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Thread: Camping Activities

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Camping Activities

    Most folks have already logged out for the long weekend, but when they return they’ll have this thread to ponder……

    Chances are a number of you will go/went camping over the Memorial Day weekend.
    After the hiking, biking, and boating is done for the day, what do you like to do for entertainment? What activities do you enjoy around the campfire?

    We usually tell stories around the campfire. Oddly enough, I can’t remember the last time I actually did the clichéd toasting marshmallows thang. Speaking of can’t remember, I usually like to have a cooler with both good quality and cheap beer on hand to help irrigate the innards. Often times we’ll bring along a game like Yahtze or a deck of cards. Following sufficient beer consumption, the “deep” conversations about Life, the Universe, and Everything will typically ensue.

    So what recreational activities do you enjoy while camping? (anyone bring their tv along?)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    • cooking over an open fire
    • lots of fire building and rebuilding
    • hiking
    • swimming (usually try to camp next to a Great Lake)
    • kayaking (if I can bring it)
    • mountain biking
    • not shower
    • letting the pooch run wild in the deeps of the woods
    Last edited by mendelman; 27 May 2008 at 11:46 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    -watch the sun set over the bluffs of the Wisconsin River
    -big meals
    -hiking in the state park
    -go to the nude beach on the river
    -run into town and rummage sale
    -of course, campfires, but no beer or booze for me anymore

  4. #4
    Cyburbian amyk's avatar
    Apr 2007
    Los Anchorage
    - I love roasting marshmallows... and making s'mores
    - Cards
    - Read a good book
    - Fish or play in the water if we're by a river
    - Bike
    - Hike
    - Kayak/canoe if by a lake or ocean
    - All of the above with beer

    Leaving in the AM for my camping this weekend. We'll be by a river and in a little tiny town with some great biking in the area. Should be able to bike into town from the campsite and hang out with the locals. I'm excited

  5. #5
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Blog entries
    1) Usually I do not have a fire. Most national parks and some national forests frown upon wood gathering and bringing your own takes up valuable storage space. And I do not buy fire wood. Plus I don't like smelling like smoke when I go to bed.

    2) Will toast a marshmallow or two with my son. Over someone else's fire or over the gas stove.

    3) I like to walk around the campground with my son. He is a social guy and we usually end up making a few new friends.

    4) We usually read stories in the tent before bed.

    5) Attend the campground shows when I am in Glacier or Yellowstone. They can be fun.

    6) Try to convinced my wife the bears are miles away. Then the next day some yahoo will tell her that there was a bear on the ridge.

    7) When the wife and son are asleep I have a beer or two and read.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Sep 1999
    400 miles from Orlando
    Hmmm... well I've mostly only camped with my son when he was in Cub Scouts.

    Teaching knot-tying
    Inventing new foil-cooking recipes; give the kids a bunch of ingredients and let them make up their own
    Making pudding in a shaker jar
    Sneaking into your tent for a beer or plastic cup of wine without the cubmaster figuring out what you are up to
    Listening to the gators roar on the lake (during mating season)
    Listening to the airboats in the lake during the annual gator hunt
    And that all-time favorite: the competition as to who has cell phone reception in the absolute middle of nowhere, "just in case"

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    Haven't been camping since I left Oregon but usually....

    Cook in a cast iron dutch oven over a fire (if allowed)
    Swim if on a lake or river
    Shoot the shit
    Play cards
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    I agree with many of activities listed.

    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Cook in a cast iron dutch oven over a fire (if allowed)
    Include baking particularly cobbler. YUM !

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Rockwood, MI

    Fat Cat

    When the children were growing up we would drive to a wilderness area, sometimes in other states, hike in to an area with water (lake or river). Extremely rustic, no facilities. Pitch a tent, camp fire for food, swim, and hike in the immediate area,
    What ever food and water we needed was carried on our backs along with the tent and sleeping bags.
    After hiking, setting up camp and swiming, conversation around the camp fire.
    The first time I suggested this, Mrs Katt did a lot of muttering and refused to go but after we went the first time she was hooked and loved going.
    Before that her idea of camping was a hotel room and roughing it was a hotel without a dining area.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio

    Tons Of Camping Stories

    Nice of Maister to start this thread with a picture of my family.

