Thread: Camping
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:51 PM   #4
Insert witty comment here
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,150
Thanks for all the information!

Originally Posted by glatt View Post
I love camping. There are a few of us here who could write volumes in response.
That's why I asked

For buying gear, I recommend checking out Ebay for used stuff or buying generic stuff direct from China through Ali-Express. The downside with both of those things is you can't return the stuff if you are unhappy with it. REI is expensive, but they take stuff back for any reason.

Ideally you should try camping before you commit to buying several hundred bucks worth of gear, but I don't know how you do that without joining a group or something and using their gear.

If you are unfamiliar with backpacking camping, there are a bunch of people on YouTube who talk about how they do it, and the gear they use. You watch videos from half a dozen folks, you can start to get an idea of what you will need.
I will check out YouTube. I know it's going to be expensive, but if I can return it, it would be better. It would be nice to have friends, but if I want to do this, I don't really have a choice.

With backpacking camping, you will need pretty lightweight and compressible stuff, which is normally more expensive. And then you take a hard look at what you really are going to need and don't take anything you don't need.

Rule of thumb is that you shouldn't exceed a pack weight that is more than 30% of your own weight. To be happy, you will want to be way less than that though. More like 15%-20% of your own weight.
Happily, that's quite a bit of weight - lol. That's another reason I was going to start out with just reservable areas in parks. Probably not just the first one, either. Then, as I get more comfortable with that, start doing some backcountry camping....or I may just stick with reservable spots.

I'd recommend finding a place with sites that are about one mile away from the parking lot. That's far enough to get some peace and quiet, but you won't kill yourself on your first excursion.
Both places I was thinking of are relatively close to parking, just not a drive up location, but it is something to think about.

There are tons of worthless expensive products out there that you don't need. I bought a set of Coleman Peak backpacking cooking pots when I first started camping, and they were a complete waste of money. Awkward to use, heavy, an unhelpful size, you name it. [edit: I naively thought that because they nested inside each other and came in a stuff sack, they were cool.] I think a lot of beginners buy stuff they think they need because they see it in a store or catalog and just buy it. Sales clerks in stores are never going to tell you that you don't need an item you are looking at.
I have another store down here called Great Outdoor Provisions that will actually tell you that you don't need something, so I have been going there to get my stuff. I know I can definitely overshop on a normal day.

One thing that I can't believe is that when you go camping and stay in the same spot, that you just leave all your stuff there. I mean, no one messes with it??
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