May 30, 20181151 views

[Ongoing] Camping Discussion

On Massdrop, there are beginners just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
CAMPING It’s good to escape to the great outdoors once in a while, even for just a night. Whether you’re adventuring, biking, hiking, canoeing, or even glamping, there are tips and tricks to get more enjoyment out of it and to help you do it all more easily.
ASK QUESTIONS • What’s the simplest way to start a fire? • What’s the most optimal way to set up my site? • How do I properly take care of my sleeping bags? • What are some good (but simple) campfire recipes?
The best way to find the answers to your questions is to ask the community. There are members here who are experts in pretty much every area you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your questions by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the community know a lot about hiking and have valuable information to share. We encourage you to help out anyone who has questions!
Want to learn some basics? Here’s a Massdrop 101 on shelters:

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Mshadle208, Kevin Chau, and 6 others

Great campsite -
Camping is a great adventure only if you are well prepared for it in advance. If you are planning to go to a place for camping where its rain, then having the best tent for rain 2019 could make this adventure more memorable. You can easily sleep while it’s raining outside and keep yourself and your family safe from the bad weather.
My Grand-dad took me hiking when I was 7 or 8...and I've been hooked ever since. We didn't have "scout troops" in my area when I was growing up, but the Police Chief was a retired Marine that took us on outdoor adventures (camping, backpacking, caving, rock climbing)... Later, as a teen, a friend's dad used to drop us off at a section of the Appalachian Trail in NJ for weekends in the woods. When I saw men in their 40's, 50's and older...I remember saying to my pals "I hope we can do that when we're that old"... I'll be doing a section hike when I turn 60 next May, so I guess I can check that off the bucket list! We do 2-3 day trips, covering a modest 8-10 miles per day. Most of the time we do circuit hikes, centering our travels around AT shelters or campsites. Given that those spots are fairly well established, we typically tent down about 50-75 yards away from a shelter, upwind from the privy. We always "bear bag" our food and trash to keep the critters away (raccoons and oppossum LOVE Ramen noodles). When we "rough it" the tent is usually situated under a canopy of trees, the fire and sitting area about 20 paces out and the cat holes are distant... Never the less, we always pack out what we pack in...and I frequently pick up trash and people bottles on the way out. Most important piece of gear? My knife! I carry a fixed's a fire starting, rope cutting, hole digging, apple slicing, life saver...
My job is conservation work like trail maintenance, and I've been outdoors all of my life. To answer your questions, I like to make a log cabin with the wood starting thicker and going thinner to the top and then filling it with easy burning fuel like lint or dry moss, then once those are going put more pencil sized sticks on the top so that there's fuel every direction. Site optimization is pretty preferential but I like to put the kitchen right in the middle, my tent not far but a good distance from the kitchen so wildlife doesn't go near me and then a latrine on the opposite side of the kitchen but when I go solo there's much less organisation than at work. Proper sleeping bag care is a little easier, only put them in the compression sacks when you're packing them to camp because extended compression isn't good for the sleeping bag, also clean them often because when they get dirty they lose insulative properties, aside from that I don't have anything to add. Enjoy your hikes!
I go for mainly 2-4 day tramps, just started out and I'm filling up my 75 litre pack easily. around 17 kg with all the food, water and camping gear. around 10 kg without sleeping bag, tent and water. My question is: How can I pack lighter. I feel like I'm only bring the essentials but I've got super heavy packs... Please help.
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I have never had the priviledge to visit New Zealand but I would think water sources a plenty. I don't know about shipping, but here in the states most all of the big retailers have started selling 'used gear' which will save you money. Patagonia, North Face and REI all do used gear and there are some specific websites as well. I am sure w/the outdoor vibe in your home country there are some options there. Again, if you can hammock camp, you can save a lot of weight as well, which I would think would be a viable option in New Zealand. Eg. I'm not sure of the weight of their stuff comparatively speaking but I think you get good value for the price and they do stuff on Kickstarter all the time - add a tarp and you would be all set. You can add a quilt and or under quilt if need be. Just an idea/option.
hmm... These are good points. Thanks a lot! I'll try them later in the year probs after summer cuz I'm really not good with the heat and don't do much in the summer. I'll try some second handed stuff off ebay and if I don't like it I could always sell it for around the same price. Thanks!
I am putting my light/ultralight kit together now, but the last thing I am struggling with is getting my sleep system dialed in. I tend to sleep hot, alternate between back and side sleeping, and don’t generally go out in <25 degrees.
I have a 25 degree Nemo bag that weighs ~50oz and has always been way too warm on a non-insulated Big Agnes pad. But that pad is too narrow for me so I over-reacted and bought a Klymit Double V, all for myself. Fits great in the 3lb mountain hardwear ghost UL3 ($300 on campsaver right now!) and moderately well in the Alps mountaineering Zephyr 2. But even I can admit that it takes up too much space in my pack and is a little too luxurious.
As far as overheating goes, I now use a cotton travel sheet and the massdrop pine quilt, but I am trying to figure out if I want the more practical klymit static v luxe, or the luxe insulated (weight saving of 5oz or 13.5oz, respectively over the Double V). I am aiming for something that will keep me comfortable down to 50 degrees with my quilt set up, once it stops being so damn hot here in New England.
So tl:dr, is an insulated pad worth $20 and ~8oz? Or, should I lug around a 6oz piece of closed cell foam to add a little warmth to the non-insulated luxe as needed?
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I have the v's worth it's weight (literally)! It's thicker, wider and tons more comfortable for side sleepers like me. I have never found the need for an "insulated pad", even when tenting in snow. The design of the Klymit pad's baffles help retain body heat. If it's very cold, I place the v luxe inside my Slumberjack 30º sleeping bag and cocoon it around me.
Thanks Rickster2u, this is the exact answer I was hoping for!
The simplest way to start a fire is a Bic lighter.
One of the things that I do in the outdoors is design new hiking routes for current/future generations of hikers. I use to spend about 1/3rd of the year out working on that, but have slowed down the last year or two, but I still get out working on that whenever I can.
I use to just go out and spend a week to two weeks out, and pretty much approach it like I would a long distance hiker, carry everything with lots of food, and just stay out.
But here recently been switching things up. Going out with my truck and base-camping out of my truck. That is ok, but my truck is small and been wanting something with more room.
That has lead me to wanting to pick up a "Kodiak 10 x 14 Flex-Bow VX Tent" -
Yeah, a big one!
My thinking here is that I could set it up, throw in a nice big comfy air mattress, a fold-up plastic desk can fit in there (throw my stove and other crap on it) and basically use this as a base camp. Going out on a daily basis and doing the scout work that it takes to build trails.
Can easily throw it into the back of my truck along with the table, air mattress, 12v mattress inflator, my 65l Yeti cooler (I really want a Dometic 65), food, water, and everything else that I need.
Anyway, just wondering what all of you think about this. I know that Kodiak Canvas are one of the big names in the world of 100% Cotton Duck Canvas. The other one I was looking at was the "Springbar 8", which is also 10 x 14, but lacks the big windows on the side that the Kodiak has.
Thanks for any thoughts/feedback.
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Have you considered this option ? and I think they were just bought out by Thule...
Nah. I just do not see the allure of those type of shelters. Also, I am looking for a base-camp shelter, which is where the aspects of something like a Kodiak comes into play. To me, a cab/truck tent is basically just the same as setting up my MSR shelter, except the MSR is a hell of a lot less work/effort to setup and take down.
I agree with most of the comments above and as someone who learned this from others as an adult and then taught it to teenagers I think you should hike with others your first few outing. The Sierra club does backpacking trips with a group and an experienced leader. That way you can have an expert around and see what gear others are carrying. Backpacker magazine is full of helpful tips and I believe they have older issues online. REI, if you have a store nearby has clinics and helpful people. You should not go alone until you can navigate with both a gps and map and compass. I agree with the Leave No Trace and 10 essentials advice others have offered. I would suggest you take a first aid course if you haven’t recently. I never backpack with kit I haven’t tested and know how to use.
After a 20 year hiatus from backpacking, at 64 years old, I am now getting started again. I have planned a season of trips, beginning with some 5-7 (one-way) milers and working towards a 25-30 mile week long excursion. I invested in a new pair of good hiking boots and made the first trip with my old pack and other equipment. However, to sleep well and comfortably, I have moved from tent camping to hammock camping. After a couple of excursions with the old equipment, I have since invested in a new backpack and other more lightweight equipment. I have found that there is a learning curve to doing all of this when you're older, but I am enjoying both the challenges and the places I am visiting.



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I have a pair of Salomon Amphibs that I wear a lot in Summer or if I figure to get wet. I do like any/all of the Salomon products I have had to date. I hear you, I am 56...I still have a pair of Keens (boots) but I now rarely get them out...Happy Trails
Same to you SAnCLT
Nice little backcountry camping trip my brother and I took
You can post camping pics here if you like :D
There are many sources on the internet that make for good references on the subject of backcountry camping. Most of my personal knowledge comes from the Boy Scouts, but there are many excellent resources for you to spend many hours reading up on the topic: This is by no means a complete list. Google is your friend.
How do you make the jump from day hiking to backcountry? Things like trail etiquette, where to stop and camp, first time dos and don'ts?
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Awesome input from Cardamomtea and livingspeedbump. One more thing I would recommend is to go to the website for the park or forest you will be hiking in, look at some hikes on maps, and for your first back-country overnight, start small or make sure it can be broken into small chunks--some locations only allow you to camp in very specific spots so, if you choose a 15-20 mi hike with no allowed camping along the way you have to do the whole thing in one go, which may be fine but, by finding a hike that has camping along the route, it's one less thing to worry about. Choose a few options and then pop into or call your local wilderness information center (WIC) if you plan to hike in a national park, or your local ranger station if you're near a national forest and tell them what you want to do. You'll be lucky if you get the old ranger who's on the job because they love it and you're willing to listen. If you get a helpful ranger, get their name and use them as a resource because they will be the biggest help with your questions on hikes and where to camp. Happy trails and hope you love it--it can be addictive! : )
As an add on many National Parks have free camping, but some do require a permit...I highly recommend as a place to start. Also REI does great classes on most everything and they are oftentimes free as well.