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Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:27:28 PM EDT
[#1]
Didnt have time to read the entire thread so I apologize if its been posted before but...

NAILCLIPPERS

Really handy tool and makes a trip that is over a week long much easier. Clipping your toenails also reduces the chance of getting blisters while backpacking
VP
Link Posted: 2/15/2012 3:28:19 PM EDT
[#2]
Always use new equipment at home several times before using it in the woods, especially new boots.

Before leaving let someone know where you're going and when you plan on returning.

Water.  Bring as much as you can, and two methods for making potable water.  A filter and the tablets.

When hiking in unfamiliar territory, take the time to stop and look back in the direction from whence you came. It will look different on the way back out.

If you get lost, STOP.  Sit. Think. Observe. Plan.  In other words, sit down, calm down, assess the situation, make a plan on what to do and then follow through.

Keep an extra pair of wool socks in a ziplock baggie in your pack.  Wet feet will suck the life out of you.

Avoid cotton.  Synthetic and wool don't chafe and they dry much more quickly.  Synthetic underpants and wool socks at a minimum.

Remember the Ten Essentials and the Rule of Threes.
Link Posted: 4/2/2012 8:20:18 AM EDT
[#3]
Purchase "QUALITY" gear.  you're just wasting your money if you go cheap.  There is good, quality gear out there for a good price if you look hard enough.

Do your Homework on the area; you don't want to have an unexpected wildlife experience and be unprepared.  
Don't go alone
Always let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back

Link Posted: 4/13/2012 11:51:32 PM EDT
[#4]
Don't set up camp under a tree with dead limbs that will fall when you least expect it.

When winter camping don't set up under snow covered trees if a warm up is expected.

Bring something to wash cooking gear in if you expect to reuse it..

I went backpacking on the AT with rookies who brought Cup Of Noodles with nothing to heat water in or to start a fire with.

In a pinch railroad flares will get wet wood burning.  Bring a hatchet.
Link Posted: 7/6/2012 2:20:10 PM EDT
[#5]
Everything that you purchase should be based off of where and what your going to do. When we go camping in South east Missourri in November, we are prepared for everything. Of course we have weapons because we are hunting, so unexpected critters aren't an issue. We also pack for all temperatures due to years of experince, though not to much of each clothing depnding on how you are camping. For food, we cook with a cowboy "A" frame. this sits over a fire like the cattle drivers used back in the day along with cast iron dutch ovens and skillets. Works pretty well considering you have all the fire essentials in the woods. We also keep extra bottled water along with hydration packs and filters just incase, and "back-up food as well. We have been caught in a flood that kept us in the woods for a week until the aters receded enough to get to town. There is no limit to your camping experience except funds. Always buy good quality equipment after doing your research and making decisions after the research. Hope this helps
Link Posted: 12/14/2012 1:53:47 PM EDT
[#6]
An alternative to Sevin Dust is plain old yellow sulfur. Buy a bag of powdered sulfur and dust your cuffs and waist band especially to
ward off ticks. It's good for mosquitoes, too.

If you run tent lines or clotheslines in camp, tie a strip of white cloth on them so you don't trip or clothesline yourself. (Usually after 2 AM...)

Learn how to tie a Siberian Hitch. It's a super-easy MEGA-useful knot.

Tent pegs should always be driven flush with the ground so they can't bite a big chunk of meat off your ankle.

Keep at least three packs of matches/lighters/whatever, distributed in your gear so you'll always have a way to start a fire, no matter what.

Expect the best (and enjoy it!), but ALWAYS gear up for the worst.

Wear plaid shirts in the woods. The plaid actually interferes with a mosquito's ability to home in for a landing. On the other hand, they love white shirts....
Link Posted: 2/12/2013 6:33:49 PM EDT
[#7]
"Tent pegs should always be driven flush with the ground so they can't bite a big chunk of meat off your ankle"

That sounds like the voice of experience
Link Posted: 6/15/2013 11:19:13 PM EDT
[#8]
Originally Posted By LdMorgan:
An alternative to Sevin Dust is plain old yellow sulfur. Buy a bag of powdered sulfur and dust your cuffs and waist band especially to
ward off ticks. It's good for mosquitoes, too.


I've successfully used yellow sulfur powder to keep chiggers off me - it sure beats eating match heads!
Link Posted: 7/11/2013 8:29:15 PM EDT
[#9]
Probably posted, but the driest wood is the dead wood still on trees. Not on the ground.
Link Posted: 7/12/2013 12:05:59 AM EDT
[#10]
Originally Posted By Iamfamiliar:
Probably posted, but the driest wood is the dead wood still on trees. Not on the ground.


