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somebody made a topic asking about it, but it went away.

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#1 zaphodB

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 06:39 PM

Here's my reply to the topic, hopefully it's useful.

Depends. If you're actually camping (fire, all that) you'll find a few things indispensable. I'll make a list of ten things I never leave without, and you can decide how many will be useful.

1. A hatchet. Good for pounding in tent stakes, getting firewood, marshmallow sticks, and other heavy chopping.

2. Pocketknife. There's all sorts of things that need to be cut at a campsite, and what you can't cut with a hatchet, you'll want to cut with a knife. They're also nice for making walking sticks. don't get a leatherman type thing, they're more trouble then they're worth. I have a SOG Twitch II, and it's served me very well.

3. Parachute string. basically really strong nylon twine. It's good for hanging towels on, and hoisting food up into trees so animals don't get at it. Also, you never know when you need string.

4. Gatorade powder (just add water). You don't know what kind of water the campsite you're on will have. The powder won't make it any cleaner, but it will make it taste a lot better. I just realized that this was a vital item a few years ago, and it has made camping so much better for me. If you bring nothing else, pack this.

5. A good cooler/water bottle. Again, water is very important, it's probably going to be hot where you are, and you'll want cold water. That cuts out nalgenes, no matter how trendy they are. Get something insulated. This also means you'll need to find out where to get ice. Most campsites have places where you can buy it for cheap.

6. Flashlight. You ever try to find the toilet at night when the power's out at your house? Imagine that but with bears. You'll want a flashlight. I use a Maglite, with an incandescent bulb (some people swear by LEDs, but i don't think it lights stuff as well. I know it's technically brighter, but it's a blue light, and it's h ard to see with)

7. Food/pots and pans) You wouldn't think this would be important, but you don't want to eat coldcuts all the time. Bring some stuff you can cook. (hot dogs, pasta, pancake mix, eggs) as well as breads. You won't be able to find much on a campsite. Mostly gas station food, and that's only sometimes.

8. A good pillow. It doesn't entirely make up for the fact that you're sleeping on the ground, but comfort goes a long way towards being able to wake up and have fun the next day.

9. Extra towel. You don't know what's going to happen between the two times you go swimming. An extra towel is a good idea.

10. Bear mace. Just kidding. Bears are more afraid of you than you are of them. And if they're not, there isn't much you can do about it. have fun.

-edit- oh yeah, and matches. Get strike anywhere matches if you can, so if the box gets damp you can still use them.

Edited by zaphodB, 25 June 2008 - 08:29 AM.

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#2 Swords

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:43 PM

I like to have matches or some kind of fire starter. It really helps for cooking and campfires. Other than that, that is a nicely thought out, put together list.
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#3 puggy

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:27 PM

thanks but i actually had all of those imbedded into my brain, i was talking about oddities that some of you might have found useful



but thanks anyways

Edited by puggy, 24 June 2008 - 11:28 PM.

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#4 Cannonball

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:48 AM

It's important to make sure your stuff works and will get the job done too. You don't want your flashlight to crap out on you while you are wandering to the bathroom. I stand by surefire in that respect. A good knife is definitely important. I carry around a fancy survival fixed blade strapped to my leg but that's just me.
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#5 One Man Clan

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 05:35 AM

Puggy, fix your grammar. I deleted your first post because you refuse to take a second and type properly. The only reason I am leaving this one is because your fellow members can follow the rules. I will NOT warn you again.
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#6 Ubermensch

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:06 AM

Two things I always carry around with me:

1. LED flashlight, they never die.

2. A trowel. For "my business".
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#7 Rogue Warrior

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 10:23 AM

My top ten

1. Knife

2. Flashlight

3. Extra Batteries

4. Compass

5. Map of Area

6. Sleeping Bag

7. Military grade Paracord

8. Canteen

9. My FIRESTEEL

10. An "A" Frame Tent

On a side note, if you bring matches dip the heads in wax to waterproof them.

Edited by Rouge warrior, 25 June 2008 - 10:26 AM.

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#8 umdlancer

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:01 AM

With regard to water bottles, Nalgenes are good because they're made of polycarbonate, which is quite difficult to break and doesn't leave a nasty aftertaste in the water like polyethelyne will.

Surefire is a great brand (I have an A2 Aviator that's easily 5-6 years old and is still running off the original lamp assembly), but like most compact high-output flashlights, they chew through relatively expensive 123A lithium batteries.

In addition to a flashlight, you should have a headlamp of some sort, preferably using the same size of batteries as your flashlight. If you are to go mucking about in the dark to do your buisness, it'll be a lot easier with both your hands free.

