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Camping The Camping forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness camping (commonly referred to as car camping).

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:12 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Hike-in Camping - Bivouac Style

How often, if ever, do you hike into the wilderness a little ways to camp - in what could be termed bivouac style?

This is unlike car camping, as it's generally defined, and not typical backpacking in which one journeys over many miles setting up nightly camps. Rather, it's specifically hiking in, with backpacking gear, a mile or so just to camp -- with the emphasis on the camping not the hiking.

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Old 02-08-2013, 12:56 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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My first backpacking expedition with my grandson was done that way. He had just turned four and I wanted to see how he did hiking, tent camping, and eating Grandpa's JetBile so we pulled a permit for a hike to Boulder Meadows in Big Bend National Park, which was just a mile from the trail head.

The park service description of the campsite was that it was "well shaded", which I took to mean lots of trees. I didn't think about the fact that it also meant the sun didn't rise on that side of the mountain until 11 AM. The weather was gorgeous when we set out but the temperature dropped to 18ºF by morning. In packing and repacking all our gear in my small GoLite Speed pack, I left out all our cold weather clothing. We cowered in our down bags until the sun came out and melted the ice that had encrusted our tent from condensation. When we'd whack the walls of the tent, it looked like snow inside.

Prior to retiring for the night, I fixed us some hot chocolate and put some in his bottle. Before I got a chance to to warn him that it was hot, he chug a lugged the bottle and got a nasty burn on the inside of his mouth, an experience he remembers to this day over five years later. I felt so badly for him and tried to comfort him. Later that night, the remnants of the bottle leaked all over his brand new down bag, soaking it.

In the morning, the water was still liquid in our water bottle until I cracked the cap and then it instantly froze into pellets the size of mini marshmallows. I poured the ice chunks into the JetBoil and thawed them and made breakfast.

Once we got going, I left him in his footie pajamas for warmth. We hiked around the area for a while and then went back to the main campground where my wife sat in a nice warm RV.

In spite of all the above, the little guy became hooked on hiking and camping. He's nine now and is an experienced backpacker.

We've done some other hike in a short ways and camp trips since.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 PM
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Mullerjim Mullerjim is offline
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At least once a month, in the winter.... I heard someone describe winter camping as when he switched from “camping to enable his hiking to hiking to enable his camping.”
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:05 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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that's how i take the young ones camping.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:21 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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I haven't done it much. I did it more often when I first started packing, and I did this style of camping a couple of times last year. Where this fits in for me is when I just don't have time for a more planned and elaborate trip - maybe two unexpected days off in a row as a "windfall" from work, and I have just enough time for an overnighter, and know I need to get out for the sake of restoring my senses. This is also the one kind of trip where the view camera is likely to stay home. Light travel, quick hike in, comfortable camp, good hot meal, sit on a rock near camp and listen to night fall, read from the e-reader under the tarp, sleep well (and get up late), easy hike out.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:09 PM
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There are occasions in the winter when I'll do this style of camping.

In some of the areas that I visit, it's a little more difficult to hike in the winter. However, it has more to do with the fact that there is absolutely nobody around where I go in the winter. Therefore, for some areas that I'd have to hike deeper into the wilderness in the summer to avoid crowds, I don't have to venture far in the winter for solitude.

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:59 PM
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ferball ferball is offline
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This is how I tend to do most of my camping. I just pick a spot on a map then go there and make camp, go fishing or gold panning for a few of days if it is all good I will stay put, if nothing seems to be working out, hike to a different spot on the map and try it again. I like the idea of being away from everything and "camping" the hiking is fun but not my primary goal, I have more fun fishing and panning.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:11 PM
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Forttom Forttom is offline
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I've done this quite a bit. I like to do it to try out new gear, especially in inclimate weather. (I don't have to suffer as much on a long hike in/out if the gear proves to be not up to the task).

I've also done it, just for the heck of it. Bored, and a quick and easy "adventure". Also, again, maybe just to check out a head lamp or something else. (I hate getting to a camp site with untested gear, to find out it's not up to the task, or complicated or....??).

There are also a couple of very small state parks near by, no real planning, just grab minimial gear and fishing pole and march in and set-up wherever it looks comfortable.

As a kid, I grew up in the country. 2 or 3 of us would grab our small canvas pup tents, mess kits, and a couple of cans of this or that, and some sandwiches, ets. We'd just walk off into the woods for a couple of miles, or even less, swim in the ponds, fish in the streams, that kind of thing. I miss those days, and maybe that's why I like to do it to this day. So to kill a nice day or two, very little money or effort spent and a big payoff, in my opinion.

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:06 PM
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Wilder Wilder is offline
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For me, its pretty much all about camping somewhere for at least a week.

When hiking in, I normally go in 3 to 5 miles or so, usually alone. I stay in a basic area for 1 to 3 weeks.

I began this habit in the 1970s. Being a software guy, I would be at work for days at a time, napping on the floor when exhausted, then waking up at some random time and crawling back into the chair. Turns out this behavior builds up vast amounts of comp time, which can be taken when the project reaches beta.

So I would go into the Superstitions for a week to get readjusted. I first expected to be lonely and scared, but found the solitude to be just the ticket. Eventually, I was planning trips to La Barge Spring in the dead of summer, to be sure nobody else would be around.

Since 1999, I've been retired in southern Oregon. Most of the backpacking is along the Rogue River. During the winter, I go tent camping for 2 to 4 months in the CA-AZ desert with wife (in previous postings, she was girlfriend). Same thing...find a spot to hide for 1 to 3 weeks, go to a motel for a night or two, then off to another spot.

BTW, I met wife at the intersection of Rogue River and Whiskey Creek.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:34 AM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
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Setting up a walk-in base camp, day/overnight hiking out from there and then moving the base camp, or not, further in after a few days and then day/overnight hike some more from there has considerable appeal largely because hauling a heavy load across a short distance is doable, I like to be comfortable at base and I'm in no hurry to accomplish anything spectacular. I don't need to circumnavigate a continent, for example. I don't need or desire to be on a mission.

I'm with Lundin in a lot of ways. There's a lot to see in an acre of woods.

So, yeah, my days of blistering across the planet are no more. But I am still capable of hauling a heavy load for a short distance, 5-10 miles or so, and I also really enjoy the ultra-light day/overnight hike. So that's what I've been doing lately. I have found the "combo" approach to be a great way to enjoy the wilderness and recommend it to all.

Backpacking certainly does not require one to go flashing across the landscape in uber-tights, hell-bent for Destination; which is good because the way I think about it is that Destination, in terms of yesterday, is always just where I am Now so I might as well be comfortable while I'm Here.

So relax, set a spell. Yes, I am suggesting a chair. You did haul one out here, right? And plenty of food and a small frying pan and a light rucksack?

Certainly, yes.

Change is good.

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