons:

1. Wine (in glass or box for car camping; in bota bag for hike-in sites)
2. Earplugs (for group campsites; snoring sounds carry in the wilderness like you wouldn't believe!)
3. Sports tape (for taping up any potential hot spots on your feet BEFORE you start your hike. It's like Insta-Callous!)
4. A hand towel (for cold nights; you drape it over your face and make a little "peak" over your nose/mouth. It keeps your face nice and toasty without that awful humidity and claustrophobia you get from hiding your head inside your sleeping bag.)
5. Baby wipes ("Shower in a Pouch!")
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: mike77 on September 06, 2010, 11:54:51 PM
If you're not going to carry a camp chair and aren't ultra light hiking, carry a gardening kneeling pad. It's light and gives you a waterproof, padded, insulated place to sit. I even carry one when deer hunting so I have a comfortable place to sit if I'm not in a tree stand.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: survivNca on June 28, 2011, 12:12:32 AM
This post is awesome. Thanks for tips. I am making a list as i read.

My tip+ Get as much firewood as you can
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Alan Georges on June 28, 2011, 06:09:51 AM
The tent you hoped to get one more season out of will either break a zipper, split a seam, or collapse in a hard rain.  Voice of bad experience here.  Be realistic about when it's time to replace gear.

Bring yet one more tarp to cover your gear: fishing rods, bikes, anything that won't go in the tent.

A smartphone works great to pull up weather maps and reports, but don't bet the trip on it working.

When going camping with a large group, you do NOT want to be the guy who forgot the silverware!
In a pinch, you can whittle chopsticks.  Be sure of the type of wood first.  Depending on the group, expect to get funny looks.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: bigbear on July 07, 2011, 12:22:38 PM
Ground cloths/tarps - water from the ground is just as bad as water from above...  But there is a limit to their usefulness when you pick a bad spot to pitch your tent.

For hikers/backpackers - Socks, socks, socks...   ;)

Put tomorrow's clothes at the bottom of your sleeping bag.  Fills the air space and is a good head start on warming them up on cold mornings.

Bring an extra backpacking mug.

A pack of cards goes a long way!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: lawdawg on June 10, 2012, 04:03:19 PM
Never use Coleman fuel to lite your campfire. Its no fun setting yourself on fire...especially when your alone with no one to help extinguish the flames. Stop , drop and roll doesn't work very well on limestone rocks. Not to mention the fact that I could have ended up burning down the whole forrest. If your truck camping...bring a fan rake to clear leaves an pine needles from fire and tent areas.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Hootie on June 10, 2012, 07:42:22 PM
- fire starters (great when you first wake up, and need to get breakfast going)
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=35293.msg396846#msg396846 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=35293.msg396846#msg396846)
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: rustyknife on June 10, 2012, 10:49:06 PM
1) Take a couple of shorter hiking trips with your gear to check it out so you don't look like the Oregon Trail with a lot of ditched items on a very long trip with lots of unproven gear.

2) A small can of lighter fluid weighs nothing compared to a snowy, frosty cold morning or evening trying to light a fire.

3) Love being in a toasty warm sleeping bag on a below zero night....until you have to relieve yourself because you forgot to do so before retiring.

4) Monkey butt powder is worth it's weight in gold.

5) A well broken in pair of boots are your best friends
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Mister Dark on June 19, 2012, 06:08:04 AM
Always be prepared for weather 20 degrees colder, AND 20 degrees hotter, than the forecast.

Don't depend on anything with batteries to work.  Electronic and mechanical devices can and will fail at the most inopportune time.

Deer Ticks are REALLY SMALL. DEET is your friend, especially in late spring when they are really hungry.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Cedar on June 19, 2012, 10:13:41 AM
A wee bit of whiskey.  Because there just isn't anything more satisfying after a hellish day, when you're sitting at the campfire with your ankle wrapped up, and your skinned elbow all patched up, and your head throbbing from that stupid branch that came outa nowhere, than a couple swigs of good whiskey.  It's better than Advil.