Actually the Driest wood is driftwood that has been on dry land long enough to dry out.  The best place to find good stuff is flood areas where the driftwood has bee caught up in floods and deposited it on what is normally high ground.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:56:12 PM EDT
[#11]
awesome, insightful, life-saving and life-enriching tips and suggestions.
Thanks.  
Link Posted: 9/22/2013 7:40:25 AM EDT
[#12]
1. Bring a lot more food than you think you'll need.  Especially if you're doing a backpacking trip.

2. Bring a knit cap.  I did a 6 day trip in July last summer, and even though it was 90 degrees during the day, at night it cooled off and the breeze had me freezing.  Especially since I'm 6'3" so my head stuck out of the issued mummy bag.

3. Have multiple ways to make a fire, and know how to use them

4. If you're drying clothes or boots out by the fire, put them 2 feet further from the fire than you think you need to.

5. You can cook almost anything in either foil or a #10 can

6. Waterproof everything you take into the field.  Gallon ziploc bags with duct tape around the edges works great if you don't want to buy waterproof bags.

7. If your stuff gets wet, dry it out.  Don't try to tough it out; that will kill your chances of enjoying the trip.

8. Baby wipes and foot powder are necessities.

9. With a GI poncho, some paracord and a bit of imagination, you can improvise a shelter under almost any circumstances

10. As others have said, know how to use a map and compass.

11. Bring some signaling equipment in case you do get lost.  Flares, glow sticks, signal mirror, etc.  A glow stick on a lanyard and spun in a circle attracts attention at night, especially from the air
Link Posted: 10/3/2013 1:57:55 AM EDT
[#13]
I'll just throw this out there.

I remember hearing a tale many moons ago concerning a couple of campers coming out of the tent in the morning to discover their vehicle missing. (evidently a prank was played) They had stored all of their gear in said vehicle and became panicked.

My point is, although I also store most of my gear in the vehicle.................. I always keep a pack filled as if I were "Backpack Camping" inside the tent. This way I will have means to get to help with the comfort and knowledge that all I really need is on my back.

Contents of pack i.e. : Hand gun & ammo, MRE's, Canteens, Clothing, Fire starters, etc.

Just a thought.
Link Posted: 10/13/2013 7:42:42 AM EDT
[#14]
I may have mentioned this already but with the cold weather approaching, it's important:

NEVER EVER sleep in the clothes you wore today! They are sweat-soaked and you WILL freeze your butt off! I like to wear the shirt and pants I'll be wearing the next day.

A much better alternative (especially for children) is to have a jogging suit or equivalent to sleep in. Let it dry on a line if you will be using it for more than 1 night.

Using a mummy bag? Want to keep your face warm? Put a towel over your face; this will allow enough air to exchange so you won't suffocate.

And: I HAVE mentioned this before in this thread: Buy and read "How to Shit in the Woods," It's about what the title says. There's a lot more to shitting than just digging a hole and dropping a deuce. Written by a woman, largely for women, it gives valuable tips for women (and men) in the woods.
Link Posted: 12/30/2013 7:32:24 PM EDT
[#15]
I skimmed over this thread so far, but here's a few of my tips.

We mostly camp in an '88 Chevy conversion van these days - 2 adults, one 6 yr old, one jack russell terrier. The van has a 3 way fridge, sink, stove, awning and a ton of storage.  We used to have a pop up tent trailer and before that it was tent camping.  Like 30 years ago I used to camp for days with just a tarp, rope, matches, knife, water bottle, empty can (for cooking) and sleeping bag . . .been there and done that.  I've decided that camping is really just about vacationing in a really beautiful place and not about how you do it.  Most people get really uptight about what "camping" means.

My tips (for car camping):

Bring twice as much beer as you think you need.  If you're not a big drinker, you probably will be when you start to remember how good it feels to drink beer around a campfire into the wee hours with a good friend.

Frozen water bottles are handy to keep coolers cold and when they melt on day 3 or 4 you have a nice bottle of ice water.

Try to prepare at least half your meals ahead of time.  Chili, stews, salads, beans, etc. Prepare them at home and freeze them or stick them in the cooler.  The goal is to minimize prep work and minimize how many times you open your cooler.  The worst you can do is just pack a ton of ingredients and plan to do all your cooking at camp.  You will wind up packing 2-3 times as much food as you need and you'll open your cooler a hundred times reaching for ingredients - which will drastically shorten how long your cooler will stay cold.  Feel free to plan one masterpiece meal from scratch, but if there's anything you can do at home in advance you'll be grateful.  

Dutch oven meals are pretty cool.

Find a hookup for scrap kiln dried lumber for firewood.  It packs really nicely and burns great and is usually free.  A buddy who works at a mill dropped off about 2 cords of stacked 2' 2x10 SPF cutoffs at my house 2 years ago and it makes for great camp fires.

Bring 3 times as much firewood as you think you need.  See advice about the beer above.

Air mattresses are freezing cold - make sure to get enough insulation under your body.

Bring a deck of cards or Yahtzee or something if you're camping with friends.  

