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TGIF ~ Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff! ~

(Wilderness/Urban Survival), (BOB/BOL/INCH/ETC), (Shelters)
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TGIF ~ Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff! ~

Postby Knuckle » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:08 pm

I often come up with things to mention while writing a thread and then determine it should have a thread of it's own. I start the thread immediately or I will often forget to otherwise (Alzheimer's, here we come). This is another of these meandering thoughts, so I'd best get to the point. I find it often better to just assume that the reader knows nothing on the subject and so I most often start from this pretext. I do not mean to offend others when I do this as coming off as a know-it-all and you know nothing(as I too tire of that sort), so forgive my repeating that which most might view as the basics.

Camping is another topic most claim to do while your gear(and it's present condition) tell the real story. Some things I own are old and hopefully still good for years to come.


Things like tents are short lived and usually they improve over the years as we climb that evolutionary ladder to success. There are many factors when choosing a tent, but I'll list those I feel need mention.

1. Colour rule is like this: Buy red if you want to be seen and buy Green if you Don't! (I'd suggest green as priority cause you can wear a reflective vest if you needed to but you can't hide a red tent easily...)

2. Size: If you want it for 1 person, get a tent that says 2...you and your gear! 2 person= 4 person...do the math!

3. Assembly: don't buy crap with a thousand poles and 4 doors...it's not a home...keep it simple!

4. Height: How tall are you? Do you want to stand up while you dress? Do you have sore knees cause crawling becomes a factor here.

5. Weight and Bulk: Are you packing this or hauling it?

6. Usefullness: Do you camp alot or is this emergency backup? If you answer both, own 2 tents, 1 big, 1 small.

Pup tents: are usually cheapest and owned by the young. They wreck them in short order by ripping them and tripping over ropes and we learn what not to buy a bit better next round. They are small and light so they are still the favourite of pack packers though. I've wrecked lots of these.

Dome Tents: a 4 person with a fly and windows for ventilation is likely the best all round tent for 2. Easy assembly and small enough to bike with. Still usually too low but tolerable til your 40's.

Section Tents: These are bigger, more complex, time consuming to assemble and relaxing when done. You stand at full height and can dress easily. You can sleep in a cot and feel like a human does when waking at home. You can drag this biking only if you haul a trailer. You can relax inside when the bugs are out in force or it's raining. I went to this when the wife started wanting to stay in a motel instead of camping....the list of what you will drag along grows quickly from this point on...


Swede Saw: buy a big one and a little one http://www1.search-results.com/picdetai ... =128&th=96 chain saw offend the neighbours... this is how your gonna buck yer wood easier. All the other kinds are junk, all show, no go!

Axes: I carry one with the RV and tent trailers and hunting, just a hatchet while tenting. Most parks have split wood.

Rope: Bright nylon 1/4" rope for all tent ropes. Tie strips of reflective tape on them too. This stops folks from tripping on them and ripping your tent in the process. Nylon rope doesn't wrought, it won't fray if you melt the ends and all knots come out easier than other ropes. Bring lots! Buy camo rope only when you want to trip and injure friends.

Tarps: Green 6'x6' are handy for covers and wind deflectors, laying on wet ground and fit inside most tents as further floor protection.(so you don't damage the tent's floor) You can roll up this tarp at the end and don't need to sweep out your tent as often. 6or8'x12' make shade barriers for a cooler tent, and channel dew and rain water away from your paths. They are good for privacy around showers and sh1tters, and cover the bike if required too. A can of flat black and brown oxide spray paint can make your tarp camo'd easily for that cool look while you test your artist abilities.

(I'll do more later)
Last edited by Knuckle on Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby endangeredspecies » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:51 pm

tunnel tent are much more spacious and very solid on heavy wind
but personaly my favorit still the pyramid tent or tepee style by my experience these are really the best ( something like the http://retail.luxeoutdoor.de/index.php? ... duct_id=70 or http://www.golite.com/Shangri-La-3-Tent-P46713.aspx )
i found it much more practical to have and open area "vestibule" to cook on raining day ,usualy i use it has base camp

my second favorit wich i carry almost all the time its my hammock tent , perfect for nomads aways from base camp :P ( something like the http://www.ddhammocks.com/product/dd_jungle_hammock and i would like to try eventualy https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13 ... erra-madre )

has saw i have try also many gadjet and brand but my best one still the sven saw http://www.svensaw.com/

a good tarp its a must have it can replace any tent and have unlimited configuration if its large enough . personaly i like combine 2 fire proof blanket packed whit my winter tarp to make fire inside the tarp "teepe style"
i seen on youtube someone setting up fire blanket on tarp almost like me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHSrhMhhCS8
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby Knuckle » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:06 am

Thanks for the help endangeredSpecies. I haven't tried a hammock type tent and they look comfy. How fast can you get out of one of those? I ask because I live in bear country. Likely as fast as a pup tent. And I do like the fly netting as we have too many bugs too. The flaws I found with teepee tents was loss of space due to the angle of the walls. The other issue that I often found in close quarters was if you touch the walls when sleeping, you get wet from condensation and rain more often.

