Friday, March 20, 2009

Comfortable Camping

There is roughing it, an then there is ROUGHING it.. we do not go without our creature comforts
After many trips to REI, we have air cushions, sleeping bags, tent with rainfly and various essentials.

My bag is a Nebo Black Bear extra wide, lined with flannel and good to 0°F (-18°C), the boys are REI Zephyr nylon and good to 10°F (-12°C).

all of our pads are thermarest and they are wonderful, mine is an XL and the boys are just Large. The only problem that we have is one or both of the boys rolling down between the pads and sleeping directly on the floor of the tent. Short of sewing a couple of sheets together and putting the pads in there, we do not have a solution. We have been slipping a thermarest down in each of the OLD cheap sleeping bags to make them more fluffy and to further protect them from punctures, but we still get a lot of sliding around by morning with all the snuggling and burrowing that the boys do at night.

We are currently in an Ozark Trail tent, and while roomy as hell, it is also COLD at hell. That is next on my list to alleviate. not sure what the solution is, but there has got to be something big but warm out there. It sleeps 6, so maybe one small hiking tents INSIDE would solve the problem. what I do know is just about every other ozark trail tent that we have had, and this is our 6th, the poles bust faster than you can say bacon and eggs, the first two, the poles survived, but not the fasteners that anchored them to the tent. the next two tents, the poles busted when the kids were manhandling it. the 5th one busted the second setup, which replacement were more expensive than just buying a new tent. I was not at all amused.

As for accessories: when it comes to cooking, I went through three Coleman stoves until I found one that didn't fall apart. I resorted to Ozark Trail from Wal-mart, who would have thunk. The Portable Kitchen broke the first weekend, but has continued to work despite that, being a Coleman, I am not not surprised.

other than that, we have made a lot of use of the Battery Operated Lanterns, and car auxiliary air pumps for the pads. Now the only thing left is the Laptop Movie base, we do watching a movie at night before turning in and it tends to get buried in all the bedding, so that needs to be elevated the camp stool super handy.