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04-09-2018, 02:59 PM   #1
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the time is upon us.... for camping.

As we zero in on the opening of camping season at many state parks here in the US, I thought it would be fun to start a camping thread. I realize that some of us do camp throughout the entirety of the year, but let us not dwell on timeframes. So, with all haste, let us commence the camping talk.

I love camping, but with my job I rarely get time off work that would allow me to do an extended stay at the local state parks. All of my gear that I had used previously was for extended stay camping: 12x20 tent, screen tent for picnic table, those bagged folding chairs you get for $10-$14 at most retail stores, bulky lanterns that require propane cylinders, and of course the large cooler. This year will be the first time I've been camping since my vacation time in 2010, and I'm planning on doing backpack camping so that I will be able to be out for 1-2 days with little planning.

To that end, I have been buying the backpack camping gear (and finally just received the last piece of equipment). I do not know how much it all weighs yet, but I'm fairly certain it's under 35 lbs total.

What I got:

Kelty Yukon 48L external frame pack
2 person dome tent (fits inside pack)
small folding chair and folding table (both fit inside pack)
2 small tarps (one for tent footprint and one for over tent in case of rainshowers
folding mesh fire stand (needs to be strapped to pack)
camp cookware (standard 2 person kit found at any walmart/outdoor shop)
folding isobutane burner (fits in a pocket of the pack)
folding firepit/grill (about size of a 7 in tablet when folded up)
isobutane canister (consumable supplies)
2x aluminum water bottles (34 oz each)
lots of 8cm carabiners for attaching small items to pack
compression straps to attach items to pack
rain poncho (already had)
hatchet (already owned)
peg mallet (already owned)
sleeping bag (already owned)

I have purchased materials to make firestarter (cotton balls and petroleum jelly), as well as a grill lighter. I just need to buy a small drybag to put a roll of toilet paper and a small medkit bag in. I plan to do a lot of camping this year. I will take pictures of my setup at camp. Definitely can't wait, nothing says relaxation like sitting in front of a campfire.

Post your camping plans/setups/pictures, etc... Let's all have fun with this.

04-10-2018, 07:19 AM   #2
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I haven't backpacked in years and I doubt my spine would hold up well to a fully loaded pack anymore. I do have a lot of backpacking gear because I take motorcycle and kayak overnight trips and and the same lightweight packable gear is needed. My 2 man tent is from LL Bean and packs small. It has a full rainfly so no tarps needed. A folding chair, sleeping bag (which doubles as a backrest on the Harley), a self inflating sleeping pad, small Peak One stove (no longer made, it's 30 years old but still works fine), small packable cookware, fishing gear if I'm planning to use it. Stuff like water bottles, flashlights, are permanent items in my saddlebags and car.

My gear will vary according to the trip. I also have a large, 6 man LL Bean dome tent for multi day stays for car travels. For car trips, I still use an old fashioned Coleman 2 burner stove for cooking. I don't camp as much as I would like anymore and I'm going to try to get out a bit more this year. I do live in the Adirondacks and some might say that everyday is a camping trip. I enjoy my backyard firepit all summer.
04-10-2018, 07:27 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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That sounds like a heavy pack! I don't generally bring things like a hatchet or chair backpacking to save weight so I can carry more camera gear! The heavier stuff comes out when we car camp.
My last Colorado camp before going to Africa last year was a fun and light/fast backpack solo overnight near Crested Butte.
Weather was clear so I could just bivvy on the ground and not have to carry a tent either.


It was great to catch the moonset right from my little camp in the morning.


This spring we did a family car camp near Moab, Utah which was fun but still pretty chilly at night (in the 20's F).
But since we were there by car we brought lots of stuff to make ourselves more comfortable.

Last edited by mattb123; 04-10-2018 at 07:35 AM.
04-10-2018, 10:18 AM   #4
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I'm envious, old age and bad knees (from many miles on the trail) mean I don't do this much anymore. Based on my past experience I have to agree with Matt123, I'm seeing a lot of heavy, and unnecessary, things on your list.

