Author Topic: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?  (Read 8132 times)

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« on: May 23, 2012, 12:56:37 PM »
Hey all.  I'm going out for a weekend of camping with a large group from Church this weekend.  We'll be renting sites in a park.  I'll be camping somewhere between 1 and 3 nights out of the weekend.  I'm visiting my folks Friday, and depending on if I get invited to stay overnight I might wind up heading to the site after spending time with them, and setting up in the dark.

I'm trying to decide what to schlep around with me, what to leave behind, and what to purchase/make to fill in gaps.

I'll list several of the items I have available.

Packs:
Large interior frame pack, with detachable butt-pack top of respectable size.  Multiple exterior pouches of various sizes
Mid-sized backpack with camping backpack style features, medium sized, big enough for laptop, textbooks, and folders, extra front pouch, and two small side puches
Small one-strap backpack with laptop/water-pack sub-compartment in main compartment.

Shelter:
UV-protected 3-person tent.
sleeping bag available for low temperatures.

Food:
Canned goods
an MRE
lots of dry goods
fruit of various sorts

Water:
Some water-bottles, but no water purification, except for a lunky britta there's no way I could shelp.

Clothing:
Vibrams and Inenji Socks
Sneakers and regular socks
Jeans
Sweats
Swim Trunks
Long sleeved and short sleeved shirts of most varieties
Sun Hat with ventilated top
Sunglasses
Work gloves (both leather and cloth)

Communication:
Cell phone, with ear-bud

Record Keeping:
Moleskin
Camera

First aid:
A medium sized vehicle first aid kit.
Bandaid of various sizes
A few wrap-style bandages
A mostly empty jar of local Honey
Bactitracin ointment
Q-tips
A guide on emergency medicine

General Gear:
2 kinds of compasses, and state map
bic lighters, fire-starter, and several water-proof strike-anywhere matches in a water-resistant floating match-tube, with some dryer lint mixed in
walking stick I am nearly done with
Gerber leatherman-style multitool, a SAK knock off or two, and several other micro-multi-tools
head-strapped light, 2 maglights, a large box-shaped flashlight, and a small plastic flashlight that converts to an electric lantern with a pull, as well as my EDC 3xAAA flashlight
hand Crank Emergency Weather Radio with flashlight, that can also be used to charge electronics
A small shovel that probably weighs more than a camp shovel should
A garden trowel
Some knife sharpeners
Various kitchen style pots and pans
Titanium Spork

As mentioned in other threads, I am strongly considering getting a folding camp shovel, a water-bladder, and a folding pruning saw.
I'm fairly sure I also need to buy some food specifically for camping with.  I was considering some dried fruit and some organic jerky, maybe some nut/fruit based trail mix.

Offline Hootie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 01:47:01 PM »
Hmm...
What is the weather going to be like in the area? Rain? Nothing but 100F heat and sun shine?

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 01:59:56 PM »
There are chances of Thunderstorms, 50% chance one day, and lowis projected to be 65s(F) over the weekend, the projected high is 90(F).

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 02:36:03 PM »
I take that back, I got a more-local forcast.  Over all, there's only about a 20-25% chance that it will NOT rain at least once, depending on if I'm including Friday in the calculations or not, and just going with a basic day1*day2*day3*day4 simplistic multi-event calculation.

So yeah, I think I can assume I'm going to get rained on, be it in or out of tent.

Offline idelphic

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 07:24:56 PM »
I take that back, I got a more-local forcast.  Over all, there's only about a 20-25% chance that it will NOT rain at least once, depending on if I'm including Friday in the calculations or not, and just going with a basic day1*day2*day3*day4 simplistic multi-event calculation.

So yeah, I think I can assume I'm going to get rained on, be it in or out of tent.
Think I might forgo a tent and use a hammock and a tarp.  Having been swamped out of a tent before,.. being up off the ground is going to be your best bet.  Not to mention, using a hammock will give you a dry place to sit and enjoy being out.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 08:49:50 PM »
Hmmm.  Interesting suggestion.

I don't have a hammock, but I might look into getting one.  What should I do with my bag, etc, if I go that rout?

Also, what do you do about wind?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 09:14:13 PM »
Have you set up your tent before? Try it at least 2x before you try to set it up in the dark.

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Offline nimzy88

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 09:20:52 PM »
When I would hike in the rain, if I didn't have a specific dry bag for my gear I would just cover it with a garbage bag and that always worked fine.

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 10:23:51 PM »
What events are you doing with the church? That may have some bearing on what to take or drop.