Bring a decent pillow from home and a comforter.  There's no need to sleep in a sleeping bag if you're not backpacking.

Bring a radio/mp3 device if you want some music for those late nights.   If your music bugs other people it means you need to find a better place to camp.  Don't get caught up in the idea that if you're not roughing it it's not really "camping".  Camping is about getting away from work and making it physically impossible to do chores around your house or errands.  It's about camp fires and fishing and playing with your kids in a really beautiful place.  It's about laughing and BS'ing around with friends.  It doesn't have to be some grand spiritual experience unless that's what you're trying to do.  So feel free to bring things that make it fun and comfortable.


Link Posted: 1/8/2014 2:24:09 PM EDT
[#16]
If you're in bear country like Montana, read up on being "bear aware". Some of the tips are bearanoid, but overall in bear country the philosophy is sound. Also, carry bear spray.
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 7:13:54 PM EDT
[#17]
Always check on what poisonous plants and animals are in your region. That furry vine on the tree won't be pleasant later on when you are itching like crazy because it was poison oak. Just be cautious of what you touch and where you walk.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 4:36:44 AM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Greenfeet:
1. Bring a lot more food than you think you'll need.  Especially if you're doing a backpacking trip.

2. Bring a knit cap.  I did a 6 day trip in July last summer, and even though it was 90 degrees during the day, at night it cooled off and the breeze had me freezing.  Especially since I'm 6'3" so my head stuck out of the issued mummy bag.

Putting a heavy towel over your head works well, too.

3. Have multiple ways to make a fire, and know how to use them

4. If you're drying clothes or boots out by the fire, put them 2 feet further from the fire than you think you need to.

Blue jeans, too. I ruined a brand-new set of jeans by trying to dry them too quickly.

5. You can cook almost anything in either foil or a #10 can

6. Waterproof everything you take into the field.  Gallon ziploc bags with duct tape around the edges works great if you don't want to buy waterproof bags.

For larger ziplock bags (like, 50 gallons) look near the bottom of this page

7. If your stuff gets wet, dry it out.  Don't try to tough it out; that will kill your chances of enjoying the trip.

8. Baby wipes and foot powder are necessities.

9. With a GI poncho, some paracord and a bit of imagination, you can improvise a shelter under almost any circumstances

10. As others have said, know how to use a map and compass.

11. Bring some signaling equipment in case you do get lost.  Flares, glow sticks, signal mirror, etc.  A glow stick on a lanyard and spun in a circle attracts attention at night, especially from the air
View Quote

Link Posted: 2/24/2015 9:18:06 PM EDT
[#19]
General tips for beginners?

Start off simple and easy. Get your cooler with food, water jug, tent, tarp, sleep system with headlamp, and fun stuff. Some folks get too fancy too fast, keep your kit basic at first.

Poop kit: small hand shovel, baby-wipes, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Bring these even if you hear that there are primitive toilets available.

If you're new to axes, knives, or firecraft, don't be a hero. Burying an axe in your foot, or a knife in a hand, can ruin a good time. See also "BushcraftUSA".

Have fun! The freedom you can experience in the wild is something unique.





















... And bring guns.





Link Posted: 3/8/2015 6:38:21 AM EDT
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JackBquick:
General tips for beginners?

Start off simple and easy. Get your cooler with food, water jug, tent, tarp, sleep system with headlamp, and fun stuff. Some folks get too fancy too fast, keep your kit basic at first.

Poop kit: small hand shovel, baby-wipes, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Bring these even if you hear that there are primitive toilets available.

If you're new to axes, knives, or firecraft, don't be a hero. Burying an axe in your foot, or a knife in a hand, can ruin a good time. See also "BushcraftUSA".

Have fun! The freedom you can experience in the wild is something unique.





















... And bring guns.





View Quote




I've had a kit like this for years, and it works well! I make individual kits, one for each BM. In a ziplock baggie I put a generous wad of TP and two sanitary wipes, the ones you can get in individual foil-sealed wrappers. I use one for cleansing my bum and the other for cleaning my fingers.

When camping, you do NOT want to bury your TP. Regardless of how "green' your TP is supposed to be, it doesn't degrade and return to the soil; I've returned to campsites after 3-4 years and seen TP exposed by wind, rain, etc. The individual baggies enable me to pack out the TP.  Bury turds, pack out the paper.

Bonus suggestion: Read the book "How to Shit in the Woods."  It's written by a woman and largely for women. It's an excellent resource for beginners,
Link Posted: 2/6/2016 1:00:40 PM EDT
[#21]
Brush your teeth 100 yards downwind from your campsite and store your toothbrush/paste in your bear bag at night.

ANYTHING SCENTED GOES IN A BEAR BAG/CANISTER...PERIOD! Toothpaste, toothbrush, mints, gum, deoderant, bug spray, chap-stik all of it.

