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Camping...it's in-tents.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cargasm66, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. cargasm66

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    Now that summer is FINALLY here in the normally bleak and rainy Northwest, my friends and I are making plans to go camping every weekend possible. However, growing up, I lived in the city and had a mother who was very attached to creature comforts, so I never really got to experience very many camping trips.

    Now that I'm ready to start exploring the wilderness (read: Getting drunk in the middle of nowhere next to a campfire), I'd like to hear suggestions, recipes, tips, and maybe even secret spots.

    Whatcha got?
     
  2. ghettoastronaut

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    Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany. As my girlfriend rather succinctly put it, "You climbed up a mountain for two hours with 40 pounds on your back through a blizzard to drink beer?"

    And what good beer it was.
     

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  3. Primer

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    It really depends on where you're going; four hours west of Edmonton is the mountains and camping in the mountains is a lot different than middle of the forest beside a lake. Things I generally bring with me:

    -Coolers (duh), one for food and one for beer/drinks.
    -Tent (duh), make sure it's water-proof. The biggest thing that will make a great trip stay great, and a great trip become terrible, is how dry you can stay. Remember, never put your tent in the divot, always try and find the top of a slope or as close to as possible. A nice tree will keep some of that rain off your head but don't park to close to it. Stay dry; stay happy.
    -Sleeping shit: Always prepare for terrible weather. I have some pretty heavy sleeping bags that I take with me, I've also got some fairly light ones. It's always easy to just remove layers if you're hot.
    -Tarps, this goes with the stay dry; stay happy. I bring usually six with me; one to hang above my tent, another to put under my tent.
    -Bungee cords and rope. They come in handy in all situations, trust me.
    -Another note on this: If you're in bear country, always make sure you tie your food up on the tree lines; basically a rope between two trees so you can hoist all your bear-attracting stuff into the air, so the bears cannot get to it; some tree lines have rope hanging from them so you can hoist stuff up, some do not. Do not store food inside you car if you're in bear country; I've seen what happens when a bear wants to get in a car and it looks a lot like a can opener gone wild.
    -An axe. I bring this no matter what, even if you're not allowed campfires. Axes are handy for more than chopping wood. You can use it as a hammer, a flint to start a fire or a tent peg.
    -Cooking stove. I have access to about a dozen of these, a couple doubles and a single burner.
    -Rain gear. This is a given, you can never trust the elements. Stay dry; stay happy.
    -Lighters, matches and a flint set. I bring all three with me, you never know if you'll need them but in a pinch a flint set will start a warm fire that will make your night.
    -Lots of warm socks. I bring a pair or two, even in the middle of summer. I went camping a couple of years in the middle of July and it snowed almost a foot. Broke quite a few tents and we all woke up to freezing temperatures.
    -Cell phones. Also, make sure someone knows that you're going out camping. Tell them when you're leaving and when you plan on returning; this is in case something happens to you and you're really fucked. Tell them to call the local cops if you do not return on time; also, make sure to contact that person in case you're going to be late.
    -First Aid pack. You can get good ones by The Redcross; I'm sure there's an American equivalent but Redcross sells premade kits of different sizes. Also, if you've got time, take First Aid training, it can mean the difference between life and death.
    -Paper and pencils. Need to write something down, there's your key. I don't bring pens with me because pen ink will freeze in the cold and will be useless.
    -A couple knives. Need a new tent peg, forgot your fork? Boom, carve one out of wood.
    -Common sense. Don't be running around in the forest with no idea where you are; get lost and get dead.
    I'm sure there's more but that's just off the top of my head.
     
  4. JPrue

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    My family goes on two big camping trips every summer, and we have been since I was born. Some helpful tips that I've picked up in my experience, in addition to Primer's extensive list:

    -If you're doing any sort of hiking/climbing there is no better asset than dry feet. Bring a ton of shoes/hiking boots just in case some get wet or damaged. You can really never have enough, and they take up minimal space.
    -I'll second tarps. Although they take a little time to get situated, they are irreplaceable in nasty weather as they will keep your tent, clothes, footwear, and sleeping bag/pillow dry. Wet gear will ruin a trip. Period.
    -Another strategy for avoiding bears is to spit your toothpaste FAR from your campsite. I know this sounds silly and trivial, but bears go wild for that sweet smelling/tasting hygiene byproduct. If you don't want to be woken by a huge ass bear 10' from your tent, don't spit your toothpaste out there.
    -Make sure the place you're camping allows you to bring your own campfire wood if you plan on bringing some. The state park I go to forbids entrance of your own firewood because of the spread of tree eating beetles and such. Just check to be sure. Nothing is more frustrating than loading up your truck with a week's worth of logs, taking up valuable space, just to have to throw it out at the park entrance, and buy their approved firewood.
    -Duct tape. There is always a use for duct tape.
     
  5. cargasm66

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    How about some recipes? What do you guys eat when you're getting drunk in a forest? (I'm assuming for this next trip, we'll at least have a charcoal grill to use). What's easy to prep, pack, and cook?
     
  6. Improper

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    Primer and Jprue have given good, detailed answers, but I would add something to the talk of staying dry. As they said, dry is happy.

    At certain altitudes, it rains pretty much daily. One of my first moves at a new campsite is to get a rope between some trees, and then get a tarp over that rope. Tie it off, stake it off, whatever. Think of it as near instant shelter for your campsite. You drop your gear there, it will stay dry. You can get some shade there, if the sun is out. If it IS raining, you can even hang under it to cook at your fire, if your fire pit is close enough to the edge of your cover.

    It does not replace a good tent, or the things listed in the great posts above, but it is a solid first move.

    However you proceed, best of luck. Have a fun camp out.
     
  7. ec88

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    Recipe: Take aluminum foil, fold it in half, then tightly fold 2 sides and the bottom once more. There will be an opening on the top part of the bag, throw in cut up potato chunks, hot dog chunks, cut up carrots (and any other vegetables you would like), and basically anything else that sounds good. Add a little bit of water, close the top part of the foil. Cook that in the camp fire for a while. When finished, throw in some cheese, salt, and pepper. It ends up being a pretty tasty camping meal.
     
  8. PewPewPow

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    I realize you may be a way off but my absolute favorite place to camp/ hike in the Northwest is Wallowas - Whitman National Park, specifically the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Alpine lakes, bear, elk, you get the whole package.

    note: wilderness is the correct term here, my spot is 20 miles from any sort of civilization and I've spent a week out there without seeing another human being.
     
  9. shegirl

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    All we did when I was a kid was camp. Camp camp camp for every single vacation except like 2. Needless to say I'm over it. I dislike it to this day and won't go. My friends all give me shit about it and I don't care. I just say no to camping.

    I will share one thing my friend that camps and loves it the most has that he swears by, a dutch oven.
     
  10. Benny

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    I got something to add to the going camping check off list: A gun, preferably a large one. Maybe it's just that I was raised in Western Montana, in the Rocky Mountains, where there are Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and Rattle snakes, But I'll be damned if I'm going out in the woods without arming myself first. I've had one too many close encounters with predatory animals, I can't believe that no one has mentioned this yet. I prefer a .44 mag revolver, It's light (a lot lighter than a rifle anyway) and reliable.
     
  11. JGold

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    Given how shitty my current living situation is (10 more days!), it's not hyperbole to say I feel more at home in my tent than in my room. Hell, I'm moving to Colorado in August almost solely because of the great outdoors.

    I can't recommend anywhere in the Cascades, but if you ever make it down to Southwest Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is breathtakingly beautiful. Several 14ers, the Highland Mary Lakes, the Grenadiers, the Window, the Needles. I've never been so happy to be awake at 6 a.m. than when I unzipped my tent and saw sunrise over the Needle Mountains. Take the train from Durango, hop off in the middle of nowhere, and hike up into the Chicago Basin for a few nights. Thank me later.

    Food, in general, tastes 1,000 times better when camping. I'm getting hunger pangs right now just thinking about how good boxed mac and cheese is when it's heated on a camp stove after a 12-mile day. But here's the recipe for the juiciest brats you'll ever eat (no homo). It's also retardedly simple:

    Backcountry Brats
    Cooking time: 45 mins to 1 hr
    Ingredients: One yellow onion, one or two jalapenos, five or six brats, chipotle peppers

    Cut up the peppers and the onion and throw it in tin foil with the brats. Triple wrap them so not an ounce of flavor gets out. Throw them in the fire with lots of coals. Bury them. Turn them once after 30 minutes, and keep them away from the flame. You should hear them sizzling pretty good. Toast a few buns over the fire once the brats are almost done.
     
  12. shegirl

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    And then you shit hell fire for the entire next day.....squatting......outside....under a tree. Camping is so manly.
     
  13. Misanthropic

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    We go camping at least one weekend each year on the banks of the upper Delaware River. Make fun of NJ all you want, but it is beautiful up there.

    Not really a recipe per se, but buy a couple of buffalo steaks and grill them over an open campfire. Wrap some potatos in tin foil and bake them in the coals while the steaks are sizzling. Simple and fantastic, especially with a good Rauchbier (smoked beer).
     
  14. Dcc001

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    This is why I'm going to marry Shegirl one day.
     