You should have a whistle in case you get lost. Not those cheap pea-whistles, but an old-fashioned woodwind whistle.
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#9 Langley

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:45 AM

Condoms and Lube
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#10 Rogue Warrior

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 01:16 PM

Ya, and your best friend. :lol:
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#11 nerfer9

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 01:53 PM

I keep in my kit the following:

  • Water proof matches
  • a Swedish firesteel
  • 550 paracord
  • a army mess kit
  • toilet paper
  • a zippo
  • a fold up shovel
  • a fork,knife, and spoon kit
  • a leatherman wave
  • a first aid kit
  • dryer lint (good fire starter)
  • a manual of survival (750 pages long)
  • a very strong LED flashlight
  • a bottle of ibuprofen
  • a fold up fishing rod (folds up to about the size of a very fat pen, and has a compartment for storing line, and lures)
  • a tent

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#12 cobra

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:21 PM

I bring a toys and my neighbors sexy wife.
click here for easy money

#13 PointBlank

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

Condoms and Lube


Wow. I can see what you like to do in your spare time..
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#14 g-force

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:36 PM

On the pocket kinife: I have several of these and when i go hunting, camping or any thing outdoorsey i carry my swiss champ which has more tools than you can imagine and my locking benchmade which is very very sharp. I also carry one of my many slingshots which can be fun for shooting targets and for scaring off any animals that wont maul you.
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QUOTE(Carbon @ Jul 28 2008, 03:25 AM) View Post

My god, you actually built it. To that, all I can say is, "bravo".

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#15 mystefansdontflystraight

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:53 PM

OK. Some major problems here. As an experienced camper/white water canoer, I have some major issues with this list. Hatchets are useless, are too heavy and very easy to hurt yourself with. Bring a folding saw instead. Gatorade powder is a huge amount of sugar, which you will burn quickly. It is time consuming to mix, and the packing is bulky. LEDs are awesome. They illuminate way better, and most LED flashlights are waterproof. Maglites are very heavy. Bear mace really does work. My friend got attacked by a young bear, and managed to scare him off with a buck knife and some bear mace. It really is worth it trust me.
Pillows are for softies. It won't kill you to sleep on a pile of clothes.
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QUOTE(Blacksunshine @ Dec 24 2009, 02:15 PM) View Post

QUOTE(white moonlight @ Dec 23 2009, 01:29 PM) View Post

It's just screaming to be rearloading...

I seen a movie about that once.



#16 analogkid

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:55 PM

Wow. I can see what you like to do in your spare time..

Be heterosexual?

For flashlights, if you can't afford the Surefires, Maglites pretty durable. I took on spelunking one time on a class trip. It ended up getting kicked around underwater, and dropped, and all kinda stuff, never failed. A pocket knife is probably good to have also, as everyone has said, but for cutting wood a folding saw or hatchet is great.
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#17 jackster57

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:10 AM

http://www.instructables.com/id/%24100-Sup...der-%2410!/

Try that. I did it to one of the Eveready's they sell in the check out lane at home depot. I have had it for about 7 months now and it works really good.

Just my suggestion
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#18 Ambience 327

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:32 AM

OK. Some major problems here. As an experienced camper/white water canoer, I have some major issues with this list. Hatchets are useless, are too heavy and very easy to hurt yourself with. Bring a folding saw instead.


As an "experienced camper" * myself, I take issue with your comment on the hatchet. If you know how to use a one properly, a hatchet is quite safe and effective for splitting softer wood. You don't swing the thing full-tilt and try to cut the wood in one chop - you lightly whack the top of the log to embed the blade, then you lift the whole deal and bang the bottom of the log against a rock or large log/flat stump. If you don't try to over-power it, you won't hurt yourself - and if you make sure to keep your splitting area clear of bystanders you won't hurt anyone else. If you need to split harder woods, you'll want a good ax, a wedge and a sledghammer.

A folding saw is great for cutting long logs down to size, but it would take you twelve forevers to split wood with it, and you don't want to be trying to get a fire started with whole logs - split wood burns much quicker. Save the whole logs for one you have a roaring flame and just want something to keep it going for a while.



