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(Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2008/10/8 0:36
From Florida
Posts: 277
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I'm thinking about coming out for this year's Annual Jam, but I have to admit that I have been on a camping trip before. I have no idea of what to get or bring, or what to do once you get to the campsite. Any tips/advice/etc. for a 1st-time camper?

I'm looking forward to your feedback; thanks in advance as always.

P.S. Moderators, feel free to move my topic/post to the appropriate forum if this is not the right place.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 11:47
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"When one feels the rush of cold water against his waders, and pits his skill against the natural instincts and wariness of the trout, everything else is lost in the sheer joy of the moment."

- Ray Bergman


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

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2006/9/10 20:44
From Room 109
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1. Get a decent tent

2. Learn how to set it up before you get there

3. Set it up as soon as you get to the site. First thing you know it will be dark and raining and your tent will not be set.

4. Get a bag that is good for what you want to do. No one in there right mind needs a bag rated for 0 degrees. A nice 40 degree bag is a good choice. Spend a little money on the bag and get one that packs well.

5. Make sure you bring a ground cloth - water will wick up through the floor. A plastic tarp is a good choice.

6. A decent lantren is a must as well. There must be light.

7. Keep a dry set of clothes in the car - it is gonna rain.

8. A simple cooking set

9. Beer / cooler - food and beer should be kept apart IMO.

10 A camp chair you are willing to run over when half in the bag. Wait that is my gig !

I am also going to suggest a first aid kit of some sort.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 12:11
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Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

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From Bozeman
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Step 2 is nonsense. I should know! When bruno drinks, he becomes very helpful.

All good advice. I also recommend trying to get a site near the a bathroom, just because if it's cold, it can suck to take the long walk from the bath house to your site.

Another Bruno tip that is invaluable for camping is to bring immodium.

I would develop a nice system for storing and transporting gear in plastic bins or milk crates. My dad is an avid camper. Whenever he feels like going, he just needs to toss a few crates into the truck and go.

I used to sleep on the ground. I now would not camp without a cot or air mattress. I'd consider it if I were you. They're 14 bucks at your local super store.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 12:25


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2008
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You are easy enough to like Mike, just do it. Even if it rains as usual you're bound to be glad you went. From what I saw in Erie you definately had the fire and desire, and thats really all it takes.
Though rarely enough to get to me, some folks are big on bug spray and would add it to Bruno's list.
I would go to the gym and start working you're liver out if you partake in drinking festivities.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 12:35
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Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

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All good advice. I'll add that flashlights and EXTRA BATTERIES are your friend. A headlight is great (for both camping and fishing) and makes moving through the campground much easier, and you'll be less likely to put it down and forget where you left it, avoiding that long walk back to the campsite in the dark.

As Squaretail said, just do it. You WILL have fun, even if/when it rains.

When you get to the campground and check-in, you can ask Rudy (the owner) where I'm camping, then stop by and say hello. I'll be glad to assist in any way I can.

peace-tony c.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 13:04


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Yeah. Tent, sleeping bag, pillow, chair, flashlight with fresh batteries are musts, in addition to the clothes and peripherals that you would have on any trip. I usually bring a hammer (for tent stakes, though a stone will work in a pinch), a knife and some clothesline (to hang up waders and such). I like a little electric lantern for in the tent, but you can just get away with the flashlight. An outside lantern is nice, but not a necessity. A roll of paper towels usually comes in handy.


The ultimate fact is, food takes the most planning, and the better food you get, the more planning it takes. Remember that you don't have silverware, plates, and cooking equipment given to you, so plan accordingly. It can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. Sometimes I just take a cooler with drinks (beer is important but remember water too), and plan on eating out. Other times I take food, but don't want to deal with cooking and such, so I'll just take bread, lunchmeat and cheese, trail mix, granola, cereal, etc. If you avoid perishables, keeping fresh ice becomes less of a responsibility and more of a nicety. And sometimes I go all out with marinated meats. Fire food is awesome. But then you got a lot more equipment to think about. Silverware, plates and bowls, pots and pans (if you have a propane grill), aluminum foil, hot dog sticks, mountain pie irons, etc.

Wood is always a shuffle too. If you can't bring it from home, you gotta find it or buy it. Get enough the first time, it sucks to run out and then have getting more wood as a responsibility.

As far as the jam, for Friday and Saturday, you probably will spend most of the time with the group. I won't even make a fire at my site, so wood concerns are gone. There are bathrooms and showers. You need quarters for the showers, but you don't gotta worry about TP or anything. Sandals are always nice for camp showers, and of course bring your own shampoo, soap, towels, etc.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 13:39


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
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Great post. Just got my tent yesterday from Sierra Trading Post. Check out some of their camping deals. Pretty good deals!

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/

Posted on: 2010/4/29 13:42


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2009/5/17 8:12
From Media Pa
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Get yourself one of these.

