What camping gear you got?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AMSBIKER, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

    Oct 10, 2003
    SW CT
    Awesome.... and you left that out of your post above? I'm probably going to go with a Sawtooth with small stove, trying to decide on the liner or not (not crazy about the additional cost, weight, set-up but condensation sucks). Not sure I'm going to be a hard core snow camper yet, but I'd like to extend the season by a few months before and after the bugs hit.

    I can imagine it begin awesome for bike camping in the early spring and late fall... nothing like relaxing with the warmth.
  2. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

    Jun 6, 2011
    Ankeny Iowa
    My Big Agnes Lost Ranger has both a pillow and mat pockets. Can't believe others (manu) don't. This should have been done years ago! I might add that the bulkiness and cost of a Kermit chair is worth the weight and space. There are a number of inexpensive hammocks on the market that work very well for a quick set up nap and or chair. Weigh nothing and pack small. I also have a Jet-Boil, use it, but first grab the pocket rocket and a nesting cup. Cheaper smaller to pack, way less expensive. I also carry a tarp it has so many uses! Can't stand to eat with plastic forks, spoons aren't so bad. A good pocket knife speaks for it's self. Multi-tools are cool I carry one Usually Leatherman, but use them on small tasks. I would never lean on one hard. Tents, everyone starts out in one and ends up in others! One thing I learned after buying a very pricey Hilleberg, is (free standing!) you will end up setting up someplace that won't be tent peg friendly.
  3. dmason

    dmason goofball

    Oct 25, 2010
    NorthCentral IN
    Big Agnes does.
  4. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

    Sep 14, 2009
    All over, usually Wales or England
    I didn't mention it for two reasons:
    1. I've not used it yet, it might be junk (although I suspect not!) :evil
    2. I didn't want to create the impression you *need* one. Maybe for -30 camping you do need that sort of tent, but my £150 Vango has done just fine in snow. :D

    I researched the buggery out of it before hitting "buy" and was torn as to whether or not to get the liner. The shipping and custom charges sealed the deal; it was going to be so much to order it separately "after the fact" if it turned out I did need it after all, that it seemed crazy not to.

    I mostly camp in Western/Northern Europe and it tends to get damp here. After hitting buy, I came across lots of Brits/Europeans who were saying that they were terrible without the liners, but that the liners were incredible:
    • Reflect light really well (useful in the brown rather than white) making your torch/lantern/stove light a lot more effective.
    • Made it another couple of degrees warmer inside.
    • Completely cured the condensation, also fairly uniquely for liners, you can brush up against them and they keep moisture on the other side.
    Only downsides (other than cost/weight) is supposed to be they can make it feel a little smaller inside. Given the last point in the 'pluses' above, I've heard that the trick is just to stuff your kit up against it around the edge to hold it back and give you a bit more room.

    I only discovered most of the above after hitting buy. Glad I opted to go for it now.

    Assuming the tipi is completed, ships and clears customs in time, I'll be using mine for a 2 day hike and also for a motorcycle winter rally, all in late Jan/early Feb in the mountains. Snow and below freezing temps will be likely.

    It's not just to make winter camping more enjoyable though, I also got it to extend the season my other half will tag along. She feels the cold worse than anyone I've ever met (seriously; 3 layers in summer! :huh) and until now, we've adopted a model of we camp in summer and she uses my winter bag/mat, when I am using my summer kit. I am hoping the tipi will allow her to tag along in some late spring/early fall trips.

    Sawtooth looks great, I think I'd go for the small stove in that too, based on what I've read. Looks like a really neat lightweight solution. If I really love the 6 man, I may well go for one of those for one or two night solo trips.
  5. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

    Oct 10, 2003
    SW CT
    Thanks Ceri JC.... I've done some research as well and have come across all those advantages of the liner too. I'll probably will have to go with it, as well as the bug netting as it tends to be humid and buggy here on the Eastcoast. But dang does the cost add up!

    Enjoy UR 6 man!

    AMSBIKER Adventurer

    Mar 3, 2012
    Thanks for all the replys chaps. What's the current thinking on heating your tent. ( UK see, not much sun here most of the time) I see Coleman do tent heaters but they are massive and way to big to pack on a bike. I saw one of those collapsable wood burning stove thingies and liked the look of them but bloody hell are they expensive!!!

    I like this !!

  7. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

    Feb 23, 2010
    Province of Quebec!
    Last gear I got:

  8. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

    Oct 10, 2003
    SW CT
    ?? Don't understand... looks about the same price, but 10x the weight??
  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Dec 4, 2003
    Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
    I don't think I could condense 25 years of camping into one post but here's what has stood out to me.
    10 essentials.
    Down sleeping bag at least 10 degrees colder then the coldest I expect to sleep in.
    Sleeping bag liner.
    Thermarest 3/4 deluxe over a ridge rest.
    For years I had a single wall Garuda Kaja tent. Now I have a Kingdom 6 family tent.
    Compression stuff sacks
    Down jacket
    Kung Fu shoes for camp shoes unless it's really wet
    Non stick pans, that have been painted black on the bottom of the outside
    Scraper and cut down sponge and castille(sp?) soap
    Two ways to start fires and something to eat that doesn't need to be cooked in addition to the normal rations of food.
    Pillow stuff sack, it's made of fleece on the inside and nylon on the outside, stuff it with my jacket and it's a great pillow.
  10. Blur

    Blur Gone.

    Jun 2, 2010
    I've had a Kelty Gunnison 2-man for years and my Hennessy Explorer Deluxe Asym is arriving Christmas morning. I'm looking forward to using it.
    Vanishing Point likes this.
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

    Sep 14, 2009
    All over, usually Wales or England
    +1. They pack down to nothing and make walking around camp so much nicer. I don't tend to bother if I'm wearing hybrid motorbike/hiking boots (as I do on fairly road-oriented trips). If you're wearing Enduro boots though, they're a great luxury for the size/weight. Word of warning; I once got early stages of hypothermia using them around camp on a hiking trip and I didn't realise until it was too late, how wet /cold my feet were. After this incident, I worked out the solution; by using waterproof socks when it's cold/wet (I like knee length Seal Skinz), you not only waterproof your Enduro boots, but when you put your Kung Fu shoes on, it doesn't matter if they get wet too.

    Flames/heat sources in tents is a hugely controversial topic and I fully expect someone will post here about how they've seen youtube videos of modern tents burst into flames in 5 seconds and how their girlfriend's cousin's uncle heard from someone in a bar about a guy who got burnt alive from doing it. Like motorcycling, I cannot deny it is potentially dangerous. Similarly, like motorcycling, I can say from experience that if you're sensible about it, it's nowhere near as dangerous as the general populace tend to imagine and there's a lot you can do to decrease the risk to a level where the benefit outweighs the risk.

    I was involved in scouting for almost 20 years of my life. Consequently, I have seen (and slept in) a lot of tents and I have seen huge numbers of other people (often novices) camping close up and making all sort of stupid mistakes. In all that time, there were only two instances where tents caught fire and neither of these resulted in anything more severe than a telling off for the people involved and a bill for some new tents.

    One involved someone putting a stick they had used to poke the fire with back in the box where dry wood was stored "because the flame on it had gone out". Unsurprisingly, glowing hot embers on the end of a stick are hot enough to ignite other wood and a large box full of wood burns quite well; well enough to ignite the kitchen tarp-tent it is under, in fact. :rofl

    The other was the only time I've seen (or met someone with first hand experience of) a flame inside a tent "going wrong" in the real world. Three kids were cooking in the porch of their tent as it was very cold and rain was likely. Everyone on camp was doing the same. Someone didn't put the pan on the stove properly and it started to slide off. In the scramble to grab the pan and prevent dinner winding up on the floor, someone knocked the stove over and the grass and the front of the porch caught alight. It was a modern tent (an early Vaude Ferret, if you're a tent geek/interested) and as youtube videos show, it burnt quickly. Nonetheless, three panicking children (11-14) had the presence of mind to GTFO and stamp out the porch fire from the outside of the tent, quickly enough that the tent was saved and they were able to sleep in it that night with nothing more severe than a leaky porch.

    The three biggest dangers relating to heat/fire IMO are:
    1. A heat source from outside the tent (fire, someone else's hot cigarette ash, etc.) being blown, dropped or otherwise transferred onto the canvas, when you're inside it. The first you'll know is when the tent is on fire.
    2. Being drunk. I had second degree burns and a trip to hospital following an incident involving alcohol. I was sat in a camp chair a long way from the tent and we had some tea lights for light on the ground. The grass caught fire and in my panic and drunkeness, I overlooked the fact I wasn't wearing shoes and proceeded to stamp out the fire barefoot. Unfortunately, I managed to get the metal of the tea light stuck to my foot. I still have some light scarring for my stupidity. I can easily see how if you're drunk*, as opposed to having had a swig from a hip flask or 3-4 beers round the campfire, you can make mistakes that you never would sober, that can be dangerous. Put the flames out before you start drinking. :1drink
    3. Smoke; one of the reasons why these tent stoves have a stove pipe is to take the smoke outside the tent. If you have a tent with poor ventilation and are burning something that smokes a lot, the smoke can settle on the ground of the tent and kill you in your sleep. Answer: Don't burn anything that smokes more than a candle, in any tent with poor ventilation, when you're going to sleep.

    If you don't have a stove or other heat source, survival candles are great for heating a 2-3 man tent. Easy to build for pennies and they burn a long time. If your stove breaks down, you can even cook on them (I've boiled water in a "cup" made of tin foil on top of one).

    <IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/C5vUCmYBTK8?rel=0" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    People can and do sleep with them on all night, warming the tent/shelter. Personally, I wouldn't like to do this; I am quite happy to have one on whilst I'm awake in the tent and keeping an eye on it though.

    As safe as I believe cooking/using survival candles in tents to be, I *always* keep a Leatherman inside my tent, within reaching distance of my bag and I know where it is at all times. I know from testing the theory on old/damaged tents that if necessary I can find and open the knife and use it to get out through a wall quicker than they burn (yes, even the modern ones). Canvas tents are harder/slower to cut through, but tend not to have bathtub floors and you can often just crawl under the walls and get out. Similarly, they take a lot longer to burn, so you have more time to escape.

    Other things you can do to stack the odds in your favour:
    Pitch your tent properly - Seriously, if your tents walls are flapping around in the wind, you're asking for trouble.
    Site the heat source sensibly - Away from walls and not on a plastic groundsheet. If camping with other people, don't put it where they'll trip over it, or where the door will fall on it if they come to your tent unannounced and unzip the door.
    Don't leave it unattended - If you go outside for a piss, put it out and relight it when you come back in.
    Keep an eye on it - position yourself so that you are facing the flame, don't put it out of your field of vision so you have to turn around to check on it. You'll get lazy and not bother.
    Keep something to put it out within reaching distance: In the case of a survival candle, the lid is great for this. Other things include water (EG your camelbak/water bag) and some clothes**/your camp towel to smother it.

    *I'm talking; don't feel the burn till the following morning when you wake up outside your bag, lying in the porch of your tent, looking at an empty bottle of Lidl's own-brand Tequila

    **Not the ultralightweight plasticy walking trousers that go up quicker than a tent, obviously!
  12. Law Dawg (ret)

    Law Dawg (ret) Been here awhile

    Sep 10, 2003
    Left Coast
    I have been ground camping all my life (60 years old now)...until the new set if Titanium knees became the last option. Crawling around on the knees has become unbearable. Now I use a hammock tent kit. Specifically;

    Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 double hammock.
    Hammock Gear down under and top quilts.
    Arrowhead Equipment Toxaway tarp.
    Assorted stakes and other set up stuff.

    It is the most comfortable and simple to set up (after a steep learning curve) kit I have ever camped in. Packs up small and weighs very little. What to do when there are no hanging points for the kit? Plan better and get to a place where there are. The tarp works for any weather I want to camp in, including pouring rain. It is great to heat up and enjoy your breakfast right from the hammock without worrying about burning the tent down.

    Which brings this to food. Long dirt trips that are unsupported by a sag wagon, eateries, or stores means using backpacking dehydrated stuff...it has come a long way flavor wise. My stove cooking will always involve only boiling water because all else can be done on an open fire with aluminum foil or a stick. The cooking kit;

    Folding backpacking Propane/Butane stove with canisters...just too simple to use.
    Light weight pot for water.
    Light weight cup.
    Insulated sealing cup for hot caffeinated beverages.
    Spoon, fork, (sporks stink) and Swiss Army knife.
    Aluminum foil and spices.
  13. RoundTrip

    RoundTrip Unintentional deerslayer

    Sep 11, 2006
    Sunny Tucson AZ
    LawDog nailed it. I have almost the same gear and I have never been more comfortable camping.