A really, really good trail partner.  I understand the joys of solo camping, but... I wouldn't be happy for more than a couple of hours without the hubby to hold hands with or talk to.  Specially when a big branch comes and whacks you in the head and you twist your ankle and skin your elbow.  Gotta have somebody to patch you up.  :)

 ;D And I am going hiking with you?!?!?!?  *giggle*

Cedar

Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on June 19, 2012, 03:00:29 PM
No you can't have too many pair of socks LMFAO…

My dingbat friend just went to hike from NY to Maine on the AT for 3 months and the friend who went with him part way reported back the idiot took ONE PAIR of socks and they more or less disintegrated in 2 weeks — I don't think he is going to make it to Maine!

If you burn your hand every time you go camping eventually you have so many callouses that handle holders for your cast iron become un-necessary and moving the grill from the fire with your bare hands becomes easier LMFAO.

If you do get a burn on your hand, holding an ice cold beer in your hand for about an hour or so will keep the pain away — after that first hour passes the pain subsides quite a bit after the blister forms.

Always have a WATER FILTER or some way to CLEANLY purify water unless you like the taste of dead fish and/or whatever else is in the nasty sediment filled water you will most likely find when you run out!

Bug spray makes a great way to get some kindling lit up if you run out of lighter fluid or everything is wet.

If sitting your shoes by the fire doesn't melt your soles, they will probably still peel away from the shoes.

Bring an mp3 player and a small speaker with you ESPECIALLY if you camp alone.

Even though the smoke finds you no matter where you are sitting, the bugs hate it, and bugs are worse than smoke in my opinion.

Don't swing on vines hanging from trees when you are drunk or else you will look more like George of the Jungle than Tarzan.

Carry water in 2 Liter bottles instead of 1 gallon jugs. They don't break for ANYTHING. My 2 year old son will take a 2 liter bottle of water and throw it against rocks, trees, and everything else for a whole weekend without the cap popping off or the bottle breaking.

ANYTHING inflatable you purchase for camping will start leaking the 3rd time you use it. Avoid inflatable shit. The first sign of a camper who doesn't know what the hell they are doing is when you hear the the inflator pump kicking on.

A FRENCH PRESS beats the HELL out of a percolator. Nobody should use a percolator for ANY reason. Not only is a french press EASIER to use, it also doesn't leave your coffee tasting like the same grounds were re-used 10 times while using a dirty sock as a filter.

Anyone who thinks you have to take your poop home from the woods WITH YOU seems to have forgotten that animals also shit in the woods. It is actually better to take a crap against a tree and cover it with leaves like a cat does vs trying to bury it (be far from water when you do). It decomposes much faster than if you bury it.

If you buy trekking poles LEARN HOW TO USE THE STRAPS PROPERLY. I cannot count the number of people I know who use trekking poles and just leave the straps hanging or just wrapped lazily around their wrists when they have a VERY SPECIFIC PURPOSE. Hell, having my straps properly used has saved me from a fall more than once because you don't need to actually grab the poles anymore to stop yourself from falling if you do it properly.

Plan plan plan your trip and try to visualize everything you see on maps, etc. BUT — don't go having a specific agenda either. Distances that seem short on a map could end up being a 2 day hike when you thought it would take  half a day.

Try out backpacking equipment on car camping trips so that you don't run into any surprises with a new piece of gear when you actually NEED it.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET — Listen to the wise words of Lt. Dan to Forrest Gump — "The mekong will eat a grunt's feet right off his legs!"

Keep your feet dry, keep dry socks on hand, use waterproof socks, boots with good ankle support etc. Your feet are the most important part of your body to protect on a long hike. Your body can be feeling great but when your feet get too wet and beat up you're done for the day.

If you are camping in an area you aren't sure camping is allowed — find a good place away from the trail where even if a storm trooper came walking past he would never see you. A hammock and natural colored tarps are all good for this. You do not need to be far off the beaten path for people to not even notice your presence.

Bicycling gloves work great with trekking poles to keep you from getting bisters (and other things like biking and rapelling, etc). They are not as cumbersome as full finger gloves and let you keep your dexterity. The palm padding also helps avoid fatigue with trekking poles and cycling.