* I started camping with my father when I was only a few years old, and I went the Eagle Scout route through the Boy Scouts - even staying active as an adult leader for a few years after "graduating" at 18. Even now, at 30, I still try to get out for a camping trip at least once a year with the family. So I've spent a lot of time in the woods. The Boy Scouts are very big on camp safety, especially with fire and wood tools, and rightly so. They teach you all the important safety procedures before you're ever allowed to touch a knife, ax or saw at a Scout outing. Keeping that training in mind, I've split many a log with a hatchet over the years, and never so much as slipped for a scare, let alone actually caused any damage to myself or others. I also taught my wife the correct way to split wood, and she's never had any problems either. It is all about using your head and not trying to look like a big, buff macho lumberjack who can split the logs in one swing.
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#19 zaphodB

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:27 AM

OK. Some major problems here. As an experienced camper/white water canoer, I have some major issues with this list. Hatchets are useless, are too heavy and very easy to hurt yourself with. Bring a folding saw instead. Gatorade powder is a huge amount of sugar, which you will burn quickly. It is time consuming to mix, and the packing is bulky. LEDs are awesome. They illuminate way better, and most LED flashlights are waterproof. Maglites are very heavy. Bear mace really does work. My friend got attacked by a young bear, and managed to scare him off with a buck knife and some bear mace. It really is worth it trust me.
Pillows are for softies. It won't kill you to sleep on a pile of clothes.


You've already been responded to quite nicely once, but I still have to say some things here. I've camped across the US for at least 14 years. I've camped in the desert, tundra, tropics, forest, you name it, and the list I provided came from my experiences doing that. Every single one of your points come from a carrying-shit-around perspective. I'm not talking about backpacking, I'm talking about camping, and making that experience as enjoyable as possible. I guess if you want to posture like a hard ass, you can sleep on a pile of clothes, but I'll keep my pillow, thank you very much, and I'll have a good night's sleep. LEDs may be brighter, but they don't illuminate as well. I've got a really expensive LEP lamp that has an array of about 15 superbright LEDs in it, and I prefer my maglite. The LEDs just don't produce the kind of light that's easy for human eyes to see. The yellow tint of an incandescent light is much easier to see in, and if you complain about the heaviness, then you're the softie. The comfort point also holds true for the gartorade. It may be lots of sugar that you'll burn through quickly, but again, this is camping, not backpacking, and as most campsites have nasty tasting water, gatorade makes me a lot more willing to drink it. And I'm calling bullshit on your friend. A bear isn't going to recognise a knife as a threatening object, so you wouldn't really be scaring the bear off with that. And an attacking bear that can do a lot of damage to you is just going to ignore mace. If anything, the bear your friend encountered was just curious, and not attacking, but again, I'm suspicious of fantastical anecdotes involving someone's "friend". All in all, it's presumptious of you to assume I don't know what I'm talking about, and then say some shit that reveals you as a somewhat inexperienced camper yourself.
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#20 mystefansdontflystraight

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:12 AM

He had the knife out, but he sprayed the bear with mace, and that is what scared it away. The type of camping I am reffering to is the type where you canoe in, portage a lot, and have to live out of a 60 liter pack for the whole time. In this case, space is a precious thing, and you can't carry a heavy pack over a 2 kilometer portage, so you need to pack light.
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QUOTE(Blacksunshine @ Dec 24 2009, 02:15 PM) View Post

QUOTE(white moonlight @ Dec 23 2009, 01:29 PM) View Post

It's just screaming to be rearloading...

I seen a movie about that once.



#21 Langley

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:10 PM

He had the knife out, but he sprayed the bear with mace, and that is what scared it away. The type of camping I am reffering to is the type where you canoe in, portage a lot, and have to live out of a 60 liter pack for the whole time. In this case, space is a precious thing, and you can't carry a heavy pack over a 2 kilometer portage, so you need to pack light.


Well, the thread is asking what you bring camping. There is no master list of the right thing to take on any trip, it depends on the trip. Even if you're backpacking it's very dependent on when and where you're doing it. If you're hiking the AT, you need very little protection from the sun, but if you're hiking the Pacific Crest trail you need sunglasses, sunscreen, and perhaps clothes that don't leave much skin exposed. Personally I have two completely different sets of camping gear for backpacking and for camping at a site I can drive up to. I think the original purpose of the thread was to hear about odd things your bring with you camping, not what you think is the right thing to bring.

So to contribute: I haven't ordered it yet, but soon I will be camping with a camping hammock. To me the attraction is that I can set it up on a hill, or on rocky uneven ground as long as there are two trees the appropriate distance from each other. The hammock is pretty quick to set up and won't get wet during set up in the rain because you can put up the rain fly first, and it's much cooler in the summer. It's also much lighter than my tent. The main disadvantage is that you begin to loose the weight advantage in cooler weather because of the specialized cold weather gear you need to keep the bottom of the hammock warm. Most of the other disadvantages are negated by the fact that I'll still have the option to use the tent if I'm not backpacking.
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#22 pwnchu

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:15 AM

If we're not talking about backpacking and being hardcore, then you should bring a cell phone and walkie talkie. They're useful in emergencies, and they won't ruin the experience if you keep them off.