Attach file:



jpg  RV.jpg (2.62 KB)
2515_4bd9cb381d90f.jpg 135X71 px

Posted on: 2010/4/29 14:08


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

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2009/10/15 12:02
From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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The effort req'd for full bore camping is a pain. When I was batching it in the 80's and most of the 90's and I drove a Subaru wagon, I simply folded the back seat down and slept in there with a small air pad. In the 1988 DL wagon, it was 71.5 inches on a diagonal from the back of the seat to the hatch wall by the tail lights and I'm 69.25", so it worked out. Like the Count in his crypt

I always ate hot dogs at night when I camped (usually at state parks). But i never boiled them or built a fire. I simulated the effect of a fire cooked dog by simply rolling it back and forth over the flame of the coleman stove until it was charred. I probably ate over 1000 this way and I'm not dead yet. Kinda goofy though..

Posted on: 2010/4/29 14:20


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2006/9/18 16:54
From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
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Get a tent you can stand up in. It really makes a big difference.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 14:21


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2009/4/26 19:46
From Centre County
Posts: 54
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What everybody said + the obvious. Bring raingear. Extra dry clothes.

Keep it simple for food. Burkholders supemarket is only 20 min away. If you forget or need it, buy it there.

Bring growler, fill up at Elk Creek Cafe

If you have the room, bring the heaviest coat that you think you will need for that time of year and go up one, just throw it in the car. Better to have and not need, then visa versa.

Wear a wool cap when you are in your sleeping bag, it can make the difference between a comfortable night and not.

Most importantly.....have fun

Posted on: 2010/4/29 14:57


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?

Joined:
2008/10/8 0:36
From Florida
Posts: 277
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm coming . I will be shopping for a tent and other supplies, using your suggestions over the next few days

Posted on: 2010/5/4 0:46
_________________
"When one feels the rush of cold water against his waders, and pits his skill against the natural instincts and wariness of the trout, everything else is lost in the sheer joy of the moment."

- Ray Bergman


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?
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An air mattress can be good.

Posted on: 2010/5/4 6:54


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?
Moderator
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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GF,
Good decision! You'll enjoy the JAM and there are lots of campers around to help you out. You don't need a big tent but, as DaveK points out, an air mattress can help (I've had bad luck with them and find that many leak) or at the least a good roll out foam pad. PA has many state parks near good fishing and most allow tent camping and I predict you'll soon plan to camp and fish. Although I'll be staying in a cabin this year, I'll have some cooking/camping gear with me and you're welcome to borrow it. I'll be there from Thur evening till Sun afternoon. Send me a PM as we get closer to the date and let me know when you're setting up and I'll help out and make suggestions if I can.

Posted on: 2010/5/4 7:06


Re: (Almost) OT - Camping for 1st Timers?
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 21729
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Mike, some additional things I've picked up and would emphasize from others:

Your car is your cupboard, dresser and pantry. But it is easier if everything is in its place. Buy 3-4 of those storage tubs they sell everywhere, or on the cheap get cardboard boxes. A few smaller ones will be better then one large one. Organize your stuff in the boxes according to when you will need it.

In addition to your clothes luggage, take a small "carry-on" or even cosmetic bag that can hold all your bathroom supplies (in a shaving kit), a towel, washcloth, and a set of clothes. When you make a trip to the bathhouse for hygeine, you will want to take this bag. After a shower, teeth-washing, sink-bath or whatever, you can dress right in the bathhouse and use the bag to take any "dirty" clothes. Definitely have shower shoes-- "flip-flops" of rubber. "Shaving bag:" soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, GOLD BOND medicated powder, deodorant, q-tips, cotton, makeup.... do NOT bring any shaving supplies. You must look like death warmed-over when you are camping. No one knows you!

Have a cooler of a size that is easy to move around or carry. For one person, one that can be carried in one hand. Fill the bottom with beer and a few bottles of water (stand them up, so you can grab one through the other stuff), put some ice in the cracks, then, using tupperware to keep out moisture, place your foodstuffs in the tupperwares. A pack of hot dogs, leftover spaghetti from your fridge, PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY, bananas, apples, your choice. A pack of plastic utensils, unless you create a kit of real ones. At least a gallong jug to be used to have fresh water at your tent. A larger jug will allow greater use between fillups and you could do some light washing of self or things.

Tent, tent stakes, extra rope, duct tape. Light, batteries or extra fuel, the headlamp. Sleeping bag, pillow optional, mattress pad, under-the-tent tarp. As a luxury, a huge tarp and more rope and stakes to make a canopy over your tent for extreme weather. A rubber mallet, hatchet (opt.), pliers. If you have room, a camp shovel, or garden trowel/shovel, to trench if needed from runoff.

Take extra garbage bags, stuff-sacks, for general use. A garbage bag can be used as a drybag. Starter fluid is nice if you need a fire, along with matches or a lighter or two.

Posted on: 2010/5/4 7:28
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