View Full Version : So what if

Senator Vitaman
June 5, 2009, 10:15 PM
I think this is the right forum for this question

What if you wanted to try camping in a national forest for a week or so, what would be some good equipment to bring? I've already got water, food, a shotgun, a handgun, a tent, map, maybe a GPS, various types of ammo, a backpack, 2 knives, a saw, maybe a shovel, the good book, a phone, a flare gun, lighter, and I figure I might as well bring a safety orange vest. Before I camp for a week, I'm going to try camping for 2 days and then work my way there. This will be in that terrible place known as Michigan, which I believe now qualifies for depression instead of recession, so I was wondering if there were any peremiter alarms I could put outside the tent?

So, did I forget anything? Any other tips?

Willie Lowman
June 5, 2009, 10:26 PM
First aid kit?

You can get a decent one for around $20 (I think). Add some aspirin, neosporin, or whatever isn't in the kit.

I have seen some folks get some nasty cuts/puncture wounds while camping.

Art Eatman
June 5, 2009, 10:28 PM
I've always relied on stealth. Get some distance away from any trail, and find a sorta-hidden flat spot.

Just don't snore.

June 5, 2009, 10:33 PM
100' of 550 para cord, snake bite kit, and a fire starter (not matches or lighter, something to help if the wood is wet.) camera, binocs,

June 5, 2009, 11:11 PM
a radio, and maybe some meals ready to eat (i love them many dont) if not its always good to have some peanut butter and crackers with you a journal ( i like righting my thoughts and reading them months and years later to check how much ive matured and to bring back memorys oh and google a video called the miracle of duck tape by midwayusa. it tell useful ways to use ducktape for survival that ive never considerd.

June 5, 2009, 11:45 PM
small gas grill!!!

June 6, 2009, 12:01 AM
so I was wondering if there were any peremiter alarms I could put outside the tent?

Yes, bring a good dog along!!:)

June 6, 2009, 12:31 AM
So, did I forget anything? Well, unless being hungry doen't bother you, you had better take along some food, some cookware, and a source of heat to cook over (game wardens frown on subsistence hunting). Sunscreen. Insect repellent is nice to have. Soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, toiletries, etc come in awful handy for keeping yourself clean. First aid kits are handy (not the 10-piece one on sale at WalMart with 4 bandaids, 2 tubes of antiseptic, 2 antacids, a tube of sunscreen and a folded sheet of instructions). And don't forget toilet paper.

June 6, 2009, 12:53 AM
What if you wanted to try camping in a national forest for a week or so, what would be some good equipment to bring? I've already got water, food, a shotgun, a handgun, a tent, map, maybe a GPS, various types of ammo, a backpack, 2 knives, a saw, maybe a shovel, the good book, a phone, a flare gun, lighter, and I figure I might as well bring a safety orange vest. Before I camp for a week, I'm going to try camping for 2 days and then work my way there.

You don't indicate if you'll be driving to your camping location (i.e. the car/truck nearby) or walking in some distance from any roads, including fire roads.

You'd be well advised to make a 2-day "test run" before trying to spend a week outdoors alone. Make notes of the things you forgot to bring, should've brought or would like to have.

What I see missing in your list above ...
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Ground cover/tarp for under the tent
- Flashlight(s) - LED ones for campsite, tactical lights for distance.
- Cookware/stove - pot/pan, mess kit, spoon, fork, etc.
- Signal mirror (use an old CD's shiny side)
- Rain poncho, in case it rains.
- Hat to protect yer noggin from sun or rain
- Canteen for water
- Water purification (tablets or a Katadyn unit)
- Toilet Paper
- First Aid Kit : think compound fracture or serious bite/puncture wound.
- Notepad & pencil (to write down things you forgot to bring)

Alarm system - there are a number of ways to rig one. If your food comes from cans, clean them well (to prevent attracting critters) then punch a hole in the side near the top. String them on a line and mount the line above ground using twigs. Placing the cans near something they can clank against like a rock or tree. In windy areas, add a little earth or a few rocks to prevent them becoming wind chimes. A person or critter snagging the line will cause the cans to clatter. This may or may not wake you if you're soundly sleeping but it could help.

If you're using freeze-dried foods in plastic packaging, just buy a dozen sleigh bells at a crafts store and string them along some fishing line. Or some mini-cowbells will work too.

In addition to all of the above, things to consider bringing along even for a short stay:
- Thermal underwear in case it turns cold
- Gloves, even lightweight ones for chilly nights
- A warm jacket (zip-out linings especially good)
- Moleskin in case your feet blister badly while walking.
- Extra socks, spare shoelaces.
- Camping candles for light inside the tent.
- Wood matches (pocket packs) - 2 or 3 boxes
- Quart sized ziploc bags to keep things dry & organized
- 1 or 2 wastcan sized plastic bags to cart yer trash out.
- A good book or set of short stories to read before bed.
- Insect repellent to prevent critter bites
- 20ft of parachute cord (multiple uses)
- A hatchet or small axe - help pound down tent stakes/firewood
- Two "energy bars" per day emergency food
- A loud whistle for signaling

Always let people know where you expect to be camped out and when you plan on making contact again. If they don't hear from you for 24 hours, they should notify Rangers or search & rescue. If you can take along an FRS or FRS/GMRS radio, read the instructions and select a channel that you'll use if you're overdue. That could help searchers find you.

June 6, 2009, 01:33 AM
Just get the boy scouts hand book and read.

Perimeter alarms? geez

June 6, 2009, 07:56 AM
Yeah! I won't camp without one of my bulldogs PER TENT... Their farts are bad but worth it as they don't wanna be preyed upon any more than me and their fight vs. flight instinct give me better odds than many other dog choices...

June 6, 2009, 08:08 AM
i'm not sure how off of a trail you are planning to camp. if you plan on doing a decently long hike through the woods and camping out. you will quickly find out, especially for one person its all about WEIGHT. Once you get everything you need, you will find 1) its too much bulk to carry and 2) it weighs too much.

For drinks bring a small hand pump h20 purifier, and the powdered additives for water. such as powdered gatoraid, those crystal light packets ect so you arent always drinking just water. tea or coffee bags are nice and light weight/compact.

For food if just a couple days i suppose you could stash just some MRE's but if you are planning to cook, bring a piece of untreated thick mesh screening. this is light weight and will easily be your grill when propped up on rocks or logs of wood around it. STores away easily. Also plan on bringing things where you add water and get lots to eat. And are dried to begin with. like those quick rice packets and such. high energy from that, light weight ect ect.

For fresh veggies bring hardy things that can hold up unrefridgerated in a back back. think root veggies like carrots/potatoes/onions ect.

Canned items are a no no IMO first you want to pack out what you pack in, so you aren't leaving the nice area you camped in looking like a slob/garbage dump. so now you have to pack out cans, that are sharp have food remains in them ect ect. w/ things that come w/ the foil packets you can just burn them/pack them out light weight and easily. Second cans WEIGH A LOT! not only is the food inside them less 'food' per weight vs something dried. you are hauling around an unessisarily weighty container. If on a very extended stay a canned item or two isnt a bad idea so you have the can as a usable container. aside from that not worth the weight.

I'd also suggest some fishing line/hooks/few fool proof lures if there is h20 around.

June 6, 2009, 11:45 AM
Dont forget to bring the toilet paper!!!!!!!

June 6, 2009, 11:53 AM
Don't forget to bring the toilet paper!!!!!!!
DING DING DING!!!! We have a WINNAH...
All other things including food and water are but mere luxury!

June 6, 2009, 11:58 AM
.....I'm almost always hiking in to a remote mountain lake with fish in it. For me a fishing rod is mandatory. Never leave home without Rooster Tails! I resist the use of bug repellant but bring the best in case it gets the worst. Don't get even a trace of it on your fishing tackle. Flare guns are for boats; they have no place in the woods unless you intend arson. Useless weight. And the orange vest? Useless. The whole idea is to get lost for as long as you can sustain it. I think it's ridiculous that some states require hunters to wear it. If people want to wear it, fine. Just don't make me. I do like maps but have never brought or used a compass. The Indians didn't have 'em; why should I? That being said, I bought one to try out this year to find out what I've been missing. It might turn out to be useless weight, I dunno. But all the, "experts", say you should have one and they are probably right for most people. I find tarps to be most useful, especially since I don't bring a tent.

June 6, 2009, 11:16 PM
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I totally overlooked a compass. If you have a GPS unit, get some use out of it now. In the next 4-5 years, it's expected that a number of the GPS satellites will begin to fail -- and funding is at a minimum to replace them.

Thus, learning to use a compass and read maps is still a good skill to have.

Pathfinder and I will disagree about flare guns. The commercial 12-gauge launchers (sold in Marine shops) will fire a flare high enough that it'll burn out before grounding. USGI parachute flares will drop hot molten bits as it descends and can trigger a heck of a fire.

banditt007's point about weight is correct if you'll be hiking in any serious distance (>3-4 miles). But freeze dried foods require considerable amounts of clean water to reconstitute the food. Water is the heaviest thing to carry, even though that load may be self-correcting over a few days. One benefit of a few canned foods is the container can be used for heating water (coffee, tea) or cooking other foods.

June 7, 2009, 12:52 AM
Eagle scout with 365+ nights camping in the woods, never needed that much at all

Art Eatman
June 7, 2009, 10:28 AM
Okay, for the first two-day test. First off, you're not going out when you know bad weather's coming. That's why God invented NOAA, Intellicast and WeatherUnderground. So, no tent is needed, or cold-weather gear. A closed-cell foam pad, a light sleeping bag, an inflatable pillow plus a nylon fly and some parachute cord take care of "home, sweet home". Think light weight.

Take a half-dozen plastic grocery bags so you can carry your trash out. If you can carry stuff in full, you can carry it out empty.

A compass is all well and good if the territory is strange and heavily wooded. Otherwise, it's quite easy to tell east from west, and once you know that you shouldn't have any trouble figuring out north and south. Your watch hands will work in lieu of a compass. Really, a USGS 7-1/2-minute topo sheet of your proposed playground is more important.

Food? Some freeze-dried stuff. If you are healthy enough to deal with forty pounds in a pack, you could do the proverbial can of chili thing. Most folks worry too much about food, anyway. Water is the biggest problem. If you're gonna be around streams, folks have already mentioned purification stuff. An aluminum saucepan to boil water is a Good Thing.

Me, I never forget to take some instant coffee and sugar. And a cup. Never forget the cup. :) I usually take at least two of knife/fork/spoon, just on general principles. Amazing what you can whittle with a pocket knife if you forget, however.

Remnants of a roll of paper towels, as well as the last half of a roll of toilet paper.

It's not unwise to take a couple of paperback books, as well. You're not used to having nothing to do, and some folks get tired of hiking and want to sit around for a spell. Then boredom sets in...

Cooking and heating water? These small, high-tech stoves are very good. If you plan on using a wood fire, remember that you cook over coals--and that means planning ahead so your fire will burn down to that condition before full dark sets in. Hard to cook with a flashlight in one hand.

Thin leather gloves can be quite helpful in some chores. Breaking sticks for firewood, for instance. One question is whether your hands are callused enough to use a walking stick; these are quite handy for reducing fatigue on slopes when hiking, or helping one's balance in rough places.

Just some thoughts...

June 7, 2009, 04:38 PM
Perimiter alarms? Shotgun? Orange Vest? Flare gun? Paranoid much?

You can skimp on many things when camping. One thing I refuse to skimp on is my sleep pad though. I can be perfectly happy roughing it but give me a bad nights sleep and it sucks.

Other than dump a BUNCH on your list. A "quality" lightweight tent or good tarp, cookset, small stove, dehidrated food, first aid, the above mentioned sleep pad, TP, spare clothes, "quality" small to mid sized knife, towel, wash cloth, sleeping bag or blanket, water bottles, handgun (not required but fun), compass and I'm sure I missed a couple small things. Time killers are great. Think books and harmonica.

Art Eatman
June 7, 2009, 10:48 PM
Ya might give some thought to skeeters and sich. Mosquitos can definitely ruin a night's sleep. :)

June 8, 2009, 01:59 PM
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is; let someone know where you're going and when you can be expected to come back.

If you have a cell phone that has a signal where you're going to be, that's a good thing too.

Not to be a wet blanket, but if you haven't had some hiking and camping experience, going off by yourself for a week in the woods is not a good idea.

You might want to try camping at a camp site that has trail heads of various lengths, from a few miles to many.

Oh and make sure your boots are broken in. Trust me on that last one.

Art Eatman
June 8, 2009, 05:25 PM
Yeah, Buzz is right. You don't show back up on time, folks then know generally where to start looking for circling buzzards. If your folks are lucky, it might not be closed-casket.

June 8, 2009, 10:53 PM
Read Cody Lundin's "98.6 degrees, the art of keeping your ass alive", and bring a copy with you...

June 9, 2009, 10:05 AM
Weight is the major issue. If you brought everything everyone suggested, you'd need to address your car's suspension system just to drive to your trailhead. I suggest you load up your pack and try a day hike first. Bet you'll want to lighten the load a bit after that.

Also, some consideration for what you'll be doing is in order. If you're going to be on the move, hiking hilly terrain a couple miles between campsites every day, that pack is gonna weigh a ton, regardless what's in it. OTOH, if you'll be hiking in a couple miles and camping in one or two locations, you could afford to bring more.

Sounds fun in any case. :)

June 9, 2009, 10:48 AM
Keep a mental list of the things you DON'T use - leave'em home next time.

Bringing a chair and table if you're camping out of a vehicle will add much comfort.

I see a possible quandry coming that I've found myself in - bringing two guns. If you go for a hike, fishing, etc., one gun is enough to carry much less two. What will you do with the other one? I live, and spend a lot of time, in the NF in MI - would not leave a gun behind under any camping circumstance.

Here's a link to the NF camping rules if you haven't seen them. http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/hmnf/pages/Recreation/camping.htm