Kelty Yukon 48L external frame pack
2 person dome tent (fits inside pack)
small folding chair and folding table (both fit inside pack)
2 small tarps (one for tent footprint and one for over tent in case of rainshowers
folding mesh fire stand (needs to be strapped to pack)
camp cookware (standard 2 person kit found at any walmart/outdoor shop)
folding isobutane burner (fits in a pocket of the pack)
folding firepit/grill (about size of a 7 in tablet when folded up)
isobutane canister (consumable supplies)
2x aluminum water bottles (34 oz each)------- In my area, North Cascades and Canadian Rockies, I found 1 bottle was plenty. These days I would suggest a water filter or some means of purifying.
lots of 8cm carabiners for attaching small items to pack----I personally find stuff dangling from the outside of a pack tends to get caught on things and is generally annoying. The kelty is a big back, (other than sleeping bag and pad) if it won't fit inside I'd leave it at home.
compression straps to attach items to pack
rain poncho (already had)
hatchet (already owned)
peg mallet (already owned)
sleeping bag (already owned)-----You'll need a foam pad for under the sleeping bag.

QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Definitely can't wait, nothing says relaxation like sitting in front of a campfire.
Maybe but lightweight nylon backpacking gear, down coats, tents, etc. can easily be destroyed by the embers from a fire. I found the more I backpacked the less I built fires, or at least I built small fires...

In any case enjoy your adventures and be safe!



04-10-2018, 11:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If I ever finish restoring my dad's old canoe, I'm going to camp. This is like how we used to do it - six in the Ford wagon, tents in the back, Coleman stuff, canoe on the roof. The photo is from a recent car show, 1959 Country Squire.

04-10-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
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I tried backpacking, tent and car camping in my youth.
Today it would just seem too much like work.
Now each fall I rent a fully-equipped cottage in a state park.

I once asked my older brother if he wanted to go camping.
He said "Hell no! I did that for a year in Viet Nam..."

Chris
04-10-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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My camping is mostly done via campervan. My wife and I live in NY and use it mostly for roadtrips within the northeast. Our longest trips have been to New Mexico (2 weeks), and to Nebraska/Wyoming/South Dakota (3 weeks).

It's easy to setup and breakdown. I park on relatively flat ground and am immediately ready to hike, eat, or sleep. No more having to pack up wet gear, get home, unpack it all, let it dry, repack.

I can stop almost anywhere for a night of sleep. On long drives, I get to a midway point, sleep, do a little local sightseeing in the morning, then continue on to the main destination. When a park campground is full I can figure out someplace else to park.

It's not too big (20 foot) for some unpaved roads in National Parks and State Forests. I do need to be careful about mud, though; heavy vehicle and rear wheel drive can get stuck.
04-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #8
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Being rather up there in age and having done the tent, pop-up and travel trailer type of camping, we finally upgraded to this lovely Montana High Country. It comes complete with a fireplace, stove, oven, two TVs , two air conditioners and a microwave. We call this roughing it. We are not full-timers but will usually spend 6 months or more traveling every year. Our longest trip took us to Alaska and we were on the road for almost a year. This year we will spend the summer in Montana and fall in Colorado. Easy to set up and breakdown, yes. Takes us about 20 minutes. There are drawbacks, it is long (almost 40 ft.) and tall (13' 6") and it won't go just anywhere. We love though. This shot was taken at a state park in Georgia. Georgia has lovely state parks.


Last edited by slowpez; 04-16-2018 at 06:41 AM.
04-12-2018, 09:45 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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You got two much stuff, here let me go through some basics.
You need to strap on your great kilt (60 in x 4 yd piece of wool...) works as clothing and sleeping gear.
Linen shirt that reaches the knees, maybe a wool tunic if it's a bit chilly.
Sporran full of oats and salted beef, what else could you want?
Think leather belt that can be tightened, compress your stomach then you won't be as hungry.
Leather canteen, always carry water.
Tinderbox, fire's always useful.
Dirk (small dagger) skinning the beasts you get.
You can forego your footwear as a pound on the feet is five on the back.
Fine you can have some deerskin ghillie shoe.
Some wool hose, with a sgian dubh tucked in (smaller dagger)...
and finally a claymore for slaying your enemies...