When camping on a giant sponge I second the notion that laying down a tarp will give you a nice dry place to sit around the fire. When backpacking, don't bring "furniture" even if it folds. Just make some out of rocks and logs when you camp for the night instead. It is amazing what a closed cell foam pad can do when you drape it over a log and then use that log for a back-rest or a woodland recliner.

Large blocks of ice in your cooler last MUCH longer than bags of small ice cubes on really hot summer weekends. You can make them yourself by filling tupperware containers and leaving them in your freezer. They do take up more space in your cooler resulting in less capacity for beer bottles.

You can put out tiki torches with your bare hands if you lick the tips of your fingers first. Otherwise it burns.

Large tents are GREAT for pimping in the woods, but much MUCH harder to find a large enough spot to pitch them than a small backpacking tent.

Keep a separate cooler for your meat and perishables that could leak blood into the cooler water. Use ziploc vacuum seal bags to keep things packed air tight because you can bring the hand-pump to seal the bags along with you.

Never go skinny dipping in a lake you aren't allowed to go swimming in with some girl when the sun is just about to rise — because many people supposedly this is the best time to go fishing.

An incontinence Chair with the bucket removed makes a GREAT woodland throne to drop your deuce without having to squat or do some awkward lean against a tree. Using wing nuts to hold it together makes disassembly a breeze for packing.

Crosscut saws work faster than an axe and are way more practical than an axe. If I have a crosscut saw, splitting maul or spike, and 5lb sledge hammer I'm all good.

If you drop your gear in the snow you've done lost it until the snow melts.

Baby wipes feel GREAT on your bunghole after dropping a deuce in the woods — otherwise at home I don't care for them much at all.

Turn off the light before you start trying out new sex positions with your partner — or your camping buddies are going to get quite the shadow puppet show to watch on the side of your tent (anyone ever see "Austin Powers")?

Raccoons and Squirrels are bastards. Keep your food locked up. If you camp at a campground named "Raccoon Creek" or "Squirrel Something Or Other" — then you should you know what to expect.

Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: nkawtg on June 19, 2012, 03:48:56 PM
Don't go around asking for a left handed smoke shifter.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on June 19, 2012, 10:32:23 PM
For backpacking a 24oz pop bottle re-filled with good vodka (think Belevedere or Grey Goose) — along with those lemonade single serve packets can turn your ordinary water into at least a weekend's worth of vodka lemonade and keep you more buzzed around the campfire than a 6 pack of beer (for MUCH less weight cost). A 24oz plastic pop bottle won't break even when you drop it on a rock from a good height, AND you can toss it in the campfire when you are finished (or better yet, have an extra "ghetto canteen" if it becomes necessary).

ALSO — vodka will disinfect a wound (at least I think it will) hahaha.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: idelphic on June 22, 2012, 10:53:33 AM
For backpacking a 24oz pop bottle re-filled with good vodka (think Belevedere or Grey Goose) — along with those lemonade single serve packets can turn your ordinary water into at least a weekend's worth of vodka lemonade and keep you more buzzed around the campfire than a 6 pack of beer (for MUCH less weight cost). A 24oz plastic pop bottle won't break even when you drop it on a rock from a good height, AND you can toss it in the campfire when you are finished (or better yet, have an extra "ghetto canteen" if it becomes necessary).

ALSO — vodka will disinfect a wound (at least I think it will) hahaha.
Take some paracord and that bottle and make the canteen..  burning the bottle or any trash (other then plain paper) puts toxins in the air..  NTM that one that bottle is burning it is difficult to put out.  Have you had burning plastic come in contact with any of your gear or even you? nasty mess,..and damn painful.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on June 22, 2012, 02:17:09 PM
When I see the corporations stop making packaging such as a 2ft wide by 2ft giant plastic container for a computer chip that is .25" x .25" — or see them stop dumping TONS of toxins directly into the river, I'll be worried about what burning a single plastic bottle is going to do LMFAO. But again, I usually don't burn anything I think I can use later.

And yes I have been burned by hot plastic. Doing Ptex repairs on skis when I was in high school at the bike shop over the winters...

I cannot even COUNT the number of times I have had the drippings from a hot Ptex candle land on my skin and you are supposed to immediately dunk your hand into a bucket of water (next to your workbench) and NOT peel back the plastic because you basically have a 2nd degree burn (at least) by the time you even get your hand to the water.