Packs:
Large interior frame pack, with detachable butt-pack top of respectable size.  Multiple exterior pouches of various sizes
Mid-sized backpack with camping backpack style features, medium sized, big enough for laptop, textbooks, and folders, extra front pouch, and two small side puches
Small one-strap backpack with laptop/water-pack sub-compartment in main compartment.


Why so many packs? Me and my baby can do with a backpack and a duffle bag for 3 weeks. Are you taking classes at the church campout and require a laptop and textbooks? You don't want to get them stolen.

Shelter:
UV-protected 3-person tent.
sleeping bag available for low temperatures.


Take another blanket or a ground pad. Rocks suck to sleep on. Plus it will keep you warmer.
Take a tarp and put half under your tent and half over. The open end and the door go to the slightly lower hillside. Keeps you dry if it rains.
I COLD winter camp, but I like to have hot water bottles I toss into my bed 20 mins before I head to it. Of course it was -40F  ;D


Food:
Canned goods
an MRE
lots of dry goods
fruit of various sorts


Can opener? Way to cook or heat them? Is there cooking facilities there? Cooler? BEARS LOCALLY?!?!?! (If so, keep NO FOOD, even toothpaste in your tent). Plate? Fork? Bowl?

Water:
Some water-bottles, but no water purification, except for a lunky britta there's no way I could shelp.


You are in a park, it is likely there will be potable water, but you might ask ahead of time. If you are driving, keep 4-5 gallons in your vehicle. Take TANG or Koolaide with sugar already in it. The water might be OK to drink, but there may be a high likelyhood of iron or sulfur in the water you might want to mask.


Clothing:
Vibrams and Inenji Socks
Sneakers and regular socks

Take 3 more pairs of socks than you think you need and one more pair of shoes than you think you will need.

Jeans
Sweats
Swim Trunks


2 Towels and a washcloth

Long sleeved and short sleeved shirts of most varieties
Wool Sweaters, Wool hat and a waterproof coat

Sun Hat with ventilated top
Sunglasses
Work gloves (both leather and cloth)


Communication:
Cell phone, with ear-bud

Record Keeping:
Moleskin
Camera


First aid:
A medium sized vehicle first aid kit.
Bandaid of various sizes
A few wrap-style bandages
A mostly empty jar of local Honey
Bactitracin ointment
Q-tips
A guide on emergency medicine

BENEDRIL, Bug Spray

General Gear:
2 kinds of compasses, and state map
(TOPO MAP or at least the park map)
bic lighters, fire-starter, and several water-proof strike-anywhere matches in a water-resistant floating match-tube, with some dryer lint mixed in
walking stick I am nearly done with
Gerber leatherman-style multitool, a SAK knock off or two, and several other micro-multi-tools
head-strapped light, 2 maglights, a large box-shaped flashlight, and a small plastic flashlight that converts to an electric lantern with a pull, as well as my EDC 3xAAA flashlight
hand Crank Emergency Weather Radio with flashlight, that can also be used to charge electronics
A small shovel that probably weighs more than a camp shovel should
A garden trowel
Some knife sharpeners
Titanium Spork


GET A FOLDING CAMP CHAIR! (or sit on your icebox)
A metal whistle to hang round your neck
A red bandana
Space blanket
Drop a shovel?


As mentioned in other threads, I am strongly considering getting a folding camp shovel, a water-bladder, and a folding pruning saw. I'm fairly sure I also need to buy some food specifically for camping with.  I was considering some dried fruit and some organic jerky, maybe some nut/fruit based trail mix.


Are you camping or hiking? Either way I would leave the laptop.

Take instant oatmeal.
Get the add water only instant meals from the store like:




Apples, oranges, and crunchy baby carrots. Cucumbers and bell peppers travel well and combine with hummus to make a great pita sandwich. Bags of ready-made salad complete with dressing are good for the first night's dinner.
Fantastic Foods - Banana Nut Barley or Cranberry Orange Oatmeal
Nabisco Fig Newtons suffer the least damage while packed
Hot cocoa or tea
Snacks. Being outside always makes you hungrier.
Rice and pasta aisle. If you're willing to pack along butter and powdered milk, just about any instant rice, noodle, or grain dinner is fair game. Otherwise, choose instant dinners that come with sauce in squeeze packets.
Individual cups of instant potatoes, already have milk and butter added.
Canned chicken, tuna, shrimp, ham, take pita bread


Cedar

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 11:38:43 PM »
What events are you doing with the church? That may have some bearing on what to take or drop.

There will be fellowship, and a provided breakfast on Saturday.  Other than that, no events were listed.  There is a major town less than an hour away, and a small town even closer, and there's also some major conference events going on for longer than a week, and this camp-out is in the middle of the week, so I suspect that if you want an event rather than hiking, they will direct you to the major event in town.

Also, I've got a good friend in the area, and there is an unrelated sunday event in town every week, in case I get bored enough to leave the camp ground.  I kind of doubt it.

I've never been to the campground before, and it's private land held by the conference, so there's not much info available ahead of time.


Packs:
Why so many packs? Me and my baby can do with a backpack and a duffle bag for 3 weeks. Are you taking classes at the church campout and require a laptop and textbooks? You don't want to get them stolen.

Pardon.  I didn't say that I intended to bring all of this stuff, I was listing the sort of thing I had available, and trying to describe the item.  I was just saying I had this bag that is smaller than my exterior frame bag, in case people thought it was a good idea to stick one of the smaller bags in the bigger bag as a day bag.

I doubt I can carry everything I have listed.

Take another blanket or a ground pad. Rocks suck to sleep on. Plus it will keep you warmer.
Take a tarp and put half under your tent and half over. The open end and the door go to the slightly lower hillside. Keeps you dry if it rains.
I COLD winter camp, but I like to have hot water bottles I toss into my bed 20 mins before I head to it. Of course it was -40F  ;D

Alright.  I have some camp foam, but it was insufficient last time.  I'd rather not spring for a big rubber thing that may just pop on me and might be too heavy.  Are air mattresses worth it?

Can opener? Way to cook or heat them? Is there cooking facilities there? Cooler? BEARS LOCALLY?!?!?! (If so, keep NO FOOD, even toothpaste in your tent). Plate? Fork? Bowl?

Bears and mountain lions both in the state, and the mountain lions have been seen locally even in cities.  I have paracord I forgot to mention, and intend to hang my bag.
I have can openers, and could bring one, though most of my existing canned goods are tab-openers.  I also have can openers on my multi-tools.

I don't yet own a portable stove of any kind.  I have some aluminium plates somewhere in this apartment, but I'm not sure where, so I may need to grab a mess kit before I go.

You are in a park, it is likely there will be potable water, but you might ask ahead of time. If you are driving, keep 4-5 gallons in your vehicle. Take TANG or Koolaide with sugar already in it. The water might be OK to drink, but there may be a high likelyhood of iron or sulfur in the water you might want to mask.

Wool Sweaters, Wool hat and a waterproof coat

Wool and I have an agreement.  If I don't bother it, it doesn't bother me.
I'm not sure I own a water-proof coat aside from my heavy winter one.  I generally just let myself get soaked, and enjoy it. Any suggestions for what to look into?

BENEDRIL, Bug Spray

Picked up the bug spray, I'll hunt my medicine chests for existing benedril.  If not found, I'll buy new.
If I don't find any that isn't expired in that hunt, I intend to pick up some sun-screen, and some aloe.

(TOPO MAP or at least the park map)

Private property.  I'm not sure it has a park map.  Where do you buy topographical maps?

GET A FOLDING CAMP CHAIR! (or sit on your icebox)
A metal whistle to hang round your neck
A red bandana
Space blanket
Drop a shovel?

Good idea on the bandana.  I have a few, I'll add that to the list of things to take.  I didn't figure I'd take the trowel and the medium shovel both.  Again, this is the list of what's available, so that people know what I have to work with, and only advise me to grab items I don't have if they are critical.  Any advice on where to pick up a good, inexpensive metal whistle and space blanket?  I've got a Scheels, a Cabelas, and an army surplus in the city.

Any qualities you'd recommend looking for in a camp chair?  Anything to avoid to keep myself from getting something way too expensive?

I don't know if I'll need to do any hiking to the camp-site.  How am I supposed to carry a camp chair along with a full pack?

Are you camping or hiking? Either way I would leave the laptop.

DEFINITELY leaving the laptop. That was only mentioned to help describe a pack I have available, not what I'd put in the pack to take.
Camping, and I see no reason not to hike the area, trails or no.

