Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

  1. #1
    Billy The Impale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    western suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    6
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Question Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    I haven't been camping since I was a boy scout many years ago. I also haven't had a vacation in many years. I also work in a small office where my ears are under constant assault by several loud voices and ringing phones all day. So I really need a vacation.

    I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos of woodcraft and such and it just strengthens my desire to get out in the wilderness. I don't want to hike or anything; I just need some time out away from the office and away from people and office phones, just me and my little dog in front of a fire, breathing fresh air.

    But years of sedentary work have left me out of shape, another reason I don't have interest in hiking. So even chopping firewood wouldn't be easy for me. I'd probably take a Sawzall.

    I also have no clue where to go. I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago. I'm thinking I'd go to southern Wisconsin, but I don't know where. So I guess I should give a little more detail so you have an idea of what to tell me. I'm just going to ramble here, so please tell me what I'm forgetting, what I'm planning wrong, etc.

    More of what I'm not looking for: RVs, cabins, other people. Only interested in being in a tent or lean-to. I'm not sure why anyone would go camping to stay in an RV; it doesn't make sense to me. So I'm thinking of putting things in the bed of my pickup, using that as a, well, pantry isn't the right word... But when I was a scout, I remember all the stuff we had to tote, like the huge water containers, cooler, etc., so I'd have that in the bed of my pickup, and I think I want to pitch a tent off of it. Not one of those that sit kind of on top of it cross-wise so you're up off the ground; I want to be on the ground, warmed by a fire. But otherwise using the truck as a frame to pitch the tent off of. I mean, I'd be close to my supplies that way. I just don't know how that would work. I've never seen such a setup.

    And I've watched the youtube videos in which they build a gravity-fed fire so it keeps it fed all night. So I'd want to do that. And I think I'd bring a porch swing out there so I can relax off the ground during the day. Is there a stand-up tent for showering and a toilet? I know such showers exist, the ones you put in the sunlight to heat up. I just want an enclosure, probably right off the tent or truck, to shower, change, and have my camp toilet. I'm guessing you pitch it on a slight incline, just enough for the water to roll down away from you, and you use biodegradable soap? It's been years since I heard of those. I'm guessing they've changed since then.

    Let's see...starting a fire...either dryer lint stuffed in a toilet paper tube or that...what's the fire starter called that was on Shark Tank...? Kitchen supplies...already have a cast iron skillet, though I have yet to use it. Cooler full of food plus some that doesn't need cooking...dog food... Cooking and eating utensils...

    A campsite... going to a park would probably mean other people and noise, right? Where else would I go? It has to be somewhere I can drive in to and somewhere I can build a fire. What kind of regulations are there about harvesting trees for firewood? Wouldn't regular camping areas get denuded of trees?

    Are there bears in southern Wisconsin? I know northern Wisconsin has them, and southern Wisconsin has coyotes and I hear there's even a wolf pack somewhere between Beloit and Janesville. Not afraid of coyotes, except for my dog. Wolves, though?

    And though I want to be away from civilization, I'd prefer to be around a T-Mobile cell signal, in case I want to look up "Why is my fire not starting?" or something like that. I realize being away from civilization but still having a phone or wifi signal is...perhaps an oxymoron, but it is what it is.

    So, what would you tell someone who's essentially a novice camper but wants to go out alone like this? I want to do it while there's still a chill in the air. Don't want to fight bugs and I'd rather be cold and warm myself up than go out when it's warmer with no way to get the temperature down. I'd take vacation so I'd have up to a week, but I doubt I'd stay that long. And where do I rent camping equipment? If it turns out to be something I don't care to do again in the future, I'd hate to tie up a lot of money in it and just have it all sitting around. Comments, suggestions, etc?
    Last edited by Billy The Impale; 02-28-2017 at 07:48 AM. Reason: pagination and text size, made it more readable

  2. #2
    Billy The Impale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    western suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    6
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    For those wondering, this is the kind of camping I'm talking about, except my preference is to sleep on the ground, warmed by a fire. I guess the CVT route would be my second choice. These guys did cook and spend some time chilling by the fire. Yet, they drove in, camped apparently alone by their vehicles in basically a wide spot in the road. I don't know where such a place is around here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP-tCo82m14

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,883
    Thanks (Given)
    35
    Thanks (Received)
    34
    Likes (Given)
    73
    Likes (Received)
    54
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    1

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    Well camping equipment can be rented from REI, EMS, and possibly Cabela's, and a local to you camping gear store.
    Also this online outfit:

    http://www.lowergear.com/


    My frmr DIL rented gear from them and it was well maintained and arrived on time.

