2016 Camping thread

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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
60,273
8,417
136
We call it "camp" in Maine, but its not camping in the traditional sense. We have a 36' travel trailer parked on a seasonal site on long lake in Maine. It has a full deck built around it with an outdoor kitchen and covered dining area. Pretty nice setup and a lot cheaper than true lake front. We spend most weekends there in the summer.

As for new equipment, I'm looking forward to playing with my new to me 22' boat.
I've known people over the years who do that...or build a cabin somewhere at a lake...or just in the forest. I never quite understood it. Sure, it's a great way to "get away from it all" when you're working...but dammit, I'd rather see new places/things than go to the same place every weekend.

BUT...different strokes for different folks.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Oh it's indeed fun and less hassle if you're busy. Ours is about 30 minutes away and we still don't get there as much as we'd like.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
64,380
10,615
126
I'd love to have a permanent camp/cottage somewhere, I used to camp at this awesome area with my grandparents a lot and most of the family on their side was there too. Then the MNR started to enforce the 21 day rule where you can't camp in same spot for more than 21 days so that ruined that. An uncle bought a cottage, and everyone moved their campers there, then people just started going less. Now they don't even open the cottage anymore. That other camp was deserted for the longest time. Now it's mostly day campers, you go there and there's beer bottles and trash on the ground and it's overall a mess. People just throw their fish guts on shore too. We used to upkeep that place like it was ours.

Last year I did decide me and a friend to plan a camping trip at a nearby provincial park though, but it's not the same when you don't own the place you're in You can't just go cut down trees or build stuff or cut trail. That's the part of camping that is really fun. But still nice at the park too though. Going again this year.

The best thing is just sitting out and feeding the chipmunks and squirrels. At that other camp they were super tame, we'd go through a ridiculous amount of peanuts.

 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,747
2,693
136
Mental health break, doing some winter-ish camping in Birch Bay. Drove up to Mt. Baker Ski area today, checked out Nooksack Falls

Cool cave under the left side of the falls.
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
60,273
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Nice...but too fucking cold for me...

We didn't get out as much this year as we'd planned. About 3 weeks for our Yellowstone trip, (1 week there, the rest of it was just travelling and wandering.

then about 2 weeks down the Oregon coast. Was only supposed to be 3 nights...decided we weren't ready to go home, so we stayed out longer.

Was planning on 2 other trips...one got cancelled because I had to call in nightly for jury duty...the other because we had some work done on the house that was supposed to be done in 10 days...and after 25 days, we finally fired the contractor and finished it ourselves.

Motorhome is winterized...we'll try again next spring.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,747
2,693
136
no choice on the too cold part, we had to get out of dodge, wife's work is out of control. If we stayed around she would just go in, so we got far enough away.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
60,273
8,417
136
Oh yeah...I forgot about "getting away from work." It's been a LONG time since I had that problem... :p
 

KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
26,578
35,428
136
Planning on driving up to the Yukon and hopefully up to Inuvik and reach the arctic ocean next summer. I think it's around 9,000km drive to get there, the last 400km is dirt road.

 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
16,803
14,895
136
Backpacking earlier this year in Pennsylvania. Try to go on 1-2 backpacking trips per year in NJ,PA or NY. Got all the gear I need from a Gregory backpack to Salomon boots, Outdoor Research and Kuhl clothes, Minus 33 baselayers, Jetboil Stove, Fenix light and Black Diamond headlamp, Benchmade knife, Black Diamond hiking sticks, Big agnes tent and sleeping bag and all the other knick knacks from First Aid Kit to firestarter.



 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
64,380
10,615
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I seem to have a thing for interacting with wildlife, it makes camping that much more fun.

Was a tad closer than I wanted to be to this bear when I brought my nephew camping:





Had to shoo it away, it kept coming to us lol. I guess it was hoping we had some spare sandwiches or something. :p
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,949
3,968
126
Has anyone tried an aerogel jacket?

https://www.orosapparel.com/products/orion-series-jacket-men?variant=28036740291

Alternatively, there's a pretty cool heated jacket that has a slimmer battery (my old heated jacket had a monster battery haha), detachable heated gloves, and can charge your smartphone:

https://ravean.com/shop/mens/mens-jacket-battery-gloves-combo/

They also have a gen2 model on Kickstarter right now, billed as an ultralight model (80 grams), although it's not shipping until August 2017:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravean/ultra-light-80g-heated-mid-layer-make-any-jacket-s

Another cool product from that company - wearable, heated sleeping bag:

https://ravean.com/shop/mens/ravean-wearable-heated-sleeping-bag/

Also, the Wirecutter has a good touchscreen winter glove shootout here:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-touchscreen-gloves/

Dang, good gear is expensive! :(
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,747
2,693
136
Drove up to the end of the road at Mt. Baker ski area. Little early for skiing there, but soon.


They get phenomenal snowfall there.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._Baker_Ski_Area

For reference, that picture was taken today at the Heather Meadows base area.
This is what it looks like on the road up the hill in an average year.
 

MikeMike

Lifer
Feb 6, 2000
45,885
66
91
I did Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef in June.
- These were vamping trips

Recently camped out at Steep Ravine.

Did Haypress Campground in Golden Gate National Rec area.

Have reservations for next year at Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park in Big Sur

aka this spot:
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,949
3,968
126
That looks interesting. Definitely need to see more actual reviews though. One negative is it is not very compressible. I like that for jamming stuff into a backpack. If I had $300 to drop on a jacket even though I have a ton of jackets I'd give it a whirl.
I've read that some of the aerogel jackets are compressible (there's a few competitors). I have one thin winter jacket right now that I love that is made out of micro-fleece & magic, it's gotten me through the last few winters but is getting pretty ratty...but now I'm used to thin jackets & love not having a giant, bulky thing to carry around. Before that, I had a heated jacket, which was great, but my wife stole it haha. That was pretty thin as well because the heating elements made up for the bulk. Thermino jackets also look really nice:

http://wool.minus33.com/thermerino-mens-midweight-hooded-jacket/4280/product/

http://www.minus33.com/thermerino

I wish the gen2 Ravean ultralight heated jackets were already out, because that's probably what I'd buy right now given the choice, but aerogel sounds cool too, and I have no need to compress. Curious as to how it holds up...with stuff like the Klondike derby (scouts) coming up, would be interesting to see if it could handle cold temps all day & all night long. Wish there were more reviews! I don't mind shelling out for it if (1) it works as advertised, and (2) it's going to last a long time, because I've been through my fair share of cheap, crappy equipment, so I'd rather invest in something that will do its job properly & last a good while, especially if it's thin & light!
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,473
81
101
I've started camping with the boy scouts and am having a good time. I have 2 in boy scouts, one in cub scouts. We've camped at Bartle in Missouri, multiple places around Lawrence, and are doing a cold weather campout in December where we bring our own food and sleeping materials and then use cedar boughs and natural trees and stuff to make our camp sites. Used to hate camping with the cpap and bad back but with those things no longer an issue, I don't mind much as long as I can make my coffee in the morning.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,747
2,693
136
we tried staying at Deception Pass state park today, but the F-18's were in a tight pattern for Whidbey Island NAS overhead at about 1000'
Every time they would roar overhead the girl dog would try and get inside our skin! She was so freaked out we could not do that to her. Now we are at Fort Casey, rocking and rolling in 25 MPH wind and rain.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,949
3,968
126
I've started camping with the boy scouts and am having a good time. I have 2 in boy scouts, one in cub scouts. We've camped at Bartle in Missouri, multiple places around Lawrence, and are doing a cold weather campout in December where we bring our own food and sleeping materials and then use cedar boughs and natural trees and stuff to make our camp sites. Used to hate camping with the cpap and bad back but with those things no longer an issue, I don't mind much as long as I can make my coffee in the morning.
I think scouts is pretty good. Too much screen time & indoor time for kids these days. It was also the only exposure to "manly" stuff I really got growing up since I wasn't into team sports & our school dropped shop class in favor of tech class. A lot of people don't care for it anymore, especially kids these days (re: Internet, video games, VR, smartphones, HDTV's, etc.), but where else do you get to go camping, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, etc. as a kid, if your parents aren't outdoorsy?
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
60,273
8,417
136
we tried staying at Deception Pass state park today, but the F-18's were in a tight pattern for Whidbey Island NAS overhead at about 1000'
Every time they would roar overhead the girl dog would try and get inside our skin! She was so freaked out we could not do that to her. Now we are at Fort Casey, rocking and rolling in 25 MPH wind and rain.
We were at Rimrock Lake a couple of summers.ago. The jets would scream down the canyon and over the lake...shaking the RV and scaring the dogs silly.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,490
651
126
Big Sur trip over New Years is coming up quick. Trying to get together some equipment for my girl who doesn't have her own gear yet (has been renting for the last few years). Got her a sleeping pad for her birthday and a sleeping bag on the way for Christmas. I'm expecting pretty cold weather.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,949
3,968
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I ordered one (placed Dec 9th) & it arrived last night (5-day turnaround). MSRP $400 for the men's large jacket, 30% off sale, bringing it down to $288 shipped. I'm not a fancy-clothing person & to my knowledge, this is the most money I've ever spent on a piece of clothing, so even at the discounted price, it still seemed pretty dang expensive to me. However, after being outside this morning in 20F weather, 1000% worth it. Their liquid-nitrogen video is what sold me on it:


-321F outside, 89F inside. Not bad! So for some background, about 6 years ago I bought a Milwaukee heated jacket: (scroll down for review, although I'm sure the tech has improved since then)

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/milwaukee-m12-heated-jacket-119-ship-m-l-xl-xxl.2127506/

At the time, the whole set (jacket, battery, charger) was $170. It worked really well (until my wife stole it, d'oh!). The aerogel jacket was appealing not only because of the cool tech & thinness, but also because it was self-sufficient & I didn't have to rely on a battery to stay warm. Apparently the first aerogel jackets were used on Everest & the users complained about overheating, so when they launched their Kickstarter campaign for the first-gen Lukla jacket, they added zippered vents to let you adjust your body temperature. Review here:

http://gizmodo.com/lukla-endeavor-hands-on-an-aerogel-jacket-that-doesnt-1695986865

The second-gen is the Orion series, which is what I picked up. That was also initially on a Kickstarter, but is now sold normally through their website:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/orosapparel/oros-orion-series-nasa-inspired-performance-appare

They use Solarcore aerogel, which is kind of a second-gen version with more features. So as far as a quick review goes, it's basically like a thick windbreaker. Weight is 2.5 pounds, decently hefty but not overly heavy. Reasonably thin, not bulky at all - I don't feel like the Stay Puft marshmallow man in this, which is really nice. I was able to hop in my car & put on my seatbelt without struggling to get it over the jacket. As far as the structure goes, the inside has something similar to omni-heat from Columbia Sportswear (reflective material). Then there's a layer of cloth & then the outside windbreaker-esqe material. Lots of zippered vents to let you cool down if you get too hot, which is probably more useful if you're hiking & working up a sweat. My biggest complaint is that the primary zipper is really really hard to get going when you want to close the jacket (as far as attaching it and then pulling it up). The website says they are "heat-sealed waterproof zippers", whatever that means, all I know is that it takes me like 30 seconds to fumble with getting it connected lol.

It's not stylish, but it's not ugly either. Just a nice basic winter jacket. As far as the heat goes, the best way I can describe it is that it felt like my torso was at home...not cold, not hot, just right. It's like the jacket has R50 insulation & simply keeps the temperature your body was at before you walked outside. The wind went through my work pants & cheapo gloves pretty quickly, so the jacket was definitely the most insulated part of my snow gear by far. Oh and one cool feature is that there's a piece of cloth for your thumb to go in (optionally), which keeps the top of your hands warm & also gives you an overlap area for your gloves to cover, which is really nice.

They also sell gloves, a beanie, and snow pants. I don't like changing out of snow pants into regular pants to go to work or wherever, so I skipped those. The gloves sounded nice, but didn't have very good reviews (someone stiff & still got cold fingers seemed to be the general consensus). I have Trump-style hair, so a beanie is out for me unless I want to end up looking like Encino man (I use 180's, those thin earmuffs instead, they are awesome! plus the jacket came with a hood). I've looked into heated gloves, but they are mostly really expensive, have bad reviews, and are pretty thick (you'd think that half the point of making heated gloves would be to make them thin so you could work with your fingers for stuff like outdoor camera work where you need to hit tiny buttons).

The quality seems pretty good. I saw a few threads hanging out of the stitching here & there, which made it look a little bit cheap, but it seems like it could easily last a good five or ten years if you treated it well based on how the other parts of the jacket feel. Being in my early 30's, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get any bigger or smaller (unless I really let myself go lol), so if I remember, I'll report back in a few years on how it's holding up, haha.

TL;DR: Aerogel is cool. Really expensive, but absolutely worth it if you hate being cold & don't want a crazy-thick jacket.
 

KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
26,578
35,428
136
TIL this year : Newfoundland is too cold for camping and Labrador is empty of everything but mosquitoes and black flies so camping is a no go there as well.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,949
3,968
126
For anyone who was waiting for one from last year, I just got an email that the Oros Orion jackets (super-insulated winter coats that use woven aerogel) are back in stock. They also have a new Men's line out with a bunch of different stuff available now: (light jackets, vests, fleece, etc.)

https://www.orosapparel.com/collections/men

Still hideously expensive, but if you poke around the site for a bit, a 10% off popup will appear. I just got my jacket out for the season because it's started to dip to around 50F around here. Looking forward to not freezing this winter thanks to NASA tech woot woot!
 

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