Always be very careful not to spill food on the ground or on your clothes. It's always a good idea to cook/eat some distance from where you'll be sleeping preferable downwind of your tent/hammock site.

Link Posted: 2/7/2016 8:28:28 PM EDT
[#22]
If your sleeping bag is inadequate, it can help a lot if you wrap a poncho or emergency rescue bag around it.
Link Posted: 5/13/2018 3:59:30 AM EDT
[#23]
Get a copy of Horace Kephart's "Camping and Woodcraft," any edition that includes both volumes, preferably the hardcover edition from the 1950s, as it is still essentially complete. The Kindle edition is chock full of transposition errors and is heavily abridged to the point that it's almost useless.

Kephart's writing is a beautifully written primer on the very subject under discussion here, and the Camp Cookery section makes the entire book worth the price. I figured out my grandmother's biscuit recipe from this book, and the corn batter pancake recipe is pretty darn good as well.

Much of the information is somewhat dated, but the principles are still quite valid, and worth following with newer, modern materials and equipment.
Link Posted: 7/17/2018 8:56:27 PM EDT
[#24]
It may seem simple or trivial, but I discovered one of the handiest things to have is a Dollar Tree Sham Wow. I brought it for drying dishes, but it really shined in drying the tent off after an overnight storm. We had to get on the road the next day and didn't have much time for natural drying. The Shammy sped the process up drastically.
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 8:44:59 PM EDT
[#25]
Don't take large groups of inexperienced people into the woods without some proper planning. I just spent a week in UT and had several large church groups come through. No idea where they ended up camping but we were trying to fish and within hours of passing us initially both groups were searching for lost people.

Permethrin is the best thing I've found for preventing skeeter, tick, and chigger issues.

Don't borrow your buddy's old tent and not test it. I was short on time and in an area where there were more dead trees than live ones so the hammock wasn't a good option. Got rained on and it was like a bathtub.
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 10:30:37 AM EDT
[#26]
If possible, scope out your site before you go so you'll know how to set it up, what amenities is has (water, power), and if you need to find/reserve another one.

With the air mattress, remember to get a pump, preferably that works off of a car's 12V in case you do not have power at the site.

Tarps under the tent if on the ground.  If the tarp under doesn't stick out enough, put down another or a mat.  A tarp over the entrance to make a little vestibule is nice to store gear and shoes outside of the tent.

Extra rope and stakes don't hurt.  I'm going to buy a 1000ft spool of paracord and cut my needed lengths for the next trip.  Also getting a good 3/8 to 1/2inch for my main tarp line.

A hammer/small sledge is nice to have.

Pack a sharpener for your knives and axes.

Learn different types of knots.

https://youtu.be/Ajl5F6iUZ_s

Bushcraft Essential Knots for Shelter & Tarp Setups
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 5:05:53 PM EDT
[#27]
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 5:22:08 PM EDT
[#28]
No skills at all?

Pick a state campground, because you take "where do I set up the tent" out of the equation.
Figure out how you will cook.  Keep it simple.  Think about the utensils and pots/pans needed.
Buy a tent.  Don't spend a ton.

Florida?  Just bring some blankets.
Mosquito repellent.

You'll figure out the rest with experience.
Link Posted: 12/6/2019 1:53:56 PM EDT
[#29]
I would say if you go camping anywhere in the midwest make sure you don't forget to bring your Burr Paw with you.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:32:13 PM EDT
[#30]
Look into Hammock camping instead of Tent camping... At least with older kids... You will sleep better and enjoy camping much better... Get off the ground...
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 5:44:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Raptor22] [#31]
[Deleted]
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 5:46:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Raptor22] [#32]
[Deleted]
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 5:48:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Raptor22] [#33]
[Deleted]
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 7:39:30 AM EDT
[#34]
A first-time poster revives a thread just to try to sell flashlights . . .
Link Posted: 10/23/2021 11:05:57 PM EDT
[#35]
I will make another suggestion for first time campers with a wife and little kids. A lot of state parks and private campgrounds have cabins. Usually bare bones ones with a couple beds in them. It will let you do all the normal camping stuff that they will enjoy, campfire, cooking outside, peeing on a tree etc. It also gives you dry bug free place to sleep. Nothing spoils a camping trip like crying kids and an angry wife.  
Link Posted: 7/11/2023 7:41:43 PM EDT
[#36]


Sleeping on the ground is for people that haven't tried Hammocks...
Link Posted: 8/22/2023 8:38:58 PM EDT
[#37]
Link Posted: 8/23/2023 7:26:41 AM EDT
[#38]
With the air mattress, remember to get a pump, preferably that works off of a car's 12V in case you do not have power at the site.
View Quote


If you are using power from your vehicle, bring a  battery jump starter. Using your car's battery in the forest is a sure way to learn that you have a weak battery!
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