36

I'm from British Columbia; lots of BC is technically a rain forest, which pretty much means you're always starting your fire with wet wood. The trick to getting wet wood to light is to generate a lot of heat when you first start your fire - that means using lots of extra kindling. Cut triple or quadruple the amount of fine kindling and build yourself a ...


21

Just about any car can handle a good gravel road, with the notable exception being low slung performance cars (cars with very little ground clearance). That being said, "gravel roads" vary a LOT. I have seen roads that were the next thing to pavement and gravel roads that had rock gullies which could and would take out your oil pan if you dropped a tire ...


15

35° is 35°, whether in your car, in your pack, or in your refrigerator back home. However, handling raw meat otherwise is very different outdoors than at home. Personally, I think bringing raw meat into the wilderness is a bad idea. There are plenty of other foods that give you the same or better nutrition, don't require as careful handling, weigh ...


13

Since you didn't limit the question to materials found in nature: I've lit wet firewood in the rain using pieces of waxed cardboard. They burn very fast and hot. And wax firestarters are essentially waterproof themselves, so they're pretty reliable even in wet conditions. You used to be able to get waxed cardboard from any supermarket, in the form of ...


13

The single most important consideration for your parents is going to be their comfort. For starters they must have something comfortable to sleep on or they're going to spend every day achy and tired, wishing they were sleeping in their own beds. The older you get, the more precious sleep is. If they can't get a good, comfortable night's sleep, then they ...


13

My wife & I are both in our mid-50's, and we stopped going car camping a few years ago largely because of the lack of sleep and difficulty getting into and out of our tent. Our last trip we were so tired that I was hallucinating on the drive back home & we had to pull over on a mountain road to take a nap before we carried on. Even the nice ...


12

If your parents gear worked for them 10 or 15 years ago. If the gear has not seen significant wear in storage. If your parents have remained in nearly the same physical condition (or better) as 10 years ago. The only thing they need to do is load their gear in the car and go. Seriously, it worked then, it should work now. Much of the older gear is ...


11

Is camping to you about the campsite or the outdoor activities? You've addressed the significant points, but I think the issue can be reduced to two factors: Time required to set up and take down Physical size Canvas will generally lose both due to the added bulk. So why use a canvas tent? As anyone familiar knows, they're amazing when you're inside them. ...


10

If car camping, you should go for the two-burner stove: It will be far more stable than the backpacking stove. This is IMO the most important feature. It will probably have a larger burner (thus more heat output) than the backpacking stove. The two-burner stove will not take up much more space than the single-burner stove, and for car camping you will ...


10

In such cases the kindling material found on the ground might be also wet: try searching for thin dry branches on the lower parts of trees. Especially the pine trees are "built" in a way that the lowest branches die and dry as the tree grows - the rest of the branches are usually thick enough to keep this bottom part dry, and as so, perfect to be used as ...


10

You say car camping - does that exclude a caravan ? A caravan is a significant investment in cost to buy. There may be somewhere near you that hires/leases/rents them. Plus you'll need a tow fitting on your car rated for the weight of a towed caravan. Electric cars cannot be fitted with towbars (in New Zealand anyway) Some of the places you have camped ...


10

Shouldn't be less efficient at all - or at least, approximately as efficient. Solar panels generate energy utilising the band-gap structure inherent to semiconductor materials. This means that, to generate current, you need to dislodge an electron from the valence band to the conductor band, and the laws of quantum mechanics state that this can only happen ...


9

This summer I went out canoe camping in some light rain that turned into a torrential downpour and wouldn't stop. When it finally did, there was a puddle in the fireplace and we had no dry wood. We had a little paper with us, and we got tinder from the inside of logs, and all those tricks, but nothing worked and we had a small child with us who was getting ...


9

I can give you first hand experience with this. I have visited Goose Lake (and the Mount St Helens museum separately) over 5 times in the last 2 years. We drive a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan with camping stuff and 3 kids in the back. The road is very well maintained, with few potholes. I'd rank it (on roughness) just below a newly tarred and rocked side ...