    This Bear has been a camper for just about 50 years. I was a scout and we spent many a weekend.....summer and winter......tent camping. In my teen years I didn't do much camping until the year I graduated from high school, 1966. I lived on a beach for the entire summer of '66, sleeping under the stars. Does that count as camping? (A girl was involved....go figure. )

    Cindy (first wife) and I didn't do much camping. But when I was married to Donna (for 15 years) tent camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was a regular event. We had a few favorite places, including Michigan State Forest Campgrounds at Big Knob, Foley Creek, Andrus Lake and AuTrain Lake. I always took my canoe and sometimes I also brought along my small sailboat, "Sluggo's Revenge".

    One of our favorite places was west of Whitefish Point, MI. The only way to get to this great spot was via 4-wheel-drive. Many a year a big group of friends all camped on this secluded Lake Superior beach. Great place for HUGE bonfires on the beach, skinny dipping, and "rolling in the sand" .

    These camping trips usually involved devil alcohol, canoes and sailboats, fishing, and using the lake for the morning bath (no matter what the temperature of the water and the air). Our gang was into Trivial Pursuit, so those evenings by the big beach fire were spent "in teams", trying to whip each other in that trival pursuit. Because we were all bar "freaks" we also spent time in bars, followed by the rough bouncy road through the woods drive to the campsite, followed by more devil alcohol and 4:00 AM skinny dip parties. One of my best-ever views of the Northern Lights was at 4:00 AM on that Lake Superior beach. Incredible early-September lightshow.

    Carole and I also tent camped, but because she did not get along too well with my old friends, we camped alone, usually at Big Knob.

    Katie had never camped when she met this Bear. I introduced her to back-country tent camping in the Upper Peninsula and she hated it. She loved the beaches, the woods, the "get away" aspect.....but she is deathly afraid of bears. (She is married to a bear. )

    After a few years of tent camping she insisted we change our camping habits to a pop-up unit. We did.....and then she insisted we change our habits (again) to a full-tilt-boogie camping trailer, with all the goodies. Alas, my bone marrow transplant and all that stuff put those adventures on hold.....although we still own the big camper.

    When Katie and I camp we like to play Yahtzee or Trivial Pursuit. I am not a card player. We like a campfire, some dawgs to cook on the fire. Now that I am in the "quiet and laid-back" part of my life I like to sit by the fire and read a book.

    Someday I'll spout-off about why my sailboat was named "Sluggo's Revenge".


  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    We started talking about camping over the weekend, how I miss it, how it looks like the tech has changed..come on a ceiling fan for a TENT?

    My hell hounds have never been camping, they have never explored a beach etc so the idea of renting a Winni loading up the hounds and checking out a nice camp ground sounded fun. Seems like a good start before trying to take them out truly camping.

    Apparently its next to impossible to find a place that rents winnis and lets you bring your dog onboard

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  12. #12
    Dec 2006
    Los Angeles, California
    Adult beverage consumption.
    Fly fishing
    Story Telling

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    Calling down for room service
    Allowing the Doorman to bring my luggage into my room
    Spending time next to the pool or in the hot tub
    Having the Detroit Free Press waiting at the door when I wake up
    Fresh squeezed OJ and a breakfast buffet
    Trying something new at the restaurant
    Having a micro-brew from the bar off the lobby
    Checking my e-mail from the room thanks to wireless internet

    I too much of a city guy for camping. The wife and I did get a tent and air-mattress and some other camping related items, but I think that it will be rare that we use them. I much rather go to a reasonably priced hotel in a larger city than go camping.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Aug 2002
    It's been a couple of years since we last went camping together, but we used to visit a certain campground in the Adirondacks every year around our wedding anniversary (in July). We'd hike during the day, and spend our evenings resting our sore legs by:

    Having a couple of drinks (beer or wine)
    Making dinner - something good - on the old Coleman stove
    Playing Yahtzee
    Bathing in mosquito repellent

    One time it began pouring rain just as we started dinner, and we used that as an opportunity to visit a nearby fine-dining establishment that specializes in locally-caught trout. Dining there actually became part of our camping tradition. Who says camping has to mean crappy food?