...wait, what?
04-12-2018, 09:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
...wait, what?
You forgot the bagpipe, Bert. Tut-tut.
04-12-2018, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
You forgot the bagpipe, Bert. Tut-tut.
It's the only weapon he really needs.
04-12-2018, 12:25 PM   #12
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Not as heavy as you'd think. Even with the hatchet and extras it's still under 30 lbs. I'm not going to be walking miles of trails (more like a mile would be stretching things extremely). The chair and foldout table are designed for hiking, so really small and really light. At current, the backpack with all the camping gear is actually lighter than my everyday pack that I lug around the lake when taking pictures by several pounds (that pack contains things like spare batteries for lanterns/etc- D Cells, and 2 liter soda), then the camera bag with tripod is 11 lbs (not taking the main camera camping... just cellphone or point and shoot, mayyyyybe the k-50 and m28 2.8 at most). So normal photo pack with camera bag comes to 35.5 lbs. I really should photograph some of this stuff sometime.

I take enough pictures at the lake as is, so as mentioned, camera gear isn't something I'm going to take camping. Just going for relaxation. I do need to invest in a lighter sleeping bag though, it's getting warmer and the current bag is an oven, so I need something cooler for the warmer months.

EDIT: as a sidenote, I forgot to mention that I'll be tailoring the load depending on conditions and where I plan to camp, so not everything will be going each time.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
That sounds like a heavy pack! I don't generally bring things like a hatchet or chair backpacking to save weight so I can carry more camera gear! The heavier stuff comes out when we car camp.
My last Colorado camp before going to Africa last year was a fun and light/fast backpack solo overnight near Crested Butte.
Weather was clear so I could just bivvy on the ground and not have to carry a tent either.


It was great to catch the moonset right from my little camp in the morning.


This spring we did a family car camp near Moab, Utah which was fun but still pretty chilly at night (in the 20's F).
But since we were there by car we brought lots of stuff to make ourselves more comfortable.

Last edited by Auzzie-Phoenix; 04-12-2018 at 12:32 PM. Reason: forgot to mention...
04-12-2018, 01:11 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
2x aluminum water bottles (34 oz each)
If weight becomes an issue, you could look at Platypus flexible bottles. They're lighter and fold flat when empty.

QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
hatchet (already owned)
peg mallet (already owned)
You don't need the mallet if you have the hatchet

QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
I have purchased materials to make firestarter (cotton balls and petroleum jelly)
You can also use the lint from your dryer instead of cotton balls, and wax instead of petroleum jelly if you want. Stuff the lint inside a toilet paper rool and go wild

Did you plan for your camera inside that bag?
04-12-2018, 01:44 PM   #14
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I don't like using dryer lint.... doesn't burn as long, smells like dryer sheets, and burning particles like to float off, so more chance of catching brush/leaves/grass on fire. I've used it in the past. I absolutely will not use it outside of a fire ring though due to the floaty issue mentioned. The hatchet is going to take the place of the mallet for sure, I wasn't sure what type of pegs the tent had. Needless to say I will be purchasing some actual tent pegs of the metal nail variety. Plastic is good for weight but won't take a beating from a hatchet, As stated in the above response, I don't intend on taking a camera with me as I'm always at the state park taking pictures anyway. It can stay in the trunk of the car if I really want to take it. Other than that, I'd be camping on the forested hill that surrounds the town. I don't foresee needing a dslr for an overnight camping trip. Not like I'm going very far. Gas here is pretty expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If weight becomes an issue, you could look at Platypus flexible bottles. They're lighter and fold flat when empty.



You don't need the mallet if you have the hatchet



You can also use the lint from your dryer instead of cotton balls, and wax instead of petroleum jelly if you want. Stuff the lint inside a toilet paper rool and go wild

Did you plan for your camera inside that bag?
04-12-2018, 02:03 PM   #15
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Just for fun, I took a picture of the main pieces of gear from the backpack. I set them all from longest to shortest next to the shortest item (a 50ct box of hefty basics snack bags for size reference). When all was said and done, I also borrowed the bathroom scale and loaded all gear into/on pack and added extra weight to simulate full water bottles, etc... Final maximum pack weight (full load, nothing left behind) will be around 35.3 lbs, roughly the same as my walkaround pack + camera bag. Weight isn't going to be an issue. Unlike my walkaround that I carry on one shoulder, and the camera bag carried by hand, the external frame pack will distribute the weight on my hips and both shoulders. Sorry about the backpack picture... my cell camera hates the led lighting from my ceiling fan.
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