General exploring/adventuring thread

Discussion in 'HIking, Camping, Backpacking' started by Patchouli, Nov 8, 2018.

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  1. Nov 8, 2018 #1

    Patchouli

    Patchouli

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    It has rained every week for more than 2 months, maybe longer. I had planned on camping this month but I want my first time in 7 years to be decent weather so that I will not flake out on it. A frost is coming too so maybe all the snakes will be sleeping.
    We camped at Skyline Drive in VA one year. Forgot to pack the tent poles, it was low 40s and raining at the campground. Nice long drive back home, arriving at 1 or 2 a.m. Got better stuff and drove back the next day, plus the tent poles. Camping with short hair, for me, was not good, don't ask. It ended up being in the 30s at night. We had one little kid.

    At night we could see the shadows of the deer on the tent. We could hear them munching the grass right next to our heads.
    I know you guys have good stories on camping, hiking, exploring... just share one story per post if you can. I know it's hard. haha
     
  2. Nov 8, 2018 #2

    Weedygarden

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    I did a long trip in 1976, during the bicentennial. I had a Toyota pickup with a camper shell, so I never had to set up a tent, but we did most of the time anyway. The bed of the pickup had a wooden bed that was raised up from the bed of the truck, so all kinds of stuff could be stored underneath it and we could sleep on the wooden layer.

    I was living in Kansas City and my boyfriend and I left KC, drove to and through South Dakota, then Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and then back to Kansas City. We camped along the way and saw lots of the country.

    We spent one night in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, in the mountains and woke up to snow and bear tracks outside our tent, fourth week of June. It was cold. The pickup did not run well because of the altitude. It is camping like that that helps you to know how important a good sleeping bag is to have. We drove down the west coast, as much as possible on the coastal highway. We were in San Francisco for the bicentennial celebration. His cousin is married to a woman who has been a senator for the state of California for a while, and we had brunch with that cousin and family.

    I always loved camping and exploring, but I learned long ago, that not everyone is suited for this type of activity. If the weather and other conditions don't make you miserable, the wrong people with you can as well. I also learned how important it is to have good equipment. A leaky tent is not fun.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2018 #3

    Patchouli

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    Ah, the bicentennial, one of my best memories of ever and I was under 18.
    Altitude was something affecting our tire pressure on crappy tires. Who knew? I didn't.
    This part of what you said, "the wrong people with you can as well," rings very true. Good equipment is a must. I see equipment can be rented from REI.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2018 #4

    Weedygarden

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    I should have realized that they or someone would figure out that was a good idea. I think a person who has little or no equipment can rent and figure out which versions of some component works better for them.

    I have quite a bit of camping equipment, but haven't gone camping in many years. I am not as young as I used to be, and really prefer to be more comfortable now. I know you can camp and be comfortable, but you can be wet and cold, hungry and miserable. I've been both, but there are no guarantees of being comfortable without good equipment.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2018 #5

    Patchouli

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    Or if they want to go camping at all ever again.
    I can't say I've ever had a "good" time camping. Isn't that funny? But I'm willing to try until I can say I did have a good time.
    Your idea of the wooden frame in the back of a truck sounds good, with a cap. But I don't have a truck at this time.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2018 #6

    timmie

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    We went to the Alabama river camping . We had a tent ,air mattress, camping kitchen, etc. We had a great time fishing and camping. Oldest daughter and family came and spent 2 days with us. Granddaughter and Sil went fishing off the boat while we got supper ready. Sil caught a 3 pound catfish, and grandaughter [5] told him "that's not the way PawPaw said to take it off the hook", and proceeded to show him how to do it. Sil is city boy, but a good person. After they left we spent 1 more night[supposed to be 3] but hurricane bill came thru and ripped our tent. Needles to say we were asleep and woke up wet and cold , so we wound up sleeping in the suv. Bill was a lot of rain and some wind. What had happened when we looked the next morning a limb had fallen and ripped the tent. Didn't stop us from camping. We bought another tent and went back 2 weeks later.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2018 #7

