38 votes
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How to light a fire with wet firewood?

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 ...
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  • 53k
37 votes
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How can I improvise a camping lantern from my flashlight?

Have you thought about making a simple Milk Jug Lantern or similar? Find a clear or slightly opaque bottle of the light colour you want (a milk jug works perfectly for white light, but maybe a clear ...
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  • 466
22 votes

Is 8 miles of unpaved gravel road a lot for a old-ish consumer road car to take in normal weather?

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 ...
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16 votes
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Can cold weather be sufficient to act as a refrigerator?

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 ...
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  • 21.3k
14 votes

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

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 ...
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13 votes
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Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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  • 621
13 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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12 votes
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Canvas vs Nylon Tent for Car Camping

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 ...
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  • 776
12 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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10 votes

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

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 ...
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  • 2,772
10 votes

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

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 ...
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  • 11.7k
10 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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  • 101
10 votes

Is 8 miles of unpaved gravel road a lot for a old-ish consumer road car to take in normal weather?

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 ...
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10 votes

How much less efficient is a solar charger when on a car's dashboard instead of in direct sunlight?

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 ...
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9 votes
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How much less efficient is a solar charger when on a car's dashboard instead of in direct sunlight?

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 ...
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  • 21.3k
8 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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  • 31.5k
8 votes
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Gear for Car-camping with 2 small children

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) ...
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  • 301
7 votes

Can cold weather be sufficient to act as a refrigerator?

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 ...
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7 votes

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

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 ...
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  • 3,436
7 votes
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Winter camping in Western Europe sleeping bag question

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 ...
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  • 7,069
7 votes

Hot water system as a heater for car camping?

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 ...
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  • 21.3k
7 votes

How can I improvise a camping lantern from my flashlight?

How can I improvise my flashlight for camping? Try using a magnetic similar to the one in this image: Simply lay down a thick piece of felt between the magnet and your car to avoid scratching the ...
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  • 9,534
6 votes

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

Since you mentioned pre-cut firewood, I'm assuming you're car camping or at some other location where you can easily bring some store-bought materials (not backpacking). By far the easiest way I've ...
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  • 161
6 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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: ...
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6 votes

Considerations for older campers?

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 ...
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  • 2,209
6 votes

Roof-top tents vs conventional tents?

The obvious disadvantages for these types of tents are that they occupy valuable roof space making mounting racks (e.g., bike, kayak, or gear) more difficult and that you must pack up your tent every ...
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