Take instant oatmeal.
Apples, oranges, and crunchy baby carrots. Cucumbers and bell peppers travel well and combine with hummus to make a great pita sandwich. Bags of ready-made salad complete with dressing are good for the first night's dinner.
Fantastic Foods - Banana Nut Barley or Cranberry Orange Oatmeal
Nabisco Fig Newtons suffer the least damage while packed
Hot cocoa or tea
Snacks. Being outside always makes you hungrier.
Rice and pasta aisle. If you're willing to pack along butter and powdered milk, just about any instant rice, noodle, or grain dinner is fair game. Otherwise, choose instant dinners that come with sauce in squeeze packets.
Individual cups of instant potatoes, already have milk and butter added.
Canned chicken, tuna, shrimp, ham, take pita bread

Okay, so from the food list I'm looking at Apples, carrots, oranges, belle peppers, cucumber, hummus, tea, hot coco, instant add water meals, and a stick of butter, canned chicken, as well as possibly some pita bread.  I'm not a fan of tuna, and the other meats have their own problems for this trip.

To the list I'm adding jerky and nuts for snacks, possibly crasins, or figs/dates.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 11:54:38 PM by Josh the Aspie »

Offline Hootie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 11:40:03 PM »
How far is the car (walking time) from your camp site. Do you need to carry this gear in one trip? Is so... Then you might want to travel lighter...

When i camp, if it might rain I bring an extra tarp that covers my tent. Just so I don't get flooded out.

Need to ask what u already own. No real sense buying a hamick if you own a tent.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 11:45:41 PM »
For the most part, that list is what I already own, that is camping oriented, and that I know I can find.  That was the reason I listed it all, so that folks could help me select down from that, and fill in any critical holes in the gear.

For example, there's no way I need all those different flashlights.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2012, 05:50:34 PM »

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2012, 09:36:21 PM »
I found out what the setup is.  You basically pull your car up near the camping spaces, and then set up your tent next to your car.

There's a stove available, and restroom facilities, running water, and even a fridge, though I don't want to count on it too much.

I suppose this counts as camping, since a camped army could set up those things, etc... .... but this is definitely not "roughing it".


Offline Hootie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 10:10:27 PM »
that is usually how i camp. allows you to bring more "just in case items", than if i was doing over night hiking.

For me that means
  • bigger tent
  • 2 tarps (one for under the tent, one put on top)
  • Bigger firstAid
  • Fire Starters
  • Extra blankets
  • Rain gear
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Dry wood
  • Few extra snacks, incase someone forgets
  • ....

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2012, 10:40:50 PM »
Well my tent has a sealed tarp on the bottom, and a rain shield on the top, and I've got another tarp in the car.

I've also got a fairly good vehicle first aid kit myself anyway.

I have all the material to make some fire-starters, except the wax.

I might pick up a cord of wood, especially since I don't have an axe, and don't know if we can chop any for fires in the area.

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2012, 03:06:49 PM »
I report that my camping trip was, for the most part, successful.  Everyone else but me decided to leave early due to the heat, and wanting to get stuff cleaned up, so I decided to bug out too, rather than spending an extra day at a camp site where I had already walked most of the trails.

My new camping cot barely fits in my tent, and takes up 2/3 of it.  If I loose my weight down to the point that I should be weighing, I could fit two of me on that cot.  A very comfy and sturdy one as well.

My ability to sleep outside in tents is getting better, as it didn't take me nearly as long to fall asleep, especially after I got myself rehydrated, and the wind started to blow to cool things off.  Of course, the various flapping would had been decreased had I recalled to tie the tent top to the tent-poles, and the top tarp that came with the tent to the poles, rather than relying on bungies and the hook attachments.

I'll have to replace one of my tent stakes, due to the hook part snapping off while I tried to pull it out of the ground using another stake as a tool.

I am also reminded that until I know the condition of the trails I'll be walking, I should walk them in long pants.

Lots of people were enamoured with the new walking stick that I had crafted.

I have learned that most chocolate chips get stickier in the summer heat than I'd expect, even if kept in the shade.  As such, chocolate only goes in the winter trail mix.

Also, I've learned that time goes incredibly quickly when you're the person at camp with a knife sharpener, and various tools, and the kids all want to learn to use tools and go on hikes with you.

I've also learned that when large families go camping and bring extra food to share, even if you are prepared to feed yourself and others, I wind up not doing so.

I've also learned that loads of parents enjoy having a skilled and responsible person around who enjoys doing activities with kids, and making sure they are safe and looked after, and learning.  And I've learned that kids really enjoy spending time with a guy who mostly refers them back to the parents for permissions, and only scolds when they're doing something dangerous, or they've already been told not to do by their parents, or other adults.  Okay, I already knew the above, but it was reinforced.