    Amish Heart

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    My first time camping was when I was 13. I have a half sis 10 yrs older, and she was a single mom of a 3 yr old. She had a few weeks vacation from her factory job and wanted to go camping. So we rented equipment, reserved a camp site near the beach (Santa Cruz, CA) and away we went. Had a blast. I was building some sand castles with my nephew and a few other kids while sis sunbathed. Spent the afternoon chatting with a nice man who was the single dad of the kids. Met at the ranger's campfire later that evening and VIOLA! A love match was made, and they married the next year. Too bad it didn't work out. He was #2. I think she's on number 5 right now. Funny thing, though, a bunch of different family members came that week to "check on us". We were fine. Never did have to put up our own tent. Always had someone walk by to "help". My sister was a looker. We camped every summer for the next few years after. Husband and I have camped a lot. Went from camping under the stars at the beach, to a nice tent, to the back of a truck with a campershell and mattress in it, to a travel trailer. I guess that's the transition. Our kids all love to backpack and take off for days at a time a number of times during the year.
     
  8. Nov 9, 2018 #8

    hiwall

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    Years back two of my brothers and I camped out while deer hunting in brother's tent trailer. This was in northern Minnesota. The first night was okay but in the middle of the second night we ran out of propane. So we had no heat and not hot drinks, and no warm meal. It was fifteen degrees below zero in the morning. We broke camp but we could not lower the tent trailer all the way down because of all the frost inside and out. We strapped it down and left for home in the afternoon after forcing ourselves to hunt some in the morning. Not very enjoyable.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2018 #9

    Patchouli

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    We camped at a beach campground for a few nights with a few kids. By morning the tent was on us. The wind whipped so hard through the night. I think hubs tied the tent to the vehicle at some point. A hurricane was still a few days away.
    It hurt to go beaching cuz the wind blew the sand against our legs, into hair and eyes. It was still kind of fun because I love the beach.
     
  10. Nov 9, 2018 #10

    Patchouli

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    Well, i didn't mean just one post per person and who am I to boss y'all around, I meant put one story in one post. Add others, PLEASE. Good, bad, scary, everything, right here. lol
     
  11. Nov 9, 2018 #11

    Bacpacker

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    Good thread Patch. Where do I start? I guess my first long hike in the Boy Scouts is a good story.
    I was 12 at the times and if memory serves there was 12 of us kids ranging from 10 to 17, plus scoutmaster and his assistant. The hike was in Feburary and we were starting at a elevation of just over 6300'. We drove up in a van that morning and hit snow by 3500'. We hit the trail before 9am in driving snow. I was about 5-10" and the snow was knee deep. We hiked thru the morning steadily losing elevation and the snow amount was down to just over ankle deep by the time we stopped for lunch just after noon. Within 30 mintues of starting to hike again we had dropped completely out of the snow and into fairly heavy rain.
    Moving at a fairly steady pace we arrived at what was suppose to be our camp site around 4pm. The entire area is pretty flat with 2 good size creeks running into a big river. With the rain and what snow had melted the river was out of it's banks and the entire area was under 2-6" of water. By this point we had already hiked 11 miles and the 4 guys younger than me and the 2 guys my age was completely spent. The leaders decided that we would all hike on to the 2nd van and head back home. We had another 5-6 miles to get there. The 5 older guys divided up the young guys gear and took off for the van. The leaders pushed the rest of us down the trail.
    For all of us younger guys this was our first winter hike, longest hike by far, and biggest group outside of going to a drive up campground. None of us (unsure about the leaders or the older guys) had prepared to keep any of our gear dry and everything we had including our sleeping bags and spare clothes were soaked, and most all were wearing cotton. This added quite a lot to the weight we were carrying. The leaders stayed close to the young guys and kept them moving, but they were all working on hypothermia and struggling badly. Me and my 2 buddies were making it with our gear, but it seemed like we were stopping for a break every 10 minutes and having a hard time starting back up. I think it was closing in on 8pm by the time we got to the van, it got dark before 6. The older guys had the van running and warm inside. We all piled in and headed home. I must have slept all the way to the house because I don't recall any of the trip. My parents were surprised to see me. I dumped my gear in the basement and went and got cleaned up, mom fixed some good hot food and I went to bed. I think I slept till about 3 the next afternoon.
    The next meeting we had for the scouts, there was little to no discussion of what went wrong or how to better prepare for poor conditions. The leaders never took us back on any more long hikes. I dropped out within the next 2 years. By the time I was 18 I got back into hiking and found some other folks to go with. We learned together how to keep gear dry and to pay attention to the weather.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2018 #12

