Don't Leave Home Without It? Stuff you can't easily leave behind that most others do when camping.

tch

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Folks are certainly entitled to whatever recreation they desire. :cocktail:. And more power to people spending more time outside.

But... in my mind, it's not "camping" if you can see other people. That requirement alone kind of limits the number of things I won't leave home without.
 

Monique

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This is an interesting thread to read. I've only car camped a handful of times, all as an adult. Never backpacked. A few weeks ago, I slept in my car for the first time (it was on purpose!), and that opened my eyes to additional possibilities. Not that I slept well, but at least I wasn't a block of ice. And it was sure a lot cheaper than a hotel.

One thing I have to have wherever I go, camping or no, is a sleeping mask. I have this great brand that has molded cups (like a bra!), so that it doesn't push on my eyelids/eyeballs. It's like having my own personal blackout curtain.
 

scott43

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We used to do paper-rock-scissors to see who had to get out of the canoe and put up the tent. We'd inevitably arrive after dark or at dusk and the bugs are brutal. Woe to the voyageurs of old..they'd sleep in their boats rather than go on land... Here's a random clip of our lovely bug season..
 

at_nyc

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I don't camp anywhere that isn't next to my vehicle. If I can't bring a full bar, full cooler I'm not going.
But... in my mind, it's not "camping" if you can see other people.
Reservations at a hotel
Seriously!

I don't camp anywhere a car can reach any more. Much easier to drive back to a hotel in civilization. Much nicer too.

I used to car camp in my student days. It's the way I managed to travel with relatively low expense. I would "camp" in forest land (free) and only go to campgrounds with shower when I needed to.

I also backpack a lot back in those days. Wilderness, solitude, well worth the hassle of packing all I need on my back and walk many miles.

The contrast was very clear. I never really felt I was "camping" when next to my car (and other "campers"). It was mostly just a poor man's motel.

Nowadays, I don't "car camp" no more. Hotel all the way (or wilderness camping by kayak).

One day, when I retire, I may go the RV way. Not kidding myself as "camping". Just a cheap motel room that I don't have to pack and unpack each day.
 

scott43

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one word - N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide aka DEET, don't leave home without it. The stronger the better (30% seems to be as high as you can get it these days). Note: it also eats plastic.
I remember using the 95% Muskol fluid back in the day..and being mortified as I watched it turn my poncho to mush in spots.. :eek:
 

SBrown

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For me, camping is always with a car; backpacking is without. I haven't backpacked in too long, but sleeping pad is definitely my indulgence there. I don't take an air mattress, but I take 2: a small air pad and a self-inflatable pad. It's for both comfort and insulation. (I am aware they are making them air + insulated now, but that was my rig before)
 

surfsnowgirl

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I've never gone backpacking and have only camped where I'm right next to my car. I'd backpack somewhere only if I was with someone who was experienced. Generally I just like being next to my vehicle. It's like a security blanket for me. I usually tent camp next to my vehicle. However, I have slept in my vehicle at campgrounds in California which was cool too. I'd bought these awesome pads for the back of my SUV and it was quite comfy. I felt safe and it was cheaper than a hotel. Lots of ways to enjoy a campground. My guy and I were joking a small RV would be cool one day but i don't know. I'm a tent kinda gal as that seems like camping for me.
 

at_nyc

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For me, camping is always with a car; backpacking is without.
Or "boatpacking" as often referred to in the canoe/kayak world.

sleeping pad is definitely my indulgence there. I don't take an air mattress, but I take 2: a small air pad and a self-inflatable pad. It's for both comfort and insulation. (I am aware they are making them air + insulated now, but that was my rig before)
I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the air mattress. Wouldn't you achieve the same comfort level by having a thicker pad?

I usually used self-inflating pads. In backpacking and boatpacking, I've never seen anyone without one. So I don't consider that "non-essential". They're as essential as a camp stove: something no one will go without on purpose.

(Some people do go without stove. They just eat everything cold. But those are the same people who go without a tent! :eek:)
 

SBrown

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I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the air mattress. Wouldn't you achieve the same comfort level by having a thicker pad?
The pad I already had was too thin for me, so I bought air, and it was too cold. So since I had both, I just put them together rather than buy a third.
 

Wilhelmson

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If the bugs are really bad I use ben's 95% on my hat and clothes and 25% on exposed skin. Even with all that they'll still bite my hands which I don't spray.
 

jmeb

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I camp to get away from stuff. The only things I take that I'm not sure most do are:

- The van. Makes weekend get aways soo much nicer when you don't have to deal with tents, worrying about bears, and are assured a good nights rest.
- The dog.
 
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crgildart

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Bug repellent efficacy varies by region for sure. Around here DEET products like Deep Woods Off work best. Up on New England we used something called 612 if I remember correctly. Muskol and DEET stuff both worked up north central MN and WI, but Muskol was better for deer flies and DEET was better for skeeters.
 
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crgildart

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TMI!!!! I've also got something like this for long cold nights or waiting out a pouring rain storm in the nice, dry, warm tent..
 

noncrazycanuck

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A square of 50... :roflmao:
not a two four ?

haven't seen that beer since the 70s when it was the go to at the university pub
Labatt's also supplied a lot to the Labatts Freestyle Team early seventies .
different times,
can you imagine giving the keys of a motor home full of beer to a group of 20 year old's now ?
 

Varmintmist

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Several years ago we crossed the bridge and made the transition from Cub Scout Car Camping to Boy Scout Hike To Camping. Having to carry everything and no car storage or gear drops leaves some serious decisions to be made. For the most part I've been able to lighten the load down to what the more hard core scouts and adult leaders do with the exception of a few things..
Our troop was a car camping troop, until they screwed up and put me in charge of the camping merit badge, made me committee chair, and we lost out fundraiser, and the scoutmaster quit. Canoe trips are a lot cheaper than lodges. We were the first troop in 37 years to get into Boys Life in our council.

A good mattress is worth the weight, thermarest was the top one in our troop.
What I couldnt leave without? Pocket rocket and this cookset. https://www.campmor.com/c/optimus-terra-weekend-he-cook-set-1 I also got over the cant sleep on the back thing after I tried a hammock. Once you try one long enough to figure it out, it is hard to go back being a dirt sleeper.
 
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crgildart

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Came across one of those super thin air pads at The Salvation Army last weekend. It's called "Thermotech" or something like that which implies it is warmer than the other inflatables and seems to have some foam inside as well as being inflatble up to about 2" thick when fully inflated. I paid $6 for it and took it home and inflated it.. Took less than a minute with the electric pump so wouldn't take long doing it manually. Seems to hold air, but the regular old school air pad (not the bed kind) is probably more comfortable unless it's really cold. I would definitely try the thinner one with foam inside on a hiking trip where saving a pound or two would matter.
 

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