Camping 101

A roundup of camping hacks from around the internet, to get you out into the great outdoors without actually having to experience nature!

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A roundup of camping hacks from around the internet, to get you out into the great outdoors without actually having to experience nature!

As summer starts to move towards fall, my mind has turned to camping.

And what that really means is that I’m going camping this weekend, and needed something to write about, so here we are. You and I and nature.

Bear

But let us forget, for the moment, all of that nature barreling toward us*, and focus on ways to bring civilization to the wilderness.

Basics

First thing’s first: This is no time to commune with the forest or whatever. You’ve got blogs about camping to read! It’s very possible that your 4G isn’t going to work in the middle of nowhere. Or 5G? Whatever number of Gs the kids are using these days. The important thing is that you are likely to be SOL, G-wise, and you’d better be prepared for the worst. No, I suppose this isn’t really a hack, as such, but please believe that I turned the internet upside down looking for a way to squeeze wifi out of scavenged twigs, old dryer lint, and recycled tupperware, and nothin’ doin’. Apparently you’re going to have to maintain your newfangled internet connectivity the old fashioned way.

Glad we’ve got that sorted.

Accomodations

I’m not saying we’re going glamping...but we are definitely going glamping. And that means bringing an inflatable air mattress, which further means forgetting the pump at home. This guy is blowing my mind right now. Do you know how many times I’ve wept helplessly at my inadequate lung capacity in the middle of the forest? It’s more times than I’ve gone camping, that’s for sure.

And let’s not forget that lynchpin of comfortable living: the air conditioner. We’re not savages.

Buckets

Buckets, y’all. If you spend five minutes researching camping hacks and don’t find yourself posessed with the need for at least ten 5-gallon buckets, you’re doing it wrong. Showers, hydroelectric generators, Boomboxes, solar lights; no other Home Depot impulse buy has ever left me feeling so comparatively inadequate!

Truthfully, I was so overwhelmed that I almost wrote the whole post about bucket hacks, but cooler heads prevailed. Seriously, though: buckets.

You're all set!

So grab your tent, half-a-dozen 5-gallon buckets, your internet rig, and your cooler A/C, and get ready to show that backyard who's boss!

backyard camping

photo credit: Flickr user Thirteenofclubs, CC

Until you get bitten by a mosquito and decide to go inside and watch nature documentaries for the rest of the night. Or maybe that's just me.

Happy Camping!

*I could have said bearing down on you, but I didn’t. Take that as the kindness that I meant it for.


Comments 9 comments

  • *Thank you for not saying it. That would have been unbearable.

  • Camping blog: Some days you gotta go with what you've got.

  • I scoff at your meager hacks. Soda can stoves are PRO. https://youtu.be/fbHHQrh9m58 http://www.thesodacanstove.com/alcohol-stove/how-to-build.html

  • Thank you for the article but I think it is missing a lot of wireless products from I-Com but you can find alternative sellers if you can find them. I won't post the link because I'm not advertising or selling anything or you can google I-Com if you want. I'm sure you can get a better setup with that kind of equipment or even have a contest as to who has the best setup.

    You can get a 24 db gain WiFi dish antenna and they come with an RG8 cable with rp-sma termination which work with half watt USB adapters. They cause a lot of RF so I'm not sure how much they would heat up something with water but they should probably be mounted high up on a wall or a roof if you want to share someone's wifi signal. This will also increase your chance of having your computer hacked unless you are in a rural location.

    Then you can get a second antenna and aim them in different directions but you have to spend some time aiming the antennas.

    Someone is going to ask what db gain is and I believe that 24 dB is the maximum allowed in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission:

    dMystifying the dB http://www.moonblinkwifi.com/dmystifying_the_db.cfm

    Your article is also missing the idea of buying Powerbanks for your phone. You can get over 10,000 mAH if you know the right manufacturer but choose one with an aluminum case because I feel they may be safer than plastic.

  • Alternate blog title: Bjorn Free

  • I have an old motorcycle battery that I bring, along with crock clips to the 12V cigarette lighter socket. That way I can put the air mattress inside the tent before blowing it up with the 12V pump. It also allows for recharging phones etc without having to turn the car on. Nothing is truly funnier than watching someone blow up an air mattress next to their car, and then spend 20 minutes trying to fold it in half to get through the small opening of the tent.

    Also, since you normally blow the mattress up with warm air during the day, it gets a bit soft at night. So the battery allows a quick top off the mattress right before bed with the cooler night time air.

    • If you look around, you can find "extension cables" for the cigar lighter. In my experience, most electric pumps for air mattresses have a cord of 10 or 12 feet. The extension cables are another 10 or 12 feet each, so one or two can get you a fair distance from the car. (Just make sure that the extension cables are heavy gauge, as you don't want much resistance there.) Being an amateur radio operator, I have a radio "go box", in which I've included several 10ga DC extensions (I use Anderson Powerpole connectors on all DC stuff). Included in my collection are both a cigar lighter plug and socket. The "go box" comes along whenever the air mattress does, and I've never had to use all of the cables I have to get from the car to either the air mattress or the Ham radio.

    • That's why we just have a dual-action hand pump. It's as quiet as you care to make it (just pump slower), and has this newfangled technology that requires no power adapters or batteries!

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