I now like a taller tent with the wall angle high enough to park a cot near and sit on the bed to dress and such. This leads to lugging around a bigger complex tent but it seems patience comes with age too. :x My dang cot weighs 30 lbs alone but the days of air mattresses is now past too when you hit the 50 mark;)

My wife has a similar folding saw in her truck. The lack of curve at each end shortens the length of stroke considerably on hers but the folding handle is very nice for storing. She carries such also when flying further north to isolated areas for work too.

Keep the links coming along with the likes and dislikes of each product to help readers determine better what to buy. Maybe we can even make this like those websites where customer opinions are shown so others can better determine the quality of the product.
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby endangeredspecies » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:37 am

hammock are not the perfect solution all the time
i guess u can get out pretty fast but me i use mummy style sleeping bag and its make it more difficult to enter nor exit
on winter u get some chill if you dont isolate under the hammock . wich i use usmc poncho blanket and a space blanket under my dd hammock
also u can set up ur hammock very high and above moskito radar or predator but bear can climb tree eassy :D

on the link i add only the nube hammock i never try yet . my favorit tent its the sil hexpeak so much versatility sometime i install only the rainfly
most of people use hiking pole but i rather get a long branch because i dont like hiking pole
also the sil hexpeak most of the time i use no pole just hang a rope on branch to the top loop on the tent.
there another tent i was thinking to try but i changed my mind it dosnt suit my need and look too small for me but i really like the conception "maybe soemday they make a bigger vertion" (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/GatewoodCape.html) but i dont like the rainfly its like 3 inch above the floor wich make wind and maybe critter come inside but the worst wen its rain the mug jump on rain drop and make all dirty inside

look at this tent its amazing comception but way too expensive . how i wish can try this http://www.tentsile.com/
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby Knuckle » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:20 pm

As mentioned in other links, I like the kerosene lanterns when comfort camping. http://www1.search-results.com/picdetai ... =73&th=128
I have 4 and use diesel fuel in them as it is the cheapest light source and a gallon would run the light for a month easy. It smokes when using diesel so outdoors is your best bet here but it doubles as a great bug deterrent too. The trick is not to overfill these as they leak then and always hang them up as tipping them over can easily start a fire. Dump the fuel back into another container when traveling home to avoid spills to.

I hang these in strategic spots like near the picnic table, by the tent and usually to light the paths to the sh1tter. Bugs like the light but not the smoke. If bugs are real bad, as they are where I live, also remember to bring a box of oranges along and eat one every few hours. They'll bite your friends instead...
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby Knuckle » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:50 am

I always found the prospector's tent the closest to being equivalent to military tents for practical needs. http://www1.search-results.com/picdetai ... =128&th=70

They emulate a home environment likely better than most due to the ability to have indoor heating and straight walls. I own a lot of big tarps which I used for working around heavy equipment outdoors. We make a square room on the side were working and blow heat in with a kerosene heater. I always thought of making my own prospectors tent (which are worth over $600) out of the 40'x40' tarp. I tried to find someone on You Tube who'd already done it but seems no one has yet. With some metal flashing, a guy could even add in a protected stove hole too.

What I never see most people do when tenting is put up a tarp above their tent. This trick cools down the tent drastically as it is now in the shade. I would definitely do this trick for the prospectors tent if set up for long. I guess this setup would only be good for those who were living the nomadic lifestyle on a daily basis.
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby endangeredspecies » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:05 am

prospector's tent are made of canvas wich its very durable but heavy and expensive
id rather go whit winter car shelter they have aluminium frame made to resist winter and cheaper :)
can set up a stove on it easy that how i do for ice fishing
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby Knuckle » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:34 am

endangeredspecies wrote:prospector's tent are made of canvas wich its very durable but heavy and expensive
id rather go whit winter car shelter they have aluminium frame made to resist winter and cheaper :)
can set up a stove on it easy that how i do for ice fishing

That's not a bad idea. I had a cheap Crappy Tire car tent that lasted 2 years only because of the snow load here. Every time it snowed, I'd have to go out and push up on the roof sections to raise them high enough to get the snow to start sliding off. If the roof incline was steeper, this wouldn't be a problem. Can't imagine taking the time to set one up ice fishing and removing it later. I guess if you leave it up and you don't live in the snow belt, it would be good.

I know that the Prospectors and other heavy duty tents are canvas and that makes them heavy to transport and also they wrought easily if untreated. I was just looking for a cheaper alternative to something I prefer as I have friends who own them and have stayed in them too. I like the fact that you don't have to lug around the poles as I live in the bush where there are plenty. Making a proper tent is just another project that I might get to someday.... :?

Here is an ice fishing sled I built for a friend cause were lazy and want a quick setup :D . Everything goes up in a couple minutes and we can get down to drilling and reeling.

We built the stove out of the inner tank from a water heater. It is fixed to the sled and can be unbolted if needed to. My friend is taking his own pics as I finally taught him to weld and made him weld much of the steel stuff while I did the aluminum. The tubes slide into one another with a tight enough fit that we done need pins. Most of this project is made from used materials.
Ice Fishing sled2
Fishingsled2.jpg (251.8 KiB) Viewed 994 times
IceFishing sled1
Fishingsled1.jpg (237.87 KiB) Viewed 994 times
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby RT_survive » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:26 am

I'm a big fan of ultralight camping, mostly because I have vivid memories of 80-100 lb gear when I did my military stint, and also because I don't routinely carry 300 rounds of 7.62N on through-hikes in Banff, Jasper Yoho or Wood Buffalo. It's also much easier to log more than one summit and 30+ km in a single day when there isn't much weight to carry around.

To that end, my 3-season pack weighs 15-16 lbs, and drops to 10-12 lbs after a 7-8 day trip. My -40C winter version only goes up to 26 lbs.

My gear list, in order of importance:

LifeStraw - Compact filter that can process 1,000 liters of water. Simply put one end into your drinking source, and suck on the other end.
Metal water bottle - no plastic liners, easy to boil water by the fire, very rugged stainless steel
Water purification tablets - this is just my plan B in case my LifeStraw fails

Swedish Fireknife - has a magnesium flint that can be removed from the handle
Cotton balls - ultralight tinder
Folding saw - Saves the knife for camp duties, cuts down 6-8 inch diameter logs with ease
Mini fishing kit - 4 hooks, 2 snag-free lures, 10 lb mono line, 2 paper clips (for making fishing pole eyelets)
100 ft 550 paracord
Compass & topo map
LED headlamp - high power white LED mode, and red LED mode for saving night vision. 75 hours on high, 250 hours on low.
10 waterproof matches - in case the FireKnife flint can't be used
Titanium small pot with lid

Grand Trunk ultralight hammock - 204 grams of comfortable, $20 hammock
Silnylon tarp - Silicone-treated waterproof tarp
-5 degree synthetic sleeping bag

Bear spray - I had this on me back in Alberta, but now that I'm in Ontario, I don't bother with it as much. There are no grizzly bears in Southern Ontario... only black bears.
IFAK - custom first aid for my usual needs, plus a tourniquet is important too. EpiPen included. Toothbrush. Floss. Hand sanitizer and soap.
Clothing - Extra underwear, two pairs of socks, rain jacket, bandana

Ziplock bag of dry lentils (350g)
Ziplock bag of white rice (350g)
4 packets of instant noodle seasoning

Does anyone have questions why I use this particular set of equipment? I could talk about each item in incredible detail, including alternatives and other optional equipment.

My water is the most important part of my kit. I've been able to test myself out to 72 hours without food, and still carry on hiking. Food is the least important part of my kit. When hunger pains strike, drink water - it neutralizes the stomach acids and prevents ulcers.

I collect a handful of birch bark along the hike to use as kindling, and old man's beard (moss) whenever I can. Saves my tinder. I also carve walking sticks that I find along the way, instead of buying trekking poles.

Knuckle - Hammocks are great in bear country. On two occasions, I've had to string up my hammock 25-30 ft off the ground in grizzly bear country. There were grizzlies in the immediate area, and the sun was already below the treeline. In fact, the second time, I was being circled/stalked by a grizzly that kept a 300m distance from me all afternoon. Luckily, I was camping with my more traditional loadout, which included 100 ft of climbing rope.

The trick is to find three trees that line up so that the two outer trees are the appropriate hammock distance, and the third tree sits near the middle. Loop the rope around a tall branch, climb with your favorite foot lock technique, set up one end, slide down, do the same on the other side. Make a rope harness, climb third tree into hammock, clip harness to tree for extra safety, and go to sleep. Peeing in the middle of the night is a challenge, but worth the security advantage. I always had my bear spray handy, in case I heard any scuffling from a climbing bear, but it never happened.

Here in Ontario, if I'm feeling paranoid (from bear sightings or signs of recent black bear activity), I set up branches and twigs to act as a loud barrier to cross. 270 degrees of spruce boughs around the hammock area, and a paracord trip wire for my regular route. Most of the time I don't bother at all.
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Re: Camping Gear - The MUST Have Stuff!

Postby Knuckle » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:36 pm

The Lifestraw seems to be similar to the water bottle I got from Walmart for $10.00. I like the clear hard bottle but Walmarts is soft and less likely to crack therefore if you trip and fall on it.
- I no longer carry any wooden matches as they required a hard shell anyways to keep them dry(even the waterproof ones)so cheap BIC lighters win the day.
- I also don't do the flint striker either (although I do own a couple). I have many BICs everywhere and therefore one has got to work no matter what the event.
- no purification tablets where i live cause you'll likely drown while looking for them here in the land of clean water...
- if I was backpacking up here for a week, I'd be keeping that bearspray though ;) as you'll have uninvited guests for that late night snack just as you were dozing off...
- never did that hammock thing and likely too old to change on that now :lol:

- I never forget bug dope myself as I hate being the one bugs ring the dinner bell for.
- Butt wipe has to be my # 1 item in any and every kit. Always a flat roll in my fanny packs and another in the backpack, truck, trrailers, etc. Great for marking trail and always handy in a pinch....(that was joke).... :D
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