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While I fully admit having a spare bedroom completely filled with camping gear, I am wondering, how much camping gear do we really need? Do you have a list of "must haves" for you?
 

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Same here, we have all sorts, all collected over the years of caravanning. I've now had an emergency spring clean of everything. Our caravan had been parked up in a locked compound near to where I live (I actually live in Manchester, England), and it got stolen from there. I know I won't see it again:(, but thankfully, it was insured, new for old, so will eventually get a new caravan and everything inside it replaced. Going stir crazy at the moment, as we're usually out and about, especially with the lovely weather we're having. Should have been on Exmoor in Somerset. Perhaps will get there in the, hopefully, not too distant future
 

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I have three sets of floor to ceiling industrial shelving for all my camping gear. That doesn't include the stuff that doesn't fit the shelves, like the solar setups (2), the battery charging station with various batteries from 7 amp SLAs to 110 amp deep cycles, five different size coolers, and some of my larger Pelican Storm cases. Figuring out what all to take definitely requires lists. I have lists for each season with variations of each depending on the expected weather, whether it's a solo trip or in a group and just how much luxury I want to take with me on a particular trip. My favorite hobby at the moment is seeing how to take the most comfort in the smallest amount of space in the truck. I've been buying a lot of backpacking gear even though my backpacking days are over.
 

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Well, I'm working on a new list of must haves, as I get ready for my first tent camping trip in I don't even know how many years, lol. It's a little different than when I went camper camping in my pop up, which the last time I believe was in 2014.

At any rate, basic staples for either so far: pillow & bedding, stove & cooking gear, ice chest, trash bags, deck of cards & other games perhaps. Of course, I'll take as many luxuries as I can.
 

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When my popup pretty much rusted out I thought I was going to be miserable going back to tent camping. It was a little rough at first, but over the years I've refined my lists and figured out enough tricks to make camping a lot easier. It dawned on me that popups just require too much work to set up and break down. Add in maintenance, tags fees and the inability to get to some of the more secluded sites and I don't miss it at all. Other than a rigid, easy-in-easy-out door, I have everything in a tent that I had in a trailer. I'm off the ground with electric lights and heat when needed - and everything but a few bulky items fit inside the cab of the truck.
 

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When my popup pretty much rusted out I thought I was going to be miserable going back to tent camping. It was a little rough at first, but over the years I've refined my lists and figured out enough tricks to make camping a lot easier. It dawned on me that popups just require too much work to set up and break down. Add in maintenance, tags fees and the inability to get to some of the more secluded sites and I don't miss it at all. Other than a rigid, easy-in-easy-out door, I have everything in a tent that I had in a trailer. I'm off the ground with electric lights and heat when needed - and everything but a few bulky items fit inside the cab of the truck.

My new tent has the hinged door. I'll most likely zip it anyway other than loading/unloading, or quick in and out, but detest the floppy doors when opened, especially when it's rainy.

How is your tent off the ground?

Yes, pop ups are quite a bit of work, but I'm looking at the coachmen clipper 9.0 for possible future. It looks so easy and has just what I'm looking for.
 

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My new tent has the hinged door. I'll most likely zip it anyway other than loading/unloading, or quick in and out, but detest the floppy doors when opened, especially when it's rainy.

How is your tent off the ground?

Yes, pop ups are quite a bit of work, but I'm looking at the coachmen clipper 9.0 for possible future. It looks so easy and has just what I'm looking for.
My canvas tents aren't off the ground - I sleep on cots. But that kind of made me laugh because I used to carry platforms to get my freestanding dome tents off the ground. A bit extreme in how much I had to haul, but great for getting off the ground and getting level no matter what ground I was on.


And, yeah, I'm also (sort of) in the market for a trailer. No hybrids, no slideouts, just a level it and forget it box.
 

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My canvas tents aren't off the ground - I sleep on cots. But that kind of made me laugh because I used to carry platforms to get my freestanding dome tents off the ground. A bit extreme in how much I had to haul, but great for getting off the ground and getting level no matter what ground I was on.


And, yeah, I'm also (sort of) in the market for a trailer. No hybrids, no slideouts, just a level it and forget it box.

Lol, okay a cot makes sense. The platform looks pretty cool though, but heavy, and you can't stake down the tent, so no wind allowed!
 

