The Camping Thread

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by bpprox22, Aug 16, 2017.

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  1. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    Hi Everyone,

    I couldn't find another thread about this so I guess I'll create one.

    Are any of you interested in camping? (Backpacking, Car-Camping, etc.)

    Share your favorite camping spots, supplies, lessons, and experiences!

    My initial discussion starter:
    I am currently on the market for a new tent because a few friends and I are going on a camping trip soon. I can borrow one from my parents but I'd like to do a lot more camping so it makes sense for my fiancé and I to get our own. We'll mostly be doing Car-Camping so it won't need to be ultralight-weight (saving me $$$). Size should be a minimum of 3 person. A 3 season tent would be fine. It also needs to be very durable. Any recommendations or warnings I should look out for when tent buying?
     
  2. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    Too many absolutely bizarre camping experiences to even know where to begin.

    Anyway... as far as tents go:

    > Make sure that you get one that is bigger rather than smaller. If you want to sleep 2 then get a 3-person and so on. There will always be other things going into the tent with you so you need to have plenty of room.

    > One of the best things that you can do is set-up your new tent BEFORE the trip. This assures that you know how it goes together and makes for setting it up much quicker, less frustrating, etc when out in the wilderness.

    > Be prepared. Whether you think you'll have good weather or bad, you absolutely never know. Sudden storms can really change the whole experience. That brings me to this bit of advice: When you have your new tent set-up PRIOR to going on your trip, make sure that if it hasn't been treated ( waterproofed) that you do it now. A can of Camp Dry and a small bottle of seam-sealer will be what you need to do this. Plenty of instructional info out there but it's easy to do and can mean the difference between getting soaked and being miserable vs being cozy, dry, and happy. I really can't stress this enough.

    > Don't set-up your tent too close to fire lol. This includes being conscious of any falling/ wayward red-hot embers.

    > Don't skimp on your "flooring". Sucks bad to have to move a tent around just so that you can get that rock out of your back. Make sure that the ground is as absolutely level, soft, and groomed as possible. This is even more important if not using cots to sleep on. Treat your body right if you're going to be laying in sleeping bags on the tent-floor.

    > No matter what... ALWAYS use tent stakes. This gets overlooked a good deal with new campers but you absolutely should have your tent staked and securely in place. Having a variety of stakes can be a good thing too if you're not sure about the topography. Narrower metal stakes and/ or shorter stakes may work better if on a more rocky ground... Longer/ wider stakes may do better on more soft/ loamy ground. You never know when a storm or high winds will come along and it's bad news when your tent tries to take off with you inside.

    > Be sure to use a tarp or some kind of liner under the tent floor. This will eliminate any potential condensation that may otherwise wind up making the inside floor damp. Temperature and humidity fluctuations from day to night can really effect condensation so make sure that you keep the inside of the tent as dry and comfortable as possible.

    > If using cots ( elevated off the floor) then padding, extra cushioning isn't as critical but if you plan to use sleeping bags on the floor, you'll want to have as thick and soft of a surface as possible. This may mean using additional blankets, foam padding, etc but just make sure that you make your sleeping surface as comfy and soft as possible.

    Those are my top tips when preparing to use a tent.
     
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  3. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    Love the input High Plains Drifter!

    I've done a fair amount of camping in my younger years, so most of that is part of my common sense -- though it did remind me of some of the more important things to remember.

    Also, This is a great point.
     
  4. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    No prob. Yea, man... I actually really like when it rains at night time... just so long as the tent has been adequately sealed/ waterproofed. Someone may understandably assume that a tent is waterproof, but since most inexpensive ones are not, I just wanted to mention it. I currently have a cheap-o Coleman. It looks like hell, it's battle-scarred, and it has a good deal of "aromatic" qualities lol but it's been a trooper throughout the years.

    Not wanting to hijack so just real quick... few obligatory tent pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    Dude. You have great scenery in TX!
    Also, I don't think hijacking is going to be an issue :cheers: I'm hoping this becomes more of a general camping thread than a specific one about tents lol.

    I'm sure I'll be posting my new tent once I pick one out though.
     
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  6. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    For a cheapo, get a Wenzel. You can find their 5 person ones for under $70.

    For a good light backpacking one, either an REI campdome or a tarptent.

    Tarptent is godtier. I love my double rainbow :yesway:
     
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  7. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    Yes! I've heard amazing things about Tarptent. Prices are great too.

    Out of curiosity, do you use the double rainbow as a 1 person tent or are you fitting 2?
     
  8. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    2 people. If you're backpacking, its all about the bare minimum.

    Also as Mr. Drifter mentioned, go bigger (for car camping anyway). When you're looking at sizes, the number of people a tent is rated for is pretty much based on stacking people like taquitos in a skillet.

    [​IMG]

    I like a 5 person tent for two people because then you have plenty of room for a full blow up mattress, your clothing bags, crayons, and other stuff you'd like to keep in the tent with you.
     
  9. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    True, now I want to go backpacking and eat taquitos.

    Car-camping is probably going to be the majority of our camping trips so our first tent purchase is likely going to be a budget 4-5 person tent. I'm currently trying to save money so for the camping trips in the near future, I'll borrow a 4 or 6 person tent from my folks.
     
  10. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    my big car camping tent claims it sleeps 8 people, but those people would all have to be less than 4'6" to actually fit. it's super comfortable with 4 people plus gear... more than that? only in emergencies. it's a cheap tent and I find them kind of annoying... personally I haven't noticed many functional differences between cheap tents and expensive ones, except that pricier tents tend to have real YKK zippers that work 100 times better. I'd say a vestibule is a necessity for your tent if you are doing any outdoor activity too... it's a great place to chuck off your hiking/climbing/kayak gear without dirtying up your tent and helps you stay dry in shitty weather inside.

    for tying off tents and tarps, the follow through figure 8 knot and the trucker's hitch are invaluable. learn em, love em. or if you are like me and always turn up to your camp site too late to be able to see what you are doing, get these https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5027-436/CamRing-Cord-Tensioners-Small-(4-Pack) so you don't have to tie the hitch for your tent guylines. You can get cheap plastic versions too but these look a lot cooler and will last forever unless you lose them. for me, I bought reflective cord for my guylines so I won't eat shit tripping over them in the dark but the rings actually reflect light better so people are less likely to trip on them.


    Up here, fire bans tend to kick in before camping season is only half over. camping without a fire is (IMO) pointless. A propane fire pit is an absolute godsend for this part of the season because they are exempted by all but the strictest fire bans. This one kicks ass, it comes with a lid and a carrying handle built on. Connect a big propane cylinder and you are off to the races... as sweet as real fires are, the propane one does have some advantages too. Nobody gets smoked out, you can turn it up or down on a whim, and turn it off whenever you want. EXCEPT you can't cook over one as spilling anything on the lava rocks can damage the burners. You can do jiffy pop and stuff if you are careful but actual cooking over the fire is a no go so you need a stove/BBQ as well.

    https://www.wayfair.ca/Outland-Livi...c&ptid=264698103300&targetid=pla-264698103300

    that's the one I use. cheap too.

    Added bonus is they burn propane so fast, your cylinder gets ice cold... like solid frost in the freezer even on hot 25, 30 degree celsius nights. Put it in a bucket of water and you can chill your beers to be absolutely freezing. If you run the fire full blast the cylinder will cool 30 beers to in less than an hour, no problem. A full 20 pound cylinder is good for about 8-10 hours of an intense fire, and then it'll run at low intensity forever until you cave and refill the cylinder so you can actually get it to kick off some heat again
     
  11. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    That's brilliant to use the propane cylinder as a giant ice cube!

    I don't believe I've ever used guy lines in my younger years. AFAIK they are optional (but good to have) if the environment permits. I'll probably incorporate them in future adventures.

    I could do without a fire but I agree with you. There is nothing like a campfire-coal-cooked slab of meat or veggies.
     
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