I used to come home from that job covered in plastic "pock marks" that had to heal a little before peeling the plastic off.

Between slicing my knuckles on ski edges and Ptex burns I hated that crap — as much as I love to ski I hated doing those.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: idelphic on June 22, 2012, 06:57:26 PM
Ouch - Can't say that sounds like much fun.. I tried ski'ing once..  just about wrenched my knees off.

I have a 2-liter bottle we just emptied.. thought about keeping it, cleaning it and using it as a 'large canteen'...  but I'm not sure right now.  It would be at least more then I have now.. Need more gear!
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: RPZ on June 22, 2012, 09:31:56 PM
Buy lightweight highest quality gear in all categories. It is worth it.

Never pitch a tent on a mountainside in the dark in a slight hollow.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Cryptozoic on July 14, 2012, 11:17:22 AM
I think more like a backpacker than a car camper.

Less is more.  Dave Canterbury ("Dual Survival") has about 500 YouTubes out:
http://www.thepathfinderschoolllc.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-i3pFPhs9o&feature=fvwrel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCacg57rxwU&feature=relmfu
and some innovative high quality gear in his online store.

Earlier I posted here about a fold-up miniature camp stove but now there are better ways:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtSoKaZ3Qxk
http://stores.thepathfinderschoolllc.com/-strse-437/Pathfinder-Pack-Stove-w-fdsh-/Detail.bok
The "Pathfinder Pack Stove" can also be put in the coals of a fire to give you a nice place to put your cook pot.

2 Liter soda bottles really are a great way to carry water but you need a metal container to put that water on the fire.
Dave has put together an elegant system:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYukUty4-1U&feature=relmfu
Canvas cover
http://stores.thepathfinderschoolllc.com/-strse-424/Water-Bottle-Bag/Detail.bok
In that canvas canteen holder I have fit an amazing amount of stuff.
Like (2) heavy duty 42gallon barrel liners which can serve as shelter, poncho and other uses.
Like 3 different ways of starting fire (including the cotton ball & Vaseline trick in a small zip-lok bag).
Like a plastic bottle of iodine.
Like a sawzall blade.  They have a tip on the tang which fits perfectly into the gap between the jaws of 6" vice grips to make a great hand saw. (I hang the vice grips outside the bag, along with some duct tape wrapped around a short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe, 75' of paracord).  I put an old rifle strap on the canvas holder and tied another bandanna around it.   

That's a LOT of potential in a small package for those who wish to travel light.  Throw it over your shoulder, grab your staff, strap on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdby3NvyAYQ
The Hoodlum knife, which has a sheath with enough extra carrying capacity to be almost a survival kit in itself, and as long as you are properly dressed, you have everything you need.  Well, except a girlfriend, but she would have to carry her own gear ;)
 
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on July 16, 2012, 09:18:24 AM
Quote
I have a 2-liter bottle we just emptied.. thought about keeping it, cleaning it and using it as a 'large canteen'...  but I'm not sure right now.  It would be at least more then I have now.. Need more gear!

I can't think of a better water carrier than a 2 liter pop bottle. They are designed to withstand so much pressure I swear by them. A 1 gallon jug will rupture if you drop it from table height. I assume you could drop a 2 liter off a skyscraper and it will just bounce LOL.

I've given 2 liter bottles full of water to my son for a whole weekend watching him throw it against rocks, dropping it from all heights, and putting it through every test imaginable to not only have it unbroken, but still sealed tight!

I pretty much wash out all of my 2 liter bottles when they are empty and fill them from the water filter for my water storage needs from now on. Those and any plastic 1-gallon jugs you get that have iced tea or some other drink in them that are solid.

Here is another idea I had (someone gave me) — which would be GREAT to keep in mind.

Before I go camping next time I am going to take a one gallon drinking water bottle (a solid bottle, not a jug) and freeze it (with the cap off of course to prevent splitting).

Then I basically have a 1 gallon ice block inside of my cooler which should last all weekend, and as it melts is also providing cold drinking water!

