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Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect

Get Away, Damnit. (The Camping Thread)

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This is a thread about camping. Camping is the act of purposely leaving the house and wifi connection in order to sleep on the ground, sometimes in the cold. You may choose to consume less than appetizing food and be at the mercy of nature during this time.

 

This thread can be used for discussion of items one would take during such a time.

 

I did such an event with my girlfriend this weekend. I drove up some rather ungroomed roads to Crystal Mountain, west of Fort Collins.  Here is the proof.

 

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I approve of this thread and will contribute when I get home.

The cool thing about "camping" is there are so many different forums. I usually fall under the car camping/blue tarp variety...

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Well, to start, a camping story, A few years ago while camping, unlike Donward's friend with the Dog who never learned, I actually did manage to kill an adult Brown bear using a .44 Magnum with an 8" barrel after warning shots didn't deter him to flee my campsite, the difference is I'm guessing he used some ammo not designed for thick skinned dangerous game and I did.

 

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Though, that's a heavy as fuck +P+ loading that only very specific guns in tip top shape are designed to use and they actually have a disclaimer (or at least used to) in the box, it penetrated his shoulder, popped both lungs, and nearly fully exited according to the park ranger who told me after the corpse was examined (for whatever fucking reason) afterwards, that's the only time I've ever killed a bear.

 

Oddly, I moved to Washington which is riddled with areas to go camping and fishing at, and yet I don't really do them anymore, can't explain it, just sort of lost some interest.

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Well, to start, a camping story, A few years ago while camping, unlike Donward's friend with the Dog who never learned, I actually did manage to kill an adult Brown bear using a .44 Magnum with an 8" barrel after warning shots didn't deter him to flee my campsite...

That's great that you were able to get rid of the bear. 

 

My camping experience really started back in 2011 when I did a bike-packing race from Banff, CA to Mexico. It's a race called Tour Divide and it goes along the rocky mountains in logging roads and such. You carry all you need on a bike and restock when you go through towns. 

 

I happened across 13 bears in Montana alone, half of which were grizzlies. I nearly shat myself when I came across one at 20 yards on a dirt road. Most up to this point were far off or I was going downhill fast enough to not need to worry. But this one had cubs. All I had was a damned whistle. 

 

I would have given anything for a .44. And six friends with shotguns. 

 

My bike had bags on it, and I carried a small backpack with me as well. 

 

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I camped a bit while on the course. I stayed in hotel rooms too. But most of my camping was done on the side of dirt roads or in ditches.

 

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Finally, after 30 days of riding I made it to Mexico. I don't think I ever wanted to be outside ever again after that. 

 

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I still have my tent, which didn't get much use because I shipped it back after the third night. Just didn't end up using it. 

 

If I were going lightweight backpacking, I would bivvy up in a down bag. That tent is a one-person, but two if you really like the other person and they aren't that big. I used that this past weekend. 

 

Here's a picture of my previous camping spot. We hiked about two miles in and found a little spot at 11.5k feet from where we parked. You can see my tent is kinda small. But it's light (a little over a pound) and sets up very easily. 

 

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I've done a shitton of camping over the years, and my kidlet is in Scouts again this year. When she hits Venturers I'll prolly get involved as a parent volunteer.  I have a lot of history with Scouting over the years, including meeting my ex through Scouting.  For a while, my lightweight setup was a rope hammock and a tarp, summerweight bag with mosquito net, a swiss army knife, flashlight, water bottle, stove, fuel, and water filtration pump.

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I mainly do hiking - either from a camp or of the multi-day sort.

 

The last few years I've done a lot of passes in the Drakensburg, mainly Mweni area.

 

Anyway, have some photos and a cool website:

 

http://www.vertical-endeavour.com/

 

From an a few years back (Mweni-Rockeries):

 

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I've done a shitton of camping over the years, and my kidlet is in Scouts again this year. When she hits Venturers I'll prolly get involved as a parent volunteer.  I have a lot of history with Scouting over the years, including meeting my ex through Scouting.  For a while, my lightweight setup was a rope hammock and a tarp, summerweight bag with mosquito net, a swiss army knife, flashlight, water bottle, stove, fuel, and water filtration pump.

In your list, what do you do about food?

 

I enjoy backpacking in to places to camp, but I'm always interested in food options. I currently make butter-heavy tack bread/crackers for overnight trips.

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In your list, what do you do about food?

 

I enjoy backpacking in to places to camp, but I'm always interested in food options. I currently make butter-heavy tack bread/crackers for overnight trips.

I almost always usually have at least a small cooler, so day 1 is usually something I made at home the night before and froze, or something fresh. I love cooking over a fire. After that, well, with all of the prepackaged trail food available these days, your options are pretty limitless. And you can do a lot with non-perishable food these days.  Hard cured sausage is good, eggs are surprisingly good trail food if you can keep them safe, and bring a small titanium frying pan.  Car camping we usually bring a cast iron pan and do all of the cooking over a fire.

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Camping in Russia was great. I went to Lake Seliger a lot (before the Putin youth took over the area). I learned to sail since the rest of the crew was piss-drunk and we had to get out of the tent in the middle of the night and dig a trench in complete darkness and pouring rain once. There were allegedly bears on the island, but we never saw any. 10/10 would recommend.

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In your list, what do you do about food?

 

I enjoy backpacking in to places to camp, but I'm always interested in food options. I currently make butter-heavy tack bread/crackers for overnight trips.

Not directed at me, but anyway.

 

We go through cycles of loading up on high-density foods and saying 'fuck it' and bringing stuff that's nice to eat.

 

For simplicity, you can't go too far wrong with couscous and a pack of tuna. For something nice to eat (for lunch) I generally bring a bunch of wheatsworth crackers, cheese wedges and a tiny bottle of sweet chilli sauce. As South Africans, we of course worship upon the altar of biltong and droewors. I also freaking love bully beef for some reason so I always find an excuse to pack some - even though it only comes in tins.

 

For a different (but still pretty good) option I make Lembas by grinding up muesli I like the taste of and using it as flour to make hardtack. You throw in a bit of honey, use a bit less salt (replacing half of what you do use with low-sodium salt) and you have a pretty energy-dense food that tastes good and lasts forever.

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The cheap "sides" usually based in on instant rice or pasta are a decent starter, just make sure they do not need milk or butter.

Ramen is another. Buy good ramen, and take along a small bottle of sesame oil and japanese red pepper spice.

 

If you're not going alone, make sure you either bring enough food/condiments for all, or make damned sure they understand they have to bring their own grub.

 

Had more than a few times where a dumbass (or three) decided that they'd somehow be able to get by for a weekend on a 12 pack of pop and a couple cans of of Beefaroni.

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Not directed at me, but anyway.

...

For a different (but still pretty good) option I make Lembas by grinding up muesli I like the taste of and using it as flour to make hardtack. You throw in a bit of honey, use a bit less salt (replacing half of what you do use with low-sodium salt) and you have a pretty energy-dense food that tastes good and lasts forever.

 

I do enjoy making hardtack for camping. It's my go-to, since it lasts forever, is very inexpensive, and will keep me going. I use a lot of butter when I make mine, but I'll have to try tossing in a bit of honey and see how that works out. I'm open to different hardtack recipes. I usually make two sheets and have extra for during the week. 

I almost always usually have at least a small cooler, so day 1 is usually something I made at home the night before and froze, or something fresh. I love cooking over a fire. After that, well, with all of the prepackaged trail food available these days, your options are pretty limitless. And you can do a lot with non-perishable food these days.  Hard cured sausage is good, eggs are surprisingly good trail food if you can keep them safe, and bring a small titanium frying pan.  Car camping we usually bring a cast iron pan and do all of the cooking over a fire.

I need to find some decent, lightweight cooking supplies that don't include my survival knife and whittling sticks together. But hard cured sausages are great for camping. I've also used summer sausage in a pinch (white-tail deer with tallow, cheese, and jalapeno).

 

The cheap "sides" usually based in on instant rice or pasta are a decent starter, just make sure they do not need milk or butter.

Ramen is another. Buy good ramen, and take along a small bottle of sesame oil and japanese red pepper spice.

 

If you're not going alone, make sure you either bring enough food/condiments for all, or make damned sure they understand they have to bring their own grub.

 

Had more than a few times where a dumbass (or three) decided that they'd somehow be able to get by for a weekend on a 12 pack of pop and a couple cans of of Beefaroni.

 

I've never thought about using Ramen. I honestly have only ever had it once, and it was when I was like ten years old at a friend's house. I wasn't too impressed. 

 

I've have the opposite occur, which is a better situation. On an overnight trip I had someone pack in enough food for three days.

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I like choppy things when I go camping. My current "survival" knife is a Schrade. 

 

mleTujO.jpg

 

It comes with a fire starter and a sharpening tool. It's a hefty, thick, ridiculous blade that I use to cut down small trees and process firewood with while at a camp site. 

 

And for $30, you can do a lot worse. https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SCHF37/schrade-schf37-frontier-fixed-black-blade-tpe-handles-nylon-sheath-ferro-rod-sharpening-stone

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The cheap "sides" usually based in on instant rice or pasta are a decent starter, just make sure they do not need milk or butter.

Ramen is another. Buy good ramen, and take along a small bottle of sesame oil and japanese red pepper spice.

If you're not going alone, make sure you either bring enough food/condiments for all, or make damned sure they understand they have to bring their own grub.

Had more than a few times where a dumbass (or three) decided that they'd somehow be able to get by for a weekend on a 12 pack of pop and a couple cans of of Beefaroni.

We used to do something similar using those instant noodles with dry and wet sauce packets. Before we burned out on them we discovered that you need to make it spicier than you're used to to retain the taste, as altitude and exercise numb things a bit.

We also had the issue of people not bringing enough food.

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I like choppy things when I go camping. My current "survival" knife is a Schrade. 

 

mleTujO.jpg

 

It comes with a fire starter and a sharpening tool. It's a hefty, thick, ridiculous blade that I use to cut down small trees and process firewood with while at a camp site. 

 

And for $30, you can do a lot worse. https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SCHF37/schrade-schf37-frontier-fixed-black-blade-tpe-handles-nylon-sheath-ferro-rod-sharpening-stone

The Drakensburg is off-limits for making fires (along with much of South Africa) and there aren't enough trees to bother with hammocks. So we're all pretty wedded to the multi-tool/tent part of the hiking spectrum.

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As an aside, what are people various favorite versions of trail mix?

 

My tried and true mix is golden raisins, honey roasted peanuts, and smarties. (M&Ms for the US folks)

 

I'm a big fan of dried fruit, cashews, pecans, and peanuts. I never did like candy in trail mix. But dried mango, banana, apple, etc are always good options and pair well with the salty nuts. 

 

Has anyone messed around with pemmican? I'm interested in making some maybe

 

I've only made jerky in the past, mostly out of deer. If you give it a shot, be sure to let us know how it turns out.

 

The Drakensburg is off-limits for making fires (along with much of South Africa) and there aren't enough trees to bother with hammocks. So we're all pretty wedded to the multi-tool/tent part of the hiking spectrum.

Well that's no fun. I guess because it's rather dry and they don't want people starting huge fires that get out of control? Even though there's a law, do you find that people start fires anyway?

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I'm a big fan of dried fruit, cashews, pecans, and peanuts. I never did like candy in trail mix. But dried mango, banana, apple, etc are always good options and pair well with the salty nuts.

I've only made jerky in the past, mostly out of deer. If you give it a shot, be sure to let us know how it turns out.

Well that's no fun. I guess because it's rather dry and they don't want people starting huge fires that get out of control? Even though there's a law, do you find that people start fires anyway?

Well, the Drakensburg is riddled with smuggler's trails, so...

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The Drakensburg is off-limits for making fires (along with much of South Africa) and there aren't enough trees to bother with hammocks. So we're all pretty wedded to the multi-tool/tent part of the hiking spectrum.

 

Camping in South Effrica in general should be illegal.

 

It's like asking how many people want to be preyed upon by wild Olifant Mk.2s!

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Camping in South Effrica in general should be illegal.

It's like asking how many people want to be preyed upon by wild Olifant Mk.2s!

Thank goodness they still struggle to climb mountains.

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Has anyone messed around with pemmican? I'm interested in making some maybe

Depends on what kind you want.

 

I've made traditional pemmican, and it's not what most "modern" folks expect.

Basically, if you find bacon grease to be the best thing to fry eggs in, and save it, you might like the more traditional versions.

 

It's basically dried meat and some fruit (and sometimes nuts) in a chunk of congealed grease.

 

Think of a suet block with bits of dried beef/venison and some dried fruit and nut bits mixed in, and that's about what it is.

I used some dried and finely chopped deer meat, some raisins and dried cranberries, ground cashews and peanuts, and mixed the mess in some suet with lots of salt, then poured it into cupcake tins and wrapped them in foil.

 

You want just enough grease for it to stick together, and not crumble when it cools.

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