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View Full Version : Camping gear reviews, thoughts, tips, tricks?


'TUDE
March 02, 2005, 16:41
Post your reviews, thoughts, tips, tricks, etc., for camping gear and essentials.

The best investment I ever made toward camping gear is a Coleman Guide Series, three-burner propane stove. Years and years of using old "white gas" stoves makes me wonder why I didn't buy one sooner. I use it with the gas bottle tree, hose kit, and lantern atop the tree. So easy to use, my wife actually enjoys cooking "neat" treats on it like No-bake cookies. Just a little longer than the older white gas stoves, it's slimmer and weighs a little less.

One trick I use while camping is to use a surplus parachute for windbreaks, sun shade or privacy. Stows away in a small duffle bag with paracord fo attaching and is lightweight.

wt
March 02, 2005, 17:22
I do a lot of tent camping and bought a Therm-A-Rest Base Camp Regular Sleeping Pad last summer. These things are great. They are extremely comfortable, roll-up tight for packing and self inflate. I paddle the Brazos river often tent camp on the gravel shoals. With this pad, sleeping on cobble sized rocks is still comfortable.

Treborer
March 02, 2005, 23:17
For paddlers, or backpackers:http://www.hennessyhammock.com/setup.htm

If your paddling in your front yard, remove leeches before you get under way!

Foto:

Bwana John
March 03, 2005, 11:52
I have found that the experance is often best when you leave all the crap at home.
Go native style, and actually experance the backcountry.
A cold night in the woods is good for you every once in a while, and which one of us couldnt loose a little weight.

wt
March 03, 2005, 12:54
Going "native style" was something I did when I was a little younger and had more time. Back then I seemed to be impervious to hunger and lack of sleep. Today I can go a few days on minimal food and still have a great time, but sleep is another matter. Today, I usually only have a weekend (or less) to head out to the woods. If I get a crappy night's sleep, my enjoyment of my time in the woods the next day is greatly diminshed. I will be groggy and the minor aches and pains related to sleeping on the ground do not feel as minor...

Bwana John
March 03, 2005, 12:55
I do a lot of tent camping and bought a Therm-A-Rest
Because Therm-A-Rest's use open-cell foam, if the valve leaks or it gets a hole it is useless, providing no insulation or comfort as it goes flat under your body weight. I recomend carrying a repair kit that includes an extra valve, contact cement, and patch material if you really like the little bit of extra comfort that the Therm-A-Rest provides over a closed-cell insulite foam pad (which are 1/4 the price).
The best of the open cell infalteable pads are from Paco-Pads, a company catering to Grand Canyon river guides. These are made of the same material as the rafts, and are extra over-sized (80" X 36" X 4 "), these are not for backpacking, but they dont leak, you can camp on barbed wire, and are VERY comfortable.
They are fun to ride thru the rapids with also.

Bwana John
March 03, 2005, 13:02
Going "native style" was something I did when I was a little younger and had more time. Back then I seemed to be impervious to hunger and lack of sleep. Today I can go a few days on minimal food and still have a great time, but sleep is another matter. Today, I usually only have a weekend (or less) to head out to the woods. If I get a crappy night's sleep, my enjoyment of my time in the woods the next day is greatly diminshed. I will be groggy and the minor aches and pains related to sleeping on the ground do not feel as minor...

What a drag it is getting old...

MACV
March 03, 2005, 14:59
For tent camping try one of the military cots like Cabela's sells. You will never sleep on the ground again. Sleeping on the ground even with a expensive thermarest pad leaves me sore and stiff. Sleep on a good cot and you wake up refreshed. Give it a try. Also if you're planning on being out for a few days at a time invest in a heated, pressurized shower. A 110 degree shower on a 40 degree morning is great.

wt
March 03, 2005, 15:06
heated pressurized shower

Got any links?

MACV
March 03, 2005, 15:35
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jhtml?id=0006339512343a&navAction=push&navCount=8&indexId=cat20097&podId=0006339&catalogCode=IF&parentId=&parentType=&rid=&cmCat=search&hasJS=true

Not exactly like the one I have but pretty close.

Hot Diggity
March 03, 2005, 20:25
When MACV mentioned heated pressurized showers I remembered how we used to use the old pressurized water fire extinguishers for showers. We'd just set 'em in the sun, and always had compressed air from our vehicles. Never imagined the idea would sell as a camping accessory, but it sure beat using a steel helmet for a wash basin.