Camping in Kentucky for a week in 110 degree heat, having to go get 50lbs of ice every day to keep our fold cold made me start thinking of better ways of keeping stuff cold longer and I know from experience that very large blocks of ice tend to last much longer than ice cubes from a bag of ice will.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 16, 2012, 09:56:28 AM
As others have said, big blocks of ice stay frozen much longer than cubes.  Freeze a gallon jug of water and put that into the cooler.  It should last several days.

To extend the life of your ice, pre-chill the cooler.  A couple of hours before packing the cooler, stick one of these blocks of ice in the cooler.  When time to pack the cooler, replace the block of ice with another block and pack your cooler with the rest of your stuff.  Keeping the cooler in the shade makes a huge difference in the life of the ice.

Keep drinks and food in separate coolers.  The drink cooler gets opened far more often than the food cooler, so the ice will melt quicker in the drink cooler.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on July 17, 2012, 07:59:39 AM
I don't know if it has been mentioned in this thread or not but this works VERY well — buy a roll of that solar reflective bubble wrap insulation stuff at Lowes or Home Depot...

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/building-materials/insulation/reflectix/16-in-x-25-ft-staple-tab-insulation-20960.html

Using duct tape you can use this stuff to make a form-fitting liner for just about any cooler you have. It really does a good job making the ice take twice as long to melt. I've really only gone to the trouble to do this for backpacking trips and for use in small coolers, but I can wrap a frozen steak in this stuff and keep it in a cooler bag lined with the same stuff, and a handful of ice cubes and the steak will stay cold for 2 days.

When I get more ambitious I have plenty of this stuff (a roll will last you for YEARS) and plan on insulating a larger cooler on a hot camping trip to see if I go through less ice. That combined with keeping a frozen jug of water in the cooler should help tremendously.

I also found on Craigslist an ice cube maker that plugs into a wall outlet, where you pour water into it to make cubes — and wondered if it would run on a vehicle's outlets with a DC / AC converter. That would be a great way to avoid having to run to some store to find ice on a camping trip for sure! I never ended up buying the thing but it did make me think about the potential there.
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: idelphic on July 17, 2012, 08:06:08 AM
I don't know if it has been mentioned in this thread or not but this works VERY well — buy a roll of that solar reflective bubble wrap insulation stuff at Lowes or Home Depot...

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/building-materials/insulation/reflectix/16-in-x-25-ft-staple-tab-insulation-20960.html

Using duct tape you can use this stuff to make a form-fitting liner for just about any cooler you have. It really does a good job making the ice take twice as long to melt. I've really only gone to the trouble to do this for backpacking trips and for use in small coolers, but I can wrap a frozen steak in this stuff and keep it in a cooler bag lined with the same stuff, and a handful of ice cubes and the steak will stay cold for 2 days.

When I get more ambitious I have plenty of this stuff (a roll will last you for YEARS) and plan on insulating a larger cooler on a hot camping trip to see if I go through less ice. That combined with keeping a frozen jug of water in the cooler should help tremendously.

I also found on Craigslist an ice cube maker that plugs into a wall outlet, where you pour water into it to make cubes — and wondered if it would run on a vehicle's outlets with a DC / AC converter. That would be a great way to avoid having to run to some store to find ice on a camping trip for sure! I never ended up buying the thing but it did make me think about the potential there.
Another things about those units is that they use a metal plate (so I have been told) to freeze the ice not air like in a home freezer setup.  so they make ice quicker and more efficiently.

Feed it water, power and you (in theory) should have buckets of ice every 2 hours..
Title: Re: What I learned from many years of camping
Post by: Adam B. on July 20, 2012, 02:57:38 PM
That's cool. I don't know how fast it would have worked. The guy was selling his for $50 when they were listed online for about $200 +/- but I have better things to spend money on than an ice maker right now so I passed on it.

I am definitely interested to see if it draws too much current to use the biggest power inverter I keep in my truck or if it would run well without draining the battery too bad. I am assuming it takes a bit of power to freeze water however it works.

It sure would have come in handy down there in Kentucky instead of having to drive up to Morehead to buy ice every day when it was 110 degrees LOL!!! We estimate we went through at least 200lbs of ice during the time we were there, probably more!