    No idea where to camp near ChiTown but maybe this link will help:

    https://www.thrillist.com/travel/chi...icago-illinois

    Pick and choose among the offerings and make a decision that best meets your criteria.

    Have fun out there!
    2017:

    July 3 to July 16- annual kiddo trip
    Aug 2 to Aug 14- adult trip to recover from kiddos' outing. Bring on the Campari!




  4. #4
    MacGyver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Maryland - The Tax Me State
    Posts
    1,397
    Thanks (Given)
    11
    Thanks (Received)
    34
    Likes (Given)
    146
    Likes (Received)
    105
    Dislikes (Given)
    1
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    I don't know your adaptability to new situations, but I have to say that your never having gone camping and wanting to go so minimalist leaves me thinking you could be setting yourself up for some trouble. I know we all have to start somewhere, but I think you'd be better off going out at least a couple of times with someone who's done the kind of camping you're looking to do.
    Last edited by MacGyver; 03-02-2017 at 09:05 AM.
    11.3% more sarcasm in 2017

  5. #5
    Apprentice Geezer Happy Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    645
    Thanks (Given)
    40
    Thanks (Received)
    23
    Likes (Given)
    159
    Likes (Received)
    68
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    ...Whew!... decades ago (I'm talking last century) I existed (can't really call it living) in the western 'burbs ... Used to hit starved rock park (a fair piece south) to do some easy hiking and get into shape for camping but never tried to camp there (they were starting to ruin it with raised board walks when I finally managed to get outa the Chi town area; so I don't expect is all that much any more, but might be worth checking out). Bussy woods over near the Woodfield mall (east side of the freeway) was good for a bit of bicycling or a nice walk (again to help get/stay in shape). For actual camping I used to hit Shawnee National Forest way down near the tip of southern IL.
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/sha...10669&actid=34

    As far as starting to camp I would advise trying to find some one with a bit of experience to get a handle on it first.

    Some things that I can recommend;
    Check the local regulations to see if fires are permitted and be careful; a forest fire can ruin your whole day (for the rest of your life)...
    For stubborn fire stating I use gelled alcohol... about a teaspoon should do it ... (Trioxane bars, used to be used by soldiers to heat rations, were great but are getting hard to find)...
    Self feeding fires might have been an OK idea around the turn of the 1900s; but today you are safer and generally better off with a decent sleeping bag and putting the fire out completely before you go to bed (IMO).
    Checkout Horace Kephart and Nessmuk free e-books online;
    https://openlibrary.org/
    but remember this info is 100 years old and much (including much of what you see on youtube) is no longer appropriate, some is illegal in some areas, on public land.
    Yes, there are bears in Wisconsin (but they are black bears and 'though not particularly dangerous; do not approach; especially if you see cubs-get away)... Bear bagging food to keep it from getting eaten still works; mostly... although I have heard that some bears have figured it out. Keep a good clean camp; no food, used cans or wrappers laying about (sterilize them in the fire then haul out any burned cans and all debris (including other peoples').
    See if reservations are required for park/forest campsites (very common in overpopulated areas) and get your reservations in early ...
    a light weight tarp (tied off with some 550 /parachute cord (buy it 100 feet at a time) helps keep the rain and sun off.
    A folding chair is way more comfortable than any rock log or the ground.
    A thick foam sleeping mat is better than a thin one
    Air mattresses go flat.
    A thick self inflating (foam) pad often gives the best of both worlds...
    Camping alone can be quite boring and even reading can get old...Bring a friend... and go for a walk/explore.
    Gather standing or hanging dead wood before picking it up off the ground (it burns better)
    Don't cut living trees (and check out the local regulations before you try (green wood is often near fireproof unless the fire is too big).
    A Svensaw (large) to cut firewood into smaller chunks (not for dropping trees).
    Make/get/find a munchie pouch/bag that you can carry on your belt with freezer bagged; trail mix, energy bars, and/or a sand which or two.
    Do some online web research in to Pepsi stoves and penny stoves then make a few and a pot/cup holder. (A trangia alcohol stove also works to heat some stew or chili)

