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Will
Will UltraDork
8/28/16 5:26 p.m.

I've got a couple camping trips planned for later this fall. I'm trying to get back into it after not doing it at all for a decade or so. Nothing too adventurous--tent camping at a campground, taking whatever I can fit in the MR2. I already have a decent tent, sleeping bag, etc. and plan on doing all campfire cooking; no propane store or anything like that. Anyone have any camping tips, activities, recipes, etc. to share?

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
8/28/16 6:22 p.m.

A good tarp or two for the tent.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/16 6:24 p.m.

Keep at least one change of dry clothes in the car.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/16 6:38 p.m.

Unless you want meal prep to be a significant part of the adventure, get a small camp stove like a Whisperlite. For campfire food, bannock is fun.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/28/16 6:53 p.m.

Take 4-6 oranges and brownie mix. Cut oranges in half, eat the fruit like eating a grapefruit. Fill with brownie mix (prepare according to instructions on box - you make be able to do everything but the eggs before you leave), place halves back together, wrap in foil. Toss in coals. Check every so often. When cooked, enjoy!

Much better than smores imho.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
8/28/16 7:11 p.m.

Dyer lint stuffed in toilet paper tubes for fire starters.

daeman
daeman HalfDork
8/28/16 7:27 p.m.
Toyman01 wrote: Keep at least one change of dry clothes in the car.

A big yes to that.

in the past when hiking I've put all my clothes into labled ziplock bags. Some of my mates thought I was being ridiculous, till we spent 4 days soaking wet and I was the only one who had anything warm and dry to wear when the opportunities presented.

The big ziplock bags add next to no weight and double as useful tools in a pinch. They can be used for water carrying and as transpiration bags if no fresh water is available. I've used them to store left over food and kill (fish or meat) to keep pests out of it and even to repair a torn tent.

Also, dry clothes are E36 M3loads lighter than wet ones to carry.

Get a decent flint and key that you can securely attach to part of your kit. Matches get wet, lighters can crack or run out of gas. The flint is a good back up when you need a fire and your matches or lighter have let you down.

wae
wae Dork
8/28/16 8:11 p.m.

Brown a pound of bacon in your dutch oven or pot. Drain most of the grease and set the bacon aside. Chop up an onion and saute it in the bacon grease. Add a pound of ground [beef|sirloin|chuck] and brown it. Drain. Add the bacon, a big can of baked beans (flavor of your choice), and a third of a cup of your favorite barbeque sauce. Cook until it boils, then turn the heat down and add a layer of refrigerator biscuits to the top. Cover and allow to cook over medium heat until the biscuits are cooked through.

Also, if you have room for them, I like to use the lower-profile Rubbermaid storage containers, like that would go under your bed. I like the ones that are just tall enough for regular cans to fit in upright, then I load them up with like contents -- for example, one with bread products, one with canned goods, one with fire/lumberjack tools, etc. I always stuffed them in a full-size van, though, so the frunk on an MR2 might not have enough space for that.

Aluminum foil and lots of zip-top bags.

RealMiniParker
RealMiniParker UberDork
8/28/16 9:53 p.m.

In reply to wae:

refrigerator biscuits? The rest of that sounds delicious, so I need clarification.

wae
wae Dork
8/28/16 10:12 p.m.
RealMiniParker wrote: In reply to wae: refrigerator biscuits? The rest of that sounds delicious, so I need clarification.

There may be a real name for them that I don't know, but that's what we always called the store-bought biscuit dough that comes in the cardboard tubes usually near the dairy section of the grocery store. We usually just use the Kroger brand, but they look like:

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
8/29/16 6:09 a.m.
daeman wrote: Get a decent flint and key that you can securely attach to part of your kit. Matches get wet, lighters can crack or run out of gas. The flint is a good back up when you need a fire and your matches or lighter have let you down.

I carry one like this in my pack at work. One night when there was no power I used one to start a fire at my terminal and people looked on like it as some type of witchcraft.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltimaDork
8/29/16 6:12 a.m.

Air mattress

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/29/16 6:14 a.m.
spitfirebill wrote: Air mattress

That's a must if I want my wife to go with us.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer SuperDork
8/29/16 6:17 a.m.

I use a self inflating sleeping pad. Very light and it keeps the rocks away from the middle of my back.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
8/29/16 6:40 a.m.
spitfirebill wrote: Air mattress

I came in here to say this!

When I was a kid my family camped a lot, I mean tons, we did not know what a motel was.

Back then we used roll-up foam pads under our sleeping bags, and they were awful IMO.

As an adult I had sworn off camping until I discovered the pleasure of the air mattress. All the other discomforts of camping are nothing when you are getting a good night's sleep.

Brian
Brian MegaDork
8/29/16 7:26 a.m.

Any advice on warming an air mattress when it's cold? My one trip was late spring in Acadia and our bags had been warm enough aside from the air mattress drawing out the heat. Lay down an extra bag between the one I'm in and the mattress?

Brian
Brian MegaDork
8/29/16 7:38 a.m.

