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Camping tips

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ohihunter2014, May 13, 2019.

  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Although not really hunting related its close because I will use this as a scouting and fishing trip.

    The GF wants to go camping and the only camping I ever did was backwoods deer hunting stuff where we didn't take a bunch of stuff and pretty much roughed it. I haven't done this in probably 5yrs or so and not really sure how to go about just doing a state park camping trip. Below is some of the things I am kind of thinking about but need some advice.

    1) I have a eureka 8 man tent that is in about 70% good condition. The only concern and issue I have ever had with this tent is the floor is made of polyester and gets wet. Thoughts on spraying a couple coatings of waterproofing on it? Tarp underneath? I'm also looking at a cabin style tent so we have room to stand and get dressed. Not sure what to get though.

    2) I cant sleep on the ground and usually do a cheap air mattress. Anyone use the higher air mattresses that sit say 3ft off the ground? I'm afraid they will sink through the night.

    3) Should I spring for cast iron pots and pans or will normal ones work for cooking on an open fire? Also, don't you have to season the cast iron pans or something like that before use?

    4) She loves coffee and cant go without it in the morning. Any tips on making coffee on the fire?

    5) I also don't want to spend a fortune on this stuff above or on a fire grate to cook on. I thought about rigging something up with rebar to sit pots on.
     
  2. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Wife and I like to do overnight backpacking trips.

    As far as tents, (I don't use them) that's a really big tent.
    If it isn't raining, don't worry about water proofing it. Make sure you have ventilation at the top or you will get condensation on you by morning. A ground cloth (tarp) under the tent should solve the wet floor.

    We take one aluminum pot for water/coffee. Typically just place it directly on the fire. Be aware that it will get ashy and sticky (I use a designated canvas bag to put it in). An aluminum pan does just about everything else. We have to keep it light because we are backpacking.
    Car campers can bring all kinds of stuff.

    We like take frozen steak and by the time we arrive at the spot, it is defrosted. Cut a willow switch, put the (ribeye) steak on it and cook over the fire. Tastes DELICIOUS.

    Take baby wipes. Thats your TP and hand washing.
    Take zip locks. You can cook oatmeal in your cup with no dishes.

    I sleep on the ground but I now people who do hammocks.

    For coffee, I have a hand grinder and a collapsible pour over cone. Take some beans and filters, and wham: Coffee.
     
  3. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    What part is the 30% bad condition? Hopefully it doesn't smell bad or leak. I always put a tarp under my tents if for nothing else to keep it clean. Pay some attention as to which way the water will drain if it rains, and set up your tent accordingly. You don't want to be sleeping in a lake.

    I have a couple of cheap aluminum percolators for coffee.

    Cooking over an open fire is somewhat of an art, and can be fun or not so much fun, depending. I'd recommend some sort of camp stove if you can swing that. Otherwise research some foil wrapped meals that you cook on the coals, or maybe some boil in bags. An old charcoal grill would work to cook on too.

    Don't blow this with your girlfriend :oops:

    ETA: If you are going to put pots over the fire, put a coating of dish soap on the bottoms beforehand. The black will be easier to scour off afterwards. An old boyscout trick.
     
  4. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Learn something new everyday
     
  5. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    Cowboy coffee is good. Measure the water and coffee proportions same as you would for a drip coffeemaker. Bring to a boil and add a splash of cold water and eggshells-if you have them. This settles the grounds. Re-heat to just under a boil. This makes excellent coffee and was how all coffee was made before the advent of the percolator just after the turn of the twentieth century. As a side note that old Maxwell House ad on their instant coffee, "good to the last drop" came from Teddy Roosevelt because the instant didn't have the grounds. But don't take instant coffee. You may be tough enough to drink it. I'm not.

    But in the words of a beautiful, tall, blond scientist from Vienna, who I met by accident over on the dry side of the Mackenzie Mountains about cowboy coffee, "And the person who pours the last cup in the pot gets the grounds."

    Women and camping--I haven't been lucky enough to induce many to go. Most of the women I have known consider anything less than the Hyatt-Regency camping. I did ask a woman to go winter camping years ago by which I explained I meant a Hyatt-Regency.

    My plan was to simply ask her to go winter camping the next time without mentioning that it would be in a tent way back in the mountains in twenty below weather.

    Didn't work.

    One final piece of advice, if you do induce a woman to camp with you: if you see a brightly wrapped piece of exotic, European chocolate poking out from her gear, don't take it.
     
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  6. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    The floor gets wet and there is a gorilla taped hole 3x3 on the wall where my buddy knocked over the catalytic heater a few years back. I usually do a small propane stove but she wants the whole camping experience. I will probably end up with a new tent though if its something she wants to do a lot.
     
  7. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Another bit of advice. If you don't see a brightly wrapped piece of exotic, european chocolate in your gear or hers... get some and bring it with you.
     
