Author Topic: What I learned from many years of camping  (Read 36484 times)

Offline wlfhwk1

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #30 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).

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #31 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.

Offline Ironhead

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #32 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.

Offline Scramblin

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #33 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! 

Offline Pukwudji

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #34 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
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 01:39:29 PM by Pukwudji »

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #35 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

Offline robrit13

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #36 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.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #37 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.

Offline Ken325

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #38 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.

Offline Dainty

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #39 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.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #40 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
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.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #41 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

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

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #42 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.  :)

Offline Wimary

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #43 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.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #44 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!

Offline bartsdad

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #45 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.

Offline 18C Troll

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #46 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.

Offline Steelheart

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #47 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

Offline paleo_prep

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #48 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!")

Offline mike77

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #49 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.

Offline survivNca

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #50 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

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #51 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.

Offline bigbear

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #52 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!

Offline lawdawg

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #53 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.

Offline Hootie

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #54 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

Offline rustyknife

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #55 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

Offline Mister Dark

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #56 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.

Offline Cedar

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #57 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


Offline Adam B.

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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #58 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.


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Re: What I learned from many years of camping
« Reply #59 on: June 19, 2012, 03:48:56 PM »
Don't go around asking for a left handed smoke shifter.