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Thread: Going tent camping for the very first time - advice please page 2

  1. #11
    Ingvildr's Avatar
    Ingvildr is offline Senior Member
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    I've camped since I was a kid and still camp regularly. I live in the Pacific Northwest so cold and rain are both considerations although not usually in July in August. I use a self inflating mat and a good quality sleeping bag that is rated for about 20 degrees. A 40 degree sleeping bag is a slumber party bag and will leave you freezing your tush off. I've camped with snow on the ground and woken up to frost. Long underwear or fleece unders are good if it is going to be cold. Fleece booties are very good if you get really cold feet like me. A hat is good, no strings though if you don't want them wrapping around your neck while you sleep. A little battery lantern is probably safer and our house rule is absolutely no flame in the tent. We have a household of five and when it's cold we bring thermoses and put coffee, hot water for tea or hot spiced cider in them. Most relatively new tents are usually pretty good on their waterproofing.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    But then you'd miss all the fun of trying to put on and lace up your boots in pitch dark while doing the peepee dance.
    Plus the pure joy of the giggle walk to the bathrooms or bush with daughter in the middle of the night. Better than any church laugh.

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  3. #13
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    And don't wait to pee at night until it is really urgent if you are in a small two man backpacking tent, with a dog and another person because it's the equivalent of executing an advanced yoga pose to get out of that tent without stepping on your partners face, waking up the dog and spraining your ankle.

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  4. #14
    spk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    But then you'd miss all the fun of trying to put on and lace up your boots in pitch dark while doing the peepee dance.
    oh you guys, (Rich & Anthony) this was entirely what I was thinking as I read the OP -- "tell her where/how to pee!!"

    Agreed on the smaller-than-the-tent tarp for keeping your tent bottom dry from rain. No need to build a platform BUT make the time to give the ground a hard, long look before pitching and staking the tent down. How many times I've not done that and then realized I hadn't seen the tree root that was now under my sleeping bag and you're too damn sleepy/lazy to unstake and move the tent. Make sure it's level and don't mistake that teeny tiny rock as no problem. It WILL be a problem once you're laying on it.

    Bring flip flops for shower. Bring any fave proteins in ziplocks for packability (dried meats, etc).

    Have a lot of fun and don't freak out if you catch a squirrel making love to the side of your tent in the middle of the night.

  5. #15
    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    And don't wait to pee at night until it is really urgent if you are in a small two man backpacking tent, with a dog and another person because it's the equivalent of executing an advanced yoga pose to get out of that tent without stepping on your partners face, waking up the dog and spraining your ankle.
    That's exactly what it's like. Let's just go with Mr. A's plan for those of us who are appropriately equipped.

  6. #16
    astromom's Avatar
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    The only places we've used a tarp on top of the tent (tied up a few feet above it) were Alaska and Boundary waters where it rained almost every day. If rainy weather is likely it really helps keep the tent dry. Otherwise it isn't needed. Security had never been a problem for us - like other posters said - don't leave valuables in the tent and make sure it is well staked to not blow away. Also make sure you have a fleece hat, gloves, and long underwear. You can sleep in all of them on a cold night and be toasty,

  7. #17
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    Also, keeping a folding stock AK-47, a handgun with extended magazine, or a large fixed blade (or, preferably, all three) in the tent is good insurance for bears or other animal or human predators. If you're camping with other people, it's good to have a standing rule about NOT shaking someone else's tent at night.

  8. #18
    Mr.Perfidy's Avatar
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    I always neglect effectively labelling/sorting of all of my camping gear, and then when its time that I need something, get all angry and make a mess trying to excavate it.
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

  9. #19
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    Also, how do you propose to deal with fuckin raccoons? They are like 'raptors, executing awesome planned flanking maneuvers and shit, decoys, feigned advances.
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

  10. #20
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    I definitely agree with the tarp going under the tent, no platform required. However, I would get a tarp that larger than the base of the tent, and after the tent is pitched roll the exposed pieces of tarp up tightly and stick under the edge of the tent. Too-small tarp equals wet edges of the tent, and if your gear/bed is there that can be a pain. Keep your clothes and what-not either in the tent or car. If they are outside, line your bags with heavy-duty plastic garbage bags to keep your clothes from getting wet in case of rain. If the place has bugs, make sure the tent flap is always zipped tightly after entering/exiting. Don't leave it open, even if you are in and out frequently. Bugs WILL get in, and that is a nightmare come bedtime. Put the tent in a flat area, avoiding tree roots and slanted ground. If you plan on a fire, bring wood with you or make sure the camping location has a store where you can buy it. Also, don't forget a lighter and some paper or kindling type stuff. No food inside the tent, leave it either in the car or in a wannigan that is strapped shut. Flashlights are also must for nighttime bathroom trips, you won't want that whole big lantern thing if there is another person in the tent trying to sleep. I might think of more, but that's all I have at the moment. Bring plenty of dry clothes, and dress warm!

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