I also was reminded how easily people, in today's day and age can get weirded out.  Take a kid to get his legs washed off from any weeds he might have come in contact with, and then take a shower after he's out of the shower, and people hearing the corresponding conversation outside of the bathrooms will get weirded out.

Also, I re-learned that any time drinking more water won't make me feel sick, if I'm outside and in the heat, I should take a chug.

Offline Adam Campbell

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2012, 11:57:25 AM »
There is no right or wrong list of items to take camping. I think it is up to everyone individually to work out their own setup.

The basics are basically...

Shelter (tent, tarps, hammocks, sleeping bags, etc)
Food (with the means to cook and keep certain items cold)
Fire making equipment (and wood cutting tools)
Comforts (chairs, tables, etc)
Recreational Equipment (bikes, hiking poles, canoe, etc)

My list is different for every camping trip.

I am getting ready for a 4 day mountain biking (from a car-camping base) in the Daniel Boone National Forest at the end of this month and started making a list today.

I am using the trip to re-do my car camping packs, which will also double as my primary "Bug Out Kit" (vehicle based). I have things everywhere, but plan on keeping them stored permanently in ready to go kits, and only break the kits apart as needed for special backpacking trips etc.

I will also have to get my re-built mountain bike finished and adjusted so I can ride it, which has been a very long time in coming. I ruptured a disc in my back a long time ago and never got back into it (but go road cycling a lot). I will then have 2 bikes ready to roll, which will allow me to commute to work regularly and get more exercise than I get right now.

And the 3rd and final benefit is that I will need to make significant progress getting my basement cleaned up — which blew up on me while going through some heavy family related crap (girlfriend and baby moving out, and kicking my teenage daughter out of the house).

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2012, 12:00:03 PM »
One kind of item I avoid at all cost from now on are inflatables of any kind. I don't do air mattresses, inflatable furniture, sleeping pads, or boats. I've never had an experience where they did not spring a leak after only a few uses. I don't buy them for any reason anymore. I have a few in my gear from the days of old, but they are all leaking to some extent.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 12:45:46 PM »
Mmmm.  I like the sturdy nature of my current cot, camp chair, etc.  But I'm not exactly sure how to fit all of it into my backpack along with my sleeping bag.

I'd like to get a set-up going where I have everything I need for a week-end in one bag, so that I can go hiking deeper into the wilderness, and just set up camp a day's hike away from civilization.

I might want to switch to hamok and tarp for the simple purpose of having something small and light that I can fit into the bag.

I think step 1 in shrinking the interior bag contents needs to be getting a compression sack for my sleeping bag.

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Re: Going Camping this Weekend, help me pick my gear?
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2012, 01:59:50 PM »
I am a big fan of the hammock / tarp combo for backpacking. I also have a heavier backpacking tent that is larger than your ultra-lights would carry, but still fits in a small backpack. The backpack in total comes in around 6lbs and the hammock / tarp I use comes in around 3lbs MAX.

I hate sleeping in a hammock, I don't find it very comfortable, but the lightness outweighs comfort. They make a great chair when you sit in them sideways. I can prepare and eat breakfast etc without having to sit on the ground (which is good if you are somewhere with constantly wet ground).

Otherwise, you need the compact sleeping bags. REI sells them pretty cheap, especially their +45 degree mummy bag. It stuffs into a TINY little stuff sack. I also have a Synth Down bag rated to +20 and one can fit inside the other if necessary. The down bag has a stuff sack the same size as the one the +45 fits into but it is VERY hard to cram it in there, and you can't leave it stored like that for a long time or the down material will compress and become useless.

The compact sleeping bag was where I started when I was putting my lightweight kit together for the first time. Other than that, don't bother with a chair. Use Rocks and logs etc to make seating if you need to when you backpack.

However, one thing I am going to start carrying probably is a thermarest pad (non inflatable). Last time I went backpacking, 2 of my friends had the closed cell foam pads. They are BULKY and usually strapped to the outside of your pack, but they weigh almost nothing AND they are VERY comfortable to sit on around a campfire. We laid down some rocks and a log as a "pillow" and draped the Thermarest over the thing and I about fell asleep on the pad in front of the fire it was so comfortable.

It is very easy to pack a heavy backpack. It is much harder to pack a LIGHT backpack that still has what you need and the various creature comforts to either show off to your friends that you were able to bring — or just to enjoy. Car camping is only limited by storage space, but even with the smallest car I've never had a problem having all the creature comforts I would ever want on a car camp trip.