Also, for water, bring a water filter. They work quite well, and they work even in some pretty dirty water, as long as you boil it.

I disagree about having the hatchet most of the time, because if it's...
Car camping: Bring your own firewood. It's not good to randomly cut down trees; rangers are usually against that kind of thing.

Backpacking: Waste of space. You don't need to relax around a fire every time you go outdoors, save that for car camping. If you're talking about winter, burning stuff will not help you. You need sleeping bags and clothes. If you're talking about cooking, white gas stoves are cheap and compact.

Splitting logs does not change "fuel" into "kindling". I suppose if you could cut it down enough it would work, but you should be using branches and twigs for kindling.

Have you heard of bear bags? Basically you put anything that smells into a sack (i think rice bags work), then tie it into a tree. This keeps raccoons and bears out. I'm being very brief, you'll have to research it if you want to use it. However, some campsites have metal shelves you can put your stuff in.
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#23 Ambience 327

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 07:21 AM

If we're not talking about backpacking and being hardcore, then you should bring a cell phone and walkie talkie. They're useful in emergencies, and they won't ruin the experience if you keep them off.

Certainly good advice.


Also, for water, bring a water filter. They work quite well, and they work even in some pretty dirty water, as long as you boil it.

As you said - that depends on what you're doing. For car camping, just bring several large jugs of clean water with you - less hassle.


I disagree about having the hatchet most of the time, because if it's...
Car camping: Bring your own firewood. It's not good to randomly cut down trees; rangers are usually against that kind of thing.

I don't ever cut down trees with a hatchet. It's often illegal - and the wood you would get would be quite green and difficult to burn until you had a good fire going anyway. But I still like to bring one with me for splitting logs.


Backpacking: Waste of space. You don't need to relax around a fire every time you go outdoors, save that for car camping. If you're talking about winter, burning stuff will not help you. You need sleeping bags and clothes. If you're talking about cooking, white gas stoves are cheap and compact.

Can't argue with any of that!


Splitting logs does not change "fuel" into "kindling". I suppose if you could cut it down enough it would work, but you should be using branches and twigs for kindling.

Here I have to disagree with you. If you split soft wood (pine, etc) down it makes fantastic kindling, which in my opinion are much easier to get burning than twigs and branches, If you then shave some of it down into various sized splinters, you can even get your tinder from the same source. I find that it is generally easier to bring along a load of small, medium and large pine logs and split them for your fire building use than to have to forage for twigs and branches. Also, in some cases gathering such "deadfall" will be just as extremely erotic as chopping down trees - they want it left there to build up mulch for the health of the forest.

Personally, I have access to a good supply of pine wood out at my parents' place. (They've had several trees on their property that took so much storm damage that they weren't worth the cost and effort of saving.) So I just go out and grab a load whenever we decide to go camping, supplemented by some hardwood (for longer-burning fuel) purchased near the campsite we frequent.


Have you heard of bear bags? Basically you put anything that smells into a sack (i think rice bags work), then tie it into a tree. This keeps raccoons and bears out. I'm being very brief, you'll have to research it if you want to use it. However, some campsites have metal shelves you can put your stuff in.

Always good to keep in mind when you are in bear country. If you are dealing with lesser critters (i.e. racoons) then I have found that simply keeping all food in your car is the best course of action. Those little things are sneaky, and have a way of getting what they want - unless it is locked up in a steel and fiberglass frame!
(of course, this doesn't work if you are backpacking or conoeing, but it is good to know!)
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#24 Langley

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:11 AM

With a good water filter made for backpacking, you don't need to boil the water. Usually it comes with some sanitizer you can put in the water to remove anything viral, and the filter will remove most bacteria, which is primarily what you're worried about. If you're going to boil the water, you can usually just tie a bandanna around the bottle opening to filter out all of the particles. Boiling the water will kill anything that's in it, so the only reason to filter it is to remove larger particles. Also, if you're using water from streams, lakes, etc. don't forget that no amount of filtering or boiling will remove chemicals.
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#25 Rogue Warrior

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:54 AM

well, If you are backpacking instead of bringing a water filter you could bring iodine tablets to save space and wieght.
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