9

Yes, the solar panel will be a little less efficient on the dashboard than outside because: Wavelengths absorbed by the windshield. The windshield absorbs most UV, which does still contribute to the solar panel output when present. Light attenuation due to air/glass interface. The glass will always reflect some light. Think of it this way. You can see ...


8

Basically, you have to be excited and welcoming. Encourage them, thats the most important part of it. For me Camping means getting back to the simpler life. Gear: I don't think that you need any sort of a special gear for older people when you are typically car camping. The normal car-camping checklist should do just well. Needless to say, add their daily ...


7

We used Outdoor/Indoor Protective Flooring interlocking Mats inside the tent ($20) (above ground sheet) insulates, soft enough to sleep on. Toddlers like this from experience (good for naps too) thermal rest (roller mat) $30 -$200 each depending on climate Baby can sleep with lots of cotton blankets wrapped up This mother blogs about it http://...


7

What you want to do seems to be referred to by the Forest Service as "dispersed camping," and you can find a lot of information by googling on that phrase. Different jurisdictions seem to have different rules, but this blog post has a nice attempt to summarize how the rules usually work in national forests and on BLM land. Basically what they seem to want ...


7

I caution against storing the food in your car. Bears have been known to do serious damage to a car trying to get in. Hence Don't eat in the car - ever Do not store food or other items that "smell" open in you car While in transit, store items in sealed containers in your trunk If you are in designated car camping spots, check to see if they have ...


7

even wood that's been kept covered is often very wet and can be difficult to light. I will second that. Some people claim their wood is dry, but if you go look at how they "cover" it, sometimes you see that the wood is only protected from the lightest of rains in the lightest of winds. I have seen some "coverings" that any amount of normal wind would blow ...


7

Depending on where you are camping I would recommend a three or four season synthetic sleeping bag. Synthetic bags are generally cheaper and bulkier than down bags for an equivalent warmth. As you are car camping the additional bulk isn't that important. Most of Spain has night temperatures between 5-0 C this time of year so a three season bag should be ...


7

I drove around Namibia in 2011 in a 2000 Ford Focus, put nearly 8,000 miles on that car during that three-and-a-half week trip - and most of that trip was on sand or gravel roads. The car was fine at the end of the trip - a bit dusty, but perfectly serviceable and ran just great. 8 miles (16 in actuality if you ever intend to leave the campsite...) shouldn'...


7

In the outdoors, the way to deal with cold is not to heat the environment, but to insulate yourself. You say "snow line", so it appears you aren't asking about anything particularly cold. Just get a proper sleeping bag rated for the temperature. Since you are car camping, you can bring some extra supplies like blankets. Get a sleeping bag rated for the ...


6

When meteorologists tell you the temperature, likely they mean the temperature more than 1m off the ground in a shaded place (for example in a Stevenson screen). Anything sunlit is likely to be warmer. The ground is likely to be different (warmer or cooler depending what else is going on). You can't assume that just because the weather report for the region ...


6

As a keen car camping family with 3 kids, I can definitely recommend your second option - it has sufficient power and capacity to make meals for 5 without taking up too much space. It is light, easy to clean, and the small gas canisters for it are available in a huge number of places. It is also light enough that if you are having to lift your gear a few ...


6

Depending on where you are going, there may be options to stay in a canvas tent-cabins, for example these ones in Yosemite. I've done this several times with my parents-in-law. The advantages are: No tent set-up Often real (if basic) beds Sometimes heated Space to stand up Generally these will end up being more expensive on a per-night basis than a ...


6

The main thing is just to do a practise run with their existing kit in the back yard, same way you'd do as someone starting from scratch. Ideally leave the tent up until it rains too, so you can check if it's waterproof. If it all works - don't mess with it. You can't beat familiarity when it comes to pitching tents. If something turns out to be broken, ...


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