Also, camping out of an MR2 sounds close to motorcycle camping, gear wise. Make a pile of gear and a pile of cash that you think you will need. Then cut the gear in half and double the cash.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/29/16 8:44 a.m.

air mattresses are excellent heat sinks. The plastic draws heat out of your body really well. You need to separate yourself from contact with the plastic as much as possible, and lofted sleeping bags compress to nothing when you lay on them. I like to use a heavy, dense blanket -ideally wool - on top of the mattress with a sleeping bag on top of that. Even old moving blankets are good, it doesn't have to be soft because you'll be in the bag. It just needs to be less compressible and not transfer heat as well. a thin foam sleep mat works too but not as well.

RealMiniParker
RealMiniParker UberDork
8/29/16 8:50 a.m.
wae wrote:
RealMiniParker wrote: In reply to wae: refrigerator biscuits? The rest of that sounds delicious, so I need clarification.
There may be a real name for them that I don't know, but that's what we always called the store-bought biscuit dough that comes in the cardboard tubes usually near the dairy section of the grocery store. We usually just use the Kroger brand, but they look like:

That's what I thought. Thanks!

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/29/16 8:59 a.m.

I like caming when it is the only option. Otherwise it seems like a lot of work.

Canoeing in Canada? Well that is the best fishing you can find, and you have to camp up there. That works. We're going to a concert in the middle of nowhere--the nearest hotel is 20 minutes away, and I'll be drunk by that point. They allow camping in the parking lot, I'll camp. Camping for fun? Uh... Find a hotel?

Ok, now that I've given you the non-solicited advice, the real advice:
1: Hammock>Tent
2: Get the camp stove.
3: Bring pre-cooked bacon. Then crisp it up in a skillet.
4: Small layer of memory foam on top of air mattress will help keep it warm
5: Wool socks
6: Ask yourself if you really need it, or will use it. You probably won't.
7: Helinox chair. Worth the money if space is at a premium.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
8/29/16 9:00 a.m.

With regard to air matteresses... I like to hike and I moto camp. It's hard to manage space to pack some of the Thermarest (and other) self-inflators.

This is the best pack sized mattress I have ever had. The XL is nice and wide too - 30" so you can move around without ending up on the ground. Packs to 4.5x8" and weighs only 26oz. Takes about 30 breaths to fill it but I just used it for 5 days straight on a riding tour of New England and I can't think of anything bad to say about it. Worth every penny of the $90 or so dollars I spent.

Klymit Static V Luxe size XL

ultraclyde
ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/29/16 9:53 a.m.
Huckleberry wrote: With regard to air matteresses... I like to hike and I moto camp. It's hard to manage space to pack some of the Thermarest (and other) self-inflators. This is the best pack sized mattress I have ever had. The XL is nice and wide too - 30" so you can move around without ending up on the ground. Packs to 4.5x8" and weighs only 26oz. Takes about 30 breaths to fill it but I just used it for 5 days straight on a riding tour of New England and I can't think of anything bad to say about it. Worth every penny of the $90 or so dollars I spent. Klymit Static V Luxe size XL

That, my friend, is not an air mattress. That's an inflatable camping pad. I have one and you're right, it's great for small size comfort when I'm bikepacking.

But an air mattress looks like this:

These are used when car camping with access to 110 AC for the built in pump and they sleep like my bed at home. Different creatures.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
8/29/16 10:16 a.m.

I've got one of the Big Agnes insulated Air Core mattresses. It's kind of a pain to manually inflate, but it is a few inches thick when you're done and does a great job of keeping you warm when the ground is cold. The thickness takes up any irregularity in the ground. Kind of pricey though. I moto camp quite a bit, so I like how small they pack down.

For food, I'm a big fan of minute rice, a can of chili beans, and a can of Rotel cooked on a camp stove. I typically use a GSI soloist cooker setup since I am often alone, on an MSR Pocket Rocket burner. Has worked great for a very, very long time, though the Soloist pot dents easily when you crash a motorcycle on it...

Bring lots of water. I usually end up needing more than I expect, but I also tend to be in very remote areas.

rechargeable headlamps are great if you have to set up in the dark; frees up your hands.

Get a tent footprint, or a small tarp to put under the tent. It will protect the bottom of the tent and keep water from soaking through. the bottom of the tent should overhang the footprint by a few inches or you run the risk of water running over the footprint and into your tent.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
8/29/16 12:35 p.m.

I bought this on Amazon because I wanted something made out of Titanium. It was $10 and is apparently used for camping. That is all I know.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
8/29/16 1:34 p.m.

My other favorite pieces of camping kit are a Petzl LED headlamp seemly that lasts for weeks on 3 aaa batteries when accidentally left on as a nightlight, a Jetboil stove with french press attachment for morning coffee, a very sharp Estwing camping hatchet that doubles as a tent spike hammer, twig shaver, can opener, etc. and a case of Clif bars from Sam's Club that serve as food for pretty much any time I'm too tired/lazy/unprepared to feed myself something else.

OH, and as for carrying water - get a $19 Lifestraw, some tubing and a funnel. As long as you are not in the desert or downstream of a chromium plant there is drinking water everywhere. No need to weigh your gear down. You can drink right thru it - and for cooking pour water thru it into something using the funnel (or buy their family kit for $49). It is a game-changer for backpacking. I'm not strapping an 8lb bag of water to my back anymore.

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