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Thread: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

  1. #1
    trishaz717 is on a distinguished road trishaz717's Avatar
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    Default What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    Did a two day, one night trip to French Creek State Park in PA this weekend.
    I have some backpacking gear I wanted to try out, but wanted to be in an established campground in case anything went wrong. It was 33 degrees with winds about 10-15 mph winds ...

    1. My CAT stove works great. I used denatured alcohol and was able to boil water in about 3 minutes. I just have to practice with different amounts of alcohol in order to know how much to use to cook different things.

    2. My Sierra Designs lightning tent is super easy to set up. Haven't tried it in the rain but worked well in 10-15 mph winds

    3. Layers work I didn't bring my heater since the tent was so small and it wouldn't fit in my backpack. I have a campmor self inflating pad, that I put under one of those wally world blue pads and it worked great. Did not feel the ground cold at all so I was able to keep warm with my coleman 15 degree bag (brought an extra one just in case).

    4. Last but not least ... I was HUNGRY! I have to pick up some MRE's and try them. I am an eater and the stuff I brought (except for the oatmeal) was not enough. I brought a package of Ramen noodles, a package of tuna helper (minus the tuna), instant mashed potatoes, 3 pieces of bread, some peanut butter & coffee. All the food was in zip loc bags to reduce weight. Oh ... cowboy coffee stinks! The caffeine rush was good, but the grounds did not all sink to the bottom and were gross. Maybe I'll have to try the coffee bags.

    5. I brought the dog with me, and she was not happy. It was too cold for her at night. She is used to snuggling in her bed. I won't bring her again until it's a little warmer. She had a 15 degree bag.


    I would say all in all it was a success. Next I try two nights out on the trail in the Kittatinny Mtns. That's next month. That will be a "real" backpacking trip. Any tips from backpackers on here are always appreciated
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  2. #2
    Always be prepared. nearlywild is on a distinguished road nearlywild's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    I'm not a food expert and have never done any type of minimalistic camping but I would think that you need more protein in there to not be hungry. Carbs burn pretty quickly.
    May you always have love to share,
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    My wife and I really enjoy good coffee, and we have an insulated stainless coffee press that makes probably 48 oz or so. Makes great coffee, and all you need is hot water -- which is easy on the camp stove.
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    Primitive camper! Bigdog57 is on a distinguished road Bigdog57's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    I echo the need for more protein. Any grocery store has the foil packets of meat - Tuna, Salmon, Chicken, etc - that can be added to rice or noodles. Light weight and can be carried most anywhere. MRE's are very concentrated, so you need to make sure you get plenty of liquids, otherwise you do the 'John Wayne' the next day........
    Walmart carries the chemical heater packets - from small to larger sizes. Open one and follow the instructions to start the reaction about an hour before turning in - it takes a bit of time to come to full heat. I put one down in the foot of the bag and another under my upper body separated by thin clothing.
    Longtime Motorcycle Camper. Getting away from it all on two wheels!

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    trishaz717 is on a distinguished road trishaz717's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    Thanks for your answers everyone. I figured the peanut butter would help with the protein, but I don't think enough. I am going to have to look for a coffee press and the foil packets of meat. I DO NOT know exactly what you mean by the "John Wayne" Bigdog but I think I get the gist of it

    Thanks!!

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    Primitive camper! Bigdog57 is on a distinguished road Bigdog57's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    One of my 'go to' meals for 'minimalist' camping is a packet of 'Ready To Eat Rice' and a packet of meat - very filling and easy to prepare, just add a bit of water and heat it! Keep stirring to prevent it sticking to the pot. The foil packets can be burned in your campfire - no muss, no fuss!
    Longtime Motorcycle Camper. Getting away from it all on two wheels!

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    GlitterHiker is on a distinguished road
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    I did a couple of tent/car camping outings over the winter. Yep, once I mastered the art & science of layering, I was much happier.

    On the other hand, I too have not mastered eating. I don't bring along enough food, and/or enough of the right stuff.

    Also, did you eat dinner right before bedtime? I found eating right before bed helps keep me warm.

    I haven't attempted backpacking yet, so can't offer any advice there.

  8. #8
    Gordie
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    I always bring dehydrated food. There are actually some very tasty choices out there.

  9. #9
    trishaz717 is on a distinguished road trishaz717's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    Hi glitter .. I did eat about an hour before I went to bed. I wasn't cold. The layers worked -- even my sleeping system layers -- thermarest self infating mat on the ground with a wally world blue mat on top and my sleeping bag on top of that.

    Hey Gordy -- I just picked up a dehydrator on ebay and will try dehydrating my own food. I'll let you know how it works

  10. #10

    Default Re: What I learned on my minimalist camping trip this weekend ...

    I think you're confused - dehydrated foods require seasoning and cooking and are typically single-item like jerky or fruit. Freeze-dried foods are muti-ingredient, already seasoned and only require adding water and cooking for 10 minutes. We only use our dehydrators for jerky, fruit and vegetables for use in asian cuisine. You don't want me to tell you how much a home freeze dryer setup will cost you, seriously. I believe you're referring to freeze-dried foods.
    “I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”
    ― Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman's Camden Conversations

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