Poll

Do you like to camp?

I like to camp any chance I can get.
129 (41.5%)
I like to camp, but only very occasionally.
129 (41.5%)
I don't like to camp, but I'll go with friends or family that wants to.
29 (9.3%)
I don't like to camp and I refuse to ever go.
24 (7.7%)

Total Members Voted: 311

Author Topic: Camping...why or why not?  (Read 6737 times)

Hula Hoop

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #100 on: July 02, 2018, 06:46:07 AM »
We're actually contemplating going camping near the beach next weekend with some friends.  Only problem is that we don't own a tent so we'll have to buy one.  Here in Europe, camping is completely different from the US and many other places though.  Europe is really crowded and there is very little wilderness left so when you go camping it's on an established campground with lots of other people close by.  The upside is that even when you're hiking you can usually stop off for a nice meal and a decent cup of coffee.  The downside is the same - you're not really away from civilization no matter how far you hike.
The Norwegian Department for Nature defines wilderness as 5 km (straight line) from human interference. We have 37 000 km2 of the stuff, and I guess Sweden and Finland are quite similar. Most of Iceland is also pretty wild. In Northern Europe you can hike for a long time without meeting people or anything resembling civilization. (Some people claim the civilization ends just north of Oslo).

On our way to the uk we drove through Germany and the Netherlands, and I agree that the camping places there were more like small cities than wilderness.

Funny, people who like camping will sleep in a tent on the ground. Leave home with a comfy bed, microwave, heat or ac, clean bathroom a freezer full of food but would they leave their cell phone home or at the very least turn it off unless needed for an emergency?


I'm in Italy.  I guess I should have said "this being the non-Scandinavian part of Europe..."  I find both the beach and camping here total culture shock being from the US originally.  People everywhere here.  There is some untouched nature in places like Abruzzo and the Dolomites but you have to hike quite a long way to get away from people, roads, little houses (rifugi), cell phone signals etc.

Or you could just have said “Italy”. Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves. Europe is not a country, or a union of countries (although many of the countries choose to cooperate through the EU). For us in the north, Italian culture is probably more foreign than Canadian, or Midwest USA. The same goes for Germans and Greek, Polish and Portuguese. 

There are wilderness areas scattered around most of Europe, not just the north: https://goo.gl/images/MwhsSE





(And since Denmark has almost nothing, while Finland has a lot, fennoscandia would be more correct than Scandinavia /nitpicking).

Actually it's one of my pet peeves too.  I was just being sloppy.  I think I took a German guy to task a while back on these boards for talking about "European" taxes and social benefits.  He was basically just talking about Germany but calling it "Europe".  Totally alien to me here in Italy.

I have family in various countries in Northern Europe and there isn't much wilderness up there either but I guess if you go to Northern Sweden or someplace like that you'll find wilderness as it's simply too cold for farming.  Italy is, of course, beautiful, but full of people.  The hill towns and nice restaurants everywhere are part of the charm here but sometimes I really miss the amazing camping trips I used to do when younger in the US where you could hike for days and not see anyone else on the trail.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 06:52:50 AM by Hula Hoop »

spartana

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #101 on: July 05, 2018, 11:47:15 PM »
I picked option #1 and I do camp often for a fairly long time (month or 2 at a time) in a variety of ways - back country backpacking in my tiny one person bivy tent (ultra minimalist style with no cooking or stove, no camp fire, super fast and bare minimum stuff), regular public campgrounds in a larger tent or sleeping in my mini van either in a Nat or State Park (only off season though) or close to a fun town for easy socializing (I travel solo generally), bike or motorcycle camping, and van or truck camping. Generally mix it up when on a trip. My personal favorite is to have a "base camp" tent in one place I stay in for at least 2 weeks or longer (hate tear down and set up even as a pretty Spartan camper) and then take long day hikes or bikes or climbs or whatever from there.

Personally I don't "love" camping just for the sake of camping. But I like the areas and places it allows me to go to so I can do the things I want to do. IRving doesn't interest me at all, and neither do motel stays.

ETA my dream has always been to do a long distance solo bicycle camping tour around the world but have a dog so that will have to wait as she doesn't like bike touring.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 12:15:24 AM by spartana »
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marble_faun

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #102 on: July 06, 2018, 12:01:44 AM »
Love camping!  Though I've only done it in the context of multi-day backpacking hikes. (Have never been car camping.)

There's something perfect about the simplicity of it. Water, food, shelter. All other worries of life fade to the background as you trek from Point A to Point B.  And once you arrive, it's all about the scenic view, the campfire, and maybe playing cards.  No computers, no phones beeping. It's a total mental reset that puts you in a contemplative frame of mind.

Would love to go out more!
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HiddenSp0t

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #103 on: July 06, 2018, 04:37:34 AM »
I like camping it's a good way to escape the city and enjoy the nature

havregryn

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #104 on: July 06, 2018, 04:51:35 AM »
We're actually contemplating going camping near the beach next weekend with some friends.  Only problem is that we don't own a tent so we'll have to buy one.  Here in Europe, camping is completely different from the US and many other places though.  Europe is really crowded and there is very little wilderness left so when you go camping it's on an established campground with lots of other people close by.  The upside is that even when you're hiking you can usually stop off for a nice meal and a decent cup of coffee.  The downside is the same - you're not really away from civilization no matter how far you hike.
The Norwegian Department for Nature defines wilderness as 5 km (straight line) from human interference. We have 37 000 km2 of the stuff, and I guess Sweden and Finland are quite similar. Most of Iceland is also pretty wild. In Northern Europe you can hike for a long time without meeting people or anything resembling civilization. (Some people claim the civilization ends just north of Oslo).

On our way to the uk we drove through Germany and the Netherlands, and I agree that the camping places there were more like small cities than wilderness.

Funny, people who like camping will sleep in a tent on the ground. Leave home with a comfy bed, microwave, heat or ac, clean bathroom a freezer full of food but would they leave their cell phone home or at the very least turn it off unless needed for an emergency?


I'm in Italy.  I guess I should have said "this being the non-Scandinavian part of Europe..."  I find both the beach and camping here total culture shock being from the US originally.  People everywhere here.  There is some untouched nature in places like Abruzzo and the Dolomites but you have to hike quite a long way to get away from people, roads, little houses (rifugi), cell phone signals etc.

Or you could just have said “Italy”. Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves. Europe is not a country, or a union of countries (although many of the countries choose to cooperate through the EU). For us in the north, Italian culture is probably more foreign than Canadian, or Midwest USA. The same goes for Germans and Greek, Polish and Portuguese. 

There are wilderness areas scattered around most of Europe, not just the north: https://goo.gl/images/MwhsSE

(And since Denmark has almost nothing, while Finland has a lot, fennoscandia would be more correct than Scandinavia /nitpicking).

To be honest this map seems more red to me than green, except in the north?

It may also really depend on your definition of wilderness, to me 5km from human interference is not really wilderness. It takes an hour to walk 5km at a brisk pace, so I would agree with Hula Hoop that this really doesn't make "far from civilisation". To me wilderness is somewhere where you need skills to survive or you will never get out alive, a place where you will come across a human settlement within a few hours no matter which way you walk is not really that wild to me.
And I say this as someone who would never ever go camping, haha, I am right now planning a camping trip for my 4.5 year old son in the 100m radius from my inlaws' summer cottage (in Sweden) as that is as far into the "wilderness" as I am willing to go lol.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #105 on: July 06, 2018, 06:49:30 AM »
hav - I feel the same.  I see that in the country where I live, Italy, there are only a few little spashes of green in the far north of the country where the high mountains make farming difficult.  Don't get me wrong - one of the charms of Italy - and many other parts of Europe - is how tamed the nature is.  As I said, the hill towns and ancient ruins here are beautiful and it's nice to be able to go for a hike and then drop off at a restaurant for a delicious meal and local wine.  But sometimes I crave wilderness and that is just not available here.  I think it's OK to be home sick once in a while.  I miss certain things about my home country and this is one of them.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 07:51:21 AM by Hula Hoop »

havregryn

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #106 on: July 06, 2018, 07:18:15 AM »
I hate to add a morbid touch to this debate, but the reason why it caught my attention was that a few years ago I read about two Dutch girls who disappeared in the wilderness of Panama ( their remains were found much later), it was a captivating read all together but what sort of stuck with me was how some survival expert said that the girls were probably too naive and had no idea how dangerous the rainforest actually was as their idea of hiking was created in a setting where you can really never stray too far from civilisation.
So essentially, everything they did was exactly the wrong thing to do and it got them killed.
I have zero personal experience with wilderness, haha, real or vanilla, I am terrified of it. So I love Europe for it.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #107 on: July 06, 2018, 07:38:22 AM »
I hate to add a morbid touch to this debate, but the reason why it caught my attention was that a few years ago I read about two Dutch girls who disappeared in the wilderness of Panama ( their remains were found much later), it was a captivating read all together but what sort of stuck with me was how some survival expert said that the girls were probably too naive and had no idea how dangerous the rainforest actually was as their idea of hiking was created in a setting where you can really never stray too far from civilisation.
So essentially, everything they did was exactly the wrong thing to do and it got them killed.
I have zero personal experience with wilderness, haha, real or vanilla, I am terrified of it. So I love Europe for it.

It is indeed a bit naief to go on a long hike in a very unfamiliar type of terrain without gradually building up some experience in it. And I think it is also a good habit to read survival handbooks from time to time. Maybe if something ever happens, you'll remember some of the advice in the book and it can save your life.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #108 on: July 06, 2018, 07:50:28 AM »
I hate to add a morbid touch to this debate, but the reason why it caught my attention was that a few years ago I read about two Dutch girls who disappeared in the wilderness of Panama ( their remains were found much later), it was a captivating read all together but what sort of stuck with me was how some survival expert said that the girls were probably too naive and had no idea how dangerous the rainforest actually was as their idea of hiking was created in a setting where you can really never stray too far from civilisation.
So essentially, everything they did was exactly the wrong thing to do and it got them killed.
I have zero personal experience with wilderness, haha, real or vanilla, I am terrified of it. So I love Europe for it.

From what I've heard this happens quite often to Europeans travelling in Australia too.  They just don't get the emptiness of Australia and don't know how to respect it.

COEE

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #109 on: July 07, 2018, 07:42:18 AM »
We enjoy camping.  We mostly car camp... always have.  Sometimes we do disbursed camping if I'm feeling particularly cheep.  We just got back from 2 nights at Mt. Rushmore KOA for 4th of July.  We had a blast!  Water slides, swimming pools, beer, stars, all you can eat pancakes, and 3 blissful days of not checking the MMM forums every hour.  What could be better?

We go out 3-4 times a year or about once a month.  We mostly camp within our home state (CO) on a whim within a couple hours of the house.  We actually thought ahead this year and booked a couple days at Mt. Rushmore and a couple days at the Great Sand Dunes NP.

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #110 on: July 07, 2018, 08:44:41 AM »
I hate to add a morbid touch to this debate, but the reason why it caught my attention was that a few years ago I read about two Dutch girls who disappeared in the wilderness of Panama ( their remains were found much later), it was a captivating read all together but what sort of stuck with me was how some survival expert said that the girls were probably too naive and had no idea how dangerous the rainforest actually was as their idea of hiking was created in a setting where you can really never stray too far from civilisation.
So essentially, everything they did was exactly the wrong thing to do and it got them killed.
I have zero personal experience with wilderness, haha, real or vanilla, I am terrified of it. So I love Europe for it.

It is indeed a bit naief to go on a long hike in a very unfamiliar type of terrain without gradually building up some experience in it. And I think it is also a good habit to read survival handbooks from time to time. Maybe if something ever happens, you'll remember some of the advice in the book and it can save your life.

I had a coworker that had years of experience in the mountains get lost while she was hiking and eventually die.  She also had some medical conditions that we believe played a contributing role as well - but nobody knows for sure.  What we do know is she was supposed to go around the mountain but made a wrong turn after she split up from her group as the others wanted to return to the camp site.

Moral of the story - never split up from your group.

Always carry a good hatchet, flint/lighter, compass, and water filter.  With these things, you will probably survive just about any scenario on your own.  If you also carry a small mirror and whistle, you will probably survive any rescue situation.  The hatchet is heavy (or can be), but the rest is lightweight and doesn't take much space it's worth having just in case.  I carry a whistle when I ski also.  You never know when it will save your life.

There's a story of a guy hiking alone out here and he had to amputate his own hand to get out after getting it stuck between a couple rocks.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Ralston

I could go on.  Weird things happen in the high country.

spartana

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #111 on: July 07, 2018, 09:04:27 AM »
^^^As someone who usually goes solo I think you need to take some extra precautions. Also as a woman there can be potential assault issues when hiking or camping or just travelling alone that might not happen to solo guys as much. I know several women (a couple on this forum) who were assaulted or potentially assaulted when camping alone. Rare but happens.  Or does it happen rarely because there aren't that many women camping, hiking or backpacking alone?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 09:08:38 AM by spartana »
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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #112 on: July 07, 2018, 12:05:54 PM »
Just want to share and say that my wife and I were occasional campers, and have recently got back into it since our son is now a good age for it (5).  My wife had kind of been pushing for us to get a trailer, which would also mean that we would have to buy something to pull the trailer.  Since I have a bit of financial sense, I was against this.  So then my wife insisted that we get new camping equipment.  I was reluctant to go this route, since I didn't feel it would increase the enjoyment of our camping experience.  Eventually I agreed, and we spent about $300 on a new tent, new air mattress, and a new gazebo (used sales and coupons where possible).  All this to say that the new equipment really has made a difference, it is basically luxurious, and we intend to spend a lot of nights camping this summer.  So maybe some new equipment might help anyone on the fence get into camping more.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #113 on: July 07, 2018, 12:48:09 PM »
Just want to share and say that my wife and I were occasional campers, and have recently got back into it since our son is now a good age for it (5).  My wife had kind of been pushing for us to get a trailer, which would also mean that we would have to buy something to pull the trailer.  Since I have a bit of financial sense, I was against this.  So then my wife insisted that we get new camping equipment.  I was reluctant to go this route, since I didn't feel it would increase the enjoyment of our camping experience.  Eventually I agreed, and we spent about $300 on a new tent, new air mattress, and a new gazebo (used sales and coupons where possible).  All this to say that the new equipment really has made a difference, it is basically luxurious, and we intend to spend a lot of nights camping this summer.  So maybe some new equipment might help anyone on the fence get into camping more.

Making sure you can stay warm and dry, and have a relatively clean/bug free place to retreat to, makes a huge difference when falling in love with camping. I'm normally all about trying a hobby with the cheapest adequate gear first (like cooking!), but camping 'adequate' can be a more expensive threshold, depending on where you camp.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #114 on: July 07, 2018, 02:06:10 PM »
Just want to share and say that my wife and I were occasional campers, and have recently got back into it since our son is now a good age for it (5).  My wife had kind of been pushing for us to get a trailer, which would also mean that we would have to buy something to pull the trailer.  Since I have a bit of financial sense, I was against this.  So then my wife insisted that we get new camping equipment.  I was reluctant to go this route, since I didn't feel it would increase the enjoyment of our camping experience.  Eventually I agreed, and we spent about $300 on a new tent, new air mattress, and a new gazebo (used sales and coupons where possible).  All this to say that the new equipment really has made a difference, it is basically luxurious, and we intend to spend a lot of nights camping this summer.  So maybe some new equipment might help anyone on the fence get into camping more.

Making sure you can stay warm and dry, and have a relatively clean/bug free place to retreat to, makes a huge difference when falling in love with camping. I'm normally all about trying a hobby with the cheapest adequate gear first (like cooking!), but camping 'adequate' can be a more expensive threshold, depending on where you camp.

It might have been a very good investment for making your wife more enthusiastic about camping. Some people prefer glamping.

austin944

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #115 on: July 07, 2018, 02:14:33 PM »
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

edit: I fly into the closest city of my camping destination and rent a car, so I don't try to bring a lot of camping equipment or food along.  Whatever I bring usually fits into one large bag + small backpack.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 10:25:52 PM by austin944 »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #116 on: July 07, 2018, 03:07:33 PM »
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

We eat like we normally do. You can take coolers if you're car camping. I'll usually prep a big batch of something like chili, and we bring chips and salsa and fruits and veggies that are good with no or minimal prep (apples, bananas, cucumbers). Chili is versatile, you can heat it and eat it, you can bring beef or hot dogs and make chili dogs, you can eat it with chips like nachos- all sorts of ways to mix it up.

So that's my answer: coolers and a camp stove. It's harder if you're backpacking. But yeah, if you're car camping, just eat real food!
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OtherJen

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #117 on: July 07, 2018, 03:16:10 PM »
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

We definitely don’t do a lot of processed food; husband reacts badly to the preservatives, and I have celiac disease. We plan our meals carefully and pack a cooler. Eggs and bacon or yogurt with granola for breakfast, sandwiches with chips and raw cut veggies for lunch, meat or fish cooked over the campfire with salad or veggies cooked in foil packets and potatoes or sweet potatoes cooked in the fire. Snacks are chips, nuts, hardier fresh fruit (e.g., apples and navel oranges), beef jerky, maybe Kind or Lara bars (these don’t go in the cooler). Ice gets replenished every couple of days.

lentil

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #118 on: July 07, 2018, 05:45:51 PM »
Quote
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

My camp cooking changed dramatically once I started bringing a cooler in the car. As previous posters wrote, real food suddenly becomes possible, and we can even have a pre-dinner salad (which is far more similar to our at-home diet!), and snacks like hard boiled eggs. When we have the time, we cook fancy things like tacos for dinner (saute some veggies in olive oil, add spices and a can of black beans, serve in tortillas topped with cheese, avocado, and a squeeze of lime). If very hungry, we heat up boxed/canned soups for a first course, possibly adding some cheese or other toppings. Plus plenty of snacks like apples, carrots, and other familiar foods.

I also make my own meals at home, so I can have less-processed versions of quick-cook meals. Rice noodles + peanut butter + soy sauce + onions instead of packaged ramen, for instance. Or I take dehydrated veggies, spices, a bouillon cube, and some split red lentils (or dehydrated beans, whatever cooks the fastest), and I've got quick-cook lentil soup that is easier on my digestive system than most instant soups I can find in a store. Each one goes into a ziplock or other container, labelled, and I've got backpacking or car camping meals that work for me.

Even when backpacking, I've found that less-processed food works better for me. Olive oil is a great source of fat & extra calories, and has a better weight/calorie ratio than most foods -- just add some to whatever's for dinner. Dehydrated or freeze-dried veggies can get added to any cooked meal (again, this makes our on-trail eating more similar to our at-home eating, so it seems to help keep my stomach happier). I stay away from highly processed energy bars, which invariably upset my stomach. Snickers work okay for me, but it might also make sense to experiment with different nut bars -- I've found that the Kind-brand "nuts & spice" bars are pretty easy on my stomach, and have enough calories to make a pretty decent trail breakfast.

Figuring out nutrition for periodic "high energy output" times takes practice, I think. Generally speaking, I find it helps to eat small-but-frequent snacks before I get hungry, rather than waiting for calorie deficit mode to wake my insatiable hiker hunger. There are times when some degree of calorie deficit is just unavoidable, but a short car-camping trip should allow you plenty of opportunities to eat!

Oh, and as for the original poster's questions, I am in the fond of camping group. I think camping is one of those things that works best in utterly simplified mode (though as noted above, over the years I have expanded my personal comforts to the point where I bring a cooler when car camping, and also a camp chair and a few other niceties), because once you figure out your basic routines, it's not logistically complicated at all. But everyone should do what makes them happy, of course. I sleep about as well in a tent as in my bed at home, so it's basically just a home where I can wake up to new views each morning.

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #119 on: July 07, 2018, 07:50:36 PM »
This thread makes me want to get back into camping again. I used to go back country camping but in the past few years I have only done family style camp outs with the Cub Scouts - fun, but not exactly relaxing.

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #120 on: July 07, 2018, 09:52:43 PM »
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

We eat like we normally do.  Get a decent sized cooler and a camp stove.  Also, go to the thrift store and get some old silverware and plates that aren't glass.

Our last trip we had pancakes*, coffee, sloppy joes, watermelon, tacos, potato chips, cheetos, smores, and hotdogs.  All pretty normal stuff for our house.  We try to stay away from soft drinks when we camp.  Water is preferred - this is really important when in the elements all day long.  I will usually have a beer or two as well each day - I am on vacation!  Nuts can be a great source of fat as well without the chip hangover.

I'm not aware of anyone getting the squirts on our trip.

*The camp we stayed at made the morning pancakes for a small fee.

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #121 on: July 08, 2018, 02:44:09 AM »
How do you all eat healthy and avoid diarrhea while camping?  I tend to get the "runs" after two days of car camping.  I feel I need to buy food that does not require refrigeration, so that means fresh and dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, packaged processed foods like Mac and Cheese, Instant Potatoes, energy bars, and some canned goods like Beefaroni.  I would never eat the latter kind of processed/junk/canned food at home, but feel I have no choice when camping.

It also feels like I need a much more calorie dense diet than normal, since I am hiking and climbing a lot more, and camp food still leaves me feeling hungry, even when I am getting 3000+ calories/day and snacking non-stop during the day.   Lately I have been bringing a big bag of potato chips, and the fat in the chips seems to alleviate the hunger issue.

edit: I fly into the closest city of my camping destination and rent a car, so I don't try to bring a lot of camping equipment or food along.  Whatever I bring usually fits into one large bag + small backpack.

When camping in the wild, we bring dried food from a brand that makes well balanced food. I also dry whole meals myself: meat, veggies, sauce and then add rice, pasta, couscoys or potatoe mash. This works well. We add boiling water, stirr, wait for 15 minutes and have a good meal. We also often catch fresh fish and eat that. It is important to be carefull with hand wash on such trips. For breakfast we eat muesli with milkpowder and water. When I think we water could be unsafe, I use a water filter or chlorine tablets.

For car camping we have a coolbox that works on the car battery (when driving). We buy food at the grocery stores. If we need to keep it unfrigerated for days, we buy dried tortellinis with meat and a pot of sauce. That can be kept in the car for those days.

OmahaSteph

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #122 on: July 09, 2018, 11:22:49 AM »
My son's a Boy Scout and has done a good deal of camping, plus my husband camped while in the Army. I've never been, but I really like the idea of heading west on a road trip to Yellowstone and back, camping when we can to save money, and staying in a hotel/motel ever third night or so. I'm finding that the equipment is the major impediment. We've finally fully outfitted my son, but there are three more of us and I'm not sure I can justify the spend unless we take other trips, as well. Thinking all the way west to see the giant redwoods (and Grand Canyon) eventually.

lentil

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #123 on: July 09, 2018, 01:33:17 PM »
Quote
My son's a Boy Scout and has done a good deal of camping, plus my husband camped while in the Army. I've never been, but I really like the idea of heading west on a road trip to Yellowstone and back, camping when we can to save money, and staying in a hotel/motel ever third night or so. I'm finding that the equipment is the major impediment. We've finally fully outfitted my son, but there are three more of us and I'm not sure I can justify the spend unless we take other trips, as well. Thinking all the way west to see the giant redwoods (and Grand Canyon) eventually.

I love long road trips through the west! Camping gear is definitely a worthwhile purchase for me, but I can see why a one-time trip might not justify the spend. Are there local places you might enjoy camping (like weekend trips to state parks, or other fun stuff closer to home)? Would camping enable your family to take more vacations, including those big trips westward? I'm just thinking about ways to get more use out of your potential gear!

We've had good luck borrowing some gear from friends/co-workers, especially things like camp chairs or cookware (sleeping bags may be a bit too personal for many to want to share). If you knew people to ask, that might be a good way to get some gear for a weekend, just to try a short family camping trip and see what you think. Or renting might also be an option for a short trip, and give you some idea of what your basic gear list would entail.

I started gathering my own gear a long time ago, but it was almost all second-hand to start. Some of it was hand-me-downs from family/friends, but I also found cheap stuff at garage sales. These days, I think you can also find quite a bit of gear on Craigslist. Before buying anything used though, make sure you test it thoroughly -- set tents up and make sure all the zippers open, set the camp stove up and make sure it lights, etc.. With some care, you can find used gear that is functional and enables you to camp comfortably.

For shopping new, Sierra Trading Post has decent quality gear for pretty cheap (comparatively speaking). FWIW, my camping philosophy is that it works well to start out with the bare minimum and then slowly add "comfort" items as you figure out what you need, versus over-indulging in stuff that you think all campers need. I mean, I only started bringing a cooler about 5 years ago (after 15-20 years of car camping), which means that fancy fresh food is still a luxurious novelty! But for sure, figure out your own needs/preferences.

Lastly, if you compare the cost of a Yellowstone park lodge room/cabin with a tent camping spot, I think camping gear suddenly seems like a financially sound investment ;-)

austin944

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #124 on: July 09, 2018, 01:58:42 PM »
I started out day-hiking before I bought a lot of camping gear.  Once I was hooked on hiking then it was much easier to justify the cost of a quality tent/sleeping bag, cooking gear, and larger pack.  The gear for day-hiking can be re-purposed for use at home, if hiking turns out not to be your thing.  Some national parks (like Glacier) have hotels/motels near the trail-heads, so camping or driving long distances to the trail head is not required.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 02:00:22 PM by austin944 »

tyrannostache

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #125 on: July 09, 2018, 03:23:02 PM »
I hate to add a morbid touch to this debate, but the reason why it caught my attention was that a few years ago I read about two Dutch girls who disappeared in the wilderness of Panama ( their remains were found much later), it was a captivating read all together but what sort of stuck with me was how some survival expert said that the girls were probably too naive and had no idea how dangerous the rainforest actually was as their idea of hiking was created in a setting where you can really never stray too far from civilisation.
So essentially, everything they did was exactly the wrong thing to do and it got them killed.
I have zero personal experience with wilderness, haha, real or vanilla, I am terrified of it. So I love Europe for it.

It is indeed a bit naief to go on a long hike in a very unfamiliar type of terrain without gradually building up some experience in it. And I think it is also a good habit to read survival handbooks from time to time. Maybe if something ever happens, you'll remember some of the advice in the book and it can save your life.

I had a coworker that had years of experience in the mountains get lost while she was hiking and eventually die.  She also had some medical conditions that we believe played a contributing role as well - but nobody knows for sure.  What we do know is she was supposed to go around the mountain but made a wrong turn after she split up from her group as the others wanted to return to the camp site.

Moral of the story - never split up from your group.

[...]

There's a story of a guy hiking alone out here and he had to amputate his own hand to get out after getting it stuck between a couple rocks.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Ralston

I could go on.  Weird things happen in the high country.

And in the flat country, too. Al of this reminds me of the story of an experienced canoe guide who got lost in the Boundary Waters of northern MN when he got separated from the boy scout troop he was leading. He hiked a little ways away from the lakeshore looking for an elusive portage, then fell and hit his head on a rock. In a post-concussion panic, he ran blindly into the woods. He was rescued after a few weeks--he was fortunate to be a young guy with great survival skills who happened to have a knife in his pocket when he fell. All of his other gear was in the canoe. The woods are incredibly dense, and the terrain is flat and boggy. It's really easy to lose your bearings. Heck, my dad once got lost looking for a pit toilet near a BWCA campsite.

mak1277

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #126 on: July 11, 2018, 01:05:57 PM »
Moral of the story - never split up from your group.


For me, solo is the best way to backpack.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #127 on: July 11, 2018, 01:35:38 PM »
Moral of the story - never split up from your group.


For me, solo is the best way to backpack.

I've done a lot of solo backpacking over the years; I love it! Especially that feeling I get at sundown way out in the middle of nowhere as I realize I am the only human around for a quite a distance in any direction. But I do realize that solo brings on tremendous additional risk.

mak1277

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #128 on: July 11, 2018, 01:37:44 PM »
Moral of the story - never split up from your group.


For me, solo is the best way to backpack.

I've done a lot of solo backpacking over the years; I love it! Especially that feeling I get at sundown way out in the middle of nowhere as I realize I am the only human around for a quite a distance in any direction. But I do realize that solo brings on tremendous additional risk.

agree on all counts.

wbranch

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #129 on: July 12, 2018, 09:29:04 AM »
Moral of the story - never split up from your group.


For me, solo is the best way to backpack.

I've done a lot of solo backpacking over the years; I love it! Especially that feeling I get at sundown way out in the middle of nowhere as I realize I am the only human around for a quite a distance in any direction. But I do realize that solo brings on tremendous additional risk.

I haven't backpacked on my own, but do some full day off-trail hikes in mountain areas. When I am a couple miles from forest roads sometimes I will have a feeling rush over me about being in the middle of nowhere and nobody finding me if something were to happen. Probably best described as a mix of adrenaline and anxiety. Sometimes it hits when I come across a set of wolf, bear, or lion tracks and/or scat. Overall, I kind of love the feeling and look forward to getting back out in those areas again.

I usually have multiple maps, GPS apps on my phone with battery pack backup, and I also have an Inreach communicator with SOS button. Also, first aid kit, fire making supplies, extra food and clothes if an overnight stay is required.

COEE

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Re: Camping...why or why not?
« Reply #130 on: July 12, 2018, 08:50:14 PM »
Moral of the story - never split up from your group.


For me, solo is the best way to backpack.

I've done a lot of solo backpacking over the years; I love it! Especially that feeling I get at sundown way out in the middle of nowhere as I realize I am the only human around for a quite a distance in any direction. But I do realize that solo brings on tremendous additional risk.

agree on all counts.

If you're okay with the additional risk and nobody depends on you for their survival and/or well being (kids, spouse, elderly parents)... well then be my guest.