Author Topic: What I learned from many years of camping  (Read 37227 times)

coffecat

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What I learned from many years of camping
« 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

Offline phuttan

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #1 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

Offline Stonebear

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #3 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!

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #4 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!

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 08:45:54 PM »
No matter where I stand the smoke from the fire will always find me. :o

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #6 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!

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #7 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!

Offline Who...me?

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #8 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.

 

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #9 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!

 

Offline Who...me?

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #10 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.

Offline spooky-1

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 12:17:38 PM »
always have gloves and more gloves for friends to carry firewood

Offline Ironhead

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #12 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".
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 10:46:56 PM by Ironhead »

Offline Fudgenmudger

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #13 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

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2009, 08:44:01 PM »
Ironhead, oh yeah the pounds!

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #15 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.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #16 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

Offline CivilDefense

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #17 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.

Offline PositiveForce

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #18 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!

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #19 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.

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #20 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.

Offline CyborgX

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #21 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.

Offline womule

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #22 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!

Offline steeltownknight

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #24 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)
 

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #25 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

Offline benjaminbrasel

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #26 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.


Offline dwhoppy

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #27 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.

Offline Dadio

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #28 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. 
 
 

Offline OKGranny

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #29 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.