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Old 03-02-2015, 09:56 AM   #1
GodfatherofSoul OP
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Primitive camping for a noob tips needed

So, after maybe 3 years of slowly piecing together a camping setup, I'm finally ready to set out as soon as the weather gets decent. Note, I'm a lifelong city slicker for the most part and haven't done what I'd call "real" camping since I was a kid.

Now, I'm not roughing it on the Rockies. I just want to find a nice secluded place in a forested state park and setup for the night (possibly night fishing as well). I don't want to be around other campers as much as possible and I've found some nice looking areas a distance away from the fixed sites and horse trails.

Anything I should be aware of? Note, I'm more concerned about the primitive site-exclusive things to worry about. Most of the information I'm seeing out there is based on hardcore guys in remote locations. I'll probably be a 1/4 a mile from other camping sites and just a few hundred feet off the road.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by GodfatherofSoul View Post

Anything I should be aware of?
Big difference between camping in Alaska or Iowa or Florida. Where do you plan to be camping? Watch out for bears, mosquitoes, rattlers, fire ants, or meth producers depending on where you plan to camp at. Heck, just go and enjoy yourself no matter where you end up.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #3
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Taking the motorcycle out of the equation, here is what I look at first.
1. bedding - don't skimp on sleeping bag appropriate to the climate. Always use a sleeping pad, something so you are not laying directly on the ground.
2. comfortable tent/hammock - make sure you can fit with your bedding.
3. water - for drinking and cleaning (if cooking). I generally have the two separate.
4. a way to make fire and use - for cooking and just general well-being. From a stove to a stone ring for open flame. Have a lighter, and a backup or waterproof matches.
5. my weapon - it's a modern world, and there are animals out there.

Everything else (to me) are luxury items. Chairs, pillows, TP. I take them, but I can get by without them (if absolutely necessary.)

With motorcycles, think "Backpacking." Go with light and compact. I am used to driving in my car with all the gear in the trunk, and setting up for a few days. I am having to rethink my whole method of camping, and going back to when I used to live in Colorado and would go backpacking on the weekends. I used to have all that gear, and am finding myself buying new again.

When it comes to mountains, expect the weather to change. Expect it to change to what you did not pack for.

I also bring spare clothes. 1 set for every 4 days or so.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastery View Post
Big difference between camping in Alaska or Iowa or Florida. Where do you plan to be camping? Watch out for bears, mosquitoes, rattlers, fire ants, or meth producers depending on where you plan to camp at. Heck, just go and enjoy yourself no matter where you end up.

Linn Country Park in Eastern Kansas about 1 1/2 hour or so outside of KC. I watch too much Animal Planet, I'm paranoid afraid of bears. I don't think I'd ever try camping in bear territory. Probably didn't help reading that spooky camping stories thread either
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:41 PM   #5
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It sounds like you're looking for basic info, the type most of us had to learn either from an experienced camping buddy, or the hard way. So, here are some basics often overlooked by experienced campers advising new ones:

- Pick as flat an area as you can to pitch your tent, but not in a natural low area where rain water will run, nor on a game trail. Try to remove any sticks, rocks, or sharp/hard items from where you'll set your tent.

- Tuck your ground cloth under your tent/fly. You don't want it sticking out where dew and rain can land on it and then run under your tent.

- As there are no flat spots, most prefer their heads above their feet, so consider that when deciding were to orient the tent on your selected spot.

- Some really like having the tent door face east, most don't really care.

- Camp fires are over-rated. They don't really warm you much, poor to cook on vs stove, make you smell like the fire, and take much time to start, maintain, and extinguish. NOTE: in survival conditions, fire can save your life, but in those cases it ain't just your average camp fire in a ring, but built with reflection and radiant heating in mind.

- If you are freezing at night in your sleeping bag, pull a big trash bag over the foot. Creates a vapor barrier and helps trap body heat. BUT, it also traps body moisture, and will make the bag damp. This is only advisable on one night camps, where you'll be in civilization the next day and night.

- If the wind is gentle, you don't have to pound your tent stakes all the way in. Easier to pull out in the morning. But, some think it's a good idea anyway.

- When you get home, set your tent up to completely air out and dry. If mildew starts growing on it, you'll never get the stains off.

- Don't bring food into your tent, to keep the KS bears from attacking it for a late night snack. Mostly, it's a good habit to get into.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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I assume you've set up the tent in your living room/garden? You've checked pegs, guys and poles? You've a sleeping mat and a bag? You know how to pitch in the dark or with just a headlight?

Given that's you're gonna be within walking distance of civilization, that's it. Everything else is luxury.

The only other thing I'd suggest is that you make yourself aware of the local ordinance - can you take your bike all the way to your site or is it designated parking only? Are open fires allowed? What's the advice on food storage and so on.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #7
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"- Camp fires are over-rated. They don't really warm you much, poor to cook on vs stove, make you smell like the fire, and take much time to start, maintain, and extinguish. NOTE: in survival conditions, fire can save your life, but in those cases it ain't just your average camp fire in a ring, but built with reflection and radiant heating in mind."

This is very true. Most firewood that people find or buy at campsights can really stink, and its a smell that doesn't go away easy. Camp fires are more about a relaxing light source than anything else.


Overall, I would saw travel as light as possible. Motorcycle trips are all about the ride and destination, not creature comforts. Stick to what you really need, and have some stores mapped out in the area you're going to, just in case you forget something. Much less stressful that thinking about it on the road.

I really wouldn't worry about a weapon while camping in the US. There's only a few animals that can kill you out there, and the odds are a million to one that you'll even see one at all (unless you're REALLY in remote wilderness). Lock your food up, and you'll be fine. Worry more about the traffic on the way to the park, that's WAY more dangerous that anything walking around on four (or two legs).

I've been to five campsites in the last few months; met some really cool people from all over the US and Europe. Best part of the camping experience in my book.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips, all. This is the kind of info I was looking for.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:38 PM   #9
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To add to Deckyon's advice: make sure you are warm and dry. If it is 50 at night and your gear is rated for 0 but is soaking wet, you can be in a lot of trouble. Make certain you have dry clothes to sleep in (dirty clothes are ok, as long as they are dry). And sleeping bags are generally rated for the temperature "you won't literally freeze to death under ideal circumstances". So if your bag is rated for 40 and it hits 40 over night, you'll wake up shivering.

I tend to pack more gear to keep me warm than what will keep me "comfortable". I figure if I have to shuffle around a rock or tree root in my sleep, it's better than waking up with my teeth chattering.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:11 PM   #10
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Lots of good information here. In addition to the above, I invested in a sleeping pad last season. Before that I would use extra clothes... or nothing. Huge game changer in comfort. I like to ride lots if miles per day and waking up more refreshed is huge.

Go warmer than. You think on a sleeping bag. I have a 32* rated bag that folds up small and I have woken up cold several nights.

Use the water proofing spray on your tent and fly. I do this every year and it seems to help out. I also use the fly always because waking up wet is no fun... ask me how I know

Get to camp early enough to set up comfortably and enjoy your off the bike time. Im a little weird but i like to push and push and ride lots of miles. Pull into a camp a little short of dusk, rush to get everything setup before dark, make mountain house before dark and pile into the tent. Usually I have picked a nice pretty spot I dont get to see or enjoy very much.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
Taking the motorcycle out of the equation, here is what I look at first.
1. bedding - don't skimp on sleeping bag appropriate to the climate. Always use a sleeping pad, something so you are not laying directly on the ground.
2. comfortable tent/hammock - make sure you can fit with your bedding.
3. water - for drinking and cleaning (if cooking). I generally have the two separate.
4. a way to make fire and use - for cooking and just general well-being. From a stove to a stone ring for open flame. Have a lighter, and a backup or waterproof matches.
5. my weapon - it's a modern world, and there are animals out there.

Everything else (to me) are luxury items. Chairs, pillows, TP. I take them, but I can get by without them (if absolutely necessary.)

With motorcycles, think "Backpacking." Go with light and compact. I am used to driving in my car with all the gear in the trunk, and setting up for a few days. I am having to rethink my whole method of camping, and going back to when I used to live in Colorado and would go backpacking on the weekends. I used to have all that gear, and am finding myself buying new again.

When it comes to mountains, expect the weather to change. Expect it to change to what you did not pack for.

I also bring spare clothes. 1 set for every 4 days or so.

Good advice, I'd recommend a large opening gatorade bottle for nighttime pees, trying to open a zipper while (trying to) hold it can be problematic...

Mountain camping can be very f'ing cold... Being cold sucks...
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:34 AM   #12
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While bears are the usual fear, squirrels or mice can wreck your breakfast too. I'm a big fan of the LokSak brand bags for food. Coffee, spices, and other strong-smelling things go in a smaller one then it all goes in a large one. Don't forget the toothpaste and the other scented stuff. I still hang food in the Loksaks in bear country. Get the rope up in two tall trees so it sags down between them. Clip or tie the food to the middle of the rope then raise it well away from either tree. Not bearproof, but with the Loksaks I've camped in bear country (black and brown) without trouble.

As for the pee bottle. I prefer to get up in the night. I'm camping to experience the area and the night is a wonder too.

I try to fill my water bags earlier in the afternoon instead of later. Too often I've seen a place to stay but passed it up because I didn't have water and the site had none. I carry treatment tablets but usually just boil water instead. I've camped with people who fill from the downhill side of the trail; I always preferred uphill.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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If you are not sleeping in bug country it is amazing to sleep under the stars at night. If you are sleeping in bug country it sucks to sleep under the stars. Get a nice light weight single/two person screen tent with a separate rain fly.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:53 PM   #14
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If you're in an area where you need to secure your food/scent items from critters, I've found the PCT method the most convenient.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:51 AM   #15
shrederscott
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Hi

You have received some good technical advice.

Keep in mind the ethics of this type of camping.

Leaving NOTHING but tire, foot and tent prints.

Pack it in and pack it out

Do not burn your trash .... pack it out !

Be aware of human disposal and distance to water

Pack out others trash when possible

Aviod sensitive areas to camp ....ie cryptonic soils in the desertshould be aviod for camping, riding or even walking on .

enjoy the experience


ride on

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