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Happy Joe; 03-02-2017 at 08:36 AM.
    2006 Jeep Rubicon; 4.11 gears, 31" tires, 4:1 transfer case, lockers in both axles
    For "civilized" camping; 2003 Ford explorer sport, 4wd; ARB & torsen diffs, 4.10 gears, 32" MTs.
    Tents work best for me, so far.
    Experience along with properly set up 4WD will get you to & through places (on existing, approved 4WD trails) that 4WD, alone, can't get to.

  6. #6
    Billy The Impale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    western suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    6
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I don't know your adaptability to new situations, but I have to say that your never having gone camping and wanting to go so minimalist leaves me thinking you could be setting yourself up for some trouble. I know we all have to start somewhere, but I think you'd be better off going out at least a couple of times with someone who's done the kind of camping you're looking to do.
    That occurred to me, so that's why I'm going even farther simplistic than that. I don't know if that made sense.

    I found some private land inside metro Chicago, actually in a neighborhood on a big parcel of land. Drawback is I can't drive back there. I have to park in the driveway and hike back. But it's in civilization, cell phone service and everything, just have to pay about $30 a night to the owner.

    So if keep it simple--take firewood with me, take some food that doesn't need cooking, stay just a couple nights, etc--I may make it more simple than I can screw up. And if I'm wrong and do screw up, my truck would be 2 minutes away and I could drive away and be home 20 minutes later.

    And being generally anti social, my best friend being my dog, I don't even know anyone to go with. So you think keeping it minimalist would work? I mean, what could go wrong? I suppose I could cut myself with a hatchet like the woman on Alone...

  7. #7
    a65hoosier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    611
    Thanks (Given)
    13
    Thanks (Received)
    19
    Likes (Given)
    97
    Likes (Received)
    78
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I don't know your adaptability to new situations, but I have to say that your never having gone camping and wanting to go so minimalist leaves me thinking you could be setting yourself up for some trouble. I know we all have to start somewhere, but I think you'd be better off going out at least a couple of times with someone who's done the kind of camping you're looking to do.
    Agree. A practice trip (even around others in a campground or in the backyard) will allow you to practice and test your gear choices (esp if you rent) and see what works for you.

    Find a camping checklist online, modify it as necessary, and use it. In my son's BS Troop, the boys use either a summer or winter gear checklist. I've sat there with my son with his gear laid out and had him go thru his gear choices with him using the checklist. Until you go out regularly and get your system down so packing is automatic, I'd recommend using a checklist.
    2017: 15 nights 2016: 20 nights 2015: 19 nights

    Spring->Fall: Marmots: Limestone 6P and 4P, Stormlight 3P, Tungsten 3P; SlumberJack Trail Tent 6P, Big Agnes Yahmonite 5P
    Fall->Spring: Field & Stream Cloudpeak 4P, Easton Mountain Products Torrent 3P
    Every season: Kelty Noah's Tarps- 20, 16, 12


  8. #8
    bluestar99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    219
    Thanks (Given)
    1
    Thanks (Received)
    6
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    22
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    I also live in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are very few places close to Chicago to camp and most of those that are close are crowded. I don't know what suburb you are in but I just found this camp ground last fall. https://www.gorockford.com/listings/...campground/37/ It is out of the way, wooded, with big sites and many off in the corners. It is a County park but very nice. I agree with some of the others. Go where there are people a few times till you get your legs under you. If you need help or want to ask a couple questions there are people to ask. I find campers to be some of the best people on earth. Most CG sell split firewood. Buy some and bring an axe or hatchet to split a few pieces for kindling. Leave the sawzall at home. There are also plenty of ads on Craigslist for camping gear. If you want something to do try getting a Camp Oven (dutch oven with legs). Lots of fun to do and very rewarding meals.
    Wisconsin just raised their camping fees and most state parks require an out of state pass. Stay in Illinois till you are comfortable with camping.