  8. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    It was odd she asked me to go. She has never been other than in the backyard of her house when younger. I said sure because I'm always up for some time in the outdoors and whatever makes her happy. It actually shocked me because she's a city girl. Coach purse and all. lol.
     
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  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Bring a grate for a cast iron skillet and percolator pot.
    If you use an air mattress, pump it up early and refill it because the air compresses as it cools.
    Bring extra water. My diet when I camp is eggs, bacon, and soup that is cooked in a Dutch oven.
    I like a cheap tepee style tent. It has room and is light. I pack light except for cast iron and food.
    Nothing ruins camping like packing the entire outdoor living section. On the other side, not enough water, food or personal hygiene isn't fun either.
     
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  10. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Pack the stove anyway.

    And if you're camping in a state park, you'll need to bring (or buy nearby) all of the firewood that you plan on using. That's generally more than you think. Parks have been picked clean of any burnable wood by generations of campers that came before you.
     
  11. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    She might love it. The food can be magnificent. And there are the bird calls, this time of year, the wildflowers, the scenery, so much to love. People new to camping have a deep fear of discomfort. It doesn't have to be that way.
     
  12. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Get a 3-season, tall 4-person dome tent from Cabela's or Academy. Easy set-up, easy take-down. Use a ground cloth under it and a tarp a bit smaller than the floor inside. This keeps your floor hole free and allows you to dump out all the dirt, sand, leaves when you leave. Buy a couple of cheap aluminum-framed cots to sleep on. Make sure they have continuous bars that rest on the floor instead of 4-6 pointy feet. Folding cheap grill, 2 1/2 to 5 gallon water container, sporks etc. Cheap pot and frying pan and maybe a couple of MREs as back-up and toilet paper.
    Don't forget the bug spray!
     
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  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Just pull the grates off your grill or even your oven. Take about six bricks to set it on.
    Take a shovel and cook with coals (or charcoal) not open flames. Just shovel them out of the fire, and use them in the cooking area. It doesn't take as many as you might think.
    If you want to invest in some cast iron cookware, get a good Dutch oven. Ours has a lid that doubles as a griddle.
    Finally, campfire coffee is the best. Find an old percolating pot with a bakelite handle, and be sure it has the innards. Boil (perk) for 5 min for the finest coffee you ever had.

    About sunset, perk her a pot of coffee and bake her some BlackBerry scones in your Dutch oven.....she will be totally hypnotized.
    Best wishes.
     
  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have camped pretty comfortably in a camper shell on the pickup bed. Not much more expensive than a good tent.
     
  15. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

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    And do check local regulations about stuff like ash borers in your wood. Can't speak for everywhere, but here, Western-By-God-New-York, you can't bring in firewood from more than 50 miles away.
    And if there's a burn ban on, as it is here for some reason, candles in glass jars with either tin foil taped to one side or half spray painted silver (to reflect light) and bunched up, can sometimes be the only 'safe' way to have a campfire without running too far afoul of the law. A quick puff of air or jiggle to extinguish may mean the difference between a hefty ticket or a dark and cheerless night.
    A twist of damp rosemary or sage in tinfoil and set to one side of the fire helps keep the skeeters away or invest in some citronella bucket candles help too, as well as making for a nice alternative campfire. Learned that one the hard way backpacking in the Wasatch a long time ago.

    And if you see a brightly wrapped piece of European chocolate, scarf that bad boy up when her back's turned and blame it on the chipmunks or something. No one ever said I was a saint, lol.
     
  16. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I suggest that you coat the outside of any pot or pan that you are putting directly into the fire with dish soap. It will keep the fire soot from sticking to the outside and clean up easier. Also if you perk coffee get large grind coffee less of the grounds get into the bottom. You might even try and make a small bag with a tie on it as a filter to put coffee in to reduce grounds.
     
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  17. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I figured this is why I would get a good air bed for her. I have a cheapie one that gets me by but the taller one maybe better for her. Deer camp I would get made fun of for sitting in my tent cooking breakfast on the propane stove or even outside in 20 degrees. They didn't make fun of the way it tastes though. I took her to a farm a few weeks back and she was freaking out over all the animals, so I'm sure she will love it. I used to hunt this state forest/park we are going to, so I know some viewing spots that she will like.
     
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  18. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    A single thickness mattress is as comfortable as the tall ones if you get one that has the ribbed bladder instead of the old style ones. The taller mattress is better as you age.
     
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  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Put a tarp under the tent. Use cots to sleep on. Won't hurt if it is wet. Some cut the floor out to reduce weight and don't even use a tarp.

    https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/151568/alps-mountaineering-lightweight-cot

    In cold weather use a backpacking foam pad between the cot and the bottom of the bag for insulation.
    https://www.rei.com/product/829826/therm-a-rest-z-lite-sol-sleeping-pad

    Use a backpacking stove, (they aren't expensive) instead of a fire. Much easier. If you want fire for the looks, fine, but I have better things to do with my time than cut wood.

    https://www.rei.com/product/114890/msr-pocketrocket-2-stove

    The food is a little expensive, but is pretty good and for a day or so worth it. You simply boil water, pour into pouch, stir and give it a few minutes before eating. The only thing you have to clean is your spoon.

    https://www.rei.com/search?q=food+freeze-dried

    We eat one hot meal a day using the freeze dried food. Everything else is cold. Wife boils and peels about a dozen eggs before we leave for breakfast, and we eat sandwiches for one meal each day. Protein bars, GORP, fruit, and other snacks for extra's
     
  20. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    Don't forget the marshmallows!
     
  21. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    Pie Irons "aka Tonka Toasters" are really nice.

    Breakfast: Bring bread, butter, eggs, bacon, cheese, salt and pepper. Butter the one outsides of the bread which face the iron, fill center with ingredients lay other piece of bread butter side out and turn in coals until finished, perfect breakfast sandwich.
    Lunch: Grilled cheese and ham, same process as breakfast
    Dessert: Same two pieces of buttered bread and then get pie filling (raspberry is the best, but cherry is good too), really delicious dessert pies.

    Other recipes you can make: pizza, tuna melt, corn bread, etc.

    They are fun and easy to clean up, a canvas bag would be nice to store them in, just make sure and season the cast iron before you go so you don't have to mess with that at the campground. We grew up using these as kids and loved them. Don't buy the cheap ones, spend the money on a couple of good ones.

    http://www.pieiron.com/
     
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  22. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    Some of the food you can do camping can be rather dramatic. On the lower Mackenzie River one year in September, I met this group of four canoeists who had come from Manitoba. They'd been traveling since June. For food they had a ten-foot length of four-inch sewage pipe filled with flour, a sack of potatoes, and a five-gallon bucket of lard. I remember Tony, a little guy, saying, as he hefted the big bucket, "When you're out of grease, you're out of food." If they didn't catch fish or shoot something, that was what they had to eat. The lower Mackenzie was two miles wide and muddy, which meant it offered virtually no chance of a fish to a passing party of canoeists, and in that wide open country, the geese were almost impossible to approach within shotgun range.

    By the time I met them, I had traveled about as far and as long from the west.

    In my four-quart aluminum pot, I mixed up instant pancake batter, which had powdered eggs. A bit more flour and sugar, and raisins. With spruce coals on the top and the bottom, an exact twenty-two minutes should have made a nice cake, except five minutes before it was done, it rained.

    I said, "I guess it's ruined. I'll have to throw it out."

    The big guy, Eric, said, "Oh, no, we ain't seen nothing like this in a long time." Burnt on the bottom soggy on the top, we ate every scrap.

    The next morning I did make them a decent chocolate cake. The best moment, though, was when I stepped back from camp for a bucket for water. Half-dozen Canadas landed sixty-five yards out. Just before I pulled the trigger on my .35 Whelen another one stepped behind the one I aimed at, and we had the two, which we baked in a tall aluminum pot before we parted ways.
     
  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Oh yeah!
    Those are great, we use them also. A great, easy camp tool.
     
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  24. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    I have to pipe up on one of the most important morning beverages...........COFFEE!!!

    Here is something my Dad passed on to me many years ago, a tip which you can experiment with at home before one goes on an adventure.

    If you do not have a coffee pot in order to cut down on weight, but two pots, try this. (I use nesting camp cook kits)

    Put your ground coffee and water in a covered pot before bed-time.
    In the A.M , gently pour the dark water into the second container. The grounds should stay at the bottom of the over-night pot. Heat, drink and enjoy your "Hobo Coffee".
     
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  25. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    You didn't mention where you were going, but do be aware of bears if you are going someplace that has them. Hang your food up on a branch away from the trunk of the tree. Change out of your cooking/eating clothes, put them away from you. Wash your face and hands after eating.

    Go buy a can of cinnamon rolls from the store. Get twigs and wrap the dough around a fork in the twig, then bake it over the coals. You don't want a lot of smoke, just heat. Drizzle with the frosting. It's an amazing snack/breakfast.

    Don't forget the smores.

    Cast iron pans work great, but yes, you have to have seasoned them. You can look it up online and learn that art. Salt and a paper towel works great at cleaning them out. You'll need to re-oil them though. No cold water in the hot pan either.

    I always dig a depression in the side of the fire pit before lighting a fire, and put three relatively flat rocks around it. Start the fire and wait for coals. Bury the potatoes wrapped in foil in the depression, not too deep. Move the coals into the depression. Cook in the pan on the rocks. The potatoes should be finishing up in an hour or so, if you've done it right.

    Regarding steak: marinate the steak, then freeze it. It will thaw throughout the day. Take some mixed veggies, chop them. Wrap it all in foil. It's a great way to cook it on the coals. Hamburgers can be made this way too.
     
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