    Patchouli

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    That's a bad story that could have been so much worse! I'm glad my scouting sons never suffered TOO badly though the one who is accident prone had a few ugly moments on the trail and camping, and not from the faults of leaders, for the most part. I count his many lucky stars and the angels that must be escorting him through life that he is alive and quite well.
    Staying dry is so important when it is cool/cold. I don't want to think that you are old, but even "back then" they weren't teaching as much about how important it is to have the right material content on supplies (packs and sleeping bags, socks, pants, waterproof shoes or boots).
     
  13. Nov 9, 2018 #13

    Bacpacker

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    It could have been really bad, I think it scared the leaders so much they wouldn't try again. Looking back it would have been easy for me to have never went again, but I would have missed so many good times and wonderful experiences.
    This hike was in 1972 and at least to my knowledge there were no gear that was waterproof/resistant other than a poncho (which is mostly useless IMO). Synthetic clothing wasn't yet on the market either. Wool would have worked, but I don't think many of us had anything other than cotton. But you are right, staying dry is critical, expecally spare clothing. What you are wearing will get wet at times the best you can do, but having some dry stuff is very nice to get in to. Anymore I keep my sleeping bag inside a waterproof stuff sack, inside my pack with a pack cover on it. Clothes are in another waterproof bag. I no longer take chances with not having dry gear.
     
  14. Nov 11, 2018 #14

    Patchouli

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    No, not very enjoyable. Do you still live in the Great Lakes region? Northern Minnesota?
     
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  15. Nov 11, 2018 #15

    hiwall

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    No one ever lives there, a few just survive there. I was smart enough to run when I had the chance. Now I live in sunny Arizona.
     
  16. Nov 11, 2018 #16

    timmie

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    Back in the early 80's we went camping and fishing with some friends. we had 3 boats and we pulled into a creek off the river and anchored off to fish . Well hubby wound up with the beer cooler, so they would throw their reel to us to hook a beer and they would reel it in. It was really funny. I don't drink, but it was funny.
     
  17. Nov 12, 2018 #17

    Patchouli

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    Yeah, a cooler is better than a bunch of drunk idiots thinking that allowing river water to run over the full, unopened cans and bottles of beer would work. I used to drink. I saw this fail every time. Lol. It flattens the carbonation. Lol
     
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  18. Nov 12, 2018 #18

    Weedygarden

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    I was a brownie leader for one year, having been talked into it. I was way too busy to be a leader and never should have been. We had a camping trip in the mountains in early June. We slept in tent cabins, wooden platforms with canvas tents. I don't think we had adequate sleeping bags. It was cold, it snowed and all of the water for various purposes was frozen. I couldn't sleep all night. I remember little else from that trip. I was the adult, but a miserable one.
    I have bursitis in my left hip that flares up at various times. My hip hurt the rest of the summer after that camping trip.
     
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  19. Nov 13, 2018 #19

    The Lazy L

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    Boy Scouts I slept on the ground.

    Married, before kids and we camped with another couple. Rain water trickled under the tent and my bag was getting wet. Wife didn't want to share her air mattress.

    Son was in Cub Scouts and I went on a camp-out with him. We slept on the ground. Son had to roll me over on my side and help me up. My back was stiffer then a board. Last time I slept on the ground.

    Borrowed tent camper with another couple. High and dry and the space heater kept the frost off of us.

    Borrowed 16' Travel trailer with just the two of us. Warmer then a tent camper. Smelled LP and found one of the tanks leaked. I turn the tank off, wife worried that the trailer would blow up and wanted to go home.

    Borrowed Class A motor home. I pulled up to the house with the MH. Wife had everything piled by the door. We carried the pile to the MH and as I drove to the campsite she put the pile away. The older Sunday School class above us had invited us to go camping with them A hour latter we was at the camp site helping the others set up for the week end. We had a great time.

    When we retire I think it would be perfect if we will sell out and buy a Class B. Take 5 years and explore this great again country! And when we visit our children they don't have to worry about were we would sleep, in the Class B! Wife gives me a look, "Only if EVERYTHING of hers in the house comes with us...and she means EVERYTHING "
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

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