  15. #15
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting

    hiccup, you gotta drink a shot of sake since I just took over Japan...

    what, you people never played Risk as a drinking game after dinner at camp?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    Beer and wine consumption
    Exploring with the kids (could be a long walk, could be hours down by a creek)
    Cooking (I like to cook. We usually cook over a stove, even if there is a fire - with the kids, timing can be everything)
    Also like to let the doggies run free
    I like roasting marshmallows, but I actually don't really like eating them.
    Sitting around the fire
    Looking at the stars
    Getting cozy in the tent
    Paddling (kayak or canoe) when possible - New Mexico doesn't have a lot of surface water...

    We do a lot of car camping these days, what with a 2 year old (the 7 year old could probably handle some backpacking at this point if it were short). But the great thing about New Mexico is that a majority of the BLM land is National Forest. Which means few developed camping areas and more primitive camping opportunities (though how primitive is is it if you can drive your car there?...). You can follow unpaved forest roads for miles into some pretty remote areas and set up camp without seeing another soul (or at least too many). This helps skirt the dogs-off-leash issue and cars-driving-too-fast-through-the-camp-roads issue as well. Increasingly, STVs are becoming an issue, but if your timing is good (don't go on a holiday weekend, try to get a friday or monday off when most are back at work) you can minimize the inconvenience.

    We are actually gearing for a big river trip with my brother's family along the Southern Salmon river in Idaho at the end of July. There is nothing like a river trip! Went down the Grand Canyon about 10 years ago - kayaking with a rafting assist. Incredible...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Aug 2001

    Hey, can I pitch my tent here?

    My favorite camping activity is sipping on that first hot cup in the morning, all sounds are muted, the sun is shining and a day of freedom and exploration beckons.

    My least favorite is camp set up...

    We do bring a kitchen sink but try to keep meals and cleanup simple. Fajita's/pancakes/scrambles/toasties/stirfrys/cuppasoupa/jerky/nuts/fruit

  18. #18
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
    Jan 2006
    Loma Linda's
    By myself:

    Set up tent
    gather firewood
    cut firewood
    make fire
    put out fire
    take down tent

    . . . the reasons this once hard core backpacker doesn't camp anymore.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    worst camping thing ever - taking down camp in the rain

  20. #20
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    Boy, everyone (except Mskis) seems to do pretty similar things while camping?

    What, nobody else likes to sit around the campfire sniffing nutmeg and reading old speeches by U Thant and Dag Hammarskjold?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  21. #21
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Slightly Off-Center
    Who knew that U Thant spelled backwards is Tnaht U? Tnaht Me! Whoa, must have sniffed too much Dag Hammarskjold while reading old Knutmeg speeches.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  22. #22
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
    Oct 2001
    Middle of a Dusty Street
    Camping, you say?

    Well, I do prefer a nice condo for vacation... like the MSkis version. I mean, if you look for my town on a USGS quad, it'd be tough to pick it out of the forest.

    However, I do this sometimes... call it camping if you will:

    - Go to the old mill and throw some nice dry ends in the back.
    - Go to the store for beverages, a steak, and a potato. (Foil is already in the rig)
    - Go get the dog, the splitting maul, and the comfy camp chair.
    - Drive about five or so miles in any direction but west... on gravel roads.
    - Find one of the spots, by one of the rivers, with a firepit if possible.
    - Put the beverages in the river... all but one.
    - Split some wood and light the fire, with the "Oregon match" (blowtorch) if it's raining.
    - Retrieve a beverage from river.
    - Wait for coals, wrap steak and spud in foil, toss in coals.
    - Retrieve another beverage and wonder where the dog went.
    - Eat with the hunting knife because you forgot utensils.
    - Retrieve another beverage and enjoy listening to the great sounds of the outdoors.
    - Scream as the dog sneaks up from behind and pokes frigid nose onto arm or leg.
    - Get a beverage to calm nerves.
    - Enjoy crackling fire for a good long time.
    - Discover one remaining beverage in the river. Ponder how fish could have stolen some.
    - Wonder what time it is... decide not to care. Finish beverage.
    - Wake up shivering just before dawn wondering why the fire is out and how the dog got in the rig.
    - Drive home in time for breakfast!

    That's how I camp!
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  23. #23
    Jan 2007
    There are many forms of camping that I enjoy!

    Camping style #1 - Endurance Ridecamp activities:
    -make sure horse(s) are EDPP and secure on picket line.
    -Try to set up a compact camp that focuses on the horse(s)
    -eat dinner with the rest of the riders and listen to the briefing on the next day's ride.
    -hang out around the bonfire and listen to the veteran's war stories about rides back in the day.
    -Secure horses that get loose in the middle of the night
    -Function as servant to my equine master at all hours.
    -Get up before dawn and prepare for the day's ride.
    after the ride.............
    -Sheer exhaustion causes me to pass out halfway in and out of my tent.
    -Wake up and walk the horse(s) check for EDPP
    -Enjoy the awards dinner and pick up my fabulous turtle prizes.

    Camping style #2 - Jeep Camping
    -Ride around Forest Service roads and look for remote disbursed campsites on a creek/river.
    -Set up excessive camp and then go play in the water. This usually means catching critters.
    -Attempt to fish with found items.
    -Look for interesting rocks in the river/stream.
    -Build giant campfire with wood we brought in and cook elaborate campfire dishes.
    -Enjoy banana boats for dessert.
    -Find an open spot to look at the stars.
    -Cook a giant breakfast in the morning in the big cast iron skillet.
    -repeat sequence until time to go home.

    Camping Style #3 - Backpacking
    -Find a nice remote wilderness trail head.
    -Backpack in what you can carry - I max out at 50 lbs but always carry the food and tp so that I know people won't leave me.
    -Hike in about 10-12 miles and set up camp.
    -Enjoy nature and the lack of other human beings in the wilderness area.
    -If camped near water, swim with nature!
    -Wander around aimlessly in the woods but don't get lost.
    -Build a campfire with downed wood found around campsite.
    -Enjoy a tasty freeze dried meal (it all tastes great when you are out like that).
    -Look for interesting rocks.
    -Sit around the campfire and enjoy the silence. Lose yourself in deep thought.
    -Succumb to sleep once the food has kicked in and your body realizes it is exhausted.
    -Get up in the morning and play in the woods!!!!

    My husband does the dishes so I don't have to worry about that in any of these settings.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    May 2004
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    My camping generally takes place in conjunction with either a bicycle tour or a music event. So...

    Load car
    Check checklist (see the "gittin' old" thread)
    Drive to site
    Set up tent, picnic table, unpack instruments of brass destruction or two-wheelers

    Awake, eat provided breakfast
    Either go on the day's ride, or go find a jam session/workshop
    (One event, the big dulcimer festival in Evart, gets the biathlon treatment, as I go out for a pedal during the day...they'll be playing music most of the evening)
    Return to site, get in the shower line
    Either find a jam session/square dance, or hang out looking at and talking about bicycles

    The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA) has distributed T-shirts with this legend:

  25. #25
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Oct 2002
    Under the Table
    Blog entries
    I spent the weekend camping on the West River in Vermont. Was great weather. This summer is my first with my 1962 camper that I am renovating. I purchased it last fall for $350 and worked like crazy to get her livable. Much more comfy than the tent! I spend my time hiking, fishing, reading, gathering wood, writing, drawing, drinking beer and wine, and cooking full meals on the fire. My personal blog is all about camping... love getting away from suburbia. http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

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