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Lol, okay a cot makes sense. The platform looks pretty cool though, but heavy, and you can't stake down the tent, so no wind allowed!
Actually, the platforms weren't all that heavy. They're just bulky, which doesn't fit my current "take more in less space" trials. I kind of miss the platforms though. It's next to impossible to get level any other way. But, believe me, I didn't take chances - the tent was screwed down with fender washers to make sure nothing slipped.
 

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been out of camping for a while, but would like to get back into it...

in answer to the topic question, you only need enough gear to prepare for the expected, and the unexpected... ;) (loaded answer)
i would recommend a compass, maps, some way to purify water, some way to cook food, or food that needs no cooking... really it depends on what type of camping you are doing, and where you are doing it.
if you are camping in the back-yard, a map and compass may be fun, but not needed, unless your back-yard is massive, or your navigation skills are absolutely terrible (in which case they may be useless anyway ;) )
if you are camping deep in the Maine woods, it may be necessary to bring a large stick to fend off the watermelon-sized black-flies. ;)
if i was to do strictly tent camping, or RV camping, my list of gear would be different for each. if i do both, i can go wild and buy whatever, as long as i have a way to carry what is needed.

but anyway, i am working on my second cup of coffee this morning, so i may be a little wordy, and my jokes may seem funnier to myself than they really are. ;)

~Travis
 

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How much camping gear do I need?
Being a confirmed paraphernaliac (the first step is admitting it; 'though I don't really need a cure) I tend to gear up in spurts; gather more then use, then gather more...

When the gear accumulates to the point where it can, no longer be easily transported; its time to inventory, prioritise and reduce... This is something I tend to do each year, after January and before camping season/memorial day.; but can happen at any time that I get frustrated with the packing hassle.

To transport the gear I have broken it down into modules (cooking, cleaning, accessories/entertainment etc.) and packed it into cases and milk crates

I take each case/crate, open it and go over each item listing, on a written list, the things that are out of date (like medicines and batteries) are worn or have disappeared... this becomes my shopping list... one of the milk crates has developed a crack so a replacement is on order.

I also consider each item and ask;
Is this something I used last year?
Is this something that I'm (be honest) going to use this year?
Is this something that I need or did it just seem like a good Idea?
Is this something that is needlessly duplicated?
If the answer is no (except for duplications) I place the item in an "Optional/unused/extra" pile. To be stored for a couple of years (short term storage) so that it can be retrieved if actually needed.. If the item is an essential duplication (I pack multiple BIC lighters since they dissapear so easily) I keep it. Nonessential duplications are added to the extra pile.

I then consider that case and gear;
Are there other things elsewhere, in other cases or on the market, that can serve the purpose better, in place of any of this this stuff.... This year I am eliminating the wash basin because one of the smaller cases, when empty as it usually is after camphas been set up, can serve in its place, not sureif it is going to be better but if it isn't I can retrieve the wash basin and say that I tried.
Can this stuff be packed better/more efficiently to gain space?
Should anything be moved to this case from another or from this case to another?
Can I reduce the size of this case or should it be bigger?

After all of the cases/modules have been evaluated; I think back over the last few trips and consider any frustrations; can they be eliminated/improved to make camping more enjoyable? (over the years my pillow had consistently fallen off the end of the cot and had to be retrieved in the middle of the night; I made a folding headboard for the cot and have eliminated this minor frustration).

Has technology changed enough to allow any thing to be replaced with an improved/better version?
My old 35 amp hour sealed lead acid tent battery has pretty much died; so I replaced it with a lighter weight similar sized LiFePo4 50 amp hour battery (on sale) with nearly 4 times (perhaps more do to its age) the effective energy.
I had to buy a new cellphone because of the elimination of 3g and have loaded a good part of my e-book library onto it and can forgo bringing the e-book reader, spare batteries and digital camera.

If you are being effective and honest there will, likely, be at least a small pile of stuff to be stored and your overall load will be lighter or at least more compact.

I'm probably forgetting something; additions an exceptions are welcome! ...any improvement is good!

Enjoy!
 
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it completely depends on you what you going for??? Usually, I'll go with a backpack, camping tent, camping chair and camp folding table & a stool.
Welcome! to the forum, Phil324...
...I agree; needs, desires and expectations vary; the important thing is to appreciate nature, IMO.

Enjoy!
 
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