  15. toddamus

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    Camping? All you need is a truck, a keg, a fire and many many hammered friends. I miss college.
     
  16. Disgustipated

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    Camping? Out there? In Australia? There's things out there than can kill the things that can kill you.

    Seriously though, fuck that shit. Once you've spent a night sleeping in a swag, without a tent, in a ditch by the side of the road, in the freezing rain while road trains going at least 70 miles per hour thunder past you all night you get over camping real quick.

    For those that don't know what a road train is, it's a prime mover with at least three full size trailers behind it. They can be hundreds of feet long. And they're usually full of cattle, so it's not unusual for them to pull their own shit storm along with them.
     
  17. Dcc001

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    This is a really interesting point. I find that people who have had to do something out of necessity (like, say, flying all over the place for work, or what Disgustipated describes above), very rarely enjoy doing that same thing in their leisure time. Something about not having a choice and it being forced upon you taints your view of it (see Shegirl's post). Unless of course you PICKED your job because you just enjoy those aspects of it so much, but I think that's fairly rare.
     
  18. katokoch

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    There's camping and there's camping. When you go camping, you can throw everything you want in the back of your car and drive right up to a campsite (or within a quarter mile, whatever). Bring all the food and whiskey and toilet paper and beer in the world you want.

    When you really go camping, your equipment choices matter. Generally speaking, if you decide to skimp on some cheap little thing (like a compass or matches/lighters or ponchos), it'll be the one little thing that totally fucks a trip up. Be smart and make a list of every possible thing you could need- and then some. Then, trim it down depending on how much you can pack in. I make canoeing and fishing trips in the Boundary Waters every summer and you can fit a good deal of stuff in a canoe- not alot, but a good deal. This is, of course, in comparison to a buddy of mine who goes on ridiculous backpacking trips and needs to figure out how to stuff his essential gear into a pack he'll have to comfortably carry over a long ways over piss poor terrain.

    Make certain you don't forget important gear and know how to use it. Even if you have a compass and map, you'll be totally fucking lost if you don't know how to use them. Even if you have a first aid kit, you could be fucked unless you know how to use it.

    Regarding clothing, make certain you can stay dry and stay warm. Even in June, I've been in the middle of a thunderstorm throwing down sleet here in Minnesota. Wool is still the king for keeping you comfortable no matter what, and new wool-synthetic blends kick ass get better and better. That being said, a lightweight Gore-Tex jacket works well for keeping you dry and it won't let the wind cut through. Footwear is very important... don't wear shitty socks and wear appropriate shoes/boots. Worn-out running shoes make great canoeing shoes because they can get dirty and they dry out quickly while still being fine on shitty portages. Boots that won't keep your feet warm will make you miserable.

    Food? Calories! Nuts, jerky, etc. are great because they are very packable and are calorie-rich. Minimize the amount of food you need to keep cooled or is pack-sensitive (shit like fruit or eggs that can be easily crushed/mashed). If you can, hunt or fish! It's a great way to enjoy yourself and get fresh, delicious, protein-rich meat. If you don't recognize it, don't eat it. Practically any recipe that involves throwing some meat with stuff and spices wrapped in tin foil and thrown into a fire will be good. Liquor packs easier than beer, and irish cream is entirely worth it for your morning coffee. STAY HYDRATED!!!

    Dare I say it, older copies of the Boy Scout Handbook aren't bad at all. They cover practically everything regarding camping and while they are very basic and will need to be adapted, even you can understand whats in them (I may or may not have been in that organization for a long ass time and can speak for it's validity).

    Always remember, the farther in you go, the more beautiful it gets.

    [​IMG]

    (Lake Three, Minnesota)
     
  19. Maltob14

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    Two tips having just come back from a camping trip a few days ago. 1) Be involved in all of the desicion making your freinds make. For example don't assume they are going to pack enough food for the trip or with any variatey whatsoever. I spent 3 days eating eggs and corned beef and I'm still breaking out with a rash. Basically double check everything but don't be that asshole who has to have everything his way, let shit slide. 2) Don't invite just anyone, only take non-fucktards. Our hunting trip was ruined because some of the people just couldn't shut the fuck up/not light everything on fire and therefore scared everything away. You're there to relax, not babysit.
     
  20. MrPrime

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    All I can say is Socks!

    If you find you are getting cold, one of the quickest ways to stop the cold feeling is putting on a pair of clean dry socks (wool/sport what ever)

    Most people don't think about their feet when it comes to being warm. But your socks will get wet (sweat/water/spilled booze/you pissing on yourself when you are black out drunk) and a pair of dry socks can make a world of difference