  9. #9
    Irate Mormon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pelahatchie, MS
    Posts
    618
    Thanks (Given)
    2
    Thanks (Received)
    11
    Likes (Given)
    5
    Likes (Received)
    25
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    Billy, I used to keep a tarp and a small pack of camping gear in my truck at all times in case I was faced with a late night drive home after a day of collecting minners. So pitching a tarp right off your truck is definitely a viable option. I used a very primitive setup but with a couple of poles or some handy trees you can make a very nice shelter with a tarp.

    I never make a fire but a pocket chainsaw is pretty useful for cutting wood. Please don't use a hatchet. Much more practical than one of those wire saws they sell in survival kits. As for firestarters, nothing wrong with dryer lint. It doesn't take much and it's free. I mostly use a firesteel, but that requires two hands which can be a problem at times. You may find cooking over a fire to be a mostly aggravating process ( I know, some people love to do this, and you might be one ). I just use a small campstove and a cheap aluminum mess kit from Wal-Mart.


    So before embarking on this adventure, you can test your tarp setup fire making and cooking skills at home. While others have suggested that you go camping with someone experienced, I understand your need for solitude, so I say just practice your setup at home until you have it all worked out. None of this stuff is expensive. In place of a sleeping bag you can make a bedroll, and even bring a comforter, A ground cover of some sort will keep everything clean (mostly). Tyvek can work well but it is very noisy when new.

    For water, one trick I use is to freeze a couple of milk jugs full of water and place them in the cooler instead of ice. As the ice melts you have your drinking water.

    If you do find a good isolated camping spot, you won't need a privacy screen for your loo or shower.

    In place of a porch swing you can use a hammock. You can sit in it just like a chair. Of course if you already have the swing then by all means bring it along.

    Trucks are nice because you can drop the tailgate and use it for a table.

    I guess what I am getting at is that you don't need a ton of gear, you can spend less (much less) than $100 and have a very comfortable setup.

    Hope this helps!
    2017: Oklahoma bound!

  10. Likes MacGyver liked this post
  11. #10

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    7
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1
    Dislikes (Given)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Just getting back into camping, lots of questions

    Yes, camping is all about getting back to the simple life. You must be knowing all the nuances of a camping having been for camping on many previous occasions. I have seen many novice campers make rudimentary mistakes like choosing the wrong tent, not testing the equipment, arriving late to the campsite, relying too much on the campfire or barbecues for cooking, going too basic in the bedroom, cooking inside the tent (condensation), insufficient lighting to mention a few.
    I hate someone turn my sleeping space unpleasant with muddy or sandy boots.
    Though camping is expensive compared to the traditional holiday it comes with many physical benefits.
    I have never felt taking my kids along as overwhelming. I'm just back after a tent-camping excursion. Taking your kids is in itself a mini adventure. A great campsite in the countryside, set tent and a campfire, is all you need to make it memorable. Provided the checklist for the kitchen, gear, clothes, footwear, clean up, campfire, hygiene, travel essentials, toys all should be ensured.
    Meantime, my husband is determined to send kids to a sports camp. From past 3 years, without fail they attend after school sports programs markham. What I like about these programs is that it engages today's youth by getting them moving, running, laughing and making new friends.
    Today's kids don't have time for sports and 70% kids leave organized sports by the age of 13. The benefits of participation in sports by children range from physical, emotional, social educational that can last into adulthood.
    But the lack of resources or access to community programs, health and other needs are unmet.


  12. Likes MacGyver liked this post

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •