No pictures, but I despise propane. Give me an old fashioned pump up gas stove and lantern, and I'm good to go. Last year, my dad gave me his old Coleman 2 burner gas stove that I had grown up with. Works so much better than the propane stove. For sleeping, I'm a fan of a self inflating air pad on an aluminum framed cot with a down bag. As far as pots and pans, don't waste your money on that fancy crap. Just go to your local thrift shop and pick up a 10" skillet (cast iron if you can) folding grill to put over the fire, a 3 quart pot with a metal lid, a pair of tongs, metal spatula and spoon, poly cutting board and a couple chicago cutlery knives from walmart, and you're good to go. I've seen too many people buy into the hype that the super expensive stuff you get from the high end camping stores is just so much better, when it really is quite inferior. The only time it is better, is when you're backpacking. That's when nesting and super light weight makes all the difference in the world. However, when it comes to making my morning coffee, I do not screw around.
So when I was younger I would camp all the time. I'm just now getting back into it and buying all new gear. I purchased a Kelty Yellowstone 6 person tent the other day for a crazy good deal.
Post up camping gear you use and pictures of your camp site.
no pics off hand, but we do camp a lot. AND seeing as how you are in NJ, I'm working on getting some interest in a camping/Jeepin trip to the Pines before summers' out. There's a spot close to the trails that we can camp on the Wading river, tube from the campsite for an hour or 2, then walk 15mins back to the site. Cheap (NJ state parks are $2pp per night) and family friendly! Check on the NJ forum.
My camping has run the gambit from ultra-light canoe trips to wilderness canoe trips to car camping to small RV and to big RV. Biggest advice I can offer is K.I.S.S. for all types. When it comes right down to it there is very little you need to survive and remain comfortable. Don't try to take everything.
Second biggest is buy/use quality equipment. If Walmart carried the tent you are thinkin about than it's probably junk. That Ozark Trail camp stove they sell, skip it and buy a Coleman. Etc, Etc. Things don't have to be top of the line but name brand and reputable are a must.
One of the best investments a camper can make is his sleep system. A good and "thick as you can manage" self inflating pad is worth it's weight in gold. A good sleeping bag? You betcha. Cots can be nice if your truck and tent have room. Blow up mattress's? Couldn't pay me to own one. Another good thing to have at the end of a long day is a good seat with backrest. Backrest being a must.
On tent's.......... This is where KISS comes into play in a big way. I like to keep em of a manageable size and simple enough so I can set it up myself if need be. I'd rather set up multiple smaller tents than one large tent.
Now where I will suffer a lot of disagreement is on the subject of fire. I've found that in many cases it's more trouble than it's worth. If wood is dry and plentiful then fire is the greatest thing ever. Make it wet or make it a chore and there are better things you can do with your time and energy. Canoed a local river a couple years ago and an hour from camp it started to rain. Pulled in and being worried about fire we set out to gather wood. A hour later we are soaked, nursing a lame *** fire with wet wood and are tired. Should of just pitched our tarp and broke out the stove and tea pot (and whatever spirits I had with). Just one of many examples of fire being over rated.
I have a 6 person coleman tent I've had for quite a few years. Usually its just me and another person or two in my tent so theres room for us and our gear. Usually bring a cooler packed with food and beer and liquor. For cooking equipment I have a decent sized, but not huge, frying pan and your run of the mill spatula and a spoon. Usually get plastic utensils and just a roll of aluminum foil. Use to foil to cut on, cook in, eat on. To sleep I have a 25* mummy bag since it never gets too cold here in FL and a foam mat under it. I don't pack a lot of stuff since we never really need it since we are never too terribly far from humanity. Depending on the recent weather we will either bring our own fire wood if its been raining, or if its been relatively dry we will just find it. We always have a fire since it makes disposing of stuff easier than packing it all in a bag. We do carry out the stuff we can burn like beer cans and bottles and such.
04 TJ- Short Bus
Sometimes I question my sanity. Occasionally it replies.
Been camping for many years. Ran the gamut from so much stuff that it took two trucks to carry it all to a 25# sack on my back. I prefer the lightweight.
I still have a chuck box full of pots and pans. But I only use one pot. It's my fifty cent garage sale special. An aluminum 10"pot that is a frying pan/saucepan hybrid that makes a great cook everything utensil.
But I do love to dust off the old black pots and build the fires and fix a spread in the cast iron Dutch ovens. Just not travel too far with them.
Nowadays, I keep my stuff mostly packed. Ready to go. My next purchase is a kayak for a couple day river adventure.
My couple cents worth...save your money, watch Craigslist, eBay, and REI outlet and clearance sales. There are differences in quality, price, and functionality when it comes to brands. I like REI because I can go and pick up a pack, a bag, and start stuffing stuff in. The staff doesn't give any funny looks. I've had them help before. I appreciate their gear demo days where you can actually try it out.
Pack, make a list, go out and evaluate what you used, didn't, wish you had, wanted to leave in the woods cause it was nonfunctional but spent too much money on, etc.
I've moved from a 6 man tent to an ultralight 2 man that I use at last resort. I'd rather just hang a hammock or pitch a rainfall between two trees.
If you camp with a crew, coordinate who is bringing what so there are no unneeded duplicates. My camping crew jokes that a six man tent is called that not cause it can sleep 6 but cause it takes six men to set it up.
Which brings up another good point. Set up, use, and practice camping with your gear at home before you leave. Don't wait until its dark and you are tired to learn how to light that little backpacking stove or set up that tent. And do it in the conditions. If you are arriving late, and its dark, practice setting that tent up in the dark with a headlamp. Not only does it make the actual camping trip more enjoyable and less frustrating, but it makes your neighbors think you have finally, truly lost it.
I use a tarp 3 of 4 seasons and a tent only em when it gets really cold. I've got a trunk that fits in the back if the jeep that carries all the cooking, shelter and sleeping gear (except the sleeping bags themselves) for the wife and i. They only get broken out in extreme cold too. Most of the time it's a pair of wool blankets. They're cheap, rugged and warm.
Cooking is in a cast iron Dutch oven and skillet. Nothing beats cast iron at home or in the woods.
Sent from my TJ
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
- Samuel Adams
Paper to Burn
The people who said, "Keep it simple" have it right. Do not over pack. Camping is a means, not an end. I've used that camping list many times, and I can never seem to add anything to it.
I also agree with the "fire is over rated" comment. I just went on a week trip through Colorado and never made a fire. If it's cold or you want to cook, go ahead. Otherwise, what's the point?
I keep all my camping stuff in a metal mil-surp trunk. It holds everything I need to have a comfortable camping trip. Comfortable is relative, because I think that people should be roughing it out in the woods. It makes me appreciate everything I have back home.
Salt n pepper
If I'm going real light I just take an ALICE pack full of gear and I use a penny stove to boil water to rehydrate food.
I love campfires. They are nice to sit around after a long day.