Camping Made Easier - Ideas and Tips


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 14, 2013 - 12:24am PT
I have two that have made the grab-n-go easier, please share your organizational/compacting/stream-lining camping ideas here.

#1: Cut down the handle on a #2 filter holder to fit in the pot (I also keep filters, a pocket Rocket, tank and lighter in a bag with the pot):

Credit: MisterE

Credit: MisterE

#2: screw a cutting board to the top of your cooler:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#289578

Please contribute your ideas!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 14, 2013 - 12:29am PT
A credit card is much lighter and more compactible than a sleeping bag.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Feb 14, 2013 - 12:35am PT
Bring a small chainsaw for cutting dead Mesquite trunks when in Baja, you can fend off banditos with it in a pinch.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2013 - 12:37am PT
A credit card is much lighter and more compactible than a sleeping bag

That is exactly what I thought when I rode my bike from NW Washington to California with panniers, and met the guy with an extra pair of shorts and a credit card. Unfortunately, work was the substitute for wealth, as it is still.

Thanks for the reminder, Jim. :)

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 14, 2013 - 12:38am PT
On a serious note, check out the new Jetboil stove. It works waaay better (and is slightly lighter) than the original in cold conditions and high altitude.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 14, 2013 - 12:47am PT

I still adhere to two liter soda bottles.
They stash under car seats, get thrown in the pack for a day of climbing, and break down when they're empty.

I tried a "cube" once and other water vessels but they just take up too much room and I've always driven small cars.

Social climber
Asheville, NC
Feb 14, 2013 - 12:56am PT
I always premix instant coffee, p-milk and sugar for easy trail-a-cinos. Cafe Bustillo instant is not too bad.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 14, 2013 - 01:18am PT
Always take fishing gear, ya never know...

Credit: Reilly

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 14, 2013 - 01:35am PT
Mr Donini's right. "A credit card is much lighter and more compactible than a sleeping bag."

And makes for a way quicker take off in the morning.

Here's Roughing It, right here:

Santa Nella Holiday Inn. No extra charge for the Cornfield View rooms.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 14, 2013 - 01:52am PT
Use cans. No need for stove or cooler.

Note: it helps if you don't drink coffee, and you climb until well after dark and are very hungry for dinner! I don't heat up the cans - don't think it is worth the time, for me. It doesn't matter much to me what is in the can, either.... "I came here to climb, not eat!" :-)

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 14, 2013 - 02:03am PT
Cook in the cans, too.

Use the can opener to poke a vent hole in the top of the can, and boil it in a pan of water. You can go do something else while your cans are boiling.

I like the Mexican Fiesta, bioled in cans. Canned tamales, canned refried beans, and if you look around, you can find canned Mexican rice. Feeds two.

from out where the anecdotes roam
Feb 14, 2013 - 03:35am PT

use your cook pot to mold frozen plates at home, zip lock them
and toss 'em under your pack in the sled strapped to the roof.

i've tried melting snow. that goes along with
digging roots ... you know, plane crash stuff

well, maybe not so much in tucson

Feb 14, 2013 - 04:14am PT


Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:53am PT

Freeze a dry bag full of water and use it for ice. As it melts, pour it out and replace the water with loose ice from the store.

It keeps your ice chest dry so stuff doesn't get all soggy and wrecked.



Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:55am PT
Seal-a-meal. . . FOOD SAVER

Make dinners and suck wrap 'em. Then all you have to do is boil some water, throw in the dinner, boil and serve. No messy pots!


Social climber
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:17am PT

I'm not sure about that cooking in cans idea...

I think most are lined with something...

and BPA comes to mind...


Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:33am PT
When I go car-camping with kids, I try to have most of my ice be in the form of frozen beverages: 64oz soy milk boxes, or individual juice packs (learned this trick from Em), and then individual cold packs for the rest to keep things from getting soggy (like eKat says). Also keep frozen chicken apple sausages, turkey bacon, etc.

For camp4 or other quick bivvies, I like to keep my sleeping bag loosely packed in the longer term storage sack, with a ridge rest wrapped around the outside. It's light and easy to grab quickly, and very quick to break down / make a quick exit when needed.

Pressure cookers are key for car-camping (and maybe long backpacking if you insist on cooking things). Altitude-agnostic, efficient fast cooking. Opens up menu options you would generally not consider when camping.

I keep a stash of candles and mosquito coils in my kitchen bag. I dislike the big campsite lanterns that many people are fond of.

Glow sticks are nice to keep in the tent for kids that aren't used to sleeping in the dark yet.

I keep a huge tarp and variety of ropes/parachute cord for quick rigging dry secure areas between trees, over a picnic table, etc. Really improves quality of life for car-camping trips where rain is likely.

A shovel in the car keeps you in compliance with forest service requirements for campfire permits, and it opens up a lot of possibilities for last-minute camping when you can't get a reservation in a regular campsite and you want the campfire experience (or just to cook your dinner).

Boulder, CO
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Credit: nature

Credit: nature

Credit: nature

Credit: nature
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Save some bucks on propane, refill the small cannisters

Propane refill adaptder
Propane refill adaptder
Credit: Jon Beck

Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:46am PT
For multi day trips in the backcounty, these are awesome. It's a stuffsack in the pack then it's a rucksack for a dash up a peak. Lightweight, yet comfy.

And they come in so many different colors too!

REI done good by these.

Credit: TwistedCrank
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