I still see lots of the old stainless steel compressed air/water type extinguishers at the recyclers. Bet a guy could pick one up cheap if you have room for such luxuries as a field shower in your vehicle. Maybe it'll fit between the coffee maker and the DVD player?


But wait... there's more!

The field shower doubles as a fire extinguisher!

HD

Da Nerd
March 04, 2005, 01:26
I HAVE TRIED EM ALL.
bare ground native camping
tent camping w/fire pit
trailer camping with gas stove
truck camper w/shower
motorhome with color tv.
but the best week end I have found is
AT A HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ON THE WATER FRONT.
:rofl: :angel:

lutefisk
March 04, 2005, 10:01
Let's see, if traveling in Africa, always carry your own toilet paper because going native means wiping your ass with your left hand.

Bwana has already mentioned the Paco pad. I think I have the Pro or Guide models and they were discounted to about $110.00 several years ago. They're made in Aztec, NM. If you are in hot weather, you kindof stick to the PVC by morning. They are tough products and I've not had any leaks despite repeated use and abuse. The down side is weight and bulk. The up side is sleep.
Therma-rest products are great for the young crowd. As I represent medium level decomposition(51 yo) going camping is no longer a stand alone positive experience like it used to be. Winter camping, HAH...I distant memory.

Other jems, don't let an empty metal coffee cup contact your lips if winter camping along Lake Superior.

Treborer
March 04, 2005, 23:24
Picture of Hennessey Hammock, no rocks no pads, lightwieght:)

You enter through the middle, a slit . Reminds me of my Birth experience sans Gin breath from the Doc.

If in the desert, lash em between two trucks, just be sure to disconnect the trucks Battery cables.:uhoh: :p

Firestarter
March 05, 2005, 12:57
Do you take a cell phone with you when camping? GPS? Or do you just need to keep your kids gameboy working? (sad I know)

Here is a nifty and inexpensive power source.

http://store1.yimg.com/I/basegear_1830_1683161





The innovative Brunton SolarPort 4.4 Solar Charger offers an energy alternative to keep your cell phone running, your GPS tracking and your digital camera recording images.

SolarPort 4.4 allows you to charge electronics via USB, and its durability is unprecedented.

Take advantage our cable-free 12 volt connection in the hinge, and link up to three units together to increase power output.

Lightweight but sturdy, our SolarPort 4.4 could mean the difference between a life saving phone call or a dead battery. Use the included BattJack™ Rapid Charger to juice-up your rechargeable batteries away from home. Free Brunton BattJack Battery Charger included (accessories and batteries not included).

Specifications:
Max output: 4.4 watts (265mA @ 12V position and 530mA @ 6V position)
Includes BattJack AA/AAA battery charger
Polycrystalline solar panel construction
Reverse flow protection
6V / 12V depending upon the position of the voltage selection switch
USB output (5V 500mA)
Vehicle outlet in the hinge
20" extendable power cable with an exchangeable adapter plug in hinge
Link up to three units together for even more output
Designed for small electronics like PDAs, GPS units, cell phones and digital cameras
Size: 9.3" x 6" x 1.5"
Weight: 19 oz. (26 oz. with accessories)



BN-SOLARPORT44List price: $119.00

Base gear has them for $110.00

Deltaten
March 06, 2005, 07:58
Always pack a couple of large, x-tra heavy duty poly trashbags; like they use at the gas'n'go or mall.

Useful for improv shelter, rain covers for gear or you, ground sheets, bag covers, food stores, and....
Ya can always use 'em for trash ;)

Never have enough rope. twine, 550, or cord. Vary length and size.

At Roger's we found the ground SO hard that it would need a pilot hole hammered in using a pc of rebar to get a stake to hold/go in. Tried some of those "FastenMaster" landscape tie screws and a cdlss drill. Voila'! set screw in tent/rope tab. afix dril, and run in. Great IF ya got's a drill handy!

Forgot yer sleeping pad? No worries...use a couple of padded gun bags! AMHIK :D Two ACE 46" FAL assault cases work for me; your size may vary.

Regards,
Paul

falfan#1
March 06, 2005, 09:55
If you use trash bags for food or water gathering/storage, make sure they are plain plastic. Some manufacturers add mildewcide, insecticide, and scent to their bags to keep nasties from setting up shop in your trash too quickly. Probably not good to ingest these chemicals if you can avoid it. :eek: