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  • Camping gear advice

    Hi there!!! this year i'm thinking to get start camping with my family. So i need a tent and camping gear
    But i'm not sure which are the essential camping gears i need to take while camping. We are total 4 members.
    Any thoughts, or ideas?
    Last edited by rubenson; 04-25-2019, 08:45 PM.

  • #2
    First, is deciding what type of camping you think they'll enjoy. There are probably plenty of options to choose from: your local lake/stream campgrounds, nicely maintained campgrounds with toilet facilities in your local national forest, primitive campgrounds that might or might not have toilet facilities, parking your vehicle and hiking in, etc. If you have minimum camping experience you'll probably want to camp somewhere close to toilet facilities. After all, you don't want to overwhelm anyone the first time out.
    As far as gear, that also depends on several factors including (but not limited to): putting everything on your back and hiking in or camping out of a vehicle, seasonal temperatures, cooking abilities and food choices, physical fitness, budget, etc.
    The basics are going to include:
    1. shelter-tent, teepee, hammock, tarp, bare earth....
    2. hydration-plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person per day
    3. warmth-proper seasonal clothing and sleeping gear/bag
    4. food-you'll have to bring not only the food to eat but everything needed to cook it too.
    5. hygiene-never leave home without baby wipes...(us wildland firefighters survive off of them)
    There are tons of youtube videos out there that will give you a wide variety of things to think about. Once you figure out what type of camping (and how long a stay) you're thinking to start with we can definitely help you start a "what to bring" list.

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    • #3
      If you have little or no camping experience I would suggest you start out with Car Camping. In other words stay at a campground which you drive to and can park next to your camp site. This way you can bring more equipment and supplies than if you hiked in. It also affords you an easy way to make a quick trip to pick up things you forgot.
      By car camping you can work out the bugs and test out different equipment before you try something more challenging.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rubenson View Post
        Hi there!!! this year i'm thinking to get start camping with my family. But i'm not sure which are the essential camping gears i need to take while camping. We are total 4 members.
        Any thoughts, or ideas?
        Roughly where are you located.........just "Roughly".

        I ask, because I was shocked at what is called camping in some locations.
        One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rubenson View Post
          Hi there!!! this year i'm thinking to get start camping with my family. But i'm not sure which are the essential camping gears i need to take while camping. We are total 4 members.
          Any thoughts, or ideas?
          I'm guessing your kids are younger and it sounds like you all are new to the idea. Also, do you live in more and urban area or rural? First thing, don't run out and spend hundreds on tents and packs and bags and all the other cool "gear" us men are all typically drawn to. I suggest doing things on the cheap until you decide if you all enjoy it or not and then ease your way into it if you do.

          I suggest starting out you consider one of two ways. Either go to a camp ground where you can rent either a small cabin or a lean-to shelter or car camp. Don't let anyone give you any BS about either not being camping. This is something your trying to expose your family to and something you hope to turn into a life long hobby. You need to make it the best experience you can, not some torture session. Both of the paths I'm suggesting will let everyone still have some of the comforts and support they're used to - like a bath house with toilets and showers, electricity, and water - while exposing them to the outdoors. Instead of sleeping bags take along blankets you already have at home, take a cooler and some food, and all the other stuff like chairs or whatever to make yourselves comfortable and that fits in your car. This also will let you and your wife practice skills you may or may not have like starting a fire in the campsite fire-ring, cooking over an open fire, etc... Don't pick a weekend that everyone and their brother is going to be there (holiday weekends), or if the weather will be extreme; be it cold, hot or torrential rain all weekend. Also don't pack 50 activities int the weekend and what plans you do have, don't be rigid with them. You want it to be a fun and enjoyable experience so they'll be asking when you can go again. Otherwise your kids, and likely your spouse will only remember it sucked and was like a chore and it will be something they do not want to do again. So no up before dawn for a 5 mile hikes to a vista to watch the sunrise.

          Keep things simple and familiar, some cereal for breakfast, for lunch some sandwiches and for dinner maybe hot dogs over the fire, or foil packs and then and evening treat of roasted marshmallows, smores or jiffy pop done over the camp fire. If it's a State Park, often there are different presentations on the local wildlife and plants, or if they have a swimming are let the kids swim. Maybe some fishing if it's permitted. No electronics for the kids or for mom and dad. Leave the tablets and radios at home and leave the cell phone in the car. If you all want to take a stroll or do a little fishing fine but if they just want to sit around and look at the trees or play in the woods and get dirty, let them!

          The experience and positive memories are what is most important. If you try to make it "perfect" or if you try to schedule every minute, your family isn't going to have fun. And don't be Clark W Griswold. If things start going south, don't ride it to the bottom of the mountain. Say storms move in or the bugs are eating you alive or there are loud and annoying people in the campsite next to you - DON"T suffer thru and have everyone miserable. In the case of annoying people, see if you can possibly change sites or if maybe there is another campground or park nearby to move to. If the monsoons have moved in or if you're camping next to Cousin Eddie, pack up and head home.

          As you determine if you like it, look on Facebook market, Craigslist, yard sales and similar to find gently used gear to get started. But maybe even before investing that much you get a big tarp and learn how to rig a lean-to shelter or buy that cheaper tent but take some time and try to waterproof it or throw your tarp over it to keep things dry. From there you'll start to get a feel for what works best for your family.

          In closing, what I'll almost guarantee is that if you go out and spend $750 on a tent, packs, sleeping bags, light stoves, and cook kits, etc and march your family and say 4 and 12 year old kids down a trail 5 to 10 miles they are going to be miserable and in turn you will make you miserable. Not that some day you all might love that exact thing but work your way up to it.
          Last edited by CountryGuy; 04-14-2019, 05:21 PM.
          I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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