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Jons_Blond's avatar

Do you have any tent camping tips?

Asked by Jons_Blond (8253points) September 18th, 2022 from iPhone

I’m no novice to tent camping but there’s always something to learn.

My husband and I are on a quest to camp at every state park in Wisconsin. We’re on a roll with ten trips this 2022 camping season.

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23 Answers

HP's avatar

Bring the servants.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

My buddies and I have made a September fishing trip for 30+ years. This year ffor the first time we stayed in a condo with showers, kitchen, hot tub, pool, and continental breakfast.

It was good, I cannot deny. But I missed camping.

—Always keep the tent zipped up against mosquitos.
—Pitch the tent on high dry ground away from water
—Carry lots of tent stakes, both skinny ones and fat ones for differing ground
—Instant coffee is good these days, splurge on expensive stuff

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Take a deck of cards and a good flashlight. If it’s cool or cold out; you can hunker down inside the tent after evening meal and play cards. Good way to while away the hours of darkness before y’all hit the hay.

gorillapaws's avatar

Level ground is surprisingly important for your tent. It doesn’t take much of a slope to end up rolling to the lowest point and waking up sore as hell. Bring an instrument (and learn one if you don’t know how to play anything-consider the harmonica in this case). Always secure food from bears. Leave things better than how you found it. Don’t forget to take pictures and videos (I’m terrible with this and always regret not having them later). Have a blast! It sounds like an amazing time.

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flutherother's avatar

Bring a collapsible water carrier, a Littlbug wood burning stove and an all weather fire starter flint. When you are ready to leave take a final look at your campsite. There should be no trace of your presence.

Brian1946's avatar

Perhaps you already know this, but if rain accumulates on the outside of your tent, don’t poke the interior or exterior surface.

Supposedly undisturbed surface tension will keep the rain from seeping through the tent fabric.

seawulf575's avatar

Keep food suspended out of reach of marauders large and small. Throw any food scraps far away from your campsite.

ragingloli's avatar

Claymore mines to ward of predators and bears.

Forever_Free's avatar

I tent camp at least 20 nights a summer. All are tent camping and most are backpack adventures so weight is important. I grew up camping all around Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada as a kid. Most of my current adventures are on the AT or in Northern New England or Upstate NY.
Bring a water microfilter, comfortable mattress pad, A good headlamp, multipurpose tool (leatherman), Foldable camp table, compact chair, Quick easy meal pouches, fruits and healthy snack packs.
Pitch on as level as possible but with a slight slope.
Sleep with head upwards.
Dig a trench on the high side and sides to allow any rain to channel away from tent.
I am unsure if you are backpack camping but you stated State Park, so I can assure car is near.
Keep all food outside of the tent in a secured area either up a tree, in a bear canister, or in car (roll up the windows as bears will get in car).

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Make a custom ground cloth the same size as your tent’s footprint out of 6 or 7 mil plastic sheeting. It will both keep the tent clean and it will keep ground moisture from seeping up into your tent.

Bear bells are worthless, some say they actually attract bears. Talking or having a portable radio playing while you hike is much more effective. If you see bear scat, you will probably see a bear shortly after. Usually they’ll run away if they see you. If they don’t, keep your distance. If they acknowledge your presence (snorting, hitting the ground) you’re too close and you need to SLOWLY back away while talking calmly at it. If you have bear spray get it ready. If it approaches you or if it makes a brief charge at you don’t run, continue to back away slowly and make yourself look as large as possible, wave your arms around, shout at it. I’s almost always a “bluff charge” You cannot out run them and if you try you just identified yourself as prey. They’ll chase you like a cat chasing a mouse or a dog chasing a squirrel. If it persists throw sticks or rocks at it and be ready to fight for your life. That bear spray people don’t think they need is about be the most valuable thing you own. If throwing sticks and/or rocks or what ever is nearby does not deter the bear you are in mortal peril. Don’t miss with the bear spray, it will make it stop if you land a hit to the face.

Smashley's avatar

Nothing quite like a fancy breakfast while camping. Bust out the quality bacon, free range eggs, butter, flour, bread, milk, whatever, and make something scrumptious to wake everyone up. Instant meals are for n00bs, and cooking a meal over a fire is way more fun than a stove.

My can’t do withouts are a knife, headlamp, and a couple bandanas.

gondwanalon's avatar

Light weight and waterproof tent that uses your trekking poles as tent poles. Also leave tent pegs at home to save weight.
Use a tiny folding propane stove (mine is about the size of my fist) and canister.
Used gaiters to keep little pebbles and sand out of your low top boots.
Get the right size of backpack for your body.

RocketGuy's avatar

Definitely heed Ranger warnings for each campground. They are applicable to the local risks. e.g. if they ask you to use steel bear boxes at each camp site, use them. Don’t keep food in your car – bears can peel your car open like a tin can.

Out of consideration for nearby campers, please don’t play any loud music. Most people go camping for the peace and quiet. Best wishes for enjoyable camping.

SnipSnip's avatar

Be sure tent is waterproofed (if it is that kind of tent) and always have some waterproofing with you in case of a leak. Also, don’t fail to keep all of the screens and door zipped. It’s been years since I went camping in a tent but it is preferable to RVing to me. Enjoy!

RocketGuy's avatar

Remember to bring sleeping pads. If you don’t, you will be able to feel every pebble, twig, and clump of grass under your tent because tent materials and sleeping bag materials are so thin. Chairs and sitting pads too, same reason.

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Jons_Blond's avatar

Great tips! Thank you!

We’re working our way up to backpacking. We occasionally camp at hike in sites where there’s usually a cart available to help transport supplies. We do a mile hike in every Fourth of July weekend.

RocketGuy's avatar

You have to give up niceties (e.g. clean clothes, fresh cooked meals) if you want to lighten up your pack for backpacking.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Jonsblond and when @RocketGuy says lighten it up, he’s correct. You will start to scrutinize ounces with the goal of pack weight being ~30lb or even less. You can carry about one luxury item. I usually take a nice inflatable sleeping pad. You will without fail, carry more than you need on the first couple of trips. It takes like four short excursions to figure out what you need and don’t need.

Pandora's avatar

The nights get cold. If you have some sort of foam that you can place under your tent, that will help cut the cold from the ground a little. Take a bucket to pee or poo in, in case you get the urge at night. If there are public restrooms they are too creepy to go to at night and may be a bit of a walk at night when it is pitch black. The last time I went camping the temperature dropped so much at night and the cold ground still could be felt through the sleeping bag. I badly had to pee. I didn’t sleep well, to say the least, and the next morning I was so tired. That I told my husband that all future camping will be in a cabin or a motel or hotel. The public restroom was closed for the night, at 9 pm and wouldn’t open till 6 am. And no. We could not piss in the woods near the camping area. We were told we would have to go further out as to not stink up the area..

RocketGuy's avatar

Restrooms closed at 9:00?! Worst I’ve had were restrooms that were pitch black inside at night. A flashlight on a headband is best for that, since going to the bathroom is usually a 2-handed activity. You don’t want to drop a handheld flashlight into the wrong places.

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