Camping gear

Discussion in 'Outdoor World' started by fraggler, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    I'd be interested to hear an opinion further down the line as to whether those extra zip things work and whether you think they're worth the additional bulk and complexity over a simpler bag.
     
  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    It will be interesting. The vents are still insulated, but with the more breathable inner fabric. I am a warm sleeper so they were definitely a selling point. The zippers are negligible for bulk and weight, at least for me as I am not an ultralighter. The wider shape adds far more to the package.
     
  3. jazztherapist

    jazztherapist analrapist

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    I've been trying like hell to find a decent river shoe/boot. I've got a pair of heavier canyoneering boots for the likes of the Virgin Narrows for gripping slimy bowling ball-sized boulders, but I'm looking for something lighter, more nimble for less intense river hiking or trails with a lot of creek crossings that still offers ankle support. sheds water fast and dries well. I've destroyed trail running shoes and the Salomon Amphibians weren't substantial enough either. Any thoughts?
     
  4. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I like my Keen boots. Unless you're looking for some knee high stuff?
     
  5. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Ankle support and good drainage aren't usually found together in my brief research into this. Most water shoes are minimal kinds of things that have drainage and flexibility. I tend to wear normal waterproof hikers for general activities and bring along some cheap aqua socks if I know I will have to cross more than a few puddles or low creeks.

    While they don't fit my weird foot shape, I like the idea of Salomons mid shoes like this: https://www.salomon.com/en-us/shop/product/x-ultra-mid-3-aero.html#1191=8430 Non-waterproofed with lots of mesh. Could poke some holes in the sides or bottom for drainage and hope the materials used dry quickly.
     
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  6. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    Open-ended question for you outdoorsy folks... I'd like to start camping, especially now that my son is getting older (he's 6 now). Where's a good place to start? What's the bare minimum of gear I should be looking out for, and what's OK to buy second hand? I don't even own a tent, so I'm really talking about the basics.

    I've always felt drawn to the outdoors but grew up in the city as a kid and my dad was never really the type for adventure. My family went camping once that I remember (in spite of a garage full of camping stuff), and it's one of my favorite memories. Now that I have kids of my own I get the impracticality of it all, but I don't really care... I just want to give my son the chance at what I didn't have as a kid.

    Back in college my friends and I went on a few spur of the minute, woefully under-equipped camping adventures in the Smoky mountains - some of the most fun times I've ever had. One night dropped to 8F and we huddled like sardines with all our clothes on in the tent. Really stupid of us in retrospect but it was totally worth it. Never knew hot dogs and baked beans could taste so good. The next morning we hiked to a waterfall basin where everything was coated in a solid inch of ice - one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Looked like Narnia.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  7. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Start with car camping. Reserve a site, load up your car with all the amenities you want, and stay a Friday and Saturday night. You can do hikes or bike rides during the day, come back, cook a meal, and sleep in your tent.
     
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  8. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Hmm, I have to go camping some time with my college friends. Maybe not with an inch of ice on everything though...
    Problem is, don't have any camping gear at college.
     
  9. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    You don't need camping gear if you have friends with parents with camping gear.
     
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  10. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I'd say the gear you NEED can differ based on the kind of camping you are doing. Since your son is 6, I doubt you will be doing multiday hiking camping, so am assuming car camping where the size and weight of things aren't quite as important? If so, your options are much broader and cheaper. I tend to prefer cooler weather for camping so most of my advice is around gear suitable for the shoulder seasons.

    First off, REI has both good FAQs that covers some of the basics, garage sales where you can get some really good deals, and even rentals if you aren't sure if camping is for you and you want to test it out for a weekend. Also, for purchasing advice, I like Outdoorgearlabs. They buy everything they decide to review and one of the reviewers helped keep me alive during 2 weeks in the North Carolina wilderness during college. He was weird, smart, and really hardcore about the outdoors - I trust him.

    A tent, a sleeping bag, and an insulated sleeping pad are important to avoid hypothermia on even mild nights. Cooking gear, chairs, tables, etc. all depend on the amenities available where you camp. Amazon is flush with ridiculously named brands of identical camp gear from China that are very reasonably priced, and thus far, quite good for the price.

    If you know what kind of camping you will be doing, I am sure the crew here can guide you better as far as specific products.
     
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  11. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    I suppose 'camping' is a ridiculously broad term. I definitely don't plan on taking my 6-year old on any week long expeditions unless I wanted to carry him on my back and listen to endless whining, so @OJneg 's suggestion of car camping sounds like a simple place to start out and test the waters.

    I definitely prefer cooler weather camping as well (mosquitos are my nemesis) so the insulated pads will be important. Appreciate the wise advice of starting out with some cheap/used gear as I'd definitely be tempted to go overboard and spend too much on unnecessarily fancy stuff. I'll check out the places you recommended, thank you.

    Any further recommendations of high-value brands, or other gear that shouldn't be overlooked is appreciated.
     
  12. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I like Klymit for sleeping pads, I have a Static V Lite Insulated. I am a heavy side-sleeper and I am able to not bottom out on it for the most part. Only downside is that if it isn't filled up completely, it sounds like a high-pitched whoopee cushion when I move around. Costco currently has a nice deal on the regular Static V Insulated that comes with a pillow: https://www.costco.com/Klymit-Insulated-Static-V-Sleeping-Pad-with-X-Pillow.product.100320380.html I am also intrigued by this pad from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/BMK-Smart-Design-Inflatable-Sleeping/dp/B07KRMKWTW/ You can probably find thicker, heavier pads for more cushiness, but these caught my eye due to still being reasonably lightweight for backpacking.

    Another option is to use a regular inflatable mattress, but very few of those are insulated so you will have to have an extra layer or two on top. I used one of those cheap mylar foil emergency blankets plus a comforter to decent effect once, but I crinkled all night long which was annoying.

    Kelty and REI are two traditional brands that I like for sleeping bags and tents on the budget end, but I haven't tried any of the Chinese rebrands on Amazon. For non-essentials like chairs or tables, I am fine to give them a shot. With gear protecting me from the elements, I am slightly more wary.
     
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